Posts tagged as:

Literacy

eBooks for Kids

by Julianne Grasso July 6, 2011
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While digital books and the devices to read them have been typically marketed at adults, children’s books are making their way into digital format. Possibilities for sound, animation, and interactivity have made touch-screen devices like the iPad and iPhone particularly engaging for children. I wondered if any of these interactive additions are particularly conducive to enhancing literacy skills. (After all, it may be difficult to justify purchasing an expensive gadget when you could easily get these books for free at your local library).

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Reading Success for Boys

by Michele Rodgers May 11, 2011
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Over the past several years, gaps between girls’ and boys’ reading abilities have been widening. Even when socio-economic background is taken into consideration, far more boys than girls scored below basic on the most recent National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). Like many disparities in our classrooms, these gaps become increasingly pernicious if not addressed in early elementary school. By fourth grade, boys lag behind girls by two years in reading.

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Reading for Life: Writing for Life

by Rhonda H. Lauer April 28, 2011
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A few weeks ago I came across a fascinating interview with Keren Taylor, the founder of the non-profit organization WriteGirl that pairs professional women writers with high school girls in Los Angeles. Local English teachers help the organization identify girls who would most benefit from the program, both low and high achievers, from a variety of cultures and family backgrounds.

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Long-Term Connections between Third Grade Reading, Graduation, and Poverty are Found in Casey Foundation Study

by Jennifer Kobrin April 14, 2011
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Earlier this week, a study commissioned by the Casey Foundation found that high school dropout rates for students who were unable to read on grade level by third grade were four times higher than students who read proficiently by third grade. 88% of students who did not graduate from high school were either “below basic,” or “basic, not proficient” on reading tests in third grade. The effects increased significantly when poverty was taken into consideration.

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Reading for Life: What it Means to be Literate

by Rhonda H. Lauer April 6, 2011
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Recently, I’ve been thinking about the meaning of the word literacy. The definition has become a bit muddled lately; these days we talk about computer literacy, cultural literacy, and environmental literacy. Used in this sense, it means “knowledge of a particular subject or field.”

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A trip to the Roots Conference in California (and Pedro Noguera)

by Jennifer Kobrin February 19, 2011
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This week I traveled to Visalia, California—an incredibly beautiful place at the foothills of the Sierra mountains in California’s Central Valley—to give a workshop at the first annual Roots Conference. On the second day, Pedro Noguera spoke for almost an hour. Two major themes came up during his talk. One: there are examples of effective schools out there but we are not doing enough to replicate them. Two: the problem is not the kids, or their parents.

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Life is Stress: The Impact of Poverty on Childhood Brain Development

by Sharon DuPree January 19, 2011
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Think of the most stressful moments of your life– the times when you’ve felt the most anxious, the most afraid or the least confident. Imagine that argument with your spouse just before leaving home in the morning, only to be rear-ended by the aggressive tail-gater and then arriving at school to teach that class of antsy third graders or administer an important test. How would you do? Children in poverty—children who come from family environments plagued by unemployment, abuse and neglect, chronic housing mobility and the like—suffer stress levels higher and more chronic than the exceptional “bad morning.” This stress has a profound impact on their cognitive abilities.

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Reading for Life: Technology for Reading – It’s Elementary!

by Rhonda H. Lauer January 12, 2011
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Recently, on behalf of The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Making Connections initiative, I had the opportunity to visit Harrington Elementary School in Denver, Colorado. In one third-grade class, I was excited to see students using iPods to build literacy skills. And although teachers just started using the devices in the classroom, they are already starting to see progress.

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Home for the Holidays

by Jennifer Kobrin December 22, 2010

Every family has their own take on holiday celebrations. Some families sing certain songs or eat special foods. Others are a little more wacky. My family likes to make their grown children reenact childhood photos (let’s hope mom doesn’t find those My Little Ponies this year!).

Whatever your holiday tradition, if you have school-aged kids, chances are you will have a few days at home next week. So, before your family resorts to something as weird as mine, try some of these holiday ideas. I’ve separated this language and literacy-themed roundup by age range, but some of the younger kids might enjoy the older kid activities, and vice versa. The list includes both online and off-line activities.

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Reading for Life: Tweens, Teens and Technology

by Rhonda H. Lauer December 16, 2010
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Today’s young people ages 8 to 18 years use entertainment media (computers, television, video games, etc.) an average of 53+ hours per week; that’s 7 hours and 38 minutes every day. Instead of bemoaning such statistics, let’s embrace this reality. Modern technology and digital media afford educators a unique opportunity to engage tweens and teens in more active, participatory learning.

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