From 13% to 100% Literacy Proficiency with School Leader Angie Hanlin

May 13, 2022 11:14:00 AM
Episode 108

Hi Literacy Lovers,

Episode 108: From 13% to 100% literacy proficiency with school leader Angie Hanlin.

In our most recent episode, we talk to Angie Hanlin, current Superintendent in Wisconsin, who led her former school from 13% to 100% reading proficiency. How? Angie shifted the focus from TEACHING to LEARNING. She worked alongside her school teams with a relentless focus on data, asking questions such as: Who is making progress? Who is not? What are we going to do about it? Radical acceptance of the data helped educators move forward and put aside blame and shame. Key takeaway: All means ALL! We’re so glad you’re here to learn with us. 

Learn More

Learn more about Angie’s story by reading about her success as a school leader in this article: Leadership, hard work bring honors to Matthews Elementary principal or listening to her on: Teaching, Reading, and Learning: The Reading League Podcast: Interview w/ Sam Duncan and Angie Hanlin


Angie mentions the importance of repetitions when students are learning foundational reading skills. Here are the numbers she shares (from p. 66 of A Principal’s Primer for Reading Achievement by Pati Montgomery, Melody Ilk, and Louisa Moats). 

  • 1-4 repetitions for a gifted student

  • 4-14 repetitions for a typical student

  • 14-40 repetitions for a struggling student

  • 40-200 repetitions for a student with dyslexia or learning disability

Pati Montgomery’s blog post, Instructional strategies for 7 early literacy pillars, also discusses the importance of repetitions! 

For all seven pillars, it's important to remember kids will learn different skills at different rates. Some kids may master a new skill after four repetitions; some kids will need 100. Repetition is key, so make sure students have as many practice opportunities as they need to learn to learn. With enough repetition and the right instructional sequence, you'll see your young readers soar!

Community and Connection

Have questions for Angie? She’s an active member of our Facebook Group: Melissa and Lori Love Literacy Podcast. Join now if you haven’t already! 

Related Episodes

Hear from some of our other guests who have made significant changes to their instruction and seen results for their students! 

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Melissa & Lori have over 100 podcast episodes available now on your favorite streaming service. Listen now as they discuss new ways to think about teaching reading and writing with educators and experts in the field.

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