I don’t expect to have any new postings for the next week while I review, reflect and plan future posts.


Learning to Read—Parents Can and Must Lead the Way—Starting Early!

Reading Rockets series on Empowering Parents (of children who struggle with learning to read): Getting support for your struggling reader “If you have a child who is a struggling reader, your family is not alone. Learning to read is a challenge for almost 40 percent of kids, and an even bigger challenge for their parents. Empowering Parents, a PBS special hosted by Al Roker, visits schools in Huntingtown, Maryland, and Portland, Oregon, to see how families learn to identify early signs of reading problems and find ideas for getting their kids the help and support they need to succeed at reading.” This is a series of 2 to 8 minute videos on what parents can do to get their children the help they need in learning to read.

It highlights the success that happens when parents and teachers work together.

Another Preschool Literacy Resource I Missed

Sometimes I’m amazed by how many good sites/links I miss.  Here’s another one:

A New-To-Me Resource on Preschool Language and Literacy

Articles from the Hanen Centre, Canada based.

This is a Canadian based web site for parents, preschool educators, and speech-language-pathologists focused on language and literacy development . They have a valuable variety of books/booklets, some of which are moderately expensive. But BEST OF ALL they offer a series of wonderful short articles on language and literacy, many of which I’ve printed for my own library of resources. I’ve listed a few below. Their web site is well worth checking out.


Talking to Young Children Makes a Big Difference!.aspx

Promoting Language with Books

Getting Ready to Read

Teaching Children to Think–Meeting-the-demands-of.aspx

More Than ABC’s—Building-the-Critical-Thinking-Sk.aspx

What Makes Your Child Tick….Communication

Not For Profit Charity

“The Hanen Centre is a not-for-profit charitable organization with a difference. We are a social entrepreneur, operating our business for a clear social purpose – to enable young children to develop the best possible language and literacy skills. Founded in 1975 by Ayala Hanen Manolson, a speech-language pathologist who saw the potential of involving parents in their child’s early language intervention, The Hanen Centre is  dedicated to addressing a pressing social problem – delays in language development in young children, including children with developmental delays and autism.”


Talk Read Sing

First 5 California launched its “Talk. Read. Sing.” campaign in March 2014, with a paid television and radio campaign spanning across California. In addition to broadcast media, the campaign also ran on online media platforms and ethnic media. Messages from the campaign encouraged parents and caregivers to engage in activities with their children that encourage early learning and improve vocabulary skills, increasing children’s chances at success in school and beyond.

What Do We Know About Teaching Reading Comprehension Skills?

Maybe we don’t understand what readers really do – and why it matters

Here is an excerpt from Wiggins detailed posting.

By grantwiggins  posted Wed Feb 11 2015

“How well are we doing in comprehension of text as a nation? You know the answer. We are doing poorly when it comes to genuine comprehension:

What should we infer from the data?

Numerous causes and their implied solutions, as readers know, have been proposed for flat reading scores: poverty, low expectations, inadequate background knowledge, an anti-boy bias in schools (especially in terms of book selection), IQ links to reading ability, computer games, TV, etc. etc.

The utterly flat national trend line, over decades, says to me that none of these theories holds up well, no matter how plausible each may seem to its proponents. Perhaps it’s time to explore a more radical but common sense notion: maybe we don’t yet understand reading comprehension and how it develops over time.

Maybe we have jumped to solutions before understanding the problems of naïve and superficial comprehension. Maybe we still haven’t specified, in diagnostic detail, what real readers do when they supposedly read books and articles and try to comprehend – regardless of what “good readers” supposedly do.

At the very least: it is a good time to question the premise that we understand the problem…”

Several years ago, along with two of my colleagues, we developed a strategy-based reading comprehension program for middle school students. Although it hasn’t been updated recently, I am posting the link:

Wiggins’s posting will give me a lot to think about.

What Kind of Dialogue Promotes Learning?

Here’s an example:

Accountable Talk: Talking for Learning and Higher Order Thinking

Check out one or all of these sources on “Accountable Talk,” a term coined by Lauren Resnick and Colleagues in the 1990’s

One: Accountable Talk Sourcebook: Classroom Conversations That Work

Version 3.1, 65 pages

An excerpt from page 4:

“Accountable Talk practices are not something that spring spontaneously from students’ mouths. It takes time and effort to create an A. T. classroom environment in which this kind of talk is a valued norm….by modeling appropriate forms of discussion and by questioning, probing, and leading conversations. For example, teachers may press for clarification and explanation, require justification of proposals and challenges, recognize and challenge misconceptions, demanding evidence for claims and arguments, or interpret and “revoice” students’ statements.”


Two: Excerpts about the work of Lauren Resnick and Accountable Talk by


“Children develop cognitive strategies and effort-based beliefs about intelligence-the habits of mind associated with higher-order learning-when they are continuously pressed to raise questions and accept challenges, to find solutions that are not immediately apparent, to explain concepts, justify their reasoning, and seek information. When we do not hold children accountable for this kind of intelligent behavior, they take it as a signal that we do not think they are smart, and they often come to accept this judgment. The paradox is that children become smart by being treated as if they already were intelligent. This is a hallmark of knowledge-based constructivist pedagogy.”…..

Changes in understanding the nature of learning have pointed Resnick toward a form of instruction that she calls the “Thinking Curriculum”. This requires “instruction that is high in cognitive demand (conceptual learning, reasoning, explaining, and problem solving are engaged daily) and that is embedded in specific, challenging subject matter. Evidence has accumulated that teaching cognitive skills in the absence of specific content rarely works. It appears that thinking abilities have to develop in the course of reasoning about specific information and knowledge. At the same time, there is plenty of evidence that drilling on the facts without demands for explanation and reasoning produces fragile knowledge, which is likely to disappear once the test is over and is unlikely to transfer. A form of the Thinking Curriculum that uses guided classroom discussion of core disciplinary ideas (we call this accountable talk) apparently yields both long-term retention and transfer to other disciplines.”

Three: Accountable Talk and Content Conversations

“Lauren Resnick (1995) introduced the concept of accountable talk as a means of raising the level of academic discourse among students. Accountable talk governs the norms of academic discourse and requires that students ask for and furnish evidence to support their statements (Michaels, O’Conner, Hall, & Resnick, 2002). This ensures rigor and moves the conversation from task-oriented to concept-oriented learning…..”   Excerpt from:

Content-Area Conversations by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and Carol Rothenberg

Chapter 5. Procedures for Classroom Talk

Four: and from my Pinterest site….scroll down and see “related pins”….on accountable talk

Many of these are by Michelle Steger. Here’s her board

Others are by Angie Thunker. Here’s her board



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