Under No Child Left Behind America had no strategy for teaching beginning reading that anyone could articulate or achieve. Common Core State Standards can now correct that problem by adopting a Spiral Staircase model for beginning reading.
America’s reading failures are school induced. Beginning in 2001, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) steered beginning reading education down the wrong path by implementing a poor model of beginning reading instruction. It was a disastrous decision.
April in third grade used to be about flowers, shedding heavy jackets, and walking outside barefoot for the first time. It used to be about baseball season, fishing, the science fair, and creating colorful woven baskets or painting murals with ducks or bunnies. No time for that now. April in third grade is about fear of flunking a test.
A gifted high school English teacher, the first recipient of the Norman Mailer Writing Award for High School Teachers, speaks with poetic eloquence about the power of words and her ascension from poverty in Appalachia to national acclaim on the shoulders of her own public school teachers.
Why do school-age children need handwriting instruction in the 21st century? That question will be addressed on January 23rd, 2012, National Handwriting Day when hundreds of educators, researchers, and citizens concerned about the demise of handwriting convene in Washington, DC.
Flash from the pages of The Boston Globe: Spelling is making a comeback! Reporter Linda Matchan chronicles a surge in spelling bees, spelling clubs, and even spelling books in schools. Could this trend lead to better readers and writers in American schools?
Read how a world-class editor, a Pulitzer Prize winning poet, and a motivational speaker/reading researcher/writer struggled through child- and adulthood dyslexia and rose to the top. Can kids and adults who can’t find words become champions at the very thing that smacked them down? You bet. Read on.
With state and federal governments struggling with shrinking education budgets, cutting out textbooks, laying off teachers, and taking draconian measures to cut back expenditures, is now the best time to create a new education agency at the federal level?
Common Core State Standards are the new hot topic in American education, perhaps as important in shaping what happens in America’s classrooms as No Child Left Behind. Some interpretations of the Common Core State Standards seem to call for yet another assault on teachers and their current practices.
The latest brain-imaging technology reveals scientific evidence of everyday baby geniuses. Scientists at the University of Washington have shown the “first-in-the-world images of a real baby brain” in action and revealed stunning possibilities related to language building and baby/toddler reading.
Here's a misleading statement: "Language is acquired quite well before the age of 6, but trying to force your children to read before the age of 4 is an effort that doesn't work very well because the brain is not very well equipped to tell the letter 'b' from the letter 'd' and so on,"
The acronym R.E.A.D sums up four easy-to-remember actions for parents to take for teaching babies and toddlers to read: repetition, enthusiasm, attention, and drawing. Adding appropriate soft-ware driven technology to these time-tested behaviors leads to happy early readers.
The current political climate in America highlights the need for a stronger emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving in American schools. Wouldn’t our political culture be more civil if we were taught to examine competing ideas and work together toward solutions?
For the first time in history, a generation of American students will be less well educated than their parents. Teachers are getting the blame. While teachers have become the scapegoats for America’s failing schools, maybe it’s time to shine the light on parents.
To learn more about how parents are using new technology for reading lessons, I recently participated in interviews with 17 parents who are having success with baby-reading technology. Rather than fear technology they are using it sensibly. Here’s what they report.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is taking a sensible lead for the 21st century and updating its policy on technology and screen time from birth to age 3. This is a wise and bold move, but guess who objects to this timely and prudent 21st-century stance.
This week Diane Ravitch wrote of miracles and revealed the solution to school reform in America in one sentence: “Families are children’s most important educators.”... The key is starting at home with baby/toddler reading. It’s a miracle that can work!
A standing–room–-only crowd packed the aisles, and people sat sprawled on the carpet in front of room W208b of the Orlando Convention Center, hungry for an alternative to twenty years of dumbed-down spelling instruction. I threw out fresh steak—Bring back spelling!—to a ravenous audience. Here’s the meat of what I had to say:
Do babies have brain-reading capacity between the critical brain-building years from birth to age four that is creating a paradigm shift in the world of beginning reading? Does baby + parent + computer + fun = the perfect mix for baby reading? Eighty per cent of American children five years of age and under use the Internet on a weekly basis. Something new is happening.
A TV report from Solon City Schools presented an inaccurate and damaging retrograde view of spelling tests and made claims that Solon had found the silver bullet for effective spelling instruction in a new policy called “word study.” I presented a contrarian view. The community responded.
Are Spelling Tests Really Necessary? Not in the affluent Solon City Schools in Ohio where fifth graders are learning to spell second-grade level words! What if these were your children? Would you support the district's policy?
President Obama reminded us in a win-back-the future, State of the Union speech that looking forward in education requires smart decisions regarding cuts and spending: "Let's make sure that what we're cutting is really excess weight."