From Shaping Youth – Aug. 27, 2011:   Last week the NYTimes Arts Beat ran a solid session on reluctant readers with an extra oomph of focus on boys, GuysRead.comstyle tips about literacy lag and an interesting video of uber-authors James Patterson (Read, Kiddo, Read project; the Maximum Ride series) and Rick Riordan (the Percy Jackson series). Aside from the NYTimes’ sensationalized “Boys and Reading: Is There Any Hope?” headline which seemed to be a self-defeating hook to glean more eyeballs, it DID make me think a lot about the messages pummeling kids about reading as if it were a Mary Poppins tune “Just a SpoonRead More →

September 15th:Join Jon Scieszka, bestselling children’s author and founder of Guys Read, as he leads our free webcast on Books for Boys. Find out about the upcoming titles from Simon & Schuster, Random House BOT and Candlewick Press that just might coax those reluctant readers to pick up a book and dive in! SPONSORED BY:Simon & Schuster, Random House BOT, Candlewick Press with School Library Journal EVENT DATE: Thursday, September 15, 2011– 3:00 PM EDT – 60 minutes Non-readers, despite their gender, get left behind in life. Low literacy contributes to drop out rates, crime rates, and increased chances for incarceration. This is especially trueRead More →

From Language Magazine (August 2011): ROR (or more properly, RORA, for Reach Out and Read Aloud) has been shown to increase the frequency of reading aloud in low-income families and results in substantial gains in vocabulary, especially in receptive vocabulary. It requires only a modest investment in time and material (books), but results so far indicate that it can substantially help close the equity gap in literacy, the difference in literacy competence between children from high and low-income families. This is a contrast to the much more expensive and elaborate solutions currently under consideration, thus far lacking in clear empirical support (e.g. The LEARN Act,Read More →

The New York Times Book Review (8/19/11) published an essay by Robert Lipsyte entitled: Boys and Reading: Is There Any Hope? To me and I think to many prospective readers, today’s books for boys — supernatural space-and-sword epics that read like video game manuals and sports novels with preachy moral messages — often seem like cynical appeals to the lowest common denominator. Boys prefer video games and ESPN to book versions of them. These knockoffs also lack the tough, edgy story lines that allow boys a private place to reflect on the inner fears of failure and humiliation they try so hard to brush over.Read More →

Are you interested in catching up with the latest in using technology in the classroom?  Take a look at this class offered by Dr. Laura Turchi on Thursday nights at ASU Tempe starting in August: ENG 494/598 Special Topics Information Matters: Digital Teaching and Tools A course taught by Dr. Laura Turchi “Digital Teaching and Tools” is for English teachers who are intrigued by new media methods for creating and sharing information and art. This is not strictly a “how to” class, although we will address many practical classroom matters, and course members will gain a broadened knowledge of Web 2.0 opportunities for teaching andRead More →

From Publisher’s Weekly (May 23, 2011): James Patterson, the bestselling author on Earth, doesn’t want to talk about writing today. He wants to talk about reading. For a man with scores of blockbuster books under his belt (it might be north of 70, but even the author isn’t sure how many he’s written at this point), Patterson is now fascinated with a new challenge: hooking kids on books. And his latest effort, “Read, Kiddo, Read,” aims to do just that. “For most kids,” Patterson tells PW, “The best way to get them to read is to find books that are going to turn them on.Read More →

Carol Gordon wrote an interesting article in November 2010 School Library Journal, examining 7 commonly held beliefs about reading and what studies show in relation to those beliefs: 1. Young people get better at reading by reading, just as they learn by doing 2. The social aspects associated with reading are motivational 3. Free choice is a factor in reading motivation 4. Free voluntary reading is as effective, or more effective, than direct instruction 5. People will read when they have access to reading materials 6. It is important to design inclusive summer reading for all students 7. The pleasure hypothesis – reading is itsRead More →