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.

March 23, 2020

Teacher question: I’m confused. I’ve worked with Lexiles for years and my district provided us with a chart showing the levels of books to use for each grade level. Then Common Core came along with a different chart that put different book levels with each grade level. I don’t live in a Common Core state, but I’m still not sure which chart to use. Can you help me?

March 16, 2020

Teacher question: You wrote recently that it was a good idea to teach comprehension skills, but our school district says we shouldn’t, that it’s prior knowledge that matters. Do you know the baseball study? Have you read Natalie Wexler’s research? It is really difficult to trust research when everyone tells us something different.

February 24, 2020

Teacher question: Everyone says reading and writing are connected. But our school focuses on only reading. We have a reading program (we don’t have a writing program). We test the students three times a year in reading, but never in writing. Writing isn’t even on our report card, though I guess it is part of Language Arts. What should we be doing with writing?

February 17, 2020

Recently, The Washington Post published an article about the latest hostilities in the “reading wars.” I noticed it because the columnist, Jay Matthews, quoted from this blog.

February 6, 2020

Teacher question: When working with state educational standards are the expectations for the student to be able to accomplish each of the standards with grade level text. Some of us believe that if a fourth-grade student can determine the main idea in a second-grade text that the student has mastered that standard. Please help us settle this argument.

January 27, 2020

Interesting question. Before I answer, let me ask one: What keeps Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, up at night? You know Amazon, the trillion-dollar corporation that delivers something like a 5 billion packages a year. I’m at a professional meeting. The chair asks what “levers” we have for improving reading achievement in the U.S.

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

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"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go." — Dr. Seuss