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 …

NCTE 2018 Conference

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Read Side by Side takes our vendor booth on the road to the NCTE 2018 conference in Houston, Texas!  This conference caters to middle school and high school English teachers.  We plan to entice them into our booth with the tagline—“Middle School Ready!” Booth #119 “Middle School Ready!” Once a student enters 3rdgrade, there are only 540 instructional days till that …

GENRE-FICATION: A Librarian’s 5-Step Guide to Increasing Reading Motivation

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GENRE-FICATION is a trend to make libraries more like bookstores, and it is transforming student motivation and interest in reading!  School librarian, Stephanie Davis, shares the 5 steps she took to switch from the Dewey Decimal System to a library organized by genre, and tells why she would never go back! “I love mysteries, can you find one for me?” “My …

Do Reading Comprehension Assessments Deliver What They Promise?

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It is likely that your school district is trying to find an assessment tool to beef up its reading program and insure greater success on your state’s high stakes test. The search may have taken them to STAR Reading 360, I-Ready Adaptive Assessment Systems or the MAP Reading and Growth Skills Tests. All of these tests are a new breed …

Better Readers, Avid Readers—What Should the Goal of Literacy Instruction Be?

rsbsadmin Background Knowledge, C.I.A. Approach, Motivation, Peter Dewitz, Reading, Research Leave a Comment

For most educators the goal of reading instruction is to create better readers. For some better means a score on a standardized test, the 75% percentile. To others better means a higher reading level, a 5.0 GLE, a level 40 in fourth grade or meeting specific standards. All assume that the work of reading instruction is to develop a student’s …

Nonfiction in Unit 5.1, Earthquake Terror

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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

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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

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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 …