Classroom Management

How to Promote Family Engagement During the First Weeks of School

One of the best ways to set up students for lifelong success is by involving their families in their educational journey. When family involvement is a priority in class, student achievement, self-confidence, and motivation all improve.[1,2] Family engagement is most effective when it’s encouraged earlier in the year.[3] If you

Read More

How the Science of Reading Informs Waterford.org Curriculum

The human brain is pre-wired for speech, but learning to read always involves explicit instruction.[1] “Learning to read requires several years of intentional instruction,” explains Waterford Director of Curriculum Julie Christensen.[2] And the earlier that children are introduced to the foundational skills for reading, the better. Experts have disagreed in

Read More

How Family Engagement Leads to Student Success

What is one of the proven predictors of academic achievement? Studies show that a family’s engagement has a direct positive impact on a child’s learning success. When families are engaged in their children’s school lives, students have the home support they need to develop a lifelong love of learning. Encouraging

Read More
students listening to teacher read aloud

The Simple View of Reading: What You Need to Know

Understanding the science of how children learn to read is a necessary component for creating well-rounded classroom instruction. Cognitive psychologists, neuroscientists, and education experts have studied literacy development for decades, creating a wealth of data for educators. One of the most well-known, concise, and grounded literacy models is the Simple

Read More

Ways to Teach Communication Skills in the Classroom

Find out how a student’s reading development is strongly related to their speaking, listening, and writing skills. Then, discover helpful strategies for teaching these communication skills in the classroom. Plus, get five free writing activities for your classroom. Why are Communication Skills Important for Early Reading? Communication skills encompass the

Read More
Shot of a group of elementary school kids and their teacher lying down while working in the library

11 Tips and Book Recommendations for Encouraging Reluctant Readers

Sometimes it can feel like pulling teeth trying to teach reluctant readers to develop their literacy skills. The key to teaching these children is, as with many academic subjects, to inspire a love of learning and get their families involved in their literacy development. Read on to discover strategies for

Read More

10 Popular Educational Trends and What You Need to Know

Following educational trends can sometimes feel like watching fads come and go—confusing at best and frustrating at worst. But keeping an eye on these trends can be helpful in addition to completing your professional development requirements. Many are based on educational research or current events that can help you support

Read More
Shot of a group of elementary school kids and their teacher lying down while working in the library

24 of the Best Children’s Books by Age

Knowing a book’s recommended grade level can help you find books that best fit children where they are in their literacy development. Not all children in a classroom will read at the same level. But suggested grade levels can help you find books that will strengthen specific reading skills. Then,

Read More
Teacher reading a book with a class of preschool children

How to Build Phonological Awareness Skills in Your Classroom

In this article we’ll first explore phonological awareness, the listening skills that help students understand the structure of spoken language. These skills are a foundational part of learning to read. Then, we’ll share strategies you can use to help your students develop phonological awareness skills—with free rhyming books for classroom

Read More
School children in the snow

Celebrating Culturally Diverse Winter Holidays in the Classroom

For many students, December is an especially memorable time of year—with plenty of winter activities, holidays, and classroom parties during the days before winter break. However, even the most well-meaning teachers can show implicit bias when it comes to holiday events and only focus on Christmas holiday traditions. That’s why

Read More