Enhance Learning with Active Instruction

Posted on August 13, 2018

In her book Activate, Katherine Mills Hernandez describes student engagement as more than merely doing something. She raises the bar and expects students are doing something that facilitates learning.

Identify the Skill First & the Text Second

Posted on May 06, 2018

The reading standards outline the skills students need to master; they do not require certain texts be read. This puts the emphasis on teaching reading, not teaching texts. Teachers should first identify the comprehension skill to teach.

Discern 3 Types of Syntheses

Posted on March 09, 2018

Often teachers identify a synthesis as an aha readers experience after combining multiple thoughts and thinking beyond the text. And this is accurate. However, there are actually three different types of syntheses.

Differentiate Between Themes and Topics

Posted on March 09, 2018

How do you teach theme? This standard is often assessed via a multiple-choice question (e.g., Which sentence best summarizes this text's theme?). It's important to note that every answer listed is a sentence--none are a single word or a phrase.

Recognize Cursor Symbols to Improve On-Screen Reading

Posted on December 11, 2017

Not every skill, strategy, or habit applied when reading a print text automatically transfers onto a screen. Students who can read print text easily and independently are not necessarily successful on-screen readers.

Break Down Comprehension Strategies by Subskills

Posted on October 16, 2017

For every comprehension mini-lesson, announce the strategy the lesson targets. Then, explain the small subskill that is the focus of the instruction. Be sure to include experience with that subskill in both literature and informational text.

Introducing Reading Voice and Thinking Voice

Posted on October 16, 2017

In many respects, reading is harder to teach than writing, mainly because it's invisible. Consequently, teachers must work diligently to make the reading process and their reading instruction concrete and visible.

Introduce the Purpose of Annotation

Posted on October 16, 2017

Emphasize that students must mark (e.g., underline, circle, highlight, etc.) the words in the text in addition to noting their thinking. Readers don't just have thoughts; they have thoughts about the text.

Identify 10-15 General Academic Words per Grade Level

Posted on October 04, 2017

If students do not accurately interpret the function of general academic words, they will miss points on standardized tests--not because they didn't understand the passage but because they didn't understand the question.

Master the 10 Anchor Reading Standards with a Cheat Sheet

Posted on August 20, 2017

To truly root reading comprehension instruction in the standards, beware of identifying a text first and then trying to figure out the standards that could be taught with it.