A recent New York Times article reveals that picture books are no longer as popular as they once were; that sales are down, that parents are often looking to chapter books to propel their children forward educationally, perhaps for what is considered more sophisticated literary or...
October 8, 2010
October 5, 2010
I found a recent article in the The New York Times entitled "The Plot Escapes Me" was particularly intriguing. Its author, James Collins, laments the fact that he can't remember the specifics of the books he reads; however, he continues to associate with the books "an atmosphere and a stray image or two, like memories of trips I took as a child."
September 17, 2010
Do children feel that they've got to read or that they get to read? There is a difference.
Last week I wrote about what Peter Dickinson called "rubbish" and letting kids read a fair amount of it. Adults often feel strongly about what children read. They may love or loathe certain children's books — and adults are generally the ones who put books into children's...
September 10, 2010
September 8, 2010
Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits is a timely reminder about a few techniques that can reliably improve how much a student learns from studying. Techniques include alternating study environments, spacing study sessions, self testing, and mixing content....
September 3, 2010
There's a special sound to late summer. The air almost seems to vibrate with the songs of insects.
I was walking down the sidewalk earlier today and came across a shell of a really ugly (at least in my opinion) critter. But I recognized it as that of a totally harmless cicada, one of the likely music makers.
I knew this because my son and I collected cicadas when one variety...
August 20, 2010
Do you remember a book from your early childhood? Which one? Why do you remember it?
I remember The Poky Little Puppy (Golden Books) and others fondly; I also remember my mother's soft skin and gentle fragrance as I snuggled next to her while she read. Was it the book (older than I am but still available)? Could it have been how it was shared?
August 2, 2010
Kids love to read to someone. It's good for kids to read their writing out loud, to practice their Reader's Theater scripts with, or to rehearse a book they want to read to the class or to their reading group.
But there's not always a student handy to read with. Enter the Reading Buddy...
June 14, 2010
What do you do when a child wants to read a book that's too sophisticated or you feel is plain inappropriate for them?
That's the dilemma a friend of mine confronted when her six-year-old son wanted to read a book that he could easily decode but that is probably most appropriate for upper elementary to middle school children. So she called me. (She knew her son — like most kids —...
April 9, 2010
I'm frequently reminded that we want to sanitize the world for children, protect them from ugly truths. And, I suppose it's possible to some extent. But how do we help young children cope with the world that they live in without totally isolating them?
Maybe by introducing children to traditional tales while allowing them to take charge of the stories — like two remarkable teachers I...
March 24, 2010
I like the concept of mother–daughter book clubs, and I think my girls would like it, but I'm barely holding on to my own book club right now! The thought of another one scares me off. But as my older daughter inches toward puberty, I'm starting to believe that this might be the perfect time to form one. We've got some things to talk about! Maybe doing it with friends nearby would make it...
March 8, 2010
Don't miss a day of this year's Share a Story — Shape a Future 2010 Blog Tour. This year the theme is "It takes a village to raise a reader." Each day you can start your "tour" from the homepage of the blog tour.
The tour runs from March 8 — 12, 2010.
The homepage of the blog tour outlines the schedule (...
February 26, 2010
December 21, 2009
Today is the first official day of winter but on the last weekend of autumn, we got a foot (plus) of snow. It's beautiful and (beyond havoc) creates a picture perfect background for the winter holidays.
I was reminded of the season of giving when I read a recent picture book by Jan Fearnley entitled...
December 4, 2009
December is an exciting month. Children of all ages are getting ready for the holidays and a break from school and classes. (I know my son is in countdown mode.)
It also signals the end of a year and the start of a new one.
And (drum roll!) on January 5, a newly appointed National Ambassador for Young People's...
October 30, 2009
I'm the kind of adult who does not (emphasize not) like scary movies. I stopped reading scary books after I read a Stephen King novel that gave me nightmares.
So if you like the type of books that give you major creeps, then don't bother reading any more. But if you're up for not-too-creepy books to share with the children in your lives, you may find an idea or so here....
October 20, 2009
September 30, 2009
September 10, 2009
The anniversary of 9/11 is here. The impact continues to be felt in subtle and not so subtle ways. One day changed our society and frankly, our world — the world of our children.
Older children and adults can grasp — to some degree at least — what caused these changes. But young children don't have the reservoir of experience to make sense of it.
When 9/11 first happened, my...
August 25, 2009
Vacation is over. Many schools across the country opened this week. All will start within the next week or so.
Whatever kind of school children attend, no matter what grade they're in, the first day is the first day — always a source of nervousness and excitement.
I remember posing for photographs my mother insisted on taking every first day of school. My sister and I are in...