Category Archives: reading

The Power of Cause and Effect



The article Practice Cause-and-Effect Thinking for Better Reading Comprehension, talks about how children will have better reading comprehension skill if they learn about cause and effect. The article states “Critical thinking skills are based on prior knowledge and experience.” The article says that a child should know that a cause is “why” something happened and the effect is “what” happened.

The article talks about easy ways to teach cause and effect on a day to day basis.

For example: If you throw a ball, the dog will most likely chase it.

If you water the plants then they will grow.

As a future teacher, I really like the idea of teaching children cause and effect at such a young age. Last year I was observing a second grade classroom, and while they were reading a story the teacher would stop and they would predict what would happen based on the “cause” of the story. They students would guess the effect or what would happen next.



The Importance of Reading


Nora Ephron writes about how reading makes her feel like she has accomplished something in the article, Reading is Everything.  She says that reading is healthy and makes us smarter. Reading is relaxing and an escape.

When I was younger I had trouble learning to read, I absolutely hated reading. I didn’t learn to read novels until 6th or 7th grade. In 8th grade I discovered that I liked books such as The Notebook, Twilight, and the Series of Unfortunate Events. This is when I started to like reading on my own the whole summer I spent much of my time at the library reading new books. I suddenly loved the feeling of being lost in the story, I felt like I was their with the characters watching it as if it were a movie. I loved reading. It was an escape for me. I would read for hours. Sadly, I don’t read as much as I used to cause of work and college but every summer I try to read a few books.

Nowadays everyone reads constantly even it they don’t think they do. Whenever you are on a social media site like Twitter or Facebook you are reading everyone’s posts. When you are looking for articles you skim the them for information. I learn a lot about articles on the internet and for a while that was how I got the local news because I didn’t have cable so I would read the articles on the MBC app on my phone. We read text messages on our smartphones. Yes, We may not be reading 2oo pages of a novel per day, but we are still reading enough to keep us engaged, and learning.




Everyone Should Be Reading More!


In an article called 7 Unconventional Why You Absolutely Should Be Reading Books on The Huffington Post by Laura Schocker, she gives seven reasons why people should be reading books more.  Her seven reasons are:

1. Reading can help your ability to ‘read’ others thoughts and feelings

2. Reading can chill you out.

3. It could keep your brain sharp.

4. It might even stave off Alzheimer’s disease.

5. Reading may help you sleep better.

6. Getting lost in a good book could even make you more empathetic.

7. Self-help books, on the other hand, can ease depression.

Now i don’t know about reading helping your ability to ‘read’ minds, but maybe ‘read’ other people’s feelings.  I do however agree with the other six ways reading can help you.  I love to read, and nothing feels better than sitting on the beach in the summer with a great book.  It is the ultimate relaxing technique and always relieves my stress.  I also agree with reading keeping your brain sharp.  I have heard many people say that doing crosswords and word finds help you keep your brain sharp so I have no doubt that reading would do the same thing.

I feel like people aren’t reading as much as they used too, and in a poll done by HuffPost/YouGov poll they surveyed 1,000 US adults and found that 28% of them haven’t read a book in the past year!  I found that crazy! Over 1/4 of people haven’t read a book in the past year, I feel this number would be even higher if more people were surveyed.

So lets make it a point to read more this year.  Pick up a book and dive in!


Teaching Literature with Music!


I came across an article posted on twitter:

A TA at a college named, Rachel Cordasco, noticed that the students in her class would drift into another world when she began lecturing in an American Literature class.  So she thought what could she do to make it more interesting?  Music came to her mind.  This to me is a brilliant idea.  As a student in a literature class right now, i read through the list of pieces of literature she was discussing and about half of them were covered in my class this semester.  I think i would have liked my class a lot more if it had been paired with music.

Cordasco incorporated a piece of music to go along with each piece of literature she was teaching.  She used music from Jimmy Hendrix, Afro-American spiritual songs, work songs, songs of the Native Americans and American Political Marches and songs.  Cordasco used the music for when the students entered and left the class.  This made for a great starting point for the class to start and right off the bat added another dimension to the class discussion.

I would definitely use this method in my classroom.  There are so many options on Youtube now to bring music to education!  It is becoming so helpful in aiding in teaching and helping the students connect what they are learning to real life.

Digital Vs. Print


I found a very interesting article on twitter:

In the article on Galley Cat about how print text books lead to a higher comprehension level than digital textbooks, the author Dianna Dilworth discusses a study done with middle schoolers.

The study done at West Chester University, used middle school students.  Students were given the same reading material, in two different ways, one was in traditional print and the other was an ebook.  The study resulted in, the comprehension level was higher when the students read from traditional print.

This study presented at the American Educational Research Association in Philadelphia.  The study showed that the reason the students were not comprehending as much was because there are games and activities that go along with the eBooks.  Most would think that this would help the students understand the material better, but it in fact takes away from the material.

This information makes me think.  Should we be teaching children the most effective ways to read on a ebook? or should we be trying to have them use the traditional print textbooks for as long as possible.  In my opinion we should just start teaching what is going to be the future, and eBooks are the future.  What do you think?


How Do We Learn?


How Do Humans Retain What We Learn?

Rep. it the Key

How do we Retain what we Learn?

When learning new information its important to use repetition, in order to retain the information. The second key to retaining information is to make connections between the new information and the old information. Aspiring to be a teacher I know its important to understand how students will retain want they learn. When kids first learn the alphabet they sing the song to help them remember all the letters. In math we learn our multiplication tables through repetition and practice.

I remember when I was in school I had trouble learning how to read and my grant grandmother every day after school would use flash cards and sit me down and I would have to read the whole stack back to her. This repetition it what helped me become a better reader.


Reading is all about recognizing the words and applying the meaning as you read. When you read a sentence your brain automatically registers the words.  Humans learn by making connections, in order to read and write you need to know the alphabet. Everything we learn builds upon previous knowledge and we are able to make the connections between the new and old information.  Everyday more and more schools are incorporating technology into the classroom, schools focus on building strong learning communities based on good communication.


Everyone Reads Differently!


Have you ever noticed that when you read you tend to play with the pages or fold the corners when you want to mark your place?  While reading a blog post called what are your reading habits and quirks? it got me thinking, what are my reading habits? So i sat down and did an experiment.

In order for this to work, so I wasn’t constantly thinking about what i was doing, I decided to read for an hour.  About a half hour into it I noticed that I would constantly just feel the pages, sliding my fingers up and down the page I wasn’t reading from.  I liked the feel of the page, and the fact that I can’t just sit still and read was taken into account.  I also noticed that I always dog ear the page as opposed to using a book mark.  When I read off of my iPad I tend to run my thumb along the side of the iPad as i read.

So I pass the question along, what are your reading habits and quirks?


Importance of Communication


Do you ever wake up in the morning look at your partner and grunt? Or complain because they spent the whole night kicking you? Then maybe as a couple you are not understanding the importance of communication. Couples that don’t communicate tend to have more problems in their relationships then those who are open about communication.

According to this article on the PBS website, “Resolving differences is generally not pleasant, but research shows that satisfied couples tend to bring positive emotions to their conflicts five times more often than negative emotions” (PBS). Looking at arguments with a positive outlook allows for couples to better communicate. When people in relationships take time to sit and listen to what one another has to say, it makes for an easier relationship. 

Important things to know if you are trying to improve communication between you and your partner

  • Have High Standards– Do not let your partner walk all over you, If they say something that hurts your feelings let them know.
  • Accept Influence– trying to understand your partner’s point of view and letting your partner know you hear and understand what they are saying
  • Focus on the positives– Keeping a positive attitude helps for better communication


From my personal experience, I have learned that it is important to express how you feel to your partner because the other person can not read your mind. When people in relationships hide how they feel other people tend to get hurt. For example being in a relationship with someone for four years with no communication just leads to problem and heart break.  A close friend of mine struggled with dating a girl who cheated on him behind his back for two out of the four years they were together. This caused him to have major heart break and he now has minor trust issues. Building trust between him and others is now a difficult challenge, he is always afraid someone is going to do something that will hurt him. This guy who was heart broken, is now currently my boyfriend and it is an everyday struggle to build trust with him. But to help us work towards a trusting relationship we use High standards as well as we like to always focus on the positives. Through the tips and tools on the PBS page the relationship will only grow stronger.



Reading IS social


While reading Is Reading Antisocial? i couldn’t help but think that reading is a very social thing.  Yes during the act of actually reading you are not talking to anyone.  But reading is social when you are part of a book club, reading the same book with a friend, or even if you are reading different books you can still talk about the book.

Reading is social when a friend asks for a book recommendation and you can tell them which books you liked and give them an idea of what the book is about.  In the article the author Laura Miller says that her and the guy she was dating would sit together and not talk but read.  I believe this is a social interaction.  Yes you are not talking at the moment but you are creating a future conversation.

Another way Miller says that reading IS social, is through an app called Readmill where you can connect with friends and see what they are reading.  With this app you and a friend can read the same book and see where they highlight things and make comments on things.  This app is creating a conversation using technology.  Friends can then later talk about parts they both highlighted or make comments on differing opinions through out the book.