Two recent blog posts pointed me to interesting articles about children and reading that I would like to share with you.
First, I've discovered the new DEAR Time blog, hosted by Renee Rogers. In her very first post, Renee talks about the joys of Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) time at local schools, and recommends that people try this program at home, too. She links to an article in Education World entitled "Sustained Silent Reading" Helps Develop Independent Readers (and Writers).
Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) is another acronym for programs by which everyone in a school stops all other activities, and reads silently at the same time. I actually like the term SSR, rather than DEAR (and SSR was Ramona Quimby's preferred term, too, I believe). But whatever you call it, research suggests that these types of programs in schools can have a huge impact in improving reading scores, and on encouraging kids to enjoy reading. The Education World article, written by Gary Hopkins, is an excellent summary. You can also read about SSR programs in David Brouchard and Wendy Sutton's The Gift of Reading: A Guide for Educators and Parents, and in Jim Trelease's The Read-Aloud Handbook.
The second article comes courtesy of one of my favorite blogs, Students for Literacy Ottawa. Louise re-caps a National Post article by Don Truckey called "How Boys Read". The article discusses the 10% gap by which boys trail girls in standardized reading tests, and reviews Canadian efforts to amend the situation. The article in particular references a University of Alberta study that found "that boys actually read a great deal, and to great effect, but not always in ways valued or even measured in school." The author goes on to discuss ways in which boys achieve literacy under their own terms (defining a concept of "morphed" literacy).
Don Truckey has written a book aimed specifically at 10-12 year old boys. You can find information about the book here. I was pleased to see that the book is about a southpaw, because I'm left-handed, too.