I Bed In My Read?

“Je lis dans mon lit.”

reading in bed“I read in my read?”

“I bed in my bed?”

Oh….”I read in my bed!”

I embraced my 7th grade French class to its fullest when I carried that foreign language study all through high school and into my first year of college. I was even quite proficient in French by the end of my studies; I could hold my own in conversations with native speakers and French majors pretending to be native speakers. Sadly, the topic sentence of this blog, in all of its punny-ness, are (mostly) what remains of that knowledge. Written, this French sentence is easily and correctly translated by my high school self. Heard, the only way you know what is said is if you have context to the sentence.

Literacy Builds Lifelong Learners

That is a loaded statement that packs a big promise. Literacy is far more than the ability to read and write.

Bloom's taxonomy of thinking
Bloom’s taxonomy of thinking

The National Council of Teachers of English has broadened and deepened their definition of literacy to reflect the need to interact with technology. More importantly, their definition of literacy demands that we can “manage, analyze, and synthesize” multiple forms of communication as well as “create, critique, analyze, and evaluate” the myriad ways we find information. As usual, professionals and their organizations tend to intimidate the world at large. Never fear, good citizens, I am here to to make sense of the senseless, to translate the nonsense, to boldly go where (most educators) have never gone before (the Star Trek fan in me couldn’t resist)…

  • Read, Read, Read: It really doesn’t matter what you or your family reads. Magazines are great! Graphic novels (see also: comic books) are fantastic! Don’t think just because your child has never completed an assigned novel, (yes, we know) is a sign that you don’t have a reader. Young adult literature has blown up over the last decade or so. There is a topic for everyone. Caveat: the reason young adult novels have become the last fodder for epic films is the reason you need to pre-read them with your child; there are some topics that you would rather introduce to your child in your own way at the right time.
  • Play Word Games: I grew up playing Scrabble with my mother and siblings. What I mean is that I grew up developing muscles from bringing the two volume dictionary by World Book into my mother’s room to be testing on spelling and vocabulary. dictionariesI loved it! I even played Words With Friends with students over the years. Sadly, these are not the word games of which I speak. Remember the goal is context, not spelling or vocabulary. Games like Taboo or Balderdash require kids to create connections between a key word and situation. You can even play some of these games online as you wean off electronics for a few hours a day.
  • Create Languages: J. R. R. Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings and one of my personal heroes, created new languages for his novels. Lesser known Marc Okrand created the Klingon language for Star Trek and worked on closed captioning for news programs. What point is my sci-fi geek screaming to make? The silly practice of creating your own language may seem like a waste of time and excuse to annoy parents; but, it can also be very lucrative. Just in case your child’s new language is more the former than the latter, consider how intense creating a new language can be. This practice precisely illustrates the struggle with second-language learners. You have to be really literate in the function of words in a language in order to re-create those tasks in a new form. (Pause for much-earned adoration for English Language Learners in all schools.)

Spark Note Summary

My little Wildcat, 2013
My little Wildcat, 2013

Children spend 8 hours a day in school for at least 18 years. Some years, they have a great, creative teacher who makes them think about more than the standards to pass a state exam. But, that isn’t every year. Meaningful connections can connect school assignments, informational text (see also: non-fiction), and natural interests through literacy. Then, maybe, your child can be a graduate of a prestigious university (Northwestern) who owns her own business focused on helping others while achieving a personal best of THREE sci-fi references in one blog!

Published by

Amy Slutzky

This blog is about incorporating practical mental health boosters in your everyday routine. I am a wife, mother, sister…I am a counselor, teacher, advocate…I am a sci-fi geek, a public goofball, a faux Top Chef…I can attach dozens of labels to myself; so can you. My life is both unique and common. Read these blogs to make your life a little easier and your mental health a little stronger based on the lessons I have learned.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *