Cross the Bridge of Fluency

Posted on May 06, 2019

Best-practice fluency instruction goes beyond improving reader expression. It includes skills that form the essential bridge between decoding and comprehension.

Consider Alternatives to Round Robin Reading

Posted on March 01, 2019

Round robin was a staple in literacy classrooms for years. This is the notion of kids taking turns reading aloud from the same passage. However, there is abundant research that reveals this method is doing more harm than good.

Compare Vocabulary Study to Dating

Posted on March 01, 2019

To master an essential vocabulary word, students require repeated exposure to the word over time. This supports the 4-14-40 research by leading expert Dr. Robert Marzano.

Measure a Text's Complexity

Posted on March 01, 2019

Assessing text complexity sometimes seems like guesswork. Besides the reading level, what else should we consider? To make the task more concrete and tangible, Kristina Smekens has created a rubric to help teachers gauge the complexity of a text.

Introducing Fluency to Students

Posted on March 01, 2019

Even if students can decode words in their reading, that doesn't mean they will comprehend what they read. Reading expert Tim Rasinski is right. Fluency is the secret ingredient to comprehension.

Explore Bell-Ringer Options

Posted on March 01, 2019

Many ELA classes begin with a bell-ringer task--a short exercise students complete in 3-5 minutes while the teacher attends to attendance. Consider bell-ringer ideas that are faster to assess and that provide practice for recently learned skill.

Execute Mini-Lessons in 4 Steps

Posted on March 01, 2019

All whole-class reading and writing skills should be executed in mini-lessons. Identify a single, small skill to teach within each short, 10 to 15-minute lesson. Lessons should be short or “mini” because students don’t get better list

Annotate Based on the Reading Purpose

Posted on February 25, 2019

Giving students highlighters to identify important information can often lead to them marking nothing or painting everything. The solution to transforming "painters" to selective highlighters is to define the reading purpose

Go Beyond Highlighting--Expect Why-Lighting

Posted on February 18, 2019

Often annotation is reduced to little more than a set of codes and symbols that students are required to use while reading. This is a great first-step to annotating. However, using only codes and symbols is not enough.

Synthesize & Cite Evidence From Multiple Sources

Posted on December 03, 2018

Students must read multiple texts in order to write an extended response citing evidence for all (or most) of the texts provided. This is going to require an extra level of organization during the reading, note-taking, and pre-writing processes.