Guest Blog: Online Tools to Improve One’s Literacy

[Editor’s note: Today’s blog was written by Jane Miller, a freelance writer, part-time high school English teacher, and a graduate student based in Seattle, Washington. It has been lightly edited for clarity.] Literacy goes beyond just reading and writing. These skills allow us to communicate effectively, and, just as importantly, they give us the ability … Continue reading “Guest Blog: Online Tools to Improve One’s Literacy”


Best Books of 2020

Between a global pandemic, a divisive election, racial unrest, murder hornets, and killer hurricanes, to name but a few events, 2020 has been a year most people want to forget. However, there have been numerous books published this past year that merit attention, and many noteworthy institutions have compiled their “Best of” lists for the … Continue reading “Best Books of 2020”


Authors, Developing Words – Anne Perry

[Editor’s note: This post is part of a continuing series on how writers craft words to express their ideas and to connect with readers.] Anne Perry is best known for her historical detective stories, especially the Thomas Pitt and William Monk series set in Victorian London, but she has had a long career combining murder … Continue reading “Authors, Developing Words – Anne Perry”


Becoming an Effective Learner

Effective learners, whether they’re in school or out in the world, are those who discover how to study smarter, not harder. For the purposes of this blog, we’re going to be focusing on classroom learning, and, in that environment, studying smarter is key to managing your time efficiently, getting good grades, building upon what you’ve … Continue reading “Becoming an Effective Learner”


Does Your Picture Book Have Too Many Pictures?

One of the characteristics of beginning readers’ picture books is that they have, well, pictures. And usually lots of them. A new research study, though, is challenging the idea that more is better when it comes to pictures and reading comprehension. According to the paper published in npj Science of Learning, more pictures can actually … Continue reading “Does Your Picture Book Have Too Many Pictures?”


Interview with Leah King: Educator, reading specialist, and reader, Part 2

[Editor’s note and disclaimer: This is Part 2 of our discussion with educator and reading specialist Leah King. The content for this two-part post came from an interview conducted by Miriam Ruff on October 4, 2020, and it has been edited somewhat for length and fluency.] To read Part 1, click here. MR: Like everyone … Continue reading “Interview with Leah King: Educator, reading specialist, and reader, Part 2”


Interview with Leah King: Educator, reading specialist, and reader, Part 1

[Editor’s note and disclaimer: This is another in an occasional series of interviews with readers, reading specialists, and educators. The content for this two-part post came from an interview conducted by Miriam Ruff on October 4, 2020, and it has been edited somewhat for length and fluency.] MR:  Thanks for being with us and sharing … Continue reading “Interview with Leah King: Educator, reading specialist, and reader, Part 1”


How Closed Captioning Can Improve Literacy

If you want to learn to read well, watch TV — with closed captioning. Captions provide readers, and especially emergent, struggling, or English Language Learning readers, with additional print exposure; and they offer an inexpensive way for students to build and improve their foundational reading skills, including phonics, word recognition and vocabulary building, and fluency. … Continue reading “How Closed Captioning Can Improve Literacy”


Guest Blog: The Unexpected Benefits of Virtual Learning, and How to Make the Most of Them

[Editor’s note: Today’s blog was written by Jane Miller, a freelance writer, part-time high school English teacher, and a graduate student based in Seattle, Washington.] In the roughly six months since the coronavirus pandemic struck the U.S. in earnest, virtual learning has developed something of a mixed reputation. In those six months, students of all … Continue reading “Guest Blog: The Unexpected Benefits of Virtual Learning, and How to Make the Most of Them”