Research Based Learning: a Lifelong Learning Necessity

Categories: Authors, Instruction, Literacy, Student Engagement


“Give a person a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a person to fish and she will eat for a lifetime.”
– Adapted from a saying by an unknown author

What is Research-Based Learning?
Research-based learning (RBL) consists of a framework that helps to prepare students to be lifelong inquirers and learners. The term “research,” which often conjures up a picture of students writing research reports, is here defined as a way of thinking about teaching and learning, a perspective, a paradigm. It is a specific approach to classroom teaching that places less emphasis on teacher-centered learning of content and facts and greater emphasis on students as active researchers.

In a research-based learning approach, students actively search for and then use multiple resources, materials, and texts in order to explore important, relevant, and interesting questions and challenges. They find, process, organize and evaluate information and ideas as they build reading skills and vocabulary. They learn how to read for understanding, form interpretations, develop and evaluate hypotheses, and think critically and creatively. They learn how to solve problems, challenges, and dilemmas. Finally, they develop communication skills through writing and discussion. Read more

Vocabulary Reigns Supreme

Vocabulary Reigns Supreme

Categories: Instruction, Literacy

Based on Literacy Reframed

“After we learn the mechanics of reading early on, through phonics and decoding, reading growth then depends, more than anything, on our ability to develop students’ knowledge base and vocabulary” (Lemov, 2015; Pinker in Hirsch, 2016; Shanahan, 2011, 2014; as cited in Schmoker, 2018, pg. 270).

This makes perfect sense because the true roots of reading are in the “knowledge learned and knowingness retained,” both of which are embedded and conceptualized as the reader makes meaning of the message. Read more

The Sound of Literacy

Decoding—The Sound of Literacy

Categories: Instruction, Literacy

Based on Literacy Reframed

Listen, and you will hear, the sounds of literacy ringing in your ears.

As human beings, we come pre-wired to learn language by hearing it spoken. The first sounds of language are even heard in the womb. Tiny ears recognize the sound of Mom’s voice, distinct from Dad’s. These first encounters are followed by the oral language of “baby sounds,” mimicking what they hear and reproducing their interpretation of the sounds that grow naturally into speaking. Read more

Boost Student Engagement By Remaking Our Literacy Practices

Boost Student Engagement by Remaking Our Literacy Practices

Categories: Literacy

Based on Remaking Literacy: Innovative Instructional Strategies for Maker Learning

At the end of a hallway, one classroom is buzzing with excitement. More than 50 students are packed in the room, sitting on desks and the floor, with others perched on stools. They are intently waiting to connect virtually with an author. 

They loved his books and giggled at his illustrations. Now they are counting down the days until his next book is released. Each student has jotted a question that they are hoping to ask the author. Waiting in anticipation, the kids cheer when the author comes on screen and starts their virtual meet-up. Read more