Spelling Part 2: Developmental Spelling Instruction

Spelling! Okay. Now I’m ready to talk about spelling instruction. We all know the plan. Get the words Monday, repetition repetition repetition – test on Friday. Sometimes it seems like not much has changed. I’m not going to talk about the history and all the small ebbs and flows we’ve had in the makeup of these spelling lists. But allow me to say that currently the spelling lists in most schools are decided by the

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Feed Their Imaginations: Pretend Play

Feed Their Imaginations: Pretend Play

I’ll be the waiter, you be the person having dinner…” Holding a pad of paper, “What would you like to have for dinner today? The child then scribbles fake words on the pad as the other child places their order – mac and cheese and an ice cream sundae. This scenario of children acting out a restaurant scene is an example of pretend play, also called make-believe play or dramatic play. It seems simple and

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Brick and Mortar

Brick and Mortar

I haven’t posted here in my reading blog for a while. That’s because I’ve been caught up in a huge life project. Let me tell you all about it… One day, after being particularly disenfranchised with the world of higher education, I had this lightbulb moment while taking a shower – where I come up with all my best ideas. My brain presented me with these facts. 1. I know more about children’s book than

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How do you spell that? Spelling Part 1

Spelling is intricately related to many literacy processes. Reading and spelling. Writing and spelling. We even see (sometimes misguided) connections between vocabulary and spelling practice. It is not easy to break apart spelling from other literacy work and in most cases we don’t want or need to. I started this blog out with a mini-series on reading aloud and since there are so many complicated areas related to spelling, spelling will get its own series

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How Tall is Your “To Read” Pile? Making Choices for Read Alouds

I have to admit that I’m most excited to talk about choices for read alouds because children’s books are my thing. Honestly, children come in to my house and are astounded by the kids books they see. And, though my kids have pretty full bookshelves, I have to admit that in this case it’s my personal children’s book collection that is shocking. I read picture books, chapter books, young adults on my own. Partly because

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Funny Read Aloud Favorites

Press Here, by Herve Tullet. This was the first book by Herve Tullet that I discovered and one of my favorites, though I do like a few of his others, too. It is wonderfully interactive as it invites kids to be a part of the book through simple directions (like, Press here.) He magically anticipates a child’s reaction and the “book” responds to the actions. Even though my kids now know they aren’t really controlling

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Just Read the Words, Right? How to Read Aloud

Now that we know that there are many good reasons to read aloud, it’s time to think about how to go about it. There’s a lot of resources out there on how to read aloud. Seems silly, right? Pick up a book and read. Sometimes that’s all there should be. So why are there whole books about reading aloud? Why is there a list on a bookmark at every library? Let’s talk about some “how-to”s

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Start With What You Know: Reading With Your Child

Start With What You Know: Reading With Your Child

You’ve heard it from everyone. You know to do it. But why? how? what to read? Some nights, you’re just so tired. Other afternoons, you’re just so busy. Your child has learned to read on their own, so you feel a little relieved that you can just let them go on their own. I’ve spent my adult life studying, reading research articles, and teaching literacy. Why do I know these things happens? Because I’ve experienced

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