Reading, Writing, and Teaching
Why Evidence-Based Literacy Instruction?
I've been in hundreds of classrooms - teaching, coaching, and supporting literacy learning. From a middle school next to a cotton field in North Carolina, to a temporary building in Houston, to a Chicago pre-K classroom ... I've seen all kinds of instruction. Through it all, there's one constant: American kids are too often struggling to learn to read proficiently.
The sad thing is, we know better than ever how kids learn to read and write. We're simply not implementing those practices broadly enough.
These are my insights, from all of those classrooms, into how we can implement evidence-based practices in simple and powerful ways.
All of my work is grounded in five core principles, based in evidence AND in my experience in classrooms.
1. Students should receive explicit and systematic instruction to learn to read and write.
2. Students in preK-2 (and struggling readers in other grades) especially need explicit and systematic instruction in phonics and phonological awareness.
3. Background knowledge is a key element of reading comprehension, and therefore must be intentionally built.
4. All students, regardless of reading ability, deserve teacher-supported access to on-grade-level texts.
5. Culturally-responsive teachers center their students while also promoting academic success.
If, as a teacher, you've ever been told: "this is a best practice," and wondered: who says? ... then I hope this is the place for you.
My goal is to provide you with instructional information that is:
2. linked to research
3. workable in the average classroom
After 11 years of coaching, I returned to the classroom to pressure test many of the ideas and theories I'd developed in those hundreds of classrooms. Now, I'm sharing them with you.