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 16, 2022

Awhile back, I posted an opinion piece calling for the explicit teaching of sentence comprehension. With schools aiming to expose kids to complex text, it would seem that such instruction would be de rigueur.

August 8, 2022

Teacher question: What do you think of the jigsaw method for organizing the reading in a science or social studies class? I teach 5th grade in a suburban school. Shanahan’s response:

July 18, 2022

Teacher question: My question is regarding comprehension as it relates to solving math word problems.

July 10, 2022

Teacher question: I hope you can help me as I have learned, and continue to learn, new things from your blog. Is there any benefit to using dictionaries in middle school? Is there any research you can share that discusses the pros/cons of using a dictionary in middle school? The students are native speakers, but there are some ELLs.

June 15, 2022

Teacher question: I teach kindergarten. We’ve been arguing over whether we should teach spelling or developmental spelling. Which is best? Shanahan's response:

June 6, 2022

Teacher question: I know you typically don’t talk about specific programs, but I really would like to know your thoughts. I had always wanted more training in a structured literacy program/approach. I always thought Wilson, and specifically OG approaches, were the gold standards. More recently, I began reading about programs labeled as speech to print.


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

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"You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend." — Paul Sweeney