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”


Purposeful Reading

Reading is like any other activity; the more you know what you want to get out of it, the more benefit you’ll derive.  Too often, though, we simply crack open a book and turn to page one without a thought about the process. That can lead to missed information; confusion about characters, plot, or informational … Continue reading “Purposeful Reading”


Want Better Reading Comprehension? Learn to Sigh More

Many studies have been performed to determine how effectively we read from paper versus an electronic medium such as a computer or smartphone, and the vast majority have concluded we retain more from reading on paper than from an electronic device. Researchers have posited several different theories for the disparity, including multitasking in the electronic … Continue reading “Want Better Reading Comprehension? Learn to Sigh More”


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”


The Deaf and Reading Comprehension – Part 2 (Phonics Instruction)

[Editor’s note: This is the second post of a five-part series on the deaf and educational interventions to ensure effective reading comprehension and fluency. To read the first part, go here.] Chamberlain & Mayberry (2000) indicate that reading requires two related abilities. First, you must be familiar with a language. Second, you must understand the … Continue reading “The Deaf and Reading Comprehension – Part 2 (Phonics Instruction)”


Addressing Subvocalization

According to Merriam-Webster, subvocalization, a term first used in 1925, is defined as “the act or process of inaudibly articulating speech with the speech organs.” When used in the context of reading, subvocalization refers to the habit of reading along with the printed text using your “inner voice” to form the words instead of silently … Continue reading “Addressing Subvocalization”


Balancing Literacy: What Makes for Good Reading Instruction?

In a September 8, 2021 opinion post, Education Week described two educators’ concerns over the polarization of literary instruction and the distortion of the term “balanced literacy” from its original meaning.[1] To address the former, we have to look no farther than the hotly debated “war” between phonics and whole-word instruction, which we dealt with … Continue reading “Balancing Literacy: What Makes for Good Reading Instruction?”


Teaching All the Foundational Reading Skills

Learning to read is a complex process — as is teaching reading skills to young learners. Most of the debate about the best approach seems to center around the whole-word approach versus phonics, with the latter being the better supported. However, according to a recent post in Education Week, that debate misses out on the … Continue reading “Teaching All the Foundational Reading Skills”


Remote Support for Students with Dyslexia

We’ve previously discussed the challenges of reading for students who have dyslexia (links to all blog posts here), but our extended experience of remote learning during the coronavirus pandemic has led these students to face a new host of difficulties in education in general and reading in particular. Some students discovered their support services, including … Continue reading “Remote Support for Students with Dyslexia”


The Importance of Certified Reading Specialists

No matter whether they learn to read at home or in the classroom, children who excel early in reading do better in school overall than those who struggle with basic literacy. Perhaps it’s because once students transition from learning to read to reading to learn, those who have a good grasp of the mechanics can … Continue reading “The Importance of Certified Reading Specialists”