7 Ways to Lead the Way to Literacy — From the Experts

This fall, we asked each of our literacy experts to share what they think will move the needle in increasing reading proficiency. Here are some of the tips that stuck with us most:

Dr. Kate Kinsella

1. Eliminate passive learning.

Dr. Kate Kinsella, an English language learning expert, discourages "old generation protocols for collaboration where one student is the scribe, one is the reporter, and one student is the time keeper. In this generation, every student needs to be the contributor, every student needs to be the writer, every student needs to be the attentive listener, and every student needs to be potentially the reporter." Watch Kate’s leadership talk.

2. Cut down on cognitive overload.

In his talk on Enhancing literacy through adaptive technology to meet the needs of all students, Dr. Ted Hasselbring stresses the importance of giving students enough time to rehearse what they’ve learned so they can move the information from short-term memory storage to long-term memory storage. According to Hasselbring, “Technology offers us the best hope of providing students with significant amounts of instruction and deliberate practice and the opportunity to develop fluency and automaticity.” Hear what else Ted had to say.

3. Start with the families.

One of the first steps to fostering achievement in the classroom is empowering families at home. Dr. Sylvia Acevedo, interim CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, recommends getting parents and caretakers to view themselves as their children’s first teachers and easing their fears of “getting something wrong.” It’s important for teachers to arm families with strategies to help “reframe their thinking,” tools to help their children do well in school, and activities they can do in their everyday lives to support their kids’ learning. Explore Sylvia’s other suggestions for including parents and caretakers in the learning process.

Carol Jago

4. Redefine “grit” to build it.

Literacy author and former President of the National Council of Teachers of English, Carol Jago says, “Today you hear a lot on grit…whether it be growth mindset or academic perseverance. But you can’t teach it the way you teach science or math.” According to Jago, helping students feel safe and included in academic settings helps build grit. What’s more, learners need to believe that they will get better with the effort they’re putting in. Watch Carol’s full webinar about helping students lead literate lives.

Martha Fissel Magrum 

5. Say hello to Web 3.0!

How literacy is defined in the 21st century is about to change drastically, according to Dr. Bill Daggett, President and Founder of ICLE. Dr. Daggett explains how over the last decade, we’ve moved from the informational web to the relational web and are headed for what he calls the anticipatory web. He explains how this upcoming Internet age will have a “profound effect on our kids” through artificial intelligence, deep data mining, and information abundance. Listen to Bill’s session.

6. Target each issue.

Special Education expert Dr. Allison Bruhn contends that for many students, reading struggles often coincide with behavioral problems, and that a solution for one is really only half the solution. According to Dr. Bruhn, self-regulation and self-monitoring can be powerful tools in remedying behavior issues that interfere with learning. Tune in to Allison’s chat for other ways to change behavior and impact outcomes.

Tyarra Browning 

7. See what dogs’ brains tell us about learning.

Dr. David Dockterman—authority on technology development and implementation—shared that a new study of dogs’ brains can help us understand how humans process and comprehend words and proves that the human brain really does work as a subcommittee. Listen to David’s full discussion.

Alyssa Eckhardt 

Get the full scoop. Watch any or all of these webinars on demand now.