Organizing decodable books

Trays containing decodable books

What’s the best way to organize your decodables? There are many different ways to go about this. Here, K-5 reading specialist, Savannah Campbell, shares some helpful tips and tricks to make your classroom library user friendly.   Now that you have decodables, how do you organize them? I’m lucky to live in a district that…

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Lynbrook School District: A Successful First Year!

In the latest blog post in this series, Guest blogger, Faith Borkowsky discusses her observations and recommendations for any school district considering the transition to a Science of Reading based instruction practice.  The importance of choosing a science-based reading program that is coupled with high quality, carefully aligned decodable books and resources and backed with…

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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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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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Lynbrook leads the way on Long Island

Over the years, it has become apparent that the Reading Workshop/Guided Reading model of instruction, popular in U.S. schools, does not produce the results promised. Special Education numbers have increased, and many children get labeled, unnecessarily, as having a “reading disability.” It is undoubtedly a huge undertaking to put the brakes on and start fresh.…

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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…

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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…

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Why ‘structured’ reading instruction is not enough

diagram-of-what-cumulative-reading-instruction-should-look-like

Why we need to teach ‘structured and cumulative’ reading instruction In the bad old days before I learned how to teach kids to read, I taught kids to read in a structured way. That is, what I thought was structure: Week 1: letters a, b, c, d Week 2: letters e, f, g, h Week…

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