By The Washington Post
A brother and sister approach the end of summer differently – the girl is excited for school to start and the brother would rather just stay home. Even after describing the new subjects they’ll be studying and things they’ll do, the boy is adamant about not going to school: “I am going to play all day!/It doesn’t matter what you say.” His sister responds: “Recess is for playing games:/We’ll run and jump and climb!/Let’s go right now and join the fun./You really must not whine!” The sister’s enthusiasm never wanes and eventually the brother – seated at a chair and surrounded by friendly students in a cheerful classroom – discovers his sister was right all along. Bright, bold, detail-laden drawings paired with singsong rhymes create a perfect “turn-that-frown-upside down” story.
Source: 7 books that will help ease the back-to-school transition
By Mayrene Bates
During the summer, some like to find a good book and head to the beach or even the backyard. Then, others like former councilwoman and Rotarian Noreen O’Regan read non-stop year-round.
The Pew Research Center in its annual “Book Reading” survey conducted in March and April 2016, reported that though reading for Americans has remained about the same in the last few years, how we’re reading is changing with e-books and audiobooks.
Source: Locals recall earliest best-loved books
By Nick Sestanovich
Studies have shown students reading comprehension decline over the summer. Researchers call this effect the summer slump. To help combat the summer slump, the Benicia Public Library started the Summer Reading Program, which continues through Aug. 31.
The Summer Reading Program encourages children from ages 0-18 to pick up a book and begin the journey literature can provide. The library gives participants of the summer program a Bingo card, which they can fill out with the books they read over the summer. According to library staff, the Summer Reading Program and Bingo card give plenty of opportunities to keep up reading skills but also encourage children to do such activities as make their own joke book, go to a Farmers Market on Thursdays or Movie in the Park, or to try out a program for children at the library. When children complete a bingo, they can come to the library and collect rewards for reading. Aug. 31 will be the last day children can come to the library and get their rewards for reading over the summer. Teens can also participate in the Summer Reading Program, as there are events just for them including a series of “Lifehacks for Teens,” and a new twist to the prizes this year.
Source: Summer Reading Program encourages reading for Benicia youth
By Rita Platt
If you want to be a better writer, you have to read, read, read. If you want to be a better reader, you have to write, write, write. Most teachers understand the reciprocal relationship between reading and writing. The question is, how do we get our students to read and write and then write and read some more?
Virtual author visits are a good start. Thanks to Skype, Google Hangouts, and Zoom, it’s easier than ever to host published authors in your classroom. Last year, my students met with many authors, and each visit inspired them (and me) to read and write with renewed energy and purpose.
Source: Bringing Authors Into Your Classroom | Edutopia
By Nick Sestanovich
The Summer Reading Program is back at the Benicia Public Library. Once again, children are encouraged to not let their minds wander over the summer and spend the season reading.Returning this year is the Bingo game, in which students fill squares after reading certain books and performing certain activities like making a joke book, attending the farmers market, going to a Movie in the Park or go to a children’s program at the library. Once they get a “Bingo,” they can bring their cards to the library and receive prizes. This challenge will run through Thursday, Aug. 31. The Summer Reading Program is open for children through the age of 13.
In addition to the reading challenge, the library will host fun weekly events for specific age groups. Preschoolers and kindergarteners through third-graders will enjoy the Caterpillar Puppets’ “Beto the Builder” show on July 11, a bubble show by the Bubble Lady on July 18, and songs and stories with Musical Robot on July 25. All shows for this age group are Tuesdays at 7 p.m.
Source: Summer Reading Program, other children’s events return to library
By Ashley Hopkinson
California students who attended transitional kindergarten were more engaged in the learning process and better prepared for math and reading when they entered kindergarten than children who did not, according to a new study by the American Institutes for Research.
The study, released Wednesday, compared the skill levels of kindergartners who had attended transitional kindergarten with those who had attended preschool or had not been in formal preschool the year prior.
“Transitional kindergarten gives students an advantage of three to six months of learning in literacy and mathematics skills at kindergarten entry, which is quite notable, especially given that a large majority of the students attended preschool,” said Heather Quick, principal researcher of the study.
Source: Transitional kindergarten boosts school readiness in math, reading | EdSource
By Mayrene Bates
Reading has been called the gateway skill for learning. Many teachers tell us that when a student is underachieving, the underlying cause is many times lack of reading skills. Most research studies agree that poor preschool children hear fewer words than wealthy children.
Growing up in the South, my siblings and I were expected to be seen but not heard, and when visitors came, my mom always asked us to leave the room. I hated that, because I loved listening to the adults talk, plus, there wasn’t anything interesting to do outside. So, when it was our turn to make home visits, I preferred to stay home alone and read old newspapers that my mother brought home from work.
Source: Enjoy vacation, but make time for reading
By Daily Republic Staff
Eight Solano County junior high students have developed a book of their own short stories as part of their language arts course.
The students are Lisette Adundez, Caden Hiteshew, Madeline LeBron, Kawika Makua, Warren Dominguez, Carolyn West, Josiah West and Spencer Young. Their book, “Ready for Liftoff,” is available on Amazon.
“They all belong to different charter schools,” said Mia Douglas, director of the Launch tutoring program, which these students have been enrolled in for two years.
Source: Local charter school students publish book of short stories
By Ryan McCarthy
The book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” is among works planned to be added in the fall of 2017 in some Fairfield-Suisun School District classes.
Lacks’ cells, taken without her knowledge in 1951, were used in helping to develop the polio vaccine, cloning and gene mapping.
The non-fiction work would be a supplementary book in advanced placement language and composition classes in the school district.
Trustees will take up adoption of the book at their May 25 meeting.
Source: Lacks book among works eyed for school classes
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
At an age when many children are hoping for a cellphone, Lory Carranza’s fourth-grade class at Dan O. Root Elementary School is collecting old ones.
The idea came from the fictional story, “The One and Only Ivan,” which was inspired by a gorilla that spent 27 years in a mall with a circus theme in Tacoma, Washington before finding a home at the Atlanta Zoo. Ivan died in 2012 at the age of 50.
The 2011 book focuses on Ivan, who never knew life in the jungle and spent time watching westerns and romantic shows on a television. He thinks about his friends, an elderly elephant, a stray dog and a new baby elephant.
Source: Dan O. Root class goes ape for gorilla story, set on helping the primate
By Daily Republic Staff
Fairfield Mayor Harry T. Price visited Anna Kyle Elementary School on March 15, joining the children for some before-school activities.
Jose Rico‘s fifth-grade class invited Price to Anna Kyle to show his support to the “Reading Revolution” that they initiated as a schoolwide activity to help improve reading skills this year among those who attend the school, according to a press release about the day’s activities.
After learning the secrets on how to improve their reading level, 32 out of 33 children are reading above the fifth-grade level, according to the press release. The goal is to have the whole school reading at grade level by the end of May.
Source: Good News: Mayor Price visits school for some happy news
By Tony Wade
The first-grade class from Nelda Mundy Elementary School were a diverse, wide-eyed bunch and like most kids, if you ask them a series of questions that get them to shoot their hands in the air, they’re hooked.
Me: “Who here likes to read?(hands raised enthusiastically)
Me: OK, put your hands down. Now, who loves to read?(more hands raised enthusiastically)
Me: Hands down. Who is gonna raise their hand no matter what question I ask?
Source: Celebrating Dr. Seuss with Nelda Mundy first-graders
By Ian Thompson
If there is one thing that California Teachers Association Vice President Theresa Montano loves, it’s reading.
She got to read Thursday to one of her favorite audiences – two classrooms of young children at Laurel Creek Elementary School.
“I just love this. It brings me closer to the kids,” Montano said just before she started her day of reading.
Montano armed herself with the children’s book, “Creature Features,” by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. She first read to Stephanie Cobb’s second-grade class and then to Lisa Rushing’s first-grade class.
Source: Educators share joy of reading on Read Across America Day
By Marissa King
Emojis are more mainstream than ever. The Oxford English Dictionary named the Face With Tears of Joy emoji the word of the year for 2015, presidential candidates are asking for feedback in emojis, and the appearance of new emojis is considered news by major media outlets.
Although looking up emoji definitions is relatively simple, I often turn to my students for more nuanced explanations. After a bit of laughter, my students patiently demonstrate the multiple uses for a single emoji, help me decode emoji-laden Instagram comments, and advise me on murky racial or gender implications.
Source: Using Emojis to Teach Critical Reading Skills | Edutopia
By Richard Bammer
Good news came for a hoped-for summer internship in India, and Shounak Chattopadhyay was filled with joy. Raised in Vacaville, he would, at last, be returning to the land where he was born 21 years ago.
When he applied for the Tata Social Internship, Chattopadhyay recalled, via email from New Delhi, that he felt “drawn” to his native country, coupled with a desire to “experience the magical chaos of India for myself.”
A graduate of Buckingham Charter Magnet High School and a senior at University of California, Berkeley, he envisioned his weeks in India, helping to improve the quality of children’s literature in Indian languages and access to books in schools and libraries, as a huge opportunity in his still-young life.
Source: Sharing the love of books, reading in India
By Nick Sestanovich
Summer is a time for children to have fun without feeling pressured by the copious amounts of school work they received for the previous 10 months. As beneficial as this could be for students’ well-beings, it could have a negative impact on their enthusiasm to learn. Children who opt to forgo any form of reading over the summer might be less likely to read when school starts up again. Thankfully, the Benicia Public Library’s Summer Reading Program is back to make kids want to dive into a book or many during the year’s hottest months.
The Summer Reading Program has been a staple at the library for a long time, and it has gone through several different formats. Previously, kids ages 3 to 14 would get a prize for reading 100 different books over the summer and writing down the titles. In other summers, kids would write down the amount of time spent reading. According to Allison Angell, the library’s head of youth services, the program will be doing Bingo cards which would not only encourage children to read but also go out into the community.
Source: Library to encourage children to read through playing summerlong Bingo game
By Jayne Clare
What is reading readiness? The dictionary defines it as the point when a child transforms from being a non-reader to being a reader. But this definition leaves out the concept that reading readiness may actually begin in the womb. Watch Annie Murphy Paul’s TED Talk to learn more about what is called fetal origins.
In another vein, as Maryanne Wolf writes in Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, “We were never born to read.” Getting ready to read takes years of informal exposure to language and print in a myriad of ways. This stage is called early literacy. Talking and interacting with children about daily literacy-based activities that interest them in their everyday lives best accomplishes acquiring these skills. Storytelling, print and book awareness, and playing with words #rhyming, clapping, stomping out syllables, rolling and bouncing a ball# are all great ways to get started at an early age. But even when the stage has been set with all the right components, the special-education child usually grapples with reading and writing.
Source: 7 Reading Readiness Apps for Special Needs Students | Edutopia
By Claudio Sanchez and Anya Kamenetz
Its almost a decade overdue, but the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote later today on a bill to replace the No Child Left Behind law.
Since NCLB was signed by President George W. Bush in early 2002, the federal government has played a major role in telling states how to run — and reform — their schools. But this new bill signals a sea change in the federal approach.
Annual tests in math and reading, the centerpiece of the old law, would remain in place. But the consequences of those test scores would no longer be dictated by the federal government. The new law, known as the Every Student Succeeds Act, significantly shifts responsibility for improving schools back to the states.
via House Set To Vote On Education Overhaul : NPR Ed : NPR.
By Jessica Rogness
Vacaville elementary schools joined others around the world in reading the story of a young boy and his fish friend.
It was part of the 10th annual Jumpstart “Read for the Record” event.
Students in kindergarten, first grade and second grade at Alamo, Browns Valley, Callison, Cooper, Fairmont, Hemlock, Markham, Orchard and Padan elementary schools in the Vacaville Unified School District (VUSD) all read the same book on Thursday morning: “Not Norman: A Goldfish Story,” written by Kelly Bennett and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones.
“It’s a global campaign and really the intent is to generate public support for high quality early learning and a love for reading for children,” said Kimberly Forest, VUSD director of instruction, curriculum and assessment.
via Young students share in worldwide reading event.
By Cheryl Boes
Creating a culture of sharing and professional dialogue is an essential element for school success. Teachers who read, discuss, and implement current educational research are more engaged and ready to take on the challenges in their classroom. But the reality is that teachers lead busy lives, making it difficult to find time for these valuable discussions. Learn how creating an online book club for sharing ideas can invigorate teachers and encourage professional reading and conversations. One advantage is that a blog is always available anywhere that a teacher has web access.
There are a number of things to consider before you start your online book club. What book or article would you like to discuss? Will you involve the entire staff or a small group of teachers? What site will you utilize to host your online conversation? Who will be the moderator? Setting up a book club is quite simple. Just follow these basic guidelines and make adjustments to best meet the needs of your school community.
via Online Teacher Book Clubs: Promoting a Culture of Professional Development | Edutopia.