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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Reading Rockets Newsletter May 2014


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May 2014 Newsletter

  • In Focus: Summer learning  |  Start with a Book
  • Books & Authors: New booklist: From My Backyard  |  Interview with Linda Sue Park  |  Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: books and bookmarks  |  In Search of Wonder conference  |  Teacher appreciation books and e-cards
  • Ideas for Educators: Jigsaw strategy  |  Semantic mapping  |  Retelling a story  |  Early learning passports
  • Ideas for Parents: Active read alouds  |  Top vocabulary apps  |  Better hearing and speech
  • Research & News: What does Common Core implementation look like? l  |  Learning with disabilities: one effort to shake up the classroom  |  Family engagement is much more than volunteering at school
In focus

In Focus: Summer Learning

Start with a Book

Read. Talk. Explore. With 24 kid-tested themes to choose from, you'll find something for every child to dive into. Each theme includes dozens of carefully chosen fiction and nonfiction books, hands-on activities, writing ideas, apps and websites to deepen the learning. You'll also find simple, practical ideas on how to improve your child's fluency during the summer months.
Visit Start with a Book >

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Teachers: download and print this Start with a Book flyer to share with your families, for a summer full of discovery and learning.
Download flyer >

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Get Ready for Summer

Launch a summer full of active and enriching learning experiences for your students! We've put together a wealth of resources to share with parents: ideas for encouraging everyday reading and writing, and links to information about how to start a neighborhood book club, reading incentive programs, volunteering and active citizenship, kid-friendly gardening projects, great science-focused websites, and much more.
See Summer resources >

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Here's a sampling of tip sheets (in English and Spanish) to print and share with families:

Ignite Summer Reading at Your Public Library

Find out if your public library is part of the Collaborative Summer Library Program, a grassroots effort to provide high-quality summer reading programs for kids. This year's theme: Fizz, Boom, Read!


For your own fizz, boom explorations, plug into some of our science-themed Reading Adventure Packs

Find many more awesome summer resources for teachers, librarians and families in our Summer Reading section

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Books & Authors

Books & Authors

From My Backyard: Our New Booklist

Nature is all around (even in the city!), and full of wonder and surprises. Discover what clouds are made of, where rain goes after it splish-splashes to the ground, how birds craft their unique nests, the journey of a seed from sprout to beautiful flower and more — in these 10 delightful picture books.
View booklist >

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Tap Dancing on the Roof: Our Interview with Linda Sue Park Video icon

Park brings Korean history and culture vividly to life through her richly imagined stories for young readers. She creates unforgettable characters that cross centuries and continents, yet still feel fresh and relevant — like the 12th century orphan, Tree Ear, from her Newbery winning novel A Single Shard. We also love her lively, clever sijo poems from Tap Dancing on the Roof:


What's in your pockets right now? I hope they're not empty:
Empty pockets, unread books, lunches left on the bus —all a waste.
In mine: One horse chestnut. One gum wrapper. One dime. One hamster.

Watch interview >

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Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage!

A good book can open a child's eyes to new places, new customs. From family stories (Grandfather's Journey) to folktales (Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story) to food (Bee-Bim Bop!): discover the rich culture, humor, and traditions of Japan, Korea, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Hawaii in this collection of picture books for kids 3-9 years old.
Go to booklist >

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Our sister site, Colorin Colorado, offers many more booklists (like the two listed below) in their APA Heritage Month resource section.

In Search of Wonder: Common Core and More

Join authors Katherine Paterson, Steven Kellogg, Nikki Grimes and Tanya Lee Stone for an interdisciplinary, professional development day designed for educators, librarians, parents, and students of education and library science. Share information about new and classic fiction and nonfiction literature that can be used in the classroom across a variety of academic discipline — and get inspired! (Date: October 17. Location: Cleveland, OH)
Register today >

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Superhero Teachers!

Teachers are … smart, brave, intuitive, able to react at a moment's notice, possibly magical. Get to know Miss Frizzle, Miss Nelson, and the other wonderful and very human teachers in this collection of books.
See booklist >

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Don't forget Teacher Appreciation Week (May 5-10). Send an e-card to a favorite teacher in your child's life to thank them for the love of learning they bring to the classroom each day. Featuring delightful illustrations from Denise Brunkus and Henry Cole.
Send an e-card >

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Use the #ThankaTeacher hashtag and join thousands showing their support for our nation's teachers.

And sometimes teachers are also moms…
Mothers and More: Books About Families

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Ideas for Teachers

Ideas for Educators

Classroom Strategy: Jigsaw Video icon

Jigsaw is a cooperative learning strategy that enables each student of a "home" group to specialize in one aspect of a topic. Go inside Cathy Doyle's second grade classroom in Evanston, Illinois to observe her students use the jigsaw strategy to understand the topic of gardening more deeply and share what they have learned.
See strategy >

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Connecting Word Meanings Through Semantic Mapping

Semantic maps (or graphic organizers) are maps or webs of words. Maps can visually display the meaning-based connections between a word or phrase and a set of related words or concepts. Semantic maps help students — especially struggling students and those with disabilities — to identify, understand and recall the meaning of words they read in the text. Get the step-by-step on using semantic maps, how to integrate technology into the strategy, and a sample lesson.
See article >

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Retelling a Story Video icon

Melissa Porfirio, 2014 National Teacher of the Year finalist, is a first grade teacher in Springfield, VA. Take a look at how she guides her students in learning to retell a fairy tale, including characters, setting, and events. How does academic choice foster differentiated instruction? What can you learn from Ms. Porfirio about elevating student voice in the classroom? [CCSS: ELA.RL.1.1 ELA.RL.1.2 ELA.RL.1.3]
Watch video from the Teaching Channel >

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For Preschool Teachers: Creating an Early Learning Passport

By the end of the school year, preschool teachers know their students well, including each child's strengths and weaknesses. One way to make sure this important knowledge follows kids once they move on from preschool is to create an early learning "passport" — a folder containing checklists, documents, and work samples that can be passed on to a child's kindergarten teacher. This toolkit from the National Center for Learning Disabilities shows you how.
Get toolkit >

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Ideas for Parents

Ideas for Parents

Active Read Alouds Video icon

The best story times are very interactive: You are reading the story and asking questions, your child is talking and there is lots of conversation between the two of you. In this video, kids and volunteers come together around books in an Alexandria, VA reading program. Watch how one reading volunteer engages kids in active conversation about vegetables, and how an outdoor "milking station" turns into a memorable way to learn new vocabulary words like "pasteurizing." (To set up your own farm station, download our Farm-themed reading adventure pack).
Watch video and browse tip sheets >

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Our Top 13 Vocabulary Apps

Crosswords, Scrabble-style games, and interactive explorations of homophones, synonyms, and opposites — browse our baker's dozen of fun apps that engage young kids with words.
See vocabulary apps >

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Better Hearing and Speech

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) sponsors Better Hearing and Speech Month each May. Visit the ASHA website for resources and check out their Listen to Your Buds safe listening campaign.

Related articles from Reading Rockets

Find more resources in our Speech, Language, and Hearing section

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Research & News

Research & News

What Does Common Core Implementation Look Like? Ask a Teacher Video icon

The PBS NewsHour looked at how Common Core implementation is going in classrooms across the country with the help of young journalists in their Student Reporting Labs. They asked their student reporters to interview their teachers about how Common Core is affecting what they teach and how they teach it.
Watch story >

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Related story:
When English Proficiency Isn't Enough: The Common Core Requires More Than Basic Comprehension >

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Learning with Disabilities: One Effort to Shake Up the Classroom Video icon

This is what an inclusive classroom looks like: Children with disabilities sit next to ones who've been deemed "gifted and talented." The mixing is done carefully, and quietly. Students don't necessarily know who's working at what level. Presidio Middle School in San Francisco has been pushing for more integrated classrooms. But even champions of an inclusive model can have difficulty balancing students' varying needs. [NPR]
Listen to story >

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Family Engagement Is Much More Than Volunteering at School

A recent commentary at the New York Times explored the findings from a study on parental involvement. The authors of the study found that the common types of parental involvement, like volunteering more at school or attending school events, don't improve student achievement. And they're right. "Random acts of parent involvement" aren't enough. Other research shows that schools need to do more, especially to engage struggling families. The bottom line: Parent/family involvement must be "Beyond the Bake Sale." [Ed Central]
See story >

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"Books erase bias, they make the uncommon everyday, and the mundane exotic. A book makes all cultures universal."

Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon)

Children's Book Week
Patterns and Categorizing
APA Heritage Month

All the best from
Reading Rockets

Noel Gunther
Executive Director

Christian Lindstrom
Director, Learning Media

Shalini Anand
Technical Web Manager

Bridget Brady
Web and Video Coordinator

Tina Chovanec
Director, Reading Rockets

Kelly Deckert
Associate Manager,
Online Media

Ashley Gilleland

Joanne Meier, Ph.D.
Research Consultant

Maria Salvadore
Children's Literature Consultant

Rachael Walker
Outreach Consultant

Newsletter editor:
Tina Chovanec

About Reading Rockets

Reading Rockets is a national educational service of WETA, the flagship public television and radio station in the nation's capital. The goal of the project is to provide information on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help. Learn about easy ways you can link to us to let others know about the many free resources available from Reading Rockets.

Reading Rockets is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.

Send your questions, comments, or suggestions to readingrockets@weta.org. Our mailing address is WETA/Reading Rockets, 2775 S. Quincy St., Arlington, VA 22206. We look forward to hearing from you!

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