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World Book Day 2014

World Book DayWorld Book Day is an important day in every schooling calendar as it’s a celebration of reading, authors, illustrators and, of course, books. Marked in over 100 countries, children and teachers dress up as their favourite characters from popular novels, it’s the largest celebration of its kind. Yesterday saw the 17th World Book Day, where children of all ages throughout Toronto came together to appreciate reading.

A recent report suggest that students, primarily teenagers, are reading books that are too easy. Do you feel that teachers aren’t pushing your kids to read challenging titles? The organizers of World Book Day have released a list of 50 books that could help to “shape and inspire” teenagers. The list of 50 feature books are split in to categories such as books that will “make you cry”, “help you understand you” and “teach you about love”. It’s a great list of books.

There are some books on the list that could have been left off, like Twilight, but on the whole we agree with most of the books that have been included. Out of the 50, here is our top 10 books for teenagers to read:

  1. The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  3. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
  4. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  5. The Shining – Stephen King
  6. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  7. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
  8. 1984 – George Orwell
  9. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
  10. The Color Purple – Alice Walker

If you feel that many of the books on the list may be a little too difficult for your son or daughter, we can definitely make sure their reading, grammar and spelling is up to scratch. We’re also running a promotion at the moment, 30% off 4 lessons, check out our Facebook page for more information!

Fun fact, did you know that the largest book store in the world is in Toronto? Cleverly titled World’s Largest Bookstore, it’s a 3 storey building that has over 20 kilometres of shelving! It’s on Edward Street, just north of the Eaton Centre.

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Key signs of reading problems

Girl readingAs children head back to school for the winter semester, parents want to give their children the best opportunity to succeed. Even with the best intentions, parents sometimes let one of the most glaring problems slip their attention. I’m of course referencing reading problems. Reading is an essential skill that every child must learn and falling behind in reading comprehension is a major detriment to a child’s academic and regular life.

Being such a detriment, figuring out the signs of reading problems is very important for both the parents and the students. In order to help you out, I’ve organized, by grade, some key signs that your child might be having reading problems.

1. Before School, Preschool and Kindergarden
At this time a child’s vocabulary begins to expand. They should be learning new words and sounds. If your child is struggling to understand new words and sounds, and their vocabulary seems stunted, your child might be experiencing the first signs of reading difficulty.

Here are two examples to help identify this problem. The first example is when your child is learning their ABCs. If they have trouble learning or skip certain letters your child might have trouble understanding sounds.

The second example is with nursery rhymes. Nursery rhymes are a great way to measure a child’s ability to understand sounds. Your child disliking nursery rhymes and/or having difficulty to understand the rhymes even after hearing the nursery multiple times might also be an indicator that they will have trouble reading in the future. Overall, these are some keys ways in which you can tell if your young child might or is developing reading problems.

2. First Grade
I believe the first grade is the quintessential grade in developing strong reading skills. The reason first grade is so important is because it is the time where students begin to learn many key words. In fact, if your child currently in first grade has not learned at least 100 words by this point (mid way point of the year) they are having trouble with their reading comprehension skills.

Another way to really tell if your first grader is reading well is to hear them read (crazy right?)  Here are some indicators that they are having trouble reading:

  1. Skip words when reading.
  2. Guesses words they don’t know.
  3. Has trouble remembering words

I like to end today’s blog by saying that these signs are not guarantees that your child is having trouble reading. So take everything in stride and if you need help identifying if there is problem, we are here to help!

Thanks and all the best,
David

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