Ignite The Genius In Your Child! #eBookPlaza @PreK12Plaza #Ad

*This is part of a sponsored collaboration ̊with the PreK12 Plaza. However, all opinions expressed are my own. #eBookPlaza #PlazaBilingue     I've always loved literature and reading.  These were the very reasons why I became a Literacy Specialist.  I just couldn't imagine anyone being deprived of the joy that comes from the written word and vowed to help anyone I could to become literate.  As an educator who loves being one, I will only stand behind educational programs or apps that spark this love of reading in children.  That is why I am so excited to share the launch of app eBook Plaza on PreK12 Plaza!    eBook Plaza is a new, free, bilingual, multimedia resource, providing teachers with blended lessons supporting English-language standards.  It gives young readers access to hundreds of eBooks in a variety of reading levels that are available in both English and Spanish.  Integrating technology and reading is a match … [Read more...]

Teach Your Children To Celebrate Their Differences! #LaFamiliaCool #Giveaway #Ad

    As many of you know, I have been a Literacy Specialist for over fifteen years in New York City.  Working in such a diverse city, I have always been surprised by the lack of multicultural reading material that has been available to my students over the years.  Every good reading teacher knows that children relate better to books and texts that they can personally connect to and see themselves in.  It's the best way to instill a true love of literature in them and to create lifelong readers and learners.     You can imagine my excitement when I learned that I would have the opportunity to review the new bilingual picture book La Familia Cool: El tesoro más valioso / The Most Valuable Treasure by Dania Santana.  It is a heartwarming story about a multicultural family who celebrates its diversity and takes pride in instilling values in its members.  My sons and I especially loved all of the different characters in the book who mirror … [Read more...]

How Can You Make Your Kids Read More This Summer?

    I'm sure that most of you struggle with coaxing your children to read during summer vacation.  Even though I am a teacher, my kids would much rather ride their bikes outside and play on their tablets than read any day.  Believe me, teachers' kids are just as good as at other kids at getting out of doing anything that is remotely related to school work.     The truth is that I don't even read as much as I used to because I am just so busy most of the time.  However, I can tell you that reading is the foundation of everything that your kids will every do in school and it is important to encourage them to read as much as they can.     Doing so will help them with their fluency, which is the ability to pronounce words properly when they are reading aloud.  Also, reading frequently helps kids with their comprehension and their ability to clearly understand what is taking place in the text.     So here is the million dollar question, just how can we all get our kids to read more when … [Read more...]

Get Your Kids Excited About Reading! #Literacy #Education

    One of the most frequent questions that I get asked as an educator by parents is how they can get their kids to read more.  It seems that in this fast-paced, technologically advanced world that we currently live in, taking the time out to read a book has become something of an anomaly.  Unfortunately, it is something that I witness regularly with my own students as it is a daily struggle to get them to read.     Many parents blame themselves for this but, the reality is that the Internet and the easy access that we now have to all kinds of information has decreased our attention span for reading to a certain extent.  When I let my students go on the computers in my classroom they immediately become engaged but I rarely see the same enthusiasm when I put books in front of them.  As a parent, I also worry about whether my children are spending enough time reading.     There are many reasons why reading is such an important part of a child's academic and social development.  Reading … [Read more...]

21st Century Education-Con Qué Se Come Eso? @Univision #EsElMomento #Latism

    Many times, when the question arises about what 21st century education looks like and sounds like in today's classrooms, we look at each other with that proverbial quizzical look that we embody in Spanish with the saying, "Con qué se come eso?"  Basically asking, "What does that even mean?"  The truth is that there are so many theories and methodologies about education floating around that it is sometimes hard to keep up with what works and what doesn't.     I have a unique perspective on education in this century due to my over 13 years experience as a New York City public school teacher.  During my tenure, I have had the opportunity to observe firsthand some of the issues with our current educational system as well as celebrate some of its victories.  One particular victory being the recent consensus that has been reached regarding implementing a common core curriculum across the entire United States.    It was a necessary step that had to be taken because there have always … [Read more...]

Reading As A Punishment?

    This past week, I had to get in contact with my son's teacher for the first time this year.  It all started when my son came home and told me that he had to write a book report as punishment for not behaving while on line in school.  I immediately asked him what he was doing on line and he explained to me that he put his hands on the shoulders of the student in front of him to make like a train.  The first thing that I did was to proceed to explain to him the importance of following the teacher's directions and not fooling around either on line or in the classroom.     As the conversation with him went on, however, I started to become concerned at the way that his teacher handled the whole thing and some red flags went up in my mind regarding whether I agreed with the consequences that she had doled out.  It seems that she immediately sent him to the teacher's lounge to sit with the teacher's assistant and, when she was ready, handed him a book and told him, "Let's see how you do … [Read more...]

Are We Lost? Children’s Book Review and Giveaway

This post is written by me on behalf of author, Annie Fox. I received a product sample to review. All opinions are 100% mine.    Reading is very important in our home.  For one thing, I am a Literacy Specialist so I understand the importance of reading with my children as often as possible.  My older son learned to read very easily and all I had to do was support him by listening to him read and discussing the books that he read with him in order to increase his comprehension.  Initially, my younger son did not learn to read so easily so I had to spend a lot of time with him reading and sounding words out.     Our hard work paid off and he finally learned to read and completely took off!  He is now an avid reader who reads beautifully and enjoys literature immensely.  I can't begin to tell you how thrilled he was when I told him that we would be reviewing the children's book Are We Lost-A Raymond and Sheila Story, written by Annie Fox and illustrated by Eli Noyes.     The story … [Read more...]

Read Them The Way

This evening, I was listening to my seven year old son read aloud as part of his homework. I couldn't help but think to myself that he is a much better reader than some of my students in the eighth grade. You would not believe how many teenagers these days barely know how to read. We could spend days debating back and forth about what the reasons are for this. The truth is that, in most cases, a love of literature begins very early in childhood and is a direct result of the literacy behaviors that children have observed being modeled by their parents or legal guardians.As a Literacy teacher, I knew early on how important it was to expose my boys to a variety of texts regularly. This included reading to both of them aloud in the evenings as well as discussions about the book before and after reading it. Many parents make the mistake of simply reading books to their children but not discussing their content and asking questions about what the story was mostly about. While reading … [Read more...]