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Opinion Blog

Classroom Q&A

With Larry Ferlazzo

In this EdWeek blog, an experiment in knowledge-gathering, Ferlazzo will address readers’ questions on classroom management, ELL instruction, lesson planning, and other issues facing teachers. Send your questions to lferlazzo@epe.org.

Education Opinion

Q&A Collections: Reading Instruction

By Larry Ferlazzo — August 10, 2019 6 min read

During the summer, I will be sharing thematic posts bringing together responses on similar topics from the past eight years. You can see all those collections from the first seven years here.

Here are the ones I’ve posted so far:

This Year’s Most Popular Q&A Posts

Race & Gender Challenges

Classroom-Management Advice

Best Ways to Begin the School Year

Best Ways to End the School Year

Implementing the Common Core

Student Motivation & Social-Emotional Learning

Teaching Social Studies

Cooperative & Collaborative Learning

Using Tech in the Classroom

Parent Engagement in Schools

Teaching English Language Learners

Today’s theme is on Reading Instruction. You can see the list following this excerpt from one of them:

*Ways to Strengthen Students’ Information-Literacy Skills

A series on teaching information literacy to students finishes up with suggestions from Elliott Rebhun, Dr. Laura Greenstein, Michael Fisher, Dr. Barbara R. Blackburn, and Douglas Reeves.

*'We Need to Teach Our Students to Be Smart Consumers of Information’

Carla Truttman, Josh Perlman, Jennifer Casa-Todd, Bryan Goodwin, Frank W. Baker share their suggestions for information-literacy lessons.

* Reading Logs Should Be Tools for ‘Students to Spy on Themselves’

* Jennifer Serravallo, Stephanie Affinito, and Amanda Koonlaba wrap up this four-part series by suggesting that students be treated as real readers rather than being assigned “reading logs.”

* ‘Where Reading Logs Fail’

Tan Huynh, Rich Czyz, Christine Tennyson, Mara Lee Grayson, and Diane Mora write about what they prefer to use to encourage student reading rather than “reading logs.”

* Pros & Cons of ‘Reading Logs’

Laura Robb, Melissa Miles, Ryan Huels, and Rinard Pugh share their thoughts on finding ways to help instill love of reading in students and keep abreast of their progress.

* ‘Reading Logs’ Can ‘Kill Students’ Love of Reading’

Mary Beth Nicklaus, Beth Jarzabek, Jennifer Casa-Todd, Jennifer Orr, and Leah Wilson contribute their thoughts on the use or nonuse of reading logs to document student reading at home.

* Phonics Instruction Doesn’t Have to Be ‘Boring & Dull’

Casey Schultz, Mandy Ellis, Dr. Carolyn Brown, Dr. Jerry Zimmermann, Kelly Wickham Hurst, and the late Dr. Kay MacPhee, who contributed a response prior to her death, discuss the role of phonics in reading instruction.

* Teach Reading Strategies ‘Little & Often’

A three-part series on using reading strategies wraps up with commentaries from Alex Quigley, Dr. Rebecca Alber, and Khristina Goady.

*Knowing ‘When to Stop Teaching Strategies and Just Let Students Read’

Bonnie Houck, Ed.D., Christine Tennyson, Jules Csillag, and Kelly Wickham Hurst share their thoughts on using reading strategies in the classroom.

* Using Reading Strategies Effectively in Literacy Instruction

Colleen Cruz, Ross Cooper, Lindsey Moses, and Elaine Miles discuss the role of reading strategies in literacy instruction.

* We Need to Create ‘Joyful Moments’ in Reading Instruction

Diana Laufenberg, Pernille Ripp, Valentina Gonzalez, Jeff Wilhelm, Barbara A. Marinak, and Linda B. Gambrell share their thoughts on mistakes to avoid when providing reading instruction.

* Mistakes Teachers Make in Reading Instruction

Regie Routman, Cindi Rigsbee, Dr. Rebecca Alber, Shaeley Santiago, and Wiley Blevins write about their suggestions for improving reading instruction.

* ‘There Is Not One Right Answer’ for Reading Instruction

Gravity Goldberg, Renee Houser, Tan Huynh, Samantha Cleaver, Jeffrey D. Wilhelm (with his second contribution to this series), Emily Geltz, and Sarah Shanks contribute answers to the question: “What mistakes do teachers make in reading instruction?”

* We Need to Let Students ‘Read, Read, Read’

Rita Platt, Sonja Cherry-Paul, Dana Johansen, Dr. Mary Howard, Bonnie Houck, Ed.D., Sandi Novak, Emily Phillips Galloway, Paola Uccelli, and Julie Swinehart wrap up a four-part series on reading instruction. I have also included comments from many readers.

* ‘Children Need Both Paper Books & Digital Texts’

Katie Keier, Stacy Nockowitz, Barbara Paciotti, and many readers share their thoughts on the debate between reading digitally or on paper.

* Reading Digitally vs. Reading Paper

Daniel Willingham, Kristin Ziemke, Lester Laminack, and Kimberly Carraway explore the topic of reading digitally compared with reading on paper in this post.

* Close Reading Can Be ‘Fun or Awful’

Christopher Lehman, Cris Tovani, Pernille Ripp, Jan Burkins, and Kim Yaris contribute their thoughts.

* Close Reading Is A ‘Life Skill’

Sonja Cherry-Paul, Dana Johansen, Stephanie Harvey, Julie Goldman, Diana Sisson, and Betsy Sisson are the featured guests in this post.

* ‘Close Reading'—Part Three


Kimberly Carraway, Katherine S. McKnight, Harvey F. Silver, Amy Benjamin, Nancy Boyles, Rita Platt—along with readers—share their ideas.

* Teaching Literature Through ‘Choice’ & ‘Practice’

This post features responses from Regie Routman, Katherine S. McKnight, and Michael W. Smith.

* Literature Can Be a ‘Gateway for Understanding Everything’

Several educators—Nancy Steineke, Sean McComb, Nancy Frey, Doug Fisher, Bill Himmele, and Pérsida Himmele—provide responses here.

* A Good Reading Lesson Doesn’t ‘Put Standards Before Students’

In this post, guest responses come from educators Cheryl B. Dobbertin, Ilse O’Brien, Katherine S. McKnight, and Regie Routman.

* ‘Reading Is Intensely Social': An Interview With Jeffrey Wilhelm & Michael Smith

Educators Jeffrey Wilhelm and Michael Smith are co-authors of the new book, Reading Unbound.

* Ways to Engage Students in Reading

Jason Flom shares his ideas, as do many readers. I also add an intriguing chart.

* Reading Is a ‘Means to Bigger and Better Things’

Educators Kristi Mraz, Marjorie Martinelli, Kathy Barclay, and Cindi Rigsbee contribute their thoughts.

* Ways to Develop Lifelong Readers

Donalyn Miller, Mark Barnes, and Christopher Lehman contribute their responses.

* Using the ‘Fun Factor’ to Encourage Student Reading at Home

Read educator/author Nancy Steineke’s ideas, as well as comments from many readers.

* Getting Students to Read at Home by ‘Building a Daily Habit’

Dina Strasser and Ariel Sacks share their thoughts in this post.

* Helping Students Develop a Desire to Read at Home

In addition to sharing my own response, you’ll find contributions from two other guests—educators Donalyn Miller and Myron Dueck.

* ‘Teachers Know a Lot About Scaffolding’ for Complex Texts

This post includes three joint commentaries from Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher; Tammy Mulligan and Clare Landrigan; and Aaron Brock and Jody Passanisi.

* Teaching Complex Texts Requires ‘Getting to Know Your Students’

Read responses from three educators: Wendi Pillars, Amy Benjamin, and Christopher Lehman.

* ‘Ten Elements of Effective Instruction’

This post includes pieces from Jim Burke and David B. Cohen, as well as comments from readers.

* Many Ways to Help Students Develop Academic Vocabulary

Several educator/authors—Marilee Sprenger; Jane Hill and Kirsten Miller; and Maria Gonzalez&mdsh;provide guest responses.

* Ways to Help Our Students Become Better Readers

Stephen Krashen and Richard Allington share their ideas on helping students develop a love for reading.

* More Ways to Help Our Students Become Better Readers—Choice & Access

Teacher/authors Regie Routman, Laura Robb, and Kylene Beers contribute their thoughts in this installment of the reading series.

* Ways to Help Our Students Become Better Readers—Part Two

Nancie Atwell and Cris Tovani sent in their responses for this post.

* Ways to Help Our Students Become Better Readers—Part Four

This post featured recommendations from Kelly Young (my mentor), Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and Carol Jago.

* Advice From the ‘Book Whisperer,’ Ed Week Readers, & Me About Teaching Reading

Donalyn Miller, the “Book Whisperer,” my colleague Dana Dusbiber, and several readers contributed here. I shared my own suggestions, too.

The opinions expressed in Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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