Frankly Freddy Blog

TextProject president and CEO Elfrieda H. (Freddy) Hiebert blogs about important issues in reading research and practice.

Frankly Freddy entries (published from 2005 to 2014) have been sorted into five topics of literacy learning and instruction. Click here to download the ebook!

What Teachers and Parents Can Do to Stop the Summer Reading Slide

Posted by Freddy on 11 April 2011

Students from high and low socioeconomic homes have been found to make similar gains on reading during the school year (Alexander, Entwistle, & Olson, 2004). It’s what happens in the summer that contributes to a growing gap in low- and high-income students’ reading. During the summer, low-income children either fall or stagnate during the summer, while higher-income children continue to progress or maintain their reading levels. By fourth-grade, the accumulated differences over several summers are reflected in a significant gap between low- and high-income students.

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Looking “Within” the Lexile for More Guidance: Word Frequency and Sentence Length

Posted by Freddy Hiebert on 24 January 2011

Teachers should use the lexile rating as an initial piece of information, much like a check of someone’s temperature. A temperature can be high or low for lots of different reasons. The average sentence length and average word frequency gives teachers more specific information that is useful for decision-making.

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The Generalizability of the TExT Model to Indic Languages

Posted by Freddy Hiebert on 6 October 2010

Considerably less is known about reading processes in syllabic and semi-syllabic writing systems, such as those used by a sizeable proportion of the world’s population. In this column, we consider the generalizability of features of the TExT model to alphasyllabic languages, such as those in use in India.

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Immunizations and treatments in early reading

Posted by Freddy Hiebert on 4 August 2010

Might it be that the immunization effort of the past decade in early reading education has contributed to problems that are far more serious than word recognition ever was? Might it even be that students’ word recognition is, in fact, quite good and that it is their background knowledge and engagement in reading that is the real problem?

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Opening the dialogue

Posted by Freddy Hiebert on 24 June 2010

There are some children who come to school who officially learn to read in school but who have had hundreds of hours of experiences with books, print, and language play.

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What Exactly is a Decodable Text?

Posted by Freddy Hiebert on 17 June 2010

Any text written in English is decodable at some level in that the code never deviates from the alphabetic system. However, the degree to which the letter-sound correspondences within words are common or consistent can vary considerably.

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Whatever Happened to Dick and Jane?

Posted by Freddy Hiebert on 4 June 2010

If you were 6 years old between 1930-1967 in the U.S., there is a high likelihood that this text was the first of your school career.

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High-Leverage Action #3

Posted by Freddy Hiebert on 14 November 2009

ELLs may have the concepts of a topic but simply give the concepts different labels than the English ones. In a unit on the human body, native Spanish speakers know about a skeleton.

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High-Leverage Action #2

Posted by Freddy Hiebert on 7 November 2009

In linguistics, cognates are words that have a common origin.

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