Turn Summer Reading into a reading vacation not a reading assignment.

June 20, 2013

Research indicates that children lose ground academically during the summer months unless they use the skills they learn in school throughout the year.  Note the following:
~ By sixth grade, 80% of the achievement gap is the result of the summer slides between kindergarten and sixth grade.
~ Low-income students lose about three months of academic ground each summer due to the summer slide compared to middle-income students.
~ Giving kids books to read during the summer may be just as effective as kids going to summer school, say researchers.
~ Many kids are tempted to spend a lot of their time watching TV, surfing the internet, or playing video games. Let them do some of those activities in moderation, while also ensuring that they’re doing activities that keep them learning in fun ways.

Activities that keep children engaged in learning— reading books, taking a class, involvement in activities or sports, camp—all of these activities makes a big difference in how well they’ll make the transition back to school in the fall. One easy and fun way to help children maintain those skills is fun, enjoyable summer reading.  Summer reading shouldn’t be about learning new words or reading books that are difficult, it should be about easy reading. Children, just like adults get burned out and summer gives them the break they need from their regular school routine. Inspire children to read by providing books that feature their favorite characters, hobbies, sports or people.Turn summer reading into a vacation, not an assignment.

Teacher Training’s Low Grade

June 19, 2013

“The National Council on Teacher Quality has long promoted over-hauling U.S. teacher preparation” says a recent article in the WSJ.  Here is their recent study: http://coe.unm.edu/research/usnwr-nctq.html Following up on my previous musing on the Common Core’s lack of professional development being a prime cause of poor student performance, the Council’s report said that “fewer than one […]


The Common Core Standards and reality collide.

June 15, 2013

Who’s Minding the Schools, (NYT) http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/09/opinion/sunday/the-common-core-whos-minding-the-schools.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 exposed some of the problems implementing the Core standards and offers a valuable perspective. The current partisan political climate in the US is not helpful to understand the benefits, merits and detriments of the Core. In addition, the Common Core is essentially “an invisible empire, with no public office, no […]


Does reading fiction make you a better person?

June 2, 2013

“Does Fiction Civilize Us?” — http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/01/does-great-literature-make-us-better/—caused me to ponder what is the purpose of reading literature? Most of us assume that exposure to challenging works of literary fiction is good for us. Does reading about Anna Karenina, the good folk of Middlemarch and Marcel and his friends expand our imaginations and refine our moral and social […]


A tribute but not a farewell to Bernard Waber

May 20, 2013

Bernard Waber, the creator of Ira Sleeps Over and Lyle the Crocodile, died on May 16. He was 91 years old. How many kids experienced their first sleep over, clinging to a bare thread of confidence with the belief that if Ira could do it, they could too! Waber had the ability to depicts common childhood […]


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