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Elfrieda "Freddy" Hiebert Supper Club Recap

Highlights from an informal conversation with Lucy Calkins

Freddy Hiebert has been a pioneer in the field of literacy, advancing strong and evidence-based reading instruction over the course of her career. Listen in as she shares some of the wisdom gained from over 45 years of scholarly work in the field of early reading acquisition. In this informal conversation with Lucy, Freddy discusses her thoughts and views on the  vitally important issue of the teaching of reading.

In this talk, Freddy reflects on automaticity and what it means to be a rapid, fluid reader. More specifically, Freddy addresses what she views as a persistent problem in American reading instruction – that kids are stopping to figure out every word and never achieving the automaticity that allows for them to derive meaning from texts. And we all understand how crucial this meaning is for children, particularly as they learn to read. According to Freddy, for texts to effectively teach reading, they need to be both meaningful and interesting to children.

Freddy describes the texts she has helped create with TextProject, a non-profit that provides free resources in an effort to support higher levels of childhood literacy. Phonics, no doubt, plays an essential role in these texts. Yet relying on phonics alone is not enough in Freddy’s view.

Learn more as Freddy details the need to expose children to scaffolded texts (see here for what Freddy defines as scaffolded texts) and to present opportunities for children to read continual texts and engage with high frequency words in order to develop automaticity and strong reading skills.

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Published on June 12, 2024