Featured Strategy


Summarizing builds comprehension by helping to reduce confusion. Teachers train students to process the information they read with the goal of breaking down content into succinct pieces. This strategy can be used with the whole class, small groups, or as an individual assignment. Summarizing text by using writing activities builds on prior knowledge, helps improve writing, and strengthens vocabulary skills.
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Seed Discussion

A Seed Discussion is a two-part strategy used to teach students how to actively engage in discussions about assigned readings. In the first part, students read selected text and identify "seeds" or key concepts of a passage which may need additional explanation. In the second part, students work in small groups to present their "seeds" to one another. Each "seed" should be thoroughly discussed before moving on to the next.
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Featured Resource

Webcast: English Language Learners

Featuring Kathleen Leos, Deborah Santiago, and Susan Lafond in a discussion on English Language Learners (ELLs). Our expert panel discusses demographic trends, instructional strategies, school-family partnerships, and college readiness.
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Blog: Reading Without Walls

The Wimpy Kid Meets the National Ambassador

At An Unlikely Story bookstore in Plainville, MA, Gene sits down for a lively conversation with Wimpy Kid author (and bookstore owner) Jeff Kinney.
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Building Knowledge

Use Easy Nonfiction to Build Background Knowledge

A Texas librarian shares his strategy of using nonfiction picture books to introduce new concepts to struggling adolescent readers and to build their background knowledge. Once students have been exposed to academic content in easy reading material, they are more confident in making the transition to textbooks.
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Teach Vocabulary by Building Background Knowledge

Students need to develop an extensive vocabulary to read with fluency. In turn, fluency in reading leads to increased comprehension. Fluency also comes from the written language of the reader since the student writes words he or she knows. Increased comprehension enhances the written language of the learner.
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Additional Resources on Knowledge Building

Research & News

To Educate Good Citizens, We Need More Than The β€˜New’ Civics

High school ratings can mask groups of students who struggle
Hechinger Report

Why Content Knowledge is Crucial to Effective Critical Thinking
KQED Mindshift

How 'Daybooks' Helped Get My Students Writing
Education Week

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