Blog

Word Ladders for the Win! – April 2024

  • Alaina Weatherford highlights the success of incorporating Dr. Rasinski's word ladder activities into her curriculum over three years with the same students. Word ladders have fostered curiosity, prompting students to actively explore unfamiliar words, expanding their vocabulary and enhancing their reading comprehension skills....Read More

Give Teachers the Best Professional Books! – March 2024

  • In early January, principal Evan Robb received a book addressing an educational challenge: across our country, teachers have classes with students reading at various instructional levels. Read why Evan believes Promote Reading Gains with Differentiated Instruction is a perfect fit for teachers in grades three to five, but it can also be used in grades six to eight to boost the reading skill of students reading or more years below their grade level....Read More

Reader’s Theater for Older Students – January 2024

  • Read how Kaia Cunningham, a high school English teacher specializing in students with language-based learning disabilities, used Reader’s Theater fluency strategy to help students get a deeper understanding of The Odyssey. Using Reader’s Theater not only helped sneak in fluency practice, it also helped students cross that bridge into deep comprehension of the story they read. ...Read More

Reading Fluency and the Science of Reading - December 2023

  • Reading fluency refers to the ability to read quickly, accurately, and with prosody (smoothness and expression that reflects the meaning of the text). Fluency instruction is instruction that specifically tries to improve these skills. Fluency instruction is one of the 5 pillars of literacy instruction and should be included as part of any literacy program....Read More

Game Day Fluency – November 2023

  • As reading teachers, one of the biggest challenges we face is finding material that engages all learners and fulfills multiple facets of reading work. Through a unique mix of my non-teaching background, prior work experience, and a lack of a structured curriculum, I discovered and developed an effective strategy that engages reluctant readers and writers. In addition, the program further boosts and enhances the skills of high achievers. ...Read More

The Myth of the “Best” Colleges – September 2023

  • The senior year for high school students and their parents can be an exciting time and a time of anxiety. For many, much anxiety focuses on the college application process. Some believe it is imperative to enroll in one of those colleges considered elite or “one of the best.” Often this thinking is that an elite school will provide a better education than a non-elite one. This thinking is misguided....Read More

How I Learned to Read – August 2023

  • Thanks to a great kindergarten teacher, my mom, and my dad, I learned how to read before starting first grade. My journey illustrates that the path literacy is not always straight and narrow, children can come into literacy in a variety of different ways....Read More

Scientific and Artful Reading Intervention in Seventh Grade – August 2023

  • Read this email from 7th grade teacher Kelly Beggs and learn how she used phonics and fluency instruction with her struggling readers in the 7th grade to increase her students' Lexile scores in just one school year....Read More

Freedom and Independence through Literacy – July 2023

  • Freedom and independence are never free. They are won by those willing to stand up and work for these bedrock human values. Twice in the 20th century the people of the United States rose up to defend their freedom and independence. Among these people were hundreds of thousands of immigrants who came to the United States to gain these human rights and who then often found themselves fighting their own countrymen to keep these rights....Read More

Using Rapid Recognition Charts – July 2023

  • I was first introduced to a Rapid Recognition Chart (RRC) during my initial-level Orton-Gillingham training. It is a tool that can be used during the fluency portion of a lesson; a way to add variety. During my advanced-level training, I used RRCs to improve my student’s oral reading fluency and words read correct in their decodable texts. As I started to see the benefits of the RRC when working one on one with students, I began to use them in my reading intervention groups with exciting results....Read More

Connecting the Dots Between Interactive Writing and Decodable Texts: Literacy Solutions/Lasting Impact – July 2023

  • When phonics instruction is done with high-leverage instructional practices, using interactive writing, and decodable texts, the impact is palpable and leaves plenty of time for other types of reading and writing experiences, imaginative play, and knowledge-building across the curriculum. Learn why this type of deliberate practice is essential in getting all of our children to decode and encode with automaticity....Read More

Becoming My Dad – June 2023

  • Because of the kindness and support with which my dad inspired me, I have gained the confidence to invest in others while creating a synergy of positive goodness in my students and my colleagues. The pride that I take in my students’ accomplishments is similar to that which my dad always took in my accomplishments. I am proud to say that even though this journey still has many more steps for me to take, I am finally becoming you, Dad....Read More

On the latest obsession with phonics – May 2023

  • The “reading wars” have been around for longer than you might think. In the last century and now again, we have gone in and out of debates about the best way to teach reading — as if there was a single best way for all children — with the arguments focusing on phonics, whole language and balanced literacy. This post — written by David Reinking, Peter Smagorinsky, and David B. Yaden — looks at the debate on phonics in a different way than is most often voiced these days....Read More

Watch the Words Dance Out: Music and Reading Fluency Practice – April 2023

  • I’m an elementary music teacher and I am going to describe a process for teaching songs that I frequently employ in my music lessons. I believe that it is a unique approach to song instruction and that it can be used for strengthening fluent reading in students...Read More

A Proven Fluency Intervention: Read Two Impress – March 2022

  • Read Two Impress is a synergistic reading intervention that combines the Neurological Impress Method (NIM), Repeated Readings, and Echo Reading. Essentially, read chunks of text with a student using NIM and stop frequently and have the student read each section aloud. Here are the steps in more detail....Read More

A Stroke of Ill-Fate: From Literacy Expert to Struggling Student – March 2022

  • I'd spent my life teaching little ones to read and write with a clear focus on the struggler, and in a moment, I was one of them. Unable to even speak my own name, I started my journey unable to read a kindergarten-level book, had no recognition of the alphabet, and many preschoolers could surely write better than I could. I feel impassioned to share my deepened understanding of the process with teachers, especially those who struggle with becoming literate....Read More

Make your Classes “Lit” with Literacy – March 2022

  • In this media-driven world of fast messages and even faster decisions, we educators must create optimal learning environments that encourage mindfulness, playfulness, exploration, careful thought, and a sense of wonder and joy. These traits constitute the artistic nature of teaching. As my seventh-grade integrated language arts students would say, “You’re making sure that your lessons are ‘lit’ (by placing the emphasis on literacy).”...Read More

A READING FLUENCY INTERVENTION IN THE UK – December, 2021

  • This study evaluated a 12 week intervention delivered by regular teaching staff as a whole class, to assess whether it could make a difference for 8-9 year old children. The study included 103 students from two Local Authority schools and five teaching staff. ...Read More

A Kindergarten Teacher’s Reflections on the Power of Song in Teaching Early Reading – September 2021

  • In my kindergarten classroom, it turns out I do work on fluency more than I realized. Songs and poems are a key component of my reading instruction. Every morning we begin with a “morning dance party.” This is a wonderful way to start any day for many reasons, but it is actually important to my instruction as well. ...Read More

Word Ladders in My Second Grade Classroom: Ten Minutes of Engaging and Productive Word Study Every Day – August 2021

  • I have always enjoyed challenging and enriching my second grade students with word work since becoming a teacher in 2003. During my second year of teaching 2005 Daily Word Ladders were brand new and I instantly fell in love with them. The routine became part of my bell ringer work. I always knew the transfer into daily writing was evident and continued to make this important daily work a priority. I bragged about this transfer to my peers and told them they were missing out on a daily 8-10 minute activity, one that would profoundly impact writing outcome....Read More

Impact of Adapted Whole Class Fluency Development Lessons in Upper Elementary Grades – June 2021

  • This project presents results of whole class Fluency Development Lessons (FDL) in four upper elementary classrooms on fluency and reading comprehension. Findings provide insight into the ways in which the various components of FDL (repeated reading, prosodic reading, teacher modeling, explicit instruction of comprehension strategies and time with texts of age-appropriate complexity) can be effectively and flexibly integrated into whole class instruction....Read More

Post COVID-19: The Urgency for a Summer Reading Loss Solution Mobilizing Families with Tools for Teaching at Home – June 2021

  • As we gratefully transition to the summer of 2021, our eyes are opened but our nerves are frayed. It’s a time of change, but change brings opportunity. We need to choose to act courageously to reconsider relationships with parents. We have a new opportunity to learn from the pandemic experience and reconstruct our relationship with the ‘first and forever’ teachers in our students’ lives. We need to change the paradigm of the passive parent role to a true teaching partnership. Summer Reading is the logical place to start...Read More

Singing and Reading in a Preschool Classroom – May 2021

  • Abbey Galeza, conducted an action research project on the role of repeated singing/reading in her class of preschoolers. Findings from her study are quite promising. In addition to singing/reading being an enjoyable and community building experience, the children learned concepts of print, so important for early literacy development....Read More

Vocabulary Naturally—Ideas to Combat Summer Learning Loss - May 2021

  • We can all celebrate the creative and innovative work of teachers, parents, grandparents, caretakers and others in keeping our kids engaged and learning during the most challenging school year in recent history....Read More

Building Vocabulary in Summer School – April 2021

  • Building students’ knowledge of word meanings is essential to their success in reading, writing, and content area learning. The Building Vocabulary series is a groundbreaking structured approach to developing your students’ general and academic vocabularies for the present and future. ......Read More

Sojourner Truth Readers Theater Script for Women’s History Month - March 2021

  • Long before the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s in which certain Americans demanded that all citizens, regardless of the color of their skin, be treated fairly and with respect. Read this Readers Theater Script to celebrate Sojourner Truth and the fight for equal rights for women...Read More

Rock n Read by Ann Kay - March 2021

  • Singing and Music-Making is Essential for Brain Development. Neuroscientific research has found that early music-making is highly correlated with reading achievement...Read More

Choral Reading for Prosody in the Secondary Classroom – February 2021

  • Fluency: A Central Component of Effective Literacy Instruction........Read More

The Power of Poetry by David Harrison – December 2020

  • David L. Harrison writes poems for young readers and partners with authorities on early language and literacy development to create books to support classroom teachers. In this blog he gives six reasons why poetry is a powerful teaching tool...Read More

The Herts for Learning (HfL) KS2 Reading Fluency Project – Strategies and Outcomes – Nov 3, 2020

  • Herts for Learning (HfL) is an award-winning provider of products and services to schools and educational settings within and outside Hertfordshire...Read More

Fast Start gets students off to a Fast Start in Reading by Sue Crosby – Oct 15, 2020

  • "Fast Start has been an amazing journey for our students, parents, and teachers...Read More

Lessons Learned From My Granddaughter by Laura Robb – Sept 21, 2020

  • "My granddaughter, Helena has a rare syndrome......Read More

How is the Base of a Latin Verb Determined? – Sept 1, 2020

  • "The process of determining the base of a Latin verb is systematic and consistent....Read More

Building Vocabulary with Word Roots Builds Reading Comprehension – Aug 18, 2020

  • "Alan Becker's journey with using Greek and Latin roots as an educator began in 2011...Read More

Fluency Development through Poetry for Whole Class Instruction in Grade Four – August 14, 2020

  • "Tammy Noska learns about the Fluency Development Lesson during her work as a reading clinician at the Kent State University Reading Clinic....Read More

A Model for Celebrating and Cementing Reading Fluency Schoolwide – May 29, 2020

Building Vocabulary through Word Roots (Quar/Quart) – May 20, 2020

Building Vocabulary through Word Roots (Grad) – May 18, 2020

Building Vocabulary through Word Roots (Mater) – May 11, 2020

Building Vocabulary through Word Roots (Flor) – May 4, 2020

Building Vocabulary through Word Roots (Sol) – April 27, 2020

  • "What do solo and sole (as in “sole survivor”) have in common?...Read More

Building Vocabulary through Word Roots (Geo) – April 22, 2020

A Word Roots Lesson for Earth Day – April 22, 2020

Effective Teaching of Reading – What Parents and Families Can Do. – March, 2020

  • "Activities and a special video from Tim Rasinski. Video link: https://go.tcmpub.com/rasinski-video ...Read More

Wash Your Hands” to Stay Healthy. Word Ladder. – March, 2020

A Word Ladder for National Dentist’s Day – March 6, 2020

Poetry Packs a Punch” by Lois Letchford

A New Word Ladder Lesson for National Pizza Day – Feb 9th, 2020

Two New Word Ladder Lessons for - December 12, 2019 - Gingerbread House Day!

A New Word Ladder Lesson for Thanksgiving – November 2019

A Word Ladder for Veterans Day – November 11, 2019

A Word Ladder for National Grouch Day – October 15, 2019

A Word Ladder for Constitution Day -- September 2019

Word Ladder for the County Fair – August 2019

Word Ladder for Father’s Day – June 2019

Fortnight of Poetry for April 2019

  • "It’s Poetry Month! Grab a favorite poem and immerse your students in it with these ideas to integrate repeated readings in an engaging way! ...Read More

Word Ladder for March Madness – Basket-Ball and Final-Four! – March-April 2019

Word Ladder for the First Day of Spring - March 2019

  • "Start with “Winter", a season of cold and snow. ...Read More

Word Ladder for National Boy Scout Day - February 2019

  • "Start with “boy” another name for a young man. ...Read More

Word Ladders and Popcorn Poems for Fluency -- National Popcorn Day – January 2019

  • "Start with “pop” another name for a fizzy soda drink. ...Read More

Word Ladder for Christmas – December 2018

Word Ladder for Veterans Day - November 2018

  • "Veteran - Take away 4 letters to make the past tense of “run.” ...Read More

Another Word Ladder for Football Season - October 2018

  • "Start with “Quarter” – One fourth of an object; a coin worth 25 cents. ...Read More

Word Ladder for Football Season - Sept 2018

  • "Start with “Touch” – To come into contact with someone or something. ...Read More

Word Ladder for the First Week of School - Aug 2018

Word Ladder for Summer – June 2018

  • "Start with the word "Summer" - a time for sun, swimming and play. ...Read More

Word Roots and Vocabulary Instruction (Part 2) - May 2018

Word Ladder for National Poetry Month - April 2018

Word Ladder for St. Patrick's Day - March 17th, 2018

  • "Start with the word “Sham” – a word that means something that is fake or false. ...Read More

Word Ladder for Valentine's Day - February 14th, 2018

  • "Start with the word “Love” – the emotion celebrated on Valentine’s Day. ...Read More

Word Ladder for Martin Luther King Jr Day - January 15th, 2018

  • "Start with the word “King” – a ruler of a country....Read More

Word Ladder for Pearl Harbor Day - December 7th, 2017

  • "Start with the word "Harbor" - a place of safety, usually for ships and boats...Read More

Word Roots and Vocabulary Instruction (Part 1), November 2017

  • "Most of us can remember the traditional way of teaching vocabulary"...Read More

A Word Ladder for Football Season! September 2017

  • "Start with Foot - the part of our body we use for standing and walking."...Read More

Another Halloween Word Ladder, October 2017

  • "Here's a Halloween word ladder. Enjoy! Start with the word "trick"...Read More

Word Study as Art

  • "I recently visited the National Art Museum and Portrait Gallery in Washington DC."...Read More

A Word Ladder for Hurricane Season!

  • "Start with Hurricane - a large and sever tropical storm in the Atlantic Ocean."...Read More

A Word Ladder for an Eclipse!

  • "Let's start with sun, our star that gives us warmth"...Read More

A Vocabulary Lesson for "Vacation"

  • "With vacation time rapidly approaching, here's a quick lesson to help your students expand their vocabulary and learn a bit more about the English language."...Read More

A Word Ladder for Summer!

  • "Start with Spring, the season where April showers bring May flowers"...Read More

A Word Ladder for May Flowers!

  • "Let's start with May, the fifth month of the year"...Read More

A Word Ladder for April Showers!

  • "Let's start with April, the fourth month of the year"...Read More

A Word Ladder for Earth Day!

  • "Let's start with a word that describes our Earth and all the large bodies in the solar system"...Read More

A Word Ladder for Easter!

  • "Let's start with a word the famous spring Holiday"...Read More

A Vocabulary Ladder for April

  • "April Showers bring May Flowers."   One of the meanings for shower is a type of rain."...Read More

A Word Ladder for April 1

  • "Hello Everyone - here's a word ladder that you can do with your students on the first day of April. Word study can be fun!..."...Read More

A Vocabulary Ladder for March

  • "Besides being the name of month, the word "March" refers to a particular way of walking (in unison as a group)..."...Read More

A Word Ladder for March - Lions and Lambs

  • "Let's start with a word that describes an animal that roars..."...Read More

A Word Ladder for the Super Bowl!

  • "Let's start with a word that describes the man who can leap tall buildings and is faster than a locomotive..."...Read More

Two Word Ladders for the Inauguration of the New President

  • "Start with the top word and guide your students to make a series of new words..."...Read More

Happy Thanksgiving Word Lesson

Happy Halloween

Autumn and It's Time for Colder Weather (and a Vocabulary Ladder)

  • "Now that it's October, the days are getting shorter (in the northern hemisphere) and the temperature is starting to dip"...Read More

Happy Labor Day!

  • "In the U.S. Sept 5th is a holiday – Labor Day; a day to celebrate the working person"...Read More

Word Ladder for First Day of School (7.22.16)

  • "Here's a Word Ladder to share with your students on the first day of school! Feel free to add to or change the clues. Go from top to bottom"...Read More

Let's Move from Word Study to Word Play!

  • "I am a self-proclaimed and unapologetic lexophile, word nerd, or vocabulary zealot! I love words! I love to learn about how words came to be; I love the fact that some words have the same spelling but varied pronunciations and meanings while other words may have the same pronunciation but different spellings; and I love how words can be used to convey facts, tell a story, or elicit emotion"...Read More

Repeated Read Alouds May Lead to Reading Success for Young Children

  • "Over 50 years ago Dr. Dolores Durkin studied children who learned to read before starting school. She reported that one of the most consistent findings among these children were parents who read to their children regularly during their preschool years. This finding has since manifested itself in the advice we give to parents to read to their children. Over the years I have discovered that there is a type of parent-child read aloud experience that seems to be evident when children are quite young"...Read More

Knowing Word Roots Can Aid Comprehension

  • "A few years ago several colleagues and I were engaged in a study of reading fluency in high school students. Our study involved having ninth-grade students from a local urban high school read orally a relatively short informational text. Our intent was to check their reading rate (words read correctly per minute) to see if fluency may be an issue that is causing students difficulty in their reading. Our findings confirmed our hypothesis. Many 9th graders experienced difficulty in fluency and this appeared to be a contributor to their reading difficulties..." Read More

A Time for Thanks - and Fun with Word Roots!

  • "November is one of my favorite times of year. Despite the weather getting increasingly colder and the threat of winter weather on the horizon, I view November as a time for nesting, when family and friends often come for visits. During these visits it is not unusual to bring out a board or card game...Read More

Word Ladders

  • "Teaching Is Joyous Work: It's early September and school has begun or will begin soon for teachers, principals, and other educators. I certainly believe that teaching is a joyous profession; however, it is also a profession that requires lots of work. Thankfully, Labor Day rolls around on the first Monday in September and gives teachers a chance to take a quick breather. Here's a word ladder I did that connects work to labor..." Read More

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