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 10, 2022

Teacher question: What can you tell me about writing fluency in grades K-5? Our district is making a major effort to improve writing which is great, but our kids don’t write much. I don’t mean that the teachers don’t give writing assignments (they do), but the writing that the kids produce is very limited and it takes them a long time.

December 6, 2021

Oh goodness, everybody’s least favorite topic (except maybe Tim Rasinski's). What I’m talking about is fluency instruction/practice for older students ... grades 4 and up, let’s say. No one gets too bent out of shape if I talk about little kids working on their oral reading, but when those young’uns reach 9- or 10-years-old that presumably is baby stuff. I get why that is.

November 15, 2021

Not long ago, I dared question the evidence supporting the teaching of “advanced phonemic awareness.” That elicited negative reactions from some educators who found my assertions threatening. Their notion was that if I raised doubts about this, then balanced literacy, whole language, cueing systems, and the fall of the Republic would be manifest upon the land.

November 6, 2021

Lots of questions about the “science of reading” this week.

October 22, 2021

Last week, I posted five literacy education pet peeves.

October 13, 2021

People who ask a question just so they can answer it. Yep, I’m the punchline. I’m asking this question only so I can answer it. Though I hope this stimulates you to add your own. Pet peeves are, by their very nature, complaints. Of course, no one wants to hear a lot of whining these days. If they did, they’d be on Twitter or the U.S. Senate.


"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." — Groucho Marx