The Reading Wars

You’ve probably heard of the age-old “reading wars.” This refers to the debate around how kids best learn to read. On one side are proponents of the whole-language approach. They believe kids learn how to read best through frequent exposure to various aspects of books and language. In this approach, kids learn words as separate […]

What is Structured Word Inquiry?

Structured Word Inquiry is an empowering way for students to learn language and the words within it. In many classrooms, students simply learn phonics rules and the definitions of isolated words. Through SWI, also known as Scientific Word Investigation, students study the history of words, the connections between words, and the evolution of language that […]

Learning Math Through Literacy

Many people think of math and reading as separate subjects. While the skills involved in each are quite different, there are so many ways and reasons to connect them. Aside from having students read and solve word problems, there are lots of other creative ways to integrate math and literacy. Here are some of our […]

Resources for Learning Vocabulary

No one can deny the importance of building a strong vocabulary. Even if your child had robust vocabulary instruction last year, chances are, he isn’t keeping up with it this summer. Just a few minutes of vocab practice a day can help keep those skills sharp. Here are some of our favorite web-based resources for summer […]

Learning Vocabulary: Greek and Latin Roots

Well over half of the words in the English language come from Greek or Latin. So you can see how useful it would be to teach at least the more common roots to students in order for them to best make sense of our language. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen. Teaching Greek and Latin roots […]

What are Suffixes?

Are you a passionate educator? Do you love helping kids understand suffixes? Join our team and become a Braintrust tutor today! Suffixes are word parts that are added to the end of a root word to change its meaning. Knowing what suffixes mean can help students make sense of unknown words they come across. Spelling […]

Components of the Reading Rope: Phonological Awareness

Phonological awareness is the strand of Scarborough’s reading rope that relates to spoken sounds. When a student is phonologically aware, he or she is able to identify, produce, and manipulate parts of spoken language. Here are the skills included under the umbrella of phonological awareness. Rhyme One of the first skills beginning readers learn about […]

Components of the Reading Rope: Sight Recognition

When educators hear the term “sight recognition,” they often think of a student’s ability to visually identify how to say a word without needing to decode it. But within Scarborough’s reading rope, sight recognition actually goes deeper than that. It refers to the process by which students identify the spoken word and its possible meaning […]

Components of the Reading Rope: Verbal Reasoning

Verbal reasoning is one of the eight strands of Scarborough’s reading rope. It refers to a student’s ability to make sense of spoken and written words. Within the reading rope, it is part of the larger strand of comprehension and contributes, along with the other strands, to a student’s growth into a skilled reader. What […]

Components of the Reading Rope: Language Structure

Language structure, one of the eight “strands“ of Scarborough’s reading rope, consists of a complex set of rules and conventions. These conventions allow us to communicate with one another verbally and in writing. Put simply, students need to develop an understanding of the structure of the English language as they are learning how to read. […]