A Small Group Guided Reading Structure for Accelerated Reading (and Less Teacher Stress!!)


When I was a new teacher, I came home tired.  Dead tired.  My husband wanted to support me, to treat me, so he would offer to take me out to eat for dinner.   How sweet! He would innocently ask, “Where would you like to go?” Then I would despair. Yes, dear readers, the thought […]

The Resistance

how to inspire your students to love to read

(In Which a Mother Rouses Her Child) The trouble began one evening in the after-dinner slump. As my then 1st grade daughter rolled around on the floor, she whined, “I don’t want to go to school.  Can I please stay home from school tomorrow?” We commenced a discussion on the unlikelihood of that. Having gone round […]

Power Up Your Phonics Activities

smiling girl with hidden muscles behind her

Have you had a student like Anthony? Anthony’s finishing 1st grade and he seems to be making strides in his reading. He generally aims to make meaning and his knowledge of high frequency words is growing steadily.  He likes books, especially Star Wars books, and he can write a logical short paragraph…..However, you wonder whether […]

Enter Into the Child’s Worldview

child's worldview surprise-4

Several months ago I was visiting a preschool classroom and the teacher asked me a question based on her bi-annual PALS assessment. The assessment includes phonological (sound-based language) awareness, letter name, and letter sound knowledge. She and her co-teacher both observed some quirky responses but didn’t understand the root. She wondered: “Why do several children say, […]

So Grows the Reader, So Goes the App: Montessori Crosswords App Review

Montessori Crosswords app cover page

While hundreds of apps have been created for the teaching of reading, most of them are instructionally so poor, that after testing them, I simply delete them from my phone or iPad.  Not even worth 5 minute’s of a child’s time. Harsh! So, when I encounter an app that’s effective, fun, and easy-to-use, I get […]

Don’t Start at the Very Beginning (Teaching Letter Sounds in Context)

handwritten "The End" on notebook

How can one not start at the beginning, you may be wondering.  “Start” and “beginning” kinda mean the same thing, right? In keeping with our mission here at Reading Simplified—streamlined instruction, accelerated achievement—I propose you skip the beginning stage of traditional reading instruction: teaching letter sounds in isolation. Instead, jump to teaching letter sounds in […]

One and Done….Nearly


Maria is a beautiful, endearing child with carefully plaited braids and bows that match her skirt. Like millions of other children over the years, she enters Kindergarten, expectant, hoping to learn to read. But will she? Easily? Or, Will she struggle? Frankly, the US national odds are against Maria learning to read easily and well. […]

Welcome to Readers of The Applicious Teacher!

Welcome Applicious teacher

Welcome to all those fans of lovely site, The Applicious Teacher! We’re glad you’re visiting Reading Simplified! Reading Simplified exists to streamline the teaching of reading while accelerating the achievement of your students.  (Please see below for a FREEBIE just for stopping by.) Here at Reading Simplified we offer: free videos, checklists, worksheets, reading materials, and […]

The Most Important Question–Comprehension 101

most important question cover

Bloom and his Taxonomy gave me a guilt trip. Can I get a witness? Like many teachers-in-training, I was taught the cognitive domain of his hierarchy of questions: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, evaluation, and synthesis.   Hierarchy.  Bah! That’s so… so……     so…                       […]

3 Unexpected Delights at the ILA Conference 2015

ILA all 4 with sign cropped

We were so honored and excited to present for a pre-conference institute at the International Literacy Association’s (ILA) annual conference in St. Louis last weekend. We shared to an eager audience of teachers a handful of key reading strategies that we use with beginning and struggling readers. Christie and I both had to rush back more […]