• Four Reasons Phonics Has a Place in Middle School and High School Classrooms

    Four Reasons Phonics Has a Place in Middle School and High School Classrooms

    As I have traveled to different schools across the country to train teachers on Reading Horizons methodology, I have been reminded of why phonics has a place in the classroom for older learners and how these skills fit into the "big picture" of learning to read. Here are some specific reasons why phonics has relevance beyond K-3 classrooms.

    We know that reading is a critical skill. We know several students need to learn how to read better. We know that reading at an appropriate rate with adequate comprehension is necessary. So for struggling readers, including students who are non-native English speakers, what role does phonics play in this goal to acquire fluency and comprehension? ...

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    Sep 20 2012
  • Recent Trends in Literacy and Reading Instruction

    Recent Trends in Literacy and Reading Instruction

    By Guest Writer, Tricia Underwood

    In recent years, discussion has increased around the apparent decline of U.S. reading and literacy levels. Remarks like "Kids today aren't reading, they're on gaming consoles", "Reading comprehension in the U.S. is way down", and "Our education system has gotten significantly worse" seem to pepper many conversations around these topics.

    Different groups of children have different learning styles. Meanwhile, every teacher is unique and each classroom scenario is constantly changing. So educators are looking at hard data and seeking new solutions to help children improve their reading skills. In doing so, students will hopefully excel in grade school and high school, select higher education, choose their college majors, graduate and successfully push forward into their career lives. Here are a few examples of current work in the area of literacy and reading. ...

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    Aug 16 2012
  • Why More People Should Talk About the “No Child Left Behind” Waivers

    Why More People Should Talk About the “No Child Left Behind” Waivers

    By Guest Writer, Nadia Jones

    The media coverage of substantive domestic policy issues has recently taken a backseat to the hostile politics surrounding the presidential race. Education reform has fallen by the wayside, with fewer publications addressing the issue with any vigor. Primary education in particular has received little attention, even though it serves as the very foundation for a young person’s intellectual development. But the current administration has instigated some reforms in this sector; you just might not read about them on the front pages of any news site. ...

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    Jul 31 2012
  • 4 Key Differences in Teaching ESL to Adults vs. Children

    4 Key Differences in Teaching ESL to Adults vs. Children

    By Guest Writer, Lauren Bailey

    For several years now, I’ve actively participated in a local literacy organization, which aims at teaching ESL to recent immigrants. Although I’ve tutored and taught children before, this was my first experience teaching only adults. And what a learning experience it was! This particular organization allowed volunteer teachers to use whatever methods they thought best. Input from the class—that is, teaching adult learners what they wanted to learn specifically—was key in crafting lesson plans. Based on my experiences, this is what I’ve learned when teaching adults how to read and write in English: ...

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    Jul 30 2012
  • How Does Cursive Fit Into The Common Core State Standards?

    How Does Cursive Fit Into The Common Core State Standards?

    By Guest Writer, Jamie Menard, M.A. Reading

    Where does cursive fit into the Common Core State Standards?

    A total of forty-five states across the country have chosen to adopt the Common Core State Standards in order to give the nation a shared curriculum. The Common Core State Standards does not require children to learn how to write in cursive. … ...

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    Jul 12 2012
  • Four Tips for Teaching Students with Behavior Issues

    Four Tips for Teaching Students with Behavior Issues

    I’ll never forget being in my 4th grade classroom when out of nowhere one of my peers started yelling, shoved his desk to the floor, and then hit at my teacher as she tried to escort him out of the classroom. Our sweet teacher came back a few minutes later in tears and said: “you guys don’t deserve that!”

    Our teacher truly was one of the nicest ladies in the world - and - remembering the scene, not only did we not deserve to be scared, she didn’t deserve that either. She didn’t deserve to have a student yell and hit at her.

    None of us deserve to experience threatening situations. But in every classroom are students that are prone to get upset, angry, hyper, or disruptive on occasion. So… what can you do? How can you better preserve the safety of your classroom? How can you help students with behavior issues adapt and cooperate in the classroom in a way that doesn’t distract or cause problems?

    Although many of these problems need to be addressed by a certified professional, there are some things that you can do to help minimize behavior issues in the classroom. ...

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    Jul 09 2012
  • How Art Education Can Help Students Improve Reading Comprehension

    How Art Education Can Help Students Improve Reading Comprehension

    By Guest Writer, Clara Richman

    No, art may not solve any of the world's problems. It's not a cure for cancer. It's not a means of solving world hunger. And it's certainly not a driving force of world peace. But art, which is often taught as an extracurricular activity in schools, does something that neither of the aforementioned examples can do - … ...

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    Jun 25 2012
  • A Simple Incentive for Motivating Students to Read

    A Simple Incentive for Motivating Students to Read

    By Guest Writer, Melissa Miller

    My path to literacy was a lucky, privileged one, as I was raised by a librarian. Mom worked at a business school library and was a very active volunteer at our local public branch. She read to me, presumably starting when I was still in the womb. Though I certainly can't remember that far back, I know I was reading on my own before I was three. Our house was chock-full of printed matter…quite cluttered with it, in fact, despite Mom's purported organizational calling. The bottom line: she would never have let me not read.

    A quarter-century later, as a graduate teaching assistant in a large urban public university, I found myself emotionally distraught at the overall language abilities of my freshman composition students. ESL students from all over the globe did make up a solid 25% of my classes – but often, their work was better and their English proficiency seemed as high, or higher, than that of many of the American-born students! That part was frankly very disappointing, on a patriotic, sentimental level. ...

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    Jun 19 2012

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