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The biggest lessons librarians learned in 2017

E-School News – Robin Glugatch and Andy Plemmons

“For the sake of our students, we must embrace the changing role of the school librarian. 2017 was a year filled with makerspaces, student engagement, personalized learning, and more. Here, two seasoned librarians shed light on their biggest lessons learned in 2017 and look forward to the up-and-coming trends for the new year.”(more)

Manning: Reading to kids key to their learning

The Boston Herald – Maureen Manning

“November is Family Literacy Month, a time when schools, libraries and literacy organizations shine a spotlight on the importance of parents and children reading together. Parents are a child’s first teacher, and are often the driving force behind a child’s love of reading. Not only can remarkable bonds form through reading together, but also, family literacy has a direct impact on a child’s success later in life. The National Center for Education Statistics identifies being read to as the single most important activity, for children not yet in school, to build skills needed for future academic success.”(more)

3 Literacy Practices That Work

Edutopia – Nell K. Duke

“In the post “What Doesn’t Work: Literacy Practices We Should Abandon,” I wrote, “The number one concern that I hear from educators is lack of time, particularly lack of instructional time with students. It’s not surprising that we feel a press for time. Our expectations for students have increased dramatically, but our actual class time with students has not. Although we can’t entirely solve the time problem, we can mitigate it by carefully analyzing our use of class time, looking for [and doing away with] what Beth Brinkerhoff and Alysia Roehrig (2014) call ‘time wasters’.”(more)

Storytime a ‘turbocharger’ for a child’s brain

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“While reading to children has many benefits, simply speaking the words aloud may not be enough to improve cognitive development in preschoolers. A new international study, published in the journal PLOS ONE and led by researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, shows that engaging with children while reading books to them gives their brain a cognitive “boost.” Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) found significantly greater brain activation in 4-year-old children who were more highly engaged during story listening, suggesting a novel improvement mechanism of engagement and understanding. The study reinforces the value of “dialogic reading,” where the child is encouraged to actively participate.”(more)

How Reading Aloud to Therapy Dogs Can Help Struggling Kids

KQED News Mind/Shift – Juli Fraga

“Two years ago, principal Diane Lau-Yee grew concerned when she saw how family tragedies were impacting her students at Gordon J. Lau Elementary School in San Francisco’s Chinatown. “Some of the students were acting out their feelings of confusion and anger by starting fights with their peers, while other children shut down and stopped participating in class,” says Lau-Yee. When children are struggling at home, it’s often harder for them to concentrate in school. And if kids experience trauma — such as the death of a family member, divorce or witnessing family or community violence — research shows that kids will have more difficulty tolerating frustration, controlling their impulses and managing their aggression.”(more)

How to bond with your child through reading

The Telegraph – Professor Peter Fonagy

“For anyone in the vastly busy day-to-day, having some time to read together perhaps at the end of the day can create a space for the kind of meeting of minds between parent and child which is developmentally so helpful to children. We take being able to focus for granted. Yet small children need to learn this skill, and they learn best when ‘trained’ by someone they care about. Reading for pleasure with children (going through a book together, talking about it, looking at the pictures) now has solid research evidence showing that it can improve language development and capacity for paying attention and also social and emotional outcomes.”(more)