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Struggling readers

"Falling Letters" Animated Short Depicts Learning Differences

The Swedish animated short, "Falling Letters (Bokstavsbarn)," (4:14 min) by Erik Rosenlund depicts a child who learns differently. In this case, some of the character's everyday actions turn out awkwardly or set them apart socially from peers.

The ending offers a heartwarming reminder of the power that parents, guardians, and teachers or helping personnel can have when simple support is needed for reassurance in trying times. The imagery can be especially valuable for young children who compare themselves with others and are saddened by their personal differences.

How Many Times Should They Copy the Spelling Words?

Two questions from teachers:

I have a question that was posed to me be an elementary principal. Her question was, "How many times does a student need to write a high frequency word before they feel secure with it?"  

[I must admit, I have never been asked this question before, and I cannot find research that addresses this specific question.] 

The teachers in my school have kids copying missed spelling words 15 times. Is this a good idea?

Shanahan's reponse:

For a Boost of Optimism, Read (and Watch) This

"I don't think there's a child out there who doesn't want to learn and be the best they can be."

Those are the words of Barbara Preuss, a veteran educator with more than 30 years of experience.

That is to say, she is no bright-eyed novice about to be confronted by reality. She is confronted by plenty of reality, every day. And yet she retains her belief that even the kids who act out and misbehave still want to learn and still need to learn.

She retains this belief because she has seen it again and again, in all the schools where she has worked.

Beverly Cleary, one of a kind

Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary has received countless awards. They include being named by the Library of Congress as a Living Legend; Cleary received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her lasting contributions to children’s literature; she is the recipient of a Newbery Medal and several Newbery Honors; and has been the American nominee for the international Hans Christian Andersen Award.

But perhaps the most significant honor to Beverly Cleary’s books is that they continue to be read by children.

New Open eBook App Just Out. Is It Accessible?

The Open eBooks app debuted this week creating access to digital books for children in need. Right out of the box, there are questions on social media about accessibility features. That is a good thing. Many ebooks are not accessible or accessible enough for seriously struggling readers.

Surf's Up: New Picture Book to Read Aloud and Inspire Struggling or Reluctant Reader

WOWIE KAZOO! Surf's Up, a joyful picture book with two froggie friends at the beach debuted officially for all on February 1. The story unfolds on colorful pages with a unique literacy message that possibly could inspire readers who struggle.

Captions Support Readers Across America: Free Resources from DCMP Celebrate Dr. Seuss!

Teachers get ready to contribute in your own way to the literacy festivities ahead. Join the Defined and Caption Media Program's (DCMP) 11th annual Read Captions Across America (RCAA) event!

NEA Partner

Book Battle Is On: Grow The Accessible Book Supply! Be Inclusive of More SPED Readers

Get ready for the Battle of the Kids’ Books (BoB) that begins March 9. Schools, parent groups, and librarians nationwide work together to put on this "book-centric" equivalent to basketball's exciting March Madness tournament.

8 New, Nearly New Dyslexia Resources Support Struggling Readers + Teachers Who Serve Them

Teachers, parents, and students should be seeing subtle and obvious changes in how dyslexia is identified and how educational services are delivered in schools.

8 Reliable Sources Share Apps That Create Access to Curriculum Content Across Grade Levels

Access to instruction means everything if struggling readers are to keep pace with their grade-level peers. AIM-VA blog readers love our stories about chosen apps and websites that help to by-pass textbooks, trade books or other traditional learning materials in print when they prove to be barriers to learning.

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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