#080: Tips for Teaching Summarizing in Elementary Grades

Do your students struggle with writing a summary?

That's actually very common. [‍Who knew?] Summarizing is quite difficult when you’re first learning how. It seems so simple to us on the other side with all the knowledge, doesn’t it?! Even though it’s tricky, stick with it! This comprehension strategy is an important one for your students' long-term learning success. 

In case you haven't figured it out yet, today's episode of The Teach Joyfully Podcast is all about teaching the summarizing comprehension strategy.


So what exactly is summarizing? 

Well...according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, "a summary is a restating of a text in your own words which gives the meaning of the original text in a condensed format". We do NOT add our thoughts or opinions in a summary. That can be tricky for some students. Also, a summary is not the same thing as a retelling. They are related...

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#079: Why Making Predictions is an Important Reading Comprehension Strategy

Do you ever skip making predictions or just have your students make them before you read but not during or even after? If that’s you, it’s ok. You’re probably not alone.

This little strategy can seem silly or not as important as other comprehension strategies. In fact, teaching your students to make predictions might seem like a basic thing they should already know. But…do they?


In this episode of the Teach Joyfully Podcast, I’m making a case for teaching your students about making predictions. We’ll talk about the how, the why, and great books to use as mentor texts for this important reading comprehension strategy.

Listen in to the full episode to find out:

  • Why the making predictions strategy is so important.
  • How to go about teaching this comprehension strategy
  • some of my favorite mentor texts for teaching students to make predictions as they read.

Listen to...

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#078: Reading Skills vs. Reading Strategies - What’s the Difference?

Do you ever wonder what the difference is between reading skills vs. reading strategies? Quite often the terms are used interchangeably but they are not the same thing!

Reading skills and reading strategies are actually 2 different things that require different thinking skills, different parts of the brain, and have different purposes in your students' reading.

In this episode, I'll be explaining what the reading skills and strategies are and the difference between these two groups [and why you should care]. 


I'll bet you have an idea of what the reading skills and strategies are. But do you really know the difference? It's easy to be confused. 

Listen in.

I did a quick search online and come up with tons of resources, articles, and information about both reading skills and reading strategies. None of them agree. So let me clarify...

  • Reading skills are what your students use to decode and...
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#074: How to Teach Your Students to Use Text Evidence

teaching reading Dec 16, 2021

Using text evidence is a skill all students should have. How often do your students answer a question about a character, the setting or something about a text and they don’t know why or how they came to that conclusion? Or... your students answer a question vaguely without any specifics or text evidence? Perhaps you have students who simply have no idea what to say and don’t know where to begin to figure it out?


"In order to let people know we aren’t making stuff up, we should use Explicit Textual Evidence to support our opinions or answers." - unknown

Using evidence when commenting or answering a question about a text is an important skill not only for comprehension of school topics but for life too. Our students need to be able to THINK and give their reasoning for their conclusions. We don’t want them running on impressions, emotions, what others say or tell them, or just...

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#071: 5 Key Elements That Impact Reading Comprehension

teaching reading Nov 25, 2021

Teaching reading comprehension is not as easy as all those programs and teacher training make it out to be. Do this and you're all good, right?! Wrong! there isn't a magic bullet or even one right way to teach. There's lots of parts and pieces that affect a student's ability to comprehend a text.


How and where do you teach reading comprehension?

Reading is complicated. It's a fact. And sometimes we make it even more complicated. Online programs and apps cannot replace a real teacher with an actual book modeling and guiding students in learning how to comprehend various texts.

In case you haven't guessed, today is all about teaching reading comprehension effectively to ALL your students regardless of their reading level. Yes, that is possible if we level the playing field with a read-aloud.

Listen in.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • What 5 key elements contribute to your students' reading comprehension.
  • ...
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#039: 5 Ways to Use Classroom Reading to Impact Long-term Student Success

Raise your hand if you have students that have never [or rarely] been read to at home. Well...I'm raising my hand right along with you! 


It can be frustrating and leave you feeling like your students will never get ahead in reading. But, that's lie.

Today's episode is all about how I use classroom reading time to impact students' long-term reading success. There's no reason to think you students can't succeed in reading and in school if their home is devoid of books and reading. No, you can't change that, and you shouldn't stress yourself out over it either. Instead, I suggest a more proactive approach but owning what we CAN control...our classroom time.

By intentionally structuring my classroom reading to provide background knowledge, vocabulary growth, and tons of time both reading and being read to, my students see exponential growth. It's simple to do once you know how.


In this...
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#038: How Teaching Phonics Will Set Your Students Up for Long-term Reading Success

Does this sound familiar? "p--a--n.....p----an.....pan" Teaching phonics and decoding skills is one of the most debated topics in teaching reading. From my experience, I KNOW teaching phonics will set your students up for long-term reading success.


I could throw a ton of solid research at you, but I won't. Just know this...84% of our words in the English language follow predictable rules. And research done in 1983 confirmed that only 24% of our words can be predicted through context.

In case you haven't guessed...today's episode is all about phonics and how it can set your students up for success into their college years - long past their time with you. 

Listen in.

In this episode, find out: 
  • What is phonics and how is it different from phonemic awareness?
  • How good decoding skills using phonics sets kids apart in middle and high school. 
  • 5 tips for supporting students' phonological...
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