From checking emails to following a recipe to settling down with a good book, reading is an essential part of everyday life.
Research shows that developing language and literacy skills before kindergarten can have a huge impact on a child’s later reading ability. And when children move beyond rote practice to genuine passion, their reading skills skyrocket.
So, how can early education teachers inspire curiosity about books among their students, and how can elementary educators cultivate avid reading lovers? At this year’s International Literacy Association (ILA) conference, we spoke with two literacy experts and an award-winning teacher to help answer these questions.
Watch our interviews with Dr. Anne Cunningham, Carol Jago, and Amy Dendinger below.
Dr. Anne Cunningham
Author, Consultant, and Professor of Cognition and Development at UC Berkeley
In this Facebook Live, Dr. Anne Cunningham discusses emergent literacy and professional development for early childhood educators. Cunningham explains the value of developing a rich vocabulary and understanding conceptual language ideas before kindergarten. If students fall behind in second grade or earlier, she adds, it’s important to make sure they don’t get stuck in a cycle of demotivation. Watch this video to learn more about the activities parents and educators can do with young children to help them become lifelong readers.
Author, Teacher, and Former President of NCTE
In this interview, Carol Jago tells us about independent reading and how teachers can get students to fall in love with books. Jago highlights the importance of this passion, stating, “If we make reading painful for students, why are we surprised that they don’t read enough to get good at it?” Jago also touches on the impact of providing a variety of genres in the classroom and allowing students to read what interests them. Watch the video above and check out Jago’s blog post here on Shaped to learn more.
READ 180 Classroom Teacher and Intervention Specialist
We spoke with Amy Dendinger, one of our READ 180 award winners this year, at ILA about her own classroom experiences. As Anne Cunningham mentioned, young students can fall behind in reading levels and then struggle to find enthusiasm for the subject. Dendinger describes how the READ180 intervention program has helped transform her students from non-readers to enthusiastic book lovers. Watch her interview with HMH to hear about the growth she’s seen in both her students and her own teaching style.