Professional Development: Blog

The Science of Learning

October 24, 2019
What I Wish I Knew about Dyslexia as a Teacher

When I taught writing, I had hard-working students who articulated great ideas in class discussions and didn’t seem to have any learning issues. And then they’d submit papers that were riddled with simple spelling errors or were even downright incomprehensible. Sometimes the essays demonstrated surprisingly low levels of reading comprehension. “What’s going on?” I’d wonder, […]

September 18, 2019
4 Little-Known Facts about Poverty and the Brain (And What Educators Can Do about Them)

A little girl wearing too-small sandals and no coat on a freezing January morning. A boy sick from eating nothing but potato chips and Kool-Aid. An eight-year-old raising himself and sleeping at night with 3 younger siblings. These are children of vulnerable populations that Linda Ann H. McCall recalls teaching at a Title 1 school, […]

May 22, 2019
Inspiring Students to Read This Summer

Inspiring Your Students to Read This Summer Four ways to avoid summer learning loss and why it matters. The end of the school year is approaching, and students are looking forward to summer vacation. Educators are ready for a break, too, but are also thinking about students losing momentum—and even some skills—during the summer months. […]

January 17, 2019
Building a Foundation for School Readiness for Low-Income Children

As educators with experience in child development, we understand the essential nature of being responsive to a child. Children who do not receive enough attention do not develop in the same way as those who receive consistent nurturing and feedback. Research has demonstrated how, at a physiological level, their brains simply wire themselves differently as […]

December 6, 2017
The Reading Brain: How Your Brain Helps You Read, and Why it Matters

If you’re reading this, you’re probably an accomplished reader. In fact, you’ve most likely forgotten by now how much work it took you to learn to read in the first place. And you probably never think about what is happening in your brain when you’re reading that email from your boss or this month’s book […]

June 28, 2017
Implicit vs. Explicit Instruction: Which is Better for Word Learning?

Does traditional or exploratory learning work better? As educators, we are constantly faced with the question of how we can best present material so that it is optimally “learnable” for the different students we are trying to reach. There is considerable evidence both for and against self-directed and exploratory learning, so there is a great […]

June 13, 2017
Why Prosody Matters: The Importance of Reading Aloud with Expression

Reading aloud with expression is a foundational reading skill students should be developing between grades 1 - 5. It is pretty easy to recognize when someone skillfully reads aloud in an expressive manner. However, to effectively teach or assess this skill, a closer examination of its features, development, and relationship to other reading skills is […]

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