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NY Association of Reading Lovers’ mission is to promote excellence in reading, teaching and learning throughout New York State; provide leadership in staff development; build a community of staff developers; advocate for innovation and experimentation; and influence policy and legislation which support our objectives.
Last year’s conference was located in the beautiful Southern Tier at Holiday Valley Resort in Ellicottville. The surroundings are ideal to relax and immerse you in the learning opportunities offered.
The Etruscans invaded Italy about 600 BC. They settled in an area by the Tiber River they called Rome. The Etruscans were farmers and they also traded with cities like Carthage. They built roads and cultivated the land. The Gauls defeated the Etruscans in 390 BC. and sacked Rome.
And so on. And on . . . and on. Teachers will have no trouble spotting the generic, aimless, encyclopedia-derived report unfolding in the example above. Unfortunately, much of student “research” results in this uninspired litany-of-fact writing.
But what about the interesting stuff? What questions might we have about ancient peoples like the Etruscans that our information could answer? What was life like in an Etruscan community? What did they believe? And what impact did these people have on the succeeding Roman civilization?
At the ages of one to three, children are eager for exploration and full of energy. Take every wonderful opportunity to blend cuddling and intimacy with learning and fun.
At this age, it is best to choose books your child likes.
Read for at least fifteen minutes every day. Thirty minutes is better. If you can read more than once per day.
Talk about the story as you read. If there are things that your child doesn’t understand, explain as you read. Relate the story to people, places and things your child is familiar with.
Get others to take turns reading to your child – grandparents, babysitters, aunts, friends – your child needs to see that everybody gets pleasure from reading.
Find music to accompany the reading time.
Keep books in places where your child can access them. Carry books along when you go to places where you may have to wait or when you travel.
As they discover that books provide information as well as entertainment, introduce books that expand your child’s understanding of their favorite subjects such as family, animals, colors, letters, vehicles, household objects. Toddlers like to look in your books or magazines to identify objects.
In first grade, your child is learning the difference between singular and plural words, understands how to read about 100 words, can write short sentences and short stories about an event, and understand how to read and write their own name. They understand how to do basic addition and subtraction (“if mom and dad are in the room—how many people is that?”) and to understand numbers in relation to houses on a street. Some six-year-olds understand how fractions make up a whole and are good at identifying time (minutes and hours and their relation to each other).
As your child enters second grade, their writing and reading skills become more advanced. They can write short stories about themselves or events and will revise their own writing to make it clearer. Children this age normally know the 200 most commonly used words in the English language and are adept at reading these words in books, poems, and short stories.
Between the ages of 3 and 4, your child is more interested in exploring words, numbers, and situations. Your child can form sentences of 6 words or so, and may even be able to write a few words down. Not all words will be correct or understandable, however. So to help a 6 year old read, at the earlier stages, we will have to focus on phonics so later on, when they will be 6, the process of learning to read will be easier for your child and you’ll be surprised by happy it will make them if they start doing it right!
Your child will also start to develop friendships outside your family, and will be interested in sharing events and situations with you that they experience with others. This is a good time for your child to learn how to read, and one of the best ways to teach children to read is with Phonics.
Phonics is a well-known reading technique that helps children sound out sections of words, and then learn to put those sections together.
If your child is already falling behind at this age, it’s essential to give them the tools and materials necessary to get a good foundation for school. The following tool helps children master the building blocks of reading.
Reading is considered to be one of the best leisure activities that a person can have. It is because this is an activity through which a person can not only relax but can also learn a lot. Let us try to look as to why it is regarded as the best hobby.
People who are ardent readers of the books feel that reading a book gives them more pleasure than watching TV and traveling to different places. For instance, if they are reading a novel which is set in the city of London, people may feel that they are traveling in the beautiful lanes of that city.
When they read that there is a florist shop by the roadside with a number of beautiful flowers and the protagonist of the novel presents a red flower to his wife. At this moment, a person who is reading a novel may feel that he is able to see all the events in front of his eyes. It is like watching a beautiful movie with the help of your own imagination and visualization skills. Such is the pleasure of reading books.
What makes a work of art great? Why do people find the painting Guernica by Picasso so compelling? What makes a Frank Lloyd Wright building so remarkable? Why is Aaron Copland’s lyrical Appalachian Spring such a heralded piece of music? What was it about Walker Evans’ photographs that renders his images so memorable? Why do generations keep discovering magic in a novel such as “To Kill a Mockingbird?”
How do we explain the appeal of a Mozart opera, an Emily Dickinson poem, a Henry Moore sculpture, a Sergei Eisenstein motion picture, a Billie Holiday recording? How do we account for what makes some artistic works great? You will be confronted with these questions when you will begin your ACT or GED prep, with traditional books or following an online prep course such as BestGEDClasses.org.
Most of the questions that confront students in the ACT curriculum are leading questions. Leading questions direct learning toward a set answer and are helpful in making sure that students are clear on key basic information. But essential questions help students dig deeper into a topic. Organizing a unit around essential questions involves the following steps:
KWL- A persistent challenge for teachers is to encourage students to be active thinkers while they read. Active readers make predictions about what they will be reading. Before they start, active readers consider what they already know about the story or topic. Then as they read, they confirm whether or not their predictions were on target. Active readers have an idea of what to look for, and when they are done, they evaluate what they have learned or experienced.
Many of our students are not active readers, and they are confused about what they should be thinking about as they read. KWL Plus (Carr and Ogle, 1987) is a technique that helps students take stock of what they know before they dive into a reading assignment.
Using KWL Plus with students will help them make predictions about what they will be reading by generating questions they would like to have answered. KWL Plus also helps students to organize what they have learned when they are finished reading.
Reciprocal Teaching is an activity for building reading comprehension that capitalizes on this master/apprentice relationship for learning. The activity models four essential components of comprehension: questioning, summarizing, clarifying, and predicting.
Step 1: Teacher think-alouds are an excellent method for modeling the cognitive behavior involved in reading comprehension. Periodically, share a piece of challenging text that you are reading, and model your reasoning as you attempt to understand it. Students need opportunities to listen in as real readers struggle with real-world texts. Your think-alouds underscore that proficient reader are constantly engaged in an active mission to make sense of what they read.
‘Frontloading’ lays a foundation for comprehension
“There’s a bear in a plain brown wrapper doing flip-flops on 78, taking pictures and passing out green stamps.”
Does the above sentence make sense to you? What does it seem to be about? How confident are you of your interpretation? Is there anything difficult about this text? Do you understand all of the vocabulary?
What if I provided a hint for your comprehension: CB (Citizen Band) radios? Now what sense can you make of that sentence? Many of you will immediately recognize that the sentence is CB lingo, used by truckers and other travelers, and popularized in the 1970s by a series of “Smoky and the Bandit” movies featuring Burt Reynolds.
You could fairly confidently translate that passage into: “There’s a state patrol officer in an unmarked car going back and forth across the median on highway 78, using radar and passing out speeding tickets.”
…. It seemed that the pitch had barely left the southpaw’s hand when the ballpark resounded with a loud thwack. Morgan dropped his head in dejection as Ramirez began to trot the bases …
What just happened here? Some readers will respond that the above passage is obviously a familiar baseball scenario – a misguided pitch that has been hit into a home run. But how do we know this? How can we tell that the passage is about baseball and that the event that has just transpired is the belting of a home run?
This short two-sentence passage is deceptively complex for readers. The author implies a number of things without directly stating them. In addition to picking up clues that refer to baseball, a reader must also figure out the identities of the pitcher and the batter. Finally, the reader must recognize the hint about how the pitcher felt about serving up the home run.