Melissa and Lori Love Literacy

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Description

Melissa and Lori Love Literacy is a podcast for educators interested in learning more about the science of reading, knowledge building, and high quality instructional materials! Join Melissa Loftus and Lori Sappington every Friday as we tackle new ways of thinking about how to teach reading and writing. Most of our experience has been in the classroom from primary through high school, but we also have experience at district and state leadership levels in literacy. Our guests include school-based educators and leaders, district leaders, literacy researchers and experts, and passionate parents and community members. Visit our website: www.literacypodcast.com

Episode Date
Ep. 135: Decodable Text Series: Math Readability
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In this episode, we talk with a team of educators who made Eureka Math Squared decodable, readable, and accessible for all students. As students access math, their deficits in reading can get in the way. Eureka Math Squared helps students have equity in math to engage in grade level work and feel empowered. All students deserve to be able to do math without limitations. 

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Helping teachers learn about science of reading, knowledge building, and high quality curriculum.

Nov 25, 2022
Ep. 134: Decodable Text Series: Small Group Instructional Time
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In this episode, we talk with first grade teacher, April Evans, about how she uses Tier 1 foundational skills assessment data to make decisions about small group time, such as how students are grouped, what happens during small group instruction, and why all students have access to readable, knowledge building texts. She discusses structures and routines that support accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. Both decodable and readable, knowledge building texts have a purpose and place in her classroom.

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Helping teachers learn about science of reading, knowledge building, and high quality curriculum. 

Nov 18, 2022
[Listen Again] Ep. 9: Geodes Rock
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Pun intended. This episode takes us into the world of Geodes - decodable readers that bridge foundational skills and Wit and Wisdom ELA - through building knowledge and accessible text. Melissa and Lori talk with Lorraine Griffith and Emily Gula, who share the research and insight behind the development of Geodes and how they can be used in classrooms, as well as (and most importantly) why Geodes are market disrupters. We can't wait for Baltimore City students to experience these special texts this year, to connect Wilson Language's Fundations foundational skills to the knowledge-building topics in Wit and Wisdom ELA core instruction. Quite simply, GEODES ROCK!

Nov 15, 2022
Ep. 133: Decodable Text Series: Quality Decodable Texts
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Primary Teachers: This one’s for YOU! Today we talk with educator, author, and business-owner Elise Lovejoy about decodable texts. What makes texts decodable? What makes quality decodable texts? What’s the purpose of decodable texts? How can we use decodable texts in the classroom? Listen and learn as we discuss all things decodable texts.

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Helping teachers learn about science of reading, knowledge building, and high quality curriculum. 

Nov 11, 2022
Ep. 132: Decodable Text Series: The Research on Decodable Text
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Researcher Heidi Anne Mesmer joins the podcast to discuss the research on decodable text and dos and don'ts for classroom practice. Thinking about decodability as a meter from most to least decodable to the reader is important. A child who reads a text by sounding out and decoding words will experience a milestone of childhood: the feeling of reading. This also supports orthographic mapping.

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Helping teachers learn about science of reading, knowledge building, and high quality curriculum. 

Nov 04, 2022
Ep. 131: Dyslexia, The Brain, and Reading Science with Neuroscientist and Professor, DJ Bolger
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DJ Bolger, a neuroscientist and associate professor at the University of Maryland College Park, joins the podcast today. DJ helps us understand the dyslexia brain a bit better, shares how dyslexia is so much more than “one” thing, and provides helpful analogies and ideas for application. He defines dyslexia, discussing the brain, and making connections to reading science.  

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Helping teachers learn about science of reading, knowledge building, and high quality curriculum. 



Oct 28, 2022
Ep. 130: Teachers' Guide to Trauma
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Trauma impacts every facet of our being. Today we’ll hear from educator and author, Dr. Melissa Sadin. As part of our Dyslexia Awareness month series, Dr. Sadin will share her personal story about how trauma and reading affected her family. Trauma can get in the way of the brain learning to read but we can help our students through intentional instructional practices. 

Resources

Oct 21, 2022
[Listen Again] Ep. 100: Trauma and Reading with Dr. Steven Dykstra
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As part of our Dyslexia Awareness Month series, listen again to Dr. Steven Dykstra discuss the devastating effects on students who have not received the instruction they need to be successful readers. 
 
April 1, 2022
The axis of rating trauma is frequent and repetitive. Over time, the chronic trauma wears down kids who can’t read. This has devastating effects. In our official 100th episode, Dr. Steven Dyskstra discusses Trauma and Reading. He explains the connection between not being taught to read using evidence-based practices and the subsequent, unnecessary trauma this causes in children’s lives. Stepping away from science-based approaches creates issues for kids that don’t need to be there. This is a pervasive problem happening everywhere. 

Dr. Steven Dykstra is a psychologist, advocate, and troublemaker in the reading world.  He has worked with the most severely traumatized and mentally ill children for more than 25 years. His passion for reading comes from the recognition that the thousands of children he has served often pay the highest price for our failures and mistakes. 

Oct 18, 2022
[Listen Again] Ep. 23: Emily Hanford Epically Defines the Science of Reading
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In celebration of Emily Hanford's new documentary series, Sold a Story, listen again to Emily Hanford here!  

Today Emily Hanford joins Melissa and Lori to define the Science of Reading, addressing the current misinterpretation of the term and what it really means. She shares thoughts on teacher prep programs and where teachers get knowledge about what or how to teach, contemplates why teacher prep programs are not preparing teachers to teach kids how to read, and how curriculum plays a role in helping teachers who do not know the science of reading.

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Helping teachers learn about science of reading, knowledge building, and high quality curriculum. 

Oct 18, 2022
Ep. 129: Listen, Learn, Advocate with Speech Language Pathologist Sydney Bassard
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In this episode, we talk with Sydney Bassard, a clinical speech language pathologist, also known as The Listening SLP. Inspired by her brother’s experience with dyslexia, she became a speech language pathologist and began advocating within her community so educators and parents can be informed and actualize reading science into practice. Sydney defines the role of the speech language pathologist in the community and in the school to help us better connect language and literacy. 


Resources


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Helping teachers learn about science of reading, knowledge building, and high quality curriculum. 

Oct 14, 2022
Ep. 128: Dear Balanced Literacy Teacher with Missy Purcell
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In this episode, we talk with former balanced literacy teacher and parent, Missy Purcell. She authored a blog post titled Dear Balanced Literacy Teacher.

Missy writes, “According to Nancy Young’s ladder of reading, roughly 10-15% of kids can figure out reading out with this type of instruction, but my child, who would later be diagnosed with dyslexia, would never be able to become a proficient reader with any version of balanced literacy. He, according to Young, like 85% of students, benefit from or need systematic explicit instruction that follows a scope and sequence with fidelity to become proficient readers and writers.”

We want to normalize the idea that most kids CAN learn how to read with structured literacy instruction. 


Resources


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Helping teachers learn about science of reading, knowledge building, and high quality curriculum. 

Oct 07, 2022
[Listen Again] Ep. 99: An Important Discussion about Reading with Our Dyslexic Children's President, Brett Tingley
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As part of our Dyslexia Awareness Month series, listen to a previous episode with parent and advocate Brett Tingley. 

March 25, 2022
Brett Tingley shares how to harness parent energy and expertise to address the legal and moral responsibility of school districts to teach children how to read using science. Our Dyslexic Children tells the story of a group of parents who took on the system, and won. The nonprofit group shares a Strategic Roadmap that’s a practical and actionable guide for educators and parents looking to improve reading instruction in their communities.  

Oct 06, 2022
[Listen Again] Ep. 74: Dyslexia and Reading Science: A Parent Advocate's Perspective
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As part of our Dyslexia Awareness Month series, listen to a previous episode with parent and advocate Katie Hickerson. 

September 24, 2021
“I just thought kids learned how to read… and my daughter didn’t. She could identify 4 letters by the end of kindergarten .” Katie Hickerson's daughter, Cora, went from a joyous little one to a child with lots of big feelings after starting school, saying she felt stupid.

Katie pulled Cora out of school to be homeschooled - providing structured literacy instruction alongside rigorous tutoring through the International Dyslexia Association. In less than two years, Cora went from meeting a 1% reading benchmark to 92% and was back to herself - full of joy, laughter, and confidence. 

How can parents (and educators) support the reading science movement? Listen and learn!

Oct 05, 2022
[Listen Again] Ep. 39: Discussing Dyslexia with Advocate & Mom Liz Hembling
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As part of our Dyslexia Awareness Month series, listen to a previous episode with parent and advocate Liz Hembling. 

November 24, 2020
Liz Hembling's daughter, Mia, attended a public elementary school. Liz noticed early on that she struggled terribly learning to read. In second grade, the school placed Mia in a remedial reading group, without communicating this to Liz. When Liz expressed her concerns, she was repeatedly assured that Mia was “on grade level” and “fine.” But... she wasn’t fine.  Liz knew there was something wrong.

This sent Liz on a quest to understand what's happening in the public school system. How could she create change to ensure all kids could access quality reading instruction and services? Liz joined Decoding Dyslexia Maryland and tirelessly advocates for students and families.

Oct 04, 2022
BONUS: Parents and Dyslexia
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Today we have a special episode featuring four parents from all over the United States. One thing they have in common is that they have children with dyslexia. They are courageously sharing their stories as reading science advocates working for systemic change.  


Resources


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Helping teachers learn about science of reading, knowledge building, and high quality curriculum. 

Oct 03, 2022
Ep. 127: Richard Gentry, Dyslexia Expert
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Dr. J. Richard Gentry, Dyslexia Expert and the “Guru of Spelling,” joins us on the podcast today to discuss dyslexia. Dyslexia is a specific learning disability, neurobiological in origin. It’s the #1 reading disability that manifests itself in a continuum. People with dyslexia have difficulty in accurate fluent reading,  spelling, and decoding abilities. Dr. Gentry shares his personal story of overcoming dyslexia, how dyslexia affects people, and how teachers can help students with dyslexia in the classroom. 

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Helping teachers learn about science of reading, knowledge building, and high quality curriculum. 

Sep 30, 2022
[Listen Again] Ep 96: What about Spelling? with Richard Gentry
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In this coming Friday's episode we get to talk to the fabulous Richard Gentry again! This time we talk to him about dyslexia to kick off a series of episodes for Dyslexia Awareness Month. Until then, listen to our first episode with Richard Gentry about the importance of spelling! 

March 4, 2022
We’ve been asked about spelling and the connection to reading science more times than we can count. Today, we talk with expert J. Richard Gentry,  author of Brain Words and blog contributor to Psychology Today: Raising Readers, Writers, and Spellers (An Expert Guide for Parents).

He tells us all about spelling and how it connects to our speech and language system. Moreover, he supplies teachers with practical, meaningful, science of reading-aligned strategies to teach spelling.

Sep 27, 2022
Ep. 126: How a Science of Reading Bill Became a Law … in Virginia!
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Virginia Delegate, Carrie Coyner, and University of Virginia Professor, Emily Solari, championed action for a bill (now a law) that put $70 million towards changing colleges of education, professional learning for educators, and curriculum and materials to align to reading science across the state of Virginia. On this podcast, they will share how they accomplished this with 100% agreement from all state representatives, regardless of political party. 


Resources 


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Helping teachers learn about science of reading, knowledge building, and high quality curriculum. 

Sep 23, 2022
Ep. 125: Reviewing Research with Healthy Skepticism
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Andrew Watson, educator and author of Learning and the Brain Blog and the book The Goldilocks Map, teaches us how to become healthy skeptics. Cognitive science and literacy intersect as we are inundated with information about reading science, curricular materials, motivation strategies and more. As we learn to discern and distill information, we ask the question: Is there research to support that? There are three steps to the process of unpacking the legitimacy of research. 

  1. Determine if you trust the speaker. Ask: What is the best research you know of that supports that idea? 
  2. Review the study. Ask: Is this study a good proxy for my students or scenario? 
  3. Look for more research! Consider: Which direction does most of the research point me? 


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Sep 16, 2022
[Listen Again] Ep. 105: You're Wrong About... Assessment
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This episode with Lior Klirs connects to Ep. 124: Innovative Assessment with the Louisiana Assessment Team. If you haven't heard this one yet, definitely listen! 

From original episode (5/6/22)
This episode is the first in a series on a really important topic: Assessment. How can we debunk the idea of ‘standards-aligned assessments’? What about ‘standards-aligned report cards’? 

Today’s guest teaches us that when we overfocus on the format of an assessment (i.e. the standards), we miss out on what matters most and lose track of the goal (i.e. comprehension). Comprehension is not a single construct. 

When we think about assessment data, there are two important questions to ask: 

  1. Are the data useful? 
  2. How are we preparing students for assessments? Are we confusing format with goals? 

The assessment data is a pathway back to the content. In case you’re wondering, here’s where the science of reading comes into play… knowledge building is a necessary and (very) important part of assessment!

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Resources (bulleted list of resources mentioned in the podcast) 


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Sep 13, 2022
Ep. 124: Innovative Assessment with the Louisiana Assessment Team
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Louisiana is a state taking assessment to the next level. In this episode, the assessment team from the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) discusses Innovative Assessments. Reading comprehension is often assessed through cold reads and sometimes familiar topics. The LDOE team tells us how we can change our approach to assessment. We know comprehension is tricky to assess. Why? One word: KNOWLEDGE. Reading science tells us that knowledge is a critical piece of comprehension. Listen as the LDOE team tells how they are innovating to provide equity and respect for teachers and students through assessment. 


Resources


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Sep 09, 2022
Ep. 123: Diana Leddy - The Painted Essay
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Diana Leddy of the Vermont Writing Collaborative joins Melisas and Lori to talk about a topic we love: Writing. Specifically, Diana discusses a simple, easy to use tool used to support students with expository writing called The Painted Essay. The Painted Essay works because it helps students understand visually what they are writing and why they are writing it, as well as organize their thinking around a thesis statement. This structure requires students to think about what they want to say and use writing skills to say it. 


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Sep 02, 2022
Ep. 122: Reading as Science AND Art with Tim Rasinski, David Paige, & Chase Young
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Today Melissa and Lori talk with authors Chase Young, David Paige, and Timothy V. Rasinski, authors of the book, Artfully Teaching the Science of Reading. Teaching artfully means teaching authentically, aesthetically, and creatively. This book shares how to teach the five pillars of reading (phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension) artfully. It’s important to really know what you’re doing in order to be artful in your teaching. 

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Aug 26, 2022
Book Talk: Artfully Teaching the Science of Reading
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Artfully Teaching the Science of Reading by Chase Young, David Paige, and Timothy Rasinski is a next step for educators steeped in the science. When we understand reading research and science, we can add art and creativity to the learning space. What does it mean to teach artfully? How can we creatively approach teaching aligned to science? These questions answered (and more) in this book talk. 


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Aug 23, 2022
Ep. 121: Listener Question: What about Classroom Objectives?
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Melissa and Lori received a question from a listener about classroom objectives. The listener was grappling with the idea that she has to post objectives in her classroom, but they often don't match what reading science tells us about how we teach reading. This question requires us to rethink about "meeting an objective" at the end of a reading comprehension lesson. It's about SO MUCH MORE than classroom objectives. It's about knowledge building,  assessment, and evolving outcomes to align with current practice. Listen and learn as Melissa and Lori unpack this important question together!


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Aug 19, 2022
[Listen Again] Ep. 71: Science of Reading Part 2: Decodable Texts, Sound Walls, & the Aim of Early Literacy
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If you loved our recent episode with Julia Lindsey about her book, Reading Above the Fray, you won't want to miss our first episode with her last year! Check it out!

From Sept 10, 2021
What are we aiming to accomplish in early reading instruction? Dr. Julia Lindsey asks this  as she tackles topics such as decoding, decodable texts, sound walls, and more.

We discuss the role of instruction and how that pushes a child to be better instead of keeping them at the same place where they might not develop skills as an independent reader. This two-part SoR series is a must-listen for educators!

Aug 17, 2022
[Listen Again] Ep. 70: Science of Reading Part 1: Decodable Texts, Sound Walls, & the Aim of Early Literacy
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If you loved our recent episode with Julia Lindsey about her book, Reading Above the Fray, you won't want to miss our first episode with her last year! Check it out!

From Sept 3, 2021
What are we aiming to accomplish in early reading instruction? Dr. Julia Lindsey asks this  as she tackles topics such as decoding, decodable texts, sound walls, and more.

We discuss the role of instruction and how that pushes a child to be better instead of keeping them at the same place where they might not develop skills as an independent reader. This two-part SoR series is a must-listen for educators!

Aug 16, 2022
Ep. 120: Research-Based Routines for Developing Decoding Skills with Julia Lindsey
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Talking with Dr. Julia Lindsey is like popping into the classroom next door to chat with your best teacher friend after school. On this podcast, Julia shares what evidence says that young readers need to know to help them decode words efficiently. We discuss foundational reading skills, starting with oral language and print concepts through multisyllabic word reading. Instructional swaps take this conversation to the classroom where Julia tells us what to swap to improve instruction. Efficient and effective instruction is critical when teaching decoding. 

Resources
Reading Above the Fray by Dr. Julia B. Lindsey

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Aug 12, 2022
Book Talk: Reading Above the Fray
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Reading Above the Fray: Reliable, Research-Based Routines for Developing Decoding Skills is a must read for all ELA educators Pre-K through 12. Dr. Julia Lindsey outlines the essentials of how children learn to read, the principles of high-quality foundational skills instruction, essential instructional "swaps" to improve reading instruction, and more.

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Aug 09, 2022
Ep. 119: How Reading Science Works for English Learners with Elsa Cardenas-Hagan
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Dr. Elsa Cardenas-Hagan joins the podcast to share that reading science works for English Learners. What does it mean to use evidence-based instruction to teach English Learners? Dr. Cardenas-Hagan asserts that every language has its own history, its own culture, its own use. Language supports literacy, and literacy support language. With this cyclical understanding, she explains how to use effective strategies for ALL learners. 


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Aug 05, 2022
Book Talk: Literacy Foundations for English Learners
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Literacy Foundations for English Learners prepares educators to enter the classroom with a full understanding of the language and literacy development of English Learners. Remember this:  What's good for English Learners is good for ALL students! 

In this book talk, Melissa and Lori unpack the elements of an integrated approach to vocabulary learning in content-rich instruction. They consider how word learning strategies help English Learners move toward independence and explore how content-rich vocabulary instruction builds a strong foundation for text comprehension. They bring it together by applying evidence-based vocabulary strategies to practical examples of this approach in the classroom. 

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Aug 02, 2022
Ep. 118: Rethinking Reading Comprehension with Researcher Hugh Catts
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In this episode, researcher Hugh Catts discusses his pivotal piece titled Rethinking How to Promote Reading Comprehension | American Federation of Teachers. He asserts, “Reading comprehension is thinking with a book in your hand.” There are three factors that impact reading comprehension: the reader, the text, and the activity (task or purpose). He talks with Melissa and Lori about the role knowledge plays in reading comprehension, the interaction of the knowledge the text demands vs. the knowledge a student brings to a task, and the implications of knowledge in instruction and assessment.

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Jul 29, 2022
Ep. 117: The Writing Revolution with Authors Judith Hochman and Natalie Wexler
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The Writing Revolution authors, Judith Hochman and Natalie Wexler, share a 'revolutionary' approach to writing. The best part: It begins at the sentence level AND content knowledge drives the rigor.  Moreover, there is an overlap in reading, writing, and critical thinking. 

What are the principles of The Writing Revolution?  There are six: 

  1. Students need explicit instruction in writing, beginning in the early elementary grades.
  2. Sentences are the building blocks of all writing.
  3. When embedded in the content of the curriculum, writing instruction is a powerful teaching tool.
  4. The content of the curriculum drives the rigor of the writing activities.
  5. Grammar is best taught in the context of student writing.
  6. The two most important phases of the writing process are planning and revising.  


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Jul 22, 2022
Book Talk: The Writing Revolution
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Melissa and Lori talk about The Writing Revolution by Dr. Judith Hochman and Natalie Wexler. What distinguishes The Writing Revolution and everything else out there? There are two basic principles: 

  1. To modulate the heavy cognitive load by beginning at the sentence level. 
  2. To embed the writing activities into core content of curriculum so students attain knowledge needed (about knowledge building, about reading - and writing -  for understanding) 

Listen and learn more about knowledge and explicit writing instruction.

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Jul 19, 2022
Ep. 116: Sonia Cabell on the Importance of Content-Rich ELA Instruction
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Dr. Sonia Cabell, Associate Professor at Florida State University, shares the importance of both oral language and content knowledge instruction. Why? Oral language skills underlie our ability to comprehend text. At the same time, the knowledge we bring to a text is THE key determinant on how much we understand that text. This episode speaks to the entirety of the reading rope! 

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Jul 15, 2022
Ep. 115: Kindergarten TEAM Reaches (nearly) 100% Success Using Evidence-Based Practices
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Kristin Poppens IS BACK! In this episode, she shares the power of teacher teamwork and collaboration.  Her Kindergarten teammates and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) join her to explain how they use evidence-based practices to reach 100% success for Every Single Student. All means all!   

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Jul 08, 2022
[Listen Again] Ep. 63: Kindergarten Teacher Reaches 100% Success Using Evidence-Based Practices
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Listen Again

Kristin is coming back this Friday, and she is bringing a WHOLE TEAM with her! If you haven't listened to her first episode with us from last summer, listen NOW to hear about all that she learned and implemented before hearing how she worked with others to bring that learning beyond her classroom. 

From June 2021  

Kristin Poppens teaches kindergarten in Iowa and is just learning about the science of reading! In fact, she's applied evidence-based, self-taught practices for less than six months, and her students reached end of year benchmarks with 100% success rate. Kristin's district uses Lucy Calkins Units of Study Phonics, Reading, & Writing as a core curricula ... but now that Kristin knows better, she's doing better for her students.


Listen in as she shares the shifts she makes to take a science of reading, evidence-based approach to literacy!


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Jul 05, 2022
Ep. 114: Science of Reading: What I Should Have Learned in College with Donna Hejtmanek
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Donna Hejtmanek, teacher and lifelong literacy advocate, joins Melissa and Lori on the podcast. What does Science of Reading really mean? There’s some misinformation and misunderstandings happening recently around the term - some are equating it to phonics. But, Donna asserts, it’s so much more than that! It’s Science of Literacy. 

Three years ago, Donna began a Facebook Group titled Science of Reading: What I Should Have Learned in College. It exploded in popularity with almost 160K members (as of this publication). As moderator of the world’s largest literacy professional learning community, Donna’s advocacy work stretches beyond her home state borders to national and international reach. 

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Jul 01, 2022
Ep. 113: Reading is Rocket Science with Louisa Moats
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Why is teaching reading so important? Melissa and Lori have a conversation with Louisa Moats grounded in this article: Teaching Reading is Rocket Science: What Expert Teachers of Reading Should Know and Be Able to Do. Moats asserts that 95% of students can learn to read when taught to do so using evidence-based practices. In this episode, listen as we discuss and define the term science of reading, while connecting decades of research and theory to classroom practice.  

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Jun 24, 2022
Ep. 112: Kareem Weaver on Levers for Literacy Change
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In this episode, Melissa and Lori have a candid discussion about change with Kareem Weaver, co-founder of FULCRUM Oakland: Full and Complete Reading is a Universal Mandate. FULCRUM’s goal is to ensure that every Oakland child is an 'on-time' reader provided with full LITERACY: a fundamental civil right, a powerful protection from the school to prison pipeline, and the cornerstone for a life of choice and fulfillment. In this episode, Kareem discusses the change he is fighting for and the elements he believes are necessary to make it happen. 

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Jun 17, 2022
Lori's Top Pick [Listen Again] Ep. 43: A Knowledge-Based Approach to Writing: The Vermont Writing Collaborative
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From Lori:
The Vermont Writing Collaborative authors and educators remind us that kids need to have  deep knowledge of the subject matter that they’re writing about… Science of Writing. This episode also gets me really excited for an episode coming out this summer focused on writing, where we talk about how to extract that knowledge and explicitly teach writing!

Listen again or for the first time!
Joey Hawkins & Diana Leddy of The Vermont Writing Collaborative share how educators can support students in creating and communicating their understanding through writing. 

The three pillars for writing for understanding are: 

Backward design (envision the final goal!)

Build understanding (talking about text, writing about text, acting it out, and more!)

Direct instruction (writing models, structures, organizers)

Writing is a powerful way of working with knowledge - a coherent chunk of knowledge. How do HQIM support and execute this approach to writing for understanding? Listen in to find out, and grab a copy of their book, Writing for Understanding!

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Jun 14, 2022
Melissa's Top Pick [Listen Again] Ep. 66: Re-thinking the Reading Rope with Nell Duke
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From Melissa:
I love this episode because Nell Duke shares two messages about the Science of Reading that are crucial! 1) That the science is always evolving and will continue to evolve and 2) that the Science of Reading includes comprehension and making meaning of texts! 

Listen again or for the first time!
Did you know that Scarborough's Rope is 20 years old?! That's why Nell K. Duke unpacks how the science of reading has progressed over the last 20 years, moving beyond the simple view of reading in this piece: The Science of Reading Progresses (co-authored by Kelly B. Cartwright). Check out page 9 for a graphic we discuss throughout the podcast in order to re-think the reading rope.

To connect with a practitioner lens, Duke (alongside Ward & Pearson) also penned The Science of Reading Comprehension Instruction. They ask the question: What have decades of research told us about the nature of comprehension and how to develop students’ comprehension in schools? Listen to find out!

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Jun 14, 2022
Ep. 111: Melissa & Lori: Two Truths and a Lie
3742

Melissa and Lori share more about themselves...  how their undergrad and graduate coursework didn’t prepare them to teach students to read, a bit about their teaching and leadership experiences, and of course, why they started the podcast! Bonus content: They ask and answer Five Things You Love and play Two Truths and a Lie.

To read more about Melissa and Lori, check out this article by Voyage Baltimore Magazine.

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Helping teachers learn about science of reading, knowledge building, and high quality curriculum. 

Jun 10, 2022
Ep. 110: Baltimore Secondary Literacy Teachers Talk Fluency
4275

Today middle school educators from Baltimore City Public Schools join us to discuss their focus on fluency through Continuous Improvement work with fluency using HQC. What is Continuous Improvement? Why is this a useful framework? “Possibly wrong, definitely incomplete”  is a mantra that resonates. The educators share their approach, impact, and outcomes for students. Secondary teachers… this one’s for you. 

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Helping teachers learn about science of reading, knowledge building, and high quality curriculum. 

Jun 03, 2022
Ep. 109: The Right to Read with Second Language Educator, Kim Lockhart
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Kim Lockhart, Canadian French immersion teacher and special educator in Kingston, Ontario, shares how she meets the needs of students in her classroom. As stated in a recent report, Right to Read inquiry report from Ontario Human Rights Commission, Ontario is removing the three cueing system completely from all materials and turning to reading science instead. In this episode, Kim models what an evidence-based phonics lesson might entail. In second language programs, it’s necessary for students to build language comprehension by attaching meaning to decoding. 

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Helping teachers learn about science of reading, knowledge building, and high quality curriculum. 

May 27, 2022
Ep. 108: From 13% to 100% Literacy Proficiency with School Leader Angie Hanlin
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Angie Hanlin, current Superintendent in Wisconsin, led her former school from 13% to 100% reading proficiency. How? Angie shifted the focus from TEACHING to LEARNING.  She worked alongside her school teams with a relentless, laser-like focus on data, asking questions such as: Who is making progress? Who’s not? What are we going to do about it? Radical acceptance of the data helped educators move forward and put aside blame and shame. Key takeaway: All means ALL! 

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Helping teachers learn about science of reading, knowledge building, and high quality curriculum. 

May 20, 2022
Ep. 107: Where Do Secondary Educators Start with Struggling Students?
3312

The authors of Thinking Reading: What Every Secondary Teacher Needs to Know About Reading, James and Dianne Murphy, join Melissa and Lori to discuss secondary struggling readers. Where do secondary educators start with struggling students? Put simply, there are two parts to intervention: learning and practice (for automaticity). Keeping those in mind, target what students need to know, explicitly teach and practice, and keep it manageable and motivating. 

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Helping teachers learn about science of reading, knowledge building, and high quality curriculum.


May 13, 2022
Ep. 106: Book Preview: Thinking Reading: What Every Secondary Teacher Needs to Know About Reading
2788

Join Melissa and Lori for their first Book Club episode! In this episode, they discuss the book Thinking Reading: What Every Secondary Teacher Needs to Know About Reading. They focus their discussion on Chapter 4: Helping struggling readers in the secondary classroom, and Chapter 6: What does it take for effective reading intervention at secondary school?  


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Helping teachers learn about science of reading, knowledge building, and high quality curriculum. 


May 10, 2022
Ep. 105: You're Wrong About... Assessment
4288

This episode is the first in a series on a really important topic: Assessment. How can we debunk the idea of ‘standards-aligned assessments’? What about ‘standards-aligned report cards’? 

Today’s guest teaches us that when we overfocus on the format of an assessment (i.e. the standards), we miss out on what matters most and lose track of the goal (i.e. comprehension). Comprehension is not a single construct. 

When we think about assessment data, there are two important questions to ask: 

  1. Are the data useful? 
  2. How are we preparing students for assessments? Are we confusing format with goals? 

The assessment data is a pathway back to the content. In case you’re wondering, here’s where the science of reading comes into play… knowledge building is a necessary and (very) important part of assessment! 

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May 06, 2022
Ep. 104: ELA Teacher + School Librarian = Knowledge Building Dream Team
2674

In today’s episode we’re joined by two teachers from Skaneateles, NY - Seth and Kelly. Seth is a sixth grade ELA teacher and Kelly is a middle school librarian. They work together to ensure that all students have access to complex texts. With the right support, they believe that all students can engage in grade level tasks. Seth and Kelly share how their collaboration around the knowledge and tasks in Wit & Wisdom ELA enriches students' learning and teachers’ teaching. Together, they make an incredible, knowledge-rich team!


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Helping educators learn about science of reading, knowledge building, and high quality curriculum. 

Apr 29, 2022
Ep. 103: From Workshop Model to Reading Science in Pentucket
3461

Episode Description
Pentucket Regional School District  transitioned from balanced  literacy programs to teaching and learning with structured literacy and reading science. Coaches and leaders used data to support educators in understanding the purpose of the transition. They unpacked why the materials were different from what they previously used. Key takeaway: You can’t take your old practices with you and use them with the new materials. Pentucket currently utilizes Wit & Wisdom ELA, Geodes, Fundations, and Heggerty. 


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Helping teachers learn about science of reading, knowledge building, and high quality curriculum. 

Apr 22, 2022
Ep. 102: Heidi Jane Drops Knowledge on Heart Words and So. Much. More!
3191

In today’s episode, we drop some knowledge with one of our favorite teachers, Heidi Jane. You might recognize her as Droppin Knowledge With Heidi on Instagram or LearningWithHeidi on TikTok! What’s the difference between sight words and heart words? How does knowing letter sounds help students when they begin decoding? Why did Heidi choose the trademark Literacy and Justice for All? Heidi shares her journey from balanced literacy to science of reading with the goal of reaching the everyday classroom teacher. Digressions include This Is Us, Mandy Moore, and TikTok. 

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Apr 15, 2022
[Listen Again] Ep. 48: Behind the Scenes at EdReports.org
3771

This is the time when many districts are engaged in the curriculum adoption process, so we wanted to put this extremely information episode out for listeners who may have missed it. Cory Epler, CAO at Nebraska DOE, speaks about how they encourage the use of EdReports in episode 101. Visit our website and subscribe to our newsletter that follows up with more information about choosing curricula!

What goes on behind the scenes at EdReports.org? Tricia Parker and Jess Box share the gateways that EdReports uses to reviews curricula: standards alignment, quality, and usability. We ask the questions we all really want to know: 

  • Who are the curriculum reviewers? 
  • How do reviewers ensure standards alignment? 
  • What does it really mean for curricula to meet grade level standards? 
  • What does 'all green' really mean? 
  • How do complex texts, tasks, TDQs build over time to shape knowledge and coherence?

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Apr 12, 2022
Ep. 101: The State of Nebraska's Transition to Reading Science
2724

Nebraska Dept of Education CAO, Cory Epler, joins us today to share why and how Nebraska transitioned to reading science with HQM. In the course of eight years, the state formed a partnership with EdReports and The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), built transparency of HQM in Local Education Agencies (LEAs), and provided guidance around high quality materials. These key actions created coherence and agency across the state. This mantra resonates: Make the best choice the easiest choice

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Apr 08, 2022
Ep. 100: Trauma and Reading with Dr. Steven Dykstra
4572

The axis of rating trauma is frequent and repetitive. Over time, the chronic trauma wears down kids who can’t read. This has devastating effects. In our official 100th episode, Dr. Steven Dyskstra discusses Trauma and Reading. He explains the connection between not being taught to read using evidence-based practices and the subsequent, unnecessary trauma this causes in children’s lives. Stepping away from science-based approaches creates issues for kids that don’t need to be there. This is a pervasive problem happening everywhere. 

Dr. Steven Dykstra is a psychologist, advocate, and troublemaker in the reading world.  He has worked with the most severely traumatized and mentally ill children for more than 25 years. His passion for reading comes from the recognition that the thousands of children he has served often pay the highest price for our failures and mistakes. 

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Apr 01, 2022
Ep. 99: An Important Discussion about Reading with Our Dyslexic Children's President, Brett Tingley
3256

Brett Tingley shares how to harness parent energy and expertise to address the legal and moral responsibility of school districts to teach children how to read using science. Our Dyslexic Children tells the story of a group of parents who took on the system, and won. The nonprofit group shares a Strategic Roadmap that’s a practical and actionable guide for educators and parents looking to improve reading instruction in their communities.  

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Mar 25, 2022
[Listen Again] Ep. 62: Effective Fluency Instruction with Tim Rasinski
4296

Last Friday, we talked about FLUENCY with a couple great guests, Lindsay Kemeny and Lorraine Griffith. If you haven't listened to our episode with Tim Rasinski from last summer, give it a listen to add to your knowledge about fluency!

From Original Show Notes:
In this episode, reading and fluency expert Tim Rasinski tells us all about effective fluency instruction! How does repeated reading build fluency instruction? Why does text difficulty level impact fluency practice? What do effective accuracy, automaticity, and expression sound like?

Check out research, articles, and helpful materials located on Tim's website and follow Tim on Twitter @TimRasinski1. We also discuss this piece by Nell Duke.

Mar 22, 2022
Ep 98: Improving Student Reading Growth in Months with Fluency Instruction and Practice
3192

How can regular fluency practice lead to fluent readers? In today’s episode, educators Lorraine Griffith and Lindsay Kemeny discuss the impact of fluency in their classrooms. Fluency is a bridge: It connects word recognition with comprehension. We dive into whole and small group fluency instruction with simple strategies and more. 

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Mar 18, 2022
Ep 97: Going GLEAM with Lacey Robinson and Andrea Hancock
3225

In this episode, we chat with our friends at UnboundEd about Going GLEAM. Lacey Robinson and Andrea Hancock share the GLEAM process - grade-level, engaging, affirming, and meaningful - and ways that educators can feel empowered to lead from their seat. 

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Mar 11, 2022
Ep 96: What about Spelling? with Richard Gentry
3397

We’ve been asked about spelling and the connection to reading science more times than we can count. Today, we talk with expert J. Richard Gentry,  author of Brain Words and blog contributor to Psychology Today: Raising Readers, Writers, and Spellers (An Expert Guide for Parents).

He tells us all about spelling and how it connects to our speech and language system. Moreover, he supplies teachers with practical, meaningful, science of reading-aligned strategies to teach spelling. 

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Mar 04, 2022
Ep. 95: Discussing the Shift to New Literacy Curriculum with Two District Leaders
3161

Is your district in the process of choosing a new literacy curriculum? Or have you recently gone through the process? Adopting new curriculum is a huge change and involves shifting mindsets at all levels. 

 In today’s episode, we talk with two district leaders and learners doing exciting work with evidence-based, high quality instructional materials (HQIM). Join us in our conversation with Jean Wyche, Elementary Language Arts Specialist at Fairfax County Schools, and Janise Lane, former Executive Director of Teaching and Learning in Baltimore City and current Regional VP for Partner Success at Amplify ELA. 

By the end of today’s episode, we hope you will learn concrete steps districts need to take when deciding to move to HQIM. We hope you will enjoy hearing how they keep core values close while building coherence, collaboration, and confidence! We’d love to hear your thoughts on this conversation, so send us an email melissaandlori@literacypodcast.com or send us a message on Twitter or Instagram @literacypodcast.

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Feb 25, 2022
Ep. 94: "If only I would have known..." Book Talk with Author Faith Borkowsky
3275

Today we talk with Faith Borkowsky about her book, “If only I would have known… “ What I wish the Pediatrician, the Preschool Teacher, and the Librarian would have told me about Language, Literacy, and Dyslexia. This accessible book explains the science of reading in simple terms. Check out Ifonlybooks.com for free resources such as a book discussion guide. 

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Feb 18, 2022
Ep 93: School Counselor and Reading Advocate Dad - Tre Hadrick
2984

Tre Hadrick, father, guidance counselor, reading science advocate, and book club leader, joins us on the pod today. You might know him as Mr. Lit on Twitter or Instagram, where he advocates for literacy and justice for all. Tre’s book club, Lit Champs (Dad’s Literacy Book Club), gained attention when he posted a video discussing this book - If only I had knownby Faith Borkowsky. We connected with Tre to discuss the impact of this book on his son and community. We also consider the big impact of this piece by Dr. Stephen Dykstra, titled Trauma and Reading.

Digressions include Tre’s children’s book, Cheesesteaks and Clippers: The Barbership where you can learn about you, me and we! and recommendations for both cheesesteaks and clippers in the Philly area. 

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Feb 11, 2022
[Listen Again] Ep. 23: Emily Hanford Epically Defines the Science of Reading
3832

Hi Literacy Lovers! This week we wanted to offer you all a chance to listen to one of our favorite episodes from when we just started the podcast. The absolutely incredible and inspirational Emily Hanford drops a TON of information in this episode, so it's worth another listen if it's been a while. We hope you get as much from our conversation with her as we did! We will back next Friday with a brand new episode for you all. 

[From Feb 10, 2020]
Today Emily Hanford joins Melissa and Lori to define the Science of Reading, addressing the current misinterpretation of the term and what it really means. She shares thoughts on teacher prep programs and where teachers get knowledge about what or how to teach, contemplates why teacher prep programs are not preparing teachers to teach kids how to read, and how curriculum plays a role in helping teachers who do not know the science of reading.

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Feb 04, 2022
Ep 92: Talking About the Literacy Block with Two Early Elementary Teachers
3363

We are honored to talk with two early grade veteran teachers from Vista Peak Exploratory in Aurora, CO. Vista Peak is in Year 4 of Great Minds’ Wit & Wisdom ELA, Geodes, and Wilson Language Fundations… the trifecta! April Evans, grade 1, and Danielle Hunter, grade 3, discuss the transition from piecemeal, low quality curricula materials to high quality materials that focus on building both skills and knowledge. They share how their materials support engagement and excitement in creating a classroom community of learners. What does the literacy block look like in grades 1 and 3? How are knowledge and skills aligned through grade bands? Listen to find out. 

Decodable Readers Protocol from Student Achievement Partners 

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Jan 28, 2022
Ep. 91: Part 2: Improving Reading for Older Students with David Liben
2601

David Liben joins us again to discuss how to improve reading for older students. How can teachers help older students with unfinished literacy learning? How can teachers address foundational skills and fluency for older readers? Are decodables appropriate for older students? What is the role of independent reading? What is a volume of reading? Where does knowledge building fit? Listen and learn about these topics and more with one of our favorite literacy friends! 

David’s Course: Improving Reading for Older Students

David & Meredith Liben’s Graphic Novel for Kids: How we read 

David’s blogs on Volume of Reading one and two 

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Jan 21, 2022
Ep. 90: Part 1: Improving Reading for Older Students with David Liben
1988

David Liben joins us again to discuss how to improve reading for older students. How can teachers help older students with unfinished literacy learning? How can teachers address foundational skills and fluency for older readers? Are decodables appropriate for older students? What is the role of independent reading? What is a volume of reading? Where does knowledge building fit? Listen and learn about these topics and more with one of our favorite literacy friends! 

David’s Course: Improving Reading for Older Students

David & Meredith Liben’s Graphic Novel for Kids: How we read 

David’s blogs on Volume of Reading one and two 

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Jan 14, 2022
Ep. 89: Australian Teacher Lays the Foundations with Reading Science
3602

In this episode, Melissa and Lori connect with James Dobson, an educator who has been teaching for more than a decade in Australia. He has worked as a classroom teacher,  lead teacher,  literacy learning specialist, and principal. We discuss his blog post titled Laying the Foundations, One Teacher’s Journey. James illuminates his journey with the science of reading on his blog, Laying the Foundations. His posts are magic! Follow James on Twitter, too. 

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Jan 07, 2022
Ep. 88: Complex Texts in the Classroom
4488

One of our listener's questions prompted Melissa & Lori to have a conversation about complex texts and ways students can access them. What does the research say? What are practical ways to apply it? How could this look in the classroom? 

The first part of this episode illuminates a conversation with Melissa & Lori in response to Kris’s text complexity Q&A. 

The second part is a rerelease of David Liben’s episode, where he discusses why old habits die hard, the impact of knowledge and vocabulary on comprehension, and why we’ve shifted away from leveled text for core instruction.

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Dec 24, 2021
Ep. 87: "I'm a Kindergarten Teacher, and the Way I've Been Teaching Reading is Wrong"
2203

In today’s episode, Kate Winn, a teacher, freelance writer and TV guest, and wife and mom to two girls, joins us on the podcast to share how after 20 years of teaching, she learned about the science of reading! She wrote this piece for Today’s Parent, titled I’m a kindergarten teacher and the way I’ve been teaching reading is wrong. How does she implement evidence-based practices in her classroom? Kate shares what she’s doing differently in her classroom to teach using reading science, what she’s learned along the way, and must-read book recommendations for teachers. 

Kate launched This Mom Loves in 2010 - find her tv segments, podcast, and more! Connect with Kate on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

Resources discussed during this episode: 

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Dec 17, 2021
Ep. 86: Getting Districts and Teacher Prep on the Same Page
1938

Today we talk with National Council on Teacher Quality’s Hannah Putman, Managing Director/Research, who penned a piece titled Getting Districts and Teacher Prep on the Same Page on Reading Pays Off. This research from CALDER sparked Hannah’s piece. She shared there is a disconnect in what teachers are learning in preparation programs and evidence-based literacy practices used in schools.

If you’re an educator who has felt slighted by your schooling, you’re not alone! If you’re looking to learn more about what states can do to support a revamp of quality teacher prep programming, check out these accessible Action Guides put forth by NCTQ.  

Other resources mentioned: 

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Dec 10, 2021
Ep. 85: Connecting Educators Across the World
2500

Jenn David-Lang is truly a Mastermind! Her strategic, structured, and supportive virtual Professional Learning Communities help school leaders grapple and tackle lots of difficult topics, ranging from How can leaders support student engagement during a pandemic? to How can leaders create space for teacher wellbeing? Check out her Mastermind PLC paper where she outlines critical structures for leader learning. She begins and ends each session with reflection, because as John Dewey once said, “We don’t learn by doing, we learn by reflecting on doing.”

Jenn also founded THE MAIN IDEA in 2007, because she witnessed too many school leaders who were so busy with the day to day responsibilities of running their schools that they had no time for their own professional development. Through THE MAIN IDEA, educators have access to the most current and powerful ideas in education to serve as strong instructional leaders. Admittedly, we are totally obsessed with this! 

Jenn is also a special guest and co-host on the podcast The School Leadership Show

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Dec 03, 2021
Ep. 84: The Truth About Reading Documentary Team - BACK AGAIN!
3850

It’s GIVING TUESDAY, and if you’re a Literacy Lover like us, then what better way to show your literacy love than to donate to The Truth About Reading documentary? We caught up with the team for a second podcast to react to the teaser and hear about the journey they’ve taken since we last spoke with them. And, be sure to follow The Truth About Reading on Facebook to stay up to date with the latest information on all things documentary-related! 

If you’re interested in hearing more about the documentary, register for an update on December 2nd at 2pm EST with Producer/Director Nick Nanton. Note: This session is for Executive Producer level donors. 

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Nov 30, 2021
Ep. 82: [CLEAN] Minneapolis Public School Parents: Accepting Nothing Less Than Evidence-Based Reading in Schools
3847

Natalie Wexler once said that parents are the sleeping giants in this reading science movement. The parents in Minneapolis Public Schools are awake and ready! They are passionate, informed advocates who developed a coalition of families willing to speak out and say, “Our kids deserve access to structured literacy. Less than 50% of students read at grade level.” Thus, the MPS Academics Advocacy Group was born. Recently, the superintendent of schools, a proponent of balanced literacy approaches, almost lost his job over the state of literacy in Minneapolis. Read more about it and watch it here

However, the article that caught our attention was posted in The 74, titled A New Kind of Curriculum Night: Armed With Protest Signs and Data, Diverse Group of Minneapolis Parents Demands Better Reading Instruction for Their Kids. Listen to learn about what’s happening in the Minneapolis Public School system for students and families. 

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Nov 29, 2021
Ep. 83: Special Educator Discusses High Quality Instructional Materials in the Special Education Classroom
2710

In today’s episode, we talk with special educator Katie Overstreet, who responded to a social media post with unwavering belief in her students and a can-do attitude. Her response stood out to us for so many reasons… such as the tangible ways she removes barriers for her students and her use of scaffolding techniques to support access to rigorous texts and tasks. 

Katie’s candid conversation illuminates the transition to high quality instructional materials and why teachers and students can ‘trust the process.’

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Nov 22, 2021
Ep. 82: Minneapolis Public School Parents: Accepting Nothing Less Than Evidence-Based Reading in Schools
3842

Natalie Wexler once said that parents are the sleeping giants in this reading science movement. The parents in Minneapolis Public Schools are awake and ready! They are passionate, informed advocates who developed a coalition of families willing to speak out and say, “Our kids deserve access to structured literacy. Less than 50% of students read at grade level.” Thus, the MPS Academics Advocacy Group was born. Recently, the superintendent of schools, a proponent of balanced literacy approaches, almost lost his job over the state of literacy in Minneapolis. Read more about it and watch it here

However, the article that caught our attention was posted in The 74, titled A New Kind of Curriculum Night: Armed With Protest Signs and Data, Diverse Group of Minneapolis Parents Demands Better Reading Instruction for Their Kids. Listen to learn about what’s happening in the Minneapolis Public School system for students and families. 

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Nov 08, 2021
Ep. 81: Thinking About Reading as Mirrors and Windows
2963

Sheeba Jacob’s blog post caught our attention when she wrote, “While I could see myself in some of these books because of universal experiences like grief and love, limiting the reading experience to a few specific voices subconsciously taught me that only certain voices mattered.” 

Two things are true: Texts are at the core of literacy instruction with our students, and the world is our school. How can we engage students by helping them see themselves and the world through texts? Sheeba’s Achieve the Core blog post, titled Helping Our Students See Themselves and the World Through the Books They Read in Our Classrooms: The impact of text selection on students, shares tips that educators can consider and implement. 

A few tips include  “...a) getting to know who they [students] are and what they care about, b) providing them mirrors of who they are and windows into other worlds through the literature they read, and c) engaging them in conversations about the world around them and the events impacting humanity. Ask them what they want to read about, allow them to question injustices occurring throughout the world, have them write autobiographies about their lives, celebrate their stories and larger histories, make their identities come alive in class the way schools should do for students.” 

Additional resource mentioned: 

Sheeba’s Spotify EP Let the Magic In 

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Nov 08, 2021
Ep. 80: A Primary Teacher's Perspective on Science of Reading, Small Group Instruction, and Use of Sound Walls
2641

In this episode, Lindsay Kemeny, 2nd grade teacher, gives a deep dive into her evidence-based, small group instruction time. Her journey to the science of reading was necessary and life altering. It led her to clarity on structured, systematic approaches to teaching reading. She discusses informal and formal assessments, how she uses data to determine small groups, and center options for practicing reading and writing. Her best advice? KEEP. IT. SIMPLE! 

After reading this recent blog by Tim Shanahan, we couldn’t resist asking her about sound walls and how her students use them in her classroom. She shares, “The sound wall is not the main event in my classroom… structured literacy is the main event. The sound wall is a reflection of what’s happening in the classroom.” 

We discussed the following resources: 

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Nov 05, 2021
Ep. 79: What Does Equitable ELA Instruction Require?
4089

In this episode we talked with UnboundED’s Brandon White and Alice Wiggins about the Equitable ELA Instruction Concept Paper.  

In our conversation, we’ll discuss effective and equitable instruction and the most efficient path to access it. This requires us, as educators, to do three things: 

  1. Adopt an aligned curriculum. 
  2. Provide instructional support that fosters all students' persistence with grade-level reading and thinking. 
  3. Provide targeted intervention in addition to and in service of grade-level learning.

Alice mentions this  scaffolding resource - head to our website and click on We Recommend to download it. 

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Oct 22, 2021
Ep. 78: Fourth Grade Teacher Applies the Science of Reading by Building Knowledge
3164

Kory Jensen is a 4th grade teacher in Colorado, obsessed with learning more about reading science! He read The Knowledge Gap by Natalie Wexler… which set him off to learn more about knowledge building. 

On today’s podcast, he talks about how background knowledge impacts his students’ comprehension and engagement (spoiler alert: they love going deep into topics!). He provides real-life examples and ways to supplement knowledge on topics through experiences, experiments, texts, videos, and more. Kory’s optimism shines through and we can’t get enough of his lifelong learner spirit. “When you build knowledge and give students opportunities to learn, you’ll be impressed by what they can do.” Thanks, Kory! 

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Oct 22, 2021
Ep. 77: Setting the Standard for Success with author Morgan Polikoff
2961

Today we talk with author and professor Dr. Morgan Polikoff. His first book, Beyond Standards: The Fragmentation of Education Governance and the Promise of Curriculum Reform, provides insights along the rocky road of standards in education. The goal of the standards movement is consistency, as page 39 states, “consistency in instruction across classrooms, across grades, across schools and districts. Consistency that ensures that all students receive instruction that is high quality…” Morgan is an advocate for high quality curriculum in every classroom, as a first step in implementing education reform. 

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Oct 15, 2021
Ep. 76: Knowledge Building for Reading Success in Skaneateles School District
3224

Francine Grannell and John Lawrence, leaders from Skaneateles School District, share how they narrowed their focus to strategically support teachers and students with year one Wit & Wisdom ELA implementation. Educators used NY State Briefs (like this one on Complex Texts) to understand and thoughtfully engage in research-based practices within the curricula. 

District and school leaders provided wraparound strategic support for teachers: professional learning communities, horizontal and vertical planning time, and collaboration and resources. In turn, teachers felt more empowered to discuss deeper questions than ever before. They held strong with a “trust the process” mantra, modeled a learner-mindset, and reflected on their successes and challenges to grow stronger heading into year two. 

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Sep 30, 2021
Ep. 75: How Do Language Variants Impact Teaching Reading to African American Students?
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Mitchell Brookins, education consultant extraordinaire (and one of the moderators of the wildly popular Facebook group Science of Reading - What I Should Have Learned in College) talks with us about this article, titled Teaching Reading to African American Children: When Home and School Language Differ by Julie A. Washington and Mark Seidenberg. 

We know that reading depends on spoken language. How do language variants affect how we teach reading to African American students? What are key features of African American English (AAE)? How does AAE differ from General American English (GAE)? How do we utilize this information as practitioners to empower our students? Listen and learn with us! 

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Sep 30, 2021
Ep. 74: Dyslexia and Reading Science: A Parent Advocate's Perspective
3999

“I just thought kids learned how to read… and my daughter didn’t. She could identify 4 letters by the end of kindergarten .” Katie Hickerson's daughter, Cora, went from a joyous little one to a child with lots of big feelings after starting school, saying she felt stupid.

Katie pulled Cora out of school to be homeschooled - providing structured literacy instruction alongside rigorous tutoring through the International Dyslexia Association. In less than two years, Cora went from meeting a 1% reading benchmark to 92% and was back to herself - full of joy, laughter, and confidence. 

How can parents (and educators) support the reading science movement? Listen and learn!

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Sep 24, 2021
Ep. 73: Bring Back the Joy of Schooling - Start by Noticing!
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Take time to notice.

Brendan O’Day shares an important message for educators - Start by noticing: Slow down and bring back the joy of schooling. He tells the story of preparing soon-to-be leaders, guiding them skillfully to seek curiosity rather than judgement. We realize this school year is unlike any other. Brendan writes that we should “Focus on bringing back the joy of schooling. Focus on this hard, with immense love and grace and compassion and rigorous expectations for academic achievement.” How? Start by noticing. 

Brendan O’Day, Ed.D. is a Founding Partner of the Meristem Group, LLC. Follow him on Twitter @BrendanODay.

 Bonus: For our Wit & Wisdom ELA educator listeners, we make explicit connections to the classroom and how this aligns with noticing and wondering about texts and students!  

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Sep 17, 2021
Ep. 72: Rethinking and Unlearning What We Know about Literacy
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Matt Hoganson, Assistant Principal in Aurora, CO, is committed to unthinking and thinking again… or in other words, "in a turbulent world, there's another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn.” In the book Think Again, author and psychologist Adam Grant discusses the ability to rethink and unlearn. 

 As literacy leaders (and lovers), how can we unthink what we think we know about literacy and become open, divergent learners to guide this work? Matt models a learning-first approach to leading literacy in his school. If you’re interested in learning more about how Clayton Elementary School made the shift to a content-focused curriculum, check out this blog. And, if you’d like to read about Matt’s Spartan kids foundation, read this

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Sep 17, 2021
Ep. 71: Science of Reading Part 2: Decodable Texts, Sound Walls, & the Aim of Early Literacy
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What are we aiming to accomplish in early reading instruction? Dr. Julia Lindsey asks this  as she tackles topics such as decoding, decodable texts, sound walls, and more.

We discuss the role of instruction and how that pushes a child to be better instead of keeping them at the same place where they might not develop skills as an independent reader. This two-part SoR series is a must-listen for educators!

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Sep 10, 2021
Ep. 70: Science of Reading Part 1: Decodable Texts, Sound Walls, & the Aim of Early Literacy
2850

What are we aiming to accomplish in early reading instruction? Dr. Julia Lindsey asks this  as she tackles topics such as decoding, decodable texts, sound walls, and more.

We discuss the role of instruction and how that pushes a child to be better instead of keeping them at the same place where they might not develop skills as an independent reader. This two-part SoR series is a must-listen for educators!

Visit our website and subscribe to our newsletter. 

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Sep 03, 2021
Ep. 69: Wondering about Wit & Wisdom ELA?
2039

In today's episode, Melissa and Lori break down the components of Wit & Wisdom ELA. 

Curious about Wit & Wisdom's texts and tasks? Wondering what 'integrated approach' means?  Want to learn more about the role of knowledge building in comprehension? Implementing the curricula for the first time?

Then this Wit & Wisdom primer is JUST. FOR. YOU. 

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Aug 27, 2021
Ep. 68: How Does Using a Text Analysis Toolkit Support Student Success?
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Dr. Alfred Tatum asked the question, "I constantly ask myself of all of the texts in the world, why do I want to put this text in front of my students?"  Melissa and Lori explore this question with Quintin in today's episode! 

Dr. Quintin Bostic joins us to tell us all about Student Achievement Partner/Achieve the Core's new and improved text complexity toolkit. The updated toolkit helps teachers reflect on their identity of self and their students, analyze texts with multiple lenses, and consider implications for the use of texts.  Read this interview with Quintin, where the Text Analysis Toolkit is available for download.

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Aug 20, 2021
[Listen Again] Ep 43: Writing about Reading and the Role of Knowledge-Building
3999

Melissa and Lori are obsessed with the knowledge building connection to writing in this episode, and thought it deserved another release!

How can educators support students in clearly communicating their understanding through writing? How do HQIM support and execute this approach to writing for understanding? The Vermont Writing Collaborative authors chat with us about this grounded in a knowledge-building approach.

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Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card.

Aug 13, 2021
Ep. 67: Learning to Read at 62 Years Old: A Conversation Illuminating Adult Literacy
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In this episode we talk with David Chalk, a successful and self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur. As an adult, David was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADD and learned to read at the age of 62. He shares 'aha' moments and how learning to read decreased his anxiety and bettered his emotional state. Look forward to watching more of David's story unfold on the upcoming literacy documentary titled The Truth About Reading: The Invisible Crisis Hiding in Plain Sight. His story is incredibly compelling and we hope it will resonate deeply in your heart, mind, and soul.

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Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

A gigantic THANK YOU to David for being incredibly brave and sharing his story. David, we appreciate you as a new friend and fellow literacy advocate. And, we'd like to also send a big hug to a fellow kindred literacy spirit, Nora Chahbazi, founder of Evidence-based literacy instruction. Thank you for taking time to share  your evidence-based work with David.
XO
Melissa & Lori




Aug 06, 2021
Ep. 66 Re-thinking the Reading Rope with Nell Duke
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Did you know that Scarborough's Rope is 20 years old?! That's why Nell K. Duke unpacks how the science of reading has progressed over the last 20 years, moving beyond the simple view of reading in this piece: The Science of Reading Progresses (co-authored by Kelly B. Cartwright). Check out page 9 for a graphic we discuss throughout the podcast in order to re-think the reading rope.

To connect with a practitioner lens, Duke (alongside Ward & Pearson) also penned The Science of Reading Comprehension Instruction. They ask the question: What have decades of research told us about the nature of comprehension and how to develop students’ comprehension in schools? Listen to find out!

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Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Jul 30, 2021
Ep. 65: Talking with the Literacy Documentary Team: The Truth About Reading
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Join us as we talk with the talented team passionate about producing a literacy documentary titled The Truth About Reading: The Invisible Crisis Hiding in Plain Sight. You'll hear from Nora Chahbazi, founder of Evidence-based Literacy Instruction, Nick Nanton, Emmy-winning director, and John Corcoran, the teacher who couldn't read.

We can't wait to watch this incredible film highlighting the need for literacy education reform. This spectacular team shares a bit about the documentary and how it transitioned from vision to reality... and what's been most surprising to learn along the way! To donate to the documentary, click here.

Additional note:
John has authored several books: "The Teacher Who Couldn't Read," "The Bridge To Literacy," and "The Reading Gap."  His story has been featured on 20/20, the Oprah Winfrey show, Larry King Live, CNN, Fox News, ESPN, Phil Donahue, The Joan Rivers Show, and more. Hear John's story here

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Jul 23, 2021
Ep. 64: James Murphy on The researchED Guide to Literacy
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James Murphy, editor,  tells us about the intention behind The ResearchED Guide to Literacy: An Evidence-Informed Guide for Teachers. He talks about why it's important for teachers to engage with <accurate, valid> research because "we don't know what we don't know" ... and how it's important to be able to determine what is truth vs. truth-y. James also mentions this article by Keith Stanovich titled Using Science and Reason in Education

If you'd like to hear more from James, watch this video: The Bridge Over the Reading Gap.

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Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Jul 15, 2021
[Listen Again] Ep. 37: Meredith Liben & Sue Pimentel on the Standards, Assessment, & Data
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Melissa & Lori are on vacation this week! We invite you to listen to one of our favorite episodes that we have listened to multiple times ourselves. If you haven't listened to our episode with Meredith Liben & Sue Pimentel - check it out this week!

The article Placing Text at the Center of the Standards-Aligned ELA Classroom is a must-read before or after listening to this podcast!  

Meredith Liben and Sue Pimentel share the true intentions of the CCSS vs. the way they are currently interpreted. They also provide observations about how the Standards play out in classrooms and schools - within HQIM and what happens in absence of HQIM! 

We ask the gals some tough questions: 

  • What does this mean for assessment, especially "data-driven" instruction?
  • What are better ways to assess and track student progress? 

They are hilarious and smart, and so very relatable. This one is a MUST listen!

Read the article that prompted this conversation:
Placing Text at the Center of the Standards-Aligned ELA Classroom

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Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Jul 02, 2021
Ep. 63: Kindergarten Teacher Reaches 100% Success Using Evidence-Based Practices
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Kristin Poppens teaches kindergarten in Iowa and is just learning about the science of reading! In fact, she's applied evidence-based, self-taught practices for less than six months, and her students reached end of year benchmarks with 100% success rate. Kristin's district uses Lucy Calkins Units of Study Phonics, Reading, & Writing as a core curricula ... but now that Kristin knows better, she's doing better for her students.

Listen in as she shares the shifts she makes to take a science of reading, evidence-based approach to literacy!

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Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Jun 22, 2021
Ep. 62: Effective Fluency Instruction with Tim Rasinski
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In this episode, reading and fluency expert Tim Rasinski tells us all about effective fluency instruction! How does repeated reading build fluency instruction? Why does text difficulty level impact fluency practice? What do effective accuracy, automaticity, and expression sound like?

Check out research, articles, and helpful materials located on Tim's website and follow Tim on Twitter @TimRasinski1. We also discuss this piece by Nell Duke.

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Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Jun 22, 2021
Ep. 61: High Quality Curricula as Educational Infrastructure with Alex Spurrier
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In today's episode, Alex Spurrier, a senior analyst with Bellwether Education Partners in the policy and evaluation practice area, discusses his recent contribution to The 74:  Curriculum Isn't Infrastructure - But States Should Treat It as Such and Build a Strong Foundation for Student Learning. How can HQIM be part of the recovery from the pandemic? How can states, districts, and schools work together to create better alignment?

In our conversation, Alex mentions an earlier piece he contributed that may be of interest, titled From Pandemic to Progress, which considers eight education pathways as education systems recover and rebuild post-pandemic.

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Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Jun 18, 2021
Ep. 60: HQIM as Equity for English Learners with ELSF Executive Director Crystal Gonzales
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Crystal Gonzales is the  Executive Director at English Learners Success Forum and believes that HQIM are the first step to provide equity for all learners, especially English Learners! Why? Because HQIM are developed with the idea that what's good for English Learners is good for all kids (but, the reverse is not always true!). 

We talk with Crystal about the impact of leveled reading on English Learners, and share excerpts from this resource: Do Leveled Readers Hurt or Help My ELs?  Crystal shares the impact of HQIM on English Learners through annotated lessons, such as these lessons from Wit & Wisdom ELA.

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Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Jun 10, 2021
Ep. 59: HQIM for ALL with Educator Sarah Webb
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Sarah Webb talks candidly about how high quality instructional materials (HQIM) supported her as a teacher in helping all students reach greatness. Specifically, high quality materials were most helpful for English Learners... who often don't receive access to such materials. Sarah zooms in on how HQIM are supportive of students' vocabulary acquisition through repetition, writing with opportunities for oral rehearsal to process content, and consistency over time builds stamina and knowledge.  During our conversation, we refer to this resource - Do Leveled Readers Help or Hurt my ELs? - from English Learners Success Forum. 

Read Sarah's blog posts here: 


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Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Jun 04, 2021
Ep. 58: Looking for Change in Laramie
2687

Tiffany Rehbein, K-12 English Language Arts Coordinator from Laramie County School District in Cheyenne, Wyoming shares why and how the district shifted to HQIM. After seven years of stagnant ELA scores and a focus on balanced literacy, she and her colleagues knew it was time for a big change! They did their homework and investigated HQIM, choosing Wit & Wisdom ELA. Listen in to hear more about Laramie's implementation story and strategy! 

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Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card


May 28, 2021
Ep. 57: Reflecting on the School Year with Grade 3 Teacher Natalie Baggett
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As a new teacher in Sumner County, TN, Natalie Baggett saw the desperate need for high quality instructional materials. In her first semester teaching, she scrambled to create instructional materials - searching Pinterest, Teachers Pay Teachers, even Google! Then, she piloted and implemented Wit & Wisdom ELA and saw a dramatic shift in her students' ability to write and think about complex texts and topics. We asked Natalie to reflect on her experience this past year with questions from the Wit & Wisdom Aha! Blog titled Reflecting on Wit & Wisdom Implementation. Listen in as Natalie shares how HQIM impacted her teaching and her students' learning during her first few years of teaching! 

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Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

May 21, 2021
Ep. 56: What are THE ELEMENTS needed to transform teaching and professional learning?
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What are The Elements needed to transform teaching and professional learning? What will accelerate success towards equity and excellence? What are considerations for professional learning across the school year (and beyond)? 

These questions are answered by our expert guests, Jim Short and Stephanie Hirsh, authors of The Elements: Transforming Teaching through Curriculum-Based Professional Learning (a challenge paper).  Listen and learn as they share how the essential elements undergird the framework of core, functional, and structural design features needed to transform curriculum-based professional learning. 

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Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

May 14, 2021
Ep. 55: The Science of Reading as Policy with Kymyona Burk
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Kymyona Burk is the Policy Director for Early Education at ExcelinEd, where she supports states pursuing a comprehensive approach to K-3 reading policy through successful policy implementation. She gives context as to what led her to this position - her previous experiences as State Literacy Director for Mississippi and the Executive Director of Teaching & Learning with Jackson Public Schools - and how these roles and her teaching experiences influenced her current policy work (read about her strategy work in Mississippi for improving reading achievement here). 

Listen in as she shares what she learned along the way,  her method for scaling strategy, and  how policy can influence student success.  

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Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

May 07, 2021
Ep. 54: How can school leaders support teachers in Year 1 HQIM implementation?
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Wondering how school leaders can support teachers in this work? Jovanni Ramos is a former school leader from NOLA and champion for supporting teachers using HQIM! 

Jovanni set teachers up for success on their Wit & Wisdom ELA implementation journey by setting clear priorities and communicating to all stakeholders. Most importantly, he articulated an expectation of implementation with fidelity while simultaneously providing   direct support as a side-by-side partner in the work. 

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Apr 29, 2021
Ep. 53: Making the Shift to a Content Focused Curriculum with Rachel Arnold
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Rachel Arnold is an intervention and special education teacher at Clayton, ES in Colorado. Her journey to HQIM began when she asked herself the question:  How can we use the science of reading research to help us teach ALL kids to read and write?  Listen in as she shares her experience and approach to this work! 

To read more about how Rachel and team made the shift to a content focused curriculum, check out this blog post

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Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Apr 29, 2021
Ep. 52: Universal Design for Learning is INVISIBLE EQUITY in HQIM
3750

UDL is invisible when done well in HQIM! In this episode, Sue Sabella and Vivian Nourse share how HQIM are designed with UDL embedded within.  See below for a quick refresher of the three principles of UDL. If you'd like to read more, visit CAST UDL Guidelines

  1. Engagement: Why am I learning this? Learners differ in the ways they can be engaged or motivated to learn. 
  2. Representation: What am I learning? Are students able to access the learning?
  3. Action & Expression: How will students share learning? How do students navigate the learning environment? How do they show what they know? 

And... If you'd like to learn  what it feels like for kids with a variety of needs, this tool simulates  learning and thinking differences. 

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Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Apr 24, 2021
Ep. 51: The Science of Reading: An Equity Issue
2764

Educator Shanita Rapatalo shares how "literacy, liberation, and opportunity go hand in hand" both on the podcast and in her recent blog post located here.  She discusses the mindset shifts needed to make the change to evidence-based practices, what changed once these practices were implemented, and why it's an equity issue. 

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Apr 16, 2021
Ep. 50: Anti-bias & Anti-racist Approach to HQIM at KIPP SOCAL with Daisy Salazar-Garza
3056

Meet Daisy Salazar-Garza, an incredibly thoughtful school leader at KIPP SOCAL, who shares her anti-bias and anti-racist approach to implementing Wit & Wisdom ELA. 

  • How is Wit & Wisdom aligned to KIPP's anti-bias & anti-racist approach?  
  • What aspects of curriculum  could have missing pieces of marginalized perspectives? How do we address these in teacher planning? 

Daisy shares that it's difficult to locate a rigorous curriculum that affirms students' identities…  but there are ways to have both. It’s not either or … it’s AND. 

Follow KIPP SOCAL @KIPPPODERPUBLICSCHOOL on Instagram!

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Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Apr 09, 2021
Ep. 49: The Science of Reading Goes to College
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Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio considers science of reading research the backbone of their programming at all levels: undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral. On today's episode, we talk with Amy Murdoch, Reading Science Program Director at MSJ.

Amy shares specifics about the courses and programs, details about student teaching experiences with students who are well-versed in the science of reading, thoughts on how we can begin to shift the mindset of higher ed and state agencies.

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Apr 03, 2021
Ep. 48: Behind the Scenes at EdReports.org
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What goes on behind the scenes at EdReports.org? Tricia Parker and Jess Box share the gateways that EdReports uses to reviews curricula: standards alignment, quality, and usability. We ask the questions we all really want to know: 

  • Who are the curriculum reviewers? 
  • How do reviewers ensure standards alignment? 
  • What does it really mean for curricula to meet grade level standards? 
  • What does 'all green' really mean? 
  • How do complex texts, tasks, TDQs build over time to shape knowledge and coherence?

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Mar 25, 2021
Ep. 47: We've been talkin' 'bout Jackson's Journey to HQIM with Supt. Dr. Errick L. Greene
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Dr. Errick L. Greene, Superintendent of Jackson Public Schools, shares the district's transformation journey and how he level sets on what excellence looks like: 

  1. HQIM
  2. Seeing is believing
  3. Professional learning opportunities (frequent, ongoing)
  4. Inquiry

Most importantly, he asks and answers crucial questions, such as:

  • Why HQIM? 
  • Where are resources best utilized?
  • How do we serve children in the way they need to be served and leave space for professionals to be professionals?  
  • How do we systematize equity?

Listen in to hear about Jackson's journey to HQIM!

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Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Mar 12, 2021
Ep. 46: Chatting with The Reading League's Laura Stewart
3279

Laura Stewart from The Reading League discusses evidence-aligned instruction to support universal understanding around the science of reading. She discusses how practice CAN transform belief to help our students live a literate life. 

Sharing another fabulous literacy podcast - Teaching, Reading, and Learning with Laura Stewart. 

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Mar 05, 2021
Ep. 45: RivetED Talks High Quality Professional Learning (HQPL)
3659

How is professional learning is different with HQIM?  How do we define high quality professional learning (HQPL)?  Why should HQPL be content focused? Who is best suited to provide support for implementation of HQIM... and why? Answers to these questions and more with Rivet Education!

Rivet is passionate about all teachers receiving access to HQIM... AND that the professional learning and development supports help them to use materials as intended. One notable resource from Rivet Education is the Professional Learning Partner Guide (PLPG). This guide supports partners by providing information about HQPL, aligned to HQIM.

Rivet believes:

  • Teachers should provide students with grade-level instruction everyday.
  • School and district leaders need to provide teachers with access to HQIM and HQIM-aligned professional learning (PL) in order to provide students with HQ instruction.
  • SEAs should incentivize the use of HQIM; Rivet supports SEAs and LEAs in this work. 

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Feb 23, 2021
Ep. 44: Elevating the Education Profession with The Right to Read Project
4281

Margaret Goldberg & Lani Mednick from The Right to Read Project share why we should give equal importance to the ENTIRE reading rope (Scarborough's Reading Rope)!

We ask some tough questions, including 

  • Why and how are knowledge-building HQIM the epitome of EQUITY?
  • How can we professionalize the teaching profession? How can leaders support teachers?

Listen in to learn from their incredible experiences... Lani is currently an assistant principal, and Margaret is currently a classroom teacher. Both are working to apply the tenants of the science of reading in the field!  

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Feb 19, 2021
Ep. 43: A Knowledge-Based Approach to Writing: The Vermont Writing Collaborative
3772

Joey Hawkins & Diana Leddy of The Vermont Writing Collaborative share how educators can support students in creating and communicating their understanding through writing. 

The three pillars for writing for understanding are: 

  1. Backward design (envision the final goal!)
  2. Build understanding (talking about text, writing about text, acting it out, and more!)
  3. Direct instruction (writing models, structures, organizers)

Writing is a powerful way of working with knowledge - a coherent chunk of knowledge. How do HQIM support and execute this approach to writing for understanding? Listen in to find out, and grab a copy of their book, Writing for Understanding!

Visit
OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Feb 13, 2021
Ep. 42: Why should we teach social studies?
3135

Adam Tyner, Associate Director of Research at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, joins us to unpack his recent research findings on Social Studies Instruction and Reading Comprehension: Evidence from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study. A snapshot of this study is highlighted in EducationWeek's article, Does Social Studies Build Stronger Readers? A New Study Suggests So. We ask Adam about  possible reasons why and how social studies instruction impacts reading comprehension, and make connections to why this research is compelling for HQIM implementers.

If you'd like to hear more from Adam, you can find him moonlighting on The Fordham Institute's The Education Gadfly Show Podcast.

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Jan 27, 2021
Ep. 41: HQIM + Primary Grades: The Inside Scoop from Two Primary Teachers in Baltimore
3876

How do primary teachers take a 'both and' approach to literacy - building foundational skills for word recognition alongside knowledge and vocabulary for language comprehension?

Jen & Sam, two primary teachers from Baltimore, share their experiences with Wit & Wisdom ELA (and the digital component, in Sync) as well as Geodes.

How do high quality instructional materials (HQIM) impact the primary grades? Find out from Jen and Sam. They'll share the impact of HQIM, the struggles, the scaffolds, the successes! Grab a notebook... you'll want to takes notes!

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Jan 16, 2021
Ep. 40: See ya 2020! Welcome 2021!
3081

Melissa and Lori reflect on the highs and lows of 2020, and share who they'd like to pod with in 2021!  Join us to reflect and reset as we begin the new year. 

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Jan 02, 2021
Ep. 39: Discussing Dyslexia with Advocate & Mom Liz Hembling
3445

Liz Hembling's daughter, Mia, attended a public elementary school. Liz noticed early on that she struggled terribly learning to read. In second grade, the school placed Mia in a remedial reading group, without communicating this to Liz. When Liz expressed her concerns, she was repeatedly assured that Mia was “on grade level” and “fine.” But... she wasn’t fine.  Liz knew there was something wrong.

This sent Liz on a quest to understand what's happening in the public school system. How could she create change to ensure all kids could access quality reading instruction and services? Liz joined Decoding Dyslexia Maryland and tirelessly advocates for students and families.

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Nov 24, 2020
Ep. 38: Success Amidst a Pandemic in Sioux City, NE
3354

Tracy Heilman, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment in Sioux City, NE, shares how her district shifted from a standards-driven, balanced literacy approach to Wit & Wisdom ELA. She's led the charge during COVID to transitioning both materials and mindsets to  facilitate access to high quality instruction. 

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Oct 07, 2020
Ep. 37: Meredith Liben & Sue Pimentel on the Standards, Assessment, & Data
4291

The article Placing Text at the Center of the Standards-Aligned ELA Classroom is a must-read before or after listening to this podcast!  

Meredith Liben and Sue Pimentel share the true intentions of the CCSS vs. the way they are currently interpreted. They also provide observations about how the Standards play out in classrooms and schools - within HQIM and what happens in absence of HQIM! 

We ask the gals some tough questions: 

  • What does this mean for assessment, especially "data-driven" instruction?
  • What are better ways to assess and track student progress? 

They are hilarious and smart, and so very relatable. This one is a MUST listen!

Read the article that prompted this conversation:
Placing Text at the Center of the Standards-Aligned ELA Classroom

Visit our website and subscribe to our newsletter. 

Follow us!

Sep 21, 2020
Ep. 36: 'Twas the Night Before Back to School with City Schools Teachers, Kyair & Katie!
3615

Kyair and Katie are just exceptional humans with the biggest hearts! Two fabulous teachers from Baltimore join us (again!) to chat about virtual school, share tips and tricks for virtual learning, the benefit of having HQIM during this unprecedented time, and how they'll support students' SEL needs. 

Connect with them on Twitter:
Kyair - @kyairb
Katie - @kstoryscotti

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Aug 27, 2020
Ep. 35: Reading assessments NEED an upgrade!
2919

Jared Myracle shares the process and focus on curriculum adoption and implementation during his time as CAO of Jackson-Madison County Schools, where he learned that "people want better, but they don't like different." He unpacks his latest post, Reading Assessments Need an Upgrade, to dissect how and why curriculum should drive assessment (not vice versa), what we can all learn from LA DOE, and the power of 'warm' reads. And, be sure to listen for his advice about virtual learning as students return, or transition to, instruction this fall. Jared is currently consulting on high-quality curriculum implementation.

Read Jared's latest post here (Reading Assessments Need an Upgrade)
Connect with Jared on Twitter @JaredMyracle
Listen to Jared's new podcast, Edspective

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Aug 15, 2020
Ep. 34: Making Moves in Mississippi: What Can We Learn from their HQC Implementation?
3384

Kristen Wynn (MDE State Literacy Director, K-12), Jill Webb Hoda (MDE Assistant State Literacy Coordinator, K-3), & Jessica Crosby-Pitchamootoo (Elementary Curriculum Lead Division 1, Jackson Public Schools), join Melissa & Lori to share the larger context of literacy in Mississippi, as well as why they decided to focus on high quality instructional materials - and HOW they did it!

They outline the path they took to adopt Wit & Wisdom ELA, from the moment they knew they needed a HQC through adoption and implementation in Jackson Public Schools, the state's largest urban district.

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Jul 18, 2020
Ep. 32: How to Get Kids Reading at Home with Dr. Molly Ness
2110

Melissa has a conversation with Dr. Molly Ness, an associate professor in childhood  education at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education about how to help parents support their students with reading at home, how to instill a love of reading, and the real challenges that face us all as parents right now!

Learn more from Molly on her podcast: End Book Deserts Podcast or on her website: www.drmollyness.com

Resources: 

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Jul 18, 2020
Ep. 31: HQC + SEL with CEO Chi Kim
2750

How is SEL embedded into high quality curricula? Hear from an expert: Chi Kim, CEO at Pure Edge, Inc.

Chi shares what this looks, sounds, and feels like... intentional conversations around information gleaned from texts (have you heard the phrase 'mirrors & windows?'), strategies and resources to support student agency and action, and how we as educators can purposefully embed SEL best practices that build relationships and grow content understanding. Most importantly, she underscores the importance of knowing and understanding your content and your students... because CONTEXT MATTERS. You're going to love this episode! 

CASEL Framework

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Jul 06, 2020
Ep. 30: Wild about Wexler: Take 2!
3517

We had the opportunity to talk (again!) with Natalie Wexler about tips for effective remote learning (read her full article located here), the current intersection of students' virtual learning and strategy-focused instruction (due to lack of knowledge-based, high quality curricula) and how parents are noticing! How can we teach strategies in context while building knowledge? Listen to find out!

More recently, Wexler wrote a piece titled How Reading Instruction Oppresses Black and Brown Children, located here. She ends with this quote: "If people truly understood the needless damage being done by our schools every day, they would be out in the streets demanding change." Natalie, we hear you, and WE ARE! We are shouting from the rooftops... or more accurately, shouting from the podcast apps! :)

American Educator magazine released an excerpt of The Knowledge Gap - find it here

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Jun 08, 2020
Ep. 29: Podding with Presley: Why Knowledge Travels Well!
833

Listen as second grader Presley shares 'knowledge nuggets' about her virtual learning experience with Knowledge on the Go by Great Minds. In only seven short weeks of using a knowledge-based curriculum vs. isolated standards/strategy-based approaches, she is using strategies to access content in context effectively - and speaking and writing to share what she's learned. Her sweet voice shares that she loves learning 'facts' about what she reads while accessing grade level texts and tasks! 

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

May 21, 2020
Ep. 28: Bring on the Books! A Conversation with The Maryland Book Bank
1364

Melissa and Lori chatted with Mark Feiring, the Executive Director of the Maryland Book Bank, to hear how the organization is supporting the community during this time. He shared some fabulous ideas - building partnerships with other community organizations such as The Baltimore Hunger Projects as well as community schools - and thinking outside of the box to get books into kids' and families' hands during this time is critical. So far, the Maryland Book Bank team has sent over 25,600 books to 8,174 children in the first month of quarantine here in Maryland. Kudos, Mark and team! 

Check out the Maryland Book Bank here!
Follow Melissa and Lori Love Literacy here!
And, our friend Molly Ness replicates the MD Book Bank on a smaller scale in NY! Check out her podcast, End Book Deserts here

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

May 11, 2020
Ep. 27: Knowledge Nuggets with Great Minds CAO Rachel Stack
3913

Rachel Stack, CAO of Humanities at Great Minds, talks all things Knowledge on the Go, Great Minds' free, virtual, knowledge-building lessons led by teachers to support students, teachers, districts, and families in this time of quarantine. We discuss the role of knowledge-building in our new virtual learning world, and share successes - both big and small - to highlight the power of knowledge.

To access Knowledge on the Go: Greatminds.org  --> Knowledge on the Go
7 Tips to Help Make Remote Learning More Effective
Advancing Our Students' Language and Literacy

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card




Apr 27, 2020
Ep. 26: Tim Shanahan Shares about Strategies & Knowledge Building
3754

We talked with the fabulously candid Tim Shanahan about his recent blog post Prior Knowledge, or He Isn't Going to Pick on the Baseball Study that garnered much attention. Should we teach reading strategies? How important is building knowledge? What are reading skills vs. strategies? How frequent should strategy instruction occur in concert with knowledge building? He also weighs in on the current crisis to share his thoughts on how families and educators can best serve students at home.

Visit our website and subscribe to our newsletter. 

Follow us!

Apr 19, 2020
Ep. 25: Our New Reality: Schools are Closed!
1208

Once again, Natalie Wexler has inspired a podcast episode!
Today, Melissa and Lori discuss the new reality of many - schools are closed, and families and caregivers are wondering how to support their kids at home?

Resources

Follow us!
Twitter: @literacypodcast
Facebook: Melissa and Lori Love Literacy
Instagram: Melissa and Lori Love Literacy 

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Mar 21, 2020
Ep. 24: Rockin' Robin McClellan, HQC Cheerleader!
2816

Robin McClellan, is the Supervisor of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction for Sullivan County Public Schools in Sullivan County, TN, but even more importantly is a cheerleader for high-quality curricula (HQC) and a member of Curriculum Matters PLN. In Sullivan County, she spearheaded the implementation of high quality curricula across eleven elementary schools - in this podcast, she tells us all about it - and how the team she refers to as the "Game Changers" truly changed the trajectory for all students in her district. She shared she is fangirling us, but truly, WE are fangirling HER! 

Connect with Robin on Twitter @robin_mcclellan.

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Mar 20, 2020
Ep. 23: Emily Hanford Epically Defines the Science of Reading
3832

Today Emily Hanford joins Melissa and Lori to define the Science of Reading, addressing the current misinterpretation of the term and what it really means. She shares thoughts on teacher prep programs and where teachers get knowledge about what or how to teach, contemplates why teacher prep programs are not preparing teachers to teach kids how to read, and how curriculum plays a role in helping teachers who do not know the science of reading.

Visit our website and subscribe to our newsletter. 

Follow us!

Feb 10, 2020
Ep. 22: Leading Urgent Change in Baltimore with Dr. Sonja Santelises
2694

Ep. 22: Dr. Sonja Santelises joined us to discuss why she saw the urgent need for change in Baltimore City Public Schools, how she set and supported a clear literacy focus through the Blueprint for Success and high-quality curricula, and the ongoing next steps that prevail. She is witty and sharp, but most of all, we appreciate her vision and boundless energy in this admittedly difficult work. 

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Feb 10, 2020
Ep. 21: David Liben: The Man, The Myth, The LEGEND
3286

David Liben's 'tell it like it is' style combined with his raw humor and literacy expertise make him an invaluable resource and information source on this podcast! He has worked with Student Achievement Partners (SAP) and synthesized research behind the CCSS. David discusses why old habits die hard, the impact of knowledge and vocabulary on comprehension, and why we've shifted away from leveled text to complex text for core instruction. 

Resources: 

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Jan 27, 2020
Ep. 20: Karen Vaites Brags about Baltimore
1472

In this episode, Karen Vaites and Janise Lane unpack a recent visit to see Wit & Wisdom's high quality curricula in action Baltimore City Public Schools. After the visit, Karen posted this blog. It's a must-read! 

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Jan 10, 2020
Ep. 19: Getting at the Root of the School to Prison Pipeline with Kate Walsh
2994

Kate Walsh, President, of National Council on Teacher Quality, joins us today to discuss her recent article, Getting at the root of the school to prison pipeline. She shares details about her visit to the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama, and how that inspired her to write this article. 

A focus of NCTQ is whether or not the programs that prepare elementary teachers are making sure those aspiring teachers learn the science of reading. Teacher preparation programs play a key role in ensuring teachers enter the classroom knowing how to best teach children to read. Kate contests that with our current achievement gaps, promoting the science of reading is a clear equity issue. 

After her visit to the Legacy Museum, Kate wonders, “Is the reason Americans tolerate unnecessarily high rates of kids who never learn how to read yet another manifestation of institutionalized racism?”

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Dec 30, 2019
Ep. 18: Baltimore's Grade Level Reading connects the community to build knowledge
2348

Join us as we talk with Angelique Jessup, Program Director & Ruth Farfel, Program Associate, at Campaign for Grade Level Reading in Baltimore, MD. Find out how grade level reading has collaborated with City Schools to support high-quality curricula implementation and how they engage and support families with building knowledge on curricular topics. 

Follow Grade Level Reading on Instagram @bemorereadmore. 

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Dec 04, 2019
Ep. 17: Loving the Learning Mindset in Lorain, OH!
3146

Today Scott Dieter joins us to share the landscape in Lorain, OH pre-high-quality curricula implementation and the steps his district made to prioritize trust and confidence before and during the implementation process. He shares lessons learned from the curriculum pilot as well as pivotal implementation input from teachers involved in the pilot.

Most importantly, the Lorain, OH team take a learner mindset stance as they embark on their Wit & Wisdom ELA journey. Scott's TRY mantra rings true for all Wit & Wisdom leaders & teachers! 

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Nov 14, 2019
Ep. 16: Scaling Literacy Success with Brian Kingsley
2614

Join us as we hear from Brian Kingsley, CAO of Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools in Charlotte, NC. Brian shares his thoughts on how effective reading programs should be designed around evidence-based practices, how adopting a high-quality curricula and centering PD on curricula gives teachers a common purpose, resources to learn more about the science of reading, and advice to leaders who are looking to adopt high quality curricula. He is funny and thoughtful, you'll want to listen to this episode more than once! 

Contact Brian at: briang.kingsley@cms.k12.nc.us or find him on Twitter @edukings

Read his article, Scaling Literacy Success through Reading Science, at AASA.org. 

http://my.aasa.org/AASA/Resources/SAMag/2019/Nov19/Kingsley.aspx

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card


Nov 04, 2019
Ep. 15: Addressing Assumptions about Curriculum with Catlin Goodrow
2822

Catlin Goodrow, consultant at Evidently Reading, addresses common assumptions teachers and leaders have about high-quality curricula. Why aren't more districts, schools, and teachers using high-quality curricula? We debunk these assumptions in this episode! 

  1. A central curriculum is boring/irrelevant.
  2. Providing a curriculum disrespects teacher expertise.
  3. Common Core-aligned curricula are "too rigorous" for our struggling readers.

Find Catlin on Twitter @EvidentlyR & keep up with her blog posts here! Visit Tim

Shanahan’s
blog for more information on so many topics related to this!


Follow Karen Vaites on Twitter @karenvaites and www.eduvaites.org. 

RAND studies show: 

  • Only 7% of elementary ELA teachers are regularly using high-quality resources.
  • Teachers spend 12 hours a week finding materials, 99% rely on materials they find or create themselves.

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Oct 25, 2019
Ep. 14: What about our Striving Secondary Readers?
2991

What happens when kids get to high school and are striving readers, struggling to fluently read grade-level text? We discuss the Libens' approach to addressing this issue, as well as share experiences of Baltimore City Schools Secondary Blueprint Literacy Coaches Zachary Jaffe & Tami James.

Read Know Better, Do Better by David & Meredith Liben, Chapter 7, to have a deeper understanding of the springboard for our conversation.

https://www.learningsciences.com/authors/meredith-liben/know-better-do-better 

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Sep 24, 2019
Ep. 13: TNTP Shares How to Bridge Curriculum Adoption and Implementation Support
3405

TNTP's Kristen McQuillan and Regan Kelly share how important it is to adopt a high-quality curriculum. But... what happens after that? What should be considered as next steps? What's the bridge from adoption to implementation of a new curriculum? What does this mean for teachers? SO. MANY. QUESTIONS!!! LOTS of fabulous answers and ideas, grounded in research and experience. 

  • EdReports

https://www.edreports.org/

  • TNTP's Opportunity Myth: 

https://tntp.org/publications/view/student-experiences/the-opportunity-myth

  • Summary of Learning by the Book: 

https://cepr.harvard.edu/curriculum-press-release

  • Learning by the Book itself (conclusion on page 35):

https://cepr.harvard.edu/files/cepr/files/cepr-curriculum-report_learning-by-the-book.pdf 

  • Kane and Steiner's reactions:

https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2019/04/02/dont-give-up-on-curriculum-reform-just.html

  • Emily Hanford's podcasts:
  1. Hard Words: https://www.apmreports.org/story/2018/09/10/hard-words-why-american-kids-arent-being-taught-to-read
  2. At a Loss for Words: https://www.apmreports.org/story/2019/08/22/whats-wrong-how-schools-teach-reading

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Sep 17, 2019
Episode 12: Partners in this Work: Learning with Liz Manolis
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Learning from Liz Manolis' great mind (see what we did there?) on successful structures for implementation of Wit and Wisdom curriculum including the Spotlight Schools Visit Program to support leadership coaching, trends on implementation successes and challenges, and preparing for mindset shifts to trust the process. 

Liz-isms & Quotes: 

  • "Go slow to go fast." 
  • "Go back to go forward." 
  • "The Content Stages framework provides the skeleton, the structure needed for coherency K-8."

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Sep 04, 2019
Episode 11: Disrupting Equity through Access with Bree-L Ukoha
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Melissa and Lori begin the conversation around equity and access with Bree-L Ukoha, a Blueprint Literacy Coach in Baltimore City Schools. Bree-L shares stories from the field and how adopting Wit and Wisdom curriculum was a step in the right direction of leveling the equity playing field for Baltimore students.

Unbound Ed - 5 charges: 

https://blog.unbounded.org/reflecting-on-the-5-charges/

  1. Adopt aligned curriculum 
  2. Attend to language of standards
  3. Talk about race systematically 
  4. Examine bias and its role in our work and learning 
  5. Commit to adaptive change within the shifts

Unbound Ed Bias Toolkit
https://blog.unbounded.org/bias-toolkit/

TNTP - Opportunity Myth:
https://tntp.org/assets/documents/TNTP_The-Opportunity-Myth_Web.pdf

Visit
OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Aug 21, 2019
Episode 10: Noticing The #KnowledgeGap with Natalie Wexler
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Today we are live with Natalie Wexler, the author of The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education System–And How to Fix It (LISTENERS - IT’S AVAILABLE TODAY!). The book focuses on the lack of content in the elementary curriculum and its connection to what is commonly known as the achievement gap.

Natalie provides a snapshot of research on building knowledge, then tangibly deconstructs the why and how behind the research making explicit connections to education classrooms today. She provides clear steps to take to ‘fix’ the knowledge gap: adopting a content-focused curriculum to build knowledge, and providing teachers and leaders with ongoing professional development and coaching grounded in the curriculum. 

Pick up her book, The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education System–And How to Fix It. In the meantime, find articles and say hi to Natalie at https://nataliewexler.com/ or on Twitter @natwexler.

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Jul 31, 2019
Episode 9: Geodes Rock!
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Pun intended. This episode takes us into the world of Geodes - decodable readers that bridge foundational skills and Wit and Wisdom ELA - through building knowledge and accessible text. Melissa and Lori talk with Lorraine Griffith and Emily Gula, who share the research and insight behind the development of Geodes and how they can be used in classrooms, as well as (and most importantly) why Geodes are market disrupters. We can't wait for Baltimore City students to experience these special texts this year, to connect Wilson Language's Fundations foundational skills to the knowledge-building topics in Wit and Wisdom ELA core instruction. Quite simply, GEODES ROCK!

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Resources:

Jul 24, 2019
Episode 8: Kyair & Katie Talk REAL Teacher Talk!
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A teacher's perspective on curriculum implementation is invaluable... and today, we have not ONE, but TWO teacher perspectives on Wit and Wisdom year one implementation!  Kyair and Katie are funny, smart, and have incredible learner-mindsets. They discuss the engagement of their students in texts and tasks, how Wit and Wisdom provides equity and opportunity, and their thoughts on teaching with an integrated (not isolated) curricula - a shift in mindset from the way 'school was done' previously. Lookout for some cheesy dad jokes along the way (thanks, Kyair), and so much insight and inspiration from these two incredible educators!

Connect with Kyair on Twitter @Kyairb
Connect with Katie on Twitter @Kstoryscotti

TNTP's The Opportunity Myth
https://opportunitymyth.tntp.org/

The Wrong Way to Teach Grammar - Michelle Navarre Cleary
https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/02/the-wrong-way-to-teach-grammar/284014/

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Jul 09, 2019
Episode 7: Why Curriculum Matters!
3207

We are thrilled to have Janise Lane, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, share how Baltimore City Schools used research and strategy to drive the high-quality curriculum implementation of Wit and Wisdom for K-8 schools district-wide. City schools drove structures for leaders and teachers by anchoring curriculum focused professional development, led by Wit and Wisdom experts, and taking the approach of learning together. Janise shares replicable strategies, structures, and insider tips... If you are in year one implementation of Wit and Wisdom, this podcast is a must-listen!

Resources referenced:

Strong Materials in the Hands of Great Teachers
https://learningforward.org/journal/december-2018-volume-39-no-6/strong-materials-in-the-hands-of-great-teachers/

Nell Duke - http://www.soe.umich.edu/people/profile/duke_nell/

The Opportunity Myth - https://opportunitymyth.tntp.org/

The Baseball Study
https://www.literacyhow.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Effect-of-Prior-Knowledge-on-Good-and-Poor-Readers-Memory-of-Text.pdf

Why A Structured Phonics Program is Effective
https://achievethecore.org/aligned/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Why-a-Structured-Phonics-Program-is-Effective.pdf

Ed Reports - https://www.edreports.org/

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Jun 29, 2019
Episode 6: The Heart of the Curriculum
516

Melissa was inspired by a quote in Brene Brown's book: Dare to Lead https://daretolead.brenebrown.com/.  Minouche Shafik, Director of the London School of Economics, who said, “In the past, jobs were about muscles, now they’re about brains, but in the future they’ll be about the heart.” Listen to her insightful and relatable take on curriculum with heart. 

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Jun 16, 2019
Episode 5: Mad about Mad River, Ohio!
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We had the extreme pleasure of interviewing Amy Holbrook & Mandy Polen, literacy leads in Mad River, Ohio. The Mad River district adopted Wit and Wisdom's ELA curriculum two years ago district wide, and three years ago for several pilot schools. Since then, their teachers have been immersed in adaptive change and test scores have soared! They provide tangible strategies and tips for side by side implementation support, share what worked for them, and describe the real process. We can't wait for you to listen in!

We reference this article during our podcast: https://ww.greatminds.org/english-madriverschools

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Jun 06, 2019
Episode 4: Fangirling Natalie Wexler
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Join us as we fangirl over Natalie Wexler's articles: The Biggest Education News Story You've Never Heard Of & Why American Students Haven't Gotten Better at Reading in 20 Years. We share our thoughts on the explicit connection to Wit & Wisdom curriculum, research, and building knowledge (CCSS Shift 3). 

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card



May 29, 2019
Episode 3: Wit and Wisdom Best Beach Reads!
2530

Melissa and Lori dive into K-8 texts to highlight salty summer reads to get set for next school year! We share the why behind our choice for each summer read text choice and make recommendations for field trips and experiences connected to texts to further build background knowledge for students. Join us as you prep for summer - RSVP those books at the library NOW! 

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

May 20, 2019
Episode 2: Talking Shift 3
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Common Core Shift 3 is often understood as "a balance of literary and informational text types," but the most important part is misunderstood, the idea of building knowledge. How does the Wit and Wisdom literacy curriculum address building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction? Listen as we interview Sarah Woodard, who shares valuable insight and information on the intentional integration of texts to attend to Shift 3 in this curriculum.

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

May 08, 2019
Episode 1: Is FIDELITY really a bad word?
2530

What does fidelity mean in a large, urban school district when implementing Great Mind's Wit and Wisdom ELA curriculum? Melissa and Lori share perspective, research, and resources to support teachers in unpacking the why behind fidelity. 

In this episode, we reference: 

Visit OUR WEBSITE to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast! https://www.literacypodcast.com/

Connect with Melissa & Lori:

Today is a great day to start your own podcast... If you’re thinking about it, we say GO FOR IT! We love Buzzsprout for so many reasons, but especially because it’s easy to use and their customer service rocks! Use our Buzzsprout affiliate link to sign up for their podcast media hosting and get a $20 Amazon gift card

Apr 26, 2019