Hi teacher friends! We are Melissa and Lori, two literacy educators in Baltimore. Our purpose is to bring teachers together in a positive way to share successes and struggles with Wit and Wisdom curriculum implementation. We are SO excited to talk with you!
Ep. 61: High Quality Curricula as Educational Infrastructure with Alex Spurrier
In today's episode, Alex Spurrier, a senior analyst with Bellwether Education Partners in the policy and evaluation practice area, discusses his recent contribution to The 74: Curriculum Isn't Infrastructure - But States Should Treat It as Such and Build a Strong Foundation for Student Learning. How can HQIM be part of the recovery from the pandemic? How can states, districts, and schools work together to create better alignment?
In our conversation, Alex mentions an earlier piece he contributed that may be of interest, titled From Pandemic to Progress, which considers eight education pathways as education systems recover and rebuild post-pandemic.
Ep. 60: HQIM as Equity for English Learners with ELSF Executive Director Crystal Gonzales
Crystal Gonzales is the Executive Director at English Learners Success Forum and believes that HQIM are the first step to provide equity for all learners, especially English Learners! Why? Because HQIM are developed with the idea that what's good for English Learners is good for all kids (but, the reverse is not always true!).
We talk with Crystal about the impact of leveled reading on English Learners, and share excerpts from this resource: Do Leveled Readers Hurt or Help My ELs? Crystal shares the impact of HQIM on English Learners through annotated lessons, such as these lessons from Wit & Wisdom ELA.
Ep. 59: HQIM for ALL with Sarah Webb
Sarah Webb talks candidly about how high quality instructional materials (HQIM) supported her as a teacher in helping all students reach greatness. Specifically, high quality materials were most helpful for English Learners... who often don't receive access to such materials. Sarah zooms in on how HQIM are supportive of students' vocabulary acquisition through repetition, writing with opportunities for oral rehearsal to process content, and consistency over time builds stamina and knowledge. During our conversation, we refer to this resource - Do Leveled Readers Help or Hurt my ELs? - from English Learners Success Forum.
Read Sarah's blog posts here:
Inside Implementation of Wit & Wisdom Using Curriculum to Send Essential Messages to Students: How Wit & Wisdom Supports English Language Learners
Ep. 58: Looking for Change in Laramie
Tiffany Rehbein, K-12 English Language Arts Coordinator from Laramie County School District in Cheyenne, Wyoming shares why and how the district shifted to HQIM. After seven years of stagnant ELA scores and a focus on balanced literacy, she and her colleagues knew it was time for a big change! They did their homework and investigated HQIM, choosing Wit & Wisdom ELA. Listen in to hear more about Laramie's implementation story and strategy!
Ep. 57: Reflecting on the School Year with Grade 3 Teacher Natalie Baggett
As a new teacher in Sumner County, TN, Natalie Baggett saw the desperate need for high quality instructional materials. In her first semester teaching, she scrambled to create instructional materials - searching Pinterest, Teachers Pay Teachers, even Google! Then, she piloted and implemented Wit & Wisdom ELA and saw a dramatic shift in her students' ability to write and think about complex texts and topics. We asked Natalie to reflect on her experience this past year with questions from the Wit & Wisdom Aha! Blog titled Reflecting on Wit & Wisdom Implementation. Listen in as Natalie shares how HQIM impacted her teaching and her students' learning during her first few years of teaching!
Ep. 56: Jim Short & Stephanie Hirsh on THE ELEMENTS
What are The Elements needed to transform teaching and professional learning? What will accelerate success towards equity and excellence? What are considerations for professional learning across the school year (and beyond)?
These questions are answered by our expert guests, Jim Short and Stephanie Hirsh, authors of The Elements: Transforming Teaching through Curriculum-Based Professional Learning (a challenge paper). Listen and learn as they share how the essential elements undergird the framework of core, functional, and structural design features needed to transform curriculum-based professional learning.
The educators all kids deserve!
I just discovered the pod and binging through it all! I live in a neighboring jurisdiction to Baltimore city—where the science of reading, the knowledge gap, cognitive development, are stubbornly resisted from the district down. While we have a population of students/resources far greater than the city, we continue to ignore the best practices (stubborn equity gap persists and grows).
I am so encouraged by the work amd effort from your super intendent—who absolutely grasps the challenge that has persisted in the city for 4+decades. She has made great strides in her tenure, most notably in her commitment to LITERACY!
I am so glad that you two exude those changes for your students. You are a gift to those students you serve, working and exploring how to serve them best! I hope you will engage with teacher prep programs in our state. Professional development—cannot compare to a focus and practice in the undergraduate prep. The teachers deserve it—the tools and experience to perform their role. The students deserve nothing less!
Thank you for all you do!
This is the best podcast...
If you love literacy or teach literacy then you should definitely be listening to this podcast!
I’m learning so much about Wit and Wisdom - and ELA in general! I love the interviews and real world insights the teachers and literacy experts provide. Thanks, Melissa and Lori!