The Read-Aloud Handbook has ratings and reviews. Adrienne said: I have really mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, Trelease’s treas. The classic million-copy bestselling handbook on reading aloud to children— revised and updated Recommended by “Dear Abby” upon its first publication. “It’s not the toys in the house that make the difference in children’s lives; it’s the words in their heads,” says Jim Trelease in The Read-Aloud Handbook.

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N the thirty years since the first edition of this book, much has changed in the world, as well as in American education. And so, too, the book has evolved. The closest thing to an “instant message” was a facial expression that exasperated mothers gave their children. The first CD player was just going on sale, Starbucks was just a coffee-bean shop in Seattle, and if you said “laptop” to people they’d have thought you were talking about some kind of TV-dinner tray.

And what did we get for the billions spent on testing? For all of those differences, there are some things that remain the same. Inthe U. At practically the same time, the cost of college began a percent increase, outpacing the increases in medical care and median family income by Which brings us to the present time.

With all the new technology now in place and billions of dollars in testing accomplished, we’ve made a one point improvement in reading scores since see chart. If you’re even half sane, you have to be asking yourself, “What in the world is wrong here? I should interject my thoughts here on the national testing mania and so-called school reforms.

Since entire volumes have been done on the subject, I’ll restrict my conclusions to just this single paragraph. The last three decades have been largely a huge money-grab by testing companies and their government pawns. If you need proof, look no further than the half-page summary of events done by New York Times education columnist Michael Winerip in Over and over, government regardless of party affiliation proved itself wrong, inaccurate, deceitful, duplicitous, contradictory, and unworthy of trust.

God help the children with those public servants in charge.

The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease | : Books

Given that amount of ineptitude, is anything going right? Consider again that reading chart and look for the sunshine. With the hundreds of distractions imposed on children in the last 30 years— cable channels; most children with TV’s in their bedrooms usually the lowest scoring students ; single-parents raising one in four children, and a baby born every sixty seconds to a teen mother 6 —it’s a wonder alkud scores actually rose by one point and didn’t drop by 10 or If that is the case, then something must be working and this book will examine what really works.


In fact, let’s look at one of those “somethings” now.

The Read-Aloud Handbook

Of the four hundred thousand students taking the A. When word got out that this kid from Russell, Kentucky population 3,had scored a perfect 36, the family was besieged with questions, the most common being “What prep course did he take?

In responding to inquiries about Christopher’s prep courses, the Williamses simply told people—including the New York Times 7 — that he hadn’t taken any, that he did no prep trepease.

That, of course, wasn’t completely true. His rezd and father had been giving him and his younger brother free prep classes all through their childhoods, from infancy into adolescence: Even though Susan Williams was a fourth-generation teacher, she offered no home instruction in reading before the boys reached school sloud. She and Tad just read to them—sowed and sewed the sounds and syllables and endings and blendings of language into the love of books. Each boy easily learned to read, loved it, gobbled it up voraciously.

Read-Aloud Handbook-Introduction pg 1

Besides being a family bonding agent, reading aloud was used not as test prep as much as an “ensurance” policy—it ensured the boys would be ready for whatever came their way in school. That, combined with church and Scouting, would ensure they were ready for whatever life threw at them.

ByDavid was a University of Louisville graduate working as an engineer and Christopher was pursuing his PhD in biochemistry at Duke. Sometimes Christopher’s early reading experiences surface jum in the biochemistry department, like the day after a Duke basketball loss and he remarked to his lunch mates, “I guess ‘there’s no joy in Mudville’ today. The Williams family experience didn’t surprise me at all because I was already familiar with reading aloud as a prep course. Tom Parker recommends it all the time.

Matt Renwick’s Top Ten Takeaways from The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease (Penguin, 2013)

He’s the former admissions director for Williams College who is now at Amherst College, two of the most prestigious colleges in America. Parker tells anxious parents who ask about improving their child’s S. Eventually, if that’s a wonderful experience for them, they’ll start to read themselves. Are you suggesting this reading stuff is the job of the parent? I thought it was the school’s job. This brings us to the eead factor,” exemplified by a young lady named Bianca Cotton photo rightwhom I met in on the morning my grandson Tyler began kindergarten.


Families were invited in for the first hour to help break the ice, and I was snapping some pictures of Tyler and a new friend when I became aware of an extended conversation going on behind me in the little housekeeping section of the kindergarten. Turning around, I treelase Bianca cooking up a make-believe meal on a make-believe stove while carrying on a make-believe conversation on a make-believe cordless phone.

And, as you can see in the photo I snapped, she had all the body language down for talking on the phone and cooking at the same time. Every child, kindergartner or otherwise, is a little “sponge,” soaking up the behavior of the people around them. If Bianca had never seen an adult talking on the phone while cooking, she’d never think to grab a phone while “cooking” her first kindergarten meal.

Since the cost of lengthening the school day is prohibitive, the best option is tapping the 7, hours at home. If Bianca isn’t proof enough for you, consider this: Sinceone select group above all others—newspapers networks, or news agencies—has the best record for predicting the outcomes in presidential elections. If there were a blogger out there with those credentials, the networks would beating a path to his or her door. Every four years for a half century, a quarter million children vote in the Weekly Reader presidential poll and in thirteen of the fourteen campaigns they’ve been absolutely correct.

It comes down to simple arithmetic: Which teacher has the bigger influence? Where is more time available for change? The sponge factor and those two numbers — and 7, — will appear over and over in this book. Jay Mathews, the Washington Post’s long-time education writer, looked back on all the student achievement stories he’d done in twenty-two years and observed: You either extend the school day as have the successful KIPP Academy charters 3 or you tap into the 7, hours at home.

Since the cost of lengthening the school day would be prohibitive in the neediest places, the most realistic option is tapping the 7, hours at home. Any problems or queries about this site should be directed to: How did a parent come to write this book instead of a professor? Now available as both a paperback and e-book.

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