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Teaching Every Child to Read: Innovative and Practical Strategies for K-12 Educators


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©2008 All rights reserved, Rowman & Littlefield. Please contact the publisher for permission to copy, distribute, or reprint. The specific material used is pages 25-29 in Breaking the mold of school instruction and organization: innovative and successful practices for the twenty-first century.


When he was young, my son Jason hid every time I wanted him to read. He enjoyed listening to stories and looked eagerly at the illustrations, but he avoided reading on his own. When Jason tried to read out loud, he stumbled over every other word until he became frustrated. His poor attempts at reading made him feel like a failure. When I entered his room one day, I was surprised to find him reading a book called Little Rabbit Foo Foo by Michael Rosen, a children’s story composed from the popularly sung nursery school rhyme. When I asked him to read the story to me out loud, I was amazed at how fluently he read. Jason giggled with glee as he read the pages about the naughty little rabbit given a stem warning by the good fairy about his bad behavior. Jason’s familiarity with the nursery song gave him the confidence to try reading the book by himself. Jason practiced reading the same text over and over again, making note of the words he did not know. It was the first time he ever experienced pleasurable reading, and he was very proud to read on his own. Unfamiliar words did not seem to bother him, and he wanted to learn every one of them so he could read without hesitation. His personal reading experience helped me develop a strategy for reading fluency using lyrics and music.

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