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Jen Robinson
San Jose, CA
Dedicated to growing joyful learners: bookworms, mathematicians, scientists, artists, + more
Interests: joy of learning, education, children's books, hiking, reading, walking, red sox baseball, wine tasting, mysteries, literacy
Recent Activity
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookLists, #Cybils, #GiftGuides, #GrowingBookworms, #GrowthMindset, #math, #play, #poetry, #STEM, book awards, kidlitosphere, parenting, preschool, reading, schools, and testing. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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All in all, The Uncanny Express is a worthy successor to The Jolly Regina. This one is a quirky, fun book, perfect for introducing newer readers to the joys of mysteries. Kale and Jaundice are unusual heroines, in their desire for sameness and stability, but this makes then stand out compared to the various plucky heroines typical to most children's books. In The Uncanny Express the two sisters do experience personal growth, but they do so without changing their basic natures. There's also a setup to Book 3, which is sure to be welcome. Recommended! Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookLists, #creativity, #Cybils, #GrowthMindset, #play, book awards, boys and reading, flexible seating, gift guides, preschool, reading, schools, teaching, and testing. Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Definitely nice on your son's part. By teaching them that reading is important to us, we improve the quality of our own lives, and make it more likely that they will value reading themselves in the future.
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In this post, I share my daughter's latest literacy milestone: understanding someone else's need to finish a book. Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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In this issue of the Growing Bookworms newsletter I have two book reviews (picture book and early chapter book) and one post about rekindling intrinsic motivation for reading, after extrinsic rewards have damaged it. I also have a post on what the book iGen had to say about the critical importance of kids reading for pleasure. I also have two posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter. Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
That is a fair point, Cassandra. Thanks!!
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Bug Blonsky and His Very Long List of Don'ts is a full-color early chapter book by E. S. Redmond about a boy who is the ultimate annoying little brother. Benjamin is called Bug by all, either because he is super-wiggly like a bug or because he is super-annoying like a bug, depending on who you ask. He is the bane of his older sister Winnie's existence. The book consists of Bug's list of things not to do, learned from a series of painfully bad choices. Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. While it's a bit of a light week for blog posting, with the Thanksgiving holiday, I do have a few interesting things to share. Topics this week include #BookAwards, #BookLists, #Cybils, #GraphicNovels, #RaisingReaders, #SocialMedia, #STEM, audiobooks, creativity, gift guides, independent reading, makers, math, Robin Benway, science, and teaching. Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Thanks! I couldn't resist them.
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Valensteins is a sequel to Ethan Long's Fright Club, featuring a not-so-scary group of young creatures (vampire, ghost, mummy, bunny, butterfly, etc) who hang out in a cool club house. In this installment, the other creatures take note of Fran K. Stein, who is cutting out a pink paper heart. They mis-identify is as various things like a rounded bat or a big pink nose. They are baffled and revolted when Bunny tells them what it is, and why you would give someone a heart for Valentine's Day. Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
I try to limit screen time for my daughter, but it's not easy. And she DEFINITELY is bothered when we are on our phones too much. And will say so.
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There are a lot of interesting ideas and conclusions in the book, and I do recommend that people give it a look. The strongest take home message for me is that I want to put off getting my daughter a smartphone for as long as possible, while encouraging her to continue participating in sports and spending time in person with other kids. Because these things are all associated with more positive outcomes. But what I want to talk about specifically today is two points that the book makes regarding reading for pleasure. Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #Cybils, #GraphicNovels, #GrowthMindset, #literacy, book awards, english learners, giftedness, homeschooling, kindness, learning, math, nonfiction, schools, and Veteran's Day. Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Thanks, Susan. I can totally see that working. I guess in similar vein watching a movie and leaving book 2 around might work, if the books were pretty true to the movies...
Delicious food is a great reward. My daughter enjoyed that the couple of times we did it, too. I'm planning to bake an apple pie for Thanksgiving, and there's a picture book that we have on the topic that I KNOW she will want to read first. I try to do the book before the movie (and was firm on that with Harry Potter), but it has happened that she ends up seeing the movie first. Still, finishing the book and then watching the movie is definitely satisfying!
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What I wonder is this: is there a way to rekindle intrinsic motivation in someone who has become dependent on extrinsic rewards? Can we ever get them back to reading for its own sake? I don't have any definitive answers, but I do have some thoughts. Obviously, the ideal big picture solution is to keep your child from becoming dependent on outside rewards in the first place. [I personally don't enroll my daughter in summer reading programs for this reason.] But what can you do if you are already there? You can do the usual things that I and many others have recommended for raising readers: read aloud, take your child to the library, subscribe to magazines that suit their interests, set an example by reading yourself, listen to audiobooks in the car, keep print books everywhere, and limit screen time, to name a few. Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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In this issue of the #GrowingBookworms, newsletter, I have three book reviews (picture book and middle grade) and one post about my daughter's latest literacy milestone (having a real-world interest sparked from a book). I also have a post about the importance of choice in my daughter's learning and another in defense of graphic novels as real reading. I also have two posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter. Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Polaris by Michael Northrop is historical science fiction, both creepy and suspenseful. In the 1830's, somewhere off the coast of Brazil, a ship (the Polaris) awaits the return of a boat that has gone ashore to explore. When the boat returns, however, part of the crew is missing, and one returning crew member is infected. Following mutiny and abandonment by crew members, a collection of six boys is left to handle the ship, and the mysterious danger that now lurks below decks. Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Recently my daughter asked for a book from which she could study sign language. Does she have a friend who is hard of hearing? No. Well, not a friend she's ever met, anyway. No, she wants to learn sign language out of loyalty to Cece Bell, because she adores El Deafo that much. She's been scheduling weekly sessions (my daughter, not Cece Bell) in which she works with my husband and I on our lip-reading and sign language. After trying to learn sign language from El Deafo itself, she realized that she needed a better resource. Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Thanks for taking time to respond to this, AnnMarie. I hadn't thought about reading choice in context of the library, but I absolutely agree with you. Making the library a place that kids can feel positive about (because they have free choice) is a life-long gift. Making the library a place where kids have to delay gratification ... that seems like a lost opportunity. I've already told my daughter that regardless of what her school library might do, in terms of restricting her to check out books by level, the beauty of the PUBLIC library is that we can check out anything we want.
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. In addition to what I've shared here, I also retweeted quite a few posts from last weekend's Kidlitosphere Conference. To see all of the KidLitCon related tweets, simply search for the #KidLitCon hashtag. Other topics this week include #BookLists, #Cybils, #DiverseBooks, #GrowthMindset, #KidLitCon, #math, #nonfiction, #play, #STEM, early literacy, flexible seating, libraries, movie adaptations, parenting, personalized learning, reading, teaching, and writing. Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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I've had a couple of parents approach me recently with questions akin to: "How do I get my child to read something else besides graphic novel? I want him to read real chapter books." To which I say: "Why do you need to do this?" If your child is reading graphic novels, then he is reading. Graphic novels are real books. If your child is reading graphic novels avidly, then my suggestion is not to try to push him to chapter books. My suggestion is to find him more graphic novels. Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Groundhug Day, by Anne Marie Pace and Christopher Denise, is a charming story about holidays and friendship. It's February 1st, and Moose, with the help of his friends Bunny, Porcupine, and Squirrel, is planning a Valentine's Day party. The animals want their friend Groundhog to be able to attend. They worry, however, that he will see his shadow in the morning and go back inside for six more weeks. Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page