A veteran teacher describes how she used visualization, Google images, video, and Skype to build background knowledge and enrich her students' classroom read aloud of a fiction book about ospreys in the UK.
Today’s Independent Reading (IR) programs differ significantly from SSR and DEAR. Effective IR programs require active teacher engagement, time, a broad range of leveled texts, talk around texts, and differentiated instruction. The benefits are well worth it: increased student achievement, motivation, and a love of reading.
Is your child enrolled in kindergarten in a school that is implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)? In this overview for parents, learn more about what Common Core is and how to know whether a teacher is providing developmentally appropriate instruction to address the CCSS for your child. Here are some of the questions you might ask yourself.
Reading Rockets has developed a set of reading adventure packs to encourage hands-on fun and learning centered around paired fiction and nonfiction books.
This article make a case for the importance of background knowledge in children's comprehension. It suggests that differences in background knowledge may account for differences in understanding text for low- and middle-income children. It then describes strategies for building background knowledge in the age of common core standards.
Interactive writing is a dynamic instructional method where teacher and students work together to construct a meaningful text while discussing the details of the writing process. The writing demands of the Common Core standards require explicit and efficient teaching guidance, which is at the heart of interactive writing. Learn four specific ways teachers can adapt this practice when working with children in grades 2-5 who are more developed writers.
Semantic maps (or graphic organizers) help students, especially struggling students and those with disabilities, to identify, understand, and recall the meaning of words they read in the text.
Vocabulary lies at the heart of content learning. To support the development of vocabulary in the content areas, teachers need to give their students time to read widely, intentionally select words worthy of instruction, model their own word solving strategies, and provide students with opportunities to engage in collaborative conversations.
This commentary discusses what disciplinary literacy is and why it is important. It then discusses the ways in which elementary school teachers can infuse aspects of disciplinary literacy into elementary instruction. It argues that the Common Core Standards, even those at the K-6 level, are providing avenues for preparation for disciplinary literacy.
A classroom teacher examines the importance of the nonfiction read aloud as part of ongoing daily instruction, and highlights the need to empower students in both academic achievement, and as life long lovers of nonfiction, through focused informational literature.
Go on an archaeological reading adventure! Teachers can support reading together at home with our reading adventure packs — designed to encourage hands-on fun and learning centered around paired fiction and nonfiction books. (Level: Second or Third Grade)
The new focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) includes efforts to get kids involved in computer programming. Coding builds logical thinking and problem-solving skills. It's also creative and collaborative! Find out how you can introduce your child to the basic concepts of programming.
Concepts of print need to be expanded to include graphics, with instruction in how to read and analyze graphical devices such as diagrams, timelines, and tables. Learn more about how to teach young students to read and understand visual information.
Is your school using the new Common Core standards? This is a big change for students — and their parents. Get to know the four "anchors" of the Common Core writing standards and simple things you can do at home to help your child build skills in all of these areas.
Go on a reading adventure to learn all about our government! Teachers can support reading together at home with our reading adventure packs — designed to encourage hands-on fun and learning centered around paired fiction and nonfiction books. (Level: Second or Third Grade)
Is your school using the new Common Core standards? This is a big change for students — and their parents. Get to know what the four main areas of the Common Core reading standards mean and simple things you can do at home to help your child build skills in these areas.
Writing for an audience gives kids a reason to use their developing reading and writing skills. Here are some tips to get you and your child started with free, safe blogging sites.
Your child may be at a school where they are using an approach called "flipped classroom" or "flipped lesson." If so, keep reading to find out more about the concept, and three ways that you can support flipped learning at home.
Nonfiction books give kids a chance to learn new concepts and vocabulary, as well as broaden their view of the world. Learn how to take a "book walk" with a new nonfiction book and how to model active reading.
In plain language, find out what the Common Core Standards are, how student progress will be measured, their impact on English language learners, and how to stay informed.
Science learning involves lots of new vocabulary words. Focusing on root words, prefixes and suffixes can help your child learn new science words more quickly and become a word detective!
Many kids love to read about science and nature as well as real people, places, and events. Nonfiction books present information in engaging and interesting ways. Find out how you can help your child learn to navigate all the parts of a nonfiction book — from the table of contents to the diagrams, captions, glossary, and index.
Inferences are what we figure out based on an experience. Helping your child understand when information is implied (or not directly stated) will improve her skill in drawing conclusions and making inferences. These skills will be needed for all sorts of school assignments, including reading, science and social studies.
This article presents a developmental framework of informational writing developed from a study of children's writing in K-5 classrooms. See examples of children's compositions at each developmental level, and learn how to use this continuum to support increasingly more mature forms of informational text.
One way parents can help children become interested in science is by explaining the scientific process. The scientific process is the way scientists go about asking and answering scientific questions by making observations and doing experiments. It starts with asking a question.
Critical thinking, the ability to think deeply about a topic or a book, is an essential skill for children to develop. Here are some helpful tips and recommended books to strengthen your child's ability to think critically.
Sharing lots of different kinds, or genres, of books with your child exposes him to different words, different kinds of images, and whole new worlds. This tip sheet suggests some genres to try with your young reader that complement 'traditional' fiction. Some are suggestions for read alouds, while others may be ones your child can read on his own.
Children's nonfiction picture books is a genre that is exploding in both quality and quantity. Recent nonfiction books reveal an emphasis on the visual, an emphasis on accuracy, and an engaging writing style. Suggestions are included for choosing and using nonfiction picture books in the classroom.
Go on a "dinosaur" reading adventure! Teachers can support reading together at home with our reading adventure packs — designed to encourage hands-on fun and learning centered around paired fiction and nonfiction books. (Level: First grade)
Go on a "green" reading adventure! Teachers can support reading together at home with our reading adventure packs — designed to encourage hands-on fun and learning centered around paired fiction and nonfiction books.
(Level: First grade)
Technology tools and supports can be an excellent way to help struggling students engage with social studies texts in a meaningful way, and build deeper understanding through guided inquiry.
Children are full of questions about the world around them, and summer is a perfect time to tap into your child's interests. Here are some ways to start a journey of discovery together.