Clarify Summary Versus Synthesis

Posted on September 17, 2019

Synthesizing is often loosely defined as thinking beyond the text or having an aha. Although these are accurate explanations, many question how a synthesis differs from a summary or inference.

Explain the Value of Multiple Sources

Posted on August 06, 2019

Most teachers integrate multiple texts within a unit or concept of study. However, most students do not understand the bigger purpose behind this practice.

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.

Balance On-Paper and On-Screen Experiences

Posted on April 08, 2019

As access to technology continually increases, some teachers and administrators question if students should only read and always write digitally.

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 research by Dr. Robert Marzano and other leading vocabulary experts.

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