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.

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.

May 14, 2022

Teacher question: Would you do an article about your thoughts on recent report about Reading Recovery?   Shanahan’s response:

May 7, 2022

Teacher question: You say that we should teach students to read with grade level texts. But my professor (I’m working on a master’s degree in reading) says that would be a big mistake since harder texts have been found to lower students’ fluency and comprehension (Amendum, Conradi, & Hiebert, 2017). Your research says one thing and his says something else.

April 18, 2022

Teacher question: I wonder why you never write about curriculum integration. This year my district is all about including social studies in all of our lessons and my sister (a teacher in another state) is doing something like that with science in the upper grades. Do you have any advice for teachers like us? Shanahan’s response:

April 14, 2022

Teacher question: I would love to see a blog post on whether to teach sight words/high-frequency words, and if there is any useful reason to track whether a student is learning them. My teachers are still teaching them in K and 1st, but more through reading and spelling them, decoding, and encoding them, in and out of text, and not by memorizing their shape.


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

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"There is no frigate like a book, to take us lands away" — Emily Dickinson