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Motivation

You can't let your failures define you

"You can't let your failures define you — you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time." What an important and powerful message for students from President Obama.

Summer Reading Bags: Wrap up

The Summer Reading Bag project wrapped up last week (read more about it here). I was amazed by the quality and quantity of donations we gathered! Thanks to the generosity of teachers and neighbors, the PTO tables were piled high with books, games, flash cards, mini chalkboards, and more.

summer reading bags

Series books

A colleague recently sent me a link to new and "hot" children's book releases. The majority of them were books that featured well known and proven characters like the eloquent Nancy of fancy language fame and a skeleton detective, Dirk Bones (both HarperCollins).

Summer reading bags: access for all

In last week's blog post, I wrote about the research on access to books for kids in poverty. In short: all kids, but especially kids from lower-income households, need access to books over the summer. If there are no books laying around to read, it's unlikely that a child will lay around to read.

Tests and more tests

The end of the school year usually means one thing for kids: TESTS! In Virginia, our 3rd and 5th graders are gearing up to take the Virginia Standards of Learning tests. Other grade levels are preparing for end of unit tests, spelling tests, math chapter tests, tests to inform placements for next year, and tests just because teachers like to grade (just kidding).

What do boys read?

I read a recent article in the New York Times that surprised me a bit. A team of researchers, anthropologists no less, went searching for what 6 to 14 year old boys might find most appealing to watch.

Interesting to note that boys and their interests are the focus of a study sponsored by Disney, a leader in the production of programs that spawned a princess frenzy that reaches girls of all ages — literally into adulthood.

Why now? Why boys? To tap another market? Or because a market is being lost? Or just too much pink?

What's good for ELLs is good for all

If you follow us on Twitter, you know that I was in Chicago at a conference sponsored by the Center for Development and Learning. I've got lots to share from the conference; there were several great speakers and exhibitors. Many attendees came by the Reading Rockets booth to tell me that they use the site all the time, especially our Parent Tips.

For Anna, it's all about the page count

Motivation is a huge topic in reading. So many parents and teachers deal with motivation issues every day. I saw this quote recently; I think it applies nicely to reading: Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. (Jim Ryun, author and runner)

Yesterday's trip to the library was an interesting lesson for me about Anna's motivation to read. After Anna slipped 3 or 4 really thick books into our bag, I had to ask her about it.

Share a Story — Shape a Future blog tour

There are lots of blogs about teaching, children's literature, and raising readers. This week there's a new way to see some of what is out there: a blog tour of practical, usable, everyday ideas for working with readers.

The Share a Story — Shape a Future blog tour event begins March 9, 2009 and lasts one week. There's a specific theme each day, and each day a group of bloggers will sharing ideas around that theme.

Where does lip gloss = reading? In Book Clubs.

Do you know about the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood's (CCFC) Put the Book Back in Book Club campaign? It was motivated by the monthly fliers from Scholastic Book Club.

Pages

"I'm wondering what to read next." — Matilda, Roald Dahl