Phoneme Awareness vs Phonics?
The National Institute for Literacy has some good tips for teaching phoneme awareness (being able to identify the separate sounds in words) a critical skill for learning to read. However, they suggest that 20 hours of class time should suffice for teaching phonemic awareness. Since close to 70% of...
The Learning and the Brain Conference
I just attended and made a presentation at the 25th Learning & the Brain conference in San Francisco—USING BRAIN RESEARCH TO RAISE IQ AND ACHIEVEMENT.  My presentation was in a section titled How Will New Brain Technologies for Cognition and Memory Change Education, Learning and Aging? I talked...
Travel as Education
Travel can be one of the most educational experiences imaginable.  Even short trips that require hearing a new language, or seeing a new culture, or living in a new way (like camping) can make big changes in a child’s life. In 1970, my husband and I took our two children, Matthew (13) and Melissa...
Recommended Reading
While Jeannine takes a break from blogging this holiday week, here are some good blog posts to check out: SchoolFamily.com has some great articles, like these: “Is my child reading at grade-level?” “Holiday traditions that improve reading and writing skills” The ASCD...
Why not start with writing?
Writing is a system humans have invented to make speech visible. Our English alphabet is a way of drawing sounds. Words must be written before they can be read. Why not start with writing?
Struggling readers do not improve by “silent reading” in class
I was recently sent an article by Jan Hasbrouck in which she discusses reading fluency and the pervasive use of Sustained Silent Reading and Round Robin Reading. These are strategies that teachers are using to develop fluency in struggling readers. She says, “Developing fluency among struggling...
Rhyming games to play with your children
Susan Maguire is a retired kindergarten teacher and blogs at “Together Time 4 Families“. This post titled “4 Sound Awareness Activities for Your Preschooler” has some good ideas for developing a young child’s awareness of the sounds in words.  Rhyming and listening for...
Learning (not memorizing) will make reading FUN
This blog post from Imagination Soup suggests as the first of 5 ideas for kids who hate to read: “1. MODEL. Read the page or sentences first.  Have your child repeat.” This strategy may help a child memorize the appearance of the words.  It does not give a child tools to decipher words on his own. Research...
A Story to Explain Brain Research About Reading
A Typical Day in a Brain Research Lab The machine was familiar to her now, but it was still amazing to think that it could take a picture of her son’s brain while he was reading!  Johnny was lying down inside the machine, and she could hear him answering questions that the doctor was asking. Ann sat...
Technology Won’t Teach Without YOU!
Pre-K Lessons Linked to TV Produce Gains in Literacy (but with a big caveat!)  This summary is from an article Education Week, Oct 21, 2009. A new study has found that low-income pre-schoolers made significant gains in acquiring skills such as naming letters and knowing the sounds associated with these...
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