The Answer Sheet: About Reading


Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 02/19/2014

How children learn to read

What really works.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:00 AM ET, 02/19/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Reading

Posted at 12:25 PM ET, 11/14/2013

Getting kids to read: The 5 key habits of lifelong readers

The Book Whisperer describes how to help kids.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:25 PM ET, 11/14/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Reading

Posted at 04:02 AM ET, 10/08/2013

Yes, you do have time to read

Five ways to think differently about reading and time.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:02 AM ET, 10/08/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Reading Habits, Watch Much TV?

Posted at 04:02 AM ET, 09/17/2013

Another blast in the reading wars

The war over how best to teach children to read continues.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:02 AM ET, 09/17/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Objections To Objections, Reading Wars

Posted at 04:02 AM ET, 08/13/2013

Literacy experts say reformers reviving 'reading wars'

Renowned literacy experts take issue with a recent report on the quality of teacher education programs.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:02 AM ET, 08/13/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  A New Critique of Ed School Ratings, Literacy Education, Reading

Posted at 04:01 AM ET, 07/10/2013

The perfect summer read -- about reading

You can read it in one sitting.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:01 AM ET, 07/10/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  A Novella About The Queen, About Reading, Summer Reading

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 04/17/2013

Eighth grader designs standardized test that slams standardized tests

The reading passage starts: 'Dear New York State, I am not fond of your tests. They do not show you who I am, or who my teachers are....'

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:02 AM ET, 04/17/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Reading Multiple Choice, Standardized Tests

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 12/10/2010

Finalists for young adult literature award

Here are the five books selected by the Young Adult Library Services Association as finalists for the 2011 William C. Morris Award, which honors a book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:00 AM ET, 12/10/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Literature, Literature | Tags:  YAL, adolescent lit, adolescent literature, american library association, books for teens, literature, reading, teen novels, young adult lit, young adult literature

Posted at 11:29 AM ET, 11/17/2010

Beyond the brain: Reading is a cultural activity

An educator writes: "Reading is a cultural activity. This statement may seem obvious, and yet in recent decades an increasing number of educators have considered reading from psychological and even neurological perspectives, as if reading were a process that happens in the agent’s mind and is ultimately regulated by brain mechanisms."

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:29 AM ET, 11/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  guest bloggers, reading, reading strategies, teaching reading

Posted at 02:02 PM ET, 10/18/2010

Top 10 teen books chosen -- by teens

Here are the top 10 books that thousands of teenagers in school book clubs around the country picked as their favorites for 2010, released today as part of Teen Read Week.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:02 PM ET, 10/18/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading | Tags:  Laurie Halse Anderson, ala, catching fire, favorite teen books, reading, sarah desson, suzanne collins, teen reading, top teen books

Posted at 12:56 PM ET, 09/21/2010

RIF study: Access to print materials helps student achievement

A comprehensive new study shows that children's book lending and ownership programs were shown to have positive behavioral, educational, and psychological outcomes.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:56 PM ET, 09/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  guest bloggers, reading, research

Posted at 11:23 AM ET, 09/04/2010

How 'Twilight,' other dark fiction affect teen brains

Scientists, authors and education experts are meeting this weekend at Cambridge University to investigate how fiction with dark themes, such as the "Twilight" saga and the "Harry Potter" series, affects and alters the teenage brain. Here's a Q&A with the conference organizer, who talks about what parents can/should do about it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:23 AM ET, 09/04/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Literature, Literature, Literature | Tags:  altering teen mind, brain research, cambridge university conference, dark themes in young adult literature, edward cullen, effects on teen brains, emergent adult, emergent adult conference, harry potter and twilight, his dark materials, how teen brains are affected by reading, neuroscience and teenage brain, teenage brain, themes in YA lit, twilight, twilight and teen mind, twilight saga, young adult literature

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 08/02/2010

Ed policies ignore science on how/when kids learn

Early education expert Lisa Guernsey shows just how out of whack American public education is by looking at new science and social research.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 08/02/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  Lisa Guernsey, New America Foundation, early childhood development and reading, early education, early education initiative, literacy development

Posted at 11:59 AM ET, 07/13/2010

Cool summer class: Reading with dogs

Lots of kids go to summer school/camp to improve their reading, but at Stanton Elementary School in Washington D.C., there is an added attraction: dogs.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:59 AM ET, 07/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Student Life | Tags:  animals people love, cool summer classes, reading with dogs, summer school

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 06/30/2010

How and what to get kids to read this summer

If you are secretly in despair that your child will never willingly read a book this summer, Micki Freeny has some advice for you. Freeny is the coordinator of children and youth services at the D.C. Public Library, and her thoughts on how to get kids to read may surprise you.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 06/30/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading | Tags:  best books for teens, books on tape and value, d.c. public library, getting kids to read, graphic novels, great books for kids, justin bieber and magazines, reading, reluctant readers, tom braden

Posted at 11:51 AM ET, 06/21/2010

Preventing summer learning loss

Summer learning loss is real, but there are ways to prevent it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:51 AM ET, 06/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning | Tags:  how to prevent summer learning loss, michelle obama, preventing summer learning loss, summer learning, summer reading

Posted at 07:36 AM ET, 06/20/2010

Summer books for reluctant teen readers

Summer is the best time to entice reluctant readers to enter and learn to love books. It can happen, but there’s a trick: You have to let kids pick out their own books. To help you, the American Library Association has a great 2010 list of books for teens ages 12-18. Here it is.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:36 AM ET, 06/20/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading | Tags:  american library association, book lists, books about robert pattinson, books for teens, books for young adults, books on robert pattinson, books on the jonas brothers, getting kids to read, getting teens to read, reading, reluctant readers, robert pattinson biography, teen books list, the jonas brothers, the jonas brothers story, the robert pattinson story, young adult book list

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 06/10/2010

What Americans used to read

With summer upon us, book lists abound, and that's a good thing.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 06/10/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading | Tags:  best 20th century books, best books of 1900s, best selling books, best selling books of the 20th century, bestselling books, reading lists

Posted at 04:15 PM ET, 05/18/2010

Report looks at role of poverty, parents in student success

A new report by the Casey Foundation shows the close link between poverty and student success in reading, and makes recommendations for schools and community members.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:15 PM ET, 05/18/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading, Reading, Reading | Tags:  Casey Foundation, Casey Foundation report on reading, achievement gap, achievement gap in reading, new report on reading, parental involvement, parental responsibility in school, poverty and student achievement, reading research

Posted at 08:59 AM ET, 05/15/2010

Literacy kudzu

Will Fitzhugh, editor of The Concord Review, questions, no, savages, the way students are taught to read in school.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:59 AM ET, 05/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  best practices and reading instruction, how to teach reading, how to teach writing, learning, literacy, reading, reading instruction, reading wars, will fitzhugh, writing

Posted at 09:03 AM ET, 04/19/2010

How writing improves reading skills--study

It is often said that reading can improve a student’s writing. A new study says the reverse--that writing can improve reading skills as well as content learning--is equally true, and identifies three ways that teachers and even parents can help students make the connection.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:03 AM ET, 04/19/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading, Reading, Reading | Tags:  new study on reading, new study on writing, reading research, study in reading, study on writing, teaching reading skills, teaching writing skills, writing research

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 04/06/2010

E.D. Hirsch Jr.: Common Core Standards could revolutionize reading instruction

By E.D. Hirsch, Jr. The Common Core Standards represent a fundamental and long overdue rethinking of the dominant process-approach to U.S. literacy instruction. To appreciate what a radical transformation it represents, one needs to understand how children are now schooled in literacy.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 04/06/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  Common Core Standards, E.D. Hirsch, guest bloggers, reading

Posted at 12:10 PM ET, 04/05/2010

Willingham: What NAEP reading scores really show

By Daniel Willingham. The belief that kids will be better readers if we simply get them to read more is rooted in the belief that reading comprehension is a transferable skill that, once mastered, applies to any text. That’s true of decoding, but not of comprehension. What’s needed is a substantial knowledge base.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:10 PM ET, 04/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, NAEP, guest bloggers, reading

Posted at 11:54 AM ET, 03/24/2010

NAEP reading scores: Bad news was sadly predictable

It is no surprise that the National Assessment of Educational Progress showed that the nation's fourth- and eighth-graders have made no progress in reading under No Child Left Behind. The literacy program at the heart of NCLB was no good to begin with.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:54 AM ET, 03/24/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading, Reading | Tags:  NAEP, No Child Left Behind, Reading First

Posted at 03:00 PM ET, 01/11/2010

Willingham: The zeitgeist of reading instruction

By Daniel Willingham. I have written (on this blog and elsewhere) about the importance of background knowledge and about the limited value of instructing students in reading comprehension strategies. To be clear, I don’t think that such instruction is worthless. It has a significant impact, but it seems to be a one-time effect and the strategies are quickly learned. More practice of these strategies pays little or no return....As a researcher, I have a hypothesis: People think strategies are important because most of the reading research is on strategies. But that’s an accident of the way research is done.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 PM ET, 01/11/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, reading instruction

Posted at 12:33 PM ET, 11/24/2009

Should the National Council of Teachers of English win its own Doublespeak award?

Yesterday I wrote about why the National Council of Teachers of English Teachers gave its 2009 “Doublespeak Award” to Glenn Beck for exceptional achievement in using language that is “deceptive, evasive, euphemistic, confusing and self-centered.” Today I will explain why some educators and researchers are calling for the teachers council to give the award to itself. Why does this matter to you? Because it involves the way kids in public school will be taught how to read during the Obama administration.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:33 PM ET, 11/24/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading | Tags:  LEARN Act, Reading First, reading instruction

Posted at 09:35 AM ET, 11/11/2009

Why it is so important to read aloud to your kids

I want to share this email I received from a reading specialist in response to my recent blogpost about parents pushing academics on preschool kids, who actually learn best through well-designed play.... Said Barbara Bosworth: "If we want to change America, we need to change how parents read to their children."

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:35 AM ET, 11/11/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading, Reading, Reading | Tags:  preschool, reading aloud, reading instruction

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 10/05/2009

Willingham: What Should Students Be Required to Read?

What should students be required to read? ... It is not controversial to specify desirable knowledge in other subjects. In science, for example, we expect that students will acquire certain skills-- methods of scientific analysis--but we also believe that there is a body of scientific knowledge that students will learn. The same is true of history and mathematics. What makes literature different? Why don’t standards specify what students ought to read?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 10/05/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Content Standards, Daniel Willingham, Literature, Reading

Posted at 11:40 AM ET, 09/29/2009

CHECKING IT OUT, Part 2--Teens Talk About Screen vs. Print

The Answer Sheet asked some teenagers to explain whether they prefer to read on screen or in print, if they can detect a difference in the way they read, and if they think they can do without reading anything on paper. Given the ease with which young people use screens, some of these answers surprised The Sheet.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:40 AM ET, 09/29/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  reading, screen vs. print

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 09/29/2009

CHECKING IT OUT, Part I: Reading on Paper or Screen--Which Is Better?

A reader of The Answer Sheet asked whether there is research that shows the superiority of reading text on line or in print. It is a good question to ask today. More and more school textbooks are being put on line, the Kindle and other electronic reading devices are gaining in popularity and many young people say they prefer reading on a screen. The good news is that there is research on the subject. The bad news is that it is not definitive--and, in fact, is contradictory.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 09/29/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  reading, screen vs. print

Posted at 07:30 AM ET, 09/28/2009

Willingham: Reading Is Not a Skill--And Why This Is a Problem for the Draft National Standards

A draft of voluntary national standards for reading was just released, and at first glance the 18 standards sound quite sensible: students should be able to determine what a text says, make inferences from it, discern the most important ideas, and so forth. Many of the standards boil down to this notion: "The student will be able to comprehend the text.” For the others, comprehension is a prerequisite. The problem is that teachers and administrators are likely to read those 18 standards and to try to teach to them. But reading comprehension is not a “skill” that can be taught directly.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:30 AM ET, 09/28/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, National Standards, Reading

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 09/14/2009

Why Don't Kids Talk About School to Parents? .... Is It O.K. That My Kid Reads The Same Book Over and Over?

The Answer Sheet likes to start the week by answering questions from readers. Email The Sheet with any school- and kid-related question you would like to see answered here. Q) Why do kids always say “Nothing,” when parents ask...

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 09/14/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading, Reading | Tags:  parents, reading, rereading