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Today's Reading News


Each weekday, Reading Rockets gathers interesting news headlines about reading and early education. Please note that Reading Rockets does not necessarily endorse these views or any others on these outside websites.

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Ed Central
June 24, 2016

The National Academy of Medicine’s Transforming the Workforce report, released last year, lays out the significant body of research explaining how teachers’ intentional actions help children develop their language and literacy skills. New America’s Early & Elementary Education Policy team has been making its way through the report and will be sharing our takeaways over the next several months. Chapter Four of the report covers how children’s language and literacy skills develop from birth through the early grades of elementary school, and Chapter Six explains what role teachers can and should play in fostering those skills. The key takeaway? It’s all about exposing children to high-quality language interactions.

KAGS TV (Bryan, TX)
June 24, 2016

Two thirds of children who are raised in poverty grown without books in their home or adults who read to them. The United Way of Brazos Valley teamed with local businesses to change the statistic. More than 130 volunteers helped assemble at least 1,000 Baby Bundles for it's Day of Action. Those bundles were then given to local hospitals where families received a book, a toy, toiletries and information about reading to your child.

Northlands News Center (MN)
June 24, 2016

The Duluth Public Library's strategic plan wanted to address a need in the community. According to Carla Powers, the library manager, with public schools saying about half of their students show up to kindergarten not ready to learn to read, the next goal was clear. "The library is in a position to be able to make a good impact on those numbers moving forward because we can work with the kids and we can work with their parents from a very early age," she said. She said this doesn't mean the library will make sure children are reading before they hit kindergarten, but the library does want the basic building blocks of reading available early on.

Education Week
June 23, 2016

n efforts to keep kids on track to graduate, a new evaluation of the Diplomas Now intervention suggests an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. After a single year of implementation through the federal Investing in Innovation program, MDRC researchers found Diplomas Now significantly boosted the number of 6th graders who showed none of the early red flags for dropping out of high school: shaky attendance, poor grades, or behavior problems. It likewise provided support to students who entered 9th grade vulnerable but on track—but the program had less success in pulling freshmen back on track.

National Pubic Radio
June 23, 2016

If you have young kids in school, or talk with teachers of young children, you've likely heard the refrain — that something's changed in the early grades. Schools seem to be expecting more of their youngest students academically, while giving them less time to spend in self-directed and creative play. A big new study provides the first national, empirical data to back up the anecdotes. University of Virginia researchers Daphna Bassok, Scott Latham and Anna Rorem analyzed the U.S. Department of Education's Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, which includes a nationally representative annual sample of roughly 2,500 teachers of kindergarten and first grade who answer detailed questions. Their answers can tell us a lot about what they believe and expect of their students and what they actually do in their classrooms.

The New York Times
June 23, 2016

Learning technologies offer great potential to improve education, but whether that potential will be realized depends on three key factors, which have less to do with technology itself and more to do with the people using it. First, we need to ensure that we don’t lose sight of the “learning” in learning technologies. As we develop and adopt learning technologies we need to keep in mind what we know about how students learn. We know, for example, that they learn at different rates, that it is critical to master a topic before moving to the next when learning is sequential, that students who are engaged are likely to learn more and learn more deeply, and that active learning is more likely to engage students than passive learning.

KQED Mindshift
June 23, 2016

Tool discovery is often a challenge for teachers interested in finding ways to use technology that will change the way they and their students work. With so much going on in the classroom, many teachers don’t have the time to test out various apps and find the perfect tool to meet their needs. Luckily, several tech-savvy librarians have been curating the apps their colleagues find useful and sharing the all-stars with one another through personal learning communities (PLC) and edWeb webinars.

School Library Journal
June 20, 2016

Amy C. Hutchison, an assistant professor at Iowa State University School of Education, surveyed more than 1,200 fourth and fifth graders and was quite surprised to discover how infrequently students engaged with digital tools outside of school, compared with how often they use them in the classroom. “Other research I’ve conducted has shown that students don’t engage with technology very frequently in school, but now it seems classroom tech time is increasing,” she notes. More such use is a positive sign, especially with teacher guidance and a connection to the curriculum. For librarians, recognizing the distinction between using a computer and online reading and writing is key. “Many libraries have great computer programs that teach phonics, narrate a book, or provide comprehension questions and activities related to a book, but these don’t require the same skills as reading and writing on the web,” points out Hutchison. Librarians can also play a big role in providing exposure to a wider range of technologies.

KQED Mindshift
June 20, 2016

Unfortunately in the children’s book world, there are far too few stories featuring diverse characters. “Diverse books are a tiny slice of what’s published,” said Elizabeth Perez, a children’s librarian at the San Francisco Public Library. Public librarians understand that many schools have small budgets to buy new titles, so they try to make their public offerings as rich with diverse titles as possible. Some books focus on diversity and culture as central themes, but others merely feature characters of color doing the same exploring, playing and adventuring as any other children’s book character. Perez and her colleagues shared their top 20 children’s books published in the last couple of years.

International Literacy Association Daily
June 20, 2016

Ah, summer—those gloriously long days with plenty of time to take part in fun activities, such as diving into a good book! Check out these recently published titles that take readers on road trips, to summer camp, into nature, and on vacation.

Education Week
June 15, 2016

Researchers who study programs designed to encourage summer reading say those that provide access to free books, allow students to choose what they want to read, and make reading fun are the most successfu

CNN
June 15, 2016

Common Sense Media offers their best tips for nurturing a love of reading that can last a lifetime.

The Christian Science Monitor
June 15, 2016

The Scripps National Spelling Bee, now in its 89th year, has revamped for 2016 with harder words in the last round. Organizers hope to avoid a tie for first place. Each year's bee usually features interesting and feel-good stories to inspire viewers. This year, that includes 11-year-old Neil Maes, who was born deaf, and the homeschooled 6-year-old Akash Vukoti, one of the Bee's youngest ever participants, who is only a first-grader.

PR Newswire
June 15, 2016

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) unveiled a new Public Service Announcement designed to encourage parents and adults to read aloud to children, an important part of early child development. Intended to inspire kids and adults alike, the new PSA, titled READ, is a whimsical approach to literacy showing how your voice can spark a child's imagination in the most unexpected ways. And, we know that when children are inspired to read and they have books in the home, especially books they select themselves, learning has no boundaries.

Literacy Daily
June 14, 2016

It’s no secret that nonfiction ignites the natural curiosity of readers. An exploration of nonfiction in the classroom offers opportunities to build upon readers’ interests, explore new vocabulary, and deepen background knowledge. Here are some recently published selections of informational trade books and picture book biographies to support content area instruction.

NPR
June 14, 2016

Why would she teach preschool when she could make a heck of a lot more money teaching kindergarten? It's a question I've heard over and over again reporting on education. As a country, we've acknowledged the importance of early learning and yet, when you look at what we pay those educators, it doesn't add up.

Education Week
June 14, 2016

The Every Student Succeeds Act, the successor to No Child Left Behind, promised the creation of a center aimed at reducing illiteracy among students in special education. Now we have an better idea of the scope and purpose of that center, thanks to a request for applications published this week in the Federal Register.

EdCentral
June 14, 2016

What do we really know about the materials and practices that best support young children’s STEM learning? Earlier this month, a group of early learning experts including teachers, teacher educators, researchers, and administrators convened for a two-day forum hosted by New America and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, to discuss possible answers to this question

Education Week
June 13, 2016

Preschool teachers must offer high-quality instruction to change academic outcomes for their students, according to a new analysis of eight studies.

EdCentral
June 13, 2016

Last week the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights released the long-awaited data from the 2013-2014 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), an extensive survey of all public schools and districts across the United States. Here’s an overview of major findings and what the data show around early learners.

"Writing is thinking on paper. " — William Zinsser