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*40% of errors on standardized math tests are related to reading errors due to weak critical reading skills and misunderstanding vocabulary.

*60% of the thinking that we do each day requires the forming of an inference.  The National English Language Arts Standards expect students in kindergarten to start forming inferences.

*90% of the reading that we do each day is nonfiction text.

*Boys lag behind girls in reading proficency in all fifty states on standardized reading tests.

*Parents who read to their children frequently and are frequent readers themselves are six times more likely to have children who read a lot.

There are so many statistics that support the importance of helping our children improve their reading skills and their comprehension of different kinds of text. Multiple readings is not enough. We must give kids the skills to improve their reading through quality reading time. That’s Practickle’s goal!
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One of the core beliefs supporting Practickle is the ability of the young brain to perform high-level thinking. We believe that it's never to early to start strengthening the brain's reasoning power. 

http://www.edutopia.org is a reliable website with research geared to teachers, but easy for nonprofessionals to understand and apply. A great article on helping elementary students understand how the brain functions supports the instructional design used by Practickle for each  book selection.

Here's the matchup between the Practickle approach and the executive functions of the brain explained in the article ("Building Brain Literacy in Elementary Students" by Judy Willis MD)

~judgementThird Reading: Analysis

The Discussion Options are high-level thinking questions requiring reasoning and support from the illustrations and text. (forming inferences, predictions, conclusions, and opinions)

~prioritizingThird Reading: Analysis. The mental process of analyzing is present in interpreting the text to dramatize the mood and tone of the text. 

 Check out Discussion Options such as choosing a favorite character and explaining the choice.

~organizing: Both the Discussion Options and Activity Options provide opportunities to practice organizing thoughts. A Reading Comprehension Best Practice, Graphic Organizers, is perfect practice!

Dr. Willis and Practickle supports putting as much time into keeping our brain strong and healthy as we do with the rest of our body. 

Go to:  http://www.pinterest.com/practickle/connections-for-practickle/
to check out our board "Connections to Practickle." You'll find an array of pins that support Practickle's goal of building strong comprehension strategies in our young beginning and emerging readers. 

Just a few examples of the type of information referenced on the board:

   ~shadow puppet instructions -  to dramatize a retelling after the Third Reading

   ~short articles on developing young readers from experts in the field of reading

   ~book recommendations for books that aren't story books, but important in providing a wide range of quality reading experiences (such as rhyming and poetry books).

Check the board often. I'll keep adding pins!

Pen pals! An old idea given a new dimension through the program: in2Books. Check out it's website:


This carefully designed program provides intermediate students with one-on-one opportunities to discuss ideas about books with a pen pal who has read the same book. You’ll notice that the program is developed for classroom experiences. 

However, the in2Books structure can be morphed into connecting your older developing reader with a grandparent, another relative, or a friend of the family! Your child experiences an authentic discussion of the book with an adult beyond you. 

The letters could travel through your inbox for your inclusion into the scope and content of the discussion. As your child drafts the letter to the pen pal, you could encourage the discussion of the types of questions that are commonly found in the Third Reading: Analysis guide of Practickle. 

Let us know if you try this! I'm going to try this with my five-year-old granddaughter! I don't want to wait until she's in third grade!
My grandchildren love to see every Pixar and Disney movie that comes out. Here are a couple of questions that I ask the kids after each movie that are great discussion starters in addition to encouraging analysis of the movie similar to the THIRD READING: DISCUSSION OPTIONS supporting deep thinking after reading a Practickle selection.

Try these questions after the next movie that you view with your children:

~What happened after _________________? Putting plot events in order is great exercise for the brain. You can make it into a game on the ride home from the theater. "Who can remember what happened after _______________? The person giving the correct answer gets to ask the next "after" question.

~Who was the most important character? Ask for the details from the movie that support your child's answer.

~How is the most important character or favorite character like your child? OR, Does the most important or favorite character remind your child of anyone? Always encourage giving details from the movie to support the answer given by your child.

I just saw FROZEN with my grandchildren. Princess Anna reminds me of my granddaughter, Izzie, because she loves her sister so much, through thick and thin. Just like Izzie!
Are you hunting for quality book ideas for babies and toddlers or for older kids up to age eight? www.notimeforflashcards.com is the resource you're looking for!

Click on Books on the top menu. You won't believe the wide array of book categories that appears on the left.  

On the right side of the screen, you may search for categories, such as: Board Books for Babies and Toddlers or Children's Books Gift Guide. Also, on the right, you may search for books and activities by age group. The clever activity ideas are accompanied by photos and detailed notes.

As you scroll down the screen, you will see quite a few links to quality websites that you recognize. There are many good reasons why so many organizations want to be associated with this site. I love it!

Practickle is founded on the goal of helping all parents and caregivers engage with children in a meaningful way that promotes a love of reading and increases reading comprehension. Since strong comprehension skills are the best indicator of success in school, Practickle is based on providing Best Practices in reading comprehension for all beginning readers. To reach  these beginning readers, Practickle is starting a Give Back Program to support schools and other non-profit organizations in their ongoing development of our children's comprehension skills.

Practickle would like to partner with your school or non-profit to provide a fantastic fundraising opportunity. 
 We will be offering the first 5 organizations that we partner with the opportunity to receive 50% ($30) of each subscription that is associated with that organization through an agreed upon unique code. If you are interested in the Give Back Program, please contact us through www.practickle.com or message us on Facebook.

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Two Easy Ways to Get Montly Book Selections:

1- Practickle Bookstore - We have an easy to use bookstore that will connect you direclty to Amazon to buy the books for your own personal library.

2- Public Library - The books we select are very popular books and each month we find them at our local library. You can simply reserve the books online or call and have them set aside for you to pick up each month. This will save you money and be hassle free! Here is a link to find a local library near you.  

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For upper elementary children, Practickle is a terrific way to reinforce Best Practices in Reading Comprehension that they will be learning in school. Kids in grades two through five will improve fluency which is the smoothness and phrasing of reading as they read the text aloud. Proper phrasing increases comprehension

There are always questions on state tests that require a reader to use clues in the text to determine the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary. Practickle has that built into the Second Reading.

The questions and discussion topics found after the Third Reading require high level reasoning and justification of opinions.  What great practice to dig deep into a story's meaning, going beyond the obvious literal level.

The informational texts that Practickle selects are full of text features that resemble the text features in their science and social studies texts, such as: charts, captions, and headings. 

Authors write picture books for the reader (ranging from an older sibling to a grandparent), as well as the audience, to enjoy!  The older reader will connect with the text and the illustrations on a higher level as she understands the humor, sarcasm, irony, the double meanings of words, and the humorous details in the illustrations.
Here's some research to backup what moms and dads know: In the journal "Pediatrics" researchers found that, on average,  children's behavior got worse as the number of nights they did not get to bed on time increased. This research data was collected in London on 10,230 7-year-olds with bedtime information collected from interviews with mothers when the children were 3, 5, and 7. 

However, there's good news! The effects of not having a regular bedtime appear to be reversible. "For children who changed from not having to having regular bedtimes, there were improvements in behavioral scores." Yea! It's never to late with our kids.

How can Practickle help? If you find that your evening is running behind schedule, shorten your regular story time. Give your child a new Practickle book with guidance to look at the illustrations on their own as they are lying in bed. You may even point out a few things that they may look for as they are falling asleep. The next evening your story time may begin with a review of the illustrations. Or, if there isn't a new book around, give them one of the older Practickle books that they can read on their own:) Then, relax! If the kids are behind schedule, you must have had a very busy day!

(Source: Minneapolis Star/Tribune - 10/18/2013)
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  • Julie Hess

    I am proud to be a part of the Practickle team!

    I believe in Practickle’s mission and program for so many reasons. As a mom to preschool children, I am always looking for educational lessons we can do together which bring in an element of fun. This program does just that. It is a chance for us to sit down together a few times a week and spend quality time reading- not just getting through the pages like we usually do. The new techniques I am applying to our story times has making a difference with the kids literacy skills.
  • Sarah Kane Kuehl

    Practickle is a tremendous reading resource for our family!

    As a mom of three young children, I appreciate the fantastic book selections and the strengthening of our reading comprehension skills. Now that our oldest child is reading well, this is the perfect opportunity for him to read to his younger sisters while I refer to Practickle on our family iPad. Thank you for offering a fun program that benefits our children’s academic success and their love of books!
  • Kenneth Janke

    Parents of reluctant readers often ask me what they can do at home.

    Parents of reluctant readers often ask me what they can do at home, and my response is always to do more reading with their child. This is not as easy as it sounds. Many children approaching adolescence have already accepted themselves as "bad-readers", and cannot be inspired to break out-of this rut without a teacher's help. Early home intervention with preschool/kindergarten aged children can have profound results on how kids interact with- text, and how they perceive themselves as readers. This can set a student up for a lifetime of successful learning and growth. Practickle.com is a tool for parents to give children an ex-cellent start on the road to literacy. There is very little that young children find more fun then spending time with Mom and Dad, and when reading is fun, school is easy.