An interview with Rita Wirtz: Rita gives fresh ideas on the best ways of teaching reading. Interview conducted by Dr. Sam Bommarito

An interview with Rita Wirtz: Rita gives fresh ideas on the best ways of teaching reading. Interview conducted by Dr. Sam Bommarito

As many of you know, for the past few weeks, I’ve taken a break from doing interviews. I’ve been writing blogs defending Balanced Literacy (I still prefer the term Constructivist Practices), and those blogs have had over 35,000 views in the past month. In case you missed them, here are the links LINK, LINK, LINK

This week I am resuming my interviews. The first I’m posting is from Rita Wirtz. It was done several weeks ago. I want to thank her for her patience and understanding about the delays. Now let’s talk about Rita and her wonderful ideas. Here is an excerpt about Rita taken from her website LINK:

As you can see, Rita has an extensive background in teaching. Her teaching career spans over forty years. A visit to her website will show she has put those forty years to good use LINK.

Now let’s see what Rita had to say during her interview:

Here are the topics we covered (they are time-stamped):

Rita Introduces Herself01:00
Revisit NRP (National Reading Panel) for relevance.Brief History of “Reading Wars,” back to Adams, Chall, Goodman, Veatch (Rita’s mentor, ASU Reading Clinic, Whole Language guru) “Reading the Great Debate.” Finding Common Ground. SOR/Balanced Literacy. NAEP  03:44
Retaining kids is not a recommended practice06:00
Redefine five areas of reading instruction and why they matter. (phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension). (Writing, Speaking, listening).  07:09
Balanced Literacy11:05
Cueing, Sight words, Why all the fuss?, Leveled readers, Readability, Fluency testing (yuk),.
Hot topics.  
Final Thoughts20:19

Here are some additional links and resources from Rita. Note her two guest articles. One of those articles is scheduled to be reprinted in the summer issue of The Missouri Reader.


Instagram: @ritamwirtz

Twitter: @RitaWirtz

Books: Reading Champions! Teaching Reading Made EasyStories From a Teacher’s

HeartReading Champs

Recent podcasts:

Rethinking Learning with Barbara BrayThe Transformed Teacher, with Meredith Newlin

“Let’s Get Real” Bam Podcast

EdChat: Teachers Know Best

EdChat: Our Commitment To Teaching History Accurately

EdChat Radio on Learning Loss

EdChat Radio on Learning Recovery

Forest of the Rain interview 

Tackling Tech Podcast

Lesson Impossible Podcast

The Literacy Advocate with Timmy Bauer and Shalonda Archibald


The Transformed Teacher, with Meredith Newlin

Helping Students Read Better and Faster!

Everyone Academy (Vocabulary)

Everyone Academy (Comprehension) 

Unlock The Middle with Principals Dean and Chris


Centre for Optimism

Recent Guest Articles:
Protocol Education

The Robb Review, March ’22

Rita would like to thank BAM Internet Radio for supporting her writing.

She would also like to thank editor Tyler Trostrud.

Next week I will be continuing my interviews and guest blogs. Sometime over the summer, I will also share some of the nuts and bolts of my own teaching and my plans for teaching next year. Hoping everyone is having a great summer. I am looking forward to sharing literacy ideas with everyone this summer!

Happy Reading and Writing!

Dr. Sam Bommarito, aka the centrist who uses ideas from all sides to inform his teaching

Copyright 2022 by Dr. Sam Bommarito. Views/interpretations expressed here are solely the author’s view and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other person or organization.

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