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Reading in the Spotlight

Welcome Madelyn Rosenberg to Book Life! Madelyn is a mom, journalist, and the author of nine books for children. Her newest book, This Is Just a Test, with Wendy Wan-Long Shang, comes out on June 27.

Jason Reynolds: The Beauty of Words Is Magic

Gene sits down with award-winning YA author Jason Reynolds. They talk about the unusual story structure in All American Boys, the inspiration for the book, and how writing it emerged from a deep friendship (full of “uncomfortable, healthy conversations”) with his co-author, Brendan Kiely. With his book Ghost, Reynolds wanted to explore the whole concept of “running” — and what it means to run toward, or run away, from something.

Reading Success During Spring Break!

Guest post by Stacie Brady, AIM-VA

Hooray! Spring is on the way. Whether families are headed to the beach, camping, amusement parks or even a staycation, it’s a great time to practice using those reading accommodation tools with real-life reading opportunities. Using reading tools such as text-to-speech during fun, low stress, literacy activities help to build independence and encourage practice with the tool-based skills needed for more academic reading when returning to school.

Bringing Books to Life: My Little House in the Big Woods

We’ve had a mild winter here in Virginia and the lack of snow got me thinking about a past cold and snowy adventure to the boyhood home of Almanzo Wilder in upstate New York.

Open up the world of Braille literacy to your students!

Guest post by Stacie Brady, AIM-VA

Welcome to supporting an awareness of literacy for students who use Braille. Braille literacy is directly linked to print literacy, academic success, and future employment. It unlocks many doors both personally for enjoyment and independence as well as professionally, leading to greater satisfaction and fulfillment toward a life well-lived!

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Made to Order!

Guest post by Ian Moore, AIM-VA

Have you ever tried to read a phone number that was written as a single stream of text and struggled to retain the information or even quickly comprehend it? As an example, my phone number at AIM-VA training and technical assistance is: 17039935578.

How quickly could you read that number? Would you remember it if someone asked to dial it? If someone asked, how quickly could you identify the position of the second three.

Now try it with additional spacing: 1 703 993 5578.

An Argument about Independent Reading Time During the School Day

Last week I answered a teacher’s question about free reading time during the school day and its relationship to reading motivation (e.g., making kids like reading).

Does Independent Reading Time During the School Day Create Lifelong Readers?

Teacher question:

You have attacked DEAR time [Drop Everything and Read] because you say it does little to raise reading achievement. But what about having kids read on their own as a way to motivate them to be readers? As a teacher I want my kids to be lifelong readers so I provide 20 minutes of daily independent reading time. What do you think?

Shanahan's response: 

Map Fun: Creating a Visual Itinerary

Shen family trip to France

This summer we traveled to France for a friend’s wedding and the Tour de France. It was a trip that included a long road trip with multiple stops. I thought a fun way to get the kids excited about the trip would be a map exercise: creating a visual itinerary to help the kids understand where we were going and what we’d be seeing.

Do Architects Build Dollhouses?

Dollhouse

When you ask my daughter Addie what she wants to be when she grows up, she’ll say a number of things, one of which is wanting to be an architect. When you ask her why she wants to be an architect, she’ll tell you that buildings come in all sorts of interesting shapes and designs. She may also mention that it’d be fun to build dollhouses.

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"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." — Groucho Marx