Skip to main content
Mother and daughter painting an environmental mural together
Dr. Joanne Meier
Sound It Out
Joanne Meier

The value of mixed practice in teaching reading

Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits (opens in a new window) is a timely reminder about a few techniques that can reliably improve how much a student learns from studying. Techniques include alternating study environments, spacing study sessions, self testing, and mixing content. The research on these techniques suggests that “forcing the brain to make multiple associations with the same material may, in effect, give that information more neural scaffolding.” If the context changes, the information is enriched, and forgetting slows down. Sounds like what we know about good vocabulary instruction!

I think the same is true for teaching reading. As teachers, we need to make sure we’re providing enough mixed practice for our kids. Practically speaking, it means finding time across the week for different types of reading. This includes:

That’s a pretty healthy list of reading practice types! But I believe that the variation of material and format will help develop more flexible, successful readers. What do you think? What’s missing from my list?

About the Author

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Publication Date
September 8, 2010