The Answer Sheet: Reading

Posted at 10:24 AM ET, 09/25/2011

The LEARN Act’s real effect on literacy

Will the LEARN Act, introduced in both houses of Congress with the aim of furthering literacy instruction, actually help kids learn how to read? Here’s a debate on the subject.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:24 AM ET, 09/25/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading

Posted at 05:03 PM ET, 08/16/2011

Sherlock Holmes book removed from school reading list for being anti-Mormon

A Virginia school district decides to ban a Sherlock Holmes book because a parent complained that it was anti-Mormon.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:03 PM ET, 08/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 08/12/2011

Are 21st century 5-year-olds cognitively ready to read?

Here is an analysis of the explicit and implicit assumptions within the Common Core State Standards regarding formal reading instruction in kindergarten: the dumbing down of kindergarten texts and the pushing down of reading instruction to kindergarten.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:00 AM ET, 08/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading

Posted at 01:09 PM ET, 01/10/2011

D.C. named most literate U.S. city

a new study that looks at six different factors concludes that Washington D.C. is the most literate city in the country.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:09 PM ET, 01/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading | Tags:  d.c. literate, d.c. most literate cities, literacy, literacy and d.c., literate cities, most literate cities

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 11:13 AM ET, 10/16/2010

It’s Dictionary Day! Learn some weird words

It's Noah Webster's birthday, or, Dictionary Day! Celebrate the glory of words by learning some new ones, like "hebesphenomegacorona."

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:13 AM ET, 10/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading | Tags:  dictionaries, dictionary day, noah webster, webster, weird woods, words

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 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 07:00 AM ET, 06/02/2010

The most common mispellings, er, misspellings

The National Spelling Bee is being held this week in Washington D.C. to promote perfect spelling. But what about those words that constantly trip us up?

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:00 AM ET, 06/02/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading | Tags:  Goldman Sachs, Gulf oil spill, Jake Gyllenhaal, Justin Bieber, Lost series finale, National Spelling Bee, Parvati Shallow, Scripps National Spelling Bee, Vanya Shivashankar, commonly misspelled words, lost series finally, spelling bee, words most commonly misspelled

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 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 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 05:43 PM ET, 02/01/2010

'The Diary of Anne Frank' and parental book complaints

Culpeper County Public School officials now say that 8th graders can learn from the version of Anne Frank's diary that drew a complaint from a parent for sexually explicit passages, but a committee will convene to review the book for future use. Can any parent complain about any part of the curriculum and be assured that a committee will be convened to review its suitability? This can easily get out of hand, as it just did in the Menifee Union School District in California. In the 9,000-student K-8 district, officials pulled dictionaries off of school shelves after a parent complained that “oral sex” was one of the entries.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:43 PM ET, 02/01/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading, Reading | Tags:  book censorship

Posted at 12:49 PM ET, 01/18/2010

2010 Newbery winner named

Today the newest winner of the Newbery Medal--the gold standard in children’s literature for more than eight decades--was tweeted to a waiting world before it was officially announced. Oops. The winner was "When You Reach Me," by Rebecca Stead. "The Lion & The Mouse" by Jerry Pinkney won the Caldecott Medal for best children's picture book. But there has been controversy about the Newbery in literary circles for some time.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:49 PM ET, 01/18/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading | Tags:  Newbery Award, children's literature

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 01/13/2010

Class helped 'Queen Bees' author

Best-selling author Rosalind Wiseman got help for her new novel for young adults from an unusual source: a high school class of seniors at a school in Virginia. The Washington D.C.-based Wiseman is a teacher and author best known for her non-fiction book “Queen Bees and Wannabes,” which was about high school social cliques and was largely the basis for the movie “Mean Girls," starring Lindsay Lohan and written by Tina Fey. Yesterday her first novel for young adults was published. To make sure the events would ring true to young people, she tested it out on some of them, chapter by chapter.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 01/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading | Tags:  rosalind wiseman

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 01/11/2010

'Word of decade': Google? 9/11?

Since the American Dialect Society named "google" as the word that best describes the past decade, I keep asking people if they agree or would have picked one of the contenders: “9/11,” "green," "blog," "text" and "war on terror." Some liked “google” best defined the period, others “9/11” and one said “global warming,” the “word of the decade” picked by the Global Language Monitor, which analyzes and tracks language trends. Opinion was not unanimous either, on some of the other words selected by the society, including the decade’s most creative word word--“Dracula sneeze”--and the most euphemistic--“the Appalachian trail (see explanations below).

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 01/11/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading | Tags:  literacy

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 11:30 AM ET, 11/19/2009

In the Age of 'Twilight': About kids who read fantasy... and ‘readicide’

Does your child read fantasy books, one after the other, whizzing through series after series to the exclusion of any other genre? Are you worried that your child is: A) living in a fantasy world; b) wasting time on silly themes; c) wasting time reading easy books?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 11/19/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading | Tags:  adolescent literature

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 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