Reliable, Research-Based Routines for Developing Decoding Skills

Aug 16, 2022 7:23:00 AM
Julia Lindsey-1

Hi Literacy Lovers,

In this week's episode, we talk with Dr. Julia Lindsey. Talking with Julia is like popping into the classroom next door to chat with your best teacher friend after school. We had so much fun talking about her book, Reading Above the Fray. It's full of easy to implement strategies that will help students learn decoding skills. Our favorite part? Discussing the Instructional Swaps! These swaps help us take what we're already doing to the next level so students become effective AND efficient readers. 

 We are so glad you are here to learn with us! 💙
Julia Lindsey

Learn More

Read This... 

Have you listened to our BONUS BOOK TALK on Reading Above the Fray? It's a great primer for the episode with the book's author, Julia Lindsey! 

Want to know what others are saying about this book? Join the private FB Group Science of Reading - Kindergarten/First/Second Grade and check out this thread

Looking to learn more with Julia? We have a double dose! Listen to episode 70 and episode 71, where Julia discusses sound walls, decodable texts, and the aim of early literacy. 

Reading Above the Fray

Mentioned on the Podcast

A list of all of the amazing resources mentioned in this week's episode! 

Lori Recommends


from Reading Above the Fray... 

I love this routine for sound-spelling instruction: Word Building. I like to think of it as Word Play! To make or build words, students have a set of letter tiles (ex: a, r, t, g, u). I would review the sound-spelling correspondences of the tiles, then model using the tiles to make a word, such as tag. Then, students would make the word, and play with adding, changing, and removing sounds in the word. I might say, "We just made the word tag. Now change it to the word rug. Now change the middle sound to /a/ (short a). What word did you make?" Check out Reading Above the Fray p. 101 for more efficient and effective ways to teach sound-spelling correspondences. 

Melissa Recommends


Small Group Lessons with Decodable Texts

I love how Julia Lindsey provides practical ideas for classroom practice in her book! One of my favorites is her framework for teaching a small group lesson with a decodable text. I've outlined the big ideas below, but Julia goes into much more detail with examples and prompts on p. 118 of Reading Above the Fray



  1. Introduce the text. 
  2. Prepare children for reading.
  3. Ask children to read the text.
  4. Ask questions.
  5. Send off. 


Thanks for reading, Literacy Lovers! 

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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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