Thursday, March 31, 2016

Word Attack Strategies

As a tutor with Schools of Hope, I work with first and second graders who are below grade in reading. I help them with phonics, sight words and reading. But my goals are larger than just learning to read, I want to turn my students into life long readers. That can be difficult if every session is a struggle. Melissa Taylor has reposted an article she wrote a few years ago, Word Attack Strategies Beyond Sound It Out, that I have found to be useful. The one I use the most is "chunk it". It works well with longer words or compound words. Picture clues also help a kid decode a tough word. She has also created a free printable bookmark to help both you and your child remember the strategies. Check it out!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Reading and Bookish Links

First an important message:

Long gone are the days that comic books were considered inferior reading materials, even harmful. Jennifer L. Holm, three time Newbery Honor recipient, writes for Brightly about the benefits of comics or graphic novels for beginning readers. Check out What Comic Books Teach Young Children at Brightly.

A companion to the previous link is Start 'Em Early: Comics for Young Kids with reviews of several comic books. One of the favorites around here is A Trip to the Bottom of the World With Mouse by Frank Viva. 

My review is here.

From a Mighty Girl, a quote from Carl Sagan: 

Finally, an article from the New York Times Mo Willems and the Art of the Children's Book. Mo Willems is the author and illustrator of the wildly popular Pigeon series, Elephant and Piggie books and the Knuffle Bunny books (which are wildly popular with a couple of my granddaughters). While Willems has written dozens of books for children, the exhibition at the New York Historical Society focuses on these three series. Reviews of some of his books can be found on this blog.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Reading and Bookish Links

Every day I come across interesting blog posts and articles about kids and reading from Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr. Each week I will try to round up the most helpful and post them here.

Do you have a child who is ready for chapter books or a reluctant reader? Melissa Taylor from the Imagination Soup blog has compiled an long list of humorous books,Funny Books for Kids. Bonus: many of these books are one of a series.

This morning on Facebook there was a picture of my 3 month old great-niece being read to by her father. Joy! Reading to your child from birth onward is the most important thing you can do to prepare her for success in school. From the Scholastic Parents Blog is 5 Tips Every Parent Needs to Rock the Read-Aloud.

A few years ago, I gave a Yulupa teacher a copy of The One and Only Ivan to read to her class. The class had just raised money and purchased a painting by an elephant in a preserve in Thailand. What I did not count on was that she did not read the book first. When she got to the part about (spoiler alert) Ruby dying, she started crying. Her students were very concerned and tried to comfort her and the next day she received flowers and cards from them. The story and the teacher's reaction brought out empathy in her students. On the Brightly website, Heather Shumaker writes  about Why We Should Share Sad and Scary Stories With Kids. When stories reflect the broad spectrum of life kids can feel empathy, wonder and relief in a safe place.

Jessica Woodbury writes for Book Riot, To Ramona Quimby, With Love about reading all the Ramona books to her children and how different it was from when she read them as a child.  I read the first book in second or third grade and two and a half decades later I read the Ramona books to my kids. My reactions as an adult paralleled Jessica's. I was amazed at how real to life the books were. Beezus and Ramona was the first book in the series, published in 1955. Real life books were not the standard in the 1950's. They are every bit as real today. On April 12th, Beverly Cleary will be 100 years old (more about that later).

Thoughts for Today

Hat tip: Imagination Soup

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Read Across America Day

In celebration of Dr. Seuss's birthday, March 2 is Read Across America Day sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA).

More wisdom from Dr. Seuss

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

One hundred and twelve years ago, on March 2, Dr Seuss was born. Young readers owe him a great debt, not only for his colorful and engaging books but for starting a beginning reader division at the publisher, Random House. You can read more about Dr Seuss here.