Phonemic Awareness & Phonics – A New Perspective

I highly recommend Kilpatrick’s book, Equipped for Reading Success, both for elementary and secondary, if you are seeking a new perspective on how to reach struggling readers who consistently say the first sound of a word but then guess at the last part may not be as fluent as we would like them to be demonstrate difficulty on decoding longer … Read More

Middle School Readers and 4 Motivation Tips

My honed knowledge, skills, and experiences as an elementary reading specialist (and Reading Recovery® Teacher) for many years, led me to my current journey as a teacher and collaborator of reading with middle school students. Laughter, groans, and tapping of chrome books or pencils scribbling, may be heard at any time during the day. Sprinkle in enthusiasm, drama and rolled … Read More

Book Review – Jan Richardson

~ Teach with a sense of urgency ~ Check out the new book by Jan Richardson and Ellen Lewis, The Next Step Forward in Reading Intervention: The Rise Framework. Designed to be a short-term intervention for students in grades 1-8, the introduction to the Rise Framework provides insight into why the authors wrote the book and why other interventions fail … Read More

Concept of Word Beginnings – Excitement of Learning

Most little ones come to school smiling and eager to please. It is such a pleasure and privilege to work with them, helping them form the letters in their name. One such student has a “long name” (two-syllables) and currently learning the alphabet and concept of word – his/her name. We worked on the initial letter, a J, over and … Read More

Teaching Prompts: Speak Lightly and Specifically, Words of Encouragement

As we begin a new school year, both as parents or guardians and teachers, let’s focus on what children can do. Strive to be a careful observer and attentive listener as we observe what they can do and in turn, use their strengths as a springboard to connect (link) to what they cannot accomplish yet. Notice the yet. What will … Read More

Choosing Books for your Child: Finding the “Right” or “Good Fit” Book

Parents and grandparents often ask me how do I find the right book for my child or grandchild. It depends on what is meant by “right” book. Book choice, personal interest in the subject matter, and purpose (Why am I reading this?) are critical to any reader. Without these attributes, reading may become a chore, a struggle to complete if … Read More

Dr. Seuss – Happy Birthday!

On March 2nd, we honor one of the most beloved children’s authors of all time, Theodore Seuss Geisel, affectionately known as Dr. Seuss. Schools all across the United States prepare for a fun-filled day or possibly squeeze in fun yet purposeful activities all week long. Some of the students’ favorite activities include choosing Dr. Seuss books to read with a … Read More

A Growth Mindset

Our blog, titled Simple Yet Meaningful, is inspired by Peter Johnston’s books, Opening Minds and Choice Words. Professor Emeritus at the State University of New York at Albany, I’ve had the fortunate opportunity (not once but twice) to hear him speak! Simple Yet Meaningful, the words almost seem like a contradiction. However, the words acknowledge what is (simple – our … Read More