Reading Aloud—So Much More Than Sharing a Story


A regular read-aloud routine is wonderful for bonding and instilling a love of literature—but reading to children does so much more, from building vocabulary to fostering overall language development.Since younger children are generally only able to decode a more limited number of words, hearing words is highly impactful in expanding their vocabulary, and reading aloud can help them gain this auditory exposure. As children mature and learn to read themselves, they will be introduced to new vocabulary on their own—but older children enjoy being read to as well! It may be that a book on a high-interest topic is just beyond [...]

Reading Aloud—So Much More Than Sharing a Story2021-10-05T13:03:44+00:00

Familiar Games…With a Twist


While keeping up with learning is important during this uncertain time, it’s also essential for families to focus on stress management. Games can be a great way to keep minds active and have some fun along the way. Participation in games can improve students’ memory and communication, as well as engage them to read words, think about vocabulary, and hone their spelling skills. Use games you have around the house to play together. This is a time to get creative with the rules—or even throw the rules out! Many game pieces on their own can be used to promote reading [...]

Familiar Games…With a Twist2021-10-05T13:00:52+00:00

Literacy Home Activities for Young Learners


As we remain inside during these uncertain times, caregivers have become teachers—and Commonwealth Learning Center is here to help with some hands-on literacy practice ideas for young learners. Alphabet Work Here are a few activities kids can do with plastic letters or letter cards, shaving cream, and clay or pipe cleaners: Arrange letters in alphabetical order, with a model if needed. Devise a memory game to match uppercase to lowercase letters. Form letters out of clay, pipe cleaners, or Wikki Stix. Practice handwriting in a multisensory way: Place a small amount of shaving cream or flour in a baking tray. Have children form [...]

Literacy Home Activities for Young Learners2023-09-13T08:36:30+00:00

What Can I Do?


Parents and guardians often feel at a loss when children are diagnosed with dyslexia, but this doesn’t need to be the case. Supporting a student with dyslexia can be easier with these home tips that are designed for students in mainstream classes. To begin with, you can help your child with time management: Map out more than the due dates. Note when to start working on each smaller piece of larger tasks. Break assignments—whether it’s a project or studying for tests—into smaller, more manageable pieces. There is scheduling and project management software to help with this, or color code a large wall calendar. First [...]

What Can I Do?2021-10-10T05:18:06+00:00

Books That Celebrate Those Who Learn Differently


Dyslexia Awareness Month has us thinking about our bright and resilient students who work so hard to succeed despite learning differences. We have come up with a list of uplifting books that celebrate this spirit of tenacity. Happy reading! The Back to Front World of Azzie Artbuckle  Written by Beth Montgomery Azzie wishes she could spend every day at school drawing and painting, but the teachers make her read. The trouble is, she struggles tremendously to read letters, words, and numbers. This makes her feel stupid. But she knows that she isn’t. Recommended for Grades 1-2 Help! Somebody Get me Out of Fourth [...]

Books That Celebrate Those Who Learn Differently2021-10-05T13:08:34+00:00

Prevent Summer Learning Loss Before It Happens


Reading activities during the summer can play an important role in helping students maintain their reading skills. Summer slump, or the potential for academic skills to regress during school vacation, is a concern for many students. Children with language-based learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, may be at a higher risk of summer slump than their peers.(1) More generally, children who may also be more vulnerable to summer slump are those who take a vacation not just from school, but also from engaging with text during the summer months. These reduced reading experiences may be because students don’t enjoy reading, they may not [...]

Prevent Summer Learning Loss Before It Happens2021-10-07T09:17:27+00:00

Academic Success and ADHD


Staying in their seats until given permission to get up, raising their hands before talking, paying attention when the teacher speaks, following directions to complete repetitive work within time constraints, and becoming increasingly independent and organized are all hurdles the student with ADHD faces—hurdles which can prevent them from meeting academic success. Experts suggest that many of the school problems experienced by children with ADHD do not result solely from the biological factors that underlie the disorder, but from a disparity between the child and the learning environment. Some suggest that a shift needs to occur away from accommodating these students’ weaknesses to [...]

Academic Success and ADHD2021-10-07T07:21:18+00:00

Talking to Your Kid About Their Learning Disability


Difficult conversations are exactly how they sound: difficult. They can be uncomfortable, awkward, emotional, and go all wrong. But, with a little guidance, research, and planning, these difficult conversations can actually be really great. You’ll be amazed how much you can learn about your child, how open the lines of communication can become, and that really, it doesn’t have to be so bad.There are a few things to consider when preparing to talk to your child about his/her learning disability. Notice that I said “preparing.” The best outcomes require a little planning and forethought. Here are some suggestions and tips to [...]

Talking to Your Kid About Their Learning Disability2021-10-07T09:10:44+00:00

Print Books vs. E-Readers… Which is Better? Depends on Who You Ask…


Since the release of the Kindle, Nook, and iPad, e-readers have become very popular, and so has the debate between e-books and print. A 2012 Pew Research Center survey found that the average number of books read on an e-reader is 24, compared to 15 books for those reading print.(1) E-books are convenient, often less expensive, offer a number of accommodations, and can now be accessible across a variety of devices. However, research suggests that there may be a difference in how we comprehend text across each format. A 2014 study conducted by Anne Mangen of Norway’s Stavanger University found that readers of a short mystery novel on a [...]

Print Books vs. E-Readers… Which is Better? Depends on Who You Ask…2023-06-15T08:25:35+00:00

What Do Parents Need to Know About Close Reading?


Close Reading is an instructional routine requiring students to look critically at a short, complex text, reading the same text multiple times, and answering text dependent questions to deepen understanding. It is included among the Common Core Literacy Anchor Reading standards (R.CCR.1) which states: Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text. One major goal is to give all students the opportunity to engage in close reading of complex text. The spotlight is on close reading because it [...]

What Do Parents Need to Know About Close Reading?2021-10-05T13:09:05+00:00

Professional Development
for Educators



Beth Dinelli, M.Ed
[email protected]

220 Reservoir Street, Suite 6 Needham, MA 02494-3133

Phone: 781.444.5193

Fax: 781.444.6916

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