If you are planning to purchase a literacy program for instruction, get as much information as you can about a program's benefits and effectiveness. This article provides basic comparative information about a range of commercially available literacy programs.
To thrive in today's English Language Arts classroom, students need rapid recall of words they know and the ability to capture, learn and remember new terms.
Children's magazines are a wonderful supplement to classroom instruction. Students are exposed to a wide variety of texts and lots of interactive content. From stories, poems, and action rhymes to nonfiction, crafts, puzzles, and games, kids’ magazines can offer an abundance of high-interest content to support your curriculum.
Dialogic reading involves an adult and child having a dialogue around the text they are reading aloud together. Learn how to use this strategy effectively to help kids build vocabulary and verbal fluency skills and understand story structure and meaning. Downloadable handouts to help guide parents in using dialogic reading are available in English and 14 other languages.
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.
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.
Drawing on instructional materials, classroom images, and observational data from research, the authors illustrate these principles: establishing efficient, rich routines for introducing target word meanings; providing review activities that promote deep processing of word meanings; responding directly to student confusion; and fostering universal participation in and accountability for vocabulary instruction.
When students engage in "word analysis" or "word study," they break words down into their smallest units of meaning — morphemes. Discover effective strategies for classroom word study, including the use of online tools, captioning, and embedded supports to differentiate instruction.
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.
When a student is trying to decipher the meaning of a new word, it's often useful to look at what comes before and after that word. Learn more about the six common types of context clues, how to use them in the classroom and the role of embedded supports in digital text.
For years, the field of reading education has been engaged in thinking about best practices. Explicit instruction in vocabulary, rereading and using digital textbooks to motivate children's reading are among some of these updated best practices. Those in the reading community are urged to consider best practices, and how we may promote their uses, with high fidelity in classroom instruction.
Just a few pages from your newspaper can be turned into lots of early learning activities. Here you'll find "letters and words" activities for the youngest, plus fun writing prompts and tips on how to read and analyze the news for older kids.
How can we supplement the limited time available for vocabulary instruction while motivating students to attend to the words they are learning? As a part of an academic word vocabulary intervention, the authors challenged sixth-grade students to find their words in the world around them.
Smartphones and tablets are everywhere, and even our youngest children interact with technology on a daily basis. Find out what you as a parent can be doing to help your young learner navigate the digital world — you may need to reconsider how you connect with your child during technology use.
Sharing wordless books is a terrific way to build important literacy skills, including listening skills, vocabulary, comprehension and an increased awareness of how stories are structured.
Our interconnected and digital world demands a lot of our learners. Here are five simple ways to help build your child's critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Calendars help young children learn the basics of the days of the week and the months of the year. Your family calendar offers opportunities for other learning as well, including vocabulary, sequencing, and math.
Learn how technology tools can support struggling students and those with learning disabilities in acquiring background knowledge and vocabulary, improving their reading comprehension, and making connections between reading and writing.
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!
Drawing on research-based principles of vocabulary instruction and multimedia learning, this article presents 10 strategies that use free digital tools and Internet resources to engage students in vocabulary learning. The strategies are designed to support the teaching of words and word learning strategies, promote students' strategic use of on-demand web-based vocabulary tools, and increase students' volume of reading and incidental word learning.
Familiarity with Greek and Latin roots, as well as prefixes and suffixes, can help students understand the meaning of new words. This article includes many of the most common examples.
The framework provided in this article for viewing students' science writing offers teachers the opportunity to assess and support scientific language acquisition.
Sharing poetry with kids is a great way to highlight language. Poems offer humor, interesting words, tongue twisters, alliteration, and opportunities for choral reading (reading together). Find out how to plan a lively and fun family poetry jam!
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.
Teaching vocabulary is complex. What words are important for a child to know and in what context? In this excerpt from Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction, the authors consider what principles might be used for selecting which words to explicitly teach.
This study describes a second-grade science curriculum designed to individualize student instruction so that students, regardless of initial science and literacy skills, gain science knowledge and reading skills. The instruction incorporates flexible, homogeneous, literacy skills-based grouping, use of leveled science text, and explicit use of discussion and comprehension strategies.
Children who comprehend the most from their reading are those who know a lot about words. They are familiar with word prefixes, suffixes, word roots, and multiple meanings of words. Families can help develop word knowledge through simple conversations focused on words.
The powerful combination of systematic vocabulary instruction and expanded learning time has the potential to address the large and long-standing literacy gaps in U.S. public schools, particularly with low-income students and English language learners.
The best story times are very interactive: You are talking about and reading the story, your child is talking, and there is conversation taking place between the two of you — what educators call "dialogic" reading.
Reading aloud is a common practice in primary classrooms and is viewed as an important vehicle for vocabulary development. Read-alouds are complex instructional interactions in which teachers choose texts, identify words for instruction, and select the appropriate strategies to facilitate word learning. This study explored the complexities by examining the read-aloud practices of four primary teachers through observations and interviews.
This article explains how to teach students to identify the compare-contrast text structure, and to use this structure to support their comprehension. It also shows how to use compare-contrast texts to activate and extend students' background knowledge and expand and enrich their vocabulary.
Talking to and reading with your child are two terrific ways to help them hear and read new words. Conversations and questions about interesting words are easy, non-threatening ways to get new words into everyday talk. Here are some ideas to get you started.
A simple trip to the grocery store can turn into a real learning experience for your preschooler. Below are some easy ways to build literacy and math skills while getting your shopping done at the same time!
A simple trip to the grocery store can turn into a real learning experience for your child. Below are some easy ways to build literacy and math skills while getting your shopping done at the same time!
Reading with comprehension means understanding what's been read. It takes practice, time, and patience to develop reading comprehension skills. Here is a before-during-after approach that families can use to help children learn to read for understanding.
A recent research study shows that using multimedia video in conjunction with traditional read aloud methods may improve the vocabulary growth of English language learners. An example of how to implement multimedia during classroom read-alouds is described.
Riddles are an excellent way for kids to learn how to really listen to the sounds of words, understand that some words have more than one meaning, and how to manipulate words. And riddles are fun — a good incentive for thinking about words and reading.
Concerns about how to build academic vocabulary and weave its instruction into curricula are common among classroom teachers. This article reviews the research and offers some practical suggestions for teachers.
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.
This list was created to help teachers know which spelling words should be taught to kids in grades 1–5. The list contains 850 words that account for 80 percent of the words children use in their writing — the ones they need to be able to spell correctly.
The use of metacognitive strategies helps students to "think about their thinking" before, during, and after they read.
Focus on reading readiness and enjoy winter holidays at the same time with these simple activities you can incorporate into your preschooler's daily routine.
Cognates are words in two languages that share a similar meaning, spelling, and pronunciation. For Spanish-speaking ELLs, cognates are an obvious bridge to the English language.
Most words in a child's vocabulary come from everyday encounters with language. Children pick up language from books, media, and conversations with the people in their lives. Here are some ways you can increase your child's vocabulary and background knowledge, and strengthen the foundation for their reading success.
Many young readers are puzzled by the rules and exceptions of spelling. Research shows that learning to spell and learning to read rely on much of the same underlying knowledge. Learn more about the relationships between letters and sounds and how a proper understanding of spelling mechanics can lead to improved reading.
Find out how teachers can play to the strengths and shore up the weaknesses of English Language Learners in each of the Reading First content areas.
The scientific research on vocabulary instruction reveals that 1) most vocabulary is learned indirectly, and 2) some vocabulary must be taught directly.
Vocabulary is a weak area for many students, but much "vocabulary instruction" ends up being handwriting practice.