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Lessons Learned: Reflections on a Remarkable Year

When staring into a pool of still, clear water, the reflected image is sharp, almost perfect. When the water is disturbed, the reflection is still there, but it is distorted, no longer a perfect copy. Our water has been disturbed. For some of us, in the most violent way. Our year has resembled past school …

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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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Optimizing Literacy Instruction for our Special Education Students: Part 1

I cannot help but feel troubled and anxious when a student is classified and given a label.  Even with Response to Intervention (RTI) in place, I worry and wonder if we did everything we could for this child before it came to this point? I wonder if this child received high-quality classroom instruction throughout his/her …

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Scripted Programs: NOT a “Quick Fix”

The following post was inspired by two thought-provoking blog posts that I highly recommend you drop everything and read: Re-envisioning Professional Roadblocks as Opportunities for Success written by Dr. Mary Howard and Roman Nowak The Reading Teacher - Teach Readers, Not Programs.  written by Laura Robb Sometimes I feel disheartened about what I see happening in literacy education.  …

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The Six Dimensions of Fluency

"Reading fluency is a product-an outcome of a reader's integration or orchestration of strategic actions.  It's much more than automatic word recognition, although that is one contributor.  But it is also a process.  Reading fluency itself fuels the reading system because it enables the reader to make maximum use of all the information he has-oral …

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Literacy Intervention: Creating Positive Reading Memories With our Students

I have a confession to make... I absolutely love to read.  Okay, I guess a reading teacher who loves to read isn't so surprising.  I have loved reading for as long as I can remember.  As a child, my parents were constantly reminding me to put my book away at the dinner table or to …

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Reading Support for Students Who Struggle with Social/Emotional Skills

Often I work with students who struggle with regulating their emotions and with being socially appropriate. Students who have weak social/emotional skills will sometimes start to lag behind their peers academically because their behavior impedes their ability to learn. It is vital that these students receive support to help them develop appropriate behavioral skills.  Although …

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Help! My Student is Not Progressing with Reading!

Sometimes, whether we are the classroom teacher or the reading interventionist, we come to a point with a student where we are stuck.  We notice from our data that the student has plateaued.  We panic a bit and think, "what do I do now?"   Whenever I face this struggle I have a few go-to strategies …

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100 Positive Experiences: Experience #4 Tips for Improving your Listening Skills as a Literacy Coach

When we enter into a coaching situation it is important that we consciously block out the the thoughts running through our mind.  It is easy for our mind to start to wander and think about: our mile long to do list observations from the classroom we just visited what we are going to say during our …

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