22 episodes

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.

The Literacy Lounge: Uncover the Magic of Reading Through Ciera Harris’ Guide to Building Comprehension Ciera Harris, Literacy Specialist for Elementary Reading Teachers

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 45 Ratings

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.

    21. Reaching Every Learner: Dr. Chris Reeve's Approach to Special Education

    21. Reaching Every Learner: Dr. Chris Reeve's Approach to Special Education

    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 block
    10:24 - What role differentiation plays when supporting the diverse needs of students
    21:27 - The importance of knowing, understanding, and implementing the student’s IEP
    32:10 - How we can support and find more effective collaboration practices to bring both general education teams and special education teams together to support those students
    42:33 - 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

    • 48 min
    20. Teacher Burnout Unveiled: A Conversation with Brittany Blackwell

    20. Teacher Burnout Unveiled: A Conversation with Brittany Blackwell

    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 professionally
    12:04 - The psychological and physiological mechanisms behind stress
    20:38 - Effective coping strategies educators can use to help mitigate the effects of stress
    29:48 - 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 overwhelming
    33:29 - What systematic changes are necessary to address and prevent teacher burnout on a broader scale
    Links & 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

    • 36 min
    19. Unveiling 5 Unpopular Opinions About Teaching Reading

    19. Unveiling 5 Unpopular Opinions About Teaching Reading

    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 pointless
    06:34 - The difference between reading stamina and attention
    10:23 - Why centers are overrated
    12:45 - How differentiation can be damaging 
    15:23 - The importance of whole group instruction
    Resources:
    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

    • 18 min
    18. How to Help Students Who Hate Reading

    18. How to Help Students Who Hate Reading

    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 students
    08:01 - How and why teachers need to be book-matching endlessly for their students
    10:08 - 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

    • 19 min
    17. What Middle School ELA Teachers Wish Elementary Educators Knew with Caitlin Mitchell

    17. What Middle School ELA Teachers Wish Elementary Educators Knew with Caitlin Mitchell

    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 ELA
    16:01 - What middle school ELA teachers find frustrating about incoming middle school students
    28:48 -  Where the biggest gaps are between middle school and elementary school ELA standards
    35:56 - The 3 things middle school ELA teachers wish elementary school teachers knew
    45:54 - Caitlin’s best piece of advice for upper elementary teachers who are prepping their students for middle school
    Resources:
    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

    • 55 min
    16. Small Steps, Big Impact: Teaching Goal Setting in Elementary Grades

    16. Small Steps, Big Impact: Teaching Goal Setting in Elementary Grades

    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 shop
    03:41 - Why goal setting in your classroom is beneficial for you and your students
    05:40 -  Why you should be modeling goal setting and working towards goals every day
    12:22 - How to help your students set good goals for themselves
    18:21 - The difference between realistic and unrealistic goals and how to help students set realistic goals
    19:55 - Why students should be reflecting on their goals regularly in order to reach them
    Resources:
    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

    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
45 Ratings

45 Ratings

Sincerely, Rachel Photography ,

Research Based!

I have been looking for a podcast that will lead me in the right direction, especially with the Science of Reading and this is it! I appreciate all of the research based strategies that are in each episode!

smwait ,

Not just for elementary teachers!

I currently work in a high school setting and have experience with all age groups and ability levels- everything Ciera talks about is useful and applicable for elementary learners, certainly, but there is a wealth of knowledge and tools for anyone working with learners of any kind! I recommend this to teachers, parents, school administrators, coaches- everyone!

Blahblahbalhbahbls ,

Great podcast!

Loved listening

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