March: Time to Celebrate Books & Baseball
The National Endowment for the Arts’ annual Read Across America finishing its tour and President and Mrs. Obama supporting the Open E Books Initiative, a government private corporate partnership designed to provide access to $250,000,000 of digital content free of charge to institutions that assist children who are underprivileged or who have learning challenges.
What a terrific way to put Common Core in its place: For one afternoon, place appeals for ACT, the ‘New SAT’ and other standardized test accommodations aside, and pore over a great new release rather than planning summer college visits for you and your 11th grader! Let’s take the advice of ReadAloud.org and take 15 minutes to enjoy the pleasure of a good read.
It’s time to head over to your local book-store and pick up something fun to enjoy – or to read with someone else. One of my favorite haunts is The Corner Bookstore. Insider tip: Set up an account for your child, who will join thousands of other UES locals from decades past with index cards tracking their reads and balances — all lovingly archived in wooden files behind the counter that displays the snazziest vintage cash register around.
Reading Recs for Those with Baseball on the Brain
The White House should have total consensus on its Open Ebook Initiative: It’s a great time for kids and adults alike stretch their imagination and their mental muscles just as in these weeks the athletes fine tune their Spring Training drills! Here’s a sampling of title we hope you will enjoy:
For the 7-13 Year Old Set Counting the Minutes till Opening Day:
Dan Gutman ’s latest ‘Baseball Adventure’ release, Willie & Me. It’s the latest in Gutman’s series which links baseball and history. The series hero, Joe Shostak’s time travel adventures take place with the rub of a baseball card. Parents may enjoy Gutman’s earlier piece, Roberto & Me, where Joe’s time travel takes him to a late 1960’s Jimi Hendrix Concert!
Preorder MLB Network sportscaster Brian Kenny‘s ode to analytics, Ahead of the Curve with a taste here from last week’s SABR’s 5th Annual Analytics Conference. I spoke with Brian about his mantra: Analytics shape critical thinking on and off the field. We talked baseball, critical thinking, and metacognition: Here’s what he had to say about why baseball is such a great way to engage our kids:
For Mommies Dashing Around Town……..
for last minute spring break reads can grab the handy paperback (Birken Bag friendly) Primates of Park Avenue:A Memoir, Wednesday Martin ’s intriguing, dramatic. and humorous take on UES/UWS life and parenting,
Reading Skills Grow When Reading is Fun
Enjoying reading and improving fluency happens when books are engaging and when we can read them at an independent, comfortable reading level. This can be a year-round experience, but spring and summer vacation lend themselves to family time and more relaxed opportunities to live literacy through our passions.
Professor Jeanne Chall, my Harvard Ed School mentor from 30 years ago would want us all to remember that reading is a developmental process that can be systematically taught but is best fostered gradually and in naturalistic ways. It starts with talking to our kids when they are babies and is a lifelong process, just ask the entrepreneurs, lawyers, physicians and writers I teach as they fine-tune their skills to advance their passions and their professional aspirations. Let’s remind ourselves, our students and children to enjoy books that are not always ‘a stretch’ – This is essential to honing reading and ensuring fluency grows and that reading remains a fun experience. Check out these Ivy Prep tips for improving reading comprehension.
We invite you to share this blog, and to comment on it, and jot us a note – whether about your favorite books or places you’ll be enjoying them this spring. And then… head outdoors with your kids to enjoy the beautiful day and…. PLAY BALL!