Welcome to Read – Write – Connect, Inc.

the Internet home of Leah Mermelstein.

Best Writing consultant 002 copyLeah is an internationally recognized literacy consultant who specializes in K-5 Reading and Writing Workshop. She is the President and CEO of Read-Write-Connect, INC. She is also the author of Reading/​​Writing Connections in the K-2 Classroom, (Allyn & Bacon), Don’t Forget to Share (Heinemann) and the co-author of Launching the Writing Workshop (with Lucy Calkins) (Heinemann).


Selected Works

DVD

Quality Writing Instruction
This brand new DVD will assist teachers with high quality writing instruction.

Non-fiction

Don’t Forget to Share: The Crucial Last Step in the Writing Workshop
This brand new book will show you how to make your share sessions more instructional.

Nonfiction

Reading/Writing Connections in the K-2 Classroom: Find the Clarity and Then Blur the Lines
This book demonstrates how through careful, explicit assessing, planning, and teaching every student can understand and use the reading/writing connection to become stronger readers and writers at the same time.

Units of Study for Primary Writing: A Yearlong Curriculum: Launching the Writing Workshop
This book shows teachers how to launch a joyful and rigorous Writing Workshop in their classrooms.

QUICK LINKS

E-mail the author

Authors Guild

findauthors

Leah Mermelstein
536 Grand Street, Ste. 501,
Hoboken, NJ 07030
(917) 503-1947

leahmermelstein@earthlink.net

1Leah best writing consultant 1.4 copy

Blog Posts are Below:

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Read Aloud is Magical at Any Age

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just a quick post today!  Since being home with Ariana, I have been reminded of the importance of both Read Aloud and oral language.

Throughout the day, two of Ariana’s favorite activities are reading books and listening to me talk.

I often read books to Ariana before she naps and if she was fussy beforehand the second we start reading books she calms down.

Of course I know that she doesn’t understand the words yet, but she is attuned to both the the sound of language and the pictures.

Here is a video of us reading together! Isn’t she cute??

 

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Her other favorite activity is to walk up and down the hallway of my condo and listen to me talk about all of the things that are there.

It’s like our little field trip ( I actually call it our little adventure!) ..we look and talk about strollers, lights, boots, and elevators and once again the second I start talking and naming all that we are seeing, her fussiness ceases.

I know both of these activities will have huge impacts on her.

This reminds me of the importance of both Read Aloud and language in the classroom.

I would love your thoughts and ideas on both Read Aloud and language and ways they fit into both your teaching and/your parenting!

Until next time,

Leah

Copyright, 2013

 

 

 

 

13 Responses to Read Aloud is Magical at Any Age
  1. Rose
    February 12, 2013 | 12:03 am

    It is really exciting to experience firsthand the benefits of read aloud and oral language development. I love reading the same books over and over again with my children and watching the experience change as the children grow older. Just wait til your baby points to a picture or makes an animal sound! I love how you are relating this all back to the classroom

  2. Lee Orlando
    February 12, 2013 | 1:20 am

    When I moved up to sixth grade and middle school this year, I was worried that my students would roll their big-kid eyes at a read aloud. Silly me! My fears were totally unfounded. Whenever I’ve read aloud high-quality texts that capture their interests and imaginations (everything from Demi’s “Gandhi” to Martinez’ “The Woman Who Outshone the Sun” to the hilarious scenes in Gary Paulsen’s “How Angel Peterson Got His Name”) my sixth graders are rapt listeners. Not only does read aloud bring us all together to enjoy a good story, it is also an opportunity for me to exposemy students – ELLs and native English speakers – to new, rich language.

  3. Laura
    February 12, 2013 | 3:02 am

    Leah, you are so right! Tonight is the eve of my daughters birthdays. Lauren will turn 15 tomorrow, and Gina will turn 13. And guess what I did? I read a favorite bedtime story to each of them before I turned out the lights! They loved it, and so did I. Enjoy those magical moments. You are making memories that will last forever!

  4. Deborah
    February 12, 2013 | 3:04 am

    I was a “late bloomer” to teaching, I had my children before finishing my teaching degree. However, my love for reading had me reading to my sons everyday and delighting in their requests to read their favorite books over and over. I can also thankfully say that my grandchildren are as enthralled with story times at their houses as their dads were, due to having been read to book after book by both their parents and their grandparents! Ariana will listen to as many books as you are willing to read her each day. How fortunate for both of you, this is one of the best times of your lives!
    I see this with the students also, they love to hear their teachers, and guests, read, read, read!

  5. Joanna Palumbo
    February 12, 2013 | 6:57 am

    When my daughter Laura was an infant she battled an oncological condition called histiocytosis (which she did survive—–and now she is a High School English Language Arts Teacher!) Anyway, at 18 months she was being prepped for surgery at Columbia Babies Hospital, and was sooooooo upset and frightened. She cried and screamed and my heart was breaking. With her IV in her arm and monitors taped all over her I carried her into the surgical suite to wait to be called into the OR where I would be allowed to hold her until the anaesthesia took affect. In that area was a big poster on the wall of the famous green room illustration from “Goodnight Moon.” I held her up so she could see it and started to tell the story which we both knew by heart. It was a miracle: she quieted down, gazed at the poster and did her part (exactly like we did every night when we read that book together). I said “A comb and a brush and a bowl full of….” and she said “mush.” I said “and a quiet old lady whispering…” and she said “Hush.” And at the end she said, like she did every night “AGAIN.” It was such an affirmation of how our reading time together was a source of comfort, love and peace for her. We spoke “Goodnight Moon” to each other until she was finally put under and I was ever so grateful for how reading was the bond between us that made her know Mommy was there and everything would be all right.

  6. Leah Mermelstein
    February 12, 2013 | 11:20 am

    Hi Joanna,
    I never knew that story so thanks for sharing! Although as a teacher I always have known that read aloud is important now as a parent i understand exactly what you said that read aloud creates a bond and is a source of comfort love and peace! Of course this is important for parenting but it’s important for teaching as well. Kids learn best when they feel comfort, love, and peace and read aloud can create that feeling so that kids are in the best possible position for learning! I hope to see you soon.

  7. Elisa e
    February 12, 2013 | 11:33 am

    All I can think of is Marie Clay and that left-right movement! You’ve got yourself a reader! What a simple step at the earliest possible age and it seems like the best kept secret. We need to get this little gem into the mainstream so our ELA scores go up.

  8. Maria
    February 12, 2013 | 1:28 pm

    Leah, this was adorable! I am reminded of my daughter Marina when I think about her ‘reading’ the books I have read to her, sometimes only once. It is the coolest thing to see the stages of Emergent Literacy firsthand. Enjoy reading to your little one!

  9. Kosha Patel
    February 12, 2013 | 11:05 pm

    Leah,

    My son was born premature. But I read to him as soon as he came out of the NICU into the transitional nursery. My husband and I have continued to read to him every day.

    He is now a first- grader and reads above grade- level. But when he was in Pre- school I remember the teacher saying he had used some words that even she did not know! I also heard comments that he knows so much. It was all because we read to him about things he was interested in, mostly nonfiction.

    Reading to children has an amazing effect on their vocabulary and ability to articulate their thoughts. Unfortunately, many children are not being read to regularly. So, they do not enjoy books or reading. The other effect is that they are unable to speak and participate in a conversation. As the Common Core says, speaking comes before writing and listening comes before reading.

    So, as I constantly see criticism of public school education in the media, I ask, “Who is talking to the parents?”

    Kosha

  10. Kirsten Belrose
    February 12, 2013 | 11:31 pm

    What a pretty baby! Such beautiful eyes…and cheeks!

    Reading aloud has always been my most favorite thing to do with both my students and my own 3 children. Yes, there are many wonderful benefits to listening to books read aloud…opportunities to “think aloud” and model comprehension strategies, powerful discussions of literature, hearing fluent language read with expression, etc. All of that is very important, but perhaps the two most important benefits (in my eyes as a parent and a teacher) are first, the “cozy” opportunity for you to really connect with children and strengthen your bond through reading, and second the chance to build a love of reading and stories!
    There is nothing like enjoying a good book together to build a relationship, and I have seen this happen with some of the toughest children I have taught, as well as most of the reluctant readers who have walked into my classroom. Read aloud time has always brought us together as a learning community in Arcadia (my team). For example, this fall I began reading the book Warp Speed, by Lisa Yee (wonderful by the way). It was funny and powerful! It dealt with a character who was bullied, and really addressed many issues across the board that young adolescents deal with in school. Everyone was able to enjoy this story and participate in some really rich discussions, and as a result did some of the most reflective writing ever. I have found that through reading “just the right books” and enjoying them with children, many kiddos (particularly my boys) who tend not to choose to read outside of school, slowly become “turned on” again…And isn’t that what we want!

  11. Leah Mermelstein
    February 12, 2013 | 11:56 pm

    I am sooo floored by everyone’s comments and I so wish I could respond to each one personally but a newborn makes it impossible. 🙂 I have read every one and am inspired by the great teaching and parenting stories. The world of education is so lucky to have beautiful, caring, smart people in it.

  12. Nicole
    February 14, 2013 | 1:28 am

    Reading aloud has always been something that I would not let go of in my teaching. It is so important for these students to hear a fluent reader and to get involved in the story without having to struggle to decode the words.
    I love reading to my girls and it is part of our bedtime routine. The Boynton books were always our favorites. Now we’ve begun chapter books! My Leah, now that she is almost 5, spends a little time every day “reading” to her stuffed animals. That is her homework from pre-school. What better homework could there be!
    All the best,
    Nicole

  13. Jennifer S
    October 27, 2013 | 3:52 am

    I’m a homeschooling mom to four amazing kids. Reading together is an activity we all enjoy…from my eldest, now 9 to my youngest, a set of newly 2-year-old twins. It is amazing how a single phrase, “C’mon guys, let’s read a book!” can stop even the most rowdy playtime and get the kids to refocus. We stop everything and read together at least four times a day…even more when the weather keeps us from going out to explore the world. Reading is a gift that I am thankful for every single day.

    Thanks for your post!
    Sincerely,
    Jennifer S.
    http://ReadingMadeEasy.org

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