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!

March 9, 2021

Read-Alouds That Inspire

Elfrieda H. Hiebert

As students return to school, there’s been pressure from parents, administrators, and others to make up for what students may have missed during their absence from the classroom. Everyone is anxious that students get back on track …

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January 25, 2021

Results May Vary: Do First-Grade Reading Curriculum and Instruction Need to Be Adapted?

Elfrieda H. Hiebert & Alia Pugh

One student in a first-grade class picks up Green Eggs and Ham and reads it with zest.  Another child looks on, not quite certain what their classmate is doing.  In any first-grade class, children can differ greatly in their liter …

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January 5, 2021

Feature Presentation: How Familiarity and Concreteness Can Help Beginning Readers Learn New Words

Elfrieda H. Hiebert

Most words students encounter in school texts come from a small group of about 2,500 word families, which are groups of words related via a common root (e.g., walk, walked, walkable, etc.). Many are likely to be known orally to ch …

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November 18, 2020

What is the Best Way to Teach Vocabulary?

Elfrieda H. Hiebert

A key aspect of English Language Arts instruction is helping students expand and enrich their vocabularies. But which of the almost 600,000 words in written English should teachers teach, and how? The most typical answer is to tea …

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August 13, 2020

Teaching Networks of Words

Elfrieda H. Hiebert

A key aspect of English language arts instruction is helping young children to develop their vocabulary. But which of the almost 600,000 words in written English should teachers teach?The most typical answer to this question in re …

Posted in: Frankly Freddy, small changes = BIG RESULTS

July 16, 2020

Getting Back to the Page & Staying There

Elfrieda H. Hiebert

 Reading is all about knowledge; it’s not just for practice. When we understand that, we have a different way of looking at what our students may have lost by not being in face-to-face contact in actual (rather than virtual) class …

Posted in: Frankly Freddy, small changes = BIG RESULTS

January 28, 2020

Bad with Names: Why Proper Names Deserve Instructional Attention

Alia Pugh and Elfrieda H. Hiebert

Rare words typically make up only 5% or less of the total words in texts but it’s often the rare words that get students anxious about reading.  Some rare words fit the stereotype of being long with multiple word parts (e.g., inte …

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January 21, 2020

A Whole New World of Vocabulary Instruction

Elfrieda H. Hiebert and Alia Pugh

Words are not only a means of communicating, but a foundation of learning. The words that children know predict comprehension of what they read. Expanding students’ vocabularies is therefore one of the most critical functions of s …

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January 15, 2020

Not All Rare Words Are Sesquipedalian!

Alia Pugh and Elfrieda H. Hiebert

A small part of the English vocabulary accounts for the majority of the words in the texts students read across the grades—2,500 word families in all. But, in any text, students can expect to encounter words that are rare in Engli …

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November 27, 2018

What Does It Mean To Be A Digitally Literate Scholar?

Elfrieda H. Hiebert

THE CONTENTWe teach use of digital literacy in teacher education. That is, we ensure that teachers become adept at using the resources of the digital spaces. We share our experiences in teacher education and professional developme …

Posted in: Frankly Freddy