Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Read Aloud Handbook 6th. Edition

Are you suggesting this reading stuff is the job of the parent?
I thought it was the school's job.

Let me introduce you to the "sponge factor" in education, the largest of all the missing ingredients in the NCLB legislation. We start with a young lady named Bianca Cotton whom I met for the first time in 2002 on the morning my grandson Tyler began kindergarten. Families were invited in for the first hour to help break the ice and I was snapping some pictures of Tyler and a new friend when I gradually became aware of an extended conversation going on behind me, in the little housekeeping section of the kindergarten. Turning around, I found Bianca cooking up a make-believe meal on a make-believe stove, while carrying on a make-believe conversation on a make-believe cordless phone. And, as you can see here in the photo I snapped in the ensuing moments, she had all the body language down for talking on the phone and cooking at the same time.

While these are our children, they are also our little sponges. If Bianca had never seen her mother talking on the phone while "cooking," she'd never think to grab a phone while cooking her first kindergarten meal. If Bianca isn't proof enough of the sponge-like quality of childhood, consider this one. Since 1956, no newspaper, network, or news agency has been able to correctly predict the outcome of all 14 presidential elections—except for one group. Every four years for a half century, the quarter million children who vote in the Weekly Reader Presidential poll have been right every time but once. They even nailed the contested Bush-Gore election.

Like little sponges, they sit there in living rooms, kitchens, and cars, soaking up all the words and values of their parents, and then walk into a classroom and squeeze them onto a piece of paper. It's simple arithmetic: The child spends 900 hours a year in school and 7,800 hours outside school. Which teacher has the bigger influence? Where is more time available for change? Read more.

This is the book that inspires me a lot in my read aloud campaign. I've read this book so many times to understand the beauty of this skills and absorbed as much as I can the spirit in reading aloud. If anyone interested, you can buy this book HERE.

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