Teaching children to read is perhaps the single most important job we have as elementary school teachers. Reading is the foundation for everything! There have been a lot of theories and much debate about the best strategies for teaching reading. I’ve spent a lot of time studying literacy—enough to know
The “three-reads” method is something that I started implementing while planning for my Benchmark Advance reading lessons. This method actually became an integral part of my planning templates. I have found great success with this method for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, I think it fosters a love of
I’m not too proud to admit it: I used to suck at teaching phonics. My less-than-effective strategies left me and my students frustrated more often than not. A lot of it came down to the typical learning curve felt by new teachers, but the more I’ve learned about literacy, the more I recognize the flaws in the old strategies I used. And I don’t think I’m alone in this, which is why I’m sharing a better way to teach phonics with you today.
After a few years of using close readings with my students, I’ve finally gotten to what I believe to be the optimal way to use this teaching strategy. I’m excited to share what’s worked for me and my students!
Teach students to use their own data. This is one of the best ways to teach your students how to take ownership of their learning goals.
Do your students struggle to write content that actually follows the prompt? If so, you are not alone! It can be frustrating when students don’t comprehend the writing prompt, especially because the state tests are jam-packed with prompts that must be followed. In recent years, the Common Core writing standards have gotten laser-focused on writing to sources rather than process writing.
I had the pleasure of attending the Plain Talk About Literacy and Learning conference in New Orleans, where I witnessed literacy heroes present on current research. What I learned there and what I continue to learn through my own exploration has expanded my understanding of the science of reading and how to teach children to read.
Growth mindset is one of the most important values we can instill in our students. Growth mindset teaches that no matter what, we are capable of succeeding with the right amount of perseverance, dedication, and hard work. What teacher wouldn’t want to base lessons on this concept? Inspirational mentor texts are one of the best methods to teach growth mindset, in my experience.
It’s not easy being a kid! Helping our students develop a positive self-image is one of the most important roles we can play as teachers. One of my favorite themed units to teach is “Be Yourself,” where we explore what makes us unique and learn to celebrate our differences.