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“But you KNOW that word!” Sound familiar?

“But you KNOW that word!” Sound familiar?

We’ve all been there! We’ve all said some version of this phrase! After chanting and practicing and highlighting and rainbow writing a word repeatedly, a student encounters the word in print (or goes to use it in their writing) and looks at it like it’s a martian with...

Looking for free decodable texts?  We wrote one for you!

Looking for free decodable texts? We wrote one for you!

What could be more fun than thinking about pups? We really can’t think of much. Speaking of puppies, if you’re familiar with our book, Shifting the Balance, then you know that Chapter 6 is about finding “aligned” texts for students. Aligned texts are more than...

Laying Language Track for the Word Reading Train

Laying Language Track for the Word Reading Train

In Chapter 1 of Shifting the Balance, we untangle a widespread misunderstanding about reading comprehension. It is “Misunderstanding 4” in the chapter that is about language comprehension.  Misunderstanding 4 goes like this, “Successful comprehension in beginning...

METANOIA  . . .

METANOIA . . .

We didn’t know this word a few weeks ago. But since we first became aware of it, we seem to be noticing it more and more.   Maybe it’s because we’re immersed in thinking about children’s language development these days.  Maybe it’s because we’re thinking a lot about...

Structure vs. Choice?  Urgency vs. Joy?

Structure vs. Choice? Urgency vs. Joy?

We’ve been thinking lately about the opposing tensions in our lives and the ways these tensions often leave us longing for a perfect balance.  The idea that our lives will be in perfect balance is,  of course, absurd.  Nevertheless, balance as an imprecise descriptor...

How do We Shift the Balance for 3-5 Students?

How do We Shift the Balance for 3-5 Students?

It has been almost a year since Shifting the Balance: Bringing the Science of Reading into the Balanced Literacy Classroom hit real and virtual bookshelves. We’ve been so moved by the robust response to this little book, to say the least.  Quite honestly, what started...

Hold the Vision. Trust the Process.

Hold the Vision. Trust the Process.

You may already know how much we LOVE the New Year with its fresh start and promise. But, even by the time calendar turns over to February, we can sometimes find ourselves fatiguing and starting to lose sight of our vision. It’s often easier for us to set big...

If You Take a Speech-to-Print Approach

If You Take a Speech-to-Print Approach

If you approach learning to read and write as a speech-to-print -rather than as a print-to-speech - process, . . .  . . . then you will want to start by making sure children have strong oral language.  And if you are going to build children’s oral language, . . . . ....

The Power of Re-Work

The Power of Re-Work

Ahh, the little prefix RE- ! Small but mighty!   We’re believers in fresh starts and REvised approaches. We’re advocates of taking stock and REevaluating. And in both our personal and professional lives, January has been a time of RE- for us. REflecting on how we have...

Are You Ready for Some Good News?  It’s Here . . .

Are You Ready for Some Good News? It’s Here . . .

It’s exciting when the little people we support start to know and recite some letter names and their associated sounds in response to seeing those little black marks on a page. But the problem is . . . ...we’ve all known children who know LOTS, if not ALL, of the...

A Little Fun with Phon- Words

A Little Fun with Phon- Words

Phonics? Phonological awareness?  Phonemic awareness?  What’s the difference, really?  And how can you keep all these phon- words straight?      Well, confusion about the phon-  words is created not only because they sound alike, but also because there is a...

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