Ask a Researcher

  • Should we be teaching 100 sight words to kindergartners?

    Research shows that drilling sight words with kindergartners is not nearly as successful as teaching them in text, particularly rhyming text.
  • What is Your Advice for Getting the School Year Off to a Good Start?

    The beginning of the school year is an exciting time, however, the first few days of school involve more than just fun icebreakers and syllabi creation.
  • What's Really Wrong With Round Robin Reading?

    Melanie R. Kuhn by Melanie R. Kuhn
    Boston University
    May 7, 2014

    Key here is the fact that each student is responsible for reading only a very brief portion of the text—as little as a few sentences and, at a maximum, a few paragraphs. As a result, they have minimal opportunity to improve either their fluency or their word recognition.

  • What Does Research Say About African American and Latino Boys and Reading?

    Alfred W. Tatum by Alfred W. Tatum
    The University of Sydney
    January 29, 2014

    As a result of my analysis of several frames of research, I have settled on the premise that each literacy lesson for boys should have twin aims.
  • Research on Vocabulary Instruction and the Common Core

    by Tanya S. Wright
    Michigan State University
    January 22, 2014

    What does new research tell us about vocabulary instruction, especially at the K–2 level? Are there ways we should be re-envisioning vocabulary in light of the CCSS?
  • What are the Pros and Cons of Grouping Kids for Reading Instruction Based on Test Results?

    Robert Slavin by Robert Slavin
    Johns Hopkins School of Education
    September 12, 2013

    Question: What is the research related to the practice of grouping kids for reading based on test results of some sort and then sending them to classrooms for reading instruction based on this grouping? What are the pros and cons of this practice? I believe it is a current practice similar to the Joplin plan. I can find the research about the Joplin plan but is there any more recent research?
  • What Type of Literature Circle Grouping Works Best—Same Ability or Mixed Ability?

    Sharon Vaughn by Sharon Vaughn
    The University of Texas
    July 29, 2013

    Question: I teach a 4th grade self-contained class. I am a huge proponent of reading of all types—from magazines to wordless picture books. I have always supported the use of literature circles within the classroom. I have typically always used a same-ability grouping for students in literature circles. My question is: What type of grouping works best—same ability or mixed ability?
  • Should Families of English Language Learners Have an English-Only Rule at Home?

    Nonie Lesaux by Nonie Lesaux
    Harvard Graduate School of Education
    June 10, 2013

    The short answer to this question is: no. An English-only rule at home is unlikely to support English language learners’ (ELLs) academic development in the way that one might think. In fact, it’s likely to do more harm than good. Encouraging all families to talk (and talk, and talk!) in the languages with which they are most comfortable (most often their native languages) is a key way to provide children with the learning experiences they need for reading success (Snow, Porche, Tabors, & Harris, 2007).
  • Does the edTPA (Ed Teacher Performance Assessment) have research behind it?

    Virginia Goatley by Virginia Goatley
    University of Albany
    April 15, 2013

    To help address this question, let’s start with background information for readers who are not familiar with this assessment. The edTPA is a performance assessment for pre-service teaching candidates that is being piloted in a number of states. For the assessment, candidates provide a range of artifacts, including lesson plans, a videoclip of their teaching, student work samples, and a reflective narrative on the lesson.
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