Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Features from Reading Rockets

If you don't know about the Reading Rockets website, you are in for a real treat! If you do know about it, then you'll be thrilled to know they have a new feature, Raising a Writer. There are many resources including articles and a new webcast titled Teaching Writing. From the website:

"Dr. Steven Graham, Dr. Louisa Moats, and Dr. Susan Neuman discuss teaching writing. These three renowned reading and writing experts address why writing is important, what the latest research tells us, and what educators and parents can do to support our children's development as writers."

The webcast is about 1 hour and 15 minutes in length. An interactive conversation between the host and the three presenters is engaging and and includes a brief video clip of instruction in the classroom.

Another wonderful feature of the Reading Rockets website is the Books and Authors section. Here you'll fiind interviews with many of your favorite authors along with book lists by theme, holiday, and award winners. The newest author interview is with Jack Gantos. I have heard Jack Gantos speak at a conference and he is hilarious! He did a wonderful job of talking about his own writing process as well as how to help children learn to write. From the website:

Jack Gantos' interesting life has provided the raw material for many of his books. Rotten Ralph, for example, was inspired by an aggressive red cat that Gantos once owned. The Jack Henry middle-grade fiction series was based on Gantos' own adventures as a boy. The award-winning Joey Pigza books resulted from Gantos' interactions with children with ADHD. And Hole in My Life, a book for teens, tells the true story of the time Gantos spent 18 months in prison.

I think you will really enjoy this video interview with Jack Gantos. Additionally, the author interviews on Reading Rockets are perfect for sharing with children. They are broken into short segments according to the topic. For instance, the first segment of Jack's video interview is onlly 1:06 minutes long in which he discusses events in his childhood. The second segment is 2.17 minutes in which he discusses keeping a diary as a child. He discusses the ever so popular Rotten Ralph in the third segment (2:44 minutes) and the final segment is about how he sold his first manuscript (1:41 minutes).

While you are exploring the Reading Rockets website check out the new podcast section. Podcasts are divided into three categories: meet the author (inteviews with top children's book authors and illustrators), meet the experts (prominent professionals in the field of education), and watch and learn ("in the classroom" video clips of best practices in teaching reading).

There is so many great resources on the Reading Rockets website that I have no doubt it will quickly become on of your favorites.

No comments: