School is closed but help in not!

Assessing important components of reading does not require administering an exhaustive battery
of tests to every struggling reader. With dramatic changes in schooling, remote learning is challenging, but ever more difficult for learners with reading difficulty. Providing opportunities for reading intervention beyond the primary grades is essential. First Aid for Readers might be just what remote learners need!

Reviews and how to keep your sanity

Most art forms comes from within; eventually released like a fledgling and leave the nest. The emancipation is not without anticipation, and the artist, if they want it or not, will find their work reviewed. And when this occurs, each individual artist must call upon their inner self; for criticism can be like a finding a flower and then suddenly getting stung by a bee.

On the other hand……Just remember… reviews are like a storms; some hurt the ego, while others appear like a rainbow.

#Thankyou @readersfavorite for my rainbow!

A well-balanced meal can lead to good (reading) habits

Children need a variety of foods to be strong and healthy; but they also require a varied reading diet to stimulate lifelong reading. As such, why not combine the two by having them design their own reading menus with at least one serving of:

* Fruits & Vegetables – Poetry
* Soup – Current Events
* Fish – Science/Nature
* Meat – Biography/History
* Dessert – Fiction
* Milk – Sports/Hobbies
* After-dinner mint – Comics

Not all readers are created equal but like the saying by Maimonides in the 12th century said: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. By offering a banquet of reading they should find something delectable!

So, if you want to help someone make sense of the world, give the gift of reading. It’s delicious!

Picture book month!

Who Knew?

I just found out that it’s picture book month, a time to pull out all those wonderful books and share a bit of your time. Some of my favorites are wordless, where the pictures guide your own imaginary story.

Alphabet books embellished with pictures are always an enjoyable way for our youngest pre-readers to spend a bit of quiet time.

Sun safely

So have a little bit of fun and celebrate!

Reading is power…

A growing child needs a variety of foods to be strong and healthy; but they also require a varied reading diet to stimulate lifelong reading. A daily well- balanced reading diet may be designed using a menu with at least one serving of:

Fruits & Vegetables – Poetry

Soup – Current Events

Fish – Science/Nature

Meat – Biography/History

Dessert – Fiction

Milk – Sports/Hobbies

After-dinner mint – Comics

But what happens when reading does not go down as well as intended? Allow reading deficits to go on for too long and they can manifest into more than a dislike for reading. Not all readers are created equal but like the saying by Maimonides: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. The analogy is that offering reading strategies help readers become better readers.

So, if you want to help someone make sense of the world, give the gift of reading.

Death in the classroom

the pearl_2At least once during the English teacher’s career, we inflict the heinous crime of beating a perfectly good novel to death. I must confess that some time ago, during my maiden voyage as a new teacher, I perpetrated such an offense against The Pearl.

It all began one day in September as a perfectly legitimate assignment. I was to instruct the students on all the literary nuances that could be squeezed out of the novel. My class of eighth graders and I commenced with an author biography, a lively testament to John Steinbeck’s literary genius. It was from here that we embarked on our thoughtful migration into the book.

As we began to decipher each chapter, characters were delicately probed and analyzed. It was imperative that we assess traits and dispositions. We wanted to understand who and what each character stood for, their symbolic relationship to themselves as individuals and to mankind.
Discussions of the “settings” were tabled. Cooperative group activities were exercised. Students were given opportunity to examine both the historical significance of the novel’s setting, as well as the geographic clues that were relayed to us by the author. And, as if this wasn’t enough, we explored “themes”; the struggle for existence, free will vs. determination, social class, and oppression to a minority group.

September was creeping into October, and by this time of the dissection, these kids were screaming for mercy. But no, relentlessly we pushed on. After all, we had only touched the surface; we needed to consider, “STYLE”! Even though there are a mere six chapters, we sought after metaphors, similes, phrases, and descriptions!
With the patience of an archaeologist, we left no page untouched. Our mission was now to decipher the “point of view,” the third person narrative, our omnipotent action teller who guides us through the universal parable. Determined to seek out more, we struggled with “form and structure.” Was this important novel merely a simple legend or was it an allegory designed to teach us a moral lesson? This probing question lasted a good two classes. With pens in hands, we highlighted, scribbled notes in the margins, and to be sure, probably exhausted any pleasure that was intended by our notable American author, Steinbeck.

So, I confess, I killed The Pearl in a purely selfish attempt to teach the great American novel, to impose my love of literature and all its wonders.