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Balanced Math Instruction?

For years there has been a heated debate in the reading community: phonics instruction or whole language instruction? The surge of back-to-basics instruction has repeatedly conflicted with the views of educators who look at reading within a larger frame of reference. While teachers all seemed to agree that comprehension was the ultimate goal, they openly disagreed on the instructional path to get there. Many reading educators now agree on a "balanced" program of literacy, one that builds foundation skills while simultaneously engaging students with meaningful texts and opening discussions about meaning-making.
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“I’m a Stupid Reader”:  Image Issues in Reading

"I hate reading." "I'm not a good reader." "I'm a stupid reader." "I wish I didn't have to read..." As a reading specialist, those are the responses I often get from struggling readers when I ask them how they feel about reading, what they think about themselves as readers, or what they wish for. Those negative responses to reading make sense for my struggling readers; because they read two, three, or even four grade levels below their current school grades, reading is a daunting task for them. But how about high-achieving kids, or kids who don't struggle with reading? Why might they feel like they're "stupid readers"?
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No Miracle Cure: Selecting a Reading Curriculum

The What Works Clearinghouse has recently released the results of several studies of early elementary reading programs, giving some accolades and others heavy criticism. It comes as no surprise, however, that no one program was effective for teaching all reading students...
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Hopes of the “Harry Potter Effect”...Vaporized?

For decades, the amount of "quality reading" in which children engage has been of vast concern for parents and educators alike. The idea is that the more children read novels and quality literature, the better readers they become; the better prepared they are for college; and the better chance they have of succeeding in the world when they grow up...
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Sooner Is Better: When to Assess

Elementary school teachers in Vail, Colorado have got it right! According to an article in Vail Daily, this year elementary teachers spent the first two days of school administering a one-on-one reading assessment to all of their students.
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The Myth about “Predictive” Measures

Measures like DIBELS, SRI, or MAPS are the result of schools and districts wanting to predict how their students will do on specific state standardized tests. Will scores go up this year? Will they go down? The companies that publish these tests focus much of their energy on studies that show how scores compare to a "normalized" population, as well as on potentially specific assessments.

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