A 360° View of Literacy
Explore the elements that fuel successful literacy learning in this wide-ranging, comprehensive series. From the Sciences of Reading to knowledge building to metacognition to understanding dyslexia, and much more—experts discuss it all, delivering practical guidance and support for every educator.
A 360º View of Literacy: The Urgent Issue of Usability
Kareem Weaver and David Liben tackle the pressing but not often prioritized issue of instructional materials’ usability—clarifying what’s needed and establishing a mandate for publishers and selection committees to create and choose resources that work for diverse learners and educators.
A 360º View of Literacy: Putting the Sciences of Reading into Action
Every educator knows the importance of foundational skills, and of building student engagement and ownership while teaching these skills. First-grade teacher Cameron Carter discusses how this can be achieved, reflecting on the use of technology and mini books, and on buddy games, respectful conversations, and the sharing part of learning. Carter addresses the Science of Reading movement and its embrace of all components of literacy—comprehension, fluency, background knowledge, and vocabulary—not solely phonics.
A 360º View of Literacy: Differentiating Instruction for Advanced Readers
From the perspective of educator and parent, author and educational consultant Nancy Young discusses the distinctive needs of gifted and advanced learners, as well as their unique opportunities. Dr. Young also explains ‘The Ladder of Reading & Writing,’ the popular infographic that she developed to support the needs of all students.
A 360º View of Literacy: The Science of Dyslexia
While the research on dyslexia is still evolving, much of it is solid and clear. Author, researcher, and literacy expert Jan Hasbrouck draws from both professional and personal experience to dispel dyslexia myths and emphasize the need for strong, systematic phonics instruction.
A 360º View of Literacy: The Pillars of Effective Writing Instruction
For decades Diana Leddy has been developing a writing approach that begins with Backward Design and emphasizes understanding to build background knowledge. This approach has proven to increase writing achievement. Through explicit instruction and plenty of practice time, students gain the skills to write well year after year.
A 360º View of Literacy: Driving Reading Comprehension Through Cultural Relevancy
Literacy and bilingual experts Allison Briceno and Claudia Rodriguez-Mojica and teacher Claire Hood discuss culturally and linguistically sustaining practices—and how to demystify them to achieve deep, connected learning.
A 360º View of Literacy: Power Tools for Growing Knowledge, Vocabulary, and Reading Comprehension
Educator, school leader, and literacy curriculum expert David Liben explains the effectiveness of knowledge-building as a core part of literacy learning, the research behind it, and how creating and implementing a general knowledge curriculum can get results at even the lowest-performing schools.
A 360º View of Literacy: Metacognition—The Missing Link in Reading Instruction
Extensive research demonstrates the essential role that metacognition plays in reading comprehension. Reading expert Peter Afflerbach explains clearly how developing a metacognitive mindset and metacognitive strategy toolkit places students on the road to self-aware, independent, and fluent reading
The Science and the Art of Reading Fluency
Fluency experts Tim Rasinski and Lynne Kulich shed light on all the benefits of fluency mastery—automaticity and expression, but also improvement in word recognition, phonics, and comprehension. Expressive reading inspires joy and affects all reading skills. Proven tools for teaching it are shared.
A 360° View of Literacy: Leveraging Knowledge for Reading Success
Renowned researcher Gina Cervetti discusses the cognitive benefits of incorporating students' personal, experiential, and cultural knowledge into literacy learning—stressing the importance of content area instruction and of language arts as a place where knowledge is both leveraged and developed.
Amplifying AAPI Voices in the Classroom
Representation is key to all students’ educational success. Join Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion expert Jessica Velasco and Patty McGee as they discuss the "model minority" myth, overcoming personal bias, and practical ways to increase representation in the classroom.
Equity and the Sciences of Reading
Join Dr. Rachael Gabriel and Patty McGee for a discussion on the intersection of the Sciences of Reading and equity, as they explore research-based strategies for instruction that supports literacy achievement for every student.
The Sciences of Reading and Small-Group Instruction
Dr. Adria Klein and Patty McGee discuss how small-group instruction advances the Sciences of Reading by enabling flexibility, providing opportunities for observation and assessment, and bolstering responsive teaching that meets all learners’ needs.
A Practical Approach to the Sciences of Reading
What are we learning about how children learn to read? And how does that inform our instructional practices and accelerate student learning? Join Dr. C.C. Bates and Patty McGee as they discuss where theory meets practice in the literacy classroom.
The Sciences of Reading and The Whole Child
Understanding the evolving research about how children learn is critical in bolstering reading success. Dr. Rachael Gabriel and Dr. Peter Afflerbach discuss the intersection of The Sciences of Reading and motivation, engagement, and self-efficacy and how it informs best instructional practices.
During challenging times, joyful stories are more important than ever. Christine Taylor-Butler, author of more than 80 books and stories for young people, shares the importance of positive stories that affirm identity and provide uplifting experiences.
Writing Made Simple
When we simplify writing instruction, it becomes joyful, meaningful and deeply fulfilling for everyone involved. Patty McGee, author of ‘Writer’s Workshop Made Simple: 7 Essentials for Every Classroom and Every Writer,’ shares some of the best ways for teachers to support writers in the classroom.
Asset-Based Support for Newcomers
What can we do to meet the needs of newcomer students in our schools? Silvia Dorta-Duque de Reyes discusses how to create welcoming environments for these students, from better understanding their unique needs to building their social-emotional and academic confidence to support impactful learning.
Trauma-Informed Care in Education
Restorative practitioner Steve Fiedeldy joins Patty McGee to discuss the importance of understanding and addressing trauma in an educational community. Discover practical strategies rooted in restorative practices to support the mental health of students, educators, and communities.
Expanding the Science of Reading
The Science of Reading refers to a much-discussed body of research around how students learn to read. But what could be missing from the conversation? Dr. Peter Afflerbach discusses broadening our view of the science available to inform the instruction of developing readers—from phonics and phonemic awareness to metacognition, motivation and self-efficacy.
Agency & Engagement
What is agency? And how is it supported by engagement in the classroom? Co-authors of WIRE for Agency, Jenn Hayhurst and Jill DeRosa, join Patty McGee to define these terms, discuss how embracing active learning makes an impact in the classroom, and offer tips to help empower students to grow and thrive.
Leah Mermelstein , author of ‘"We-Do" Writing: Maximizing Practice to Develop Independent Writers,’ talks with author and educator Patty McGee about how collaboration between educators and students empowers achievement boosts student confidence, and maximizes effective instructional time. Discover tips for implementing different types of collaborative writing successfully—in the beginning of the school year and beyond.
Creating Affirming Spaces for LGBTQIA+ Students
Teacher-Author Patty McGee and educator Lena Schmidt explore the work of creating spaces that affirm the identities of LGBTQ+ students within the classroom, the school, and the community.
Vocabulary Development for Newcomers
Vocabulary is critically important. By the end of first grade, vocabulary is a predictor of either reading success or reading problems in middle school and high school. Dr. Margarita Calderón joins author and educator Patty McGee to discuss best practices for vocabulary development and creating an environment and community that supports newcomers and other multilingual learners.
Literacy expert C.C. Bates, author of Interactive Writing: Developing Readers Through Writing, talks with author and educator Patty McGee about how teachers use Interactive Writing and how they can do it better, in-person or virtually.
Gender and Intersectional Teaching
What voices and gendered perspectives do students experience in your classroom? How can you develop a more inclusive teaching practice? Author and educator Patty McGee and Maria Campanario, National Equity Consultant in Professional Development for Benchmark Education, explore a process for discovering and amplifying the voices, stories and histories of women within your curriculum.
Culturally Responsive Teaching: the Why, the How, and the Impact
Dr. Luvelle Brown, Superintendent of Ithaca City School District, shares his insights on the process, the pedagogies and the necessity of implementing culturally responsive teaching practices and how they can transform an educational community.
Conquering Dyslexia: The Case for Early Identification and Intervention
Dr. Jan Hasbrouck describes the latest research on dyslexia, its early warning signs, and what families and educators can do to support success with structured literacy, multimodal experiences, and social-emotional support.
Common Myths About Dyslexia—And the Facts that Debunk Them
Dr. Jan Hasbrouck defines dyslexia, clears up common misconceptions, and shares why this topic matters so much to her and should matter to everyone, in every school.
Learning Close at Heart
Patty McGee taught daily lessons for 9 weeks on the Benchmark Distance Learning - Literacy Block Facebook group. In this episode she talks about that experience and how it changed her teaching.
Author / educator Patty McGee talks with reading expert Laura Robb about how teachers can make the time and space for independent reading and how their students benefit when they commit to it.
The Joy of the Ordinary
Patty McGee talks with teacher and author Travis Crowder about practical ways to invite students to notice their everyday worlds. Through observing, reflecting, and writing, each of us can recognize how much the ordinary things around us sustain us.
Simplicity and Connection in Distance Learning
When it comes to online teaching, it’s about connection, not perfection. Patty McGee and Julie Wright discuss how to prepare for daily online instruction and offer teachers advice on distance learning. Spoiler alert: simplicity is key.
Read Aloud Essentials from Any Distance
Patty McGee and Adria Klein discuss how teachers and home-schooling parents can keep read alouds simple and instructionally effective while bringing the joy into reading with children.
Take Care of Yourself and Connect with Your Students
Dr. Daniella Lukashok shares practical advice for teachers about supporting themselves, their loved ones, and their students during this period of social distancing and isolation.
The Science of Reading
Teaching reading is one of the best gifts we can give a child because it can never be taken away. No wonder people get so whipped up about this topic. In this podcast, Wiley Blevins brings a calm voice to the hubbub about the Science of Reading, revealing how every educator can use its findings to meet the majority of young students’ literacy needs efficiently, effectively, and with equity. The best materials and best instruction, decoded.
Teachers need easy-to-use, efficient ways to check for mastery so students’ understanding builds swiftly and surely. In this podcast, Wiley Blevins explains the wisdom of assessing both accuracy and automaticity, and the how-tos of comprehensive and cumulative assessments.
In this podcast, Wiley Blevins explains why explicit, systematic instruction is not only scientifically proven but easier for teachers to implement than other approaches. Discover the power behind a defined scope and sequence, a built-in spiral review, and how to differentiate instruction in whole and small groups.