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.

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.

January 21, 2020

Teacher Question: I’m a big phonics promoter. Recently, someone challenged me saying that the fact that Reading First didn’t work shows that emphasizing phonics is a bad idea. Can you help? Shanahan's response:

January 13, 2020

Teacher question: I read your recent article on teaching with complex text in Perspectives in Language and Literacy and I agree with you. But I also read the IES Practice Guide that said that we should make sure kids are reading texts at instructional and independent levels (on page 33). Who’s right? Shanahan's response:

January 5, 2020

Teacher question: What do you think about “modeling” in literacy instruction? Shanahan’s reply: Tyler’s mom sent me a video. It was riveting. Like many 21st century parents, she had a camera going in the nursery at naptime. And, the camera revealed something pretty cool during an afternoon nap.

December 8, 2019

It’s been a bad week for fluency instruction.

November 20, 2019

Teacher question: Some of my ELA teachers have been talking about dyslexia fonts lately. Is there any merit to this? Shanahan's response: This question takes me back to graduate school. I was fascinated with print and its impact on reading.

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NEA logo and funding credit

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