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.

January 11, 2021

Teacher question: Can you explain the difference between 3P (Pause, Prompt, Praise) and 3 cueing? I know you encourage one and discourage the other, but they seem to be the same thing to me. Help. Shanahan's reply: At Shanahan on Literacy, we strive for consistency. Let’s see if we can get this straightened out.

December 8, 2020

Teacher question: In graduate school, we are being taught that we should use “hybrid texts” to teach content subjects. As a middle school math teacher, I think this is a horrible idea given our scant resources. Where do you stand on the use of hybrid text? Shanahan's response:

November 16, 2020

Teacher question: It seems there is currently a focus on intervention solely for the word recognition side in the early grades. The explanation is that most students who struggle, struggle with decoding, and I of course agree.

November 9, 2020

Teacher questions: Over the past few weeks, I'e fielded many questions about testing — from policymakers and teachers. Here are a couple of examples:

October 13, 2020

Teachers’ question: I’m confused. I’ve heard you say that we should teach phonemic awareness and letters simultaneously. Other “experts” say that phonemic awareness is strictly an auditory skill and that including letters slows children’s learning. Help!

October 5, 2020

For the want of a nail the shoe was lost; For the want of a shoe the horse was lost; For the want of a horse the battle was lost; For the failure of battle the kingdom was lost — And all for the want of a horseshoe nail. — Proverb

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

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"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark." — Victor Hugo, Les Miserables