Improving Reading and Writing Skills

In a recent Education Week post, Mike Schmoker described three key elements for teachers to use to impart core literacy skills to their students: purposeful reading, discussion, and writing. He advocated for 90-120 minutes engagement each day, spread throughout the curriculum. To understand just what this means for classroom instruction, let’s examine the three skills, … Continue reading “Improving Reading and Writing Skills”


Teachers’ Social-Emotional Support Can Help Struggling Readers

Students who struggle with foundational reading skills need more than remedial instruction to make them successful students; they need their teachers’ social and emotional support as well. Many students who read below grade level and have difficulty mastering basic concepts like phonics, vocabulary acquisition, fluency, and prosody feel anxious, frustrated, and even ashamed of their … Continue reading “Teachers’ Social-Emotional Support Can Help Struggling Readers”


Home Is Where Children’s Reading Skills Start to Develop

The On Track study performed at the Norwegian Reading Centre at the University of Stavanger found a strong connection between a child’s home reading environment from the time they’re very young and the progress that child makes in learning to read and learning to read better when they’re in school.[1] Study researcher Vibeke Bergersen indicated … Continue reading “Home Is Where Children’s Reading Skills Start to Develop”


Reading Fluency Instruction After Grade 3

We’ve addressed the issue of reading fluency in emerging readers a number of times, as it’s one of the fundamental concepts that must be explicitly taught by the teacher and practiced by the students (you can find previous texts here and here). Reading fluency generally refers to a student’s oral reading fluency, as they’re encouraged … Continue reading “Reading Fluency Instruction After Grade 3”


eLearning and Knowledge Acquisition

eLearning, while once a limited force in education, has moved into the mainstream, and is poised to become a leading part the future, in large part because of the necessity of remote instruction during the pandemic. Students are also becoming more immersed in the online environment outside of the classroom, with increasing social media outlets, … Continue reading “eLearning and Knowledge Acquisition”


Lessons Learned from Pandemic Instruction

We’ve learned a lot about education during the past year, with teachers and students both needing to adapt to remote platforms and distanced learning strategies. We may have discovered all these things eventually, but teaching in the time of a pandemic has pushed them front and center now. From socialization to learning loss, the lessons … Continue reading “Lessons Learned from Pandemic Instruction”


The Ups and Downs of Distance Learning in the Age of Coronavirus

Today, we’re trying a new format for the blog, since we’re all facing a very difficult situation stemming from the global pandemic. Education, while not at a standstill, has greatly changed by moving entirely to distance learning for the moment, and we need to determine a number of things as we move forward. Two of these … Continue reading “The Ups and Downs of Distance Learning in the Age of Coronavirus”


Guest Blog, Elizabeth Smith – Ace Reader: A Solution to a Multi-Faceted Problem

According to the 2015 NAEP Report (the last year that twelfth graders were included), slightly over 1/3 of public school fourth, eighth, and twelfth graders read at a proficient level or above.[1] The overwhelming majority of that 37% is at the proficient level. As most teachers know, “proficient” isn’t equivalent with grade level. The statistics … Continue reading “Guest Blog, Elizabeth Smith – Ace Reader: A Solution to a Multi-Faceted Problem”


Practical Optimism for Teachers and Students

In their blog post “Cultivating Practical Optimism: A Key to Getting the Best from Your Brain,” Drs. Marcus Conyers and Donna Wilson describe the concept of “positive optimism.” They define it as a way “to describe an attitude about life that relies on taking realistic, positive action to increase the likelihood of successful results.” They … Continue reading “Practical Optimism for Teachers and Students”


Ways to Help Struggling Readers

Most of the fundamental reading skills are taught to students between grades 1 and 3. It is essential that the students grasp the concepts and develop strong skills at that time, as beyond grade 3, students don’t learn to read but, instead, read to learn. For students who struggle with reading, teachers find that they … Continue reading “Ways to Help Struggling Readers”