The Dreaded “Eyes Off Text”

I have a student who persistently takes his eyes off text. Right from the beginning this behavior of eyes off text and inventing can be seen on the Observation Survey. His strengths are using meaning and language structure along with the text pattern to read the text. He has a weak pointing finger and is …

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Why I Love Being a Literacy Specialist

I am occasionally asked by others, outside of the field of education, if I enjoy being a literacy specialist. My response is immediate,  "I love it!"  When I try to share why I love being a literacy specialist I find it difficult to convey how special it feels to support a child in taking on …

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The Keynotes of Roaming Around the Known: Confidence, Ease, Flexibility, & Discovery

It is that time of year again! That mysterious two week period known as Roaming Around the Known (RATK).  To stay true to Marie Clay's intentions for RATK I like to prepare by reading pages 29-34 in Literacy Lessons Designed for Individuals, 2nd edition. At the beginning of the RATK section, Clay identifies what she …

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Tips for Improving Guided Reading Lessons

Guided reading is an important component of a balanced literacy framework.  The other components consist of shared reading, interactive read aloud, book clubs, reading mini-lessons, and independent reading with reading conferences.   Powerful reading instruction should be offered in a variety of settings and provide students with multiple opportunities to engage in high-quality texts.  There should …

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Back to School: Assessing my Tier 3 Students

It was back to school time for me last week.  Back to school for a literacy interventionist often means administering beginning of the year assessments. My job currently consists of spending half of my day with my Reading Recovery students and the other half providing tier 2 and tier 3 literacy academic intervention services for …

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“Suriously?…Just Sayin’”: YouTube Sensation & Educator Advocate, Gerry Brooks, Visits Western New York

"Come to terms with the fact that you will not be able to change someone else's personality. Whoever they are, they are a product of their unique set of lifetime experiences. Trying to change the personalities of the people around you will be stressful-don't do it! Instead, seek to understand what makes those around you tick and change how you respond to those personalities."

Teaching that Blocks the Path to Strategic Activity

When teaching our young students to read we strive to give them the tools they need to be a "problem-solver".  If our students do not develop independence with problem-solving they can become dependent on us, unmotivated to read, and they are more likely to abandon books in frustration when they encounter difficulties. In this post, …

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