Building Stamina: Reading and Otherwise

Building stamina can taking many forms. In the literacy world, we often talk about building reading stamina. I've been thinking about this a lot lately through the lens of a personal goal for building stamina. You see, it's January - that time when many who never frequent the door of a gym create or renew fitness goals once again. I've actually belonged to our local, beautiful Community Center for years so I'm used to the January influx of people. I'm typically a regular in the water … [Read more...]

Anchored Word Learning: Read Alouds with a Purpose

Read alouds are the perfect venue for providing a model of fluent reading, talking about text, and building comprehension skills.  Additionally, read alouds provide an integrated  way for introducing vocabulary in a meaningful context. Anchored Word Learning (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002) is one of my favorite strategies for introducing targeted words with young children. With early learners, picture books have a higher level vocabulary not typically found in leveled … [Read more...]

Informational Text Features | Supporting Readers Series

Informational text has received much attention with the shift, in many states, to the Common Core standards. Sometimes teachers and students lump nonfiction and information text together. While that's not all together incorrect, informational text serves a specific purpose. Informational text serves to convey information about the natural or social world. Unlike biographies or other nonfiction texts, informational text serves distinct purposes for readers. Informational text also comes in many … [Read more...]

9 Definitions of Reading Comprehension

Comprehension - the heart and soul of reading. When I work with teacher teams, I sometimes ask them to develop definitions of comprehension. In doing so, they think deeply about what it means to construct meaning and develop an understanding of text. I also think having a working definition and deep understanding of comprehension impacts our teaching and conversations in the classroom as students construct meaning from text. Listed below are 9 definitions developed by K-12 teachers. Does … [Read more...]

Infographic: 20 Before, During, & After Reading Strategies {12 Days of Literacy}

Day 9: {Infographic} 20 Before, During, & After Reading Strategies Reading is much more than decoding letters and sounds to form words. Reading is an active process - one is which the reader renders meaning to the written word. We know that active readers comprehend at higher levels. Modeling how to be an active reader helps students understand that reading involves more than simply decoding the words. Active readers generate a purpose for reading, make predictions, raise questions, … [Read more...]

Why Should You Read Today? {100+ Reasons…}

Independent reading sometimes gets a bad rap. Not enough time. Not enough books. Not enough accountability. Not enough evidence. You get the picture. Though not always popular among educators, I believe that providing students access to books to support independent reading is one of the most important things we can do in classrooms and schools. You see, a literacy-rich environment that includes well-stocked classroom libraries supports balanced literacy instruction and contributes to students … [Read more...]

15 of the Best Apps for Improving Reading Comprehension

Comprehension - the #1 goal of reading - is always on an educator's mind. We strive to help students improve their fluency and build rich vocabulary because we know that fluency and a broad vocabulary support comprehension. While technology doesn't replace a good teacher, it serves an important and emerging role in supporting student learning. Good teaching calls for differentiation and a literacy-rich learning environment that supports personalized learning. Terry Heick, our friend at … [Read more...]

Infographic: Recap of 12 Tools {12 Days: 12 Tools}

{12 Days: 12 Tools} has been fun to share with you. Hopefully I've shared tools that will be of benefit to you and your colleagues. I trust as well that many of these strategies will contribute to student literacy learning. Today, I'm recapping the 12 Tools. What better way to recap than with a holiday-themed {12 Days: 12 Tools} infographic. {12 Days: Tool 12} is an infographic summarizing the 12 Tools. Below the list of tools, I've included a breakdown that summarizes the number and type of … [Read more...]

Infographic: Anchored Word Learning Strategy {12 Days: Tool 11}

Anchored Word Learning: A Read Aloud Strategy Anchored Word Learning, by Isabel Beck, is one of my favorite strategies for integrated word learning. The Anchored Word Learning strategy uses the power of read alouds to introduce targeted words  within context. Tradebooks and picture books provide excellent sources of higher-level, sophisticated words. Beck suggests selecting three, Tier Two words each time you read aloud. Tier Two words are high-utility, cross content words. In other words, … [Read more...]

Infographic: Top 10 Characteristics of Effective Vocabulary Instruction {12 Days: Tool 10}

We know that there is a strong relationship between vocabulary and reading comprehension. Systematic vocabulary instruction is an integral part of a K-12 comprehensive literacy framework for instruction. I consider it a privilege to have supported many teachers, coaches, & administrators in building a community that values word learning across classrooms and content areas. Common characteristics of effective vocabulary instruction have been documented in numerous professional journals and … [Read more...]