As the foundations of Balanced Literacy begin to crumble, the proponents of Balanced Literacy are presenting a new theory of reading, which they call the Complex View. In this reincarnation of the reading wars, the Complex View seeks to counter a well-researched...
January 23, 2020
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?
Uh oh, don’t...
January 5, 2020
Teacher question: What do you think about “modeling” in literacy instruction?
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.
Tyler was a toddler. He had...
December 8, 2019
It’s been a bad week for fluency instruction.
I started getting emails questioning me on whether I supported the fluency ideas that my friend Tim Rasinski was advocating. These messages seemed to fall into two categories: those who were honestly horrified that Tim would offer something beyond what they believed to be part of the “science of reading” and those who hoped to bait me into...
October 7, 2019
What does it mean that something has research support? I’ve been a teacher for years and I’ve taught hundreds of children to read. Now I’m being told that in our district we are expected to teach in some new way that has research behind it. I like how I teach reading and I don’t want to change. Why should I?
September 23, 2019
My district, like so many others, uses Fountas and Pinnell’s Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) as the primary measure of student reading progress. But if you’ve had doubts about the assessment and the ways BAS data is often used, you’re on to something…Limited materials
An F&P Benchmark Assessment System kit provides us with only two books (one fiction...
August 6, 2019
Teacher question: When measuring oral reading fluency by, say, having kids read a grade-level text for one minute, I take note of speed and accuracy.
1. Should I also measure expression? I certainly know expression is part of fluent reading, but isn’t a kid trying to read fast and accurate not really able to read with perfect expression? For...
May 29, 2019
Teacher question: I keep hearing that teachers don’t know the science of reading. But all the teachers that I talk to say that they teach phonics. What’s really going on?
I suspect that both the critics and the teachers are telling you the truth.
Unfortunately, we don’t have a national education inspectorate...
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
If you were teaching second-grade what would your schedule look like?
This question — in various forms — came up a lot this week in response to last week’s posting. Here is my thinking on this.
I start from the premise that I want kids to get between 120-180 minutes per day of reading...
January 7, 2019
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.
I can find no minimal reading or listening speed for...
December 3, 2018
Teacher letter: 30% of our children are second-language learners — mainly from Mexico and Central America. The reason that I’m writing is that our school’s RtI program only provides Tier 2 interventions that are aimed at teaching decoding. That means when our 1st and 2nd graders are having trouble in reading (and many of them are), they get more phonics teaching. ...
April 18, 2018
I wonder if you could comment on your blog about this crazy idea that the reading specialists should change the program every 12 weeks if a student is not showing growth on the one-minute reading fluency measure. I have second grade student who reads 80 wcpm with 97% accuracy. She made great growth in the fall but has leveled out this...
January 23, 2018
I am a reading coordinator. We are in our first year of implementing a new reading program. As we have rolled out the new curriculum, we've been explicit about the reading instructional practices and routines that we expect to see used each day. We’ve had lots of PD. How else are we going to know the impact that the series has on our achievement...
December 1, 2017
I'm a UK teacher; we use read-along here a lot (the teacher or pupils read a text to the whole class while the other pupils follow in their own text). There is a growing concern that this is ineffective for several reasons. Chief at the moment is that reading and listening simultaneously has a higher cognitive load than either independent...
October 6, 2017
I am a reading specialist at a K-5 elementary school and I am working with classroom teachers to implement a book buddy program where older students (2nd and 3rd grade) will read to younger students (K and 1st grade). I am planning to spend some time with the older students to coach them on selecting appropriate books and engaging their buddies by...
September 25, 2017
I have a question regarding my school's reading program. My question today is about the reading portion of our literacy block and most specifically the partner reading and independent reading.
I'm finding that my homogenous group of fourth-grade students aren’t fluent readers. The routine expectation is that partners take turns...
August 22, 2017
I coordinate reading interventions for my district. I have been told to stop referring to the National Reading Panel, as it is old and no longer relevant. Our universal screener is based on the 5 components of reading, and our basal interventions are also aligned to the "big 5". I don't think there is any way for me to stop referencing the NRP....
August 4, 2017
We’re in the dog days of summer. Not many questions coming in right now — normal for periods when schools aren’t in session. But the following query came to me this week from Ireland via Twitter.
Any link to how the Repeated Reading strategy works? How long text can be repeated, how long can text be, depends on accuracy?...
July 10, 2017
A few months ago, I read Mark Seidenberg’s Language at the Speed of Sight. Seidenberg is a psychologist who studies reading, and his book is remarkably intelligent, frank, and witty. I think there is an occasional mistake or ambiguity here and there, but overall I was mesmerized.