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50 Nifty Activities for 5 Components and 3 Tiers of Reading Instruction

By Judith Dodson

Can a teacher be a brain surgeon in her own classroom? Instructional choices can actually build neural pathways in a student’s brain! These pathways create a highway in the “reading brain” that will support the development of orthographic mapping (Ehri, 2005). These critical connections are needed for words to be stored in memory and for reading to become effortless. The gift for reading teachers is their ability to make instructional choices that can make a difference.

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50 Nifty Activities for 5 Components and 3 Tiers of Reading Instruction provides teachers with activities that are grounded in the Science of Reading and can help teachers make those critical instructional decisions.


50 Nifty Activities:

  • Presents a multisensory, lively, and engaging approach to literacy instruction

  • Includes activities that reinforce some of the most important concepts of literacy instruction that have been validated through evidence-based research in literacy development

  • Includes activities that are grounded in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension

  • Direct, explicit and systematic instruction with simple and clear instructions

  • The WHY and HOW specific, engaging classroom activities can change the brains of young readers

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  • Includes three variations for each activity, including the universal level (whole class), small group level and individual or paired level for extra reinforcement and practice of concepts

  • Includes activities based on established routines to help teachers with easy lesson preparation and learning

  • Includes activities that connect oral language development to the targeted skills.  These are marked by the "The Talking Classroom" icon.

  • Features activities with student-friendly language for “establishing a purpose”. When students know why they are doing something it enhances both learning and motivation.

Our brains are wired for speaking, but teachers have the opportunity to wire the brain for the unique and difficult task of reading. 50 Nifty Activities will help guide the teacher in the use of evidence based activities while making learning fun and engaging. Students need a lot of practice to become effortless readers. There is no magic bullet for that. The activities in this book will add fun and whimsy to teaching and learning for you and your students as they practice critical foundational skills, opening the door to a lifetime of reading enjoyment.

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50 Nifty Activities Preview

The Author


Judi Dodson, M.Ed.

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