Did you know…

Children who are “well-read-to” (at least five times a week), when asked to tell a story, used more literary language than unread to children, and they used more sophisticated syntactic forms, longer phrases, and relative clauses. They were also better able to understand the oral and written language of others – an important foundation for the comprehension skills that will develop in the coming years. Wolf, M. (2007). Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain. New York: Harper Perennial.

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Summer slide….using data from the 80’s

In a recent article in Edutopia, a writer explores a recent study by Education Next.

Basically, it casts some doubt on the idea that children “lose” information over the summer if they aren’t in constant practice. The idea of summer slide is all based on a study that was conducted in the 1980’s- and although it has been tried, the study has not been able to be duplicated. The research instead points to better understanding the achievement gap, and the type to testing that was used to identify “summer slide”.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

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Leading with Literacy 2/1/19

What an event it was… and I am so thankful for the support that the LS received from parents and colleagues! Please be sure to visit the LS resources page on HOL to see the pictures and artifacts from the students.

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Not Just for Reading Class Anymore…

An article from EdSurge about teaching literacy in other content areas- reading isn’t just taught in the ELA block!

Not Just for Reading Class Anymore: 5 Tips for Teaching Literacy Across Multiple Subjects

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Three Myths About “Reading Levels” | Psychology Today

There have been several articles out recently about the use of “leveled” texts outside the classroom, and I am thankful for them. The use of a reading level is a tool that teachers use to create appropriately scaffolded instruction for students when they are in a small group or one-one-one situtation. In my opinion, which I know many teachers share, is that children should be reading self selected books when not in these instructional situations.

Feel free to visit the source site below for some more info-

Source: Three Myths About “Reading Levels” | Psychology Today

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A small study suggests that quality digital story books might be as good as an adult

In this article put out by Hechinger report, the author suggests through a small study conducted at NYU that children can have the same level of oral comprehension whether it was delivered by a quality digital platform or by an adult.

Although this may be true (in my humble opinion), having oral comprehension just isn’t enough. One of the magical and important ingredients to reading with children (not just “to”) is being able to address the individual behaviors of the child to make sure that they are understanding more than just the who, what, why, and when and where of the story. Most digital storybooks are not interactive and cannot be differentiated to match the need of the learner. In addition, a major component of reading aloud with children is modeling fluent and expressive language; the majority of “read to me” apps that I have encountered falls flat in this arena. When a child is the audience of a responsive reader, the child is taking in more than just what the words say on the page. They are watching and learning from the reader as they look at the pictures, point out specialized print, and hear how they process the text aloud.

I am not saying that digital storybooks do not have a seat at the table in the reading instruction of children. However, it should be only one slice of the pie. It is important that the primary tool and resource that children have is access to quality books and adults that love to share them.

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Tough Love & Reading

Below is a link to a recent interview with James Patterson, and something he mentions is that getting your kids to read sometimes requires a little bit of tough love. I completely agree with this… as parents, sometimes we have to push our children into things they don’t like: asparagus, picking up their clothes from the floor, sharing with others. Now for some, we don’t have to push on these things, I know, but- we know these are important things that will make our children healthier (both body and mind).

Getting children to love reading is the same thing. I understand that not all children will be as enthusiastic about reading as others. However, if we don’t force the issue a little bit we are doing the children a huge disservice. At home, reading needs to be embedded into the day the same as brushing teeth. It should just be an expectation of the day. My ultimate goal- in the long run- is that teachers wouldn’t even have to “assign” reading everyday for homework!

James Patterson seeks to help stop summer brain drain

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Looking at assessment with new eyes

Please watch this great POPTECH talk from Amanda Ripley….. it’s not just about taking a pencil/paper test:)


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Reading aloud to older students

The hidden benefits of reading aloud — even for older kids

Educator Jim Trelease explains why reading aloud to your child, no matter what her age, is the magic bullet for creating a lifelong reader.
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What Doesn’t Work: Literacy Practices We Should Abandon


Some thoughts from Nell Duke, a very respected educator. 

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