Literacy

Laying the foundation for reading proficiency

Reading Proficiency Starts with a Solid Foundation

Categories: Common Core & Standards, Instruction, Literacy

The goal for any reading curriculum is to develop readers who are able to understand, evaluate, and respond to texts in thoughtful ways. We can lump these competencies under the concept of reading comprehension. There is also a second goal for reading: to develop children and adults who are lifelong avid readers who choose to make literacy an integral part of their lives.

In order to reach these lofty goals, however, students need to develop competencies in what most reading standards (e.g., Common Core Standards) refer to as foundational. Read more

Vocabulary in a SNAP

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Teaching Vocabulary in a SNAP

Categories: Instruction, Literacy

In my work as a consultant to schools, I’ve met many teachers who are concerned about the number of words their students know, as well as the limited knowledge of how words work, which students display. When we begin to discuss these issues, the teachers often share with me that they don’t have resources to address these deficiencies and that they are concerned about how to integrate meaningful vocabulary instruction into their lessons.

In response to these concerns that I’ve heard so many times, I began crafting short lessons intended to teach a few target words, building on a similarity (like a shared root) that the words have. Each mini-lesson contains four components, represented by the acronym SNAP. Read more

Mapping out rigorous literacy instruction

Reexamining Rigor in Literacy

Categories: Instruction, Literacy

Sometimes it’s called the “treasure box”; other times, it’s known as “that resource.” Once I heard it referred to as “the answer”—not an answer, mind you, but the answer. It’s that magical list of complex texts that are just right for your students; they’re the readily available, rigorous tasks sure to engage them deeply. Answers. Easy ones. Good ones.

Forgive then, my terrible, terrible news: that treasure doesn’t exist. Read more

Student can use eWriters to improve literacy

Using eWriters to support reading and writing instruction

Categories: Instruction, Literacy, Technology

(Note: This post is co-authored by Kristine E. Pytash and Richard E. Ferdig, and guest authors John Dunlosky and Karl W. Kosko of Kent State University.)

Whether children are reading electronic storybooks, creating interactive videos and multimedia stories, or reading and responding to standardized tests in digital formats, technology is influencing what it looks like to read and write and how teachers and parents are using new digital tools to transform reading and writing instruction. As researchers and teachers, we are interested in these various ways technology and digital media support reading and writing instruction. Recently, we’ve been studying eWriters and how these tools might influence children’s writing acquisition and composition process. Read more

Preparing high-school graduates for college or careers

Increasing College Readiness and Career Readiness before Graduation

Categories: Assessment, Common Core & Standards, Instruction, Literacy, Mathematics

Most states have improved graduation rates over time, but as one superintendent told this author, “We know how to increase graduation rates; we just don’t know how to educate them before they graduate!” So, what can educators do to increase the number of graduates who are actually ready for college or careers? Read more