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!

Scaffolding Complex Text: Volume of Text Matters

Posted by Elfrieda H. Hiebert on 30 July 2012

What's the difference between text for below-level readers and advanced reader?  How Lexiles differentiate "difficult" and "easier" books for readers.

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Syntax and Text Complexity: A Classic Text Goes from College-Career Level to First Grade

Posted by Elfrieda H. Hiebert on 26 June 2012

Dr. Hiebert shows how the Lexile for a text can change with a few simple edits.

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Children’s literacy learning and screen time

Posted by Freddy Hiebert on 20 January 2012

A question that parents frequently ask these days is: Does screen time count as reading time? With such a wide variety of online reading experiences available, the short answer would be have to be, “Yes, but…”

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Is Reading in Kindergarten the Means for Ensuring College and Career Readiness?

Posted by Freddy Hiebert on 3 August 2011

The inclusion of kindergarten in the CCSS about text difficulty represents an implicit assumption about beginning reading that also requires consideration—that earlier is better. Does beginning reading in kindergarten truly ensure that high school graduates are better at reading the complex texts of careers and college? In this essay, I review research on both the explicit and implicit assumptions within the CCSS regarding formal reading instruction in kindergarten: the dumbing down of kindergarten texts and the pushing down of reading instruction to kindergarten.

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Identifying Principles for the Creation of Texts in A Variety of Languages for Beginning Readers

Posted by Freddy Hiebert on 25 May 2011

Beginning readers need substantial and consistent data about language they are learning.

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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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