Updates on literacy, books, and reading.
Lots of Links
We all know the value of the home environment in our students' academic lives. This infographic can be another weapon in our arsenal convincing families just how important reading outside of school is. Click the link for a larger view.
Speaking of reading at home, next are two articles about the value of reading aloud at all ages. I'd love to see more people reading aloud to their kids well past the early elementary years. If parents need book suggestions, send them my way!
One tricky thing about tween readers is that they sometimes make "questionable book choices". How to handle that in the classroom? Get some ideas from Donalyn Miller's article.
Finally from our own Plain Dealer last week, the importance of unstructured playtime in learning.
Dream On, Amber by Emma Shevah
Amber has five names (none of which make sense to anyone), a missing dad (whose abandonment is a "black hole"), a mixed Japanese/Italian heritage (please stop asking her to say things in Japanese), a "cavewoman" phone (argh), and a bully to deal with as she starts middle school. How she handles all those things, mistakes and all, is charming. The lighthearted approach and doodles throughout will attract kids kids ready for something more than Dork Diaries.
Stonebird by Mark Revell
Touching and thought-provoking, this book tells the story of 11-year-old Liam, whose grandmother has severe dementia and whose mother has turned to alcohol to help her cope. In a fantasy twist, Liam finds a gargoyle which seems to be able to help, but as usual when magic gets involved, things don't always turn out as expected. Liam tells his story with a strong voice, and his complicated relationship with his family is compelling.
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Peter has raised his fox Pax since he was a kit. But now Peter's father, in a decision that only can be described as cruel, has insisted Peter leave the fox in the forest. When Peter has second thoughts, he sets out on a quest to save his fox before it's too late. Told in alternating chapters from both Peter's and Pax's points of view and set in an undefined time and place, there is a lot of depth to this book and a lot that can be discussed.