Evidence Challenges Teaching Words “By Sight”

Moats discusses the lack of evidence behind “whole language” approaches to spelling programs. She highlights the ineffectiveness of teaching “sight words,” where students are expected to learn words purely by visual recognition. She argues that these practices do not align with our understanding of language learning and the cognitive processes involved in word learning. The article promotes a multi-linguistic approach to teaching and learning, emphasizing phoneme-grapheme correspondences, morphology, etymology, and other language aspects.
Moats suggests instructional strategies to teach high-frequency words effectively, including grouping words by spelling patterns, associating spelling with meaning, and practicing words in meaningful contexts. The article emphasizes that most high-frequency words need not be learned “by sight” but can be taught through structured literacy principles that consider the language’s phonological, morphological, and orthographic aspects.

S1.E6. Universal Screening for Effective Instruction with Renata Archie

In this podcast episode, Renata Archie unpacks reading screening: what is it, why is it needed, and how should it inform instruction. This podcast is recommended for classroom educators and reading interventionists to ensure students who are at risk for reading difficulties are identified early so effective intervention can be provided.

Morphology Matters: Building Vocabulary Through Word Parts

Wondering where to start with morphology and how it can tie in with your explicit vocabulary instruction? This 36-page resource is full of lesson ideas and activities that you use with your students. This resource provides some essential background knowledge of morphology for all educators and then provides several lesson frameworks that you can use with your students, using the new Ontario Curriculum.  It provides a suggested scope and sequence as well as word lists, but remember that the scope and sequence for morpheme introduction for the new curriculum is found on page 6 of Appendix A (Word-Level Reading and Spelling: Applying Phonics, Orthographic, and Morphological Knowledge).  Once the introductory morpheme sequence from the curriculum has been consolidated, the word and morpheme lists  found in this resource you can use to expand students’ morphological understanding beyond Grade 4 and across many subject areas.

Why Children Should Be Taught to Read with More Challenging Texts

In this International Dyslexia Association Perspectives article, Timothy Shanahan discusses the importance of using challenging texts with students and outlines teacher supports that can be used to facilitate learning. Along with providing historical context for the use of leveled readers, Shanahan explores the role of instructional supports in aiding students while they persevere through challenging text noting that students with a “steady diet of relatively easy texts…would be provided fewer opportunities for dealing with sophisticated vocabulary, morphology, complex syntax, subtle
cohesive links, complicated structures, and richer and deeper

Secondary Reading: Implementing High-Leverage Practices

This PaTTAN webinar featuring Dr. Anita Archer focuses on five high-leverage practices that you can use in your classroom everyday and across multiple content areas. Dr. Archer takes the audience through each routine with lots of examples and opportunities for practice. Grounded in explicit instruction, Dr. Archer shows how foundational skills as well as higher-order critical thinking skills can be brought together in a dynamic and systematic approach to teaching and learning. If you are an elementary educator, do not be fooled by the title, as ‘Secondary’ in the United States is for students in Grades 6 – 12. However, the information and knowledge from this webinar can be used in any classroom, K-12.

Explicit Instruction: Effective and Efficient Teaching

A key component of the 2023 Language curriculum is explicit, systematic instruction. In this book, experts Anita Archer and Charles Hughes share the foundations of explicit instruction, how to design lessons based on subject skills/strategies as well as vocabulary/concepts, organizing for and delivering instruction, and providing appropriate independent practice – going from I do, to we do, to you do. This book is incredible learning for classroom educators as well as special education teachers/interventionists, and can be applied to any subject or grade level. Helpful lesson templates/checklists can be downloaded and reproduced. 

Comprehension in Disguise: The Role of Knowledge in Children’s Learning

In this International Dyslexia Association Perspectives article, Susan B. Neuman explores the role of knowledge in comprehending texts. The article outlines how prior knowledge supports comprehension and outlines five research-based and practical principles to build knowledge networks: big ideas, word knowledge, using multiple genres, distributed review, and intentional opportunities for language engagement.