Thursday, January 17, 2013

What would Ben Franklin think of the modern library??

If you are a lover of Libraries, you must be forever grateful to Benjamin Franklin, the founder of the Library Company of Philadelphia in 1731. It was America's first lending library and can lay claim to being the predecessor of the free public library.

 “Welcome to the Library, Where Shushing is Overdue” a recent article in the WSJ illustrated how much libraries have changed. My favorite libraries are “user-friendly” and along with areas of quiet for reading and contemplation, they are also full of activity with programs geared for kids and adults. Franklin, a true Renaissance man, had something witty and poignant to say on almost any topic imaginable. One of my favorites of his quotes is: “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

What would Ben think of the modern library? Your guess is as good as mine, but I like to think he would be pleased to see busy libraries used so well.

For those who like to discover little known facts: Did you know that Franklin appeared on the first United States postage stamp and has been depicted on more U.S. postage stamps than any other American except George Washington?

Monday, January 14, 2013

The value of reading the same book over and over again.

Children look for safety and autonomy in the books they read. Their familiarity with a story satisfies both those desires. Multiple reads of the same book also offers them the opportunity to go deeper into the story, showing them how to get more from a story..

You might think you can’t read Sylvester and the Magic Pebble one more time…but you can and you will.  Here is a shared letter from a first time parent that illustrates how very valuable the experience can be

 “As a first-time parent, I found the conversational reading workshop incredibly valuable.  So often we are inundated with instructions like, "be sure your child reads at least three books a day!"  I've often felt guilty when, after a long day of work for me and later-than-usual dinner and bath for my daughter, we only manage to squeeze one book - or part of one book - together.  The workshop helped me realize that it's not simply about how much or how often you read together, but how you read together.  Now, we take our time and we read deeper.  This has also made me less bored when my daughter wants to read the same book for five days in a row! I take advantage of the opportunity to have five different conversations, each a little deeper and more meaningful than the one before.”  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Diane will be presenting at OAASFEP, Columbus Ohio, march 20-22, 2013.

This highly successful learning event will again feature many nationally-known inspirational and outstanding educators as keynote or workshop presenters. The implementation of the Common Core State Standards will be woven into many sessions at this conference.

Diane shares insights with Gateway Community College students, faculty and staff

Read A book. Ask a question. Start a conversation. These seemingly simple steps can help turn young children into lifelong readers. Frankenstein had great praise for Gateway President Dr. Dorsey L. Kendrick, Marjorie Weiner, the director of ELC, and Eder for their interest and investment in the literacy of young people and for finding creative ways to build bridges between and among parents, children, teachers and other stakeholders in the community. “Diane empowered parents by giving them the tools to help their children become successful readers. Parents are talking about the great conversations and connections that are happening now with their shared reading experiences,” Weiner said. “Diane validated parents as their children’s first teachers." +PM&

Monday, January 7, 2013

Start the year off with a Growth Mindset

The WSJ recently published the result of a German study which found that intelligence was not a factor in achievement. Although intelligence counts at the outset it’s a matter of motivation and study skills that bring growth.

The best learning environments are predicated on motivation and skills.

Here are some growth mindset principles:
~ Most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point.

~ Being mastery-oriented is about having the right mind-set. It is not about proving how smart you are

~ Emphasizing effort gives a child a variable that they can control

~ Intelligence is not a static state. Intelligence is something you acquire and can be developed.

The brain is like a muscle that gets stronger with use. Giving the brain a harder workout is akin to making the brain smarter. Simply put, learning helps you become smarter. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Letter from a parent in New Haven CT

Thank you to everyone who was involved in putting together the Literacy Workshop with Diane Frankenstein. My husband and I are avid readers, so going into the workshop I was anxious and excited to find out and learn what we could implement or change in our home that would help us, help our children find and keep their love for learning.

I left the workshop completely enthusiastic. As soon as I got home I took a few moments to review page 16 of Reading Together and chose a question I would use to initiate a conversation with our daughters.

I then asked our girls to look at the pictures of the book, Unlovable, and to tell me what they believed was happening.  When I finished reading the book, magic happened. I utilized one of Diane Frankenstein’s conversation starters and changed it up a bit. Instead of asking our daughter’s “What would you do in this situation,” I asked them “if Alfred (the dog) was a child, and the other animals were children what would you do in this situation? Our five-year-old daughter, Zoë, became extremely emotional. She said, “Mom, don’t they know that everyone belongs? That it does not matter what we look like on the outside, because we are all the same on the inside? The conversation evolved from there.

It turned into a long successful conversation about how “judging” and treating individuals “different” because of the way they look is unacceptable. The conversation brought our little family together in an amazing way. It was also a joyous moment for us that there were questions we could ask that would help our kids get more from the books they read and continue their love of reading.