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Do you find yourself seeking new implementations when it comes to literacy instruction? Do you crave fresh ideas and engaging lessons to transform your students into skilled readers and writers? The Literacy Dive Podcast was created to provide educators, like you, with actionable steps and strategies to improve teaching reading and writing. Your host, Megan Polk, is the creator and owner of The Literacy Dive, a company that creates educational, literacy curriculum that aims to close the gap ...
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Over the last few weeks, we’ve been diving into the topic of student writing stamina. We’ve explored strategies to keep students engaged in writing, challenges students face while they’re writing, and how to build stamina through practices implemented in the classroom. By having all this background information and fresh new ideas on ways to keep th…
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In last week’s episode, we learned that writing stamina is built over time and includes more than just an amount of time, but when students are actively engaged in a particular writing task. Since having writing stamina can be difficult for students, I wanted to create a series that provided teachers with strategies that improved a student’s writin…
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I am passionate about literacy, especially finding creative and engaging ways to get students writing. However, none of that matters if their writing stamina is low. I know from my experience being in the classroom, that so many of my students didn’t have the writing endurance for longer pieces of writing, which meant I had to come up with ways to …
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Podcasts are one of the fastest growing platforms to gain information in a short amount of time. I obviously love the idea of podcasts and how it can reach so many people with a variety of topics. With the availability that it brings, there are so many opportunities to make listening to podcasts part of your daily life. I want to help you discover …
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Over the last month I’ve been sharing different ways you can engage your students in that helps develop their simple sentences into more detailed and complex sentences. With this being the final episode in the series, I’m finally covering my favorite way to bring writing to life, which is by using sensory details to create sensory storytelling. Usi…
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We are now well into our series on how to enhance simple sentences using a variety of descriptive strategies. What I love about each new idea is that these are grammar concepts you teach your students, but now you’re able to dive deeper and use them in a whole new way. In today’s episode, I’m sharing another strategy which is using prepositions to …
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Over the last two weeks, I’ve been discussing different strategies that help with sentence expansion. In today’s episode, I’m sharing the third strategy in this series. Just like the previous two strategies, you might have already talked about and taught this particular skill, but I challenge you to intentionally have your students use it in their …
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This series is all about how to easily get students to expand their sentences by adding details to their basic sentences. Last week’s strategy was all about adding the 2 A’s, adjectives and adverbs, to create a story and description. But today’s strategy also serves a greater purpose than just sentence expansion. In today’s episode, I’m discussing …
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Happy New Year, my friends! Let's jump-start 2024 with some practical and easy strategies to expand student sentences. At the beginning of the year, our goal is for students to write a complete sentence, but our goal at the end of the year is for them to add meaningful details to those sentences. And while that might seem challenging, I’ve come up …
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With this being the last week of 2023, I wanted to take an opportunity to share some reflections I’ve had from this past year. I’ve been open on this podcast about certain things I went through, even resulting in me taking a break from this podcast. With that experience, along with other personal and work related things, I wanted to share some end …
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We discuss all the time the difficulty that students have when it comes to writing and getting their ideas out on paper. But now imagine English isn’t your first language. The challenge now becomes greater, but there’s a way to meet their needs. This is through using scaffolds with your writing. In a special episode from Beth Vaucher of the Equippi…
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We all have those students who don’t like writing and have a lot of negative emotions surrounding writing in general. Even though winter break is coming coon, there are still things you can either try during these last few weeks or implement when you return in January. But either way, we want our students interested and engaged in writing. So in to…
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Do you ever see students reading in your classroom that have great fluency and can recall the words on the page, but can’t give any details about what happened in the text? If this describes students in your classroom, it’s time to implement active reading strategies. This comprehension strategy is used to evaluate a students’ understanding of a te…
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I’ve loved going through the different stages of vocabulary from a basic understanding, misconceptions, strategies, and now how to use it as an emphasis in student writing. When we can merge vocabulary with writing, it’s an opportunity for students to use their literacy skills in writing, while also simulating real world communication and relevance…
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Over the last few weeks, we’ve done a complete deep dive into vocabulary acquisition, its importance, and debunking common myths and misconceptions. Now that we covered the background information, in part three of this series, it’s time to discuss practical vocabulary strategies. In today’s episode, I’m sharing how to seamlessly integrate vocabular…
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Last week I brought attention to vocabulary acquisition and the importance of expanding your students’ vocabulary toolbox. But before you start incorporating more vocabulary into your instructional day, I wanted to bring awareness to some common vocabulary myths and misconceptions as you focus on this in your upper elementary classrooms. So in toda…
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One of our biggest roles as literacy teachers is to improve their comprehension skills. However, we rarely focus on the one component that gives students the foundation of comprehension, which is vocabulary. Vocabulary is so much more than just words, for it transforms a story and is the key to communication. So in today’s episode, I’m sharing the …
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Are you looking for fun, creative, and engaging ways to get your students excited about reading and writing? If so, this is the episode for you! I love coming up with creative ways that spark student engagement, and this time, they’re spontaneous activities that include reading and writing. So I’m sharing how two activities boost daily reading and …
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Our goal as literacy teachers is to develop skilled readers and writers, so we often implement strategies that have students work on those skills. And while those strategies are effective and work, for our struggling readers, it may not be enough. Therefore, by incorporating a think-aloud strategy, your students will be able to hear and see how a s…
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As literacy teachers, our goal is to develop skilled readers and writers. And although we want our students to be independent in these areas, providing them support actually helps them master literacy skills to become independent. One of my favorite ways to support my students in writing is through using graphic organizers. In this episode, I’m sha…
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As literacy teachers we want to create an environment that helps develop students into skilled readers and writers. And although they’re often taught in isolation, both actually compliment each other. One way to incorporate both reading and writing is through read alouds, which has the added benefit of exposing students to a variety of genres. In t…
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I’m back, friends! I’d like to brush off my absence by taking a break for the summer to relax, travel, and enjoy the sun, but that wouldn’t be the truth. I always strive to be open and honest with you all, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do. In my comeback episode, I’m going to explain my absence, what I've learned about myself, and how my stor…
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We often teach and practice reading and writing separately, but in reality, they work together to improve a students’ literacy skills. I know you all have effective and successful literacy blocks, but my hope is that with me sharing my thoughts and experiences with you, that you’ll find new ways to teach reading and writing to your students. So lis…
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While most of my episodes involve writing strategies and creative ways to get students writing in the classroom, literacy skills are developed and mastered alongside reading. And one of the hottest trends in education right now is the science of reading. There’s so much to unpack with this, so to help us, I have my good friend, Sara Marye, who’s sh…
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With an ever evolving world, it’s important that our classrooms are adapting to the world we live in. One of the easiest and natural way to include diversity in the classroom is through diverse children’s literature. But by adding diversity, it can cause some challenges and provoke fear in some teachers. To help facilitate this important conversati…
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For the last few weeks, I’ve been sharing creative writing ideas that get students writing and working on their literacy skills in a fun and non-threatening way. I love coming up with ways to disguise writing and have so many ideas, but narrowed it down to my final two that I’m going to share. Those two routines are Acrostic Response and Tell All A…
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Getting students to write and practice various literacy skills can be a daunting task, which is why I’ve loved coming up with different ways for disguising writing for students! In Episode 134, I shared two creative writing routines and in today’s episode, I’ll be sharing two more writing routines for disguising writing. The two creative writing ro…
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We all know the groans and complaining that happens when we ask students to write. But what if we could present writing in a way that is hidden or disguised? Which is why I’ve come up with creative writing routines that you can use with your students that are purposeful, yet non-threatening. In this three week series, I’ll be highlighting two creat…
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Today’s episode is on a topic that’s gaining popularity amongst everyone, which is the Enneagram test. This personality theory helps determine certain characteristics based on a variety of factors. And while it’s good to be self-aware, this information can be beneficial in the classroom. My guest today, Kirsten Hammond, is sharing how the Enneagram…
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Incorporating writing that engages students into your instruction can be difficult, especially if you already have an established writing curriculum that your district requires. However, I’m here to tell you it’s not impossible! My guests on today’s episode, Emily and Carrie, are both writing experts who specialize in engaging students to write cre…
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Most teachers think that in order to prepare for the upcoming state test, they have to deviate from their normal routine and activities. When in reality, adding engagement and using tools and activities that are familiar to your students is actually helpful to their success. So in today’s episode, I’m sharing 6 secrets to engaging students during t…
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I don’t know about you, but every time test prep season started to creep up, I became anxious, overwhelmed, and stressed. And honestly, so did my students. But with preparation and tools in their toolbox, they became more confident, calm, and ready for the test. In order to get your students prepared as well, I’m sharing 7 test taking tips to use i…
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We know that state tests are quickly approaching, so it’s our job to begin preparing our students for them. Beyond getting them ready for the content portion of the test, it’s important to acknowledge that this test can be a source of stress and anxiety for our students and prepare them to stay calm and think positively. In today’s episode, I’m sha…
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Today’s topic of conversation involves a group of students who need our support, but in a different way than the majority of our students. I’m talking about our gifted learners. We tend to always think about students who struggle or need additional support, but it’s important to remember that our high-achieving students deserve our attention and th…
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I’ve talked many times about the process and importance of students engaging in the writing process. It allows students to work on their written skills and creativity. But the step that most teachers gloss over or find optional is the peer editing stage, when in reality, it provides many benefits and life skills for students. So in today’s episode,…
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Sometimes our students experience big feelings and they’re not always equipped on how to cope or even express how they feel. A great way to teach your students about SEL and create an open dialogue within your classroom is through literacy. On today’s episode, I have guest expert Andrea Burns to show how to use SEL to boost reading and writing skil…
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As students move up in grades, working with others seems to happen less often and independent work becomes the norm. However, since collaboration is a 21st century skill, having students work together is something that should be practiced. So in today’s episode, I’m going to provide 10 reasons why you should have students engaging in collaborative …
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With most things, balance is the key to life. It’s about finding the right amount between two things, not having too much or too little. Well, the same can be said with writing skills. We’ve established before that writing can be difficult and is a challenge for a lot of students, so it’s finding the right balance between interest and skill. In tod…
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As a literacy expert, I always bring you strategies and tips that you can use in your classroom that bring your students success to their reading and writing skills. But sometimes, I love bringing on other experts to add to your teacher toolbox, especially when they bring a different perspective. That’s exactly what I’m doing on today’s episode. I …
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When introducing a new type of genre, sometimes students need an example to understand certain literacy skills and concepts. This is where mentor texts come in. Most teachers understand the concept of mentor texts, but struggle with knowing how to utilize them in the classroom. In today’s episode, I’m sharing how to best utilize mentor texts, speci…
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Teaching literacy is often surrounded by the genre of fiction. Students understand the characteristics and plot elements, which results in them independently reading fictional books on their own. But there’s another type of genre, nonfiction, and more specifically biographies, which they’re less familiar with. February is the perfect time for teach…
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The majority of this podcast’s content is literacy-focused, including effective strategies to implement in your classroom, which is all academic. While literacy is an important component in a classroom, so is a students’ mental health. In order to check on students and begin to look at the whole child, implementing SEL is the best way to do that. S…
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In order to change our future, it’s important to know and learn from our history. There are so many important events and people in our nation’s history, that we should take time to teach it in our classrooms. February is next month, and also Black History Month, which is the perfect time to teach your students about African American history and the…
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With today being Martin Luther King Jr. day, the topic of today’s episode aligns perfectly. We talked last week about morning meeting and how it’s a designated time to take in new information and build classroom community. Keeping those ideas in mind, I’m sharing ways to use morning meeting as a way to support black history. In order to expose your…
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Routines and structure are important parts to a smooth and effective classroom, but when a routine involves students, engagement, and relationships, that’s when it becomes an essential part of your day. This routine is known as morning meeting. While you may have heard of this before, my guest today, Shelly Small, provides more insight as she share…
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The last month has been all about resetting your classroom routines and reading and writing instruction. While all those are important, there’s another aspect of teaching we often forget about that might need a reset. That area is your relationships with parents. In today’s episode, I’m exploring three areas to consider when determining if a reset …
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The beginning of the year is the perfect opportunity to think about the practices and routines that are set in your classroom. There’s power in asking yourself questions intended to see at what point you can add, remove, or adjust key elements in your instruction. In sticking with the theme of the past several episodes of reflecting, in this episod…
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In last week’s episode, I talked about the importance of reflection, especially with the start of a new year approaching. I asked you to think broad with classroom routines, but this week I want you to look more specifically at your writing block. We want our students to develop their skills and enjoy writing, so in order to do that, it might be ne…
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With being so close to winter break, you’re probably just in survival mode and ready to leave the classroom behind for a while and not think about it until you go back in January. And while I totally understand your mindset, now is the perfect time to evaluate and reassess your current classroom routines, procedures, and systems and determine if a …
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Literacy Dive listeners, you are in for a treat today! On the podcast today, I’m doing something I’ve never done before, which is airing an episode from another show’s podcast. This episode is coming from the Teacher Approved podcast, co-hosted by Heidi & Emily, who share research-based and teacher approved strategies that make your teaching more e…
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