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The Blog

Want to know how the Science of Reading applies to your classroom? Keep reading to discover what the research suggests, and how we should teach phonics and phonemic awareness to help all students learn to read.

Today, I want to keep it simple.  When you first learn about the Science of Reading, it can be overwhelming.  (Been there, done that, maybe cried a bit.)  There is SO MUCH information, and much of it we never saw in our pre-service programs.  So today, I’m simplifying some terms.  Let’s talk about 10 essential phonics terms.I do not expect
               I have to be honest:  I am a full-on history nerd.  As an undergrad, I was a religious studies and history major.  I always knew I would end up a teacher, but I was 19 and loved learning about history.  Perhaps not my smartest move, but it was definitely an interesting time as a student.  Several years ago, my
               Today marks my third look into the national Reading Panel.  I’ve already discussed their work on phonemic awareness and phonics.  Looking into fluency, though, the report felt different.  There were no tables full of effect sizes: in fact they weren’t even able to conduct a metanalysis on one of their topics because there simply were not enough reports that
Pretty regularly, the issue of blends comes up.  Do we explicitly teach them, or not?  With so many different sound-symbol correspondences to teach, is it really worth the time to teach blends?  Today, I want to address what blends are, why we’re arguing, and why you really, really should be teaching them. Blends can be categorized into 4 main categories.
In general, I don’t play games every day with my students (or every week.)  There is one huge exception to that rule, though:  kindergarten.  In my kindergarten groups with students who are still learning their letters, I play games almost daily.  The reason why is two-fold.  For starters, kindergarteners are still learning to adjust to school and need to shift
In the past 12 years of teaching, 5 as a reading specialist, I’ve changed how I organize my groups.  A LOT.  Today, I want to share the system I have finally settled on that makes my groups run as smoothly as possible.  And look friends, this isn’t going to be pretty.  You know I don’t do cutesy, and let’s face
Synthetic phonics is more effective than embedded phonics. Phonics is ubiquitous. You honestly can’t read an education article or listen to a podcast without hearing about the importance of phonics. But what does the research actually suggest concerning phonics instruction? I believe that knowledge is power, and today I want to give you key points about the effects of phonics
   I am the queen of simplicity and anti-hoarding.  If I haven’t used it in the past year or two, it’s going in the trash or the recycling bin.  I don’t get attached to objects in my classroom just because money has been spent on them, especially if they are not aligned with best practices.  I don’t keep stinky books, outdated