“Let’s make learning fun!” I always do a silent inner eye roll when I hear that phrase. The exclamation is loaded. Loaded with unspoken messages. The first message is that whatever we are currently doing with our pupils must be as dull as ditch water and need jazzing up. We are urged to bring ‘magic’…Read More
structured reading instruction
Let’s make learning fun!
Teaching the Reading Rope
Scarborough, H. S. (2001). Connecting early language and literacy to later reading (dis)abilities: Evidence, theory, and practice. In S. Neuman & D. Dickinson (Eds.), Handbook for research in early literacy (pp. 97-110). New York: Guilford Press. Teaching the Reading Rope The Reading Rope was developed by Dr. Hollis Scarborough to provide a framework for understanding the different…Read More
Structured Linguistic Literacy
Supporting structured linguistic literacy at home with games and decodable reading books – by Clair Wilson This article was originally published in the January 2023 issue of Dystinct Magazine. Click here for free access to this issue until December 2024. Reading is one of the most important skills we want our children to learn. We…Read More
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…Read More
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…Read More
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…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
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.…Read More
Why ‘structured’ reading instruction is not enough
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…Read More