• About
    Educators involved in the critical work of teaching foundational literacy skills to students often grapple with how best to help emergent readers become confident readers. This panel discussion offers practical advice from three educators who follow a research-informed approach to literacy instruction.

    Robin Bright believes that strong literacy programs provide explicit instruction in key reading skills while building a motivational and supportive classroom environment. She discusses her new book, Sometimes Reading is Hard, which builds educators’ knowledge about how reading develops, with emphasis on the National Reading Panel’s report and recommendations for educators to provide instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics knowledge, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension in their literacy programs.

    Heather Willms understands how overwhelming it can be for educators as they move toward evidence-based phonics instruction. Drawing on her book This Is How We Teach Reading and It’s Working!, co-authored with Giacinta Alberti, she provides two helpful strategies: choosing and following a phonics scope and sequence, and using high-impact activities to address the needs of today’s emergent readers.

    Elspeth Rae uses many types of practice materials, including decodable books, as she works with students who are learning to read and developing literacy skills. Showing examples from her classroom, including the Meg and Greg Books she co-authors with Rowena Rae, she describes what “decodable” means and how to choose and use decodable books with your students.
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