For those of you upset about literature being dropped from the English curriculum, you might want to read this lovely piece written by my friend, Carol Jago. She knows something about the teaching of literature and I think you’ll find her insights helpful.
Students seem to do better when they get a steady diet of more challenging text, but there is also the widespread belief that there is an optimum difficulty level for texts used to teach students to read.
A new study indicates that it is not beneficial for most students (English learners are one exception), to shift to easier texts to facilitate their reading — as long as you are ready to provide instructional support.
A middle school reading coach asks if it is important for African American children to read African American literature. Alfred Tatum, author of Engaging African American Males in Reading, shares his thoughts.
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?
In grades 3-8, homework has a fairly consistent impact on achievement — and the payoff tends to increase as students advance through the grades (but so does the amount of homework time needed — more on that later).
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.
Strategy use only makes sense when success isn’t certain. Teaching students to use strategies with relatively easy texts neither lets them see how to use the strategy nor reveals to them the power that it can provide.
For those kids who need basic decoding instruction, targeted interventions are important. But for the others, teach reading using the books those students need to read in their other classes. That approach simultaneously builds reading skills, improves content learning, and increases academic confidence.
Schools should provide students with up to 30 minutes a day of fluency instruction. But remember, this is across all classes and content areas. Get quick tips on paired reading, repeated reading, and other ways to improve reading fluency.