If you want to remember something, read it out loud

“Read something out loud when you really want to remember it.’ These are the findings from a recent University of Waterloo study that found that “speaking text aloud helps to get words into long-term memory. Dubbed the “production effect,” the study determined that it is the dual action of speaking and hearing oneself that has the most beneficial impact on memory.” Colin M.  MacLeod, the university professor who co-authored the study with post-doctoral fellow Noah Forrin, found that “When we add an active measure or a production element to a word, that word becomes more distinct in long-term memory, and […]

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Visit Storyline Online for Good Storytelling

Reading out loud to children helps advance their reading, writing, and communication skills. One of my favorite sites to supplement reading out loud by parents and caretakers is Storyline Online. The website hosts terrifically produced videos of actors (like Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, and Betty White) reading children’s books accompanied by wonderful illustrations and cool sound effects. At the end of each reading, the actors tell us why they liked the story. This is an opportunity to ask your child what they thought about the story too. The award-winning website receives more than […]

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Teachers learn how to teach reading in teacher preparation programs ꟷ maybe

One in five elementary school teacher preparation programs in the United States are addressing one or none of the five components that teachers must know to teach reading to children: phonemic awareness, phonics (alphabetics), fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. This is serious business. “Teaching children how to read is “job one” for elementary teachers because reading proficiency underpins all later learning.” (The National Council on Teacher Quality) Unfortunately, many teachers are not prepared well in their preservice programs to teach reading. The National Council on Teacher Quality’s evaluation of more than 800 undergraduate programs for elementary teacher education determined that less […]

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Is picting replacing words in our digital age – is this the new literacy?

Is technology changing our definition of literacy? That’s the question posed by Cathie Norris and Elliot Soloway, university professors studying how much time today’s youth spend with text-based materials vs. image-based materials.(1) They estimate that 90 percent of K-12 classroom time in the U.S. is spent with text-based materials, and 10 percent with image-based materials; but outside the classroom, 90% is spent with image-based materials and 10 percent with text-based materials. The bottom line from their provocative article, Picting, not Writing, is the Literacy of Today’s Youth (May 8, 2017) hits the literacy question head on: “No question about it: […]

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Storyline Online: As Fast As Words Could Fly

Check out the video of Dulé Hill reading As Fast As Words Could Fly at Storyline Online. The book is written by Pamela M. Tuck, illustrated by Eric Velasquez, and published by Lee & Low Books Inc.. The story features Mason Steele, a high school boy who teaches himself to type on a typewriter given to him by his father’s civil rights group. His growing typing skills play out in an important story about prejudice and racial barriers. A thoughtful piece that would be great to talk about with your children. Important for adults too.

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