Archive

Posts Tagged ‘phonics’

Free Structural Analysis, Syllabication & Oral Language Resources

Word study is crucial to effective reading and spelling instruction. Knowing the structural components of words, including roots, affixes, and grammatical inflections will help your students read with greater understanding and less fear of multi-syllabic words. Studying how words are put together will help your students properly pronounce words. Learning the parts of words will help your student improve their vocabulary. Practicing the rules and patterns of word formation will help your students become better spellers. Oh yes… using the skills of word analysis will also help your students perform better on standardized English-language arts and reading tests.

Following are articles, free resources, and teaching tips regarding structural analysis, syllabication, and oral language development from the Pennington Publishing Blog. Bookmark and visit us often. Oh, and don’t forget to copy down the 10% discount code found only on this blog to purchase the quality curricula and resources offered by Pennington Publishing.

Structural Analysis, Syllabication, and Oral Language

Ten English Accent Rules

http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/ten-english-accent-rules/

The Ten English Accent Rules are important to understand and apply to be able to correctly pronounce and spell English words.

The Top Ten Syllable Rules

http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/tag/syllable-division/

The Top Ten Syllable Rules will help students improve reading, pronunciation, and spelling accuracy. Applying these basic syllabication rules will also help readers identify prefixes, roots, and affixes, which improves word identification. Clear examples follow each syllable rule.

How to Teach Syllabication: The Syllable Rules

http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-teach-syllabication-the-syllable-rules/

How to Teach Syllabication: The Syllable Rules is a three-minute whole-class instructional strategy that teaches students to properly pronounce and spell all of the phonetic sound-spelling and syllable patterns.

Twenty Advanced Syllable Rules

http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/twenty-advanced-syllable-rules/

The Twenty Advanced Syllable Rules are critical to accurate pronunciation, decoding, and spelling. Knowing the patterns of affixes and roots will also facilitate vocabulary acquisition.

20 Embarrassing Mispronunciations

http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/20-embarrassing-mispronunciations/

Educated Americans often look down their long noses at those who mispronounce common words. However, even these literary illuminati have their fair share of embarrassing pronunciation gaffes.

Top 40 Pronunciation Pet Peeves

http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/top-40-pronunciation-pet-peeves/

Here is the definitive list of the Top 40 Pronunciation Pet Peeves that drive Americans crazy. Read, laugh, and cringe over mistakes that you or your friends make when saying these words.

More Articles, Free Resources, and Teaching Tips from the Pennington Publishing Blog

  • English-language Arts Standards
  • English-language Arts Instruction
  • Essay Strategies
  • The Writing Process/Writers Workshop
  • Writing Style
  • Grammar and Mechanics
  • Spelling
  • Vocabulary
  • Structural Analysis/Syllabication/Oral Language
  • Teaching Reading in the ELA Classroom
  • ELA/Reading Assessments
  • Reading Intervention
  • Independent Reading
  • Response to Intervention
  • EL/ESL
  • Differentiated Instruction (RtI)
  • Critical Thinking
  • Study Skills
  • Test Preparation
  • Educational Issues and Teaching Trends
  • Developmental Characteristics
  • Professional Development
  • ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    Mark Pennington, MA Reading Specialist, is the author of the comprehensive reading intervention curriculum, Teaching Reading Strategies. Designed to significantly increase the reading abilities of students ages eight through adult within one year, the curriculum is decidedly un-canned, adaptable to various instructional settings, and simple to use. Get multiple choice reading assessments on two CDs, formative assessments, blending and syllabication activities, phonemic awareness and phonics workshops, comprehension worksheets, multi-level fluency passages on eight CDs, 390 flashcards, posters, activities, and games. Everything teachers need to teach a diagnostically-based reading intervention program for struggling readers at all reading levels is found in this comprehensive curriculum. Perfect for Response to Intervention (RtI). ESL and Special Education students, who struggle with language/auditory processing challenges will particularly benefit. Simple directions and well-crafted activities truly make this an almost no-prep curriculum. Works well as a half-year intensive program or full-year program, with or without paraprofessional assistance. 364 pages

    Reading, Spelling/Vocabulary, Study Skills , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Free Reading Intervention Resources

    Teaching remedial reading is one of the most challenging yet enriching tasks. Reading is the key to learning. With the evolving Response to Intervention (RtI) process, special education and classroom teachers are scurrying to find appropriate resources to differentiate reading instruction. What these teachers are finding is that one-size-fits-all canned reading programs are not matching the needs of all of their students. Additionally, many intervention teachers are feeling that scripted programs are ignoring teacher experience, judgment, and expertise. What is needed are resources that will allow trained professionals to differentiate reading instruction within flexible learning structures. The three-tiered RtI model looks good on paper, but quality resources are essential in these delivery models.

    Most special education and classroom teachers are quite prepared to teach the reading and writing content of their courses. Their undergraduate and graduate courses reflect this preparation. However, most are less prepared to teach reading intervention. Most credential programs require only one or two reading strategy courses. Expertise is critical because the research shows that only one-in-six students reading two or more grade levels behind by middle school will ever catch up to grade level reading.

    Following are articles, free resources (including reading assessments), and teaching tips regarding how to teach remedial readers and reading intervention from the Pennington Publishing Blog. Bookmark and visit us often. Oh, and don’t forget to copy down the 10% discount code found only on this blog to purchase the quality curricula and resources offered by Pennington Publishing.

    Reading Intervention

    Free Whole Class Diagnostic ELA/Reading Assessments

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/

    Download free phonemic awareness, vowel sound phonics, consonant sound phonics, sight word, rimes, sight syllables, fluency, grammar, mechanics, and spelling assessments. All with answers and recording matrices. A true gold mine for the teacher committed to differentiated instruction!

    How to Teach Reading Intervention

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-teach-reading-intervention/

    Teaching reading intervention is qualitatively different from teaching beginning reading. By definition, the initial reading instruction did not “take” to a sufficient degree, so things must be done differently this time around to improve chances for success. This article defines the key ingredients for a successful reading intervention program and provides an instructional template.

    Backwards Reading Intervention

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/backwards-reading-intervention/

    How strange that a student-centered approach to learning, as advocated by many teachers and authors, does not extend to a student-centered approach to instruction. To cut to the chase, why are many reading intervention teachers so reluctant to differentiate reading instruction according to the diagnostic needs of individual students?

    Reading Intervention Programs

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/reading-intervention-programs/

    So… you’re adopting a reading intervention program for your district or school. What questions should you be asking? Your needs (and those of your students) are only half of the equation. The other half of the equation is the needs of the program publisher. Read this article before you invest time and resources in a reading intervention program.

    Remedial Reading Intervention Placement: What Does Not and What Does Make Sense

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/remedial-reading-intervention-placement-what-does-and-does-not-make-sense/

    Placing students in remedial reading intervention classes is certainly a challenge. By understanding what does and does not make sense in the selection process, educators will be able to avoid many of the usual pitfalls of these types of programs and have a greater chance at success.

    Secondary Reading Program Placement

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/secondary-reading-program-placement/

    No matter which school-wide model of reading intervention is used at the middle or high school levels, the problem of proper reading placement is common to all. Here are some helpful suggestions as to how to place students in reading intervention classes. Placement and monitoring are the keys to successful Tier I, II, and III Response to Intervention.

    The Problem with Dialectical Journals

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/the-problem-with-dialectical-journals/

    Dialectical journals have been teacher favorites since literature-based reading pedagogy was popularized in the 1980s. However, this reader-centered instruction creates more problems than it solves. In lieu of dialectical journals, teachers should help students learn and apply the five types of independent reading strategies that promote internal monitoring of the text.

    Community College Remedial Reading Costs

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/community-college-remedial-reading-costs/

    Increased enrollment in our community colleges has created an economic double-whammy for both hard-pressed state budgets and for community colleges themselves. An increasingly key factor in this double-whammy has been the cost to remediate the skill set of these new students, especially in reading. Remediation, especially reading remediation, has always been a tough issue for state legislators and community colleges. Some have been reluctant to accept the reality that so many of our high school graduates or drop-outs still cannot read at the levels they need to function in society. Others recognize the problem, but play the blame game by pointing fingers at the failures of K-12 education. While the costs of providing remedial reading education are high to both state and community college budgets, the costs of not providing the resources are incalculable.

    Top Ten Reasons to Teach Phonics

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/top-ten-reasons-to-teach-phonics/

    Reading is not a developmentally acquired skill. In other words, children and adults do not learn to read by simply being read to or exposed to a literate environment. Learning the sound-spelling system and applying the alphabetic code is what we call phonics instruction. Acquiring this skill will allow readers to attend to the real purpose of reading—understanding what the author says.

    Phonics Games

    Plenty of phonics-based programs do a fine job of providing that systematic instruction. However, some do the basic job, but will bore both students and teachers to tears. Learning to read is hard work, but it should also be fun. These phonics flashcards, phonics games, and Mp3 phonics songs/raps work with any phonics-based program and are divided into Easy, Medium, and Difficult levels to allow teachers to effectively differentiate instruction.

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/phonics-games/

    Should We Teach Phonics to Remedial Readers?

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/should-we-teach-phonics-to-remedial-readers/

    Although most students learn to read in their early years of school, some students experience significant reading problems. Almost always, the cause is the same. Struggling readers have not learned the sound-spelling system we call phonics. With the right diagnostic assessments and instruction, remedial readers can make significant gains.

    Good Reading Fluency, but Poor Reading Comprehension

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/why-vocabulary-word-lists-don%E2%80%99t-work/

    Teachers and parents see it more and more: good reading fluency, but poor reading comprehension. Repeated reading practice to build fluency needs to be balanced with meaningful oral expression and internal self-monitoring comprehension strategies.

    Teach Your Child to Read

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/teach-your-child-to-read/

    One of the true joys and responsibilities of parenthood is teaching your child to read. But wait… isn’t that the teacher’s job? Of course it is, but the best approach is always an effective and complementary home-school partnership. Whether your child is in pre-school, kindergarten, or first grade he or she can and will learn to read with your help. As an MA Reading Specialist and educational author, I’ve done all of the “prep” work necessary for parents to hold up their end of the home-school partnership in these Teach Your Child to Read tools and resources. You don’t have to be a reading expert; you’ve got back-up :)

    Should We Teach Phonemic Awareness to Remedial Readers?

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/should-we-teach-phonemic-awareness-to-remedial-readers/

    Phonemic awareness is the key predictor of reading success. Many students with reading problems have not acquired this ability. This article suggests that phonemic awareness should be taught, not just caught, and provides the how’s and when’s to inform remedial reading instruction.

    How and When to Teach Phonemic Awareness

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-and-when-to-teach-phonemic-awareness/

    Phonemic awareness is the key predictor of reading success. However, is it a pre-requisite skill or a by-product of reading? This article suggests that phonemic awareness should be taught, not caught, and provides the how’s and when’s to inform instruction.

    How to Teach Sight Words

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-teach-sight-words/

    Although not a substitute for systematic phonics instruction, memorizing key sight words does makes sense to promote reading automaticity. In fact, many of the high frequency words are not phonetically decodable and must be memorized as sight words. This article details who should learn sight words and how to best teach them.

    How to Teach the Alphabet

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-teach-the-alphabet/

    The alphabet is the key to reading. These twenty-six symbols combine to form a rich lexicon of 800,000 English words. The key to learning the alphabet has been the traditional “Alphabet Song.” However beneficial, this song has created significant problems for young readers and English-language learners. A few twists eliminates these issues.

    How to Do Sound-by-Sound Spelling Blending

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-do-sound-by-sound-spelling-blending/

    Help your students to read in the most efficient way possible. This article gives the reading teacher or parent the exact sequence of sounds to introduce to help students learn to read. A step-by-step blending model is demonstrated with clear examples.

    Reading Intervention: How to Beat the Odds

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/reading-intervention-how-to-beat-the-odds/

    To beat the odds indicating that only one-in-six remedial readers will ever “catch up” to grade level, we need to analyze what has not worked and what will work. As we move in the direction of affirming teacher professionalism with the evolving RtI process, we emphasize a collaborative approach to determine how to best meet student needs. Here’s hoping that we reduce the odds of failure and increase the odds of success.

    Four Critical Components to Successful Reading Intervention

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/four-critical-components-to-successful-reading-intervention/

    According to research, only one of six remedial reading students will ever progress to grade-level reading ability. However, the odds can increase dramatically when the critical components for a successful literacy intervention are addressed. How schools plan reading intervention programs is just as important as what program they use.

    What Remedial Reading Teachers Want (A Manifesto)

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/what-remedial-reading-teachers-want-a-manifesto/

    Remedial reading (reading intervention) teachers of upper elementary, middle school, high school, and adult students all share the same instructional goal: help their students become fluent readers who understand what they read. Teachers want to achieve this goal in the shortest amount of instructional time. A Remedial Reading Teacher’s Manifesto will help teachers teach students, as opposed to teaching a “canned program.”

    Reading Readiness

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/reading-readiness/

    The following big picture advice on getting students ready to read applies equally to teachers of four-year-olds, fourteen-year-olds, and forty-year-olds. Of course, there are differences that need to be considered for each age group. Preschool/kinder/first grade teachers, intermediate and middle school reading intervention (RtI) teachers, and adult education teachers know how to teach to their clients’ developmental learning characteristics. Similarly, English-language development teachers and special education teachers know their student populations and are adept at how to differentiate instruction accordingly. But, my point is that the what of reading readiness instruction is much the same across the age and experience spectrum.

    How to Teach the Voiced and Unvoiced “th”

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-teach-the-voiced-and-unvoiced-th/

    Teaching the voiced and unvoiced consonant digraphs in the context of beginning and remedial reading instruction can be tricky. Speech therapists and ESL teachers insist that the differences are critically important; reading specialists and special education teachers tend to ignore these as “distinctions without differences.” As a reading specialist, I usually stay on the practical “whatever works” side of the ledger. However, with respect to this one issue, I think my speech therapist and ESL friends have won me over. Without getting over-technical (Please… if I see one more diagram of the vocal cords or hear the word fricative, I will not be held responsible for my actions), here are a few instructional tools that will help us all teach the voiced and unvoiced “th” consonant digraph.

    More Articles, Free Resources, and Teaching Tips from the Pennington Publishing Blog

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    Mark Pennington, MA Reading Specialist, is the author of the comprehensive reading intervention curriculum, Teaching Reading StrategiesDesigned to significantly increase the reading abilities of students ages eight through adult within one year, the curriculum is decidedly un-canned, adaptable to various instructional settings, and simple to use. Get multiple choice reading assessments on two CDs, formative assessments, blending and syllabication activities, phonemic awareness and phonics workshops, comprehension worksheets, multi-level fluency passages on eight CDs, 390 flashcards, posters, activities, and games. Everything teachers need to teach a diagnostically-based reading intervention program for struggling readers at all reading levels is found in this comprehensive curriculum. Perfect for Response to Intervention (RtI). ESL and Special Education students, who struggle with language/auditory processing challenges will particularly benefit. Simple directions and well-crafted activities truly make this an almost no-prep curriculum. Works well as a half-year intensive program or full-year program, with or without paraprofessional assistance. 364 pages

    Reading, Spelling/Vocabulary, Study Skills , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Free Teaching Reading Resources for ELA

    Effective English-language arts teachers teach both content and process. It’s a demanding job, but ELA teachers bear the primary burden of teaching not only the what of reading, but also the how of reading. Reading instruction begins, but does not end, in the elementary classroom. Secondary ELA teachers teach the advanced reading skills that are so critical to success in academia and in the workplace.

    Most ELA teachers are quite prepared to teach the reading and writing content of their courses. Their undergraduate and graduate courses reflect this preparation. However, most ELA teachers are ill-prepared to teach reading strategies. Most credential programs require only one or two reading strategy courses.

    Following are articles, free resources (including reading assessments), and teaching tips regarding how to teach reading in the ELA classroom from the Pennington Publishing Blog. Bookmark and visit us often. Oh, and don’t forget to copy down the 10% discount code found only on this blog to purchase the quality curricula and resources offered by Pennington Publishing.

    Teaching Reading in the ELA Classroom

    Free Whole Class Diagnostic ELA/Reading Assessments

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/

    Download free phonemic awareness, vowel sound phonics, consonant sound phonics, sight word, rimes, sight syllables, fluency, grammar, mechanics, and spelling assessments. All with answers and recording matrices. A true gold mine for the teacher committed to differentiated instruction!

    The Problem with Dialectical Journals

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/the-problem-with-dialectical-journals/

    Dialectical journals have been teacher favorites since literature-based reading pedagogy was popularized in the 1980s. However, this reader-centered instruction creates more problems than it solves. In lieu of dialectical journals, teachers should help students learn and apply the five types of independent reading strategies that promote internal monitoring of the text.

    How to Teach Main Idea

    Finding the main idea is a basic reading comprehension skill. However, basic does not mean easy. Main idea questions are found on every normed reading comprehension assessment and are the most frequently asked types of questions on the passage-based reading questions of the SAT®. Following are a workable definition, some important disclaimers, and a few critical strategies which will make sense out of this sometimes challenging task for readers of all ages.

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-teach-main-idea/

    To Read or Not to Read: That is the Question

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/to-read-or-not-to-read-that-is-the-question/

    When we teach a novel or short story, how much of our instruction should be teacher-dependent and how much should be teacher-independent? My thought is that we English-language arts teachers tend to err too frequently on the side of teacher-dependence and we need to move more to the side of teacher-independence.

    Learning to Read and Reading to Learn

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/learning-to-read-and-reading-to-learn/

    The predominant educational philosophy in American schools can be summarized as this: Learn the skills of literacy in K-6 and apply these skills to learn academic content in 7-12. In other words, learning to read should transition to reading to learn. This pedagogical philosophy has clearly failed our students. We need to re-orient to a learning to read focus for all K-12 students.

    Into, Through, but Not Beyond

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/into-through-but-not-beyond/

    English-language arts teachers and reading experts certainly agree that “into” activities help facilitate optimal  comprehension. Additionally, teachers need to use “through” activities to assist students in reading “between the lines.” However, at the “beyond” stage many English-language arts teachers and reading experts will part ways.

    How to Increase Reading Comprehension Using the SCRIP Comprehension Strategies

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-increase-reading-comprehension-using-the-scrip-comprehension-strategies/

    Research shows that the best readers interact with the text as they read. This is a skill that can be effectively taught by using the SCRIPS comprehension strategies. These strategies will help improve reading comprehension and retention. With practice, students will self-prompt with these five strategies and read well independently.

    How to Use Think-Alouds to Teach Reading Comprehension

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-use-think-alouds-to-teach-reading-comprehension/

    Developing an internal dialogue is critical to self-monitoring and improving reading comprehension. This is a skill that can be effectively taught by using the Think-Aloud strategy. This article shares the best strategies to teach students to develop an internal dialogue with the text.

    How to Read Textbooks with PQ RAR

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-read-textbooks-with-pq-rar/

    Many teachers remember learning the SQ3R reading-study method. This article provides an updated reading-study method based upon recent reading research. Learn how to read and study at the same time with this expository reading-study method.

    The Top Ten Inference Tips

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/the-top-ten-inference-tips/

    Many readers have difficulty understanding what an author implies. Knowing the common inference categories can clue readers into the meaning of difficult reading text.

    How to Determine Reading Levels

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-determine-reading-levels/

    Degrees of Reading Power (DRP,) Fleish-Kincaid, Lexiles, Accelerated Reader ATOS, Reading Recovery Levels, Fry’s Readability, John’s Basic Reading Inventory, Standardized test data. Each of these measures quantifies student reading levels and purports to offer guidance regarding how to match reader to text. For the purposes of this article, we will limit discussion to why these approaches do not work and what does work to match reader to text for independent reading. The answers? Motivation and word recognition.

    Five Tips To Increase Silent Reading Speed and Improve Reading Comprehension

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/five-tips-to-increase-silent-reading-speed-and-improve-reading-comprehension/

    Increasing reading speed will improve your productivity and allow you to read more. More importantly, increasing reading speed will significantly improve reading comprehension and retention. Want to plow through textbooks, articles, or manuals quickly and effectively? Want to understand and remember more of what you read? This article will help.

    Good Reading Fluency, but Poor Reading Comprehension

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/good-reading-fluency-but-poor-reading-comprehension/

    Teachers and parents see it more and more: good reading fluency, but poor reading comprehension. Repeated reading practice to build fluency needs to be balanced with meaningful oral expression and internal self-monitoring comprehension strategies.

    Why Elementary Reading Instruction is Reductive

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/why-elementary-reading-instruction-is-reductive/

    A growing trend with Response to Intervention models is to expand the reading block to more than two hours per day. Elementary reading is reductive. More time allocated for reading means less time for social studies, science, arts, and writing. This isn’t the answer. Instead, we need more efficient elementary reading instruction, based upon effective and flexible diagnostic  formative assessments, and more content-area and writing instruction at the K-6 levels.

    Why Advanced Reading Skills are Increasingly Important

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/why-advanced-reading-skills-are-increasingly-important/

    Without refined reading skills, personal independence and options are severely limited. What was an adequate reading skill level thirty years ago is inadequate today. More higher level high school and college reading courses are needed to appropriately prepare students for the  information age.

    Content vs. Skills Reading Instruction

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/content-vs-skills-reading-instruction/

    A key discussion point regarding reading instruction today involves those favoring skills-based instruction and those favoring content-based instruction. The debate is not either-or, but the author leans toward the skills side because students of all ages need the advanced reading skills to facilitate independent meaning-making of text.

    How to Use Context Clues to Improve Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-use-context-clues-to-improve-reading-comprehension-and-vocabulary/

    Learning how to use context clues to figure out the meaning of unknown words is an essential reading strategy and vocabulary-builder. Learning how to identify context clue categories will assist readers in figuring out unknown words. This article provides a step-by-step strategy to apply these categories and more efficiently use context clues.

    How Not to Teach Context Clues

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-not-to-teach-context-clues/

    Most teachers are familiar with and teach context clues as an important reading strategy to define unknown words; however, fewer teachers are familiar with the debate over context clues as a reading strategy for word identification. Using context clues for word identification is an inefficient guessing game.

    Why Round Robin and Popcorn Reading are Evil

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/why-round-robin-and-popcorn-reading-are-evil/

    Round robin and popcorn reading are the staples of reading instruction in many teacher classrooms. However, these instructional strategies have more drawbacks than benefits.

    How to Teach Reading Comprehension

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-teach-reading-comprehension/

    Teachers struggle with how to teach reading comprehension. The implicit-instruction teachers hope that reading a lot really will teach comprehension through some form of osmosis. The explicit-instruction teachers teach the skills that can be quantified, but ignore meaning-making as the true purpose of reading. Here are the research-based strategies that will help teachers teach reading comprehension and promote independent reading.

    How to Improve Reading Comprehension with Self-Questioning

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-improve-reading-comprehension-with-self-questioning/

    Everyone knows that to get the right answers you need to ask the right questions. Asking questions about the text as you read significantly improves reading comprehension. “Talking to the text” improves concentration and helps the reader interact with the author. Reading becomes a two-way active process, not a one-way passive activity…

    Dick and Jane Revisit the Reading Wars

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/dick-and-jane-revisit-the-reading-wars/

    The whole word Cambridge University “Reading Test” hoax actually points to the fact that readers really do look at all of the letters and apply the alphabetic code to read efficiently. Remedial readers, in particular, need systematic phonics instruction to enable them to read with automaticity and attend to the meaning of the text.

    The Dark Side of the KWL Reading Strategy

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/the-dark-side-of-the-kwl-reading-strategy/

    Response journals, such as the KWL reading strategy, are good note-taking vehicles and serve nicely to hold students accountable for what they read, but internal monitoring and self-questioning strategies can teach readers to understand the author’s ideas better. KWL and the like are reader-centered, not text-centered.

    How and Why to Teach Fluency

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-and-why-to-teach-fluency/

    Knowing why and how to teach reading fluency is of critical importance to developing readers. Learn four strategies to help students improve reading fluency.

    How to Differentiate Reading Fluency Practice

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-differentiate-reading-fluency-practice/

    There is no doubt that repeated reading practice does improve reading fluency. And proficient fluency is highly correlated with proficient reading comprehension. However, practicing repetitive reading passages with one-size fits all fluency recordings does not meet the diverse needs of students. This article details how to truly differentiate reading fluency practice.

    Interactive Reading-Making a Movie in Your Head

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/interactive-reading-making-a-movie-in-your-head/

    Why does everyone understand movies better than reading? By using the interactive strategies that we naturally apply at the movies, we can increase our reading comprehension.

    How to Get Rid of Bad Reading Habits

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-get-rid-of-bad-reading-habits/

    Getting rid of bad reading habits that interfere with reading comprehension and reading speed are essential. Improve your concentration, reading posture, attention span, and reading attitude and increase your understanding and enjoyment of what you read.

    Eye Movement and Speed Reading

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/eye-movement-and-speed-reading/

    Recent reading research has found that better readers have less eye fixations per line than poor readers. Multiple eye fixations also slow down reading speed. Speed reading techniques can help readers re-train their eye fixations and so improve comprehension.

    How to Skim for Main Ideas

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-skim-for-main-ideas/

    Not every text should be read the same way. Good readers vary their reading rates and control their levels of comprehension. Learning how to skim is a very useful reading skill. This article teaches how to skim textbooks, articles, and manuals and still maintain reasonable comprehension.

    How to Scan for Main Ideas

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-scan-for-main-ideas/

    Not every text should be read the same way. Good readers vary their reading rates and control their levels of comprehension. Learning how to scan is a very useful reading skill. This article teaches how to scan textbooks, articles, and manuals and still maintain reasonable comprehension.

    More Articles, Free Resources, and Teaching Tips from the Pennington Publishing Blog

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    Mark Pennington, MA Reading Specialist, is the author of the comprehensive reading intervention curriculum, Teaching Reading StrategiesDesigned to significantly increase the reading abilities of students ages eight through adult within one year, the curriculum is decidedly un-canned, adaptable to various instructional settings, and simple to use. Get multiple choice reading assessments on two CDs, formative assessments, blending and syllabication activities, phonemic awareness and phonics workshops, comprehension worksheets, multi-level fluency passages on eight CDs, 390 flashcards, posters, activities, and games. Everything teachers need to teach a diagnostically-based reading intervention program for struggling readers at all reading levels is found in this comprehensive curriculum. Perfect for Response to Intervention (RtI). ESL and Special Education students, who struggle with language/auditory processing challenges will particularly benefit. Simple directions and well-crafted activities truly make this an almost no-prep curriculum. Works well as a half-year intensive program or full-year program, with or without paraprofessional assistance. 364 pages

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    Free Response to Intervention (RtI) Resources

    As the mandates of the Response to Intervention (RtI) process continue to transfer to public schools, special education and classroom teachers are hurrying to find appropriate resources to differentiate literacy instruction for their students. What these teachers find is that one-size-fits-all canned reading, writing, and math programs simply do not match the needs of all of their students. Additionally, many intervention teachers find that scripted programs tend to ignore teacher experience, judgment, and expertise. Instead, RtI teachers need the resources that will allow them  to differentiate literacy instruction without becoming robots. The three-tiered RtI model looks good in the triangle diagram, but quality resources are essential to make these delivery models address the needs of their students.

    Most special education and classroom teachers are very prepared to teach the reading and writing content of their courses. They know how to teach. Their undergraduate and graduate courses have adequately prepared them for these tasks. However, most teachers are less prepared to teach reading, writing, and math intervention classes. For example, most credential programs require only one or two reading strategy courses. So, choosing appropriate instructional resources that will facilitate differentiated instruction, according to diagnostic and formative data are critically important.

    Following are articles, free resources (including reading assessments), and teaching tips regarding how to teach reading and writing intervention within the RtI process from the Pennington Publishing Blog. Bookmark and visit us often. Oh, and don’t forget to copy down the 10% discount code found only on this blog to purchase the quality curricula and resources offered by Pennington Publishing.

    Response to Intervention

    Free Whole Class Diagnostic ELA/Reading Assessments

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/

    Download free phonemic awareness, vowel sound phonics, consonant sound phonics, sight word, rimes, sight syllables, fluency, grammar, mechanics, and spelling assessments. All with answers and recording matrices. A true gold mine for the teacher committed to differentiated instruction!

    Ten Reasons Teachers Avoid RtI Collaboration

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/ten-reasons-teachers-avoid-rti-collaboration/

    If your school and/or district is moving toward a Response to Intervention (RtI) model, knowing the ten reasons why some teachers and administrators avoid RtI collaboration will help those committed to the RtI process make fewer mistakes and get more buy-in from stakeholders.

    Are You Ready for RtI?

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/are-you-ready-for-rti/

    The RtI model presupposes collaboration from all stakeholders in a school and/or district. All-too-often, this presupposition has doomed RtI at some school sites and in some districts from the get-go. Jumping into RtI and the three-tier instructional delivery model without first addressing legitimate concerns and before gaining stakeholder consensus has given a black-eye to a promising means of delivering a truly first-class education to all children.

    Word Families (Rimes) Activities

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/rimes-word-families-activities/

    Learning the common word families (rimes) can help beginning or remedial readers recognize common chunks of letters within words. For example, if students learn to recognize the “ack” rime, they will be able to use that chunk to learn words with different single consonant onsets, to form “back,” “hack,” “jack,” “lack,” “rack,” “sack,” “tack,” as well as words with different consonant blend onsets, such as “black,” “crack,” and “stack.” Check out the most common rimes and some fun rimes activities to use at home or in the classroom.

    Sight Word Activities

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/sight-word-activities/

    Most every reading teacher places some value on sight words instruction; however, just what teachers mean by sight words varies more than the flavors at the local ice cream parlor. Reading specialists describe two methods of “word attack”: word identification and word recognition. Sight words are the word recognition side of the coin. These words break the law, that is they break the rules of the alphabet code and are non-phonetic. Words such as the and love are Outlaw Words because readers can’t sound them out. Unfortunately, many of our high frequency and high utility words happen to be non-decodable, so they need to be memorized. Here is a list of the essential Outlaw Words with some fun practice activities and an Outlaw Words reading fluency to assess mastery in the reading context.

    Phonemic Awareness Activities

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/phonemic-awareness-activities/

    Phonemic awareness is the basic understanding that spoken words are made up of individual speech sounds. We call these speech sounds phonemes. Both beginning and remedial readers may need to learn these phonemic awareness skills: rhyme, alphabet, syllable, phonemic isolation, blending, and segmenting. Check out the list of phonemes, six whole-class phonemic awareness assessments, and six corresponding activities to teach phonemic awareness in the home or in the classroom.

    How to Teach Phonics

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-teach-phonics/

    Teaching phonics is an essential ingredient to effective reading instruction. Learning the phonetic code teaches the beginning or remedial reader to make efficient and automatic judgments about how words are constructed. Mastery of the basic sound-spelling correspondences will also pay significant dividends once the student begins reading multisyllabic expository text. Check out the colorful Animal Sound-Spelling Cards, the Names, Sounds, and Spelling Rap (Mp3 file), the Consonant Blend Cards, whole-class phonemic awareness and phonics diagnostic assessments, the Sound by Sound Spelling Blending Instructional Sequence with accompanying teaching script, and some great phonics games ALL FREE in this article.

    What Effective and Ineffective RtI Look Like

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/what-effective-and-ineffective-rti-look-like/

    Response to Intervention (RtI) is a K-12 site-level decision-making process designed to facilitate and coordinate early and flexible responses to student’s learning and behavioral difficulties. RtI promotes data-based decision-making with respect to service placement and on-going progress monitoring. Following are a few indicators of what effective and ineffective RtI can look like.

    Eight RtI-Reading Intervention Models

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/eight-rti-reading-intervention-models/

    As administrators, special education teachers, EL coordinators, reading specialists, and teachers are scrambling to see how new Response to Intervention (RtI) guidelines will work with resources, personnel, schedules, and student populations, it may be helpful to examine eight of the many intervention models with proven track records. After all, why re-invent the wheel? Each of the following models is described and analyzed in pro-con format.

    Response to Intervention: What Just Won’t Work

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/response-to-intervention-what-just-wont-work/

    With the newly released RtI document and as states and districts scramble to conform to Race to the Top carrots and sticks, voices of experience need to begin shouting quickly and boldly to be heard. Although I commend the International Reading Association (IRA) for assigning reading assessment a prominent role in their Response to Intervention (RtI) document, the language of the document betrays certain pedagogical presuppositions and is, at points, flat unrealistic.

    More Articles, Free Resources, and Teaching Tips from the Pennington Publishing Blog

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    Mark Pennington, MA Reading Specialist, is the author of the comprehensive reading intervention curriculum, Teaching Reading Strategies. Designed to significantly increase the reading abilities of students ages eight through adult within one year, the curriculum is decidedly un-canned, adaptable to various instructional settings, and simple to use. Get multiple choice reading assessments on two CDs, formative assessments, blending and syllabication activities, phonemic awareness and phonics workshops, comprehension worksheets, multi-level fluency passages on eight CDs, 390 flashcards, posters, activities, and games. Everything teachers need to teach a diagnostically-based reading intervention program for struggling readers at all reading levels is found in this comprehensive curriculum. Perfect for Response to Intervention (RtI). ESL and Special Education students, who struggle with language/auditory processing challenges will particularly benefit. Simple directions and well-crafted activities truly make this an almost no-prep curriculum. Works well as a half-year intensive program or full-year program, with or without paraprofessional assistance. 364 pages

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    20 Embarrassing Mispronunciations

    In a previous article I shared my Top 40 Pronunciation Pet Peeves. As I am currently hard at work writing a comprehensive 4-8th grade spelling program, I have been constantly reminded about how inaccurate pronunciation contributes to inaccurate spelling. In the spirit of full disclosure, I now am admitting my own embarrassing pronunciation gaffes. See if you have mangled a “sill-ab-bull” or two, as George Bush used to say, on the ones that I have mispronounced. This list of 20 Embarrassing Mispronunciations is sure to bring snooty literary folks like me down to size.

    1. Barbiturate is pronounced “bar-bich-ur-it,” not “bar-bit-u-et.” [When did they sneak that r in?]
    2. Barbed wire is pronounced “barbd wire,” not “bob wire.” [I thought Bob must have been a fencer.]
    3. Hierarchy is pronounced “hi-er-ark-ee,” not “hi-ark-ee.” [I'm used to the ie as one sound, I guess.]
    4. Jewelry is pronounced “jewl-ree,” not “jew-ler-ee.” [Obviously, my wife buys her own.]
    5. Liable is pronounced “lie-uh-bul,” not “lie-bul.” [One is liable for libel, however.]
    6. Nuptial is pronounced “nup-shul,” not “nup-chew-ul.” [I've never heard this pronounced correctly.]
    7. Ophthalmology is pronounced “off-thuh-maw-lah-ge,” not “op-tho-maw-lo-ge.” [Better clean your eyeglasses on this one.]
    8. Orient is pronounced “or-e-ent,” not “or-e-en-tate.” [No, it’s not interpretate either.]
    9. Ostensibly is pronounced “os-ten-si-blee,” not “ob-ten-sive-lee.” [I bet I've looked this one up 20 times.]
    10. Potable is pronounced “po-tuh-bul,” not “pot-uh-bul.” [And I am an avid backpacker with my own water filter]
    11. Prerogative is pronounced “pre-rog-uh-tive,” not “per-rog-uh-tiv.” [If you ask me to pronounce this one tomorrow, I might get it wrong.]
    12. Prescription is pronounced “pre-scrip-shun,” not “per-scrip-shun.” [Both would make sense in the Latin, I think.]
    13. Peremptory is pronounced “puh-rem-tor-ee,” not “pre-emt-or-ee.” [You don't believe this one, do you? Bet you'll look it up.]
    14. Prostate is pronounced “prah-state,” not “pros-strate.” [Unless you meaning lying down-guess you know my age now...]
    15. Realtor® is pronounced “reel-tor,” not “reel-uh-tor.” [It sounds horrible the right way.]
    16. Recur is pronounced “re-cur,” not “re-o-cur.” [Means to run again, not happen again]
    17. Supremacist is pronounced “su-prem-uh-sist,” not “su-prem-ist.” [Guess I just don't want to give these folks another syllable]
    18. Verbiage is pronounced “ver-be-ij,” not “ver-bij.” [We never changed this one from our British cousins.]
    19. Voluptuous is pronounced “vo-lup-chew-us,” not “vo-lump-chew-us.” [The lump just sounds more full-figured.]
    20. Zoology is pronounced “zo-ah-lo-ge,” not “zoo-ah-lo-ge.” [Think I'll just go on mispronouncing this one because it just makes better sense]

    Many of the pronunciation errors described above are made by people with poor decoding or syllabication skills. Mark Pennington’s comprehensive curricula: Teaching Reading Strategiesand Teaching Spelling and Vocabulary are wonderful resources to teach reading, spelling, vocabulary, and proper pronunciation.

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    Crazy Reading Fads

    As an MA reading specialist, I’ve seen some strange remedial reading fads come and go over the years. Much like new weight loss products, each new fad looks enticing and promising. Let’s face it. Everyone wants the magic reading pill that will transform poor readers into skillful readers overnight.

    My favorite has to be the developmental reading strategy that was quite en vogue back in the 1970s and 1980s. Advocates theorized that poor readers must have missed a key developmental stage somewhere along the way that triggered the brain’s ability to hard-wire the synapses to efficiently interpret and put together sound-symbols. After numerous studies, a positive correlation was found between those students unable to decode and those students who skipped the crawling stage, going from snake-like scooting directly to walking. The reading therapy? You guessed it; poor readers were put on all fours and made to crawl.

    Two recent fads rival the crawling therapy. I stumbled upon this article from the Purdue University Calumet Chronicle, February 1, 2010, written by Andrea Drac. At first, I thought it was clever student satire, but NO… It seems that teachers at a number of elementary schools in Northwest Indiana have been requiring students to read out loud to stuffed animals and claim impressive gains in reading comprehension as a result. “One school in particular saw their sixth grade reading levels go from just 47 percent to 93 percent,” said Richard Riddering, Assistant Chancellor for Student Development & Outreach. See the whole article at Strange, but True: Stuffed Animals Increase Reading Levels) but you get the gist.

    A related reading fad was detailed in a Sacramento Bee article, published March 20, 2010, titled “UC Davis study shows dogs can help youngsters read [sic].” Here are excerpts:

    “Westley Kear, 11, hated reading aloud. Then he found the perfect audience.

    Digory, a Labrador retriever mix from a rescue group in Walnut Creek, melted into Westley’s lap when he read to the dog from his book, Warriors into the Wild, as part of a study at CU Davis. Digory never asked Westley to speak up, slow down or repeat sentences.

    It remains to be seen whether children would do just as well reading to hamsters, rabbits, cats or turtles, the researchers said, but the fact that dogs are attentive and nonjudgmental seems to make a difference.”

    Read the rest, if you must, here. I love collecting these crazy reading fads, by the way… If you have any favorites, please post away.

    Mark Pennington, MA Reading Specialist, is the author of the comprehensive reading intervention curriculum, Teaching Reading Strategies. Designed to significantly increase the reading abilities of students ages eight through adult within one year, the curriculum is decidedly un-canned, adaptable to various instructional settings, and simple to use. Get multiple choice reading assessments on two CDs, formative assessments, blending and syllabication activitiesphonemic awareness and phonics workshops, comprehension worksheets, multi-level fluency passages on eight CDs, 390 flashcards, posters, activities, and games. Everything teachers need to teach a diagnostically-based reading intervention program for struggling readers at all reading levels is found in this comprehensive curriculum. Perfect for ESL and Special Education students, who struggle with language/auditory processing challenges. Simple directions and well-crafted activities truly make this an almost no-prep curriculum. Works well as a half-year intensive program or full-year program, with or without paraprofessional assistance. 364 pages

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    Strange, but True: “Stuffed Animals Increase Reading Levels”

    I knew there had to be a short-cut to improving reading success. Why didn’t I learn this in my MA Reading Specialist program? Response to Intervention educators need to take note of this cutting-edge research. In today’s tough economic climate, the cost of one stuffed animal for improved reading gains is certainly a cost-effective approach. Yes, I am being factitious.

    From the Purdue University Calumet Chronicle, February 1, 2010 by Andrea Drac. Here is the article:

    Over the years, stuffed animals have become iconic childhood toys. They are used as guests for picnics and tea parties and the occasional session of dress-up and, now, as “reading buddies.”

    PUC is participating in the “I Need a Hug” program, a program designed to help tackle literacy in schools using stuffed animals as an aid. The event, which involves a stuffed animal drive, will take place during the week of Feb. 8 -11 in the SUL building and all stuffed animals are being donated first to the United Way and will make their way to 85 local elementary schools in the area. These schools are using the animals to better enhance children’s reading skills.

    Before this program improved reading levels, it started for a different reason.

    “The program is called, ‘I Need a Hug,’ because it first started as a way for school counselors to help students who were in crisis in elementary schools around NW Indiana,” said Assistant Chancellor for Student Development & Outreach Richard Riddering.

    “The counselors gave the students a stuffed animal and told them to give it a hug whenever they felt as if they ‘needed a hug.’ The students needed this because they felt very stressed as a result of situations that were happening in their personal lives.”

    Later on, the program went from helping out stressed children to helping them with their reading levels.

    “School administrators brought the stuffed animal concept into the classroom as a way to increase the time students were spending reading,” said Riddering.

    According to Riddering, students were given a stuffed animal as a “reading buddy” and were encouraged to read to their buddy. Because of this method, reading scores increased greatly.

    “One school in particular saw their sixth grade reading levels go from just 47 percent to 93 percent,” Riddering said. “That’s huge success!”

    Such successes make the need for this stuffed animal drive strong and Riddering states it is important for PUC students to rally around this cause.

    “I’ve thrown out a number of 1,000 new stuffed animals as a goal for our students,” he said. “I’m hoping we can hit that goal, and maybe even surpass it. I’m very optimistic that PUC students will rise to the occasion.”

    Riddering is very passionate about the program, not just for the cause itself but the emotional meaning behind it as well.

    “I think the ‘I Need a Hug’ program is a wonderful way for PUC students, faculty and staff to make a huge dent in our area’s below par reading levels and, at the same time, make a huge difference in the lives of students who are struggling emotionally,” he said. “If our students look at it that way, they can actually see a face of a child who feels better about themselves with every stuffed animal’s face. So, I’m really excited to see our students come together to support this effort.” Find the article here:

    http://media.www.pucchronicle.com/media/storage/paper1082/news/2010/02/01/News/Stuffed.Animals.Become.Reading.Buddies.In.hug.Program-3861480.shtml

    Mark Pennington, MA Reading Specialist, is the author of the comprehensive reading intervention curriculum, Teaching Reading Strategies. Designed to significantly increase the reading abilities of students ages eight through adult within one year, the curriculum is decidedly un-canned, adaptable to various instructional settings, and simple to use. Get multiple choice reading assessments on two CDs, formative assessments, blending and syllabication activitiesphonemic awareness and phonics workshops, comprehension worksheets, multi-level fluencypassages on eight CDs, 390 flashcards, posters, activities, and games. Everything teachers need to teach a diagnostically-based reading intervention program for struggling readers at all reading levels is found in this comprehensive curriculum. Perfect for ESL and Special Education students, who struggle with language/auditory processing challenges. Simple directions and well-crafted activities truly make this an almost no-prep curriculum. Works well as a half-year intensive program or full-year program, with or without paraprofessional assistance. 364 pages

    Reading , , , , , , , , ,