Category Archives: Reading

The Streak

True story:  A father reads aloud to his daughter for over 3,000 nights in a row- over 700 books- from grade 4 to her first day of college.



Ten Myths of Reading Instruction

Here’s a great article about Reading Instruction that caught my eye as I was researching balanced literacy.  Any time I read something like this, I have to consider the source (critical literacy, and all…).  This is published by SEDL.  From their “About” page:

SEDL is a private, nonprofit education research, development, and dissemination (RD&D) corporation based in Austin, Texas. Improving teaching and learning has been at the heart of SEDL’s work for more than 40 years. Our projects have changed over time, but our commitment to student success has not.

SEDL is committed to bridging the gap between research and practice.

The myths in the article are listed below.  Numbers 5, 6, 9 and 10 were the ones that really got me thinking.

Myth 1: Learning to read is a natural process.

Myth 2: Children will eventually learn to read if given enough time.

Myth 3: Reading programs are “successful.”

Myth 4: We used to do a better job of teaching children to read.

Myth 5: Skilled reading involves using syntactic and semantic cues to guess words, and good readers make many “mistakes” as they read authentic text.

Myth 6: Research can be used to support your beliefs, whatever they are.

Myth 7: Phoneme awareness is a consequence — not a cause — of reading acquisition.

Myth 8: Some people are just genetically “dyslexic.”

Myth 9: Short-term tutoring for struggling readers can help them catch up with their peers, and the gains made will be sustained.

Myth 10: If it is in the curriculum, then the children will learn it, and a balanced reading curriculum is ideal.

World Read Aloud Day

March 3rd is WRAD.  Who knew?

Here is a gem of a page from the NYT Learning Network: lots-o-links to great read alouds.

Conferring is the Beating Heart of Workshop Teaching

I think about this a lot, as it was something I heard at a conference once.  I agree with that conferring is the heart of the teaching in a reading or writing workshop, but having an effective conference is the thing that many of us struggle with the most.

One of my favorite blogs is over at Stenhouse because they are always pushing their new books, which always look good to me!  This post on Counterfeit Beliefs about Conferring really has me thinking.  I’d love to hear your reaction to the whole post, or at least to this part:

Here is our list of counterfeit beliefs. Which ones do you believe? Which ones have you actually said, or thought, at one point or another?

Counterfeit Beliefs About Conferring

1. If I meet with small groups, I don’t have to meet with individuals. It’s easier to meet with small groups.

2. If I don’t meet with every student every day, I’m not doing a good job.

3. If I don’t do a running record during each and every reading conference, I’m not really assessing my students’ reading ability.

4. If I don’t talk about all the errors a student is making while he or she is with me, I’m not being diligent.

5. I have to take an expert stance in each conference.

6. I need to focus on skills and fluency; comprehension comes later.

7. When I’m talking to a child about his or her learning, I’m conferencing.

8. I need to confer with every student the same number of times for the same amount of time each week.

9. I need to give the rest of the class something “to do” so they’ll stay busy and leave me alone so I can confer.

10. I’ve tried _____’s conferring suggestions and recommendations and they just didn’t work out.

Now before you close the book and say, “Wait a minute, I agree with number nine or number two,” let the statement weigh on your mind a bit. Think about each statement carefully. Spend some time pondering. Can you see why these ideas might be considered misguided?
What do you all think?

Does the Brain Like E-Books?

Check out this article in the NYT about the brain and E-Books. All the posts are interesting, but if you have to narrow your reading down, read the post by Maryanne Wolf. Thanks to Maria P. for sending this in.