Why Blog

I’m passionate about finding ways to simplify comprehension instruction and learning. I’m concerned that we are defining comprehension too narrowly as an accumulation of five or six meta-cognitive strategies when cultivating comprehension involves so much more than that. We need to help children acquire accurate fluent reading skills and strategies; build background knowledge; develop their oral language and vocabulary; make reading-writing connections, and acquire a repertoire of meta-cognitive strategies to use as and if needed.

So I invite you to join me in blogging about this ever-so-important topic. I look forward to hearing your ideas, teaching strategies, book recommendations, classroom stories, etc., basically anything that will inspire a healthy conversation among colleagues.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Flat Stanley Is Alive and Well (Traveled)

My last encounter (until recently) with Flat Stanley came two years ago when my granddaughter Sofia sent me an envelope with none other than Flat Stanley inside, asking that I show him the sights and then get photos and travel descriptions back to her so she and her classmates could learn more about Brooklyn Heights. Hmm… so Stanley and I went out to the Brooklyn Promenade one blustery winter morning to snap photos. We took pictures of the Brooklyn Bridge and the New York City skyline, and then of the coffee shop where I like to hang out, of our doorman welcoming Stanley into our building, etc. Although Stanley and I had a great time, I was happy to send him and some New York City books back to sweet Sofia and her classmates. Done…fini…finito. (Not quite … as you’ll see in the photo to the left of this page, a lucky BUTTERFLY got to visit Times Square and many other New York City landmarks at the request of Eva, granddaugher #2.)

Quite honestly I didn’t think of Flat Stanley again until I came across Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures series in a bookstore. Of course! Flat Stanley must have traveled the country and the world as grandchildren everywhere mailed him to grandparents everywhere. And now there are more stories to tell!

Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures: The Great Egyptian Grave Robbery a book your new-to-chapter book readers will enjoy. In this adventure, Stanley is mailed to Egypt to help find ancient treasure locked for centuries inside a pyramid. He finds himself fearing the grave looters may lock him in the tomb "to rot for eternity with the mummies and no one will ever know." Imagine. Your kids will love it. As a companion to this, you might read If I Were a Kid in Ancient Egypt to help ground children in this exotic time and place. It makes life in ancient "come to life," so to speak.

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