Holiday rereading

Pile of books with coffee cup, writing pad and pen

Over the holidays, we all need to take a break and enjoy time with family and friends. However, amongst the ribbons, reindeer and rejoicing, there may also be space for a little retrospection, reflection, reading… and even rereading. Reading specialist, Miriam Fein, explores the benefits of giving new consideration to an already well thumbed book.…

Read More

Reflections on Emily Hanford’s, “Sold a Story”

Image of Sold a Story Podcast

  Emily Hanford’s thought-provoking podcast, “Sold a Story” has created quite a buzz in the education community. Reading specialist and SLP, Miriam Fein, has been listening:   “It didn’t seem like they were teaching them to read. It seemed like they were teaching them to sound like they could read”.  (A parent, in “Sold a…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

Should we be rethinking reading instruction? NYC’s new Schools Chancellor thinks so!

Many educators in the USA are rethinking reading instruction. In 2019 less than 30% of fourth graders were found to be proficient readers. What has gone wrong for so many children? The core of the problem is that teachers’ approach to reading was based on a misplaced belief system called ‘balanced literacy’. They held understandable…

Read More

Little things can make a big difference

The education researcher Dylan Wiliam has said that “changing what teachers do is more important than changing what teachers know.” But isn’t knowledge power? And what we do is obviously linked to what we know. So, how can that be? In the past few years, there has been a groundswell of interest in the science…

Read More