Reading Instruction

Signal Words: 5 Fun Ways to Explain these Sentence Superheroes!
Thursday, September 6, 2018
Signal Words: 5 Fun Ways to Explain these Sentence Superheroes!

All words are powerful, but some words have superpowers. Consider words and phrases that indicate relationships between ideas, like also, however, as a result, in addition, for example, and in contrast. These are signal words, and they are sentence superheroes. The ability to identify and understand the meaning of signal...

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How to Be a Reading Role Model for Adolescent Students
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
How to Be a Reading Role Model for Adolescent Students

In the fall of 2016, Scholastic and YouGov conducted their biannual survey and put together the “Kids and Families Reading Report.” The results underscored the relationship between student reading and educational success, while also demonstrating the critical role that literacy educators play in fostering a love of reading. Perhaps the...

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5 Try-It-Today Activities to Help Your Students Tackle Literary Themes
Thursday, August 30, 2018
5 Try-It-Today Activities to Help Your Students Tackle Literary Themes

Your students probably already know that writers don’t just tell them the theme. Readers need to look for themes, and that's not easy. What else isn't easy? Convincing students that identifying themes is worth the effort and can improve their comprehension. These engaging activities can help by giving your students...

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How Many Vocabulary Words Should I Teach?: Less Really is More
Thursday, July 26, 2018
How Many Vocabulary Words Should I Teach?: Less Really is More

At the staff meeting, Principal Karla Gómez discussed the school’s goal of building students’ vocabulary knowledge and stressed just how much instructional ground there is to cover in a short time. The obvious take-away: teach more words. But Rebecca Hoye, a second grade teacher, has a different perspective. She raised...

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Meeting Dyslexia Head-On: Strategies for Success
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Meeting Dyslexia Head-On: Strategies for Success

Learning to read can be hard. For children with dyslexia, it can be especially hard. In a 2017 interview with American Public Media reporter Emily Hanford, neuroscientist Guinevere Eden argued that “reading is not a natural skill,” as our brains were designed to recognize objects—such as an animal loping toward us...

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Tackling the Literacy Needs of Younger Adolescents
Thursday, June 28, 2018
Tackling the Literacy Needs of Younger Adolescents

Improving literacy rates among adolescent students is a growing area of focus in education, and rightfully so. Statistics from the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress test (NAEP) given in 2017 revealed that just 36 percent of fourth-graders who took the reading test scored “at or above” the proficient...

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Get Loud! 5 Fun Activities to Encourage the Comprehension Connection
Friday, June 15, 2018
Get Loud to Encourage the Comprehension Connection

For many literacy educators, student engagement is measured by what we see, not what we hear. After all, students are primarily learning reading and writing skills, so if they are busy processing and analyzing the text, the classroom should be quiet—right? Not at all. In fact, encouraging student discussion can...

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Teaching Multiple-Meaning Words: A Key Strategy For Unlocking Meaning
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Teaching Multiple-Meaning Words: A Key Strategy For Unlocking Meaning

Ms. Hoye and a small group of second-grade students sit around a kidney-shaped table. The students whisper-read from individual copies of the same book—about life in the ocean—moving along at their own pace. “Ms. Hoye–” Isaiah looks up. “What does this say?” He points to the word school. After several prompts...

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5 Fun Literacy Games That Double As Informal Assessments
Thursday, May 3, 2018
5 Fun Literacy Games That Double As Informal Assessments

Educators are always on the lookout for quick ways to check student comprehension. After all, no teacher wants to get to the end of a unit only to find out that students have been struggling all along. Periodic, low-stakes, informal assessments allow educators to see whether students need more review...

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Now I Know My BPDs: 6 Strategies for Reversible Letters
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Now I Know My bpd's”: 6 Strategies for Reversible Letters

If you’ve worked with students who are beginning to read and write, you’ve likely found yourself explaining the difference between b, d, and p. Why are these letters so often confused? Not only do b, d, and p have similar names and shapes, they also sound alike. Making the distinction...

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