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Headshot of literacy expert Timothy Shanahan

Blog: Shanahan on Literacy

Literacy expert Timothy Shanahan shares best practices for teaching reading and writing. Dr. Shanahan is an internationally recognized professor of urban education and reading researcher who has extensive experience with children in inner-city schools and children with special needs. All posts are reprinted with permission from Shanahan on Literacy.

Read Between the Lines

Blog: Shanahan on Literacy

What Does It Take to Teach Inferencing?

Reading comprehension instruction should focus on guiding students to think actively about the ideas in text. I suggest treating inferencing not as a skill but as a strategy for intentionally making sense of text.

African American teacher and student sit at desks to discuss school work

Blog: Shanahan on Literacy

My Middle School Requires Fluency Instruction: Help!

It is sensible to teach text reading fluency to middle schoolers (and high schoolers) class wide, and I’ve worked with more than 100 secondary schools that did this so successfully that it helped raise their reading achievement.

Blog: Shanahan on Literacy

Does text structure instruction improve reading comprehension?

Meta-analyses indicate that it is effective to teach kids about multiple text structures, and that text structure instruction is particularly potent when writing, graphic organizers, and guidance on watching for “clue words” are included

Blog: Shanahan on Literacy

Does Close Reading Reject the Science of Reading?

I want kids to be close readers … I think teachers should strive to accomplish the standards their states have established. But take a gimlet-eyed look at what it is that you are teaching. Is it really close reading?

Blog: Shanahan on Literacy

Why We Need to Teach Sentence Comprehension

Instruction in how to make sense of sentences can play an important role in reading comprehension. For example, when students struggle with sentences written in the passive voice, teach with some texts that use this construction.