It’s well established that the best predictor of a student’s achievement in school is parent involvement. You want your child to be happy in school, do his or her homework, get higher scores on tests, make good grades, go to college, and graduate. How can you be involved without being a hovering helicopter parent?
Everybody is talking about high quality preschools but few folks know what high quality preschool looks like—especially for literacy development. The following checklist can be used to evaluate quality literacy engagement in any preschool classroom.
Psychologists, cognitive scientists, and neuroscientists are unraveling the mysteries of dyslexia. Here are five important frequently asked questions and answers about dyslexia that cut through the scientific jargon to bring you up to date.
A school district in Texas with a predominant population of Mexican Americans sent me a Spanish translation of my “10 Rules for Reading Aloud and Kindergarten Readiness” post. The district is sharing it with all the preschool parents in their district. These rules give Spanish-only speaking parents tips for getting kids ready for kindergarten literacy success.
Research shows interactions such as reading and talking to your child can lead to a 30 million word advantage by age 3 if you start early—with huge advantages in language and vocabulary development by 18-months of age. Here’s how to get your preschooler ready for kindergarten now, and avoid early literacy catastrophe.
Little kids want to write. What can parents and preschool teachers do to capture this intrinsic motivation? Here are five fun, everyday writing activities you don’t want to miss along with educational and scientific research to back them up.
Should you teach your child to read, do math, and recount facts about the world before age 4? And if you do, what options do you have later for formal schooling? Do parents who foster early learners end up with regrets? Neuroscience is revealing special capacities for brain development before age 6 when neuroplasticity may be at its peak. Reflections from an expert:
What’s the best way to teach reading to beginners in preschool, kindergarten, first grade or home school and how can we do it better? Both research and practice are offering a novel idea: Teach kids to read by writing.
This year’s back to school night was a nightmare. “No spelling test!” was the tip of the iceberg. When administrators at ‘back to school night’ said “spelling is not important enough to be tested;” “kids can just use spellcheck; “we use ‘word study;’” and “we can’t meet the needs of a gifted child,” it was time to homeschool! What about the collaborative schooling option?
It’s easy for you to read the words to, too, and two or eye, I, you and ewe and get right to the meaning. But how do you explain the logic of English spelling to a beginning reader? Should we simply tell them “Spell it like it sounds”? The answer is "No!" Find out what to do.
Are we showing our kids the best way to learn? A recent study of ten learning techniques says, “No!” In fact, we may be encouraging kids, through our own ignorance and the perpetuation of traditions, to spend time and effort on activities we know to be unhelpful—at the expense of things that science tells us would be much more effective.
Common Core Standards—adopted by 45 states—is supposed to bring back writing in schools. Ironically, a writing revolution in schools happened 37 years ago when an eloquent professor named Donald Graves cracked the psychology of writing. Today some teachers fear Common Core is wrecking writing instruction in their classrooms.
Get the facts right on preschool and the President's pre-K proposal. In a recently released policy report, Dr. Steven Barnett of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) provides impartial and comprehensive reviews of the science behind President Obama’s call for universal preschool education.
When an infant seems to read words automatically on sight are they really comprehending or is it simple paired-associate learning like a parrot? Can 2-year-olds decode, comprehend, and make meaning from print? A young mother in Scotland shares her perspectives after skeptical colleagues asked the big question: “Can babies really learn to read?”
Moral principles that govern a person’s life—knowing right from wrong—begin forming in preschool years. Not so much by memorizing Bible verses or scriptures I suspect, but from modeling by parents and grandparents. Should I become a vegan at age 63? My decision is based largely on what Grandma taught me as a 5 year old about murdering chickens.
Cultural shifts in society usually happen over decades. Then along comes new technology and everything changes overnight. That’s exactly what seems to be happening in the world of baby/toddler reading. Lap reading alone is “out,” and software-driven reading lessons are “in.”
Parents and teachers are responsible for three pivotal benchmarks in a child’s development of brain circuitry for reading: the first from birth to age 3 or 4, a second at the beginning of kindergarten, and a third at the end of first grade.
Kudos to USA Today’s national education writer Greg Toppo for putting spelling education on the front page of USA Today. He highlighted America’s failure to teach spelling: “Amercia, we have a spelling problem,” he wrote. Mr. Toppo, you nailed it.