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My four-year-old son recently found a flashcard with the word “flabbergasted” on it. I read the card to him and told him the meaning of the word. He now brings the card everywhere he goes and belly laughs whenever he shows it to someone. Last night he slept with it under his pillow.

There’s something deeply delightful about learning a new vocabulary word.

One day, while our kids were coloring together, I overheard my brother-in-law ask his daughter if she needed more crowns. “Is she drawing a royal family?” I wondered. “Is she planning to play dress-up later?” Imagine my surprise when I realized my brother-in-law’s...

“What does it take to raise reading achievement in a whole school?” A classroom-teacher-turned-reading-coach recently asked this question to one of our favorite experts on literacy, Tim Shanahan. As usual, his answer was detailed, thoughtful, and full of important insights.

Children are masters at reading our expectations of them. What we communicate with our body language, mood, and tone of voice while interacting with them often speaks louder than the actual words we say. And when we have expectations, guess what? For better or worse, the children live into them.

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