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  • Staying Grounded in Reading Realities: A Better Approach for Struggling Readers

    Posted By Louisa Moats, Ed.D. | Mar 29, 2017
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    At the end of October, I attended and spoke at the annual International Dyslexia Association (IDA) meeting in Dallas. IDA remains the best interdisciplinary conference for all professionals, advocates, and families concerned with reading, writing, and language difficulties. IDA meetings, over the past three decades, are where I’ve obtained my real education. This meeting was as informative as ever. We heard from neuroscientists, psychologists, directors of interdisciplinary research centers, researchers in language acquisition, experienced clinicians, education advocates, teacher educators, public school literacy leaders, and families affected by learning difficulties. Through diverse perspectives, one theme stood out for me: We will serve students and families better if we are informed by the facts. Romantic ideas, though appealing, will not serve the needs of students or teachers. Let’s examine a few beliefs that we’re better off without.

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  • Motivating Struggling Adolescent Readers: Try Relevance & Success

    Posted By Louisa Moats, Ed.D. | Jan 25, 2017
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    Motivation, according to a recent textbook on adolescent literacy*, is “a feeling of interest or enthusiasm that makes a student want to complete a task or improve his or her skills.” Teachers of adolescent poor readers, however, often find that their students are willing to do anything BUT read and write. Getting students to believe that they can make meaningful progress—when all prior experience suggests they will not—and to work at something that has never been rewarding is a major challenge.

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  • Making Sense of Close Reading in the Intermediate Grades

    Posted By Nancy Boyles, Ph.D. | Nov 30, 2016
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    When close reading gained prominence a few years ago, I was a little insulted that as a professional developer in the area of literacy, anyone could think the instructional strategies I shared with teachers did not help students to read “closely.” Then, I learned more about close reading and saw that it truly did push teachers and students to a whole new level of rigor. In time, I’ve also learned there are a few principles and practices that when applied well will make teaching the process of close reading achievable for teachers and the outcomes of close reading meaningful for students.

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  • Context and its Use in Interpreting Assessment Data

    Posted By Janet R. Macpherson, Ph.D. | Oct 26, 2016
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    Editor’s Note: This is the second in a two-part blog discussing context and its use in interpreting assessment data. The first part of this blog was published here on Oct. 19.

    In last week's blog, I wrote about the importance of context in situations from reading to deciphering vocabulary words to interpreting assessment data.

    Although context has many applications for helping to understand unclear situations, it also can be an important guide for educators seeking to compare and evaluate student progress.

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  • Context of Assessments

    Posted By Janet R. Macpherson, Ph.D. | Oct 19, 2016
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    The Importance of Context when Interpreting Assessment Data, Part 1 of 2 Often, “context” is referred to in terms of reading texts or passages. Context is so important that we teach students how to use clues to understand new vocabulary words when reading. Context makes a difference when understanding ambiguous situations that might be easily misunderstood if you don’t understand what happened most recently in the passage or you don't have the culturally relevant information that helps us understand what we are reading. Context is important in many situations, not just reading, and I am going to make the case for context being important when interpreting assessment data.

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  • Don't Miss the Point: Content-Focused Reading Instruction Is Crucial

    Posted By Louisa Moats, Ed.D. | Feb 24, 2016
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    While many language skills and comprehension strategies are embedded in daily lessons, teachers know that the overall purpose of each lesson sequence is to understand content related to a theme. The reason for reading a text is clear: The text is worthwhile. It is complex and rich. The topic is inherently interesting—or if it isn’t, yet, it will be once the students know something about it. The reader will be rewarded with understanding, insight, ideas, and new information.

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  • Helping Students Keep Their Eyes on the Words

    Posted By Linda Farrell | Jul 25, 2012

    An almost universal habit that struggling readers exhibit is looking up from the page when reading. In my previous EdView360 post, I stressed the importance of teaching students to keep their eyes on the words when they read. I also noted that, when students stop looking up and start looking at the word in order to use decoding strategies, many show immediate improvement when reading. A number of teachers responded to the blog. Many wrote that they had not noticed how often their students looked to them for approval or for help with reading. Several teachers asked what they could do to help their students change their habits so that they keep their eyes on the words when they read. This blog offers some suggestions.

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  • First Rule of Reading: Keep Your Eyes on the Words

    Posted By Linda Farrell | Mar 28, 2012

    I’ve worked with hundreds of struggling readers ages 5 to 81. Almost all students I meet who have decoding weaknesses share a common behavior. Can you guess what it is? They look up from the page before they finish reading a word or sentence. Many just glance at the word and guess what it is as they look at me for approval. Others may look at the word more carefully, yet they still look at me for approval after they say what they think the word is. A few look at the word before staring at the ceiling or somewhere in space while they try to figure out what the word is. Every elementary school teacher and every reading interventionist I meet recognizes these behaviors and can associate them with specific students.

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