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October 20 2020

My Student Can't Read the Lowest Book - A Case Study

At Read Side by Side we frequently hear teachers say, “Several of my students cannot read the lowest book club selection.” This matter-of-fact statement, tinged with disappointment, is often followed by permission to move to an easier text, one outside the three book club selections, but closely aligned to the students’ reading level. The assumption behind the teacher’s statement and request is the belief that students can best succeed when they are properly matched to just the right text. Yet, several researchers suggest that there is no such thing as the just right text and there is little or no research to support the practice of carefully matching children to texts, especially in the upper grades.

April 9 2020

Reducing the COVID-Slide by Looking at Summer Slide Research

A growing number of states have now closed schools for the rest of the year.  Such closures have caused many to wonder, “Will students fall behind in reading ability?”  We believe the data on summer reading loss can help us project the answer.  In this blog article, we will inform you of that research and provide strategies for reducing the COVID-slide.

June 29 2018

Climbing the Literacy Summit, Eatonville Elementary

The following is a case study, presented by Dr. Peter Dewitz, that demonstrates the impact of the Read Side by Side Reading Program on one struggling, priority school.  Learn how they climbed the literacy summit and were awarded 'School of Distinction' in 2017.

March 8 2018

3 Must-Haves for a K-2 Reading Program

Selecting a reading program for the primary grades can be overwhelming with so many aspects to consider.   Bethany Robinson offers 3 must-haves for your K-2 reading program, based on her 14 years of experience working in high-needs schools.

December 11 2017

The Conflict Between Differentiation and Scaffolding

What is the difference between differentiation and scaffolding?  While educators have long defined these strategies as being almost identical, they are, in fact, in sharp contrast to one another.  Differentiation adjusts the text to the child, while scaffolding enables the child to read and comprehend at a higher level.  

August 20 2017

Why Books? -- What Books Can Do That Passages Can’t

In this blog article, Peter Dewitz explains, the goal of reading instruction is not to move from level to level, but to develop our appreciation and skill with written language, to learn to think, and to foster our humanity. Books can do this; passages can’t.

June 22 2017

Making Inferences: 6 Essential Strategies

How do you help students make inferences while reading? Learn six essential strategies for inference generation that are sure to increase comprehension for even your most struggling readers!

June 2 2017

Why Students Love CIA: Letters From Students

A special envelope arrived in the mail several weeks ago. Inside I was delighted to find 17 handwritten letters from 5th grade students in Auburn, WA. On top of the pile was a letter from their teacher, explaining the reason for their correspondence.

May 1 2017

How Research Explains the Design of the Read Side by Side Reading Program

What should you be looking for in a research based reading program?  In this blog, learn about how motivation, comprehension strategies, text structure, and transfer of training make the Read Side by Side Reading Program the perfect choice for your next reading adoption!

March 9 2017

Reading Stamina: The Wrong Goal

I recently received an email from ReadWorks with the subject line, “Build Reading Stamina With Longer Passages.” My next email was from the Fantastic Mr. Fox advertising newly designed chicken coops. This blog is not a specific attack on the website ReadWorks, or other sites offering passages for reading instruction, but an examination of reading stamina and its place as a goal of reading instruction. I will argue that focusing reading instruction on passages, because they emulate what students encounter on high stakes tests, is a mistake. Making reading stamina a primary goal in your classroom is also a mistake. The solution to the problem is not more or longer passages, but books, yes books, poems, articles, newspapers, and websites that incite the imagination and stimulate curiosity. 

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