The Missouri Reader Vol. 41, Issue 2 - Page 18

Classroom Close-up

already tried <things already done>.” Usually the teacher gets multiple specific ideas, often with links to support materials. The responses are real time. If teachers have a problem on Monday, the answers usually come within an hour or two on Monday. Effectively this means the 21st century faculty lounge now includes almost 30,000 teachers who are willing and able to share their ideas and experiences. In our own use of this site, we have come across several ideas/resources that had not occurred to us before visiting the site. We caution teachers that when using resources like this that they must respect student privacy. No information should ever be shared that identifies a student. Advice from sites like this should inform instruction, not dictate it.

Conclusion

What has preceded are highlights of advice we give to teachers on possible ways to differentiate literacy instruction. It has been over 50 years since the First Grade Studies posited that the key to creating a good literacy program is teacher training and giving teachers the time and tools they need to help their students. The progress toward that end is checkered at best. The time is long overdue for educators to recognize that the complex nature of the reading process requires a multidimensional approach in order to successfully create those lifelong readers we all desire. We hope the ideas we are passing on to current teachers will help them navigate the current troubled waters and will help them help their students in their quest to become lifelong readers and writers

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Acknowledgments

Special thanks to Laura Robb for her generous response to an earlier version of this article.

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