language comprehension

Grasping for Meaning: What it’s Like to Struggle with Reading Comprehension

I thought experiencing reading difficulty of our own could help us relate to the comprehension challenges that our students face, so I planned a professional development session for the teachers at my school. To select a text to share, I followed the parameters we often use when choosing passages for students: But also, it was really hard. I prepared a lesson by drafting questions, collecting kid-friendly/teacher-friendly definitions for the challenging

When Language Is a Wall

When I began to learn about phonics instruction, I saw spelling puzzles in words I’d never noticed before, and I gained appreciation for the difficulty of learning to decode. Now, as an increasing number of students at my school can read accurately, the challenge of comprehension is looming large. It’s hard to identify potential barriers to comprehension when students read a text we ourselves can easily understand. And it’s harder

The ABCs of Teaching Reading at Home

This month’s school closures have forced families to become homeschool teachers overnight.  Getting Started!  What We Know about Beginning Readers Children progress as readers at different rates, but they pass through predictable stages of development. For typically-developing readers, the stages of reading can be mapped onto grade levels, but as a homeschool teacher you have the advantage of being able to provide the instruction your children need, regardless of their

Part 1: Simple View of Reading

Decoding x Language Comprehension = Reading Comprehension The Simple View of Reading is helping us rebalance instruction in my Balanced Literacy school district. For a while, “balance” meant whole-language reading instruction with 20 minutes of word study, even in kindergarten and first grade, so students were not developing the foundational skills necessary for reading. Many students appeared to be on track in the primary grades when they recited simple leveled-texts,


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