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.

April 6, 2021

Teacher question: I recently read an article suggesting that the research findings on reading comprehension have been modified, distorted and ignored (Dewitz & Graves, 2021).

March 15, 2021

Teacher Question: What are your thoughts on teaching syllable division patterns? I recently came across some new research from Devin Kearns and it made me start thinking about if all the time programs spend teaching syllable division patterns is really justified.

March 7, 2021

Teacher question: My district is trying to shift literacy instruction to be in line with the science of reading. We are wondering where comprehension strategies fit into Scarborough’s Reading Rope?

February 16, 2021

Teacher question: I know you criticize the instructional reading level. But what about the independent reading level? Should we make sure that when children are reading on their own that they select books at their independent level or doesn’t that matter? Shanahan's response:

February 10, 2021

Teacher question: I teach kindergarten. We are trying to follow the science of reading. We believe that is the best way to go. However, my colleague and I are disagreeing over one aspect of our program. Should we teach the letters first, the sounds first, or should we teach them together? Shanahan's response:

January 19, 2021

Teacher question: Can we raise student achievement by teaching subject area content knowledge? I’m concerned about this approach because I work with struggling readers. We know a lot about how to help them learn to read, so I was wondering if there is evidence that teaching “knowledge” to such students really makes any difference.

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

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"There is no frigate like a book, to take us lands away" — Emily Dickinson