early literacy

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! Read Across America, 2019


Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss! Read Across America 2019! Saturday, March 2nd, on a cold but suddenly sunny day in Eugene, so much fun reading Dr. Seuss! Having a grand time re-reading a bunch of my Dr. Seuss books. Rather than reposting a couple earlier blogs I’m sitting here camped out with warm blanket, scarf, fuzzy […]

Sing Me a Story

Many years ago, teaching pre-k students about stories, and story structure, it occurred to me that since my students sang their made-up songs in dramatic play, I should share the grown-up version of stories that are sung. That is how teaching opera to young children was born in our classroom. The opera by Englebert Humerdinck, […]

Storybook Reading: Creating a Better World

I was excited to read Peter Gray’s blog post about the importance of reading stories to young children. This practice has been singled out, with good reason, to be crucial to future literacy. There is more to story reading than cuddles and close relationships, he writes, though these are essential for human growth and development, […]

Redshirting K: Yay or Nay?

welcome to kindergarten

What’s the rush? Childhood is a precious time! “Redshirting”, not just in athletics. The competition is fierce. In Kindergarten! Mixed emotions. Interesting articles lately about redshirting. It’s way more common than I thought and it actually affects all of us, all grade levels. What a big decision. It’s more than birthday cut-off dates, or ‘maturity’. […]

Early Literacy: Just Focus on These 5 Things and Stop the Other Stuff

letter flashcards

It’s becoming more and more commonplace to see programs using flashcards and worksheets in their attempt to jumpstart literacy development. These early academic activities are touted as best approaches and provide tangible take-homes for anxious parents who don’t want their children to “get behind.” Unfortunately, what’s really important to early literacy is largely being overlooked […]

Every Child a Star! Leo The Early Bloomer

Tonight I am writing about Hope. Every Child a Star! Leo The Early Bloomer. One of my favorite children’s books,Leo the Late Bloomer, resonates for us all. Regardless of who we are teaching, there are lessons galore in this special book written by Kraus, illustrated by Aruego in 1971. Maybe even more relevant today, as […]

Learning to read. Covered with jello, bugs & snails!

Little people learning land: A world of wonder It’s one thing to read and write about literacy, it’s another to breathe it. The last time I had a crazy notion in my head I ended up teaching with teachers in over 500 K-12 classrooms. At this stage, it’s unfathomable I would dive headfirst into the […]

Trying to Encourage a Preschooler’s Writing Skills? Stop Doing What You’ve Been Doing!

Two weeks ago, I visited one of my student teachers in a room of young three’s. I noticed one of the activities on a table was tracing their printed names on strips of paper with pencils. During most of my hour there, I also noticed that only two of the thirteen children chose this activity, […]

Why Play Pretend When We’re Trying to Build Readers?

make believe

I noticed my 2 1/2 year old walking around the back yard the other day with a small rectangular rock nestled in the palm of his hand. I watched him excitedly moved it around as he energetically bounded around the lawn, obviously in his own world. I wondered where his imagination had taken him. Then […]

3 Tips for Reading Aloud to an Impatient 11-Month-Old


One day last week, a mom who reads my blog emailed me looking for advice. She said that she had been trying to read aloud to her 11-month-old son, but that she was having a hard time getting him to stay put for the reading sessions. [Image credit: Adazing.com, Inspirational Reading Quotes] I sent her […]

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