bububooks

Helping children develop their American and native cultural identities together.

Posts Tagged ‘getting ready to read’

NAEYC Themes, Part 1: Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan’s Presentation

Posted by bububooks on December 5, 2009

Before I get to discussing the four themes mentioned in the last post by specifically looking at the various sessions I attended at NAEYC this year, I wanted to dedicate a blog posting solely to Secretary Duncan’s keynote speech at NAEYC.  His passion for early education was very evident.  It seemed clear to me that he was very serious and not just offering a speech that pandered to the audience.  Indeed, he is the first Secretary of Education to ever speak at NAEYC.

Secretary Duncan started off his presentation with a quote from President Franklin Roosevelt: “The destiny of American youth is the destiny of America.” He focused a lot on the issue that has plagued us for a long time: closing the achievement gap that exists before children even start kindergarten.  He referenced President Johnson’s vision to reach a day when “each child goes as far as his talents will take them.”

“Getting out of the catch-up business” represented a central theme in Secretary Duncan’s speech. He spoke of the Department’s development of a birth through age eight plan.  Modern research makes it clear that the most important years of child development is from birth through age three.  Yet our current approach has been to start focusing at age five in kindergarten.  Now the Department is making a major change since its World War I when it added kindergarten to every child’s public school education.  It seeks to align Early Childhood Education (ECE) with the K-12 programs.  Up until now, ECE has been highly fragmented and non-standardized, leading to unpredictable quality and further exacerbating the achievement gap.  But several programs have shown ways to succeed and offer scalable solutions that can be expanded throughout the country.

Secretary Duncan and the Department of Education (along with NAEYC and others in the education field) recognize that care and education cannot be thought of as separate entities in the education of young children.  He stated it’s time we acknowledged the evidence that social development and academic development are “inextricably linked.” As a result, the Department of Education has entered into a serious partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to integrate their foci on early child development and school readiness.

Secretary Duncan presented a huge task that he, the Department of Education, Early Childhood Educators and K-12 educators face today. Finally, though, he is leading the way to face this problem.  He outlined to fundamental challenges that we face in closing the achievement gap that starts before kindergarten.  1) There must be a coordinated system of early care that transitions to the K-12 program. 2) They must accelerate the shift from judging quality based solely in inputs to also basing it on outcomes. Secretary Duncan made sure to insist that inputs would not be ignored because they are important.  However, he wants to add outcomes to be a part of the criteria.

Finally, Secretary Duncan expressed his excitement about the changes underway in early education and child development. He acknowledged that mistakes will be made, but then he said, “I hope we never let the perfect become the enemy of the good.”

I personally was moved by Secretary Duncan’s speech and am excited about this unprecedented attention and energy toward early childhood education.  For the full speech, please visit: http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/2009/11/11182009.html

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More events this past weekend, SCAEYC and the Georgia Literary Festival

Posted by bububooks on October 19, 2009

Rome Library

Rome Library

Jacey and Laura both represented bububooks at events this past weekend.  Jacey visited beautiful northwest Georgia for the annual Georgia Literary Festival in Rome.  Despite the cold temperatures, she says she enjoyed her time up there and got to meet some pretty cool people, authors and booksellers.  Maybe she and her husband will make a camping trip up there in the near future!

SCAEYCLaura headed up to Columbia, South Carolina, for the South Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children conference.  Having never been to South Carolina before, she thoroughly enjoyed the city of Columbia and the people.  By the end, she was giving hugs as she left the conference!  At the conference, Laura met lots of GREAT people who are all seeking to improve the lives of children and teachers in South Carolina.  She says it was an inspiring weekend and she looks forward to going back as she develops stronger relationships with the people she met from throughout the state.  She’s so sad (and has been chastised by us) that she didn’t get any pictures of her new friends but promises to take more pictures next time. It has been her favorite trip for bububooks by far!  Thank you South Carolina and the SCAEYC!

GA Lit Fest

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Fun and Surprise at GAYC

Posted by bububooks on October 13, 2009

bububooks' booth at GAYCI had so much fun this past weekend in Atlanta at the Georgia Association on Young Children conference.  Not only did I enjoy meeting various childcare providers from throughout the state, but I also appreciated the enthusiastic response from them regarding our mission at bububooks to help bilingual children with literacy and cultural identity development.

I also had two pleasant surprises throughout the weekend. First, my hotel happened to be in a Korean part of town.  Being half-Korean, I found my way to a BBQ restaurant and indulged in some good ol’ Korean BBQ!  Even better, I invited some newly made friends to join me. It was both their first times to try Korean food and they loved it! I thought, “what a great way to embrace our mission by introducing people to a new cuisine!”  Second, as I was packing up at the end of the conference, I walked past a room where a session was still continuing.  The attendees were singing a song I had never heard before. However, the tune was that of the Air Force Song! I found myself humming the Song as I finished loading up the car (I’m an Air Force veteran).  I couldn’t believe I still remembered the words and it brought back many memories of the jovial times in which we would sing the first verse. J

Thanks to GAYC and all the attendees for making my trip so joyful! Off we go into the wild, blue yonder…

Laura

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Final post in the checklist series: Reading skills for third graders

Posted by bububooks on August 27, 2009

In the last of our checklist series, bububooks offers a checklist for reading skills that your child should develop throughout the third grade.  Be sure to talk with your child’s teacher for your questions.  Happy reading!

√ My child uses what he knows of phonics and word parts (prefixes, roots, suffixes) to sound out unfamiliar words.

√ My child reads third grade level texts (stories, non-fiction, magazine articles, computer screens) with fluency and comprehension.

√ My child explores topics of interest and reads longer stories and chapter books independently.

√ My child can explain the major points in fiction and non-fiction books.

√ My child identifies and discusses words or phrases she does not understand.

√ My child asks “how,” why,” and “what if” questions and discusses the themes or messages of stories.

√ My child uses information he has gathered and his own reasoning to judge explanations and opinions and distinguishes cause from effect, fact from opinion, and main ideas from supporting details.

√ My child understands and reads graphs and charts.

√ My child uses context to gain meaning from what she reads.

√ My child correctly spells words he has studied.

√ My child gathers information from a variety of sources, including books, articles, and computers, and uses it in his writing.

√ My child reviews her own written work for errors and works with teachers and classmates to edit and revise her work to make it clearer.

√ My child is starting to use metaphors and other literary forms in his writing.

√ My child discusses her writing with other children and responds helpfully to their writing.

√ My child develops his vocabulary and knowledge through independent reading

√ My child builds her vocabulary through synonyms and antonyms.

√ My child uses parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs) correctly.

The information is provided by The National Institute for Literacy.  For more information, please visit: http://www.nifl.gov/nifl/publications.html

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Reading checklist for second graders

Posted by bububooks on August 23, 2009

Next in our reading checklist series comes the literacy skills your child will learn while in the second grade.  Check back to this list throughout the school year and remember to talk with your child’s teacher about any questions you have.  Happy reading!

√ My child reads and understands second grade fiction and nonfiction, and compares and connects information from different sources.

√ My child reads for specific purposes and specific questions, and explores topics of interest on her own.

√ My child answers “how,” “why,” and “what-if” questions, and recalls information, main ideas, and details after reading.

√ My child interprets information from diagrams, charts, and graphs.

√ My child takes part in creative responses to stories, such as dramatizations and oral presentations.

√ My child pays attention to how words are spelled and correctly spells words he has studied.

√ My child spells a word the way it sounds if she doesn’t know its spelling.

√ My child writes for many different purposes and writes different types of compositions (for example, stories, reports, and letters).

√ My child makes thoughtful choices about what to include in his writing.

√ My child takes part in writing conferences, revises and edits what she has written, and attends to the mechanics of writing (spelling, capitalization, and punctuation) in her final version.

√ My child learns new words and shares them at school and at home.

√ My child uses clues from context and his knowledge of word parts (roots, prefixes, suffixes) to figure out what words mean.

√ My child is increasing his vocabulary with synonyms and antonyms.

√ My child uses parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs) correctly.

√ My child learns new words through independent reading.

Be sure to tune in later this week for that last of this series: third grade.  In the meantime, check out http://www.nifl.gov/nifl/publications.html for more information.  This checklist is provided by the National Institute for Literacy.  Give your child the gift of a lifetime: teach them to read!

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Reading skills for your first grader

Posted by bububooks on August 19, 2009

In our checklist series for learning to read, we focus on the skills first graders develop for this blog posting.  After the building blocks your child developed last year in kindergarten and strengthened over the summer, keep in mind this checklist of skills that usually develop as your child goes through the first grade.  As always, be sure to talk with your child’s teacher about any questions you may have.  Keep up the good work and have a great school year!

√ My child knows all the letters of the alphabet.

√ My child knows the difference between letters and words, and knows there are spaces between words in print.

√ My child knows that written words represent speech and can show how words are represented by letters arranged in a specific order.

√ My child knows some punctuation marks and where sentences and paragraphs begin and end.

√ My child is beginning to understand and explain why people read.

√ My child can put together (blend) and break apart the sounds of most one-syllable words and can count the number of syllables in a word.

√ My child can sound out words he doesn’t know, and recognize some irregularly spelled words, such as have, said, you, and are.

√ My child reads first grade books aloud, and can tell when she cannot understand what she is reading.

√ My child reads and understands simple written instructions.

√ My child uses what he already knows to enrich what he is reading.

√ My child predicts what will happen next in a story.

√ My child asks questions (how, why, what if?) about books she is reading and can describe what she has learned from a book.

√ My child uses invented spelling in his writing and also understands that there is a correct way to spell words.

√ My child uses simple punctuation marks and capital letters.

√ My child writes for different purposes–stories, explanations, lists, letters–and reads and revises her writing.

√ My child uses language with more control, speaks in complete sentences, and uses more formal language at school than at home and with friends.

√ My child is curious about words and uses new words when he speaks and writes.

√ My child is beginning to see that some words mean the same thing (synonyms) and some mean the opposite (antonyms).

√ My child is learning that words play different roles in sentences–that nouns name things and verbs show action, for example.

This checklist is provided by the National Institute for Literacy.  For more, visit http://www.nifl.gov/nifl/publications.html.  For more on bilingual children’s books, visit www.bububooks.com.  Happy reading!

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Teaching your kindergartener to read

Posted by bububooks on August 14, 2009

As school swings into session, we thought we should continue the learning to read checklists.  Below you’ll find Part 3 in our series.  Your child should develop the following skills throughout her kindergarten year.   Keep in mind, she won’t have these skills right away, but usually develops them by the end of kindergarten.  Be sure to talk with your child’s teacher for more details or if you have any questions while your child enters the magical world of reading!

√ My child listens carefully to books read aloud.

√ My child knows the shapes and names for the letters of the alpahbet and writes many uppercase and lowercase letters on his own.

√ My child knows that spoken words are made of separate sounds.

√ My child recognizes and makes rhymes, can tell when words begin with the same sound, and can put together, or blend, spoken sounds.

√ My child can sound out some letters.

√ My child knows that the order of letters in a written word stands for the order of sounds in a spoken word.

√ My child knows some common words such as a, the, I, and you, on sight.

√ My child knows how to hold a book, and follows print from left to right and from top to bottom of a page when she is read to in English.

√ My child asks and answers questions about stories and uses what she already knows to understand a story.

√ My child knows the parts of a book and understands that authors write words and text and illustrators create pictures.

√ My child knows that in most books the main message is in the print, not the pictures.

√ My child predicts what will happen in a story and retells or acts out stories.

√ My child knows the difference between “made up” fiction and “real” nonfiction books and the difference between stories and poems.

√ My child uses what he knows about letters and sounds to write words.

√ My child writes some letters and words as they are said to her and begins to spell some words correctly.

√ My child writes his own first and last name and the first names of some friends and family.

√ My child plays with words and uses new words in her own speech.

√ My child knows and uses words that are important to school work, such as the names for colors, shapes, and numbers.

√ My child knows and uses words from daily life, such as street names and the names for community workers–teacher, mail carrier, etc.

This information is provided by the National Institute for Literacy.  For more, please visit http://www.nifl.gov/nifl/publications.html.

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Getting your toddler ready to read

Posted by bububooks on August 10, 2009

Hello there! This blog posting serves as a ‘prequel’ of sorts to the last blog posting and focuses on getting your toddler (2 or 3 years old) ready to read.  Below is a checklist for you as you help your toddler grow with strong reading skills.  And REMEMBER: you can follow this checklist in the language YOU feel most comfortable!  Literacy skills transfer across languages, so be sure to expose your children to your native language.

√ I read with my child every day, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

√ I encourage my child to bring his favorite books to me so that we can read together.

√ I point to pictures and name them out loud, and encourage my child to point to pictures while we read.

√ I watch to see if my child sometimes makes eye contact with me when I read aloud.  That tells me she is paying attention to me and the story.

√ I talk with my child throughout the day about things we are doing and things that are happening around us.

√ I try to be patient when my child wants to read the same book over and over again.

√ I encourage my child to “play” with books—pick them up, flip them from front to back, and turn the pages.

√ Sometimes I listen when my child “pretends,” to read a book—he holds the book, goes from page to page, and says words, even though they’re not the words on the page.

√ I give my child paper and crayons so she can scribble, make pictures, and pretend to write.

This checklist was taken from the National Institute of Literacy.  More information can be found at www.nifl.gov/nifl/publications.html.  Happy reading!

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Getting your preschooler ready to read

Posted by bububooks on August 6, 2009

A man reads with his son

As the start of school approaches, you and your preschooler may be nervous!  So many firsts will occur during the preschool years—how exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time.  One of those many firsts will include learning to read.  Below is a checklist from the National Institute for Literacy that offers ways to help your child “get ready to read” during the ages of 4 and 5.

√ I help my child hear and say the first sound in words (like “b” in boat), and notice when different words start with the same sound (like “boat” and “book”).

√ I help my child hear words that rhyme (like moose, goose, and caboose).

√ I introduce new words to my child, like “bow” and “stern,” which mean the front of a boat and the back of a boat.

√ I talk with my child about the letters of the alphabet and notice them in books, like “c” for canoe.

√ I point out signs and labels that have letters, like street signs and foods in the grocery store.

√ I encourage my child to find the joy and fun in reading.  Usually, I let my child choose the books we read.

√ I let my child pretend to read parts of the books when we read together.

√ I talk with my child about stories and make connections to things that happen in our own lives.

√ I ask “what,” “where,” and “how” questions when I read with my child to help her follow along and understand the stories.

√ I help my child write notes or make books (like an alphabet book), even if his writing only looks like scribbles or marks.

For checklists on other age ranges and for more information, visit the National Institute for Literacy at http://www.nifl.gov/nifl/publications.html

Literacy begins at home!

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