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Science of Reading: The Podcast
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Science of Reading: The Podcast

Author: Amplify Education

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Science of Reading: The Podcast will deliver the latest insights from researchers and practitioners in early reading. Via a conversational approach, each episode explores a timely topic related to the science of reading.
17 Episodes
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Jared Myracle, Chief Academic Officer of the Jackson-Madison County School System in Tennessee, shares his district’s experience in adopting the science of reading and navigating the change management process. He stresses the importance of high-quality instructional materials and implementation fidelity.Quotes: “Don’t be satisfied with where you are. Where could you be if every student was guaranteed this type of education?”“Imagine what your results could be if you did ensure that all students were able to experience systematic phonics instruction and opportunities to build background knowledge throughout their K-12 years.”Resources:The Hidden Mistake School Leaders Should Avoid This Year by Jared MyracleThe Urgency I Feel Around Instruction – and Why I Look to Curriculum by Jared MyracleWant to discuss the episode? Join our Facebook group Science of Reading: The Community.
David Steiner, Professor and Executive Director of the Institute for Education Policy at Johns Hopkins University, and Susan examine how school closures are impacting learning across the nation, how districts are responding to the rapidly-changing environment, and why maximizing our educational reach via technology should be a priority.Quotes: “This is a wake-up call to districts to really see that this digital inequality cannot persist.”“Don’t make the ideal the enemy of the possible.” Resources:USDOE Fact Sheet March 20, 2020Report: The Problem with Finding the Main Idea by David SteinerWant to discuss the episode? Join our Facebook group Science of Reading: The Community.
Ernesto Ortiz, principal at an elementary school in Pennsylvania, discusses how to understand when materials are meaningfully “research-based,” how his school made the shift to the science of reading, and how he is supporting his students with remote learning resources to continue their literacy development at home.Quotes: “We need to be more informed than influenced so that we can look at things with a critical eye.”“As leaders, we need to remain calm and steadfast so we can navigate throughout these unprecedented times.”Resources:Hard Words by Emily HanfordEquipped for Reading Success by David A. KilpatrickThe Simple View of ReadingScarborough’s Reading RopeThe Reading League Speech to Print: Language Essentials for Teachers by Louisa Cook Moats, Ed.D.Language at the Speed of Sight: How We Read, Why So Many Can't, and What Can Be Done About It by Mark SeidenbergErnesto's blog: Decoding LeadershipWant to discuss the episode? Join our Facebook group Science of Reading: The Community.
We’ve been thinking a lot about you -- and our hearts go out to you during this confusing and uncertain time. Helping our students continue to learn in this unusual and unsettling situation is not easy.  And here at the Science of Reading podcast, we want to do what we can to support you where we can.ResourcesScience of Reading: The PodcastScience of Reading: The Facebook Community
Susan and Dr. Bruce McCandliss, a professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University, chat about combining neuroscience with education. How does neuroscience help us understand the changes going on in the brain of a child learning to read? Why do some children struggle so profoundly? He shares his research into focusing the student’s attention on letters and sounds versus on the word as a whole.Quotes: “Teachers play a huge role in shaping brain development for reading.”“This is where education and neuroscience are coming together to create a dialogue in the space of how we support children.”Resources:Bringing Words to Life, Second Edition: Robust Vocabulary Instruction by Isabel BeckWhere Is Educational Neuroscience? by John T. Bruer, PhD2019 Education Trends by Carrie Gajowski, MAMinds, Brains, and Learning: Understanding the Psychological and Educational Relevance of Neuroscientific Research by James P. ByrnesWant to discuss the episode? Join our Facebook group Science of Reading: The Community.
Jasmine Lane, a high school English teacher, discusses the importance of equity and education and the disconnect between how teachers feel and what they need to do to push education forward for all students, regardless of their background. She also shares how education has changed her life, how her students have been impacted by their early literacy teachers, and how high schoolers fill in the gaps for things they missed early on.Quotes:“The science of reading–that’s my push for equity because every child deserves to be able to read.” “We want all kids to succeed. If that’s not equity, I don’t know what is.”Resources:Jasmine's BlogBlog: Project Forever FreeWant to discuss the episode? Join our Facebook group Science of Reading: The Community.
Dr. Nancy Nelson, Research Assistant Professor at the Center on Teaching and Learning at the University of  Oregon, discusses myths and misconceptions around  RTI, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), and universal screening in reading instruction.Quotes:"Dyslexia is not a black and white condition—it also exists on a continuum."“Relying on data allows us to engage in a systematic process to implement systems to meet the needs of all kids.”Resources: DIBELS® at the University of Oregon Want to discuss the episode? Join our Facebook group Science of Reading: The Community.
Carolyn Strom, Professor of Early Childhood Literacy and Innovation at NYU, discuss her research and interviews with pre-school teachers and how students learn to read, her view on the science of reading and the cognitive science behind it all. She shares her insights on the importance of neuroscience, culturally responsive teaching and dives into Linnea Ehri’s four phases of learning how to read.Quotes:“Our brains are not wired to read…we have to do a neurological backflip to teach our brains to read."“You can’t think about a tree without thinking of its environment the same way you should not be thinking about a kid’s reading development without thinking of their environment.” Resources:Reading in the Brain: The New Science of How We Read by Stanislas DehaeneCarolyn Strom NYU BioWant to discuss the episode? Join our Facebook group Science of Reading: The Community.
Literacy expert and author Tim Shanahan discusses his views on teaching reading in middle school as an extension of evidence-based early literacy practices. What are some of the challenges and what should reading instruction include? Tim and host Susan Lambert dive into boosting comprehension, how the English language is always changing, and how to structure reading instruction across content areas such as history, science, and math so students are equipped to comprehend those texts as well.Quotes:“It is absolutely essential in any comprehension lesson that the kids come away with knowledge.”“Not dealing with vocabulary early on is like leaving ticking time bomb for later.”Resources:Shanahan on Literacy website and blog postsPodcast: A conversation with Tim Rasinski Want to discuss the episode? Join our Facebook group Science of Reading: The Community.
What is the missing link in reading comprehension? Anne Lucas, former curriculum director and current product manager of Amplify Reading, discusses the multifaceted nature of comprehension, why it’s so difficult to teach, a teacher's powerful "eureka! moment," and the specific sentence-level skills which, if practiced, improve overall comprehension. Quotes:“The more tools we give to kids to grapple with texts and concepts, the better they’ll be able to do it.”“Background knowledge is incredibly important and is something that we need to integrate into instruction and curriculum.”Resources:Comprehension Microskills Classroom ActivityThe Missing Link in Comprehension White PaperUnderstanding and Teaching Reading Comprehension by Jane OakhillWant to discuss the episode? Join our Facebook group Science of Reading: The Community.
Emily Lutrick, a PreK-5 Curriculum and Dyslexia Coordinator with almost 20 years of experience in education, examines the facts and fictional myths of dyslexia, how early is too early to screen for dyslexia, and how to identify the signs and risk factors. Susan and Emily discuss how dyslexia relates to the science of reading and what educators and parents can do to help students after school.Quotes: “You’ve got to arm yourself with good, strong, core curriculum. Make sure you’re informed in what it means to teach in a structured literacy environment. [These] go hand in hand with the science of reading.”“Be intentional about identifying what that risk factor is. What is it that’s causing that breakdown?”Resources:Twitter @drlutrick Want to discuss the episode? Join our Facebook group Science of Reading: The Community.
Summary: Lois Letchford, author of Reversed: A Memoir, shares personal accounts of her son’s struggles with learning how to read as well as her own in school with dyslexia. After being told by a teacher that her son was “the worst child [she’s] ever seen in [her] 25 years of teaching,” she persisted with endless patience to help her son and began writing poems to pique his interest in reading. What is he doing now? Was she successful?Quote: “Believe in your child, believe they are capable of anything--and tell them that.”Resources:Reversed: A Memoir by Lois LetchfordPoetry for kids by Lois LetchfordWebsite with articles and blog: https://www.loisletchford.com/Twitter: @LetchfordLoisWant to discuss the episode? Join our Facebook group Science of Reading: The Community.
Susan and Tim Rasinski, author of The Megabook of Fluency: Strategies and Texts to Engage All Readers, discuss his work at the reading clinic at Kent State University, the aspects of good fluency instruction, what constitutes fluency, and how reading speed is correlated to word recognition and automaticity. He stresses the importance of fluency and finding ways to be artful while teaching reading.Quotes:“Fluency is the bridge and we can’t ignore it.”“Speed is the consequence of automaticity–automaticity is not the consequence of speed.”Resources:The Megabook of Fluency: Strategies and Texts to Engage All Readers by Tim RasinskiWhy Reading Should be Hot! by Tim RasinskiEmail: trasinsk@kent.eduWebsite with articles and blog: timrasinski.comTwitter: @trasinski1Kent State Reading ClinicAdditional resources:Fluency: The Neglected Reading Goal by Richard AllingtonAfter Decoding: What? by Carol ChomskyThe Method of Repeated Readings by Dr. S. Jay SamuelsJean Chall's Stages of Reading DevelopmentTim Shanahan interview on The Science of ReadingWant to discuss the episode? Join our Facebook group Science of Reading: The Community.
Susan sits down with education reporter and host of the Education Post podcast, Emily Hanford, examines the big takeaways from her experience on reporting on dyslexia, patterns that emerged from her investigating, the science of reading and why schools don’t align with it more, the theory of how reading works, and the evolution of balanced literacy, phonics instruction and whole language.Quotes:“We have to be teaching kids how the written language works to help them become good readers.”“Family income and poverty affect educational opportunities and outcomes.”Resources: 'Hard Words' Education Post PodcastAt a Loss for Words: How a flawed idea is teaching millions of kids to be poor readers article by Emily HanfordWhat to do if your child's school isn't teaching reading right? article by Emily HanfordAdditional resources: NAEP Reading ScoresWant to discuss the episode? Join our Facebook group Science of Reading: The Community.
Robert shares what inspired him to embark upon his esteemed career path and how we must acknowledge and address that children come to school from different places and backgrounds along their language trajectory in our schools. Susan and Robert discuss the latest in education reform, the knowledge gap, how it is only going to get larger as kids move through grades, the limited time we have to correct it, and how to start doing so.Quotes:“Language is heavily dependent upon readers making correct inferences about context, and that’s background knowledge.”“Language is a series of inference-making, that’s all knowledge-dependent. And if we’re not operating from the same base of knowledge, it all breaks down.”Resources: Robert Pondiscio's book:How the Other Half Learns: Equality, Excellence, and the Battle Over School ChoiceRobert Pondiscio's articles:How to improve literacy after elementary schoolThe lost children of Hirsch: Will a fresh argument for content-rich curricula make a difference?Additional resources: "How knowledge helps", an article by Daniel WillinghamTeaching Content is Teaching Reading video by Daniel WillinghamWant to discuss the episode? Join our Facebook group Science of Reading: The Community.
What's broken in our education system? Natalie joins Susan for a provocative talk about her latest book, The Knowledge Gap, and how a knowledge-based curriculum can bring equity into the classroom, and students' futures.Quotes“Kids actually love to learn stuff. They love to feel like they’re experts. It does wonders for their self-esteem.” - Wexler“Once teachers try it and can see what can happen…they’re going to say ‘I’m never going back to what I was doing before.” - WexlerResourcesNatalie Wexler’s books:The Knowledge Gap: The hidden cause of America's broken education system--and how to fix itThe Writing Revolution: A Guide to Advancing Thinking Through Writing in All Subjects and GradeNatalie Wexler’s articles:“Elementary Education Has Gone Terribly Wrong: The Case for Teaching Kids Stuff” (The Atlantic, August 2019)“Why American Students Haven't Gotten Better at Reading in 20 Years” (The Atlantic, April 2018)Additional resources:Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham’s education blogWant to discuss the episode? Join our Facebook group Science of Reading: The Community.
Welcome to Science of Reading: The Podcast! We bring educators the latest insights from researchers and practitioners in early reading. We believe equity in education begins with reading science.
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