Many parents have reached out to us with the question of, “How can I help my struggling reader at home?” You have probably heard ad infinitum, ‘be sure to read to your child.’ Reading to your child is lovely AND necessary for so many reasons. But, that’s a different topic. If you are reading this post, you have probably made trips to the library and reading bedtime stories a common occurrence. You want to know what MORE you can do, because the practices you are currently engaging in just aren’t helping your child close the reading gap. Take heart. There are a lot of short, fun activities that parents can implement at home to strengthen the various components of structured literacy.[Read more…]
Assess, Analyze, Instruct
B/d letter reversals, while common in Grades K and 1, tend be a bit more of a concern as students move beyond first grade. It is ALWAYS preferred to remediate letter formation issues as early as possible before bad habits set in. Read on to discover some handy tips and tricks for correcting b/d reversals.[Read more…]
The Science of Reading and Leveled Readers are the crux of the reading wars. If your school district is requiring you to use leveled readers as part of your reading instruction, there are ways that you can incorporate the science of reading within these texts.[Read more…]
Ever wonder how to improve student behavior during reading groups? In this blog we share techniques that we’ve used during intervention to help students improve their behavior. Often students who struggle to read, or who are receiving intervention, exhibit behavioral difficulties that stem from anxiety. When students struggle with learning, they often blame themselves. They see others catching on and making progress, while they continue to flounder. The first order of business is to acknowledge that the student is having trouble, it’s not their fault, and you are there to help them.[Read more…]
With far too much frequency, older students often need intensive instruction to learn to read with competence. You may have heard of the ‘third grade wall’, or the ‘fourth grade slump’. Both terms refer to students who managed to get by in Kindergarten, First, and Second Grade, but when they reach third or fourth grade they ‘hit a wall’ and stop progressing. These students, for any number of reasons, may have missed the foundational skills in reading. Perhaps the curriculum didn’t adhere to Science of Reading, or follow a structured literacy format. Perhaps the student had attentional issues that impacted his or her ability to focus on instruction. If you teach third grade or beyond, you’ve probably met these struggling readers and you’ve wondered how to help them.[Read more…]
This blog post is the second in a series on the Alphabetic Principle. Simply put, the alphabetic principle is the understanding that letters and letter groupings represent the sounds of spoken language. In order to read, students must know that letters represent sounds and when blended together, these sounds become words.
What is the best place to begin teaching my students?[Read more…]
Vocabulary is one of five fundamental parts of structured literacy. As Gough and Tunmer’s ‘Simple View of Reading’ illustrates, it is as important for students to develop vocabulary knowledge as it is for them learn how to decode words. Combining a student’s ability to decode with a robust vocabulary leads to increased comprehension.
Emily Hanford notes in her article APM Reports: At a Loss for Words: “This comes straight from the scientific research, which shows that reading comprehension is the product of two things. First a child needs to be able to sound out a word. Second, the child needs to know the meaning of the word she just sounded out. So, in a first-grade classroom that’s following the research, you will see explicit phonics instruction and also lessons that build oral vocabulary and background knowledge. And you see kids practicing what they’ve been taught.”[Read more…]
Consonant digraphs are two consonants next to each other that work together to make one sound. The most common digraphs that beginning readers need to recognize are wh, ch, ph, sh, th, and ck.
Why do I need to teach about consonant digraphs if my students already know their letter names and sounds?[Read more…]
Summer is right around the corner and if you are looking to streamline your approach as a reading tutor, structured literacy is the way to go! Summer is short and there is no time to waste. We’ve use the structured literacy format with emergent and struggling readers and it works like a charm![Read more…]
The three-cueing system or the multi-cueing system is also known as MSV. MSV stands for Meaning, Syntax and Visual cues, thus the three-cueing system. You may ask, “What is the problem with MSV?” For years a popular reading program (with ties to a renowned university) have been touting the strategy of MSV. I’ll admit it, I was a huge proponent of this strategy until I learned better. As Maya Angelou once said, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” This is a judgement free zone so let’s take a look at why using MSV creates more problems than it solves.[Read more…]