Although there are many approaches to vocabulary instruction, Robust Vocabulary Instruction, a research-based approach developed by Dr. Isabel Beck and Dr. Margaret McKeown, provides students with the rich interaction needed for students to develop true ownership and understanding of words.
Vending Machine Nourishing Hungry, Young Readers
A book vending machine was introduced to inspire readers at a Texas elementary school and now students are reading at a record pace.
The Science of Reading: Looking Beyond Phonics Instruction
The Science of Reading seems to be everywhere, from literacy research journals to mainstream media outlets. A recent Google search of the science of reading yielded over 4 billion results. Much of what we see and hear focuses on how to support children in their ability to decode words and the importance of systematic phonics instruction. But is that all there is to it? Check out this article to learn more the science of reading, an approach that prioritizes basic science with a scope that encompasses more than just phonics.
Celebrating Success in the Dallas ISD/IFL Network for School Improvement
Four years ago, the IFL along with the LRDC and CUE partnered with the Dallas Independent School District to improve literacy instruction at fourteen of the district’s highest needs schools. As the network enters its fifth year, we look back on teachers’ successes.
Revisiting the Importance of Planning for High-Level Instruction
Check out four of our top ELA articles from the archives! They offer insights into why we advocate to make space for collaboarative instructional planning.
When a High Assessment Load Prevents Learning
In the time of COVID, so many are worried about learning loss, and because of this concern, assessments quantifying this learning loss are on the rise. The intent is to help bring students back on track, but this response has large negative effects on teaching and learning. Now is the time to give your students’ assessment load a large downsizing.
A Journey Towards Text Analysis
High-level comprehension tasks impact the depth to which students respond to analysis tasks. Check out this article in which two teachers share their stories about working with their students on comprehension tasks that support text analysis.
Digging into Analysis Tasks
Planning for analysis tasks means highlighting those gems of an author’s craft found in rich and complex texts. In this article, I describe what we mean when we say analysis task and provide an example of what an analysis task might look like for a complex text.
Planning for High-Level Comprehension
Comprehension work is critical work when we engage students with a text. Understanding and enacting the steps for planning a high-level comprehension task will help teachers provide students instructional opportunities that set every student up for success.
Moving from Quick Write to Essay: Using Student-Centered Routines to Support Writing
Teachers can use writing routines to support student writers by creating a sort of conversation between the student writer and the text. This article examines how a set of well sequenced student routines allows students to use writing to express what they know in connection with what they learn from the text.
Organizing Instructional Tasks with Landing Pages
Teachers have found great success using landing pages to organize learning for students across one text or across multiple texts in a unit. A landing page is a page on a website where students “land” to do their work or engage in a task. Landing pages, much like task sheets, provide students with both the why and the what of an instructional task. They support more equitable access to instructional activities by making expectations clear and providing step-by-step guidance for students as they engage in learning.
Remote Coaching for Rigorous and Engaging Online Classroom Discussions: Layering New Forums with Fresh Insights
Coaches have a critical role in assisting teachers in continuing, rather than abandoning, important pedagogies while teaching online. Read about what is being learned through ongoing research at the University of Pittsburgh’s Learning Research and Development Center on how coaches can support teachers remotely to engage students in rigorous and interactive online discussions.
Using Student-Centered Classroom Routines to Improve Comprehension of Complex Texts
The Networks for School Improvement (NSI) work taking place among Dallas ISD (DISD), the Institute for Learning, the University of Pittsburgh School of Education Center for Urban Education, and the Learning Research and Development Center, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has largely focused efforts on improving instructional rigor, providing better supports for English language learners, and improving cultural relevance.
Creating a Map to Bridge Differences
When we are working with teachers on their curriculum, we often find ourselves having to reinforce the idea that it’s important to do the tasks that we’d like our students to do. This is sometimes called dogfooding—it’s slang in the corporate world for testing your own product to work out the kinks.
Cognitively Challenging English Language Arts Instruction
We have known about harmful effects of high-stakes state testing on students, teachers, and the curriculum for decades, yet we continue to perpetuate the belief that they test what students know and can do. Daniel Koretz (2017) demonstrates that they have become ends in themselves and take valuable time away from instruction designed to grow students’ intelligence rather than their test-taking abilities.