This week’s children’s literacy and reading news round-up, brought to you by Jen Robinson’s Book Page and Scrub-a-Dub-Tub, a Reading Tub blog, is now available at Jen Robinson's Book Page. This week Terry Doherty and I have collected plenty of content for you about literacy & reading-related events; literacy and reading programs and research; 21st century literacies; and grants, sponsorships & donations.
Terry and I skipped the roundups the past couple of weeks because we were busy with the Share a Story - Shape a Future Literacy Blog Tour. In case you missed it, Terry has just put up a post at Share a Story that includes links to all of the posts from around the literacy blogosphere in one convenient location. Many thanks to everyone who participated!!
How fun is this? The Wavepaint Gallery, Ipswich MA is hosting "The Illustrator Show," a display of works by children's book illustrators Jarrett Krosoczka, Ed Emberley, Jamie Harper, Andy J Smith, Mary Jane Begin, Pat Lowery Collins, and Julia Purinton. The exhibit includes original illustrations will be presented beside their printed books. The exhibit runs from March 1 to April 23. There is an illustration lecture/reception on April 17, 2010, from 4 to 7 pm). The Gallery Della-Piana in Wenham will have their own exhibit of children's book illustration at that same time, so grab the kids and have a fun afternoon traveling up or down route 1A admiring art for children's literature.
Lois Lowry reports that Scottish Football clubs are promoting literacy and reading among children, via the SPL Reading Stars programme. The idea of the program is to use the football players "as positive role models to capture the imagination of families".
April is going to be a VERY busy month. Here are a few highlights.
All month long there will be poetry and poetry celebrations galore for National Poetry Month. Like these (with thanks to the Kidlitosphere Yahoo Group for the links):
April 30 marks El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros (Children's Day/Book Day). But we love children and books all the time, and so does Pat Mora, author and Día founder. Pat is hosting a month-long Díapalooza featuring daily posts with Día ideas, visuals, resources, facts, testimonials and more at the Bookjoy blog.
On April 8, 2010, Education Week is sponsoring a free webinar: Online Learning in a Hybrid World. For those of us on the East Coast (like Terry) whose kids were home (what seems like) half the winter, the idea of online learning is particularly appealing. From EdWeek: "As online learning gains traction within brick-and-mortar schools, a hybrid model of face-to-face and Internet-based coursework is emerging as the most popular form of e-instruction. But it takes more than computer access to create a successful hybrid-learning program. Join our expert guests for a discussion of how administrators can incorporate online courses into their students’ school days, and how in-person instructors can help make the online-learning experience work better for students."
National Library Week is April 11-17, 2010. Over the next few weeks we expect to start seeing more about events to celebrate libraries and librarians. Shelli Johannes-Wells is getting a head start and has announced that she's hosting The Blogosphere Loves Libraries at Market My Words. And, although it's not directly Library Week related, Dawn Morris shares a heartfelt plea on behalf of school and public libraries at Moms Inspire Learning.
Literacy Programs & Research
In a recent School Library Journal Extra Helping, Debra Lau Whelan pulls together data from several recent studies that suggest kids who will fall behind in school can be identified at nine months. A report by the U.K.’s Millennium Cohort Study of nearly 15,000 children was first announced in the Guardian. Whelan's article includes additional reports, including results from the Sutton Trust charity, which looked at economic factors, and the London University Institute of Education.
The Ithaca Journal recently ran a guest article by Katrina Morse, assistant director of the Family Reading Partnership, a community coalition dedicated to promoting family reading. In the article, Morse offers tips for "transforming your house into a Book Home". For example, "Take photos of your child enjoying a book and put that picture on the refrigerator, in a photo album or in a picture frame." Thanks to Jenny Schwartzberg for the link. [Image is of me reading as a child]
Margo Dill highlights an interesting literacy organization called Milk + Bookies at Read These Books and Use Them. From the Milk + Bookies website: “Milk + Bookies is a non-profit organization that teaches young children how great it feels to give back while celebrating the love of a good book.” Margo adds: "When people hold Milk + Bookies events, children are given an opportunity to select, purchase, and inscribe a book for someone less fortunate. The events also have storytime, activities, and you guessed it–milk and cookies." Sounds neat!
Ian Newbold at the Tidy Books Blog has a post in response to a couple of recent studies on whether or not boys need more encouragement to read than girls do. Ian notes: "The overriding positive seen from the study is that of the children studied, boys, in general, read just as much as girls, yet the perceived negative found was that they do not read books that are as challenging."
Terry found (via @keithschoch from Teach with Picture Books) an interesting post by Kris Zorigian at LEARN NC blogs about the relationship between learning problems and behavior problems. Kris concludes (after a careful examination of the facts) that "Research has shown that learning problems and behavior problems often coexist. This issue has serious implications for classroom teachers, who need to be aware that students with one of these diagnoses are typically more susceptible to the other."
Terry ran across a lovely essay by Peter Brunn at the Developmental Studies Center on the importance of chapter books in children's literacy. Peter describes reading aloud Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with his daughter, and the way that stopping with the outcome unknown had her thinking about the book and formulating theories between readings. He talks about the benefits of "lingering over books together" (and finding time to do so). Great stuff!
Another excellent essay on kids and reading came to us via @cliforg (the Children's Literacy Foundation). Carlton Stowers shares (with humor and passion) grief that he's received over the years in response to first his son's, and now his grandchildren's, reading habits. Carlton says: "It is my firm and unfaltering belief that the valuable habit of reading doesn’t begin with the Great Works. Remember back when you couldn’t get enough of Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys, and when the name Tom Sawyer was more familiar than that of Tom Wolfe? What I’m saying is we’ve all got to start somewhere." He specifically defends S.E. Hinton, J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, and R.L. Stine.
This week's edition of Teacher Magazine (Education Week), includes a reprint of an Associated Press article about the effect of video games on boys and their schoolwork. Because it's an AP article - and they are such sticklers about reprints and distributions - we'll just point you to the article.
At Literacy, Families and Learning, Trevor Cairney has a great post about one of our favorite things: reading aloud (specifically about listening to children read aloud). He admits that there are disadvantages (it takes longer), but he also shares the joys. His tip on how to help your children become great readers boils down to three things: pause, prompt, and PRAISE.
21st Century Literacies
Sometimes news shows up where you least expect it. At The Gold Mine, a blog for website owners, Lindsay Gower draws on National March into Literacy Month to explain how reading improves your writing.
Keith Schoch at Teaching That Sticks recommends PBS Activity Packs as a resource for teachers. He explains that an activity pack is "a stand-alone app that you can easily install to your site which provides both links and activities for reading and language arts, social studies, science and technology, health and fitness, and the arts." (via @keithschoch from Teach with Picture Books)
In talking about Designing Space for Children and Teens in Libraries and Public Places (American Libraries magazine), Sandra Feinberg and James R. Keller describe how library experience affects a person's perspective of the library. "How parents and caregivers act within the library setting often influences how children feel and how often they will come to the library. How children feel when they use the library will affect their attitude and behavior not only when they are children but also when they become parents." Substitute the word "reading" for library ... and is it any different?
At Literacy Launchpad, Amy shares a couple of ideas for using audio recordings to enhance the power of storybooks. Planning for a long car trip, she noted: "The problem with that is I get car sick when I read while in motion (this happens to me on planes sometimes too), even while reading simple picture books. I came up with an idea though. What if I record myself reading the books ahead of time? Then I could play them back in the car for Isaac and not have to actually read while moving." This is one tip that I'm likely to find useful myself in the future.
In her Video Sunday post at A Fuse #8 Production, Betsy Bird includes a host of videos, one of which is Eric Carle talking about Bill Martin, Jr. and how their partnership started 30 years ago! The video itself is wonderful, but this is what caught Terry's ear "He told me that he couldn't read until he was 20 years old. A teacher discovered that he could not read and said 'Bill, you cannot read'. And Bill said 'You're right. I cannot read.' This man, through rhythm, taught Bill Martin how to read."
Thanks to @believekids for the link to 18 Resources for English Language Learners to Learn via Blogs (Teacher Reboot Camp blog). In the post, Shelly Terrell describes the value that comes from interacting with blogs. She links to videos and also has a list of ESL-centric blogs that students of various ages will find valuable.
Grants and Donations
According to a recent news release, on April 15th "Operation Teen Book Drop will deliver 10,000 new books to teens on Native Reservations and Tribal Lands, an event that coincides with Support Teen Literature Day. In addition, more than 100 top young adult authors will leave their books in public places for young readers to discover, and members of the public can buy books online and have them shipped to tribal libraries. Publishers donated the books, valued at more than $175,000." Operation TBD was founded by our friends at Readergirlz and is co-hosted by Guys Lit Wire and YALSA.
Wrapping Up ...
Terry may have some last-minute literacy and reading links at The Reading Tub. I'll also have some additional literacy links for parents today at Booklights. And, for some new resources, do check out Terry's March roundup of tools for reading and literacy at the Reading Tub. There are lots of great new resources.
Today's Nonfiction Monday round-up is at Books Together. Thanks for your interest in children's literacy!