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If Evidence Doesn’t Matter, Don’t Read This.

Need to improve proficiency scores? Move forward by not going backward. Losing reading skill is perennial, impacts all students (especially economically disadvantaged kids,) and IS AVOIDABLE. Two research studies (University of Wisconsin and Arizona State University) indicate the Kids Read Now program has shown to eliminate summer reading slide. The evidence is clear.  There are …

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Remembering Laura Bemus

Laura Lou Bemus was not just a terrific educator, but an amazing sharing and giving person. Her kids and ours grew up together, so we saw through more than 3 decades how this unique individual handled herself, her beliefs, her drive and always, always- building on her self-eternalized vision of how to make family life, …

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Teaching Students to L.O.V.E. Literacy

Opportunities to sharpen our literacy skills are all around us. Unfortunately, due to a variety of reasons (lack of support/resources at home, irrelevant curriculum, etc.) students can often be disengaged with literacy learning early in life. Once that foundation is shaken, it is tough to rebuild and instill the skills, confidence, and attitude necessary to …

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D.R.E.A.M. Literacy

A literacy environment should be cultivated by its curriculum.  Learning how to read and develop literacy skills is a process that will benefit a child their entire life.  It is the foundation for other subjects, and a manner in which students learn to communicate and learn about their world, near and far. The process to …

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Creating A R.I.C.H. Literacy Environment

Most students either really love to read and find joy in growing and sharpening their literacy skills, or they feel the opposite. Their experience depends on two things- the instructional decisions made and the environment in which they learn.  Educators are often told to create a “literacy rich” or “print rich” classroom setting, but what …

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PenPals: Handwritten Letters to Support the Whole Child

When was the last time you wrote or received a handwritten letter? For thousands of years, handwritten letters have played a critical part in our lives. In this age of digital communication, handwritten letters are becoming a lost art. Emails and text messages can be sent instantly; however, the impact of a good old-fashioned handwritten …

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Finding the Hook

It’s all about the hook. Find what is inspiring to the youth and you find the hook into reading. Take baby steps even if needed. Not interested in reading a book? Start with a graphic novel. Even the old school Baby Sitters Club books are coming back with a vengeance in graphic novel form! Boys! …

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Meet the School Librarian

August and September traditionally serve as the months for Meet the Teacher nights. Families file into school buildings to check out classrooms, admire bulletin boards, and inquire about policies and procedures. I am suggesting that parents make a detour on their way to classrooms this school year. Visit the school library. Yes, it’s true. School …

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Autonomy in K-3 Literacy Learning

Something that I’ve learned in my time as an educator is the power in providing students with choice. Choice to explore their learning, choice to figure things out on their own, choice to learn new things in a variety of ways. Literacy skills are the foundation of learning, and something that educators should get excited …

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