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.

May 26, 2020

I’m in Chicago in the 10th week of pandemic confinement. Even in states that are opening up, the schools are still closed, and some may remain closed in the fall. One suspects that there may be future extended school closings as well as this insidious virus works its way through our communities. There is no research literature on education and pandemics.

May 21, 2020

Teacher question: I have read the work of researchers like Louisa Moats, Stanislas Dehaene, and Linnea Ehri and have an understanding of how reading works in the brain. I understand the critical role of connecting graphemes to phonemes. My question is what is the true role of the kinesthetic activities promoted in many intervention programs?

May 11, 2020

Teacher question: I attended your recent webinar and you said that students should figure out the meanings of words from context and that they needed to be able to deal with syntax. But I’ve also read that you are against the 3-cueing systems. Isn’t that a contradiction?

May 5, 2020

Teacher question: When providing fluency instruction, should time, such as the number of words per minute, be an element? Our school has been doing that, but elsewhere I’m hearing that we shouldn’t be doing that. Shanahan's response Fluency is a bit of a mash up and not a pure skill.

April 21, 2020

Teacher’s question: Our school psychologist tests all of our boy and girls for RAN. He says it is the best predictor of reading ability. How can I improve my students’ RAN performance? Shanahan’s response: If someone tells you that you can teach RAN, run!

April 6, 2020

Hello, Reading World! As with most of you, I’m sheltering in place … biding my time until the Great Pandemic Pandemonium subsides. Although despite being at what is currently an awkward (and apparently dangerous) age, I feel pretty safe locked down here in Chicago.

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

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"Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them. " — Neil Gaiman