I'm often asked, "What's the best order to teach letters?" The answer is: it depends. Keep reading to find out my recommendations! Many teachers and parents wonder what's the best order for teaching letters of the alphabet. Should we go in alphabetical order? Should we start with uppercase or lowercase? What does the research say? Well, here's the first thing to know: As I stated in the first post of ... Read More
It’s our 10th anniversary GIVEAWAY!
The Measured Mom launched in January of 2013 ... which means that we're celebrating a big anniversary! 10th anniversary giveaway I'm giving away a 45-minute one-on-one call to 10 winners. That's right ... if you win, ask me anything! (Well ... anything related to teaching literacy. ;) ) Here are some things we might discuss: Please use the form below to enter. IMPORTANT *I will choose ten ... Read More
Should we teach letter names or letter sounds first?
If you ask this question in a Facebook group, watch out. People on both sides of the aisle have strong opinions, and many of them will tell you that their opinions are absolutely backed by research. At a recent Reading League event, Dr. Steven Dykstra joked that people on both sides of this debate will start pulling punches if you put them in the same room! (I think he was only sort of joking.) So … who’s ... Read More
How to use repeated reading to improve fluency
In this final post in our fluency series, we look at how to use the research-backed practice of repeated reading! Repeated reading is reading the same text multiple times until a certain (or better) level of fluency is reached. We've known since the 1970's that repeated reading improves fluency. It helps readers achieve automaticity - so that they can decode without thinking about decoding (Shanahan, ... Read More
Books about place value
Looking for books that will help you teach place value? Try these! Sir Cumference and All the King's Tens, by Cindy Neuschwander In this clever book, Sir Cumference and Lady Di are planning a surprise birthday party for King Arthur, but so many guests have arrived that they can't keep track of them. When the knight and lady count tens, hundreds, and thousands of partygoers, listeners will get a fun ... Read More
5 Reasons you’ll LOVE Just Right Reader decodable books!
Disclosure: This blog post is sponsored by Just Right Reader. All opinions are my own. I only promote products I know and love! Are you looking for decodable books to fill your classroom library? You can't go wrong with Just Right Reader! When Just Right Reader asked to sponsor this blog post, I jumped at the chance. That's because their giant collection of over 300 books is one every primary teacher and ... Read More
How to build fluency with partner reading
Are you looking for more ways to build fluency? Try partner reading! Partner reading (sometimes called buddy reading) is when students are paired up to read together. How partner reading works Benefits of partner reading Buddy reading can be an excellent alternative to the familiar "sustained silent reading," because struggling students can get the support they need and are less likely to be off ... Read More
How to improve oral reading fluency using poetry
Do you have students with poor oral reading fluency? It's no surprise, then, that they lack a good understanding of the text. After all, fluency is the bridge from decoding to comprehension. The good news is that repeated reading has been shown to improve reading fluency. There are many ways to do repeated reading (that's coming in a future blog post), but today we're focusing on improving oral reading ... Read More
How to improve reading fluency
Are you wondering how to improve reading fluency? You're in the right place! This post is the first in a four-part series all about building fluency. Do you have students who struggle with reading fluency? Maybe they read in a stilted, word-by-word fashion. Maybe they read accurately, but ooooh so slowly. Or maybe you know readers who trip over words. To them, reading is awkward and painful. I personally know a ... Read More
How to learn more about the science of reading
Here are we are, at the end of our Balanced to Structured Literacy series!You've learned: How to make phonemic awareness part of your dayHow to teach phonics systematicallyHow to use decodable books within your instructionHow to build comprehension through interactive read-aloudsHow to teach with explicit instruction And ... now what? How can you make sure you keep learning? That's what today's post is all ... Read More