One Mother’s Gut Wrenching Call to End School Shootings

School gun violence has struck this American family twice: A gut wrenching account of what it’s like for a parent and a mother’s plan for stopping the carnage.

The Reading Brain’s Food Chain and Failing Schools

My recent school visits, current reports of failing schools, and testimonies from teachers and administrators reveal a harmful gap between research and spelling instruction.

Five Ways to Ensure Long-Term Retention of Spelling Words

Building word permanency in the brain is a gift to a child for a lifetime of reading and writing.

Why Our Students Can’t Write

Here's part of the solution to a big problem in American education.

Lousy Spelling—Why Americans Can’t Read or Think Well

Two decades after the National Reading Panel and the National Early Literacy Panel left out spelling reading scores have plummeted! Spelling is the missing link to literacy!

5 Research-based Practices for Kindergarten and First Grade

Years of best practices by exemplary teachers in kindergarten and Grade 1 are now supported by the latest research in cognitive psychology and neuroscience.

Landmark Study Finds Better Path to Reading Success

Two Canadian researchers have proven what exemplary kindergarten and first grade teachers have been doing for years to create successful readers by the end of first grade.

America's Spelling Is a National Disaster

Spelling errors tweeted within the Trump administration raise the issue of why spelling matters. Spelling needs to be taught!

5 Best Strategies for Learning Weekly Spelling Words

No more memorizing the words for the Friday spelling test and forgetting them. These research-based strategies help students retain words in their brains for reading and writing.

7 Ways to Accommodate Dyslexics in Regular Classrooms

Every regular classroom can make better accommodations for dyslexics and or children who may be at risk.

5 Brain-Based Reasons to Teach Handwriting in School

Did you know that handwriting will make you and your child smarter than keyboarding?

Connecting Spelling Books to Reading Scores

Do you know why so many American school children can't read proficiently? Guess what we aren't teaching.

Messing Up Literacy in Texas

Find out why reading scores have plummeted in Texas and across the nation and what can be done to improve literacy education.

5 Reasons Your Child’s School Needs Spelling Books—Part 2

The brain reads by retrieving spellings of words. Spelling books help kids meet today's rigorous standards.

5 Reasons Your Child’s School Needs Spelling Books—Part 1

Parents and researchers agree that children need explicit spelling instruction in elementary school but school administrators may be ignoring the facts and harming students.

Are You Dyslexic? Is Your Child?

Here are three lists of classic early warning signs of dyslexia for very young children, school-age children, and adults. Do the lists fit you or your child?

America Needs Full-Day Kindergarten

Here's a message from the heart that shows why all kids need full-day kindergarten.

The Do’s and Don’ts for Family Reading

Here are ten research- and evidence-based do's and don’ts for family reading along with the “Top 10 Books for Raising a Reader” by Dr. Hilary Levey Friedman, esteemed Book Review editor of "Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers."

Why America Can’t Read

Advanced research in cognitive science including brain scan science is demonstrating that explicit spelling instruction may be the missing link to reading success in America where sixty-five percent of fourth graders read below proficiency levels.

Play, Common Core, and Early Reading Untangled

In a raging debate, leading researchers in reading education are speaking out in favor of keeping Common Core Kindergarten Literacy Standards. Their message? It’s perfectly fine for five year olds to play AND learn to read in school!

Spelling Knowledge Matters for High School Reading Fluency

A renown cognitive psychologist is touting the importance of spelling for reading achievement. He says spelling, which continues to develop even into high school, is just as important for high school and college-ready reading fluency as sounding out words in kindergarten. He’s right!

2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee Wows the Nation

It couldn’t have been better. America’s sharpest and brightest middle-school spellers wowed the world at the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee—arguably one of ESPN’s most thrilling sporting events of the year.

High Stakes Testing in America

“Thank God it’s over.” That’s what my high school educator friend in Florida says. The fattening-the-pig-by-weighing-it, over-the-top testing, happened almost every day from March to mid-May and impacted every student in his school. Everyone’s overwrought with this mess, most likely including the guy who started it, Jeb Bush.

An Ode to Common Core Kindergarten Standards

There is much wrong with American kindergartens—but Common Core State Standards are not to blame. If interpreted correctly, Common Core standards for literacy enable us to help enhance the kindergarten experience for all kindergarten children—from the underprepared to the most gifted and advanced.

Writing and Art, Picasso, and the Common Core

What would Picasso have to say about Common Core State Standards now driving the curriculum—and leaving art behind—in over 40 states? As it turns out, both Picasso and psychological studies support a call for cross-disciplinary connections at all levels of education.
16 Great Holiday Gift Books for Babies and Toddlers

16 Great Holiday Gift Books for Babies and Toddlers

Books make great gifts for babies and toddlers. Here are sixteen of my favorites with a very short review to help you make your choices. Come back to this list often—you can use it all year long!

Brain Scans Map a Pathway to Reading and Dyslexia Diagnosis

It’s good to celebrate recent strides in brain imaging to diagnose dyslexia, but are we clapping with one hand?

Do You Know More Black History than a Fourth Grader?

In light of recent events and a call by many to reassess and understand race relations in America, it occurs to me that how we think and act in race-related situations is affected by our understanding and personal history regarding race. Our past is part of our present. That being said, how much black history do you know? Take this short fourth-grade quiz to find out.

5 Back-to-School Questions for the First Team Meeting

Every good parent wants their child in an academically challenging school program that meets their child’s individual needs. Whether you are the parent of a child with disabilities or not, begin the school year with five questions that will require the school team to know your child’s present levels of achievement. Don't wait for the end-of-year test!

5 Ways to Read Aloud to Babies and Reap Later School Success

62,000 pediatricians just adopted a new policy: Read aloud to infants from birth! But will reading aloud to your preschooler carry over to academic success in school? The answer is “yes,” especially if you use five research-based reading aloud strategies.