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Mary K.'s blog

Launching Young Readers: A television series by Reading Rockets

The Reading Rockets website is chock-full of really useful information related to reading, authors, books, and language.

How NOT To Read Aloud to Kids

I'm sure many of us are familiar with Jim Trelease's Read Aloud Handbook, a guide to sharing books with children which has served teachers, parents and librarians well through many years and editions.

Why Don't You Teach Reading?

This month I began my usual round of preschool Open Houses. It's my chance to talk to the parents of the new preschoolers about the library, and, of course, about early literacy, and what they can do at home to help their child get ready to read. One thing I always emphasize, though, is that none of the activities we suggest are TEACHING. They do not need to teach their child to read - but if they share books, sing songs, talk about their day, tell stories, and play with letters, their child's reading sills will develop naturally.

CLEL in the News

Bonnie McCune, a founding member of CLEL, has this article in American Libraries on Colorado's successful statewide early literacy intitiatives (including CLEL!):

Early Literacy: A Sustainable Statewide Approach


Brain Rules for Baby: An Evening with Dr. John Medina

From the August edition of "Progress and Possibilities" from the Lt. Governor's office. To subscribe, send a message to with "Subscribe P&P" in the subject line:

The Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy, in partnership with the Ann M. Logan Lecture Series, proudly presents an evening with Dr. John Medina
Thursday, October 28, 2010 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Sing a Storytime

CLEL'S new site,, has videos of several songs that would be wonderful shared between parent and child, or in a library storytime.  Young children LOVE to sing, so why not include several songs in your storytime? Singing is a perfect way to reinforce phonological awareness and introduce new vocabulary.

Time to Rhyme!

As we know, sharing rhyming books is a great way to promote phonological awareness, or, the ability to Rhyming Dust Bunnieshear and play with the smaller sounds in a word.  Younger children may especially enjoy reciting favorite nursery rhymes, and for storytimes with older preschoolers, ask them to fill in the rhyming word (or make up a sill

How the brain learns to read: start by unlearning.

New research indicates that in order to learn to recognize words, children's brains may have to do some Lettersunlearning. Dr.

Top 15 Blogs on Reading and Literacy

Blogs are a great place to get real-world, practical information on teaching reading and sharing books. Recently, this list of the "Top 15 blogs on reading and literacy" came out, and it includes some heavy hitters like Rasco from RIF and First Book.

Letter Knowledge in Storytime

Personally, I find letter knowledge one of the more difficult skills to highlight in storytime.  Many alphabet books just don't have enough of a story to make them good read-alouds, and since I only see my storytime kids once a month, highlighting a specific letter for every storytime won't work for me.  But I have found a few ways to highlight letters:

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