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Posts from November 2018

Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: November 30: #ReadingAloud, Teaching #Writing + Encouraging #Play

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter over the past two weeks @JensBookPage. Topics in this edition include #BookLists, #Bookstores, #drawing, #Giftedness, #grading, #GrowingBookworms, #introversion, #memory, #parenting, #PersonalizedLearning, #play, #reading, #STEM, #StudentChoice, blogging, libraries, schools, and writing.

Top Tweet of the Week

This is simply depressing, and the exact opposite of what I think should be about (kids playing w/ as little parental intervention as possible, so they can practice negotiating, etc. (and have fun!) [My response/RT to Parents article about how parents should supervise heavily during playdates + responses from @FreeRangKids and @JonHaidt]

Book Lists

ChristmasQuietBookTimeless Children's You Will Read Year After Year, from

Proven Books for a 13 year old boy: Teen-tested Top Favorites from

Events, Programs + Research

Update on Online Book Fair for Ballou HS & Charles Hart MS in DC from

The act of something has a “massive” benefit for compared with writing it down –

New Meta-Analysis Finds That Improves Our “Social Ability” | | While benefits shown in study were small, cumulative effects may be larger over time

The number of public students could fall by more than 8% in a decade due to declining births + immigration - reports

Another research paper reports that Black Improve Outcomes for Black Students | via

Teens' Habits and Experiences | New survey of U.S. teens finds that many young people acknowledge the unique challenges – and benefits – of growing up in the digital age

Growing Bookworms

EscapeFromLemoncello5 Reasons Why w/ Older Kids Is the Absolute Best | | I agree. Reading w/ my daughter has been a great joy!

How to Encourage a Love of Books and in | |

shares how she learned to love and value via

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

PassionateReadersOn : "in our eagerness to make sure that students can write well, are we extinguishing their very urge to write?" asks | Not my daughter's teacher. She strives to inspire, too.

'I felt terrible': why are blamed when their child doesn't learn to read just from parent . Some kids need more explicit instruction, especially those w/ difficulties

Small are booming after nearly being wiped out -

For , "sharing our work and our reflections in a public space (by ) is one of the best ways to express for others" says

This post from w/ 70+ places to publish + is the Most Important Resource You’ll Find This Month says

Parenting + Play

ImportanceOfBeingLittle5 Tips for Raising Children With Active Imaginations by | | Ask open-ended questions + encourage "simple-but-complex"

in is Efficient b/c kids develop multiple skills at once |

Your child is identified as ! Now what? Tips for next steps, liking learning about local resources, from

Kind of sad that this needed, but still a fun idea: Host a MeetUp: Chat While Kids Go Off and ! -

Our brains benefit from . Here’s why, and how parents can help get plenty of it.

Schools and Libraries

Breaking the age barrier in K12 | Combining multiple grades in one classroom improves + , says article in

Where Will Lead responds to recent article

ArtOfScreenTimeThe Future Of ? Well, It's Personal : takes a detailed look at 2 approaches to , from plusses to developing backlash

What Giving Students Choice Looks Like in the Classroom | | 11 ways that can offer in

A Report on Reports + the difference that it can make when a responds to the specific needs of a young |

Why Matters to | It builds ownership + lots more |

A Strategy That Puts the Focus on From |

This post from made me smile: An Exhaustive List of My Pathetic Injuries | Ah, the challenging life of the elementary

FourTendenciesWhy the is a Rebel’s Best Friend by |

Reflection on from LBurkins | "My classroom library was built and will be curated from the vast identities of children who have entered through the doors of our classroom."

As an undergrad major, I appreciated this post by about a spectacular new in China, profiled in a CE magazine

Where in the world are most respected? Not in the U.S., a new survey shows, but in China + Malaysia they are seen on par w/ doctors.


CA take on with the help of college students | |

© 2018 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

Growing Bookworms Newsletter: November 28: Reading Logs, Time Management and Thanksgiving Break

JRBPlogo-smallToday, I will be sending out a new issue of the Growing Bookworms email newsletter. (If you would like to subscribe, you can find a sign-up form here.) The Growing Bookworms newsletter contains content from my blog focused on growing joyful learners, mainly bookworms, but also mathematicians and learners of all types. The newsletter is usually sent out every three weeks.

Newsletter Update:  In this issue I have one picture book reviewtwo literacy milestones (appreciating biographies and identifying the elements of a good book). I also have a post about reading logs. I also have three posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter, full of reading- and education-related news. 

Reading Update:  In the last four weeks I finished seven adult titles (plus a significant number of picture books). I read/listened to: 

  • Ben Sasse: Them: Why We Hate Each Other--And How To Heal. St. Martin's Press. Adult Nonfiction. Completed October 31, 2018, personal copy. This is a well-written book about the decline in real-world community that has resulted from so many people moving about for their jobs, and living places temporarily. I read this as part of my quest to understand the divisiveness in our political discourse in the country. 
  • Nir Eyal: Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. Portfolio. Adult Nonfiction. Completed November 3, 2018, on Kindle. I read this mainly for work, but it did have some insights about what makes things addictive that are relevant to my day to day life, too. This book furthered my interest in reducing the time that I, and my daughter, spend on screens. 
  • MakeTimeJake Knapp and John Zeratsky: Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day. Currency. Adult Nonfiction. Completed November 11, 2018, personal copy. This is a quick, tip-based read more about prioritizing time than managing it. The basic idea is that every day you should have one "highlight" that you focus on for an hour or two, so that at the end of the day you have something real that you can say you accomplished (instead of just spending all day responding to email or whatever). I read this book, with two of the other titles below, as part of some soul-searching that I'm doing about how I spend my time. Some changes to the blog will be coming, once I get it all processed. 
  • Greg McKeown: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. Currency. Adult Nonfiction. Completed November 13, 2018, on Kindle. The idea of this book is that if you put in small amounts of effort in lots of different directions you will never accomplish very much in any of them. But if you focus your best efforts on one thing, you can make a big impact. 
  • WreckageEmily Bleeker: Wreckage. Lake Union Publishing. Adult Fiction. Completed November 18, 2018, on Kindle. This was a page-turner about a woman stranded on a desert island after a plane crash that I read in a single day. It's not very realistic, but it was just the ticket to keep me reading. 
  • Margaret Mizushima: Burning Ridge: Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries. Crooked Lane Books. Adult Mystery. Completed November 24, 2018, on MP3. This is the latest installment of a series that I enjoy, and helped pull me back into listening more to audiobooks again. 
  • Cal Newport: Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. Grand Central Publishing. Adult Nonfiction. Completed November 24, 2018, on Kindle. The idea of this book is that in today's world, full of digital distractions (texts, emails, etc.) we spend most of our time doing "shallow work". However, if we can re-train our brains for deeper work, this can have a significant impact on our productivity (and our brains). I do think that the author is right, and this is something that I'm working on. 

GameChangerI'm currently reading Game Changer! Book Access for All Kids by Donalyn Miller and Colby Sharp in print, Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World by Maryanne Wolf on Kindle, and Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly on MP3. I'm enjoying Game Changer very much, and am bound to write about it at some point. I do wonder why Amazon sent it with a signature required (have people been stealing this book?), but it's good stuff.  

My daughter and I started reading Inkheart by Cornelia Funke together. It's a bit advanced for her, and has been slow going, but she is definitely intrigued. I'm working on a separate post about our experience with that, so stay tuned. We have been alternating reading Inkheart and continuing to read picture books together. We read a number of Thanksgiving-related books this month. We also both quite liked Drew Daywalt's latest (with David Spencer), The Epic Adventures of Huggie & Stick

CobaltPrinceIn terms of her own reading, she mostly read graphic novels and notebook novels over the recent Thanksgiving break. She particularly enjoy the first two books in the Five Worlds series, The Sand Warrior and The Cobalt Prince, and is saddened that the next is not yet available. We had had these books in the house for a while - not sure what made this the right time for her to read them. She's also dipping into Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but taking it pretty slowly. I mostly try to just stay out of the way and let her read what she likes. This is working for us so far. 

Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms! Hope that all of my US readers had a lovely Thanksgiving. 

© 2018 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

Literacy Milestone: Identifying the Elements that Make Something a Good Book

LiteracyMilestoneAThe other day my daughter read a book that I had purchased for her back in August: Cardboard by Doug TenNapel. She said something along the lines of not having thought, based on the cover and title, that it would be interesting. She expressed her surprise that it was in fact interesting.

CardboardThen she started to tell me what made it a good book. I don't remember the exact details, but it was something along the lines of: "Well, there was a good guy, and a villain who is a bully, and then there are all these bad guys from the cardboard, and the plot was interesting, and there's a twist, and... " You get the idea.

Thanks to her book-loving third grade teacher, she's progressed this school year from just saying: "This is a great book. I love it. You should write about it." Now she wants to tell me why something is a good book. This is an important step on the path to being a true reader. If we know why we like certain books, we can more easily find other books that are like them. We can better recommend them to others, by pointing out their key features. 

Maybe when her writing skills advance a little bit further I will set her to work writing reviews for this blog. Given that my own enthusiasm for writing them has waned quite a bit, this might be just the ticket... 

I am very much enjoying see her mature as a reader and a writer this year. 

© 2018 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

A Few Thoughts on Reading Logs

PassionateReadersTeacher and mother (and author of Passionate Readers) Pernille Ripp had a recent post (not her first on the subject) about reading logs. She wrote:

"As a parent, I have seen the damage firsthand.  When presented with a reading log one year, Thea quickly informed me that ALL she had to read was the 20 minutes that it said, after that, she was done.  It didn’t matter how much I told her that it was not just 20 minutes that she needed to read because the piece of paper told her so.  And the paper trumped my insistence to simply read."

This incident matched one that I had with my own daughter at the beginning of the school year last year. My daughter was supposed to read for 20 minutes each weeknight, and I was supposed to check a box indicating that she had done so. The very first night that I asked her to read for 20 minutes, she stopped on the dot at the 20 minute mark and said: "Done!". My heart sank, because this was a child who would keep reading until you dragged her off to do something else. But once it was an assignment to read for 20 minutes, she defaulted to read for ONLY 20 minutes. She was reading to check something off a task list, instead of reading for the joy of it. 

I was very lucky. I talked with her (absolutely wonderful) teacher about what had happened, and we agreed that I would quietly NOT enforce the official 20 minutes of reading time, but would instead just keep an eye out to make sure that she was reading more or less every day. This I accomplished, as previously discussed, by keeping books in the car and at the breakfast table. We finished second grade with her love of reading intact and without me having to lie on a reading checkbox every day. 

WitchesThis year, happily, there is no reading log. My daughter does have assigned reading most weekdays, a couple of chapters of a book that she is reading with a group of other kids. She has to do the reading so that she can participate in discussion the next day. But the first book was Roald Dahl's The Witches, which she enjoyed (but was at a slightly higher level than I think she would have read on her own). So this hasn't been a problem. And we don't do any logging for school of her other reading (beyond her taking AR tests on some of the books, which will be a topic for a different post). I still log the books that she reads myself, when I know about them, so that we'll have our own record, but that's not about tracking time spent. 

Anyway, back to Pernille's reading log post. After admitting that she lies on reading logs as a parent, and talking about how reading logs are one of the things that her students tell her makes them dislike reading, Pernille discusses how she knows that her students are reading. She also shares some tips for teachers who decide that they do need to use reading logs, to make them less damaging. This includes seeking input from both parents and students. She concludes:

"In the end, in our pursuit to establish classrooms filled with passionate readers, we must make sure that the things we do, even little parts of our day like reading logs, do not do more harm than good."

This post is well worth a read, by parents (it may assuage some guilt over how you handle reading logs) and especially by teachers. Pernille's post got Mary Wade, who blogs at HonorsGradU, also thinking about reading logs. Mary wrote first about the ethics of just signing off on reading logs (which she does, and which her 8 year old questioned). She says:

"I myself used to think that reading logs were a great way to remind kids to read at home. Now I know that they can create obstacles that stand in the way of reading itself."

She keeps her focus on not getting in the way of her daughter's love of reading. We are definitely kindred spirits on this. Mary wrote a few days later about ways that teachers can communicate that they care about at home reading without using reading logs. She suggests keeping it simple, but working to get the message across that reading is important, through efforts like ClassroomBookADay. I think these are also great posts for parents and teachers to read. 

I can't imagine that there are many teachers out there who WANT to dampen kids' love of reading. Teachers use reading logs with the best of intentions - they are asking parents to encourage kids to spend time reading while at home. For reading-focused parents like Pernille, Mary, and myself, this is unnecessary and can end up being detrimental.

ReadingInTheWildBut it's not enough to just say: "Stop doing that." Because you DO still need ways to encourage and help the parents who are not as reading-focused (or who have kids who just need that extra accountability).  This is a really tricky balance. That's why I'm so grateful for teachers like Mary and Pernille and Donalyn Miller, who take the time to share their ideas on this subject with other teachers. And I'm grateful for my daughter's second grade teacher, who understood and worked with me last year, and for her third grade teacher, whose enthusiasm for reading and writing spills over to my daughter every day. 

I'll be taking a break from blogging next week and will be back on November 26th. Wishing you all a safe, happy, and book-filled Thanksgiving week. 

© 2018 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This post may contain affiliate links. 

Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: November 16: Streamlining #SocialMedia, Encouraging #Play + Keeping #Learning Personal

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #curiosity, #Diversity, #GrowingBookworms, #GrowthMindset, #HigherEd, #Homework, #homework, #JoyOfReading, #kidlit, #PersonalizedLearning, #play, #ReadingLogs, #ScreenTime, parenting, schools, and teaching.

Informational Tweet

FYI for anyone interested, I am trying to streamline my online life. I deactivated my Facebook page and my + Twitter accounts. I'll continue sharing things @JensBookPage and on my personal Facebook account.

Book Lists

BeaversBetter Together: Funny Pairings in 2018 Books for Kids —


The Importance Of | Study: black students who have 1-2 black teachers in elementary are more likely to enroll in

Why Bright Girls Struggle: When Ability Doesn't Lead to Confidence | | they pick up after being praised as "good students" vs. developing

Growing Bookworms

8thGradeSuperzeroExpert Tips for Keeping Busy Kids Connected to Books | | I especially liked quoted motto on kids' selection “Nothing without joy!”

7 Ways for to Communicate Caring About At-Home – w/out | lists, + more |

Seattle high-school teacher shares ‘the wonder of books’ with students on a different kind of field trip |

Higher Ed

Studious friends and roommates might lead to higher grades in -

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

Evangelinecoverlarge1Introducing new website dedicated to Spooky books via

Six Reasons to Read from | , + (one I love) modeling to your kids |

Thoughts on the value of having Time to Think, and how difficult it can be to carve out from

Parenting + Play

IrresistibleThe sneaky science behind your child’s tech obsession w/ concrete tips for fighting back - |

The Mad Rush to is Killing Our Children’s Entrepreneurial Spirit | They spend so much time on extracurriculars + studying that they don't have time to by

Reasons Your Kids Need to Move More and How to Fit It In Your Day – If you want your kids to be smart, teach them to jump rope, depends on movement

Schools and Libraries

FutureDriven7 Unexpected Benefits of by + more

Homework: Too Much Too Early? | If you ask me any in K is too much

Brooklyn students hold walkout in protest of Facebook-designed online program, saying it forces them to stare at computers for hours and “teach ourselves.” via

Why Does Sometimes Feel Impersonal? Platforms can detach students from the personal relationships w/ + peers that are critical to

InnovatorsMindset4 Skills and Traits Great Teach That Will Always be Essential – | Hard work, + more

6 Questions that Promote Agency –

© 2018 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: November 9: Picky #Readers, #Thanksgiving #MadLibs + Better School Attendance

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this relatively light week include #BookLists, #Bullying, #CivilDiscourse, #GrowingBookworms, #JoyOfLearning, #PictureBooks, #Play, #reading, #ReadingAloud, #ReadingLogs, class size, literacy, parenting, schools, and teaching.

Book Lists + Awards

DragonsLoveTacos210 children's books I really, really love reading to my kids | via |

Best Books for 7 Year Olds According to a 7 Year Old | from | + tips for focusing on

Cybils Season, or how serving kids can benefit from the selections, which blend "high literary merit and kid appeal" from

Growing Bookworms

GeorgesMedicineThe | Why to your class should happen in every , w/ tips for doing it well) from

What to do with picky . Tips for from , ranging from to to | |

Great read for + : Let’s Talk About Again by "My biggest issue with reading logs comes from the inherent lack of trust that they communicate" |

In Which the 8 Year-Old Questions My Ethics | responds to 's recent post. It's all about nurturing

and the by Dawn Finch | What works best as ?


Tidbits in this week's Fusenews range from to to the "Golden Ratio of Sexism in Children's Literature"

Parenting, Play + #JoyOfLearning

ThanksgivingMadLibs Activity Ideas that Keep Kids (and Grown-ups) Off Screens from |

7 Strategies to Keep The Boring Out and Get Kids Interested in | written for but could apply to any nurturing

What the Times got wrong about kids and phones - via

Schools and Libraries

On and the of | "We need to weigh evidence consistently—treating as the same those studies that challenge our deepest beliefs as well as those that are wind beneath our wings"

Despite popularity w/ + , review of research finds small benefits to small classes -

Methods for Nudging and Families to Better - |

BlackthornKey4A Rant from on Series Books + the shelf space that long series can take up

7 ways to teach to by Tiffany Mitchell Patterson via |

By Doing: Using the Arts to Enhance and Stop | Guest post by

Another Study Finds What Every Knows – Having Students Draw Pictures Helps Them Learn |

How Can Support Equity and Excellence - rejecting models that effectively keep below grade level kids from moving forward | + Rebecca Kockler

7 Poor Thinking Habits We Must Fix to Think More Critically by + more | via

© 2018 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

Santa Bruce: Ryan T. Higgins

Book: Santa Bruce
Author: Ryan T. Higgins
Pages: 48
Age Range: 4-8

SantaBruceSanta Bruce is the fourth installment of the Ryan T. Higgins series that started with Mother Bruce (my review). There's also a new board book about Bruce, briefly discussed below. Bruce, I must say, is one of my favorite picture book characters. He is a consistently grumpy bear who is first (in Mother Bruce) roped into becoming the parent of four geese and later (in Hotel Bruce) expands his household to add three ridiculously determined mice. 

In Santa Bruce, Bruce is forced to stay awake through the holidays, because his family is excited to celebrate. Because he is cold, he puts on some (red) long underwear and a warm hat. This leads to (you can guess) "A case of mistaken identity." Young animals start showing up on the doorstep, wanting to tell Santa Bruce about their Christmas wishes. Left to himself, Bruce would send these pests away ("I don't want all their dirty little feet in my ..."). The mice, naturally, feel otherwise. Despite his determined resistance, Bruce finds himself out with a sleigh delivering gifts on Christmas Eve. 

The beauty of this book is that Bruce never brightens his expression. He grumbles and complains. He grits his teeth. He is put upon. And yet, he does what is asked of him, even when it is difficult. Picture a bear climbing a too-small tree to drop a package into a knothole, or a bear dressed like Santa losing his balance as he steps on a train set, and you get the idea. The primary text is always deadpan about Bruce's responses. Like this:

"Bruce decided to ignore the problem until it went away.

It did not.

It got worse."


"And with that, the parents left, shouting out with glee.

Bruce did not like glee."

This is augmented by dialog bubbles that add more detail, and give some of the supporting characters personality. These also give the adult reader more scope to add expression in reading aloud. This is a fabulous book for a parent and child to read together (though my daughter was too eager to wait for me, and read it on her own). 

The other thing that makes Santa Bruce fun (and fun for adult readers, too, not just for kids) is the sly humor that Higgins throws in. My favorite scene in Santa Bruce shows  Mama Bunny and Papa Bunny sitting by the wood-stove in their cozy den. Four baby bunnies are nestled in bed. The last room of the den contains "Grown-up Bunny who still lives with his parents" and is typing away on a computer, wearing headphones. This made me laugh out loud. The scenes with young animals sitting on Bruce's lap are also priceless, especially the porcupine who wants "ninety-nine red balloons." It's just a top-notch combination of text and illustration, centered around a strong, sympathetic main character. 

It is possible that my love for Bruce is enhanced by the fact that I am sometimes grumpy (especially when someone is keeping me from getting my sleep). Nevertheless, I predict that Santa Bruce is going to be one of my family's favorite reads over the coming Christmas holiday. I think that any family in which Bruce is already a favorite (and where Christmas is celebrated) will want to add Santa Bruce to family holiday reading. Libraries will certainly want to add this one to their shelves. 

1GrumpyBruceOh, and if you are looking to introduce a younger child to Bruce, I also recommend the new board book: 1 Grumpy Bruce: A Counting Book. Each page spread features a count of something, from "2 uninvited skunks" (scent wafting from their tails) to "9 porcupines wanting hugs" to "10 woodchucks chucking wood".  Of course we end with "still 1 grumpy bear." The board book features simpler illustrations, but totally captures Bruce's grumpiness and Higgin's keen sense of absurdity. It is well worth a look! 

You don't necessarily need to have read Hotel Bruce and Bruce's Big Move (which I actually haven't read) to appreciate Santa Bruce, but I would recommend reading the first book, Mother Bruce, for context. I highly recommend both Santa Bruce and 1 Grumpy Bruce for families and libraries everywhere. 

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion 
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2018 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

Literacy Milestone: An Appreciation for Biographies

LiteracyMilestoneAI've mentioned previously that my daughter's third grade teacher has been encouraging the students to read nonfiction (driven by common core, I suppose). My graphic novel-obsessed daughter had never previously displayed much interested in nonfiction. But she adores and wants to please her teacher, so she started picking up these little Who Is / Who Was biographies from the school library. The other day she remarked: "I never knew biographies could be so interesting." And so she is hooked (not to rival graphic novels, but she's reading multiple biographies each week). 

WhoWasAnneFrankShe mostly chooses biographies of women. She's read about Jane Goodall, Anne Frank, Marie Curie, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and J. K. Rowling, as well as Walt Disney and Dr. Seuss and a few others that I am probably forgetting. She periodically chimes in with facts about one or another of these figures. She was particularly fascinated by Anne Frank, and has been talking about her quite a bit. 

As for me, I'm happy to know that there are lots of books remaining in the Who Was/Who Is series, and that quite a few of those are about women. We do also have some nonfiction in graphic novel format, and have been reading a couple of fact-filled  Magic School Bus books each week. But it is biographies that are capturing her attention at this step along her pathway to literacy. It's fun seeing her develop as a learner and a reader. 

Did your kids have a biography phase? 

© 2018 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: November 2: #ReadingAloud, #Kindness, #IntrinsicMotivation + #Reading Instruction

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this fairly busy week include #BookLists, #Giftedness, #GrowingBookworms, #IntrinsicMotivation, #KidLitCon, #Literacy, #LoveOfReading, #ReadAloud, #rewards, #ScreenTime, #testing, #vaccines, bullying, reading #Phonics, schools, spelling, and writing.

Top Tweets of the Week

HeyKiddoWhat’s appropriate for kids to read? There’s value in exposing them to the tough stuff, says | I will want my daughter to read when she's 12 or so (though not quite yet)

The Importance of to Kids: or, Do Kids Grow Out of Read-Aloud Time? No, says mom | "the most important value that reading aloud offers is its connection"

Book Lists

: What Would You Include If Someone Asked for a Quick List of Recent Titles Starring Black Kids? — has suggestions in various genres

TenNineEightBest + to Give as Gifts That Kids Don't Already Have, according to

RA RA Read: for the absolute beginner, resource list from organizer Jennifer Wharton

Seven Scary Books, Perfect October from

Educational Equity + Screen Time

Offline and Underserved: New Study Shows Most Affects Already Likely to Fall Behind | |

This is exactly what I would have expected - it takes a lot of bandwidth to keep your kids off of screens. RT: @Jean_Twenge The new digital divide: The most vulnerable kids are spending more time with screens.


Is my Child ? You'll need more than test results to tell. shares 10 things can teach about

Growing Bookworms

ReadWriteLeadBuilding a Literate Community | share's her school's journey to "encourage the both in our staff and in our students" | I wish all did this | via

A fun idea from | The Rainy Day Bookshelf (keep a special set of books and supplies handy for rain/snow/bored days)

"if we are going to model and share (w/ ) what real do, then we need to be transparent and a little more honest about our own lives" + set more realistic targets for kids

Jeff Kinney | ‘Let children read anything; I’ll never say no to a book’ | Showing kids that is FUN


: Part 2 Getting Your Book Into the Hands of Kids | This Panel on perspectives is definitely up my alley |

Kindness / Positivity

InnovatorsMindsetStarting With Positive Assumptions – If start by assuming positive intent, positive action is more likely to result

How a is improving my life by | “When we see other people around us acting in generous or kind or empathic ways, we will be more inclined to act that way ourselves,” - via

7 ways can teach girls to build one another up, instead of tearing one another down |

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

A Helpful Guide to Better | Links to resources on choosing what to read, tracking book recommendations, taking notes, etc.

Starting 11/1 - Become a : 30 Days to a Habit | will be encouraging readers to by bringing books everywhere + following her prompts

Parenting, Play + Motivation

GiftOfFailureThis is good advice: Park the helicopter, parents. Here’s how (and why) to teach kids to be self-advocates. |

Intentionally Cultivating Abundant, | I so agree that "Leaving a child to their own devices still actually does involve quite a lot of effort on our part"

Confirms It: People Are Not Pets. Research on the efficacy of rewards tells us that we can’t bribe others (including ) into doing what we want.

Parents + , wondering how to implement the Rx for kids to get more ? The seems like a good option |

Schools and Libraries

PassionateReaders"When year after year tell us loudly that they cannot be great because of how they spell, then ... (we need) to examine what message we are giving students."

Just . "There should always be a time to just read aloud (in the ). Every day." A reminder from

10 Ideas for Creating a Strengths-Based Culture in | "People are more confident, passionate, and do better work when you focus on what’s right with them instead of what’s wrong with them."

RaisingKidsWhoReadOpinion | Why Are We Still Teaching the Wrong Way? - via |

Just how are we about ? thinks there may be a quieter majority who believe in basics AND / programs + that the wastes precious time

Research evidence on prevention at odds with what some are doing - severe punishments can exacerbate the problem |

Schools: EdPolicy / Politics

Asking candidates the right questions about | |

Here’s what happened after California got rid of personal belief exemptions for childhood . "Dubious" medical exemptions increased + "can be had for a price". Sigh. via

In the News: NYC Knew Some in Its $773 Million Plan Were Doomed. They Kept Children in Them Anyway -

NC State study reinforces bleak view of results (or lack thereof) for state for 3rd graders | via

Sketching a Workable Way Forward on - + | "it’s possible to boost pay by 20%, pay terrific teachers six figures, leave class sizes stable, and do it w/ a measured, disciplined increase in revenue"

In More High School Classes, the Is on a Screen. Facing a , some districts try


Is the real problem the test, not students? | Is working as we'd hoped? via

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