Teaching Tidbits

Professional growth and reflection opportunities

14 Best Reading Practices

The goal of this newsletter is to share research and best practices and provide an opportunity for professional learning at your fingertips! Take what you like and use it. Ignore what you are already doing (or pat yourself on the back!). Save it for later when you are ready to tackle it. Ask for support if you want to learn more or start something new. `


Over the next few weeks, I will share 14 Reading Best Practices that were compiled by the Right to Read Initiative in Illinois along with some resources and information for each best practice. I know that some of these will be review, but I hope some are new or offer a new twist to consider!

Best Practice #1: Explicit Word Analysis Instruction, including Phonics

Best Practice #1: Teachers provide explicit instruction, build word knowledge, and directly teach skills and strategies for word analysis (phonemic awareness, phonics, word recognition, structural analysis, context clues, vocabulary).


What would the practice look like in the classroom? Direct phonics instruction, word walls, word sorts, making words, manipulative letters, picture clues, songs, poems, rhymes, vocabulary journals, study of etymology, differentiated based on spelling development stages, connected to reading and writing


More info: Becoming fully literate is absolutely dependent on fast, accurate recognition of words and their meanings in texts, and fast, accurate production of words in writing so that readers and writers can focus their attention on making meaning.


We need to design our instruction to not only directly teach students the skills required to move them from the alphabet stage to the pattern stage to the meaning stage but also engages their interest and motivation to learn about words and how they work. Students need to engage in meaningful reading and writing activities to learn words, not rote drill practice and memorizing isolated rules and definitions.


Reflection: Do the same students get 100% on their spelling tests every week? Do the same students bomb every week? Do your students get the words correct on their weekly spelling test and then spell the same words wrong when they write? Do you know what spelling stage your students are in? (Do you want to know?) Have you matched their word instruction to their spelling stage? Do you have students practicing words in authentic ways or are they memorizing for the test? Do you know the difference between phonics, structural analysis, and vocabulary?


If you are interested in learning more or need support from me, keep reading and/or let me know!


Remember: This is a resource for professional learning...not new mandates of anything you HAVE to do! Read what you want, ignore it, discuss it with others, try something new, save for later. Whatever works for you and what YOU need!

Word Study- A New Approach to Teaching Spelling

Donald Bear is the author of Words Their Way which is a resource specific to Word Study and a contributing author for Wonders. This means there are some Word Study components of the curriculum available. This is an appropriate read for all grades!

Word Study Instruction in the K-2 Classroom

Some great ideas shared here specific to word study but also other aspects of reading instruction.

27 Word Work Apps

There are some great apps and ideas shared on this website. The bonus is many of these apps are already on the iPads! This is appropriate for all grade levels!

Daily 5 and Word Work Materials

Many teachers spend A LOT of time "prepping" for Word Work each day or week. This article from the Daily Cafe website shows how to make Word Work more manageable. Good article for anyone who does Daily 5 and Word Work but especially K-2 teachers.

Word Walls

This is a resource for ALL teachers including specialists and non-language arts teachers for all grades!