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Posts from July 2019

Bookworm Moments: Giggling on the Balcony

BetterYouThanMeThe other day my daughter and I were reading our separate books on our balcony (pretty much my favorite place in the world) when my concentration was interrupted by the sound of giggling. I  looked over and my daughter was snorting with laughter over something in her book (Better You Than Me, by Jessica Brody). She read the passage aloud (something about eating a burger), but it wasn't clear to me what was funny about it. She choked out: "They (the two main characters) are just so DIFFERENT". And I settled back into my own book, content.

This wasn't some wordplay or slapstick humor (though of course those would have been great, too). Rather, my daughter was seeing the humor in a character behaving in a way that was contrary to that girl's own nature. Though I haven't actually read the book in question, I'm pretty sure this shows that my daughter's understanding of books is increasing. Slowly but surely, and as it should be.

As  for me, I just love that she can double up laughing over a book. It was a great way to start the day. 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage. Links to be books may be affiliate links, for which I receive a small commission.

Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: July 26: Reducing #ScreenTime + Increasing #BookAccess for Kids

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage.  There's a lot of great stuff this week. Topics include #BookAccess, #ClassroomLibraries, #FreePlay, #GenderRoles, #GraphicNovels, #homework, #NoSummerSlide, #phonics, #PictureBooks, #ScreenTime, #SocialMedia, #STEM, #SummerReading, parenting, reading, schools, teaching, and writing.

Events, Programs + Research

MarleyDiasFree Book Vending Machines Launched Across All NYC Boroughs – @CBSNewYork via @tashrow | #BookAccess @JetBlue @iammarleydias

You Get a Book and You Get a Book and You Get a Book! @nerdybookclub @PrincipalGarden shares her students' joy in receiving free books at a school #BookSwap #BookAccess

"Literacy is life. (@right2readproj agrees) Especially for children of color and in poverty." @vesiawils fights for her new grandchild's education, after fighting for others

Growing Bookworms

#SummerReading Shouldn’t Feel Like #Homework - Ann Patchett wonders if adults' desire for mindless paperbacks in the summer is a "subconscious backlash" against forced childhood #reading @ParnassusBooks1

#NoSummerSlide Week 8 from @TheReadingTub | Yes, #ScavengerHunts have hidden #literacy value

EASY #BackToSchool Book Reading Challenge for parents + teachers from @growingbbb #ReadAloud #LoveOfReading

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

Cybils-Logo-2018-Round450pxWhere to find 10,000 Books to read to grow #writing skills? | @bd_levines hares her sources for new #PictureBooks | #Cybils, #libraries + more

Starting w/ #WritingIdentity First Rather than #Writing Skills in order to engage #students. Makes sense to me, @pernilleripp | #teaching

A woman's greatest enemy (+ barrier to #creativity + #writing)? A lack of time to themselves | @BrigidSchulte @guardian

IcePrincessI love this review at Jean Little Library: "not of particularly high (or any) literary quality. But ... will get kids at the series stage to love reading and keep reading until they're ready for more substantial fare" | It's about #JoyOfReading

Library #eBook Lending Poses Rising Problem for #Publishing Industry - @JeffreyT1 @WSJ | @MacmillanUSA is changing sales policies for #libraries

ALA denounces new @MacmillanUSA #library #eBook lending model, urges library customers to voice objections @ALALibrary #publishing

Parenting, Play + Screen Time

Halifax university researchers on the importance of risk in child’s #play | @ydentremont @thestarhalifax #OutdoorPlay #LoosePartsPlay

ArtOfScreenTimeHow Parents Can Model Better #ScreenTime Behavior for Their Kids | @anya1anya @MindShiftKQED | #Parenting #SocialMedia

For Today's Kids, Time for #FreePlay Often Defaults to #ScreenTime—Some parents fight back by giving kids lists of things to do offfline @juliejargon @WSJ | #Play #parenting

Facebook fails to keep Messenger Kids’ safety promise, allowed non-approved adults (connected to other kids) into group chats w/ kids | @riptari @TechCrunch @TheVerge #SocialMedia

5 tips to help your gifted child become more independent | guest post by Cloe Matheson @giftedchlnges | #giftedness #parenting #FreePlay #creativity

Schools and Libraries

PersepolisThe Surprising Benefits of Student-Created #GraphicNovels | @cultofpedagogy + @ShvetaMiller | Cartoons invite empathy + allow for emotional distance

18 Free (or Cheap) Ways to Stock Your #ClassroomLibrary from @WeAreTeachers | Amazon wishlists, @FirstBook, @kidsneedtoread + more

Influential #Reading Group @ILAToday Makes It Clear: Students Need Systematic, Explicit #Phonics - @Stephen_Sawchuk + Sarah Schwartz @EdWeekTeacher

10 First Day of #Homeschool Ideas from @thisreadingmama. I like "5. Start a #ReadAloud" | #BackToSchool


Mathematics is about wonder, #creativity and fun, so let's teach it that way | Peter Taylor @ConversationUS, quotes from @joboaler #Math #STEM #teaching

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Bookworm Moments: Backup Books for Reading by the Pool

BabymouseLockerLast weekend my daughter had a playdate with a friend at our local pool. [This is my favorite kind of playdate, because I can sit quietly and read.] After her friend left, we decided to stay for a while so that my husband could join us. While we were waiting for him, she asked if we could go out to the car to get something for her to read. She proceeded to gather a stack of six graphic novels. [As I've mentioned before, my car is basically a mobile library.]

I said something like "You are a nut." 

Her response was: "What? I'm not sure which one I want to read right now. And they're all GOOD." 

"Fair enough," I conceded. And she mostly sat reading until she was able to convince my husband to go in the pool with her.  

SecretCodersTo me this incident demonstrates that kids need reading choice not just overall, but also in the moment. As I reflected on this for a moment, I realized that I myself had finished one book on my Kindle while I was sitting there and then dabbled in a few samples before settling on what I was  going to read next.

This is how real readers read. We graze. We pick and choose. And we always make sure that we have a backup available, in case we finish our first, or it just doesn't suit our mood.

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage. Links to be books may be affiliate links, for which I receive a small commission.

Bookworm Moments: Still Requesting New Picture Book Purchases

PigeonSchoolMy daughter is nine now. She has introduced graphic novels, novels and some nonfiction into her reading repertoire. But I am happy to report that she still loves picture books. We don't read them together as much these days, but I frequently find little piles of them on the floor around the house. She is especially drawn to picture books at times of physical or emotional distress.

She received a few picture books that she had really wanted for Christmas (the Bears on Chairs books by Shirley Parenteau and David Walker, e.g.), and we've continued to check picture books out from the library. However, I have been ramping down purchases of picture books for her. If anything, I'm trying to reduce the number of picture books that we have in the house, so that we have room for things like furniture. 

The other day, however, she happened by my computer as I was reading a news story about the publication of a new Pigeon book by Mo Willems. There was a big screen shot from the book at the top of the article. She stopped dead in her tracks and said: "Is THAT a new PIGEON book?" On learning that it was, she promptly began her campaign for me to purchase The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! I was not all that hard to convince, truth be told. 

RedLemonBut it didn't stop there. As we were ordering the book she said: "Hey, are there any new Bob Staake books? You know how much I love books by my friend Bob Staake." (She cherishes a book that he autographed to her as his friend a while back, and considers The Donut Chef to be one of the best books of all time.) A search revealed one that was not new, but that we didn't have and that she could not live without (The Red Lemon). This, too, was added to the cart. 

I'm sure she would have kept going  given any encouragement. Although I really am trying to cut back, she knows my weaknesses. And, like my daughter, I am a sucker for picture books. 

Thanks for reading! I've decided to start tagging posts like this that document a little incident in my daughter's reading, but that aren't really milestones, "Bookworm Moments."  Stay tuned for more. 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: July 19: #FakeNews, #ReadingChoice, #ReadingAloud + #GraphicNovels

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #AchievementGap, #BookList, #eBooks, #FakeNews, #GraphicNovels, #InformationLiteracy, #introversion, #LearningDifferences, #NoSummerSlide, #ReadingChoice, #SchoolLibrarians, publishing, reading, testing, and writing.

Book Lists

CuriousGardenI decided to only share this @growingbbb #BookList of #PictureBooks About Community if it included our family favorite #TheCuriousGarden by @itspeterbrown And it does!

Teaching Kids with #LearningDifferences #BookList - @thisreadingmama | #dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalulia, #ADHD, Autism, processing disorders, etc.

An Unexpected Trend in #PictureBooks @fuseeight | wrestling w/ the idea of how numbers or concepts can be relative + the way your perspective matters #BookList

Fake News + Information Literacy

A Reminder That #FakeNews Is An #InformationLiteracy Problem - Not A Tech Problem | People should be researchers + scientists re consuming information + use verification and validation, says Kalev Leetaru @Forbes

Timely advice from @TeachThought | 20 Questions To Help Students Think Critically About News via @drdouggreen #FakeNews #InformationLiteracy #Schools

Growing Bookworms (inc. Reading Choice)

GiganticBeardUse Comics or #GraphicNovels, Paired w/ Novels, to Teach #ELA + #SEL Skills | | Also offer #ReadingChoice, says @APLit_Teacher @edutopia

Lots of food for thought in this @HKorbey @edutopia piece about Student #ReadingChoice + #LoveOfReading vs. the Classics + #ReadingSkills | @jarredamato @thebigseablog @Tellez_Stephani @MsJasmineMN + more

#NoSummerSlide Week 7 @TheReadingTub – Game On! Terry suggests that you consider a family #GameNight or #PuzzleNight, w/ ideas + resource links

Good research-backed piece on how #parents + #teachers put kids off from #reading by not giving them #ReadingChoice, making them finish books + asking them questions about their #reading | Isang Awah @ConversationUS

5 Tips for Using #Audiobooks at Bedtime | Janssen Bradshaw @ReadBrightly | Avoid scary books, don't fear repetition + more

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

HBrucesFunDayappy to see from @tashrow's review that @RyanTHiggins #MotherBruce is successfully moving into #EasyReaders like Bruce’s Big Fun Day @DisneyBooks

Although I'm not generally a fan of #homework, this I really like: @katsok on her success assigning #Writing Homework (w/ full choice for kids on topics/formats) @ChoiceLiteracy

#Education publisher @pearson to phase out print textbooks, beginning in the US - @BBC | This worries me, though I understand some of the drivers. Definitely a big change | #eBooks #schools

Schools and Libraries

DayYouBeginIntroducing #cbadspotlight & the 2019-20 Monthly #classroombookaday Selections from @heisereads | Spotlighting 3 #PictureBooks each month w/ inclusive + #OwnVoices features for classroom #ReadAloud

The Loss of #SchoolLibrarians Is Hurting Kids (and #Teachers) via lower grades, less parent involvement + more | @SamanthaCleaver @WeAreTeachers

The Deficit Lens of the #AchievementGap Needs to Be Flipped to a focus on the resources provided (+ not) to students, says @davepaunesku in OpEd  @educationweek #EducationalEquity

QuietSusanCainReaching the Quiet Kids in Class | @buddyxo @EdSurge | #introversion #FlippedClassroom #EdTech

#Teaching Vocabulary Takes More Than Just Talking About Words During #ReadAloud - Brittany Oakley shares some ideas for overcoming time squeeze to teach vocab more directly @EdWeekTeacher

#GiftedEducation Faces "Clear and Present" Problems - Chester E. Finn shares results from recent @IEAgifted survey | #giftedness

Parenting + Social Media 

Tips for #Homeschooling a Challenging Child from @thisreadingmama, who has been there | #LearningDifferences #autism #ADHD #parenting

Increase in #SocialMedia or TV use (but not gaming) correlated w/ rise in teens' depressive symptoms, study says | @JacqEHoward @cnnhealth | #MentalHealth #TeenDepression @JAMAPediatrics

Testing + Standards

Can Everyone Be Excellent? What would happen if every student met the #testing standards? @alfiekohn calls the standards-and-accountability movement ... an elaborate sorting device | #schools

States Are Ratcheting Up #Reading Expectations For 3rd-Graders. "Policies like #MandatoryRetention have put pressure on teachers to have students reading at earlier ages" @AlexandraStarr @NPR

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Growing Bookworms Newsletter: July 17: #SummerReading + #SummerWriting Edition

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 sent out every three to four weeks.  

Newsletter Update: In this issue I have three short posts about my daughter's recent reading and writing experiences. In the first, I share a simple moment that made me happy as a bookworm parent. In the second, I share my daughter's fascination with fonts and formats. In the third, I share photographic evidence of my commitment to reading choice (from a library visit). As I was traveling for a couple of weeks, I only have two posts with the literacy and reading-related links that I shared on Twitter, but one of them is  quite extensive. 

Reading Update:  In the last four weeks I finished one middle grade title and six adult titles (five fiction and one nonfiction). I read/listened to: 

  • MapOfDaysRansom Riggs: A Map of Days (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children. Dutton Books. Middle Grade Speculative Fiction. Completed July 9, 2019, on MP3. I found this an intriguing new installment in the Peculiar Children series. The ending promises additional titles, which pleases me. 
  • Jim Geraghty: Between Two Scorpions. Discus Books. Adult Thriller. Completed June 29, 2019, on Kindle. This was one of those books that interested me enough to finish, but not enough to read avidly, and thus slowed down my reading overall. 
  • Jason Brennan and Phillip Magness: Cracks in the Ivory Tower: The Moral Mess of Higher Education. Oxford University Press. Adult Nonfiction. Completed July 5, 2019, on Kindle. This non-partisan book is about structural issues (such as poor incentive structures) that create problems in our system of higher education. I found it interesting, because this is an interest of mine, but it was also a bit slow for me. The combination of this and the previous book really cut down my reading significantly. Fortunately, Todd Borg helped me get my groove back. 
  • TahoeDeathfallTodd Borg: Tahoe Deathfall (Owen McKenna, No. 1). Thriller Press. Adult Mystery. Completed June 30, 2019, on Kindle. I quite like these books, about a Tahoe-area private investigator (former SF cop). I do have some quibbles over the writing. Borg includes regular information dumps on various topics via conversation, not my favorite technique. But he is also very good at creating perilous situations and keeping the reader turning the pages. I also like the characters, especially Owen's spotted Great Dane, Spot. It's also fun that the books (so far) are set in the early 2000s. I got a kick out of Owen whipping out a zip drive, for instance. 
  • Todd Borg: Tahoe Blowup (Owen McKenna, No. 2). Thriller Press. Adult Mystery. Completed July 7, 2019, on Kindle.
  • Todd Borg: Tahoe Ice Grave (Owen McKenna, No. 3). Thriller Press. Adult Mystery. Completed July 12, 2019, on Kindle.
  • GiftedSchoolBruce Holsinger: The Gifted School. Riverhead Books. Adult Fiction. Completed July 15, 2019, on Kindle. This book completely hooked me, and I highly recommend it. It's a fiction title that is freakishly apt for the moment, despite having been started 15 years ago. It's about a tight-knit group of four families who all have 11 year olds. When four local school districts around their upscale, progressive Colorado town band together to create a public magnet school for gifted kids, some of the parents go a bit crazy trying to get their kids admitted. I didn't like all (many?) of the characters, but I still couldn't put it down. 

BetterYouThanMeI'm reading the fourth Owen McKenna book, Tahoe Killshot. I'm listening to the latest Mike Bowditch mystery by Paul Doiron, Almost Midnight. My daughter and I have stopped reading the sixth Harry Potter book. It think it was just too dark for her, especially for summer. We may try to get back into it on a long car ride later in the summer. She has been listening to The Swiss Family Robinson on her own. She loves the old Disney movie and picked up a used copy of the book at the library bookstore recently. She needed an audio while doing a boring chore (shredding) and asked for that one. I'll be surprised if she gets all the way through it, but you never know. She's also reading Better You Than Me by Jessica Brody (a fresh take on Freaky Friday). She's reading it a bit at a time, stopping to read various graphic novels and picture books. She especially liked the first Benny Breakiron book by Peyo: The Red Taxi. We'll be looking for the others, I suppose. 

MalsSpellBookYesterday a friend passed on four Disney Descendants books to her. She read the first one (Mal's Spell Book) in a single sitting after dinner. She particularly appreciated one of the fonts, and wants to try writing that way. She is eagerly awaiting a number of sequels/series installments, but seems to be fine dabbling in the meantime. She's also writing a lot, which I love. She's working on a story and has created little sketches and bios of each of the characters, as well as a diagram that shows how they are connected. I'm enjoying it all very much. Summer reading and summer writing are beautiful things!

Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms! 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Giving My Daughter Free Choice at the Library: Photographic Proof

ScoobyDooBooks_FotorI write frequently about the importance of giving kids choice in their reading material in order to nurture their love of reading. I thought that my readers might be glad to know that I do walk the walk on this topic. A couple of weeks ago my daughter and I popped into the library. It was an unplanned stop. We were parked relatively far away and I had no bag with me to hold books. Nevertheless, my daughter found a few books that she simply HAD to take home. 

Her selection: 15 Scooby Doo Choose Your Own Adventure books and one cookbook (which someone had left by the checkout machines). I did draw the line when her selection included duplicates of the Scooby Doo books. We spent some time sorting to make sure we had one, and only one, copy of each title. But other than that, I let her run free. 

I have nothing against Scooby Doo Choose Your Own Adventure books or cookbooks, of course. I read what I believe were the original Choose Your Own Adventure titles back in the day. But I can't say that these are the books that I would have selected. And that, my friends, is the whole point. 

If kids enjoy reading, they will read. The number one way to ensure that they enjoy reading is to let them read what they like. If that means checking out 15  books from the same series, so be it. 

Would it surprise anyone to know that although she hasn't actually read all of these books, she is considering writing her own Choose Your Own Adventure story? 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage. Links to be books may be affiliate links, for which I receive a small commission.

Links I Shared on Twitter Recently: July 12: Knowledge vs. Reading Comprehension, Divisiveness in YA Twitter + Summer Road Trips

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter recently @JensBookPage. I missed the past couple of weeks of roundups because of travel and houseguests, but I was saving articles in my readers. Below you will find a veritable bonanza of links about #BookLists, #DiverseBooks, #giftedness, #Happiness, #HigherEd, #literacy, #LoveOfBooks, #math, #NoSummerSlide, #phonics, #play, #ReadingLogs, #RoadTrips, #ScreenTime, #STEM, #SummerReading, parenting, reading, schools, testing, writing and lots more. 

Book Lists + Awards

HumanBodyTheaterNew #BookList from @momandkiddo | Children's Books about the Amazing Human Body! | My daughter loves Human Body Theater (nonfiction #GraphicNovel about the body)

#EasyReaders and Early #ChapterBooks: Some of the Best of 2019 per @fuseeight #BookList

Laugh-Out-Loud Funny Beginning #ChapterBook Series: Ages 6-10 | A good #BookList @momandkiddo b/c kids love #FunnyBooks

100 Mighty Girl Books for Tweens' #SummerReading List | @amightygirl #BookList | I will note that these #DiverseBooks w/ strong protagonists should be great for boys, too.

Announcing the Winners of the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards! — @fuseeight #GraphicNovels, #kidlit #nonfiction

Diversity + Gender

BlackWitchYes, #YA Twitter Can Be Toxic, But It Also Points Out Real Problems @mollytempleton @BuzzFeed | #DiverseBooks #OwnVoices #Publishing

Torn apart: the vicious war over young adult books | @leobenedictus @GuardianBooks | What is #CancelCulture doing to #YA fiction? | #DiverseBooks #OwnVoices

Events, Programs + Research

McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys Caught in Backlash Over Plastic - @SaabiraC @WSJ | I say replace all the toys with children's books for a win-win solution

HiddenTribesRepublicans and Democrats Don't Understand Each Other - @Yascha_Mounk @TheAtlantic - New study by @MiC_Global shows #PerceptionGap, especially among educated Democrats

Research finds Texas 10% policy didn’t expand number of high schools feeding students to top universities #HigherEd @hechingerreport @jillbarshay

Preschoolers Who Practice #Phonics Show Stronger #Math Skills, Study Finds - @EdWeekTeacher

Brain Wars: #UnitStudies vs. Brain #Science@MarlaSzwast "what goes on in our brains when we learn is much more similar to what happens in every other person’s brain than it is different."

Not even a little bit surprising, but still good: Study Finds Toddlers Prefer Print Books over Tablets – @ClevelandClinic #GrowingBookworms

I think this is a really neat program: To Improve Care, #VA Asks Patients Their Life Stories + adds them to medical record | @bkesling @WSJ | An idea for @KPMemberService

Growing Bookworms

ClassroomBookADay#classroombookaday - #PictureBooks Are For ANY Grade | @heisereads "Picture book is a format, not an age designation"

Pros & Cons of #ReadingLogs - @Larryferlazzo shares responses from 4 educators | I'm w/ @LRobbTeacher + @huels_ryan

Road Trip #Literacy Tips for When You Can’t Read in the Car from @TheReadingTub | Alphabet games + more | In my family we play a game where we name a winery for each letter of the alphabet

#NoSummerSlide Week 5 @TheReadingTub – Road Trip #Literacy Ideas (when you can't read in the car), Part 2 | music, #audiobooks, #podcasts + more

#NoSummerSlide Week 6 @TheReadingTub #Literacy-themed #RoadTrip Activities, Part 3 | Journals + treasure hunts are both up my daughter's alley for sure

Booktalks: An Often-Overlooked Way to Foster a #LoveOfReading in Children | Christine French Cully  @ReadBrightly | "reading for pleasure makes us smarter, more empathetic, and even healthier"

This is awesome! Books on wheels: School bus keeps #SummerReading rolling | Herald & Tribune | via @bkshelvesofdoom

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

PigeonSchoolMy daughter saw this story + we had to order the book immediately: Mo Willems Prepares Another ‘Pigeon’ Book - @chriskornelis @WSJ @The_Pigeon @DisneyBooks

The Complete Listing of All Public Children’s Literature Statues in the United States (2019 Edition) — @FuseEight #kidlit #art

What Creates a #Reading Identify, and should we be worried about a decline in reading among today's kids? @Kerensd @AwfullyBigBlog #LoveOfBooks #GrowingBookworms

Is teaching #writing as important as teaching #reading? Yes, say many. It encourages independent thinking, empowerment + communication @MollySpray @washingtonpost 

On the UK #ChildrensLaureate speeches, kids' rights as readers + a reminder that it's easier to convince kids of the #JoyOfReading than it is adults, by @KMcCaughrain @AwfullyBigBlog

WizardsOnceNew UK #ChildrensLaureate @CressidaCowell wants to 'take on TV' to encourage kids to love books + boost creative #writing + #SchoolLibraries @BBC

#Writing Tips for Kids 11 @BookChook - Write Great Dialogue | Listen to people chatting, pay attention to what you read in books + more

I agree w/ @MarniAtHome that handwritten thank-you notes are the grace notes of life | They are getting rarer all the time, but I always appreciate them | #Gratitude

Parenting, Screen Time + Play

The First Time Our Child Was Asked “To Come Out and Play” | #TeacherMom @HonorsGradU shares tips for supporting + reassuring parents as they strive to build autonomy in kids

ScreenwiseAt Your Wits' End With A Screen-Obsessed Kid? Read This | @MindShiftKQED @anya1anya | #parenting #ScreenTime @DevorahHeitner

I agree completely w/ @TrevorHCairney that #boredom is still good for children! #parenting #play #creativity

I certainly agree with this piece: A Young Imagination Beats Videogames - Mike Kerrigan @WSJopinion #play #ScreenTime

Parents, Reject the Fear-Mongering says #TeacherMom @HonorsGradU | Push back on #HelicopterParenting w/ Mary's questions about #FreePlay + #ChildIndependence

Study of 1500 UK parents found most care more about their kids' #happiness than about their #grades or professional success @TheSun via @drdouggreen

10 Signs That Your Child Is More Ready for #Kindergarten Than You Might Think – @HonorsGradU | They enjoy stories (even if they aren't sitting perfectly still) + lots more | #ChildDevelopment #Parenting

Schools and Libraries

KnowledgeGapElementary-School Curriculum Is All Wrong | In early grades, #schools value reading-comprehension skills over knowledge. Results are bad, espec. for poor kids @natwexler @TheAtlantic

Bob Shepherd: This Is What a Generation of “Standards and Testing” Has Done to #ELA Teaching | @DianeRavitch via @drdouggreen | #teaching skills instead of content

Serving the #Math Whiz Kids: Private enrichment programs step up to meet the need that #schools are not filling for kids strong in math | @TchersPet @EducationNext | #giftedness #PISA #STEM

#Grades Are Lousy Preparation for Life - @mssackstein | Grades in the 90s are very good in #school, but most jobs expect near 100% performance. Some don't even have numeric metrics

20,000 Pennies: How a #BookClub Transformed our #School Community by #SchoolLibrarian Sarah FitzHenry @nerdybookclub #LittleFreeLibraries

This makes sense to me | How Building in Time for Exam Review Supports Advances in Student Learning | @kendalrolley @MindShiftKQED | #GrowthMindset #Testing

7 Effective Family Involvement Techniques for Teachers from @growingbbb | Enhance communication, rethink #homework + more

Here's something I hadn't considered: #Schools Wrestle With Privacy of #DigitalData Collected on Students (e.g. search histories) @BetsyMorris2 @WSJ

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

A Modern Literacy Milestone: A Preference for Specific Fonts


Recently my daughter has displayed a preference for certain fonts. She likes Century Gothic best, but also enjoys playing around with others when she is working in Microsoft Word. I feel  like this one is something of a modern milestone. When I was a kid there was no Word and I didn't learn to type until middle school. The fonts that came in books were just background, as far as I can remember, not something that one had preferences about. 

But my daughter, a budding writer and a reader of many picture books and graphic novels, notices fonts. She came up to me with a book the other day and said "Look! I think this is Century Gothic." I taught her about serif  vs. sans-serif fonts, since she was  interested.

She has taken to occasionally entering her hand-written stories into Word (hitting me up to help with the data entry). In those cases she spends time experimenting with the fonts (making important words larger and bolding them, etc.). She also leaves text boxes so that she can print out the document and add her own illustrations. 

I'm mulling setting her up with a typing app, but this is in conflict with my desire to limit her screen time, so I've been putting that off. In the meantime, I think it's neat that she has started noticing fonts and formatting conventions, much earlier than I ever did. Thanks for reading and for growing bookworms!

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

A Successful #GrowingBookworms Moment

KristysBigDayYesterday afternoon, after a busy day, my daughter left the bathroom declaring that she was going to read "every word" of Kristy's Big Day (a Baby-Sitters Club graphic novel that she has read many times). She curled up on the couch to do so and a period of quiet ensued. Then I heard her give a deep, satisfied sigh and say: "I love that book!".

That's all. Just a teeny tiny moment in the life of raising a young bookworm. But for me, such moments are what it's all about. I do have three conclusion to draw from this experience.

  1. If you want your children to love books, you should let them re-read to their hearts' content. It doesn't matter what they are reading, just that they enjoy it and choose it themselves. 
  2. It is worthwhile to purchase copies of the books that your children really love, because you never now when the whim to read a beloved title might strike. 
  3. It is also worthwhile to keep book baskets in convenient locations around your home, especially in  the bathrooms.

Just saying…

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage. Links to be books may be affiliate links, for which I receive a small commission.