Just imagine a child’s excitement when he is ready to begin school. Perhaps he watched cartoons and children’s shows depicting fun-filled school days filled with learning and activities, listened to his friends, parents, and siblings talk about school, and watched the school bus pick up children on the block. And now the time has come … Continue reading Failing Students or Failing Schools?
While working on the past tense verb,“ed,” with a first grader, I noticed this little girl was having difficulty understanding how “ed” could have three different sounds. For example, planted or landed both have the id sound added to the base word – (plant-ed) and (land-ed) while the word “hopped” sounds like a /t/ at … Continue reading What is Explicit Instruction?
Penmanship, a (w)rite of passage, used to be part of the school curriculum. Third grade was traditionally the year when children began transitioning from manuscript to cursive writing. Over time, the practice of teaching handwriting began to fade as typing on the computer became more important across classrooms. With this change, fewer children were able … Continue reading Cursive Writing: A (W)rite of Passage
On a recent visit to Panera, my husband and I sat near a mother with her young son. She was busy on her cell phone while her son was on his, playing some game that made the most awful, loud noises. She didn’t seem to notice or mind because she was engrossed by her phone. … Continue reading Let’s Put Our Phones Down and Talk
What happens in the intermediate grades that causes a downward spiral in reading development? For some students, the change is dramatic. In the early grades, such children exhibit few, if any, struggles and appear happy to read. Then, by third grade, it slowly starts to change, and by fourth grade, these same children begin failing … Continue reading The Reading Slump: What Happens in Fourth Grade?