RN Bookmark

One of my favorite teachers of all time wasn’t my teacher—at least not officially. His name was Teacher Tom, and he was my children’s preschool teacher. Somehow, Teacher Tom was consistently able to engage a classroom full of rambunctious three and four-year-olds in rich, meaningful, and conflict-free learning and play. They took turns, they cleaned up their messes, and even the shy, tentative children were relaxed and confident in his classroom. How did he do it? The other preschool parents and I wondered if he might have superpowers.

The new school year is quickly approaching. Soon the building will be flooded with students both familiar and new. They’ll look taller and their cheeks will be sun-kissed. Some will be apprehensive; some will be raring to go. To ensure a smooth start for all of your students—and, most especially, for you—advance preparations to your classroom and curricula are essential.

We’re excited to announce the release of our best-ever version of Read Live: Read Live 2.0. This release includes a number of important updates for security and performance.

Reading without comprehension is about as much fun as looking at a page of jumbled letters. What’s the point? The reason we read is to gain knowledge, to enrich our lives, and to be entertained. None of these things can happen without comprehension.

The two most important factors in a successful read-aloud are a great book selection and a great delivery. When these two factors are present, it feels like magic. The room becomes still. All eyes are on the reader. The crowd collectively furrows at the worrisome parts of the story and roars with laughter at the funny parts. When good stories are read aloud, they can instantly lift up, teach, and unite diverse groups of people. Few things in life are so simple, yet so powerful.

On airplanes, they tell you to secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others. You’re only able to help another person if you have enough air for yourself. This advice can be applied metaphorically to any situation in life—and it’s the kind of advice that is especially difficult for teachers to follow. Teachers are the ultimate helpers. Without hesitation, they’ll set aside their own needs to help a student or colleague in need. So how do they avoid running out of oxygen? For many teachers, the answer is S-U-M-M-E-R.

To look into the eyes of a young person and see that he or she is struggling is difficult for anyone—but it’s especially difficult for the child’s parents. Students who struggle with reading often feel frustrated, tired, sad, angry, embarrassed, and a whole host of other emotions. The parents of these students often feel many of these same things. Many want to help their children but don’t know where to start. “What if I don’t have a background in education?” “What if I don’t have enough hours in my day?” “I know nothing about literacy instruction—what if my efforts to help end up confusing the child even more?” “There are so many programs claiming to help struggling readers—how will I choose the best one?” These are just a few of the many questions that can overwhelm a struggling reader’s parents. To these parents, our answer is simply: Let us help.

How do you think your students are doing on their summer reading lists so far? It’s fun to imagine them leaned up against a shady tree with a good classic, isn’t it? (A teacher can dream!) Wouldn’t you love that kind of lazy day? Who’s to say you can’t have one—or several? Summer reading is important for teachers too. And usually, after a busy school year, it’s quite a treat.

Carol Dweck’s groundbreaking mindset research has been all the rage in education circles for a number of years now. Her research shows that students with growth mindsets—those who welcome a challenge and believe they can improve with effort—perform better than students with fixed mindsets who tend to avoid difficult tasks and who believe certain traits, like intelligence, can’t be grown.

Teachers can help nurture the growth mindset, and many have made it a priority to do so in their classrooms. But what, exactly, does this look like? Many people understand Dweck’s research to mean we should encourage and praise effort, not outcomes. But this understanding, Dweck says in a recent interview in The Atlantic, misses the mark.

Plenty of research confirms that schools with positive climates, in which the students have strong social-emotional skills, are ideal learning environments. Teachers and parents don’t need research to believe this—it’s common sense that when people are shown kindness as opposed to hostility, they’re far more apt to succeed in school and beyond.

Make Your Student a STAR!

Read Naturally Star of the Month​Share your student’s success story—nominate him or her for our Star of the Month award. Win a Barnes & Noble gift card for the student and a Read Naturally gift certificate for your class!

pointer Submit a Star-of-the-Month entry

Archive

Contact

Please let us know what questions you have so we can assist. For Technical Support, please call us or submit a software support request.

 
Click to refresh image