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About Susan B. Neuman
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Inaugural title in the Common Core State Standards for Literacy Series, edited by Susan B. Neuman and D. Ray Reutzel.
Vocabulary forms a relentless divide between children who succeed and those who do not. This divide is often between poor children and their privileged counterparts. Without vocabulary knowledge, children cannot interpret text meaningfully or respond in ways that enable them to fully participate in classroom discussions.All About Wordsis a practical guide designed to help early childhood teachers take advantage of the unique opportunity provided by the Common Core State Standards. It offers strategies for planning and presenting vocabulary instruction and for monitoring children’s word learning progress, along with helpful appendices that provide specific guidance on which words to teach. Each chapter includes ideas to support home-school connections, recognizing the important role parents play in children’s vocabulary development. Throughout, the authors encourage readers to examine day-to-day classroom issues, making it an ideal resource for professional development.
- Helpful summary of key CCSS features and how they play out for PreK–2 teachers.
- Accessible reviews of key research.
- Evidence-based, developmentally appropriate teaching strategies.
- Classroom examples demonstrating how strategies look in action.
- “Think About It” sections to help teachers and coaches facilitate discussion.
- Helpful lists of vocabulary words children should be able to use, as well as student texts that support vocabulary growth and development.
Susan B. Neumanis a professor at the University of Michigan and New York University, and has served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education. Her books includeChanging the Odds for Children at RiskandGiving Our Children a Fighting Chance.Tanya S. Wrightis assistant professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University.
This is a compelling, eye-opening portrait of two communities in Philadelphia with drastically different economic resources. Over the course of their10-year investigation, the authors of this important new work came to understand that this disparity between affluence and poverty has created a knowledge gap--far more important than mere achievement scores--with serious implications for students' economic prosperity and social mobility. At the heart of this knowledge gap is the limited ability of students from poor communities to develop information capital. This moving book takes you into the communities in question to meet the students and their families, and by doing so provides powerful insights into the role that literacy can play in giving low-income students a fighting chance.
Important reading for a wide audience of educators, policymakers, school reformers, and community activists, Giving Our Children a Fighting Chance:
- Documents how inequalities begin early and are reinforced by geographic concentration.
- Compares community libraries to see how print is used in each neighborhood and how children develop as young readers.
- Looks at patterns that create radical differences in experiences and attitudes toward learning prior to entering school.
- Explores the function of technology as a tool that exacerbates the divide between affluent students and those with limited access to information.
- Provides a comprehensive analysis of community literacy, documenting the transformation of media habits from books to computers.
- Concludes with a look inside schools to answer questions about what schools can do to overcome this complex, unequal playing field.
Susan B. Neuman is a professor of Educational Studies at the University of Michigan, and has served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.Her books include Changing the Odds for Children at Risk. Donna C. Celano is assistant professor of Communication at La Salle University in Philadelphia.
“Giving Our Children a Fighting Chance depicts a stark reality: the enormous and growing divide in literacy and reading skill development between children growing up in poverty and children from the middle and upper classes—and the social and economic ramifications. This book should be required reading, not just for those in the education and policy fields, but for anyone who cares about the lives of children and the health of our society.”
—Kyle Zimmer, President and CEO, First Book
“‘By walking the streets, riding the buses, and taking the subways,’ Celano and Neuman give us a groundbreaking and sobering look at print and education technology resources in two neighborhoods, one wealthy and one poor. The result is a must-read eye-opener for anyone who cares about equal opportunity. The stuff of learning is essential but insufficient. Only with close teacher, parent, and student-to-student coaching can better print and technology resources make a difference.”
—Eugenia Kemble, Executive Director, Albert Shanker Institute
“The authors of this text make you CARE about these communities and children. They provide insights about how we must focus on literacy in order to make a real difference in the lives of students.
Building crucial bridges between theory, research, and practice, this volume brings together leading authorities on the literacy development of young children. The Handbook examines the full range of factors that shape learning in and out of the classroom, from basic developmental processes to family and sociocultural contexts, pedagogical strategies, curricula, and policy issues. Highlights of Volume 3 include cutting-edge perspectives on English language learning; innovative ways to support print knowledge, phonological awareness, and other code-related skills; and exemplary approaches to early intervention and teacher professional development.
Schools, today, are in the midst of the most major, costly educational reform movement in their history as they grapple with the federal mandates to leave no children behind, says author Susan B. Neuman, former Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education under President George W. Bush. Although some efforts for investing resources will be substantially more productive than others, there is little evidence that, despite many heroic attempts to beat the odds, any of these efforts will close more than a fraction of the differences in achievement for poor minority children and their middleclass peers.
As Neuman explains in this insightful, revealing book, schools will fail, not due to the soft bigotry of low expectations, but because there are multitudes of children growing up in circumstances that make them highly vulnerable. Children who come to school from dramatically unequal circumstances leave school with similarly unequal skills and abilities.
In these pages, however, Neuman shows how the odds can be changed, how we can break the cycle of poverty and disadvantage for children at risk After laying the critical groundwork for the need for change―excessive waste with little effect―this book provides a vivid portrait of changing the odds for high-poverty children. Describing how previous reforms have missed the mark, it offers a framework based on seven essential principles for implementing more effective programs and policies.
Building on successes while being fiscally responsible is a message that has been shown to have wide bipartisan appeal, embraced by both liberals and conservatives. Following Neuman's essential principles, chapters describe programs for changing the odds for children, when the cognitive gaps are beginning to form, in these earliest years of their lives. In a highly readable style, Neuman highlights programs that are making a difference in children's lives across the country, weaving together narratives that tell a compelling story of hope and promise for our most disadvantaged children.