Online Articles


Connecting a Computer Center to Themes, Literature, and Kindergartners' Literacy Needs (
This article describes how a kindergarten teacher (Linda Sprague) and a university-based research collaborator (Linda Labbo), utilized ongoing observations to design thematically connected and literature-based computer-related activities to meet the varying literacy needs of the children within the life of the classroom.

Our Children's Future: Changing the Focus of Literacy and Literacy Instruction (
In this article, Dr. Donald J. Leu writes that it is increasingly clear that the use of the Internet is becoming important as we shift from a focus on book technologies to a far broader vision of literacy. He emphasizes the fact that each of us the literacy community has an important role to play in this transition.

Electronic Collaboration: Children's Literature in the Classroom (
This is an article I wrote based on a project I conducted with a graduate level Children's Literature class. The purpose of this project was to explore the potential of electronic discussion to increase students' breadth and depth of thinking about issues in complex children's literature. Another goal was for teachers to extend their experience into the classroom by engaging their own students in similar projects.

Sarah's Secret: Social Aspects of Literacy and Learning in a Digital Information Age (
This article, written by Donald J. Leu, describes important considerations when working with children on the web. This article also informs readers of the RTeacher Listserv and provides instructions on how to join.

Caity's Question: Literacy as Deixis on the Internet (
This article points out how our orientation to technology and its implications for literacy continually change as technology and its uses advance rapidly.

The Miss Rumphius Effect: Envisionments for Literacy and Learning That Transform the Internet (
This article discusses the envisionments that take place when teachers and children imagine new possibilities for literacy and learning, transform existing technologies to construct this vision, and then share their work with others.

What's Basic in Beginning Reading? Finding Common Ground (
This article from Educational Leadership is authored by Dorothy Strickland, Professor of Reading at Rutgers University Graduate School of Education. Strickland promotes whole to part instruction, which presents a balanced approach as opposed to whole language or phonics.

The Reading Wars Continue (
This article from U.S. News Online is a review of the book, Why Our Children Can't Read, by University of South Florida psychologist Diane McGuiness. This book has spared debate among reading professionals but also illustrates why the reading wars are so difficult for parents and educators to sort out.

See Dick Flunk (
This article was published by Policy Review: A Journal of American Citizenship. It discusses the current debate over whole language versus phonics instruction and states that evidence is overwhelming that kids with reading problems need phonics-based instruction.

Reading Wars (
This article discusses the debate over how to teach children to read--whole language versus phonics. This debate has re-emerged in California, in a new form. Previously confined largely to education, the dispute is now a full-fledged political issue there, and is likely to become one in other states.

More States Moving to Make Phonics the Law (
This article from Education Week on the web discusses how educators are alarmed that laws are dictating professional practices in the classroom as more and more states are passing laws requiring the teaching of not only phonics but more specified curricula such as "systematic, explicit phonics, phonemic awareness, and decodable texts."

How Johnny Should Read (
Reading Wars highlights the debate between supporters of phonics versus those who believe in the whole language method of learning to read.

From ABC to Ready to Read (
Provides a brief survey of the history of reading in New Zealand to show how the whole language methods emerged. Until the 1960s, New Zealand's experiences with whole language were similar to that of North America. Phonics began to be increasingly downplayed as a gradual change in teaching methods occurred. The abstract states that "what happened in New Zealand has now happened on a wider scale in other countries as well, including Australia, Canada, England, and the US, so the recent New Zealand experience will be useful for those who are currently being asked to teach whole language, and would like to know whether it has stood the test of time."