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7 sneaky ways to get students reading using technology

E-School News – Eve Heaton

“We all have had students in our classroom who dislike reading. You can spot them easily during their silent reading time: staring at the wall, using the bathroom, or attempting to sharpen pencils that clearly do not need sharpening. Sadly, the number seems to jump year after year. You attempt to cajole, differentiate, and bring in parents knowing that the only way to improve reading is to read. Don’t give up hope! You can get these students reading, but it is time to get creative, smart—and yes, sneaky—about it. Sometimes, using something many students like (technology) can get them inspired to read.”(more)

The Best Ways to Build Strong Early Reading Skills

The Huffington Post – Merete L. Kropp

“Filled with good intentions, some parents employ popular strategies with the goal of building strong readers from infancy in the years leading up to their child entering school. A number of adults mistakenly assume that drill and practice techniques or memorization are the most effective ways for their young child to learn to read. Alphabet puzzles, flashcards and leveled readers are introduced and rehearsed as though children are computers that can be fed bits of information that the brain will synthesize and spit out as reading ability. Research on reading acquisition tells a different story.”(more)

Fiction has significant role in social emotional learning

Education Dive – Tara García Mathewson

“Researchers describe “theory of mind” as the ability to recognize mental states in others and understand that others have perspectives and desires that are different from one’s own. When classroom assignments develop students’ social emotional skills, they include fostering an ability to regulate one’s own emotions, often in an attempt to communicate or otherwise form relationships with others. The term theory of mind, from cognitive science, and the concept of social-emotional skill-building, now very much in vogue in U.S. classrooms, are connected. And ongoing research indicates students might be able to improve their theory of mind abilities by reading fiction.”(more)

Authors and teachers pick a children’s book for Christmas

The Guardian – Rebecca Ratcliffe

“Education Guardian’s Christmas gift ideas from teachers and authors, with Anne Fine, Holly Smale, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Michael Morpurgo and Julia Donaldson.
The Frog and Toad books are perfect gifts. Children of three to five adore these wry, intelligent and gentle stories about two very different friends. Frog is patient and modest. Toad is not. But together they face the problems any child will recognise: ice‑creams that melt too fast, an overpowering inability to get out of bed, lost buttons, failure of will power, and all the myriad misunderstandings, anxieties and triumphs of small busy lives.”(more)

Reading with your children—books vs tablets

Medical X-Press – Nicola Yuill

“Most of us have an opinion about whether we prefer reading on screen or paper: but what difference does it make for children? The truth is that technology is now encountered from babyhood. Anecdotes abound of toddlers swiping their fingers across paper rather than turning the page, while parents and teachers express their fear of screen addiction as tablets introduce new distractions as well as new attractions for young readers.”(more)