News & Information

Cultural shift from letter names to sounds

Happy Spring!! The weather is getting warmer, the flowers will be in bloom, and the Kindergarten Center teachers are wondering when it will be time to teach letter names! For those of you who did not read, “Lynbrook Takes the Lead on Long Island,” the Lynbrook School District is revamping its reading curriculum and is…

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Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – scaffolding the teaching of multisyllabic words

Scaffolding the teaching of multisyllabic words –  simple to complex Many teachers are focused on teaching kids how to sound out graphemes (spellings) and to blend sounds together into words.  They will even be teaching kids how to manipulate phonemes in phonemic awareness activities. These are all essential underlying skills necessary for learning to read. …

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The Truth About Reading Part 3, Filming gets underway

In Part 3 of this series of guest blogs by Nora Chahbazi, literacy consultant (pro bono) via the John Corcoran foundation to The Truth About Reading documentary team and Founder of EBLI, talks about the emotional impact the production of the documentary had on many of the team.   In previous posts, I’ve shared how the documentary came to be…

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The role of decodable and leveled texts

I’m a reading girl, but let’s talk math. If you were teaching long division to your students, what does that practice look like? Are you giving children 2 division, 4 multiplication, 18 addition, and 2 simplifying fraction problems (even though they’ve never seen them) for a challenge? Of course you aren’t! In math, ample amounts…

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To script or not to script?

What do you think of when you hear the word “scripted” pop up in conversations about teaching reading? For some teachers, the associations are negative. They may think of mindless robotic lesson delivery that strips teachers of their autonomy and creativity and turns them into zombies. The word can trigger worries about limitations in the…

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The Truth about Reading Part 2 – Why a literacy documentary?

In Part 2 of this series of guest blogs by Nora Chahbazi, literacy consultant (pro bono) via the John Corcoran foundation to The Truth About Reading documentary team and Founder of EBLI, looks at the reasons behind the decision to produce a critical documentary in light of the current national literacy crisis.   “US scores show only…

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Cutting Illiteracy: Decodable Books at the Barbershop

So often in the past, I have had parents sit in my reading tuition lessons observe their child, a struggling reader, learn to read. With a structured phonics program and decodable books that support it, the child begins to decode words independently.  At first it is laborious and some children may need a great deal…

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How to improve spelling: Five simple ways to improve kids’ spelling skills

  Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard the phrase “some kids are just poor spellers.” I’ve got both hands and feet raised over here. Children are not destined to be poor or great spellers. All children can grow in their spelling, but we have to make sure we are giving them the proper instruction…

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What is the role of decodable texts?

As conversations about effective literacy instruction continue in schools and on social media, questions about the definition, use, and purpose of decodable texts inevitably arise. I’ve even heard these books described as a “battleground”.  I recently watched a presentation on literacy to the school committee in a local district, where phonics teaching is currently layered…

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Why would a not-too-wealthy, not-too-poor district abandon Balanced Literacy take the plunge and embrace Systematic Phonics?

Lynbrook District in Long Island, NY is like many districts.  It’s not very poor and not very rich.  Most of the kids do OK.  So, why have the leaders of Lynbrook district decided to take the plunge and ditch balance literacy for systematic phonics?  They decided that too many children were not thriving with balanced…

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