THE BEST OF THE MARSHALL MEMO

How to energize leadership, teaching, and learning in 22 key areas

Proficiency in Reading, Writing, and Oral Language:

Selected Memo Summaries

With literacy instruction, says Deborah Wolter, “decades of research have shown that whatever children’s innate skills, strengths, and abilities may be, what really matters are the beliefs, attitudes, and actions of the teachers and other adults in their lives.” This selection of Marshall Memo summaries unpacks how to successfully teach reading, writing, and vocabulary. 

Questions to consider:
  • What do proficient readers and writers do that struggling students haven’t mastered?
  • What should we see and hear in an effective literacy class?
  • What will it take to close the literacy achievement gap?

Here's the table of contents:

Proficiency in Reading, Writing, and Oral Language


Implementing Effective Literacy Instruction

  1. Four key elements in effective literacy instruction
  2. Literacy experiences children should have every day
  3. What's missing in many literacy programs

Maximizing Reading Success

  1. What we need to know about the reading brain
  2. Reading Recovery's lessons for regular classrooms
  3. A balanced approach to challenge
  4. "Restorative" literacy practices that close the achievement gap

Teaching and Assessing Writing

  1. Five principles of good writing
  2. Keys to effective writing instruction
  3. Teaching writing effectively
  4. Making optimal use of the six-trait writing rubrics
  5. Advice on nurturing student writers

Building Strong Vocabularies

  1. Vocabulary development as an essential leverage point
  2. Myths about teaching vocabulary and how to get past them
  3. Early systematic teaching of sophisticated vocabulary

Professional Learning Suggestions