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.

February 19, 2019

Teacher question: Prevention of dyslexia and other reading problems should be everyone’s number one priority. Why isn’t their more emphasis on the early identification of reading problems, before they have a chance to ruin children’s lives? Shanahan's response

February 13, 2019

Teacher question: I'm looking for help with information or resources about text types for early readers. We have decodable text, text with high-frequency words, and predictive text. It seems like a reasonable strategy to provide our fragile readers with more opportunities to read these low-complexity texts while we shore up issues with phonological awareness. 

January 30, 2019

Teacher question: If you were teaching second-grade what would your schedule look like? Shanahan's response: This question — in various forms — came up a lot this week in response to last week’s posting. Here is my thinking on this.

January 22, 2019

Teacher question: The National Assessment of Educational Progress says that only 37% of 4th graders are reaching reading proficiency. Why is it so low? Shanahan's response Why do so few American kids read well?

January 14, 2019

As regular readers of this blog know, there is an entire segment of the literacy community who thinks I’m an idiot. I’ve been married for a long time, so those kinds of judgments don’t usually bother me.

January 7, 2019

Teacher question:  How much does reading speed matter?  And if it is important, what is the best way to develop it in our learners? I’ve heard that 100 wpm is the minimal speed for comprehension. Is that a real thing? I believe the average speed is 200 wpm.  Shanahans response:

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

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"Once you learn to read, you will be forever free." — Frederick Douglass