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Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup: End of April and Mid-May—All in One!

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Welcome to the latest children’s literacy and reading news roundup, brought to you by  Jen Robinson’s Book Page, Terry Doherty from The Reading Tub and The Family Bookshelf, and me, Carol Rasco from RIF posting at Quietly. For this mid-month roundup that should have been posted at the end of April, I have lots of information we’ve collected regarding literacy and reading-related events; literacy programs and research; and suggestions for growing bookworms.

Without laboring over the issue, I extend a huge thanks of support to my colleagues Jen and Terry for their patience since January when I suffered a fall which resulted in a broken arm that I did not realize was broken for ten days and the story gets more interesting from there…I’ve been spending two days a week in Baltimore in PT and despite a small setback, all is going well. Now if I can ever catch up on work left untended and get back into a routine…and of course I’ll shout so loud you will hear me all over the land when I can fully use this arm again…yes, it’s my dominant arm. (But I have not told my father nor my son, the family worriers, shhh, okay?)

Literacy and Reading-Related Events

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Children’s Book Week, it’s this week! A time to celebrate the books we hold dear at The Roundup! In addition to the bookmark above by Grace Lin (complete with activities, also see the Brian Selznick poster for this year as well!) Last evening was the Children’s Choice Book Awards Gala. Not being able to make it in person this year I was thrilled to have a clear, steamed version into my living room…what a fun evening as always. I mean, did you know Meg Cabot raps?  Check out the video of the program yourself, learn the results of the more than one million votes cast by young people! 

London Book Fair back in mid-April was kicked off by the Fifth Digital Minds Conference which in turn was keynoted by Neil Gaiman who as usual had some food for thought to offer. As someone who feels on many a day like I am in a heavy duty tumbler with big rocks crushing my head due to those who want me to say it’s traditional book OR it is digital, make a decision, I appreciated his thoughts.  Another piece distributed by many during April/May on this topic is "The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper vs Screens" which you might find helpful in thinking about this complex issue as well.

Lots of events over these last six weeks. What if I were to pick five from which I have learned the most this particular year? The varied posts and viewpoints on SCREEN FREE WEEK with Jen’s posts among the most interesting; Jarrett J. Krosoczka’s SCHOOL LUNCH SUPER HERO DAY as it brought back such memories to me of sitting at those tables, speaking to those sweet ladies, the sense of community; LIBRARY WEEK thinking about all the libraries I have known, what each has contributed to me being me;

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NATIONAL TRAIN DAY on May 11 because I’ve spent a lot of time on trains since January back and forth to Baltimore as well as a Boston train trip plus there is a new favorite train book among my little guys: STEAM TRAIN DREAM TRAIN (I get to be the caretaker of the refrigerated cars!).

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And finally, watching Kareem Abdul-Jabar read and talk with elementary students this week as part of RIF’s GALA week was true inspiration of the “tallest” order for sure. 

More events to come of course! Let’s explore 2 more in May and three to preview for June with a book for each.

MAY 18:  International Museum Day
READ: THE MUSEUM, story by Susan Verde and art by Peter H. Reynolds

MAY 29:  Paper Clip Day
READ: SIX MILLION PAPER CLIPS: The Making of a Children’s Holocaust Memorial by Peter W. Schroeder.

JUNE 6: National Yo-Yo Day
READ: KNOTS IN MY YO-YO STRING:  The Autobiography of a Kid by Jerry Spinelli

JUNE 15: Fly a Kite Day in honor of the anniversary of Ben Franklin’s kite experiment in 1752.
READ: ELECTRIC BEN:  The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by Robert Byrd

JUNE 21: First Day of Summer
READ:  LOOK UP! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard by Annette Leblanc Cate.

LITERACY AND READING PROGRAMS AND RESEARCH

Summer reading, summer reading, summer reading…just cannot stress it enough.  It is never too late to work with your public library, your community’s schools as well as government officials and other child and youth serving organizations to make sure ALL children in every community have their needs met when it comes to summer reading.  
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RIF applauds the Junior League of Washington’s Resolution Read which will go with RIF into 21 local elementary schools to present children choices in books for each child to take two books home (in addition the three books already given by the League to these children this year) along with a bag of activities.

The National Summer Learning Association website is a place to check about summer reading! Keep in mind National Summer Learning Day is June 21, a great day to get the ball rolling in your community for enhanced summer learning for all.

KIPP Schools
ED Week noted in early April: Today, Deborah Meier starts a month-long blog conversation with Elliott Witney, a former KIPP educator who now serves as the executive director of strategic initiatives and innovation in the Spring Branch independent school district in Houston, Texas. Mr. Witney was school leader at the first KIPP—Knowledge Is Power Program—charter school for 10 years.  I found the series of letters between the two stimulating, thought provoking, and good for me.  I hope you will benefit from reading them and thinking about education with them.

Prettier Charts Can Be Harder for Students to Read Sarah D. Sparks starts this particular blog entry withGraphics are often intended to engage children in learning otherwise dry material, such as data on a chart. Yet new research from Ohio State University suggests increasing charts’ artistic appeal can interfere with students’ ability to comprehend the information they represent.”  Read more about this study of 122 middle class 6- to 8-year-old students.

THE NEWS IS IN!!!  The University of Wisconsin-Madison notes Meta-Analysis Shows Learning Impact of Sesame Street Around the World.


SUGGESTIONS FOR GROWING BOOKWORMS

GENDER. Gender. gender.  Applause to Betsy Bird for her early April post "Are there any girl bears?"

Back to summer reading and your own bookworms! 
Easy activity calendars for the summer! Don’t forget monthly activity calendars here for two age groups, all calendars in English and in Spanish!  
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Family vacation, it’s a go!  Whether it’s a plane trip with carefully crafted passports and potato prints as “stamps” for the various countries visited, a camping trip at a state park or the wild, wild west, or you are planning a series of visits to museums in other cities or states at the rate of one a week…you can do it with the help of your library and perhaps an internet connection with bushels of fun assured. Your trips using books as a foundation are guaranteed winners.  Join William, Charlie and me on that train I mentioned earlier or travel to China with us to retrace Mrs. Harkness’ trip to bring a panda to the US. Start planning now, Reading Rainbow has ideas to offer. And do hare your best ideas with us in the comments.

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Magical, yes it is. A big thank you to Susan at The Book Chook for posting a lovely magical piece by Mem Fox, take time to read it.  It’s the best way to end this Roundup —- using Mem’s words: Reading is magical because it brings parents and children together for fun, bonding and giggles.

Thanks for caring about children’s literacy! We hope you enjoy a great remainder of May full of reading just what you wish! 

Posted on Tuesday, May 14th 2013

THE FEBRUARY CHILDREN’S LITERACY AND READING NEWS ROUNDUP

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Welcome to the FEBRUARY Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup, brought to you by Jen Robinson of Jen Robinson’s Book Page, Terry Doherty of The Family Bookshelf and me.

GREETINGS as Terry and I face reports of an impending snow storm with a cherry blossom festival only three weeks away!  We are wishing we had some of the warmth outside that Jen has in her area of the country!

LITERACY AND READING-RELATED EVENTS

Applause to our friends at The Brown Bookshelf’s “twenty-eight days later 2013” for another year of excellent posts throughout the month celebrating Black History Month.  Knowing how much time is involved in those posts we appreciate this labor of love!  Remember, the posts are archived each year; what a treasure than can be used by teachers, parents and students year-round.

We were excited on February 14 to awaken to learn of the CYBILS 2012 winners! It is always a list to use as gift giving opportunities arise, trips to the library and more.  On the site you can also find the finalists to make your “favored list” even longer. And don’t forget that Susan Thomsen of the blog CHICKEN SPAGHETTI keeps an ongoing list of The Best Children’s Books of 2012: A List of Lists and Awards.

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This past weekend the country celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday with the now great tradition of Read Across America kicked off by its “parent” the National Education Association (NEA) at the New York Public Library  with guests Uma Thurman and Jake Austin joining NEA President Dennis Van Roekel.  And this year there were Cat-A-Vans out across the country!

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And so we fully move into March and the wonderful, fifth year of Share-a-Story, Shape-a-Future sponsored by Terry…don’t miss a single day of looking at those critical first five years! And there are writing prompts again this year, check it out! (image by ©Elizabeth O. Dulemba. All Rights Reserved.)


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The third year of the Kidlit Celebrates Women’s History Month initiative is underway. Interestingly you can read about one of this year’s CYBILS winners (non-fiction picture book) in an early post: Mrs. Harkness and the Panda written by Alicia Potter and illustrated by Melissa Sweet. I had no idea about Mrs. Harkness and her role in our history…and what a beautiful picture book, starting with that rich, red cover!

A contest for kids announced!
The notice read At Honey Maid, we believe in the power of making things. We’ve been fueling the creativity of kids since 1925, and now we’ve decided to take it even further by encouraging more kids and adults to get involved.

That’s why we created Made Co.

Made Co. is a unique contest series through which kids will have the chance to win opportunities to have their ideas brought to life with the help of industry experts. Made Co. was developed to encourage kids to cultivate their imagination and creativity, and inspire them to make things.” And the current contest you might be most interested in is a story contest for students 6-12.  Deadline in April. Children are invited to write a story about a day they will never forget whether good, embarrassing or otherwise. And wait until you read about the prize! Wow!

More on the horizon:
Battle of the Kids’ Books: Starts March 12! 
World Book Night 
Children’s Book Week 


LITERACY AND READING PROGRAMS AND RESEARCH


Prison data, court files show link between school truancy and crime: When WILL we learn? 

Lessons from pre-k that works: Will Mississippi’s children finally move ahead? Early in this school year, Cynthia Gordon realized her first grade students were hungry for books. Almost half of her students were ahead of the national curve, showing great ability to sound out words. Why, how? “I have kids that went to pre-k,” she said. (From the Hechinger Report)

Homework or Not? That is the (Research) QuestionAnd your thoughts?

GROWING BOOKWORMS (and you can benefit as well!)

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The following post by Trevor H. Cairney is hands down my favorite for the month, I wish I had an award to give you, Trevor! (and maybe I will think of one!):  WHY OLDER CHILDREN SHOULD READ PICTURE BOOKS. 

Why should I continue to read aloud to my older child? Jim Trelease shares a number of reasons, one being your child’s “listening level” as opposed to “reading” level. The post is long but well worth your time. 

February Carnival of Children’s Literature at Instantly Interruptible…always a great source of information, don’t you agree?

PW Talks with Laurel Snyder: Kids’ Books Are Not Just for Kids:
A progression going here, perhaps?  Seriously, this is a great one, thank you, Laurel! 

Your Brain on Books: 10 Things That Happen to Our Minds When We Read: It’s not just young children’s brains that can be affected positively.  How long does it take a brain to adjust to an online reader? Check it out.

National PTA and Amazon Team Up to Support Family Reading: Always good to see that phrase “family reading”! 

We’ll be back soon with a mid-March Roundup. And in the meantime, we’ll be sharing reading-related news on Twitter @CHRasco@TheReadingTub, and @JensBookPage. Thank you for your passion and advocacy for children’s literature and literacy!

Posted on Monday, March 4th 2013

THE JANUARY CHILDREN’S LITERACY AND READING NEWS ROUNDUP

 

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Welcome to the JANUARY Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup, brought to you by Jen Robinson of Jen Robinson’s Book Page, Terry Doherty of The Family Bookshelf and me.

January as always has been a month of great anticipation and excitement as book awards were being announced almost daily with the longest list announced this past Monday, the ALA Youth Media Awards.  The month has been one of reflection on the wide array of great books for children and youth, individual favorites, classroom favorites whether “winners” that have shiny seals now affixed to their covers or “winners” because a group of children found a title to be just the one to click with them, to spark a real understanding of the place for reading in their lives! Students may ask “Just how are decisions made about which books receive those shiny seals?” and you will be glad you’ve read Monica’s post at the NERDY BOOK CLUB about the Newbery. Of course there are many columns spending time on the winners and those books left out and more. But one of my top favorite topics after awards Monday is always to learn about THE CALLS to the winners. Thinking about Jon Klassen (pronounced Claw-son I am told) and the waiting cab driver, and the SECOND call that came from Seattle…what a Chinese fire drill! Now I am wondering, Jon (who prefers a good old fashioned baseball cap himself): did you even try to explain to the driver what had been happening upstairs while he waited?

In the midst of all the excitement, however, I found myself wishing and wishing with each announcement there would be more minority authors, illustrators, characters in books awarded prizes outside the awards so designated.  It is a concern, and clearly I am not the only one by a long shot concerned.  Read Mitali’s Fire Escape and that of Fuse #8 (scroll down to Whitey Whitey Whiteville) on the same issue.

AND, there are MORE awards to come…yes, February 14 the CYBILS will be named! And don’t forget that Susan Thomsen of the blog CHICKEN SPAGHETTI keeps an ongoing list of The Best Children’s Books of 2012: A List of Lists and Awards.

 

LITERACY AND READING-RELATED EVENTS
imageIf you have not started clicking through to 28 Days Later 2013 you really must start now; only one day missed in this month of February and of course it is there for you to treasure as well! I relish these posts annually and refer back to them often throughout the year…a great gift the organizers give to us each year. Go on, hit the site, “you’ll be glad you did”!

The Chinese New Year this year begins February 10The Year of the Snake!  There are numerous activities, book lists and more at Apples 4 the Teacher

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International Book Giving Day:  February 14 - don’t forget!  Where are you going to place books?  To whom are you going to give a book(s)?

.image©Elizabeth O. Dulemba. All Rights Reserved.

Terry has announced the 5th Annual SHARE A STORY - SHAPE A FUTURE blog tour with the theme LiTERACY: THE FIRST FIVE YEARS. Go over now and learn the different ways you can contribute and participate in what is always a special week of learning!

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Oooh, the books are announced, the brackets drawn…are you ready for Battle of the Kids’ Books sponsored by School Library Journal?


 

LITERACY AND READING PROGRAMS AND RESEARCH

From National Public Radio came Music, Multivitamins And Other Modern Intelligence Myths based on a paper published in January by John Protzko, Joshua Aronson and Clancy Blair at NYU.  The authors reviewed dozens of studies on a topic of interest to parents, educators, and policy-makers alike: “what, if anything, one can do in the first five years of life to raise a child’s intelligence.”  The comments were numerous and strongly worded.  I particularly liked these closing thoughts as I find them critical to this whole issue of literacy and children (note: I have no opinion on the supplements):

The take-home lessons for parents are relatively modest: consider some Omega-3 supplements and sit down with your toddler and a good book for some interactive reading.

But the implications for voters and policy-makers are profound. Teaching parents to engage in interactive reading and elaborative conversations with their little ones and improving access to high-quality preschool could go a long way towards eliminating economic disparities in intelligence test results in early childhood.


An article I’ve reviewing a great deal recently was written by Thomas Friedman: It’s P.Q. and C.Q. As Much As I.Q.. In noting the world is now not simply more connected but instead “hyper-connected” Friedman states “How to adapt? It will require more individual initiative. We know that it will be vital to have more of the “right” education than less, that you will need to develop skills that are complementary to technology …The winners won’t just be those with more I.Q. It will also be those with more P.Q. (passion quotient) and C.Q. (curiosity quotient) to leverage all the new digital tools to not just find a job, but to invent one or reinvent one, and to not just learn but to relearn for a lifetime.”  It’s something many have been saying for years but oh, is it more true now. And it says a great deal about the importance of the next section: GROWING (literate) BOOKWORMS in this Roundup each month.

For grades 4-12 parents and other interested parties, the AdLit.org monthly newsletter, January 2013 edition, WORD UP! features ‘technology’ this month. 

Among ED WEEK's “10 most viewed articles in 2012" was one regarding the changing roles of librarians: Common Core Thrusts Librarians Into Leadership Role. Similar to the great poster noting “Librarians, The Ultimate Search Engine.” 

Susan from The Book Chook reminded us The New York Times' ROOM FOR DEBATE has a debate/discussion on DO WE STILL NEED LIBRARIES?  Both the columns and the comments are great food for thought. And another reminder of the same ROOM FOR DEBATE hosting of the discussion on “What’s ‘Just Right’ for the Young Reader?" in late December. 



GROWING
 BOOKWORMS

Reading aloud received a lot of ink in January; some favorites of mine include:
Three best places to leave lots of books around your house?
+ Storytelling: How reading aloud is back in fashion (with a surprise twist!)
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Great cover and a BIG book in importance!  Get ready, the 7th edition of Jim Trelease's valued book on this topic of reading aloud, due out June 25!
+ Are you familiar with READ ALOUD: The 15 Minute Movement?  15 Minutes. Every Child. Every Parent. Every Day.


imageWant to share the classics with your child? Book Patrol introduced me to The Cozy Classics in January. Board books available now are MOBY DICK and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE; coming this spring are LES MISERABLES and WAR AND PEACE.  Intriguing, eh? Don’t miss the trailer at Book Patrol.

Boys’ books?  Girls’ books? Literaticat writes on the topic, and I say “AMEN”! She also admits as do I that I still like “pink and glittery”—- plus if you are out of it as to “Spikeletz” as was I, you can bring yourself up to date with this post!

Katie Davis’ BRAIN BURPS celebrated its 100th podcast featuring the first three National Ambassadors for Young People’s Literature discussing ”What Is Literacy?”  Katie’s post at HuffPo is a great complication of information about the Ambassadors and will take you to the podcast as well.

We don’t want to feel less when we have finished a book; we want to feel that new possibilities of being have been opened to us. We don’t want to close a book with a sense that life is totally unfair and that there is no light in the darkness; we want to feel that we have been given illumination.
― Madeleine L’EngleWalking on Water



We’ll be back soon with a mid-February Roundup. And in the meantime, we’ll be sharing reading-related news on Twitter @CHRasco@TheReadingTub, and @JensBookPage. Thank you for your passion and advocacy for children’s literature and literacy!

P. S.  Can’t resist sharing this lovely light we really need on our desks, right?image

Lumio is simple and intuitive. The lamp automatically turns on and off as you open and close the cover. A flexible and durable spine design allows you to control brightness by adjusting the angle without a switch or button.

Check out Jen’s additional January comments as well as Terry’s extra news!

 

Posted on Saturday, February 2nd 2013

The OCTOBER Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup

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Welcome to the October Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup, brought to you by Jen Robinson of Jen Robinson’s Book Page, Terry Doherty of The Family Bookshelf and me.

This month’s Roundup cannot be started before we express our love and concern for all so seriously affected by Storm Sandy; we know in particular our friends in New York and New Jersey and others are suffering significant losses.  We’re here for you and are eager to know of things we might each do as bloggers and friends in this world of kid lit.

We have all watched as well with awe and sadness as the story of brave Malala unfolded; we indeed wish this young girl who fervently believes in education for herself and others a full recovery.


LITERACY AND READING-RELATED EVENTS


A first assignment for each of us on “What can I do to help in the aftermath of Sandy?” is to check out KidLit Cares organized by Kate Messner. And what is Kid Lit Cares? Check the webpage, all the details for this auction are there for you to study.

Emma Thompson and Peter Rabbit: A recent NPR Morning Edition featured a discussion with Emma Thompson about her new book THE FURTHER TALE OF PETER RABBIT.  I found fascinating the role a little box of radishes played in the request to Emma as the first person writing about Peter since Beatrix Potter.

First Book to give 100 millionth book in November! Check out their TEN BOOKS EVERY CHILD SHOULD OWN and vote for YOUR favorite.  This voting will help First Book choose just what that 100 millionth book will be!

AWARDS AND END OF YEAR LISTS SEASON" has arrived!
National Book Award Finalists were announced on October 10.  Your favorites?

imageTHE GUARDIAN’s Children’s Fiction Prize went to Frank Cottrell Boyce for The Unforgotten Coat. Boyce was the writer who worked on the opening ceremony for the British Olympics. This winning story was not written for commercial distribution, it was commissioned by a charity with 50,000 copies distributed free.  Read about it, you will be touched.

Two of the Booklist’s “Top Ten Books for Youth” entries I have read so far that I commend to you are the one that is a listing of First Novels and the other listing Arts Books for Youth.

***Late Breaking***
Announced by twitter today and then compiled by The Horn Book, the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2012!

Many, many more book lists many sources to come I am sure…very exciting time of year!

imageDigital Learning Day Feb. 6 is a day you will want to start preparing for now.  The website gives you free resources, toolkits, blogs and webinars. Be on alert for this year’s video contest rules, take a look at last year’s winners. The day is sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians and the Alliance for Excellent Education; it is a day of celebration of teaching and learning through the use of digital media and technology.


LITERACY AND READING PROGRAMS and RESEARCH

Stanford Report of October 10, 2012 notes “New research can identify the neural structures associated with poor reading skills in young children and could lead to an early warning system for struggling students.”  The full report can be obtained with a membership from PNAS, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

The Role of Early Oral Language in Literacy Development by Timothy Shanahan, Ph.D. and Christopher Lonigan, Ph.D. appears in the latest issue of Language Magazine. Both authors served onthe National Early Childhood Panel (NELP);  the article both gives a good overview of the NELP findings as well as discusses practical applications for home and early childhood settings outside the home.

INVESTING IN KIDS by Dr. Tim Bartik, a Senior Economist with the W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, is discussed in his recent TEDx talk as well as further discussed regularly on his blog investinginkids.  This TEDx event organized and held at Miami University of Ohio included a variety of talks on early childhood programs which can be found linked at the event’s website.


GROWING BOOKWORMS

Two articles of note related to children with learning disabilities and reading:

Rethinking dyslexia on the Washington Post blog ON PARENTING discusses a recent film "The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia" directed by James Redford (yes, the son of Robert). James is the father of Dylan, a young man who is dyslexic. Redford noted in his interview with Janice D’Arcy this film is the one he wished for when his son was diagnosed

Content-Area Literacy
was the primary focus of a recent LDOnline which is produced by WETA.  And what IS this term we hear so frequently today? This publication notes:

Content-area literacy means that reading and writing occur both inside and outside of the language arts classroom. Science, math, and history teachers also work to integrate important reading and writing skills with their content. Discover resources that can help teachers, parents, and students navigate literacy skills within all content areas.

imageThe Role of Imaginative Re-creation in Literacy & Learningwas the title of a recent blog post by Trevor Cairney which opens with “Imaginative recreation is an essential part of learning, probably even life. It sits alongside ‘story’ as an essential way to relive or enrich narrative experiences. Story in its own right is critical to learning, communication and well-being. Imaginative recreation is one of its essential foundations.”  Trevor not only discusses the idea fully but gives very concrete examples for parents and teachers in three age groupings.  Thank you, Trevor!

Books about Books" was a recent post by Amy at Literacy Launchpad where she gives us all a good “reminder” of the great books available to help us learn more about books for children whether we are studying as a parent and/or a teacher!
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Thanksgiving Books : Time to start reading the books about this special time of the year; here’s a list for preschoolers and early elementary students. I am particularly fond of The Thanksgiving Door  by Debby Atwell.

Food for thought: I appreciated so much the thinking I had to do on the issue of setting goals and just what “proficient” really means when I read Heather Rader’s opening piece in The Big Fresh on October 20. Heather, 60% was a great %, and I wished I could have watched some movies with you all!

The Reluctant Readerby Heather Cato was a super post recently coming from The Nerdy Book Club. I was reminded of my own experience with reluctant readers in the library when I was student teaching. My problem was I thought every student in that sixth grade class loved to read like I had always loved to read…goodness I was green.


We’ll be back soon with a mid-November Roundup. And in the meantime, we’ll be sharing reading-related news on Twitter @CHRasco, @TheReadingTub, and @JensBookPage. Thank you for your passion and advocacy for children’s literature and literacy!

Posted on Thursday, November 1st 2012

Roundup of Children’s Literacy and Reading News – May in Review

 


Welcome to the May Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup brought to you by Jen Robinson’s Book Page, Family Bookshelf and me, Carol, writing from my new blog Quietly.  There is much literacy-related material on which to report and some previews to give! (And alas, yes, this is a bit later than I like to post the “end of month” but I keep ending up over the last four days in places where storms are seriously affecting connectivity!)

LITERACY & READING-RELATED EVENTS


Poll results on “favorites”: No, for once in this season it’s not political poll results! In case you need to do some catching up on Betsy Bird’s latest polls on chapter books and picture books, her introductory post on the winners will set the stage for you.

 

May 2012 Carnival of Children’s Literature: Great material submitted by participants, well organized by the host at Hope Is The Word - it’s a super carnival which means “Don’t miss it!” If you do not participate in the Carnivals, never have and/or perhaps feel a bit uneasy posting for the first time, read the information at the Carnival information site and make plans to submit.  Come on in, the water is fine!

With gratitude to friends remembered. May was a month of sadness for many in the children’s literacy world as we lost a number of friends; for many it was the loss of personal friends of longstanding. For others of us, it was the loss of friends whom we knew through their stories and their illustrations. Rest in peace Maurice Sendak, Ellen Levine, Jean Craighead George, Peter Sieruta, Leo Dillon. You enriched our lives, you inspired us.


LITERACY PROGRAMS & RESEARCH

A long word. So many of us loved watching the movie Mary Poppins if for no other reason than to hear and then let roll off our own tongues that long, long word: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! No one was EVER able to satisfy my inquiry of “where did it come from?” I have now read this article and one man’s journey to research this word! Could be a fun classroom or family experience to see what a history this single word has and the digging that had to occur to learn the full story as it is currently known.

Story Time Changes Needed? A recent study carried by numerous media outlets has of course created the usual “dust up”…change is tough. The April 2012 issue of the journal Child Development  carries a study “Increasing Young Children’s Contact With Print During Shared Reading: Longitudinal Effects on Literacy Achievement.” I encourage all interested and/or concerned to read the full article.  To me of note is the concluding statement noting: The long-term impacts of print referencing during preschool shared reading indicated a sizable, positive shift in the literacy trajectories of children for whom social and economic circumstances place them at substantial risk for later reading difficulties. Such impacts suggest the feasibility and power of primary prevention models that subtly enhance existing early childhood routines or activities to bring about meaningful impacts to children’s developmental trajectories.

I added the emphasis to “subtly” above as I feel having read the full article it is a key piece to this study as well as the notation about “social and economic circumstances place them at substantial risk for later reading difficulties.” With little improvement showing over twenty years in reading achievement among poor children, I believe we must continue to have studies like this to help us in turn assist the children falling most behind, dropping out, unable to make a living wage and worse.

Print and Digital Books. So I may be setting myself up for a meltdown here by putting a toe or more into the water, but please note I did not say one vs the other in the opening phrase. So few things when carefully considered do I find either/or; and this is one yet again where I believe strongly we must take deep breaths and make sure we’re looking at all angles.  I started thinking about this seriously again as I sat in the audience when the 2012 National STEM Video Game Challenge student winners were recognized. 28 middle- and high-school student winners from 11 states and the District of Columbia were praised by an impressive array of leaders in this field…praise for the students’ accomplishments in design and their creativity.  This annual competition is held by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media in partnership with a number of corporate partners.  Enjoy a video about the competition. So why did I start thinking about digital and print books in the midst of this? Simple. The afternoon reminded me there are so many ways to learn, to enjoy various topics and never would I want kids who love digital games to be missing this opportunity…and similarly, I don’t want children held from a form of book from which s/he might most learn or obtain enjoyment because at the adult level we’re having a debate that tends to go in circles. I was then absolutely delighted to see that Michael Levine, Executive Director of the Cooney Center, posted an article No More Reading Wars! Getting Ahead of the Transition From Print to Digital Books. I hope you will read it and will do as I try to do and read articles about this issue regularly; I believe it is critical for our nation’s children we do so. Here are five May articles I also found helpful in thinking on these digital-infused issues:
New ALA report explores challenge of equitable access to digital content

Print Books, Basic Ebooks may Top Enhanced Ebooks at Fostering Literacy, Says Study

Forecast: 80% of Tablet App Downloads Will be from Games, Digital Publishing, Social Networking, and E-Commerce Categories in 2016


For Young Readers, Print or Digital Books?

5 Opportunities For Ed Tech To Amplify Children’s Curiosity, Not Destroy It
                             
                             
SUGGESTIONS FOR GROWING BOOKWORMS
                   
Summer Reading: You read often in our Roundups about summer reading issues.  I hope you are aware of the invitation issued by The New York Times Learning Network for you to “take to twitter” on this Thursday, June 7 to discuss your plans, your questions, your students’ and children’s ideas about #summerreading!  Let’s make the twitterworld well aware of this important period in the education of our children!

Military Families.  Recently RIF and United Through Reading visited the USS Bush and produced a fun event for children of parents who had been deployed and/or were to deploy soon after the reading celebration where Doro Bush read to the children. Later Jen came upon this article about one woman’s successes in sending comic books to soldiers and how much it has meant to the troops; her own medical emergency convinced her of the power of books for healing, passing time constructively. The article includes how you can assist her in this effort.  We’re including it as we believe for sure growing of bookworms includes assisting parents!


Best Books for Babies
: The list has been released, and goodness, what fun is waiting there on that list. The website also has other useful information about books and babies together. And I have already found it is a great list for selecting newborn gifts among other uses! [The Fred Rogers Company supports Best Books for Babies along with The School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC).]

10,000 Ways It Won’t Work. In the February Roundup I wrote: 

An article caught my eye back in January that I failed to include in that roundup; it is critical enough I share it now a month late with you: Don’t Prevent Students’ Mistakes, Prepare for Them. I particularly liked for starters the poster headlining the article, a quote by Thomas A. Edison: I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. Enough said I believe, a strong reminder for all of us parents and educators.

It was interesting then to read in “By the Book” in the May 27, 2012 New York Times what Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust answered when asked “Is there any book you wish all incoming freshmen at Harvard would read?” Check out her answer! Similarly, our colleague in literacy, Kyle Zimmer, President, CEO and co-founder of First Book, was interviewed for “Corner Office” in that same edition of The New York Times, and she has an interesting award sometimes given to those who formulated promising ideas and failed.

Great apps for all book lovers to explore! That was the title of the May 26 Nerdy Book Club blog.  Mary Ann Scheuer has given us some great apps to explore and summer would be a fun time to do so! (Ah, surprised you, found another way to insert summer learning!)

Have a great beginning to your summer…and a sincere thank you for your dedication to children’s literacy. We hope to see you on twitter on June 7!  And then Jen will be back in mid-June with new literacy and reading items for you.

Book People Unite!
Carol

Posted on Monday, June 4th 2012

Have you checked out the mid-May edition of the Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup brought to you by Jen Robinson’s Book Page, The Family Bookshelf, and myself?  Don’t miss it; Jen Robinson has a jam-packed edition waiting for you!
Highlights include:- Tributes to Maurice Sendak and Jean Craighead George- Reminders about summer reading; have you made summer reading plans?- Results of a new international study: oral language development and reading- Laurel Snyder’s wonderful “meditation on my fierce love of picture books.”- And SCRABBLE Junior Cheez-Its!  I want some of these!
A couple of additional items:  I am not sure what measure is used to determine “gone viral” and I have a feeling this next suggestion has met most measures, but it is all the more reason I want to make sure YOU have seen and heard and experienced the recent commencement address delivered by Neil Gaiman at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Thank you, Neil, for a speech that is far more than an address for the class to which you delivered it.  As one person commenting said: I want to keep this near me to listen to frequently to give me a boost!  And another said simply:  This is for far more than “artists.”
Schools are beginning to close around the country for the summer vacation period.  This often means the puzzle of what to give as an appreciation gift to a teacher or teachers. A recent column in Parenting has some great tips, but the closing said it best: Remember, a nice handwritten note about what they (the teachers)  mean to you and your child is a super nice bonus!Thank you for caring deeply about children and literacy and books…I’ll be back at the end of May with a round-up looking over the full month and looking ahead to June! For now, scurry over to Jen’s place to read the full Mid-Month Roundup!Book People Unite!Carol
(opening image from itssl)

Have you checked out the mid-May edition of the Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup brought to you by Jen Robinson’s Book Page, The Family Bookshelf, and myself?  Don’t miss it; Jen Robinson has a jam-packed edition waiting for you!

Highlights include:
- Tributes to Maurice Sendak and Jean Craighead George
- Reminders about summer reading; have you made summer reading plans?
- Results of a new international study: oral language development and reading
- Laurel Snyder’s wonderful “meditation on my fierce love of picture books.”
- And SCRABBLE Junior Cheez-Its!  I want some of these!

A couple of additional items: 
I am not sure what measure is used to determine “gone viral” and I have a feeling this next suggestion has met most measures, but it is all the more reason I want to make sure YOU have seen and heard and experienced the recent commencement address delivered by Neil Gaiman at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Thank you, Neil, for a speech that is far more than an address for the class to which you delivered it.  As one person commenting said: I want to keep this near me to listen to frequently to give me a boost!  And another said simply:  This is for far more than “artists.”

Schools are beginning to close around the country for the summer vacation period.  This often means the puzzle of what to give as an appreciation gift to a teacher or teachers. A recent column in Parenting has some great tips, but the closing said it best: Remember, a nice handwritten note about what they (the teachers) mean to you and your child is a super nice bonus!

Thank you for caring deeply about children and literacy and books…I’ll be back at the end of May with a round-up looking over the full month and looking ahead to June! For now, scurry over to Jen’s place to read the full Mid-Month Roundup!

Book People Unite!
Carol

(opening image from itssl)

Posted on Thursday, May 24th 2012

Source j.mp

Welcome to “Quietly”!

For readers joining “Quietly” today as “Rasco from RIF” retires for RIF’s Book People Unite blog, I say “WELCOME!

Why “Quietly”? The line two description of this blog is “chalet, lighthouse, veranda” which are some of my favorite places to read.  Reading and books for me are my quiet place. Whether reading privately, sharing a book with a young child or giggling and exploring books with a group of children - reading is always for me a quiet place within myself.

Join me as I explore the books, the issues and give a few opinions on this topic of children’s literacy and more.  And expect to learn more than a little bit about two very special little boys in my life, William and Charlie. Below I have shared with you pictures of my earliest days in this quiet place of reading…with a younger sister as we heard our mother’s voice reading and as I shared in turn a few years later my newly developing skill with my sister.

Carol

  

Posted on Monday, April 23rd 2012