Welcome to the Read Side by Side Blog!

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At Read Side by Side, we believe that teaching reading is a collaborative process, thus the name–Read Side by Side!!  Our blogs are meant to give you the feeling that you are not doing it alone, AND keep you up-to-date on the newest reading research and tips for classroom implementation. So, spend time exploring and don’t forget to share your …

Nonfiction in Unit 5.1, Earthquake Terror

rsbsadmin 5.1 Earthquake Terror, 5th Grade, Additional Activities, Background Knowledge, Nonfiction, Reading Leave a Comment

Get the full list of nonfiction links students will access during the 5th grade C. I. A. Unit of Study, Earthquake Terror. Click on the links to view and print each nonfiction article in this unit and book club! The more students know about the topic of a story, or nonfiction text, the greater their understanding and learning will be …

Nonfiction Pairings: Esperanza Rising

rsbsadmin 6.3 Esperanza Rising, 6th Grade, Additional Activities, Background Knowledge, Nonfiction, Reading Leave a Comment

Get the full list of nonfiction links students will access during the 6th grade C. I. A. Unit of Study, Esperanza Rising. Click on the links to view and print each nonfiction article!  The more students know about the topic of a story, or nonfiction text, the greater their understanding and learning will be as they read. Reading several texts …

Nonfiction Pairings: The Children of the Dust Bowl

rsbsadmin 6.2 Children of the Dust Bowl, 6th Grade, Additional Activities, Background Knowledge, Nonfiction, Reading, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Get the full list of nonfiction links students will access during the 6th grade C. I. A. Unit of Study, The Children of the Dust Bowl. Click on the links to view and print each nonfiction article in this unit and book club!  The more students know about the topic of a story, or nonfiction text, the greater their understanding …

Nonfiction Pairings: The Westing Game

rsbsadmin 6.1 The Westing Game, 6th Grade, Background Knowledge, Book Clubs, Reading Leave a Comment

Get the full list of nonfiction links students will access during the 6th grade C. I. A. Unit of Study, The Westing Game.  Click on links to view and print each nonfiction article in this unit and book club! The more students know about the topic of a story, or nonfiction text, the greater their understanding and learning will be as they …

The Pull of The Chapter Book

rsbsadmin Comprehension, Comprehension strategies, Independent Reading, Motivation, Parent Resources, Reading, Research, Sarah Collinge, Scaffolding Leave a Comment

How does a child know that he or she has become a good reader? When you talk to children about reading, you find out that they have their own reading milestones—the first time they read a book, the first time they read a chapter book, and the first time they read a longer book, like Harry Potter. Children feel a …

How to Group Students for Reading

rsbsadmin Bethany Robinson, Book Clubs, C.I.A. Approach, Classroom Setup & Routines, Independent Reading, Reading, reading groups Leave a Comment

  FAQ: I have a question about how to group students for reading. Currently we are using a walk-to-read structure but will be switching curriculums to the Read Side By Side Reading Program. Is it okay if we keep our walk-to-read model with this program?   The Read Side By Side Reading Program is a core program designed to be …

3 Must-Haves for a K-2 Reading Program

rsbsadmin Bethany Robinson, foundational skills, K-2, primary, Reading, Research Leave a Comment

  Selecting a reading program for the primary grades can be overwhelming with so many aspects to consider.   Bethany Robinson offers 3 must-haves for your K-2 reading program, based on her 14 years of experience working in high-needs schools.  A strong K-2 reading program should create an even balance between oral language development, listening comprehension, isolated phonics work, and fluent …

Tips for Better Book Club Discussions

rsbsadmin Book Clubs, C.I.A. Approach, Motivation, Reading, Sarah Collinge, Scaffolding Leave a Comment

How do you get your students to talk during book club discussions? Sarah Collinge, author of the C. I. A. Book Club Teacher’s Guides, gives some helpful suggestions! You have started your first book club unit, students have read the first quadrant of their assigned novels, and they have diligently taken notes while reading. Now the day is here when …

Assigned Reading or Free Choice? The Illusion of Choice

rsbsadmin Background Knowledge, Classroom Library, Classroom Setup & Routines, Independent Reading, Motivation, Peter Dewitz, Reading Leave a Comment

Should students’ reading in school be assigned or left to free choice? Before choice can be valuable, our students must first know what they like to read. They must be exposed to a variety of genres, topics, and authors and have pleasurable reading experiences that lead them to the next book. Find out more in this blog article by Dr. …

The Conflict Between Differentiation and Scaffolding

rsbsadmin C.I.A. Approach, Classroom Setup & Routines, Comprehension, ELL, Peter Dewitz, Reading, Research, Scaffolding 1 Comment

What is the difference between differentiation and scaffolding?  While educators have long defined these strategies as being almost identical, they are, in fact, in sharp contrast to one another.  Differentiation adjusts the text to the child, while scaffolding enables the child to read and comprehend at a higher level.   The concept of differentiating instruction is close to celebrating its …

Esperanza Rising—A New Unit of Study in the Read Side by Side Reading Program!

rsbsadmin 6.3 Esperanza Rising, Background Knowledge, C.I.A. Approach, Reading, Sarah Collinge, Text structure 1 Comment

Get a sneak peak at C. I. A. Unit of Study, Historical Fiction—Esperanza Rising, 6.3 and download tools to help you prepare to teach this unit of study! Coming soon to the Read Side by Side store! Teachers, Thank you for waiting so patiently for the release of my last unit of study for sixth grade, Historical Fiction—Esperanza Rising! I …

Happy 6th Birthday, Raising the Standards!

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Raising the Standards Through Chapter Books: The C. I. A. Approach, celebrated its 6th birthday last month! Currently, Read Side by Side has sold over 4,000 copies. Find out about the story behind Sarah’s first book for teachers in this blog article by Sarah Collinge. I will never forget the day I was sitting around a table with four other …

Setting Up the Classroom Library

rsbsadmin Classroom Library, Classroom Setup & Routines, Independent Reading, Motivation, Reading, Sarah Collinge, Uncategorized 1 Comment

Setting up the classroom library can be a daunting process. How do you organize books? Do you focus on reading levels or sort books by genre? Do you sort books into bins or place them on a shelf, spines out? How many books should be in a classroom library? And how do you create a classroom library on a dime? …

Why Books? — What Books Can Do That Passages Can’t

rsbsadmin Comprehension, Motivation, Peter Dewitz, Reading, Research, Testing, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

In this blog article, Peter Dewitz explains, the goal of reading instruction is not to move from level to level, but to develop our appreciation and skill with written language, to learn to think, and to foster our humanity. Books can do this; passages can’t. In 1957 Don Parker took his tomato crate of color coded folders containing leveled fiction …

Making Inferences: 6 Essential Strategies

rsbsadmin Background Knowledge, Comprehension, Comprehension strategies, Peter Dewitz, Reading 1 Comment

How do you help students make inferences while reading? Learn six essential strategies for inference generation that are sure to increase comprehension for even your most struggling readers! Reading comprehension is a process of construction where readers link ideas within and between sentences and connect ideas between paragraphs. Reading is also an integration process where readers use prior knowledge to …

Why Students Love CIA: Letters From Students

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A special envelope arrived in the mail several weeks ago. Inside I was delighted to find 17 handwritten letters from 5th grade students in Auburn, WA. On top of the pile was a letter from their teacher, explaining the reason for their correspondence. “After writing letters to Louis Sachar, my class started talking about the C. I. A. reading program …

How Research Explains the Design of the Read Side by Side Reading Program

rsbsadmin C.I.A. Approach, Comprehension, Comprehension strategies, Motivation, Peter Dewitz, Reading, Research, Text structure Leave a Comment

What should you be looking for in a research based reading program?  In this blog, learn about how motivation, comprehension strategies, text structure, and transfer of training make the Read Side by Side Reading Program the perfect choice for your next reading adoption! Once a reader has developed fluent word recognition skills and begins to encounter harder and longer pieces …

Using Turn and Talk Stems Across the Globe

rsbsadmin C.I.A. Approach, ELL, Sarah Collinge, Turn and Talk 2 Comments

Earlier this month, Bethany and I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Macau near Hong Kong to work with teachers and English Language Learners in Hou Kong Premier School to learn many of the strategies of our C. I. A. curriculum. While there, we learned the power of turn and talk stems—a major part of the Read Side by Side …

Reading Test Prep: 6 Things You Are Already Doing

rsbsadmin Additional Activities, C.I.A. Approach, Sarah Collinge, Testing 1 Comment

  This is the time of year when teachers start to feel anxious about reading test prep for the upcoming high-stakes state assessments. No matter how effective your teaching has been all school year long, testing season raises doubts in teachers’ minds about whether or not they have done enough to prepare their students for state tests. So first, let …