Dedicated to Teachers

Online PLC: Won’t Read Much if I Don’t Have Any Books


During the month of May, we enter a phase of reflection. The end of the year brings challenges of antsy students but also the anticipation of both celebrating learning and envisioning a classroom of new ideas for next year.

Hold this question in your thinking as we share and converse around content this month: How can we use reflection to maintain momentum, positivity and progress in our learning communities?

“The main research evidence that critics of our schools, especially those schools serving many students from low-income families, ignore is the evidence that poor children learn as much during the school year as middle class students.”

Richard Allington and Anne McGill Frazen shine the light on important research, illuminating the facts that poor children learn as much as middle class children during a school year, yet the summer slide from lack of reading creates a gap that grows larger as years pass. They tell us that most school improvement efforts are aiming at the “wrong target.” If this evidence was placed at the forefront of school reform agendas, then increasing access to interesting books for summer reading seems to be the clearest solution. According to their research, the gap created from children not reading in the summer can be 3–4 months a year. Simple math shows the backsliding impact this gap will have on a student over the course of time.

This article is rooted in research and tells the stories that many decision makers need to hear. How can you use this research to take action for your own classroom, school and community? We challenge you to reflect upon this evidence and create an action plan; how will you increase access to good books to benefit children in the most incredible ways?


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Wondering where to connect online? Start by signing up below for Heinemann's Online PLC! Each week, we'll share content from the Heinemann Digital Library as food for thought and discussion. Our conversations can occur in comments here on the blog, on Twitter using #OnlinePLC or in our Facebook Group. Looking forward to sharing content, conversation and camaraderie!

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Topics: Education, PLC Series, Anne McGill-Franzen, Digital Campus, Professional Development, Richard Allington

Date Published: 05/16/16

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