If you are the parent or guardian of a struggling reader, or a highly achieving reader you may find yourself wondering how to motivate your student. I believe that effective teachers teach skills, strategies and concepts that support student success. I believe that instruction must be differentiated; i.e. personalized to fit the needs of the student. Instruction must be explicit and systematic. Students must be a part of their education and this is done by including the student in feedback; they should be included in the learning process. In teaching reading at all levels, I incorporate what I like to call the Big Five: teaching phonemic awareness, phonics instruction, fluency instruction, building vocabulary and improving reading comprehension. Keep in mind that the goal of reading is comprehension. Teaching the essentials ensures student success. Stay tuned for more information and small lessons in teaching early literacy concepts and reading comprehension.