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What is Close Reading?

Close reading is a relatively new concept that’s been introduced in K-12 classrooms. It sounds like the simple practice of closely reading a text for understanding, but close reading techniques students learn in the classroom are slightly more complex, and much more enriching. Read on for: What is close reading,…

What Is an IEP in Education?

What is an IEP? Whether you are familiar with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) may depend on a variety of factors.  Does your child struggle in school and has potentially been evaluated for special education services?  Have you heard your child mention that another student in class has an IEP? …

What is a Central Idea in Literature?

A central idea (also called the main idea or main point) is the unifying component in a piece of literature. Central ideas are what we look for in paragraphs, chapters, or entire stories to uncover the point of the text. All writing should have a purpose. That’s what the central…

What are the Elements of a Story?

It’s elementary, my dear Watson! So, what are the elements of a story? Think about a story you loved. It can be a short piece of fiction or a whole novel. What comes to mind first? Probably the characters or what happened to them. Think a little longer. Other parts…

What are Informational Texts?

What are informational texts? Informational texts make up a category of nonfiction resources. They  focus on one specific topic. Informational texts are informative and composed of facts. The title will tell you exactly what that informational text is about. The purpose is to inform the reader to better comprehend the…

What Are High Frequency Words?

If you are looking to help your preschooler or primary aged child become a better reader, you have come to the right place! One of the best ways to improve your child’s reading skills is to help them review high frequency words.   What are high frequency words exactly? In brief,…

What Are the Types of Figurative Language?

How often do you hear people use phrases that don’t really make sense? For example, when someone is about to perform, someone might say: “Break a leg!” Or when it’s raining a lot, people say: “It’s raining cats and dogs!” Or if you’re having a bad day, you might say…

The Difference Between Tone and Mood

Tone and mood are easy to confuse! To understand how they are different, let’s first take a look at what tone and mood each mean. From there, we can discuss what makes them different and how to identify both tone and mood in a book. What Is Tone? When you…

The Secret of Teaching Dialogue to Students

Teaching dialogue is about more than introducing grammar formatting and dialogue words (although that is important.) To learn how to write dialogue, students need to learn when and why to use it in their writing. This is a mystery to many writers, even in adulthood – but you have to…

Summer Reading Programs for Middle School Students

Summer is a largely unstructured time for students, which often leads to a significant reduction in the amount of reading they do – and the amount of information they gain. In some cases, students may even lose some of the reading skills and strategies they spent all year building. The…