Reading Instruction

Writing is Reading in Reverse

Elementary teachers, reading specialists and literacy coaches all know that to be a good writer, children must also be good readers. They need to understand a plot, the characters, and sequencing and understand the vocabulary that moves a plot forward, explain the actions and motives of a character, and comprehend the changes that take place …

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Literacy Acceleration Playbook

Win. Excel. Beat a personal best. These are the mindsets of athletes. Even those who are not athletes know that in order to meet goals such as winning or surpassing a personal record one must practice, put in hard work, train, learn technique, and take feedback to help refine performance. In addition to the aforementioned …

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The Secret Strength of Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

There’s this widgetsmith on the opening screen of my iPhone that reads, “As long as we’re creating it’s not too late to change our story.” People’s stories motivate and inspire but they also connect us, help us grow. Throughout my years of being an educator, tucking in beside my fellow professionals, really hearing their journey, …

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Embracing Nonfiction

At first glance nonfiction books can seem intimidating – facts, numbers, research, real-world stuff, EEK! – but nonfiction doesn’t have to intimidating or overwhelming. In fact, it can be quite fun with several benefits that kids may not even realize they’re gaining! Embracing nonfiction is one of the best things any kid can do. Here …

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Teaching Critical Thinking Skills – Using Thinking Skills in Reading

Check out this webinar, Teaching Critical Thinking Skills – Using Thinking Skills in Reading, where Dr. Andrew Johnson examines how critical and creative thinking skills enhance learning. By the end of the webinar, you will: Understand what a thinking skill is Understand the difference between critical thinking and creative thinking Know how to teach thinking …

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Books, Bricks, and Politics

I recently caught up with a dear colleague. When I asked her what she saw as she worked closely with our teachers and teacher leaders, her immediate answer was “politics”.   The concept that everything is political started with Aristotle and is consistently restated today. Although I avoid them, I cannot deny that what I …

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D.R.E.A.M. Literacy

A literacy environment should be cultivated by its curriculum.  Learning how to read and develop literacy skills is a process that will benefit a child their entire life.  It is the foundation for other subjects, and a manner in which students learn to communicate and learn about their world, near and far. The process to …

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Creating A R.I.C.H. Literacy Environment

Most students either really love to read and find joy in growing and sharpening their literacy skills, or they feel the opposite. Their experience depends on two things- the instructional decisions made and the environment in which they learn.  Educators are often told to create a “literacy rich” or “print rich” classroom setting, but what …

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Finding the Hook

It’s all about the hook. Find what is inspiring to the youth and you find the hook into reading. Take baby steps even if needed. Not interested in reading a book? Start with a graphic novel. Even the old school Baby Sitters Club books are coming back with a vengeance in graphic novel form! Boys! …

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Autonomy in K-3 Literacy Learning

Something that I’ve learned in my time as an educator is the power in providing students with choice. Choice to explore their learning, choice to figure things out on their own, choice to learn new things in a variety of ways. Literacy skills are the foundation of learning, and something that educators should get excited …

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