Language & Literacy

The Danger of the Story of White Displacement

One of the keynotes at the NYC Learning and the Brain conference I’d just posted about was by Jonathan Gottschall on “The Story Paradox,” and which was based on his book of the same name. His talk was compelling enough that I promptly read his book as well. Like Gottschall, I’ve done some pondering about […]

Learning and the Brain: Keeping that Goldilocks Balance

I wrote a little while ago about Andrew Watson’s excellent book, “The Goldilocks Map.” I had an opportunity to attend a Learning and the Brain conference, which was what sparked Andrew’s own journey into brain research and learning to balance openness to new practice with a healthy dose of skepticism. In fact, Andrew was one […]

Are Interim Assessments a Waste of Time?

There was a relatively recent Hechinger Report article by Jill Barshay, “PROOF POINTS: Researchers blast data analysis for teachers to help students” that seemed to indict any and all assessments and data use in schools as a royal waste of time. It bothered me because the only source cited explicitly in the article was a […]

An Ontogenesis Model of Word Learning in a Second Language

A recent paper caught my eye, Ontogenesis Model of the L2 Lexical Representation, and despite the immediate mind glazing effect of the word “ontogenesis,” I found the model well worth digging into and sharing here—and it may bear relevance to conversations on orthographic mapping. Bordag, D., Gor, K., & Opitz, A. (2021). Ontogenesis Model of […]

The Common Core: An Opportunity Squandered

Back in 2013, I wrote a series of posts for the Core Knowledge Foundation blog that were titled, “Promethean Plan: A Teacher on Fulfilling the Intent of the Common Core.” Unfortunately, they don’t appear to be available there anymore, so I thought it could be fun to re-post them collected here as one post, both […]

Phonemic Proficiency: A Hypothesis to be Tested

There’s been a kerfuffle in the reading nerd sphere for a while now about Dr. David Kilpatrick’s theories of orthographic mapping and the advanced phonemic awareness activities promoted by his Equipped for Reading Success program. At issue have been the following: Are phonemic awareness activities without letters time well spent for Tier 1 instruction? Are […]

Advancing Literacy for Black boys

I’ll never forget the moment when I realized that the students in a school I was supporting had not read anything more than a few pages of text for close to two months. There were a myriad of potential excuses for it. They were ramping up for test prep season, there was a spring break […]


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