DiscoverThe Literacy Lounge: Uncover the Magic of Reading Through Ciera Harris’ Guide to Building Comprehension
The Literacy Lounge: Uncover the Magic of Reading Through Ciera Harris’ Guide to Building Comprehension
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The Literacy Lounge: Uncover the Magic of Reading Through Ciera Harris’ Guide to Building Comprehension

Author: Ciera Harris, Literacy Specialist for Elementary Reading Teachers

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Welcome to The Literacy Lounge! This is a podcast designed for elementary school teachers and homeschool parents on a mission to master the art of literacy instruction and cultivate a love of reading in students. Join your host, Ciera Harris, as she opens the door to a world of transformative teaching strategies that will make you a literacy champion in your classroom.

Ciera and her guests will dive into topics such as The Science of Reading, the 5 components of reading (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension), metacognition, close reading, choosing the best mentor texts, data collection, increasing student engagement, and more. 

You’ll walk away from each episode with actionable tips and strategies to try in your classroom. Best of all, you’ll discover not just the ‘what’ and ‘why’ but also the ‘how’ of elevating your literacy instruction. Whether you’re a veteran teacher or just starting your teaching journey, this podcast will empower you to achieve the results you’ve dreamed of for you and your students. 

For more literacy support, and to connect and collaborate with like-minded teachers, join the free Facebook group, The Literacy Lounge: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cieraharristeaching.
22 Episodes
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How can we best support our students with special needs inside the general education classroom when we don’t have a background in special education? Without training in special education, teachers often wonder how they can ensure their students with special needs are receiving the instruction and support they need. Dr. Chris Reeve is joining me today to share some incredible insight on how we can support these students.Dr. Chris Reeve has a doctorate in psychology and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral. She has a passion for helping special education teachers serve their students in the best ways possible. Join us as we dive into the best ways general education teachers can support their students with special needs, specifically in the literacy block. She shares some invaluable information on how teachers can support these students, how to create a supportive classroom culture, the role of differentiation, the importance of understanding a student’s IEP, and more!Episode Highlights:06:57 - The 3 areas teachers can support students with special needs inside the literacy block10:24 - What role differentiation plays when supporting the diverse needs of students21:27 - The importance of knowing, understanding, and implementing the student’s IEP32:10 - How we can support and find more effective collaboration practices to bring both general education teams and special education teams together to support those students42:33 - What strategies general education teachers can use to assess the progress of students with special needs. Links & Resources:The Comprehensive Autism Planning System: (CAPS) LibraryAutism Classroom Resources Podcast Episode 80. Teaching Implementation Plan: An Easy Road Map for Your Classroom IEPFree Close Reading GuidebookThe Literacy Lounge Facebook groupLeave your rating and review on Apple Podcasts!Grab all the podcast links and resources mentioned in this episode inside the show notes: https://cieraharristeaching.com/episode21
The demands on teachers seem to grow endlessly. There always seem to be curriculum changes, standardized testing, and all the challenges that have come along with the past few years. Teachers today are facing very high levels of exhaustion, stress, and burnout. So, what can we do to help prevent and manage this stress and burnout? Teacher burnout and sustainability strategist Brittany Blackwell joins us to share all about teacher burnout. She offers invaluable insights and strategies to help educators navigate these turbulent times by getting to the root cause of burnout and offering practical approaches to help teachers refresh their minds, bodies, and souls. In this episode, Brittany is breaking down the primary causes of teacher burnout, the brain science behind stress, coping strategies for educators, and how to recognize the early warning signs of stress and overwhelm.Episode Highlights:06:11 - The primary causes of teacher burnout and how this impacts educators both personally and professionally12:04 - The psychological and physiological mechanisms behind stress20:38 - Effective coping strategies educators can use to help mitigate the effects of stress29:48 - How educators can recognize early warning signs of burnout in themselves and what steps they can take to address it before it becomes just too overwhelming33:29 - What systematic changes are necessary to address and prevent teacher burnout on a broader scaleLinks & Resources:Get Your Next Steps to Burnout Recovery in this quizGrab Your Free Breathwork Guide for EducatorsThe Resilient Teacher PodcastFree Close Reading GuidebookThe Literacy Lounge Facebook groupLeave your rating and review on Apple Podcasts!Grab all the podcast links and resources mentioned in this episode inside the show notes: https://cieraharristeaching.com/episode20
There are some common methods and practices for teaching reading that I don’t agree with. Now, I don’t say this to ruffle feathers but rather to challenge the status quo and make us think deeply about how we approach literacy education and how we can make the biggest impact on our students’ reading journeys.We all want to provide the best reading instruction possible, but I believe that some of the current practices and beliefs take away from doing just that. In this episode, we are diving into 5 controversial opinions about teaching reading. I’m uncovering why I don’t use Lexile levels, how building stamina is unnecessary, why centers are overrated, how over-differentiating can do more harm than good, and why whole-group instruction is necessary. I’d love to hear what you agree or disagree with or answer any questions you may have. Send me a DM on Instagram or email me at Ciera@CieraHarrisTeaching.com to continue the conversation!02:58 - Why Lexile levels are pointless06:34 - The difference between reading stamina and attention10:23 - Why centers are overrated12:45 - How differentiation can be damaging 15:23 - The importance of whole group instructionResources:Episode 13. Unveiling Three Game-Changing Strategies to Transform Your Teaching in 2024Free Close Reading GuidebookThe Literacy Lounge Facebook groupLeave your rating and review on Apple Podcasts!Grab all the podcast links and resources mentioned in this episode inside the show notes: https://cieraharristeaching.com/episode19
We’ve all come across students who hate reading. These students, for whatever reason it may be, cannot see the power and joy that reading can bring. Thankfully, we are in a position to help these students see just how amazing reading can be. With the right steps and encouragement, we can transform these students into lifelong readers!In this episode, I am sharing practical tips and strategies to encourage reluctant readers and motivate students who hate reading. I am breaking down the importance of building connections, making reading personal, finding books and genres that interest the student, and creating a fun experience for your students.If you enjoyed the insights from this episode, it would mean so much if you would leave a rating and review. Each one helps us grow and reach more teachers and impact more students!03:20 - The importance of building connections and making it personal for students08:01 - How and why teachers need to be book-matching endlessly for their students10:08 - Why we should be a focus on genre knowledge 13:40 - What various formats are considered reading Resources:From Striving to Thriving: How to Grow Confident, Capable Readers by Stephanie Harvey and Annie WardFree Close Reading GuidebookThe Literacy Lounge Facebook groupLeave your rating and review on Apple Podcasts!Grab all the podcast links and resources mentioned in this episode inside the show notes: https://cieraharristeaching.com/episode18
As an elementary teacher, I was always worried about whether I was doing a good enough job in preparing my students for the next level. I wanted to be a fly on the wall of their classrooms when they got to middle school to see if they were prepared. That is why I am so excited to have Caitlin Mitchell joining me today to share all about how elementary teachers can help prepare students for middle school ELA.It’s not always easy to know whether or not your students are going into middle school with the knowledge they need to succeed. So what can we do as elementary teachers to ensure our students have a smooth transition from elementary ELA to middle school ELA? In this episode, Caitlin shares some incredible insight into where she sees gaps when students enter middle school, what middle school ELA teachers wish elementary teachers knew, and her advice for elementary teachers.08:46 - The major differences between elementary and middle school ELA16:01 - What middle school ELA teachers find frustrating about incoming middle school students28:48 -  Where the biggest gaps are between middle school and elementary school ELA standards35:56 - The 3 things middle school ELA teachers wish elementary school teachers knew45:54 - Caitlin’s best piece of advice for upper elementary teachers who are prepping their students for middle schoolResources:EB Academics websiteTeaching Middle School ELA PodcastFree Close Reading GuidebookThe Literacy Lounge Facebook groupLeave your rating and review on Apple Podcasts!Grab all the podcast links and resources mentioned in this episode inside the show notes: https://cieraharristeaching.com/episode17
One of the most powerful things you can do with your students inside the classroom is goal setting. It can help to drive motivation and focus and give your students the extra push they need intrinsically to meet the goals they have set for themselves. I know goal setting with your students can sound daunting, but it doesn’t need to be!Goal setting can be incredibly beneficial to both you and your students. It gives you insight into what your students feel confident in and what they may be less confident in. And for your students, it encourages them to continuously work to improve whatever skill they need to work on in order to reach their goals. And as I mentioned, goal setting doesn’t need to be difficult! In this episode, I am sharing 10 tips to help you get started goal setting in your classroom!Don’t forget to grab your Tic-Tac-Toe board so you can play along during the month of January 2024. All you need to do is get 3 in a row on your game board, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $250 shopping spree from my resource shop! Episode Highlights:01:24 - How to play my Tic-Tac-Toe game for a chance to win a $250 shopping spree in my resource shop03:41 - Why goal setting in your classroom is beneficial for you and your students05:40 -  Why you should be modeling goal setting and working towards goals every day12:22 - How to help your students set good goals for themselves18:21 - The difference between realistic and unrealistic goals and how to help students set realistic goals19:55 - Why students should be reflecting on their goals regularly in order to reach themResources:Grab your Tic-Tac-Toe game board for a chance to win a $250 TPT shopping spree!Free Close Reading GuidebookThe Literacy Lounge Facebook groupLeave your rating and review on Apple Podcasts!Grab all the podcast links and resources mentioned in this episode inside the show notes: https://cieraharristeaching.com/episode16
How amazing is it to witness a student’s eyes beam with excitement when they are completely captivated by a story? The great thing is, by harnessing the power of read alouds, we can get our students excited about reading while also building background knowledge, modeling fluent reading, and so much more!Sara Soucy from The Colorful Apple joins us today to share all about read alouds and how beneficial they are for your students. By incorporating a daily read aloud into your classroom you can unlock a love of books, help students learn new things, and build engagement.Inside this episode, Sara breaks down why read alouds are so important, how they help develop literacy skills in students, and what to consider when selecting a book for read aloud. Plus, she is sharing helpful tips for how to engage students who struggle to sit through a read aloud! Episode Highlights:07:11 - Why read alouds are important 10:45 - The impact read alouds have on student learning and development21:08 - Techniques to enhance literacy through a read alouds26:04 - The importance of considering inclusivity and diversity when selecting books32:51 - How to engage students who struggle to sit through a read aloudResources:FREE Book List for Social Emotional LearningGet your Tic-Tac-Toe game board to play to win a $250 shopping spree inside my TPT storeEpisode 3. Using Mentor Texts to Enhance Your Literacy BlockFree Close Reading GuidebookThe Literacy Lounge Facebook groupLeave your rating and review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes: https://cieraharristeaching.com/episode15
A fresh, new year always brings a spark of possibility and positivity as I look forward to all the things I hope to accomplish in the year. And if you’re feeling anything like me, you are optimistic that 2024 is finally going to be a good year! I am so ready to make 2024 an amazing year! Are you with me?If you’re looking to elevate your teaching and ignite a love of learning in your students in 2024, I have the perfect way to do that. I love a good teacher podcast and think they are a great way to get some professional development while we’re driving, cooking, or even working out. I have found some incredible podcasts for inspired teachers like you, and in this episode, I am giving you a glimpse into these podcasts, why I love them, and which episodes you should check out first!As we head into the new year, be sure you are subscribed to The Literacy Lounge so you don’t miss any of the wonderful topics I have planned for this year, including the four-part test prep series I have coming in February! I can’t wait to make 2024 an amazing year!Episode Highlights:06:02 - Learn about all things literacy and writing on The Literacy Dive with Megan Polk11:21 - Find research-based and teacher-approved strategies to make your teaching more efficient and effective with Heidi and Emily on the Teacher Approved podcast15:34-  Hear about ways to relieve the day-to-day stress on Wife Teacher Mommy: The Podcast with Kelsey Sorenson20:34 - Learn how to beat the teacher burnout cycle on The Resilient Teacher Podcast with Brittany Blackwell 22:10 - Continue learning how to elevate your literacy instruction in 2024 with The Literacy LoungeResources:Grab your Tic-Tac-Toe game board for a chance to win a $250 TPT shopping spree!Free Close Reading GuidebookThe Literacy Lounge Facebook groupLeave your rating and review on Apple Podcasts!Grab all the podcast links and resources mentioned in this episode inside the show notes: https://cieraharristeaching.com/episode14
What if I told you there were simple strategies you could implement in your class that could elevate your instruction and be a total game changer for your students? Believe it or not, there are strategies that don’t require extra materials or extra prep but make a big impact.As we are heading into a new year, it’s a great time to start implementing some strategies that can transform your reading instruction and set your students up for success when implemented with fidelity. In this episode, I am sharing three strategies to elevate your reading instruction, how to implement them, and the benefits of using them.I am so appreciative of you taking the time to listen and support the podcast! I have one Christmas wish this year - If you are listening and finding the podcast helpful, please leave a rating or review wherever you listen to podcasts to help us get the word out to more educators. I truly appreciate you taking the time to help!Episode Highlights:03:25 - How to start implementing modeling in your instruction and the benefits of modeling15:49 - Why activating schema is crucial for reading success and ideas for how to build and activate students’ background knowledge25:06-  The importance of focusing on metacognition and why we should be teaching it to our students Resources:Join the Building Comprehension ClubThe Knowledge Gap by Natalie WexlerCheck out my metacognition resourcesFree Close Reading GuidebookThe Literacy Lounge Facebook groupLeave your rating and review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes: https://cieraharristeaching.com/episode13
Are you looking for a simple yet impactful way to squeeze in a little professional development during the holiday break? I absolutely loved to use this time off to not only recharge but to binge a professional development book I knew I wouldn’t have time to read while in the classroom. Before diving into books, we typically like to know if they are helpful and worth the read, especially if we are reading them during our breaks. To help you find a book that may be just what you’re looking for, I put together a list of five amazing and binge-able books I love and trust and think that you will really enjoy reading over break! In this episode, I am sharing an overview of each of these incredible books and the top objectives covered in each so you can find the right one for your professional development needs. Episode Highlights:03:57 - Why High Impact Instruction by Jim Knight is great for both new and veteran teachers 07:37 - What book to read if you are looking to help struggling readers and build a culture of reading in your classroom11:39 -  Why I consider 7 Mighty Moves to be a comprehensive toolkit for early literacy educators14:50 - The perfect professional development book if you are looking for strategic ways to bring the science of reading into your classroom18:46 - What book I recommend if you are looking to create an environment where students are encouraged and excited to engage in a diverse range of textsResources:High Impact Instruction by Jim Knight  From Striving to Thriving by Stephanie Harvey and Ann Ward Shifting the Balance by Katie Cunningham, Jan Burkins, and Kari YatesAbove the Fray by Julia Lindsey7 Mighty Moves by Lindsay KemenyFree Close Reading GuidebookThe Literacy Lounge Facebook groupLeave your rating and review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes: https://cieraharristeaching.com/episode12
Have you ever had a student who regularly seemed stressed or anxious and was also struggling with academics? There is a strong connection between social-emotional well-being and academic success that is often overlooked. This is a huge reason that there is a strong push for social-emotional learning in schools right now.Professional school counselor Sara Cottrill-Carlo is joining us to share some insight into the importance of social-emotional well-being for students. Implementing some quick strategies that support social-emotional regulation can make a big impact on students’ social-emotional well-being and help them be ready to learn. In this episode, Sara dives into the importance of social-emotional learning and its impact on reading success. She shares how peer relationships play a role in social-emotional well-being, how dysregulation affects reading comprehension, and quick strategies you can implement in your classroom to help your students improve their social-emotional well-being.Episode Highlights:04:31 - What social-emotional well-being actually means06:16 - The correlation between social-emotional well-being and how students learn11:23 -  How dysregulation impacts a student’s ability to read and comprehend text17:47 - Two aspects of social-emotional well-being that impact students’ reading comprehension 22:19 - How to identify if a student’s reading struggles stem from purely academic concerns or social-emotional concerns31:22 - Quick strategies you can implement in your classroom to help your students with their social-emotional well-beingResources:Episode 1. Reading Consumption vs. Reading ComprehensionFree Close Reading GuidebookThe Literacy Lounge Facebook groupLeave your rating and review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes: https://cieraharristeaching.com/episode11
What exactly is comprehension in the context of reading? We know that comprehension is the core of literacy. And as teachers, understanding that comprehension is what connects phonemic awareness, phonics, vocab, and fluency together is crucial for effective literacy instruction.When it comes to improving your students' reading comprehension, even making small changes in your instructional approach can lead to significant improvements. In this episode, we are exploring what comprehension is, challenges in teaching comprehension, what the research says, and strategies you can implement in your classroom to help improve your student's comprehension.If you have found this "Fab 5 Components of Literacy" series helpful, I would truly appreciate it if you would leave a rating or review wherever you listen to podcasts so we can reach more educators! Episode Highlights:05:38 - What comprehension really is 09:58 - How comprehension is connected to all other literacy components14:14 -  What challenges teachers face when teaching comprehension18:41 - The difference between comprehension in early elementary and upper elementary22:42 - What research says about comprehension and comprehension instruction28:16 - Strategies you can implement in your classroom to help improve your student's comprehensionResources:Episode 1. Reading Consumption vs. Reading ComprehensionEpisode 6. Deciphering the 5 Pillars: An In-Depth Look at the Components of Literacy [The Fab 5 of Literacy Series]Episode 7. Elementary Essentials: How Phonemic Awareness & Phonics Shape Lifelong Readers with Kristina Harrill [The Fab 5 of Literacy Series]Episode 8. Reading Fluency Uncovered [The Fab 5 of Literacy Series]Episode 9. Mastering Vocabulary: A Key to Elementary Literacy [The Fab 5 of Literacy Series]Interactive Read Alouds Mini Lesson BundleFree Close Reading GuidebookThe Literacy Lounge Facebook groupLeave your rating and review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes: https://cieraharristeaching.com/episode10
We know that teaching vocabulary is crucial for students to comprehend texts, but the importance of expanding students' vocabulary goes far beyond understanding what they are reading in the classroom. Vocabulary in elementary education not only impacts comprehension but also how students engage with and understand the world.Explicitly teaching vocabulary is incredibly beneficial and effective in expanding students' vocabulary. In this episode, I am breaking down what vocabulary is, the importance of explicitly teaching vocabulary, the research behind vocabulary instruction, and strategies you can implement to improve student vocabulary. Next week, we'll be wrapping up the "Fab 5 Components of Literacy," where we'll be talking all about comprehension. Be sure to follow or subscribe to The Literacy Lounge on your favorite podcast listening app so you don't miss it! If you are enjoying this podcast, please leave a rating or review to help us reach more educators and make a bigger impact!Episode Highlights:04:36 - What vocabulary is09:58 - Why explicit vocabulary instruction is crucial and strategies for explicit instruction15:04 - The difference in explicit and incidental vocabulary teaching22:33 - How vocabulary and comprehension are connected31:05 - 5 ways you can help improve your students' vocabularyResources:Episode 6. Deciphering the 5 Pillars: An In-Depth Look at the Components of Literacy [The Fab 5 of Literacy Series]Episode 7. Elementary Essentials: How Phonemic Awareness & Phonics Shape Lifelong Readers with Kristina Harrill [The Fab 5 of Literacy Series]Episode 8. Reading Fluency Uncovered [The Fab 5 of Literacy Series]The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America's Broken Education System--and How to Fix itThe Reading Comprehension Blueprint 2020 by Nancy HennessyFree Close Reading GuidebookThe Literacy Lounge Facebook groupLeave your rating and review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes: https://cieraharristeaching.com/episode9
Have you witnessed the transformation when a student turns from a hesitant or reluctant reader into a confident reader? It is truly an amazing thing to watch unfold before your eyes! The key to this transformation is the third component of literacy: Fluency!As teachers, we know that fluency is essential to being a successful reader. But what does fluency actually entail? In this episode, I am diving into what fluency is, the importance of fluency and its impact on comprehension, and strategies to help enhance fluency for your students.As we continue to explore the “Fab 5 Components of Literacy,” be sure to follow or subscribe to The Literacy Lounge on your favorite podcast listening app so you don’t miss upcoming episodes. If you found this episode helpful, please leave a rating or review to help us reach more educators and make a bigger impact!Episode Highlights:02:43 - What fluency is04:21 - 3 reasons fluency is important for readers07:27 - How fluency impacts comprehension11:04 - A breakdown of the 4 components of fluency15:47 - Strategies you can use to support students in improving their fluencyResources:Episode 6. Deciphering the 5 Pillars: An In-Depth Look at the Components of LiteracyEpisode 7. Elementary Essentials: How Phonemic Awareness & Phonics Shape Lifelong Readers with Kristina HarrillFree Close Reading GuidebookThe Literacy Lounge Facebook groupLeave your rating and review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes: https://cieraharristeaching.com/episode8
Phonics and phonemic awareness play a crucial role in our end goal of reading comprehension, and it is so important that our students are learning these foundational skills, regardless of their grade. But how can you fit phonemic awareness lessons into your already packed schedule?Kristina Harrill of Sweet for Kindergarten is joining us today to share all about the importance of phonics and phonemic awareness instruction. By focusing on explicitly teaching these foundational skills, identifying any gaps in these skills, and ensuring your students get the phonemic awareness and phonics practice they need, you can help your students become successful readers.In this episode, Kristina is diving into phonemic awareness and phonics instruction. She shares the difference between phonics and phonemic awareness, the difference between balanced literacy and structured literacy, and why teachers should be focused on teaching phonics and phonemic awareness. Plus, she is sharing how to easily implement phonemic awareness practice into your busy day!Episode Highlights:03:31 - What the difference is between phonemic awareness and phonics06:15 - Why phonics and phonemic awareness are such hot topics right now09:49 -  How lacking these foundational skills impact the end goal of reading comprehension12:23 - Why all grades, including upper elementary, should be teaching phonics and phonemic awareness and addressing any gaps in these skills16:58 - How teachers can support struggling readers and how a daily routine can be incredibly beneficial Links & Resources:Download a Free Week of Phonemic Awareness Lessons hereEpisode 6: Deciphering the 5 Pillars: An In-Depth Look at the Components of LiteracyFree Close Reading GuidebookThe Literacy Lounge Facebook groupLeave your rating and review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes: https://cieraharristeaching.com/episode7
Do you know the 5 components of literacy that all elementary teachers should be explicitly teaching every single day? These 5 literacy components are the building blocks that turn our students into lifelong, successful readers. Teaching the Fab 5 of literacy regardless of what grade you teach is so important to your students’ success. In this episode, I am breaking down the 5 components you should be explicitly teaching every day, what research says about each component, and how each piece is interconnected with the others.We are diving deeper into each of the 5 literacy components in upcoming episodes. Be sure to follow or subscribe to The Literacy Lounge on your favorite podcast listening app so you don’t miss any episodes!Episode Highlights:03:19 - What the 5 components of literacy are03:55 - What phonemic awareness is and why it's important06:43 -  The difference between phonemic awareness and phonics08:51 - How fluency makes reading more enjoyable (and helps with comprehension!)10:31 - The role vocabulary plays in understanding text12:10 - Why comprehension is the end goal in literacy instruction18:26 - Why it is necessary to teach all 5 literacy components Resources:Episode 2. Understanding and Implementing Literacy Routines into Your Reading Block with Sara MaryeFree Close Reading GuidebookThe Literacy Lounge Facebook groupLeave your rating and review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes: https://cieraharristeaching.com/episode6
Teaching reading comprehension is a huge undertaking for teachers. There are various aspects and factors that impact a student’s ability to comprehend what they have read and recognizing and understanding these factors are key to effectively teaching reading comprehension. So what are some of the factors that impact instruction?As we all know, every student learns differently and every student brings different background knowledge, experiences, and interests to their learning and these things can play a huge role in their reading comprehension. In this episode, I am breaking down nine factors that play a crucial role in how well our students comprehend what they read.If you are looking for a way to continue your education on reading instruction, check out The Building Comprehension Hub. Inside, you’ll gain access to ongoing training and support, Building Comprehension units and supplementary materials, and an amazing, supportive community of teachers. Can’t wait to see you inside!Episode Highlights:02:06 - What one of the most essential components to reading comprehension is05:30 - Why allowing students to choose what they read is so important 14:21 -  How culture can play a huge role in reading comprehension19:30 - The importance of discussion in improving reading comprehensionResources:The Building Comprehension HubFluency and Comprehension: Helping Students Focus on Both!From Striving to Thriving: How to Grow Confiden, Capable ReadersThe Literacy Lounge Facebook groupLeave your rating and review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes: https://cieraharristeaching.com/episode5
Have you found yourself struggling to figure out how you’re going to fit everything you need to cover into your reading block? I definitely have been there! The good news is that there are ways to create a reading schedule that allows you to cover all the literacy components you know you need to include to help your students be successful readers.Finding the right reading schedule to fit both your and your students’ needs and personalities can be challenging but once you find the best fit, it can be incredibly beneficial to all. In this episode, we are diving into three different reading block schedules you can use in your classroom, the benefits of each reading schedule, and how to decide which schedule is right for you.If you’d like to see 15 different examples of these schedules in action, be sure to grab the FREE Reading Schedule Guidebook. I can’t wait to hear what schedule you find works best for your classroom!Episode Highlights:03:46 - What a frontloading reading schedule is and how it allows you to use specific data to create small groups each week07:49 - Why selecting a reading block schedule is not one size fits all 09:32 -  How A/B block reading schedules allows more time for deep dive discussions and more rigorous instruction14:15 - How to keep balanced reading schedules exciting when you are following the same routine every dayResources:FREE Reading Schedule GuidebookThe Literacy Lounge Facebook groupLeave your rating and review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes: https://cieraharristeaching.com/episode4
Our classrooms are full of invaluable tools that can equip our students with critical thinking skills and spark a lifelong love of reading and writing. Can you guess what these tools are? It’s mentor texts!Utilizing the right mentor texts can completely transform your instruction and your students’ experiences with literacy. In this episode, we will explore the purpose behind using mentor texts, what research says about their effectiveness, how to choose the right ones, and unique ways to incorporate them into your literacy block. After listening, you can save time rummaging through your library by grabbing my free list of mentor texts. Enjoy bringing the magic of reading to life in your classroom!Episode Highlights:02:17 - Defining what a mentor text really is (hint: not all picture books are mentor texts!)04:34 - Why mentor texts should be an essential component in our instruction09:10 -  What the research says about mentor texts12:37 - What goes into choosing the right mentor texts, plus a free resource that has done the hard work for you!20:56 - Actionable and unique ways that you can use mentor textsResources:Free Mentor Text ListThe Building Comprehension HubFree Close Reading GuidebookThe Literacy Lounge Facebook groupLeave your rating and review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes: https://cieraharristeaching.com/episode3
If you constantly find yourself saying “I wish I had more time to fit everything in”, then this episode is for you. Teachers have so much content to cover each day, and it can feel like an impossible task to make it work, especially in your literacy block. That’s where routines come in.Literacy specialist, Sara Marye, joins us to share exactly why literacy routines can be a game-changed for both students and teachers. By following literacy routines, you can eliminate decision fatigue, accurately plan your lessons, and make the most of your precious instructional time. The best part? Your students will love routines too!Inside this episode, Sara breaks down all the benefits of literacy routines. She gives thorough examples of literacy routines you can try, such as a sentence writing routine, word of the week routine, and a 4-T framework for small group lessons. Plus, you’ll learn the first step to take if you’re ready to begin implementing literacy routines in your classroom!Episode Highlights:02:36 - Why teachers struggle to fit everything into their literacy block05:37 - Some things that teachers can do to help alleviate the stress and pressure of fitting everything in08:08 -  Defining a literacy routine and the benefits of implementing these routines in your classroom17:41 - Specific examples of literacy routines that you could try27:06 - What to do if your students become bored with literacy routinesLinks & Resources:Sentence Writing Routine Free SampleThe Stellar Teacher PodcastFree Close Reading GuidebookThe Literacy Lounge Facebook groupLeave your rating and review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes: https://cieraharristeaching.com/episode2
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