The Threads of Reading – Karen Tankersley

girl reading on the lawn with an apple next to her.

Nothing is more important for a teacher than to know how to use good reading strategies and practices. Making a difference with our students is why we all became educators. Becoming strong and proficient readers and writers is critical for our students.

On my blog, you will find many new ideas and suggestions for becoming a masterful “weaver” of reading instruction in your own classroom.

The goal of my website is to help you create strong and effective readers in your classroom. I have gathered hundreds of tips, tricks, and reading strategies that will help you meet the literacy needs of your students.

Many of these ideas featured here come from my own work as a reading specialist, literacy coach and professional developer.

Other tips and reading strategies are from the successful instructional strategies of great reading teachers I have known over the years.  Other ideas are from important research being done in the field that translates into effective instruction.

I will also pass along good ideas from other literacy experts in the field that you might find helpful for your own classroom instruction.

Share Your Own Effective Reading Strategies and Tips

Feel free to leave suggestions on great reading tips you use with your own students as you read. Also, feel free to ask questions or comment on the ideas and suggestions found here.

Please be an active participant when you visit here.  Return again and again for ideas, teaching strategies, and inspiration. 

Teaching students to read well is not an easy job. The more we share great ideas and identify what works to improve student proficiency, the better readers our students become.T

Thank you for the work that you do every day!  You are valued and appreciated!

Karen’s Books on Teaching Reading

In addition to the information presented here, you may enjoy reading some of my books on teaching reading and working with struggling readers:

The Threads of Reading: Strategies for Literacy Development

Literacy Strategies for Grades 4-12:  Reinforcing the Threads of Reading

Tests that Teach: Using Standardized Tests to Improve Instruction

How to Help Your Child Become a Great Reader: Easy Literacy Games and Activities to Do at Home

Instructional Coaching Impacts Teacher Performance

Literacy Coaching for Reading Effectiveness

If you are a relatively new Instructional Coach or Reading coach in your school, then you may also enjoy reading my book on literacy coaching:

Coaching the Threads of Reading: Helping Teachers Build Reading Success

New Class for Literacy Coaches

Check out my new Literacy course, Coaching Heroes and Champions.

In this course, you will be able to improve your ability to inspire and coach the teachers in your school. You will be able to cultivate success as a literacy coach who facilitates adult learning that changes practice. You will understand how to build trusting and caring coaching relationships that enable teacher success. You will learn to use coaching strategies to increase student academic performance and facilitate student-centered practices that instill joy in the classroom.

Here is a list of what you will learn in Bringing Out the Heroes and Champions in Teachers: Instructional Coaching that Gets Results

Module 1: Clarifying the Coaching Role, Purpose and Vision for Success

Module 2: How to Differentiate Support to Meet Individual Teacher Needs

Module 3: Adult Learning, Mental Models and Teacher Career Stages

Module 4: Using Formative and Summative Assessment to Maximize Student Achievement

Module 5: Planning and Teaching for Maximizing Achievement

Module 6: Powerful Communications

I am currently looking for a small group of coaches who would like to be “beta testers” of the course to provide feedback. I will give the first 10 enrollees a discount of $200 off of the regular course purchase price of $279 in exchange for feedback on your learning and the course content.

If you would like to take the course as a beta tester, enter “beabeta” as the coupon code to receive your discount.

I would love to hear your feedback on what you like and how the course might be improved for future students!

Using Storytelling in the Classroom

Using storytelling in the classroom creates impact for students. Teachers use storytelling to engage students in the content that they present to their students.

In addition, storytelling can also get students excited about their own learning. Help your students explain what they are learning and communicate their ideas in unique and inspiring ways. Media presentation types include the use of photography, video, and the use of voice, You can also use graphic tools to create captivating infographics on topics of interest.

Elementary school boy looking at a computer screen
Children are experts at using media so why not help them use their media skills for storytelling?

Students use video and pictures to communicate on a daily basis. Why not capitalize on interests they already have by blending these skills with learning?

If you have ever wanted to learn to use media tools like video, audio, photography and graphics to enhance your own teaching this is the perfect opportunity. Once you have mastered these concepts, you can teach your students to create informative stories around what they are learning,

I am sure you are familiar with the beautiful photography that graces the pages of the National Geographic magazine. National Geographic has developed self-paced and Cohort-based free courses to help teachers easily learn to use storytelling in the classroom. By enrolling in their free online courses, you can learn to use these instructional tools for your own presentation. Students can also create their own storytelling media applications to demonstrate their learning.

Through storytelling techniques, students can explore real-life problems and communicate their ideas and concerns in inspiring and motivational ways.

Using media for storytelling can deepen student thinking about important concepts and ideas. It can also help students learn to communicate their ideas in clear, persuasive ways that impact their audiences. What better way to learn about audience and point of view?

To learn more about the National Geographic courses or to sign up for free, go to the National Geographic Website Education Tab. There is also an educator certification course where teachers can collaborate with other educators to create activity-centered instruction using real world problems and issues in the classroom.

National Geographic courses are open to any educator from anywhere in the world who work with students. Courses vary in length, type and schedule. Skills learned in these courses are appropriate for use in all grade levels and content areas.

Instructional Coaching That Gets Results

Announcing Our New Instructional Coaching Course

Announcing our new instructional coaching online course: Coaching Heroes and Champions! This course is for you if you are a new school instructional coach in your first through third year of coaching – who wants to make a difference in student success and teacher performance.

Two women talking while sitting at a table.
Instructional Coaches Help Teachers Be More Effective

What Will School Instructional Coaches Learn in this Course?

This top notch course can greatly shorten the learning curve for new school coaches and help you hit the ground running in your new instructional coaching position.

Learn skills such as how to create productive relationships and build trust with your coaching clients. Identify teacher needs and career stages so you can meet your teachers where they are and improve teacher practice. Delve into the research behind effective adult learning so you can help your coaching clients make a difference in student success within their classrooms.

Identify ways to use data to hone instructional performance, improve student mastery of state standards and improve learning engagement.

By understanding how to use these skills with the teachers with whom you work, you will be in a better position to build positive and productive relationships and improve teacher effectiveness and result in measurable student learning gains.

Learn facilitation skills that you can use to help school teams reflect on student success and create student-centered, focused classrooms that produce academic growth.

Understand how to use mental models to increase powerful communications and help teachers embrace change and mindsets of continuous improvement.

First year teachers thrive when working with a knowledgeable school coach. Research shows that working with a knowledgeable school coach helps new teachers increase their classroom effectiveness by as much as 4-5 years of experience in the classroom.

Where Can I Learn More About this Course?

Don’t miss this opportunity to sharpen your skills as a school coach and make a difference for the students in your school. Review the course curriculum by clicking here.

Click this link to learn more about this 6 module curriculum: Coaching Heroes and Champions.

Know someone who has just become a new instructional coach in your school? If so, please pass along this email to your instructional coach. This course can help them get a head start on learning the tricks of highly effective coaches.

For a limited time, you can save $50.00 off of the cost of the course when you sign up. To get the discount, use the code: savefifty at check out.

I am also looking for a few individuals who would like to be “Beta” users of the course. A Beta reader provides a bit of feedback at the end of each module on what they liked or didn’t like in the module.

Beta students can also offer suggestions on what they would like to see added or changed in the course to help me improve it for future students. In exchange for feedback, course participants who would like to be a beta student, will receive a discount on the course price of $200. If you would like to participate as a beta student, just enter “beabeta” at checkout to receive your discount. Looking forward to seeing you in the course!