The PowerPoint Presentation for
"Individualized & All Together"

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The PowerPoint presentation for the June 20 Metro ECSU Adolescent Literacy Conference recommending the use of thematic-based texts COMBINED with precision teaching for the Standards-based benchmark targets.

Allington on "A steady diet of Easy texts"

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Richard Allington on "The Need for a steady Diet of 'Easy' Texts" AND (bonus) Margarita Calderon on the role of reading (and not reading) as a factor in Long-Term English Learning

A critical analysis of the Common Core "//Note on Range & Content of Student Reading"//

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I wish I'd talked about this ... I started to do a "critical analysis" of the infamous "Note on Range & Content of Student Reading." Take a look at it ... the point is that the really controversial content of the Common Core ELA Reading Standards has been "parked" in a stand-alone note.

And in the note, the authors of the Note make claims about what benefits contact with the high-level, classical texts will provide to students. The problem is that claims about the effect of curriculum are claims about learning ... but the note tends to make the point in a very high-minded reverential way.

I'll explain this better later.

Dunlosky et al., 2013. Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational Psychology
Everyone should read this article on an empirical study of what's effective and what's not effective in terms of learning strategies. The only problem with this is that the study rates the "effectiveness" of each of the learning techniques based on their "universal effectiveness." (In other words, it's possible that some of these techniques are effective in certian specific situations -- but because only a few of them are universally effective, those are the only techniques that get the nod.

The table from Jenell A. Carapella’s 2012 SUNY-Fredonia Master’s Project, “Readability of The Common Core Standards 11-CcrText Exemplars: A Text Sequence Reference Guide”

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Jennell Carpaella listed the grade level readability of the texts appearing in the CCSS ELA Text Exemplars. Her full masters project report (with a discussion of readability measures is here .

Daniel Willingham's 2006-7 on "The Usefulness of Brief Instruction in Reading Comprehension Strategies"
Everyone should read this incredible piece by one-of-my-heroes, Cognitive Scientist/Educational Pyschologist Daniel T. Willingham:

His key, research-supported conclusions:

Reading strategy instruction provides students with a one-time modest "bump" in reading comprehension -- but "Reading strategy programs that were relatively short (around six sessions) were no more or less effective than longer programs that included as many as 50 sessions." [p. 44]


Teaching reading strategies is a low-cost way to give developing readers a boost, but it should be a small part of a teacher’s job. Acquiring a broad vocabulary and a rich base of background knowledge will yield more substantial and longer-term benefits.

Stanford Education Professor Claude Goldenberg summarizes the evidence that reading comprehension instruction provides little or no benefit to English Learners
This is an excerpt from the research survey that Goldenberg wrote for Margarita Calderon's 2012 Breaking Through, on effective instruction for Long-Term English Learners.

Here's the key sentence:

One of the most important findings of the National Literacy Panel (August & Shanahan, 2006) was that the effects of reading instruction on ELs' reading comprehension were uneven and often nonexistent even when comprehension skills were taught directly.

Hattie & Yates on "What We Know About Reading"
State-of-the-art scholarship on "what we know about reading" from Hattie & Yates' 2014 book-length review of educational sciences.