Blogs About Reading

Shanahan on Literacy

Timothy Shanahan

Literacy expert Timothy Shanahan shares best practices for teaching reading and writing. Dr. Shanahan is an internationally recognized professor of urban education and reading researcher who has extensive experience with children in inner-city schools and children with special needs. All posts are reprinted with permission from Shanahan on Literacy.

August 6, 2020

Blast from the past

July 28, 2020

Teacher question: I know you advocate the idea of teaching reading with more complex text. But what about motivation? Won’t this approach discourage students? Shanahan's response:

July 20, 2020

Parent question: As a parent, I’m worried about my children being out of school during the pandemic. Our district still hasn’t decided whether or how to open again this fall, so it isn’t even clear if they will be going back to school.

July 15, 2020

Teacher question: Our school uses XXXXXXX [widely used commercial program] in the primary grades to teach fluency. I don’t like it because so many children can read fluently but don’t understand what they are reading. Wouldn’t it be better to focus on reading comprehension? Shanahan's response:

June 23, 2020

Teacher question: You say that one-quarter or one-fifth of the reading instruction time should be spent on oral reading fluency. But I teach kindergarten and most of my kids can’t read, so fluency instruction doesn’t make any sense. What should I do instead? Shanahan's response:

June 16, 2020

Teacher question: Could you recommend a strong vocabulary curriculum that my school could adopt? Shanahan's response: Because I work with various companies, I never recommend particular programs.

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Reading intervention specialist working one-on-one with an elementary student

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"What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person ..." —

Carl Sagan