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Read to Train & Train to Read

How To Train The Mind Of An Elementary School Child To Read!

In a recent article published in The New York Times, Dr. Daniel T. Willingham, Professor of Psychology at University of Virginia, discusses how reading comprehension is misunderstood in the context of current education practices. Mere reading through sounding of words and building vocabulary is not sufficient, but must be interlaced with factual knowledge. Factual knowledge is the ability to know beyond just reading a certain passage to make accurate inferences. For example, if a reading comprehension passage is based on a certain sport or an invention, a discussion based on the historical background on how the sport is being played or what led to the invention would aid in the process of acquiring factual knowledge.

Dr. Willingham further points out in the article that “third-graders spend 56 percent of their time on literacy activities but 6 percent each on science and social studies. This disproportionate emphasis on literacy backfires in later grades, when children’s lack of subject matter knowledge impedes comprehension.” Interestingly, to improve the outcome, Dr. Willingham suggests the “use of high-information texts in early elementary grades.” One such series of books that uses high-information content are the BOON-dah’s STEM* Series that teaches elementary school children to solve problems from an invention perspective using tools that surround us!

*STEM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

About Praba

Praba is a children’s book author of a STEM series for Pre-K and Elementary School Children. He has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and is a patent specialist serving the medical community in Tampa, FL. Praba uses creative illustrations to teach STEM concepts from an experiential learning perspective. His books have been recently reviewed by Midwest Reviews and have also been nominated as the “2016 Children’s Literary Contest Finalist” for the Pacific North West Association Award. Praba’s motivation to write stories for children, especially girls, is to inspire them to take STEM careers as women currently hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering. He is an avid blogger and blogs on STEM and Experiential Learning. For more information, visit us at:

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