Take a peek inside a fourth-grade reading classroom ...

Anthony struggles to master literal comprehension skills. Maria, on the other hand, has already mastered those skills and is ready to move on to interpretive comprehension skills. Carla, an English-language learner, is still trying to learn standard English structures, expressions, and vocabulary. David's vocabulary skills are on grade level, but his reference skills need work.

As educators, we know that our students learn differently. Yet, out of necessity, instruction often focuses on teaching to the middle, rather than teaching to...

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