Opportunity Gap

Addressing the Summer Slide

In 2012, my wife Barb and I were commiserating about the state of reading in the country—specifically what she, a 4th grade teacher, called ‘the dreaded summer slide’. Far too many kids, particularly from families that struggle, head back into class every fall, with less opportunity than their peers. They are not as engaged. They …

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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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10 Ways to Explode Your Students’ Excitement for Reading!

How do you get kids excited about books? Over my 25 years of teaching, I’ve discovered many ways to spark excitement. Here are 10 to get you started: Start an After-School Book Club Invite a guest reader from the community to kick off the meetings. After the read-aloud, the kids spread out to read independently …

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The Story Behind Education’s Recovery After the Pandemic

Is everyone really ready for all of the faces hiding behind the computers to return to the brick-and-mortar classroom?   Jose’s alarm rang. He rolled over and turned off the alarm on his cell phone. He was used to his new routine of rolling out of bed and opening his computer, as he sat up …

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Inclusion and Diversity

Incorporating Equity and Inclusion in Early Childhood Curriculum

Early Childhood Education is a vital foundation for children of tender age. Not only are they introduced to various experiences, but they are also taught how to form and maintain positive social relationships, a sense of belonging, and developing specific skills to reach their full potential. We see regular acts of racism, sexism, and prejudice …

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Literacy + STEM = A Perfect Pairing

When it comes to STEM and literacy, one can’t exist without the other. STEM teachers emphasize the Engineering Design Process and computational thinking, as well as technology tools. But the work of engineers and scientists goes much further than the traditional STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math. They are also communicators, collaborators, writers, …

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Young boy sitting atop a stack of books

Poetry: My Story

In 1994, my 6-year-old son Nicholas failed first grade. Testing revealed he could read ten words, showed no strengths, and had a low IQ. The prognosis was dire, his future bleak. Finally, the diagnostician called him: “The worst child I’ve seen in twenty years of teaching.” I had the option to remove my son from …

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Raised hands of multiple bright colors

Include Me!

All children like to read things they can relate to or that make them feel good. And the best children’s stories I “read” were those on the laps of my parents. In order to write books for children of a different mold than our own, we need to know them. I grew up in a …

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Fairytale; social emotional learning

Reading Supports Social Emotional Learning

How reading helps children learn social emotional skills I am a lover of all things book and the written word. As a child, I was precocious and very curious. Thankfully, my father had a great passion for reading and ensured that I, along with my siblings, understood the importance of literacy and that it was …

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