The science of reading continues to dominate national education discourse, which means many are becoming familiar with what the science of reading is: a vast body of research that demystifies what works and what doesn’t when it comes to teaching students how to read. At the same time, many educators are still looking for guidance on how to put the science of reading into action and how to help their school community embrace stronger, research-aligned early literacy instruction.
Want more information on how Great Minds materials align to the science of reading? Learn more here.
Here at Great Minds®, we know that using Wit & Wisdom® (a knowledge-building core curriculum) along with a high-quality foundational skills program and Geodes® (accessible, content-rich books) provides teachers with the best possible tools to help young readers thrive. We also know that it can be hard to picture what it might look like to put these research-based resources into place in your own classroom and how they differ from other materials. That’s why we sat down with four educators, a mix of teachers and instructional coaches, to hear their experiences firsthand.
Each educator shares how Wit & Wisdom, explicit foundational skills instruction, and Geodes have uniquely brought the science of reading to life in their own classroom or the classrooms they support. Beginning Thursday, June 8th, we will release a four-part series of one interview per week so that you can explore implementation in these different contexts and reflect on what lessons are most relevant to you and your district or school. Through these interviews, you will learn
- useful implementation details and ideas for reading instruction in your own classroom,
- lessons learned on the journey toward high-quality, science-aligned instructional materials, and
- advice for those who may be considering or beginning implementation of Wit & Wisdom and Geodes.
Meet the educators
Laura Lojko: an educator in Washington, DC. Laura has been teaching for six years, with experience teaching kindergarten through grade 4 humanities. She started her career as a capital teaching resident before joining Center City Public Charter School in 2018. Laura has experience teaching Wit & Wisdom in grades 2 through 4 and has been using Geodes for two years in grade 2. Laura also became a Great Minds® Professional Development Fellow in 2022.
Michelle Fryhover: an educator in Florence, Arizona. Michelle has been an educator for 29 years, starting as a preschool teacher and director. She went on to teach kindergarten for 15 years and has most recently become a reading specialist and instructional coach in her school for grades K–8.
Dr. Kat Smith: an educator on Fairchild Air Force Base outside of Spokane, Washington. Kat has been teaching for 17 years, starting in 2006 as an intermediate teacher. She has also held roles as a literacy interventionist, a literacy specialist, and an instructional coach. Recently, Kat returned to the classroom, working with grade 1 students. Kat has a PhD in Language, Literacy, and Technology, and she teaches higher education literacy courses during the school year and summer.
Danielle Gaither: an educator of 22 years in Asheville, North Carolina. Danielle started her career as a Title I literacy intervention specialist and is now in her eighth year as a Title I literacy coach. As a Great Minds® Fellow, Danielle also trains and supports classroom teachers, coaches, and leaders across her district on Wit & Wisdom and Geodes.
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Alyssa has nearly a decade of education research experience. She has led equity and student success research to support K-12 public school districts across the country in addressing their most pressing challenges, including college access, mental health, social emotional learning, and racial justice. Alyssa holds a B.A. in Psychology and Global Studies and an M.Ed. in Globalization and Educational Change from Lehigh University.