April is National Poetry Month! Celebrate the expressiveness and pure delight of poetry — and discover ways to engage young readers and writers with rich language.
Start with humorous poems that rhyme! That's the first piece of advice in this easy-to-read guide on using more poetry in your classroom. Other advice includes tips for choosing poems, how to manage poetry readings, and how to avoid breaking copyright laws when you copy poems for kids to read.
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Jumpstart poetry writing in your class! Poetry walks give students a way to "write about what they know." Before heading outdoors, read aloud a few poems that are rich in descriptive language. Then, take your class on a walk around the neighborhood to observe and collect sensory images from their direct experience with nature. Students can bring a poetry journal with them to write down descriptive words as they observe, listen, smell, and touch things outside the classroom.
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Looking for ways to celebrate National Poetry Month while addressing reading and writing skills or Common Core Standards? Poems can be a great way to assess student learning. The Library of Congress Found Poetry Primary Source Set supports students in honing their reading and historical comprehension skills by creating poetry based on informational text and images — with topics as diverse as Helen Keller, Walt Whitman, women's suffrage, and the Harlem Renaissance.
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Sharing poetry out loud with your kids is a great way to have fun with language. Poems include humor, interesting words, tongue twisters and alliteration. Start with playful, rhyming poetry about topics that are familiar to your child like animals, food and bedtime. Once a poem is familiar to your child, take turns reading! Find more tips (in English and Spanish) in this article from our Growing Readers series.
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Every year on April 12, we celebrate Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R) Day in honor of beloved children's author Beverly Cleary. It's a day to encourage reading in all its forms, so put aside all distractions and pick up a book — print or electronic. Silent reading can be a rich experience for all kids, with the right kinds of supports.
Does sustained silent reading improve reading achievement? Experts say, "it depends." Discover four conditions that improve the practice of silent reading in the classroom.
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Teaching students a set of prompts or procedures to use as they read helps them engage in mindful reading while gradually transitioning them to independently use a variety cognitive strategies — such as activating prior knowledge and questioning the author. See the sample lesson in this article.
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Bookshare Web Reader, a great online tool to help kids with print disabilities connect with books, allows kids to directly open books with a browser without requiring them to download the book or use separate software. It also lets readers adjust font size, colors and display format, and takes advantage of Google Chrome's features that allow users to read books multi-modally, with word-by-word highlighting and text-to-speech capability.
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Does your young child have difficulty learning to count, have trouble with basic addition and subtraction, or struggle with organizing things in a logical way? Learn the basics about dyscalculia, a learning disability that can affect a wide range of math skills — and see what the warning signs are in preschool and school-age children.
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As more and more schools look towards integrating the iPad and iTouch into their classrooms, the range of educational applications available is growing. For specific apps that may be helpful for students with disabilities, you may want to check out iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch Apps for Special Education, an extensive list compiled by assistive technology specialists and helpfully broken down by category (communication, math, writing, music, art, etc.).
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For many children both with and without learning disabilities (LD), self-esteem is a powerful predictor of success. Social or emotional problems are not the cause, but actually the consequence of academic frustration and failure. Follow the link for several suggested articles and books with helpful advice on improving children's self-esteem.
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April 28-30, 2014
New Orleans, LA
From the nation's leading researchers, you'll learn about current findings on early screening for dyslexia, reading and the brain, executive function, writing about text, building comprehension skills, Common Core assessments, technology in the classroom, and more. All sessions are designed to deliver not only the latest research on reading but also effective strategies that can be implemented in classrooms tomorrow. The Institute features a "who's who" of reading experts, from researchers to practitioners, including Tim Shanahan, Cynthia Shanahan, Jan Hasbrouck, Anita Archer, Susan Ebbers, Maryanne Wolf, and Elsa Cardenas-Hagan. (Sponsored by the Center for Development and Learning.)
Research, Reports and News
Do you have the desire to unite families and professionals in your state to bring attention to the struggles faced by students with dyslexia? Do you want to see policy change? This "How To Guide" from Decoding Dyslexia New Jersey offers a roadmap for parents and professionals to start their own grassroots movement in their state.
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Researchers at Yale looking at the neurochemistry of children ages 6 to 10 found that levels of two key brain chemicals were associated with reading ability. Children with higher levels of the metabolites glutamate and choline in their brains tended to have lower test scores for reading and language. These two chemicals are also associated with hyperexcitability in children. This study is an important step toward understanding the neurochemistry of reading development.
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Janette K. Klingner, a friend of the dyslexia community who devoted her life to special education research and teaching, passed away on March 20, 2014. She was Professor of Education at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She authored or co-authored more than 100 articles, books and book chapters. Over the years, she was responsible for federally funded grants totaling more than 27 million dollars. She conducted research into reading instruction, Response to Intervention, special education and teacher quality, often focusing on students with diverse language and cultural backgrounds. Her book with Beth Harry, Why Are So Many Minority Students in Special Education? Understanding Race and Disability in Schools, is considered a seminal work on the topic.
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