The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast, Episode 212

Jennifer Gonzalez, host

GONZALEZ: I have been running Cult of Pedagogy for over 10 years now, and in that time there have been a few topics I have learned to steer clear of, because they incite so much heated debate and I don’t feel equipped with enough background knowledge to respond in an informed, responsible way. Near the top of that list is reading instruction, the question of how we should be teaching young children to read. Any time we got even slightly close to that topic, the vitriol that emerged on social media was enough to make me never want to touch that hot stove again.

Some quick background on me: My experience is in English language arts for grades 6 through 12. I have no training in teaching early literacy, but I was an early reader myself, and I taught all three of my children to read before they started kindergarten. Despite my lack of training, I just intuitively did this using foam toy letters and a set of books called Pup and Pop. Because I had already taught my kids how to decode, I had no idea how those skills were being taught in their primary classrooms; I still don’t know. Had I not taken those steps, I might have noticed what some parents across the country were also noticing — that their kids were not learning to decode words — and I probably would have been far more vocal about this on my own platform. 

Since that was not the case, I’m just getting up to speed now, and I’ve asked for help from someone whose approach to literacy has always seemed grounded, nuanced, and reasoned. Jennifer Serravallo has written over 15 books and other resources about literacy instruction. She has been on the podcast before in 2015, on episode 107, when we cleared up some of the confusions and misapplications of leveled texts. When I asked her to come back to talk about the debate on reading instruction, she asked if she could invite another guest to join us. Since Jen considers herself a practitioner who has steeped herself in the research, but not a researcher per se, she wanted to be joined by someone whose background and expertise complements hers. So we will also be talking with Dr. Kelly Cartwright, a researcher and university professor in the fields of cognitive science, neuroscience, and teacher preparation. 

Over the next hour, we’ll start by establishing some background on what the main parts of the debate are and how we got here. Then we’ll shift to a discussion of what research says teachers should be doing to ensure that all kids can build strong reading skills in the early years. 

One thing we didn’t address in our conversation is the first edition of Jen’s very popular book,  The Reading Strategies Book, which was originally published in 2015. That edition includes 300 strategies to support many aspects of reading — from fluency to comprehension to writing about reading to engagement and motivation and more. One of the chapters was on reading with accuracy and it included 23 strategies, some of which are ones you’ll see that Jen and Dr. Cartwright recommend against. In 2021, she revised that chapter and made the revisions available for free to those who had purchased the first edition. The first edition is now out of print, though the chapter remains available online, and the newest edition, The Reading Strategies Book 2.0, includes an even more updated version.  

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Now here’s my conversation with Jen Serravallo and Kelly Cartwright about reading instruction.

GONZALEZ: So before we start talking, we had a little conversation beforehand and we know that a lot of people are going to be coming to this episode with a lot of other stuff, a lot of background knowledge on this and a lot of exposure to a lot of publications and stuff. And so we have made the decision that we are going to talk about this in more generalities based on the science of reading and we’re not going to be naming all of the various authors, educators, journalists, anything like that that sort of have also had significant voices in this because what you all and I want is for teachers listening to this to be able to extrapolate “these are the best practices, this is the science of reading that I need to follow” and not get too bogged down in who’s right, who’s wrong. Because what you’re going to be talking about is way more nuanced than that anyway. Does that sound right? 

SERRAVALLO: I think that’s a —



GONZALEZ: So who I have with me today is Jen Serravallo, who’s been on this podcast before in an earlier episode. Actually, it was five years ago, we realized. 


GONZALEZ: And, and Kelly Cartwright. So I’m going to have you give a quick introduction so that people know what your backgrounds are and then we’ll get started. So Jen, why don’t you go first?

SERRAVALLO: Sure. I am a former classroom teacher, and I’ve authored about 15 books and resources about literacy instruction for K-8 educators. I’m probably best known for creating materials that are both rooted in research but that also help make responsive, strategic differentiated literacy instruction doable. My newest book is the “The Reading Strategies Book 2.0,” which includes hundreds of practical lessons for K-8 classrooms based on more than 700 peer-reviewed studies. And my colleagues and I speak and consult around the country and throughout Canada and Latin America to support literacy educators. This year I also started a podcast called “To The Classroom” where I interview prominent researchers and have post-interview conversations with educators about bringing the research we learned about to practice in the classroom. And Kelly was actually my first guest. 

GONZALEZ: Oh, that’s cool. 

CARTWRIGHT: It’s great. We’re coming full circle here a little bit. So I’m, I’m Kelly Cartwright, and I’m a researcher and university professor who has spent almost three decades in elementary classrooms studying reading and teaching pre-service teachers. So my work bridges disciplines so I hold faculty appointments in psychology and neuroscience and teacher preparation programs at Christopher Newport University. And my passion is really understanding how people can manage all of the many, many processes involved in skilled reading, and that inspired me to develop a new model of reading called the active view of reading with my colleague Nell Duke to capture that complexity in a way that helps educators understand it and deliver it in classrooms. I’m best known probably for my work examining how executive function skills, or executive skills for short, undergird and support reading. And I wrote the first research-based comprehensive text on this topic called “Executive Skills in Reading Comprehension: A Guide for Educators,” which came out in second edition in February of this year. And honestly, I was thrilled and honored to be Jen’s first guest on her podcast, and I hope you’ll give it a listen if you haven’t yet. 

SERRAVALLO: Thanks, Kelly. I hope you’ll read Kelly’s book, “Executive Skills in Reading Comprehension.” It’s fantastic. 

GONZALEZ: All right. Well, thank you. So we’ve got a, a back on this, people listening, all of that information, that tells you is that we’ve got two people here who have a lot of experience and expertise in what works to teach people how to read when they are children or even, I guess, adults, but primarily in the younger years. So the reason we pull this together is because there has been such a storm of sort of controversy and argument and conflict over what is the best way to teach children how to read and have we been doing it the right way? Have we been doing it way wrong? And I wanted to have you on to help us kind of untangle this whole mess and help teachers who are either new to the classroom or who have already been practicing, and also parents whose kids are in school, and also school leaders who are making decisions about curriculum and practice, and legislators even, help all of these people understand how we got here in the first place. What is the big debate anyway? I personally, as I told you, have not even wanted to touch this subject on my website because every time I went even near it, I would be bombarded on Twitter and other places by very, very angry people. And I thought, okay, I don’t know enough about this to even say anything, so I’m going to just back away and have you come on. So we’re going to talk a little bit about what is the debate, and then we’re going to get into more about, like, what should be happening in schools. So the first question is, how would you summarize the different sides of what we’ve been calling the reading wars or the debate on how we should teach reading?

SERRAVALLO: Well, yeah, I’m definitely nervous talking about this for all the reasons that you, but I’m honored to be here, but it’s, it’s a little nerve-wracking. So I think one of the issues is that there aren’t really very clear sides and also the way that reading is sometimes talked about in the media is very simplified, likely because most people in the general audience aren’t educators and they don’t want to get too into the weeds and there’s a lot of nuance. And unfortunately, when we simplify things, we get some very important things wrong. So one example is one common media portrayal is that there’s a ‘teachers who teach children how to read the word through phonics’ side, sometimes referred to as the science of reading. And the ‘teachers who teach children to guess at words’ side. But that’s really a gross misrepresentation of the complexity of what occurs in real classrooms. The science of reading, which I define as a vast interdisciplinary body of research explaining what happens when a reader is reading proficiently and how reading skill develops and how to teach reading, involves so much more than phonics instruction. And so to reduce it to just phonics is wrong. 

I saw a video clip just the other day of a state superintendent of schools who said, this is a direct quote, “We’re going to focus on the science of reading, which is phonics.” Which I think shows that some, even in education, are using the terms “science of reading” and “phonics” synonymously. Honestly, I’m not sure anyone disagrees that we should teach phonics to beginning readers, though there might be disagreement about how much time to spend each day or whether it should be all whole-class with everyone learning the same thing or more differentiated and based on assessments of needs. Or there might be disagreements of around how many months or years of explicit phonics students need. And there’s disagreement about whether we should be teaching synthetic phonics or analytic phonics or using a speech to print approach or print to speech approach or both. Those of you who are not educators, all those are probably lots of terms that you’re not aware of. But I also think that you’ll find most or maybe all teachers believe in the importance of informing their classroom practices by research, by science, and most or maybe all understand the importance of including instruction in word reading and instruction in comprehension, attending to both reading and writing, combining content studies and knowledge with teaching skills and strategies. We know that we have to help kids read narrative text and expository text. Some of those texts are going to be ones they could read themselves, sometimes they’re more complex and require a teacher’s support. So all this is to say it’s not just phonics, it’s not that simple. 

And when you look at all the science and aim to create a classroom that’s informed by what we know from research broadly, what you end up with is an approach to teaching literacy that’s much more comprehensive. I think that an area of common ground, no matter what other disagreements there might be, is that it needs to be comprehensive. That said, I think that the media has pointed to some fair critiques in some places, like saying that phonics instruction wasn’t done well or systematically or that there are certain practices or materials that we should move away from as we continue to learn from the research. 

CARTWRIGHT: Absolutely. I agree with all of this, I also want to be clear about how this might have happened. I don’t think that recent media reporting necessarily purposefully oversimplified reading instruction or reduced it to phonics alone. I think that’s maybe how people read the reporting. I think instead what the reporting did was identify one particular set of pretty common instructional practices. I’ve seen them in schools, right? I’ve seen them in my children’s schools, for word reading in particular, that are not effective or aligned with the research. And as a researcher and a mom, I’ve seen these practices in classrooms, but I’ve also seen the results of them in my home, such as when my son was told by one teacher, “It’s okay if you can’t read the words. You can just read the pictures.” Or when he was a little bit older, he was told by another teacher, as he mumbled through, you know, multi-syllabic words, I discovered this, that a teacher told him, “Well, if you don’t know a word or know how to read it, just skip it and then figure it out by guessing it from context.”

And so I’ll just take this opportunity to say that using context to actually figure out what a word is, to decode it or to identify it, generally isn’t supported by research but using context to figure out what a word means is. So what I think we’ve been seeing is that recent media reports identify these kinds of ineffective practices for teaching word-reading specifically and argued for a more effective set of practices for that one particular aspect of reading. And we know that explicit systematic phonics instruction has a really robust research base for helping kids to recognize words, to lift them off the page, even when they haven’t seen those words before. And I absolutely agree that the only way to equip kids to actually decode words is to make sure that they’re aware of speech sounds, that the words we say are made up of individual sounds. They’re called phonemes. They’re, that, so that’s called phonemic awareness, so I know that “dog” is “duh-aw-guh” all mushed together, and that they have the knowledge of letter sound mapping so that they can use to systematically decode print on a page. But this just enables them to lift words from the page. It doesn’t mean that comprehension is going to naturally follow. Comprehension fairies don’t just come along and wave wands, you know, once we can decode words. 


CARTWRIGHT: And that’s, I could unpack that for a long time, but I’ll leave that there. The question of how we teach word recognition is a really important one, and I’m really glad that it’s received media attention. Unfortunately, I think people have sometimes taken those media messages to mean that effective reading instruction is only phonics, like the state superintendent of schools that Jen mentioned. But as Jen also alluded to, the scientific evidence on reading shows that phonics is absolutely essential but it’s definitely not the whole picture. 

GONZALEZ: So let me make sure that I’m understanding this. It sounds like what has basically happened is that phonics, the practice of teaching students how to actually decode words, has been sort of set aside by some teaching practices in favor of more, you know, learning from context and looking at the pictures and that sort of thing. And those two things should not be separate, they shouldn’t, one should not replace the other, and this is one of the most important or most significant pieces of this debate is that phonics has been either de-emphasized or removed from some popular teaching practices where they should go together and not be one or the other. Is that, does that sound right to you? 

CARTWRIGHT: Yes, but I think there’s a little more there, and that’s that some teaching practices for reading words, like looking at pictures, shouldn’t be there. So we don’t want our kindergartners and first-graders to think that that’s their go-to for reading words. 


CARTWRIGHT: We want the letters and sounds to be the go-to. We want them to have that knowledge systematically so they can use it. Because if we don’t equip them with it, they won’t be able to read the words they encounter when, you know, they have text without pictures. 

GONZALEZ: So those other practices are more comprehension practices. They’re not decoding practices. 


GONZALEZ: Okay. So how did we get here? How did we get to this place where there are some people who have kind of oversimplified things and say, “Oh no, we don’t do phonics,” and others who say, “No, phonics, phonics, phonics,” and that sort of maybe thrown all the other stuff out. How did we get to this place? 

CARTWRIGHT: That’s a really great question. And I think many practicing teachers haven’t had training in phonics instruction, and in addition, because most of us are pretty terrific readers, if we’ve gotten into education, we probably like reading a little bit and we’re probably pretty good at it. And so we may not even be aware of how the words on the page leap into our heads. We just look at them and they’re there. And so we likely don’t even remember learning to decode or link the sounds in speech to print in a systematic way. But based on the National Reading Panel’s work way back in 2000, if educators were lucky enough to have heard about it, either in teacher training or in professional development once they were in practice, they knew phonics instruction was necessary and that kids needed phonemic awareness, that awareness of sounds in speech for phonics instruction to work. But they didn’t really know how to do it effectively, so even if you’re a practicing teacher and you hear about this work, you don’t, because you haven’t had the training, you don’t know how to implement this in your classrooms. And also, having popular reading programs that may have provided misguided professional development for teaching word reading, like teaching kids to do things that didn’t actually facilitate that decoding process or orthographic mapping, linking those letters and sounds then to word meaning, so when we’re telling kids to skip words or use context or look at pictures if they can’t sound out a word, that didn’t help. So all of those things that my son experienced that I mentioned earlier, are things that I had to undo at home because of teachers who maybe were, didn’t have the, the knowledge or the professional development that they needed to make this work for kids. 

SERRAVALLO: I agree, Kelly. There’s no question that students benefit from phonics instruction. I think it would be actually hard to find a classroom, whether it was an early childhood classroom where there was no phonics instruction happening. However, since many teachers don’t come out of college having completed extensive courses in it, if the school district didn’t have phonics materials or a phonics program, it’s very likely that a teacher wouldn’t be able to DIY it based solely on their knowledge coming out of college. And often, the teachers who did get a lot of training in this area are not ones who graduated with a general license to teach K-6, general education. The teachers that know a lot about this tend to be teachers who have a degree in speech and language pathology or someone who has an advanced degree in special education. So it’s not really a surprise that dyslexia advocates and speech language pathologists were some of the most vocal advocates for changes in Tier 1 or classroom-based instruction. They got training in college that teachers like me who came out of a general education program did not get. And like Kelly said, many people who are teachers are good readers, which may have meant as children they fell into the category of not needing a lot of phonics instruction, which was true for me personally. 

CARTWRIGHT: Me too, me too. 

SERRAVALLO: And maybe even they have their own children who don’t need a lot. Like, I’ve heard a lot of stories of educators who didn’t understand the need for phonics instruction until their own child had difficulty with reading, and then it was a sort of wakeup call, right? So they may have inferred from their own experiences learning to read or raising children who are learning to, watching them learn to read that it was fine to teach phonics in a more incidental way, you know, like pointing out letter sounds, spellings in words as you’re reading with them, versus having a systematic, sequential approach that many kids need. 

But to really understand why there was a prevalent use of some of the strategies Kelly spoke about, the check the picture, skip the word, use the context, those kinds of strategies, we also have to understand some things about the materials that have been prevalent in early childhood classrooms. So I think this is really key and something a lot of people don’t talk about. So for example, in some places, they may have had a phonics program in place. Teachers may have even spent half an hour a day teaching phonics systematically. But then it came to reading time, and readers were reading independently or maybe they were working with teachers in small groups. And the books they were reading didn’t set them up to practice what they learned from phonics. So these are sometimes known as beginning pattern books, and they might say something like, “This is a giraffe,” and there’s a picture of a giraffe on the page. “This is an elephant” and there’s a picture of an elephant. “This is a tortoise” and there’s a picture of a tortoise. Right? Giraffe and elephant and tortoise, if you’re a kindergartener, you cannot read those words by decoding. Literally the only way you could figure them out is to look at the pictures. So if these are the only materials in the classroom, you could see how teachers would think, “I’ve got to teach them to check the picture because how else could they ever hope to be able to figure out that this word says elephant?”

So one big recent change that’s happened is that the materials have changed. We have a lot of companies now creating books that are more supportive of early developing phonics skills. These are sometimes referred to as decodable readers because the decoding ability matches what they’ve learned in phonics. So suddenly, there’s this option of materials in which beginning readers can practice these phonics skills. And prior to the last, I don’t know what you think, Kelly, maybe like 10 years or so, decodable readers were there. They’ve always existed, but most of them made little or no sense. They didn’t sound like language. They’d say things like, “Ed is on a bed that is red. On the red bed sat Ed.” Right? So folks who were trained as teachers to prioritize meaning making in their reading instruction understandably rejected these materials. They had a hard time understanding how they could possibly fit into their classroom. 

CARTWRIGHT: Absolutely. 

GONZALEZ: Would you say that also sort of the literary quality maybe of some of these books is what made, you know, I’m not sure how to put this. But I’m thinking “Ed is on a bed that is red,” like that’s not a great story. Have the newer decodable readers made more of an effort? Because I know that in the whole language balanced literacy approach, there’s more of a push to get kids to love books, and I’m thinking if this book only has words that I can decode, the book itself may not be all that great. Is that a piece of this too? 

CARTWRIGHT: I think there’s a, that is a little bit of the piece of it. I think, as Jen described, phonics instruction, it may have been happening for 30 minutes a day but what they were practicing and learning in that phonics instruction then didn’t show up in actual text. And so how can you practice something if you’re not given a text that you can read? And then the, you’re on, you’re right on target with respect to the whole language movement emphasizing meaning and these “Ed sat on a bed” types of texts aren’t, they aren’t engaging. But I want to speak a little bit to that, you know, “let’s make children love reading” idea. I love reading because it’s easy for me. But if I am a student for whom reading is difficult, I’m not going to love reading because I can guess words from pictures. I love reading because I learned that I can do this and am good at it, and the only way I’m going to be good at it is if you equip me with the letters and sounds I need to actually get those words off of the page. Kids with dyslexia or word reading difficulties, for example, have significant anxiety. They suffer from depression. I mean they, because they feel ineffective, so sitting them with books that have beautiful pictures and wonderful meaningful messages, if they can’t lift those words off the page, they’re going to think reading’s awful and uncomfortable and embarrassing and they’re going to want to avoid it. So the only way we can help them is to, is to help them actually decode the words, and then provide practice and materials that they can decode. Because elephant and tortoise aren’t going to do it. 

SERRAVALLO: I agree with everything that Kelly said, and I would also say that I think one of the things that happens when you use those early pattern books where there’s repeated words — “This is a, this is a, this is a” — with only one word changing that matches the picture, what you see is that kids very early seem fluent. They seem like they’re reading. So you’re like, you’re reading! They’re reading! Like, they’re reading it smoothly, like how it sounds, but they’re not really. 

CARTWRIGHT: Parents do that too. 


CARTWRIGHT: You know, the children take them home, and they’re like, “Yay, my child read a book!” But they’re not actually reading. 

SERRAVALLO: They’re not actually reading. 

GONZALEZ: Like more muscle memory than anything. 


GONZALEZ: It sounds like they’re just recognizing the shapes from what they just read and then repeating it. 

SERRAVALLO: Yeah, and I think that for a time, people thought, oh, if they just see the word “this” over and over again, they see the whole word, they remember it. But what we know from research is that kids need to orthographically map the word. They have to match the sound and the spelling like Kelly was talking about earlier. So we want them to actually labor a little bit through that phase of decoding, and so when you replace the “This is a, this is a” pattern kind of text with a decodable text, the reading is slower, it looks like there’s more of a struggle at first. And I think that’s the other appeal of these pattern books is that it seems like kids are reading fluently and proficiently from the get, like right out of the gate. But what they’re not actually doing is reading or not attending to the words in the same way. Does that make sense? 

CARTWRIGHT: Can I interject? Can I interject one piece here from a neuroscience perspective? That laboring, that work of connecting letters and sounds to figure out what a word is, that’s actually building the connections they need in their reading network in their brain. But looking at whole chunks and saying, “Oh, that one, that shape is ‘this,’ I’ve said that before.” That’s not doing that. So if we want to build reading brains, that letter sound work is what needs to happen. 

GONZALEZ: Okay, let me ask a question as a listener, and this is also, I’m coming from a middle school background, but I’ve always understood that there was also this concept in younger kids where you’re teaching sight words. Because it sounds like from what you’re saying is that for a good chunk of words, they go from decoding to just not having to sound out like T-H-E and words like that. And it sounds like what you’re saying is that maybe that process from early, early decoding into having a big body of sight words is maybe being rushed a little bit too much. Am I, am I understanding that right? 

SERRAVALLO: And it’s also the approach that was very common for a long time is that those sight words, which means the word I can recognize on sight, usually were words that were highly frequent so they’re likely to appear a lot. 


SERRAVALLO: This, is, the, too, with, by, right? And what a lot of, a lot of teachers and parents would do is buy flash cards. You can still buy them today on Amazon, right, where you’re just flashing the card and teaching kids to memorize the whole word. Which, you know, your memory can hold some of these words, but that’s not going to help you learn more words. It’s not going to help you learn the code. It’s not an effective approach. 


SERRAVALLO: So you really want even a word like “this” to be decoded as much as possible or to point out irregular spellings in words so that kids are mapping the letters to the sounds. They understand how our spelling system works from the beginning. So that is another shift that I think teachers had been making or maybe are still in the process of making is a way from conflating sight words are the same thing as high frequency words. They’re not the same thing. 


SERRAVALLO: Teaching them in a whole word memorization kind of way and moving toward more decoding. Kelly, do you want to add on?

CARTWRIGHT: Absolutely. I’m over here nodding great big so that I can add on here. Yeah, sight words are not memorized words. Words become automatic or become sight words through that process of orthographic mapping. So if I’m a child who has read “dog, d- og, dog, oh” and then the next, you know, I do that a few times and it’s effortful, but I’ve mapped those sounds onto those letters and connected it to that furry four-legged barking thing over a number of exposures, then I start to see it and that happens automatically. Just like when we’re learning anything, when you learn to play an instrument or you learn to type, right? It’s very laborious at first and it becomes automatic. Sight words are automatic because you built those connections in your brain, not because you’ve memorized them. You skip over that critical connection between letters and individual sounds and don’t build that connection in your brain if you’re just memorizing them. So sight words are not memorized words. Sight words have been mapped letter to sounding then connected to meaning through that linking process of orthographic mapping. 

GONZALEZ: So would it be accurate to say that anybody who’s out there, whether it’s a homeschool parent or an elementary school teacher, primary teacher, if they are doing a lot of work with flash cards and sight word trying to get real young kids, they should stop doing that. 

SERRAVALLO: Yeah. You’re better off like saying, “Let’s look at this word. Let’s see how it’s spelled. Let’s try to match the letters to the sound. Let’s try to figure out what part of this word is spelled in a way that we wouldn’t expect like ‘the’ with the ‘uh’ at the end with an ‘e.’” But really matching the spelling to the sounds, the grapheme and phoneme connections is going to help kids, first of all, learn those words so that they become automatic, they become sight words. And it opens up the ability to talk about those letter sound correspondences in other words that might have a “T-H” or a “shwa” sound.


CARTWRIGHT: Equipping them with that knowledge so that they can transfer it to the next word they’ve never seen, yeah. 

GONZALEZ: Got it. Okay. Next question. What misconceptions about reading instruction regularly come up when this topic arises? 

SERRAVALLO: I think one of the major misunderstandings is that it’s simple and part of this might be because of the name of the simple view of reading framework that has become common in conversations about reading instruction, which shows that reading is the product of word recognition and language comprehension. So it’s like a little math formula. Word recognition times language comprehension equals reading comprehension. And while these two areas are critically important, it does oversimplify what I’ve seen in my own experience teaching and working with teachers around the country, working with a diverse range of students. And there have also been 35 years of research about reading and cognition since the simple view was first published. And when I first read Kelly, Dr. Cartwright’s, and Dr. Duke’s Active View of Reading model, it just made so much more sense to me. This model helps us rethink and complexify reading a bit with the inclusion of research related to executive functioning skills that are essential to active self-regulation by explaining what they call bridging processes which are skills that require both word recognition and language comprehension. And the model includes these with strategies and addresses fluency and theory of mind and other elements and aspects of readings that are not part of the other models. And I think it’s just really brilliant and I get super excited talking about it, but Kelly’s here, so she should really be the one to talk about it. Kelly, over to you. 

CARTWRIGHT: Thanks. Well I appreciate that, your enthusiasm, and I’d be happy to talk about it. But first, I want to make clear that I don’t want to bash the simple view. I want to make clear that the simple view has always, always been on target in directing our attention to two critical sets of processes that we all need for effective reading. We must learn to decode words skillfully to comprehend texts because reading comprehension is the goal for all of us, no matter who we are or how we’re trained. We want kids to get to a place where they can comprehend text. So decoding helps us do that, but we’ve also got to be able to understand all the language that we hear and that we read. 

So a little history I think may help here because what we know about the simple view is that it was proposed in the mid-80s at the height of the whole language movement, you know, when, like we talked about before, when educators were prioritizing meaning instruction and authentic literature and discouraged phonics instruction or set it aside because it was boring. Not having the brain research yet to understand why it’s important. And so the simple view really elevated attention to the necessity of explicitly teaching phonics for decoding and reading alongside the meaningful processes. And again, that’s completely on target. But I think what the simple view doesn’t highlight clearly is that effective reading involves more, more than just being able to decode words and being able to comprehend language and they’re often presented as two separate buckets of skills that we deploy separately and the original simple view piece actually said that we, you know, we decode words and then we apply the same language comprehension skills to what we decoded in order to understand text. I’m paraphrasing but that sequential idea was there. But I think the way it’s presented, educators may even see these two buckets of skills as things that are needing to be taught and learned separately, and we know reading’s more complex than that. 

So think of this: Even if a child can demonstrate these skills when they’re assessed independently — so I may assess word reading and they’re great at it, and I might talk with them and discuss and assess whether they can understand language or ask them questions about what I read, and they can understand that. But that doesn’t mean that when they are handed a text that they can coordinate and integrate these processes skillfully and automatically when they’re engaged with a text. It’s, I always like to say it’s sort of like that game that we used to play as kids when we tried to pat our head and rub our tummy at the same time. And even now as an adult I have to think about it, but we could pat our heads well when it’s done by itself alone, and we had no trouble rubbing our tummy when we did that by itself. But when you try to do both at the same time, it requires a third weird, you can feel it, it’s a third weird coordination ability where you’re managing both at once. It’s not simply a matter of being good at these things independently. Taking this example into the realm of reading, I’m sure you’ve seen readers in classrooms who seem to be able to decode words beautifully. They sound great. Or maybe they’re engaging with meaning and discussions, but everything falls apart when they try to actively combine them when engaged with a text. And these examples really highlight two important things that from recent research, since the simple view was proposed, that really aren’t well represented in that view, and that’s what inspired my colleague Nell Duke and I to develop that active view of reading. And the first thing, I said there were two important things. So the first thing is that word reading and language comprehension aren’t actually separate. They overlap, and they need to be coordinated while we read. And in study after study, that overlap is actually, and its contribution to reading comprehension is actually bigger than the individual separate contributions of word reading and language comprehension alone. 

So you might be wondering, wait a minute…overlap? What might be happening in that overlap? That’s where we see readers putting those skills together in what we call bridging processes, processes that actually require readers to handle both word level features and meaning at once, things like morphological skill. Now you may have heard of this. It deals with those meaningful word parts called morphemes. So think about the word “re-reading,” right? As a skilled reader, you know a lot about that word because you know about its three meaningful chunks or morphemes. So “read” is the root and it tells you what you’re doing. “Re” tells you it’s happening again, and the “I-N-G” the “ing” at the end tells you that it’s happening right now. And this kind of morphological skill actually aids both word reading and language comprehension because it’s combining spelling patterns and meaning. Reading fluency, which we’ve heard a lot about over the past couple of decades, is another process that requires and reflects this coordination. I mean if I’m needing to read aloud in ways that sound like talking, readers really need to decode accurately and automatically but that’s the word reading part, while also processing the meaning in a way that makes that oral reading expressive. So we’re coordinating both at once. So that overlap really bridges the two simple buckets of skills, and that’s a new contribution of the active view. 

Now I said there were two I was going to tell you about. Sorry I’m long-winded here. But the second is that the active view reflects and incorporates readers’ agency, and their self-regulation. And we know as educators that we all want our students to be active, self-regulated learners. We need them not to need us beside them all the time. We need them to be able to do learning themselves. Research shows us that good readers actually recruit their active self-regulation skills, things like executive function skills and motivation and strategic knowledge such as knowing how to tackle a multi-syllabic word to decode it or knowing how to supply your own knowledge and combine it with text elements to make an inference from text. And these kinds of self-regulation processes really enable readers to actively manage their word reading, to actively manage their language comprehension, and then to coordinate those processes while reading. One other really important aspect of self-regulation that I mentioned that I think I need to unpack a bit is executive function skills. And you may have heard of these in meetings with school psychologists, maybe you are thinking a child might need an IEP and they’ve done some evaluation and say they have problems with executive skills. But maybe you haven’t really connected them to reading. And executive function skills like working memory, for example, might help readers to hold meaning in mind and then update that meaning while they’re making their way through a text. Another executive skill is cognitive flexibility or mental flexibility that helps us to flex between possible pronunciations of words. Think about the word “W-I-N-D.” It could be a weather condition, wind. It could also be what I do with an analog watch, I wind it, but I don’t know that and my flexibility and flipping between those pronunciations helps me to figure out which one I should use depending on the context. But that kind of flexibility is drawing on our executive skills, and things like these undergird and support readers’ abilities to read words and to make meaning from text. 

So what we did with the active view is we based that view in and supported, it’s been based in and supported by instructional research, so we devise the view based on instructional work, knowing what interventions support kids. But then more recently Matt Burns, Nell Duke, and I published a meta-analysis. A meta-analysis is a study of many, many, many scientific studies. So it kind of provides a big summary of the work. And we focused in particular on instructional interventions in each of these areas: Word recognition, language comprehension, those new things, bridging processes that combine them, and those self-regulation skills. And we’ve actually found that teaching those new components, the active view’s new components, self-regulation, and bridging processes, provided significant added value in improving students’ reading comprehension beyond word reading instruction and language comprehension instruction alone which were also significant contributors to reading comprehension. So really, we’re hoping to help, with that view, we’re hoping to help educators see reading in a more complex way and target particular things in instruction that can move that needle forward on reading achievement for their students. 

GONZALEZ: So the question I have for you, and I want to, I heard this in what you were saying but I want to make sure people, there are instructional strategies tied to these bridging processes and executive function stuff that’s on top of the phonics and comprehension. 

CARTWRIGHT: Absolutely, absolutely. 

SERRAVALLO: Yeah, and so when you listen to Kelly talk about that, you have to say, okay, have I seen all that represented in recent, you know, media portrayals? Or have I seen all of that complexity? No, right? And so if we unpack the word “science” in the “science of reading,” what we really need to include are the various fields that can and should inform classroom instruction. Different researchers and scholars have different research areas and areas of expertise and unique perspectives. And it’s really the shared knowledge across all of these disciplines that’s the most powerful. 

I also think we have to keep in mind some of the limitations of science. For example, sometimes the science is very siloed, and the classroom practice is siloed, and we need more science to classroom practice collaboration. One of my recent guests on the podcast, Dr. Henry May, spoke a lot about this as his area of expertise. And some studies are done with unique populations or in very controlled settings and haven’t been tried in classrooms. And although researchers will caution us from bringing these findings to the classroom, people will say, well, this study showed, and then attempt it in classrooms without empirical evidence that it works with children in an actual classroom setting. There’s also a tendency to privilege quantitative experimental studies, which leaves out valuable findings from qualitative studies, and as Dr. Gholdy Muhammad said excludes the experiences of entire groups of people. And there also needs to be an increased attention paid to how language like multi-lingual learners, right, or culture comes into play when discussing developing literacies. So it just, layers upon layers upon layers of complexity that we all need to be thinking about, yeah. 

CARTWRIGHT: And readers are not one-size-fits-all. They’re not. And Jen, you’ve identified something really important here that the researchers doing the science that informs classroom practice are in many different fields, and I just thought I’d name a few to kind of give you an idea of the breadth. We’ve got people in cognitive science. We’ve got, of course, people in education, but then there’s human development and linguistics and neuroscience and psychology and special education and speech language pathology and I could go on and on. I mean it’s really multidisciplinary in terms of all the things that we know about reading and where we’re getting that information. And even though good science is happening across all of these fields, and we know much about reading acquisition and reading instruction, that science just doesn’t make it into classrooms as quickly as we want or as often as we want. As we saw earlier with the examples of my son’s misguided word reading instruction when he was told to read pictures or skip and guess words. But like Jen said, we often see silos rather than bridges from research to practice and not only that, but I think it’s also important to point out and affirm what Jen said that educators in different kinds of programs may get different kinds of knowledge of reading instruction. So teachers in speech language pathology and special education are a whole lot more likely to hear about orthographic mapping that we’ve mentioned, the linking of words, sounds, letters, and meanings and memory and explicit systematic phonics. Whereas teachers in general education certification programs really may not see this, though they should, and I think things are changing now as we continue to learn and say more. As an interdisciplinary scholar, I’ve always tried to work across these silos, like publishing in different sets of journals for researchers and for practitioners. You know, going to different professional conferences for researchers and for practitioners. But sometimes it can take decades for scientific findings to really make their way into practice. And so one of the things I do when I work with preservice teachers is I always teach my preservice teachers to question practices they implement in their lessons. I actually have them look for research articles that provide support for what they’re planning to do. And I also ask them to question the practices they encounter in schools with a “show me the data” stance. We made teachers. I think my friend Nell, Nell Duke has a T-shirt that says, “show me the data.” 

SERRAVALLO: I can believe that. 

CARTWRIGHT: That’s what we want. That’s what we want our practitioners, our educators to do. Don’t just implement practices because you think it’s going to make kids love reading. We want them to love reading but they’re going to love reading because we teach them how to do it. So we should be confident that our instructional practices are backed by data, from multiple sources. And researchers, research studies tell us whether instructional practices can move the needle on reading achievement, but as Jen said and Gholdy Muhammad said, we have to keep in mind that those studies are conducted with other students that may not be like our students in many ways. So we need to make sure that those practices work for our students in our classrooms, and that’s why it’s also super important for your evidence-based instruction not just to be based on research evidence but to also be based on your own students’ data and progress monitoring to make sure that they’re progressing in ways that you had hoped and expected. Because even if practices are supported by research, we need to make sure that it’s really doing what we hope. 

SERRAVALLO: And I think that shows a flexibility and that teachers need a variety of tools and approaches to support different readers and be able to kind of turn on a dime and say, “I know that this study found that this worked. I’m teaching it this way to my student. This particular kid is not responding. Let me try something different.” Like the print to speech and speech to print approach I was talking about earlier, that’s one example where I’ve heard from teachers that the print to speech approach, which is a traditional phonics approach, wasn’t working for a certain student and they flipped it to a speech to print and suddenly it clicked for the student. They’re both research-based but they’re just different approaches that work for different kids. 

CARTWRIGHT: Well, and I have to just interject there that that’s a great example of how teachers’ own executive skills like cognitive flexibility are really important as well. I mean, you’re having to hold oodles of things in mind and flip between things as you’re meeting the needs of the children in front of you. 

GONZALEZ: You know, and I think in this whole long conversation that’s been happening, you know, through the media and through social media about these dilemmas is that I think there have been a lot of teachers who felt in their gut that what they were being encouraged to do or what the curriculum that was being bought by their school was telling them to do went against their gut feeling. And they either just felt they couldn’t speak up or they didn’t feel heard. So I think that’s a piece of it. I think that maybe is a piece of where some of the anger is coming from, is that these practitioners kind of understood, whether through training or their own experience, that something is off here, and they weren’t able to proceed. 

SERRAVALLO: Which I think is a caution against just blindly following any materials that are written by one person or a group of people in one place and that are dispersed across an entire country with very diverse learners. And what teachers are told, you have to follow it with fidelity. 


SERRAVALLO: Right? That’s, that’s going to cause some problems. 

GONZALEZ: It’s, yeah. And I think that also speaks to another issue, which now I want to speak to school leadership. If you’re hearing this and thinking, “Yes, my teachers need to be really looking into the research and looking at their individual kids’ data.” The teachers need to have time to be able to do that. You cannot just tell your faculty, “Get into the research. Make sure that what you’re doing, get to know your kids.” If teachers have 10 minutes of planning time every day, they’re never going to be able to do that. They’re never going to have the energy to really sink in and do that. So rather than, because I’ve worked for people too who will just make these blanket statements, “I just heard this podcast. You’re supposed to be looking at the research.” We need time to be able to do that, and not only time but we need contemplative time together to really, you know, not just another rush or a surprise extra hour in the day when we didn’t know we were going to have it. It needs to be built into teachers’ day to be able to really think through this stuff and do it well. 

CARTWRIGHT: Exactly. Teachers’ workday, not the “after I’ve put my kids to bed, and I’m exhausted and let me see if I can figure this out and put some data together.” No. It can’t be like that. It’s got to be in the workday, you’re right. 

SERRAVALLO: Yeah, and it just speaks to what professional learning needs to look like. This model of having somebody from the curriculum product come in for a day and quote/unquote train teachers on how to use this curriculum product. That is not going to get them to have these collaborative conversations, grapple with the research, look at their students’ responses to different instruction and make adjustments and try new things. So it really, you know, it really speaks to the need for ongoing professional learning that allows teachers to work together, to collaborate, to go into classrooms together, to try things in the company of other educators and to reflect. 

GONZALEZ: Yeah. And the good news about the second alternative that you described versus the paying of somebody is that the second alternative is basically free, and the first costs thousands and thousands of dollars. It may not even be the direction you should be going anyways. So what are, are there other debates in this whole conversation beyond phonics instruction? 

SERRAVALLO: Yes, I think there’s been a recent shift to a new debate which is around the idea of skills and strategies instruction versus knowledge-building. But this is a false dichotomy. There are decades of research detailing the value that teaching strategies has to all areas of reading, from word-level reading to fluency to comprehension and more. Strategies are really giving teachers a how-to, or sorry, giving readers a how-to so that they can be active, whether that means oh, this is a fun word I don’t recognize. I need to do something here. Let me take the prefix and suffix off, read each part, and put the parts back together. Right? That’s an action they can take to decode a multi-syllabic word. Or it means, “I’m reading to prepare for conversation with a book club, so I’m going to pause often. I’m going to jot a note that captures what happened in the part I just read and what I’m thinking so that I have these notes ready to share with my group and we have a better conversation.” 

Now incidentally, this idea of strategies is things that readers can and should learn all the way through college. I recently had Dr. Willingham as a guest, and he’s a researcher who wrote a book recently about strategies for things like avoiding procrastination, learning good study habits, learning how to take notes. And his intended audience for this book is high school and college students. And in our conversation, he said he wrote this book because he saw his college students needed these strategies. So, you know, even some of the studies that I cite in the new reading strategies book were studies done with middle and high schoolers showing benefits to their comprehension with learning strategies. So strategies are for everybody across all areas of reading, across all grade levels.

But of course, it shouldn’t be just strategies. There’s research showing that when we intentionally build knowledge, for example, by creating text sets that are conceptually coherent, so reading a bunch of texts, books, short articles about the same general topics or by bringing literacy instruction into the content areas, like teaching kids how to take notes in a textbook or bringing content into literacy instruction like reading around text that had some common theme, it provides an added benefit. So Drs. HyeJin Hwang, Tanya Wright, Freddy Hiebert, are all guests that have recently talked about this with me. So like many things with reading instruction, the answer is “both and” not “either or.” Many agree with this. There’s a recent research piece making its rounds on social media by Dr. Jennifer Buckingham that acknowledges how essential knowledge is to reading comprehension and also it argues that in an evidence-based approach to comprehension instruction, skills and strategies are taught explicitly and cumulatively and gradually integrated. So of course we don’t do that in a vacuum. We do that with real texts with real knowledge. Children learn to use strategies for reading while reading, and the goal is never that these strategies are in and of themselves the goal. It’s that the strategies are a support to help children read actively. In other words, we teach strategies to help students to be strategic, to be active in their reading. So it’s true that in some classrooms the instruction might look a lot like teaching skills just to teach skills.

And honestly, I think what’s to blame here is standards and high-stakes testing, something that we need to talk more about in these debates about how to improve reading instruction. For example, if you look at your standards and they say, “students need to learn how to identify the main idea,” and then you look at the high-stakes test that ask kids to identify the main idea, and the standards-based report card asks for a grade on identifying the main idea, it’s very logical that you think, I need to focus on identifying the main idea. And also because there’s such pressure to perform well on these high-stakes tests, social studies and science often get squeezed out and make up such a tiny percentage of each school week. So what we get is this teaching of main idea on a bunch of random texts and not building this knowledge that’s also critical. And Dr. Nell Duke has been writing about this for a very long time. 

CARTWRIGHT: I agree with you 100 percent. It is definitely not an “either or.” We don’t teach strategies or knowledge because kids have to know what to do with their knowledge. Knowledge only goes so far if you don’t know how to use it. So simply providing content knowledge, what most folks consider part of language comprehension, doesn’t go far if they can’t, if students can’t activate it, if they can’t apply it, if they can’t synthesize their knowledge with what they find in a text. So let’s just consider a student reading a science text about climate change that says, “Local climate change is prompting some species to move their habitats closer to the poles.” Okay, well that sentence has a lot in it, but without actively combining their own prior knowledge, their background knowledge with that text, so knowing that the poles, we know the North Pole and the South Pole are cold, right? But if we don’t combine that knowledge with the text or infer that some species actually may need to stay cold to survive, then the text doesn’t make much sense. So I need to teach kids those kinds of strategic actions, those how-to’s, to deal with the knowledge alongside that text and integrate it with the text. So we teach kids to connect their knowledge to the text or infer components of the understanding that we need to get that the author doesn’t make explicit. The author doesn’t say, “Some animals need to be close to the poles or they won’t make it.” You know, the author doesn’t say that, but we have to infer it. And those strategies are an essential aspect of self-regulation, back to the active view, that self-regulation component in the active view of reading incorporates that strategic work. Strategies without knowledge though won’t help students understand text. Knowledge without strategies, again, won’t help students understand text. They’ve got to know how to use their knowledge in ways to help them understand. And skilled readers do both. They’ve got knowledge and they know how to use it, and that’s what we want our students to do. 

GONZALEZ: So the final question, and this is what I really want to make sure that we send people away with something to do. If we want to improve literacy outcomes in this country, what do we do? What do teachers do? What do legislators do? What can parents do? What do we do? 

SERRAVALLO: A big question. I think, first of all, we all need to listen to each other. So teachers need to learn from researchers. Researchers need to learn from teachers. Policymakers need to listen to experts, and overall we need to be humble, and we need to realize that no one person has all of the answers. So I’m hesitating to even answer this question, right? The answers are likely to continue to evolve as more research happens. Likewise, I think we need to pay attention to all areas of research, not cherry-pick just some studies or some fields or some aspects of reading or promote the idea that there’s one single approach that’s perfect for all children. We need to remember that while it’s true that there are statistically significant findings that show generally what most kids need, kids are unique. Educators need to be good diagnosticians, and they need to be able to tailor instruction to individual needs. So that might mean they need the content knowledge to be able to be flexible. They need the permission from their districts to be able to do what they know is going to work.

We do absolutely need a strong foundational curriculum. We need quality resources so teachers aren’t reinventing the wheel, and they can spend time analyzing assessments, planning differentiated instruction. But the idea, and I see this a lot out there right now, that any curriculum will be what every child needs as written is a false promise. There are many districts or even entire states now that are rolling out new boxed curriculum and are saying they no longer have funds or time to invest in professional learning for teachers, for example, so that their sole focus is going to be on implementing these new materials. That is not going to go how they hope it’s going to go. 

CARTWRIGHT: Absolutely and there are some really good studies out there that support exactly what you say, Jen, that when we adapt instruction based on individual students’ needs, that’s going to be better for all students than a one-size-fits-all approach. So we know that students vary in their needs and strengths. They may start in different places with different combinations of skills. Remember reading is super complex, and we’re going to bring different sets and subsets of reading skills with us into the classroom when we’re students. So these studies show that when we tailor instruction to those needs and strengths, students show greater gains. And that goes way back to my point about progress monitoring. We’ve got to know what our students can do when they get to us, and we’ve got to know what they cannot do so that we can differentiate to meet them where they are and then move them forward.

So for example, you might have some kids who struggle with decoding, word reading, because they don’t have phonemic awareness, so they can’t hear those sounds and spoken words. And then they can’t, obviously, link them to letters if they can’t hear those sounds. But maybe other students may struggle with identifying medial vowel sounds during word reading. So they’ve got the phonemic awareness except they’re having trouble with the vowel sounds and connecting the sounds to those letters or maybe other students may be terrific decoders on monosyllabic words, but they may need help reading those multi-syllabic words. And all of these examples describe children with word reading difficulties, but each child needs different instruction to move that needle forward on their reading achievement. 

SERRAVALLO: And you may also have kids who come into kindergarten or first grade with exceptionally strong decoding skills across the board and don’t need to see through 30 minutes of phonics today because they’re already reading the words and that’s not the best use of the classroom time for them. So yeah, I think we have to be really careful that we don’t see a legislatively mandated swap out of curriculum as the sole solution. We have to also be careful not to undermine teacher autonomy and their ability to be responsive to the students in front of them, which honestly if we’re being science-based in our approach, ignores the research that Rachael Gabriel shared in her interview with me about how teacher quality is more important than materials. For example, she mentioned a study that showed that it was more likely to see variation in student achievement outcomes within the same school with two teachers using the same materials as it was to see across schools with teachers using different materials. Speaking of teachers, we have to be very aware of the very real teacher shortage. Teachers’ agency, beyond the teaching of reading, is being limited by different kinds of legislation, different book banning efforts. School funding rarely seems to go up, but the cost of living certainly does, and teacher salaries are remaining stagnant. Teachers need and deserve quality, engaging professional learning to make research-based changes and not just have new materials handed to them and mandated. It undermines their professionalism, and I think we’re going to have a real problem if we don’t invest in teachers.

I think we need legislators, this might seem like a little bit off base, but I also think we need legislators to have the courage to support children generally. We have to make sure children have food, that they have eyeglasses, that they have dental care. And it might seem unrelated to literacy, but I have worked in schools where children literally can’t see the board or their page because they have no eyeglasses, or they have a toothache so bad they can’t concentrate, or they’re falling asleep because they’re hungry, or the school building is in such disrepair that there’s no heat in the middle of winter and children are bundled up in coats. I’m not excusing the need to improve literacy instruction. We should always be attempting to improve it. But what we shouldn’t promise is that we can get 100 percent or 95 percent or whatever percentage of children on grade level simply with a new curriculum. Again, it’s “both and.” These things are not an “either or.”

And I’ll go back to what I was talking about earlier with the really real impact that high-stakes testing has had on schools. It’s very costly. Literally, it takes lots of public dollars, but it also costs us valuable instructional time focused on teaching to the test that happens in too many places. So that I think needs to change, and I’ll make one more point when we’re talking about legislation. It’s very common to see that in places that are moving to legislating science and reading that there are also retention policies on the books, which means if you don’t pass — usually it’s third grade — you have to stay back and repeat third grade. This has been shown by research to be very damaging to children in many ways. I had Dr. Gabriel DellaVecchia on my podcast talking about this. Most of all, for students in poverty and those from minoritized backgrounds. So that needs to change as well. 

CARTWRIGHT: Absolutely, Jen. Literacy really is a social justice issue. That meta-analysis of reading comprehension intervention studies I mentioned earlier that I did with Matt Burns and Nell Duke, it really highlights this point as well because interventions in word recognition, language comprehension, bridging processes, and active self-regulation were all effective in moving the needle on reading comprehension, but these effects were especially pronounced for striving readers, for students who struggled to learn to read. And those students are more often those in poverty, those from minoritized backgrounds and we need to teach all the children all the things that they need to be good readers. And like you said, we need to make sure that they can be there in school, able to see, not hungry, warm enough to study and learn. Because literacy really lays the foundation for life success. Reading, reading ability predicts academic outcomes. Reading ability predicts career advancement and where you’re going to end up in your career. But low literacy literally sets people on a trajectory of disadvantage because it predicts poor health, not just physical health but also mental health. People, both children and adults, with low literacy skills are significantly more likely to suffer from anxiety or depression. Low literacy limits the ability to work. You can’t actually do most jobs if you can’t read, and you can’t even fill out a job application if you can’t read. So flipped around, we can think about literacy as being the key to opportunity and we as educators need to make sure that we’re equitably equipping our students to meet those opportunities with the best science-based reading instruction we can offer. 

GONZALEZ: You both have lots and lots of other stuff. People can learn a lot more from you elsewhere, so could you each give our listeners where online would be the best place for people to go to learn more from you? Kelly, I’ll ask you to go first. Where should people go if they wanted to connect online? 

CARTWRIGHT: Sure. I’m happy to connect on Twitter and then follow up with you beyond there. So my Twitter handle is @KellyBCartwrig1 or just look for me, Kelly Cartwright, and I’m happy to connect with you and point you in the direction of more resources. 


SERRAVALLO: My website,, there’s a contact form on there that you can reach out to me through. There’s also tons of information, links to this podcast I’ve been talking about, my books, articles, other places where I’ve been a guest on podcasts like this one. And on Twitter @JSerravallo and on Instagram @jenniferserravallo. 

GONZALEZ: Thank you both so much. I really hope that this helps move the conversation in a productive direction and that this can influence classrooms in this school year and beyond. Thank you so much. 

SERRAVALLO: Thank you for the invitation. 

CARTWRIGHT: Thank you.

For links to all the resources mentioned in this episode, visit, click Podcast, and choose episode 212. To get a bimonthly email about my newest blog posts, podcast episodes, courses and products, sign up for my mailing list at Thanks so much for listening, and have a great day.