Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Reading IS Fundamental

The Second Annual Lexile© National Reading Conference is in the books...no pun intended. I attended, as I did last year, and was once again impressed by what I discovered. Sure, Greg Cizek's presentation about "Testing Myths" was enjoyable and informative. My presentation criticizing NCLB not allowing "off level" reading assessment was novel if not interesting (though it was well attended). Quality Quinn, Lou Fabrizio and Malbert Smith all provided very informative and instructional presentations. All of these were worth the price of admission alone. However, what impressed me the most was the desire of the attendees to read! Teachers were buying books, with their own money, to give to "troubled readers" in their classrooms. Malbert Smith talked about that "parasite" we have in our homes, the television, that robs us of intellect. Reading teachers agreed that the best way to teach reading was to get children to read. Assessment developers understood the needs of the reading specialists! In short, it was utopia. Well, short of utopia, it was very exciting to see people paying attention to reading and reading instruction. I hope you can attend next year, but in the mean time...pay attention to reading.

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