Dr. Sam Bommarito interviews Marnie Ginsberg, Ph.D. the Founder and CEO of Reading Simplified

Dr. Sam Bommarito interviews Marnie Ginsberg, Ph.D. the Founder and CEO of Reading Simplified

I’ve spent the summer looking at various ideas about how to best teach reading. This was done in the spirit of trying to find some common ground and common practices in what some have called The Reading Wars. One of my regular followers suggested I investigate the ideas and work of Dr. Marnie Ginsberg. I’m very glad he did. This interview will give my readers a treasure trove of ideas, including many that are “ready to use for next Monday’s class”. Let’s start by learning a little about Dr. Ginsberg and what she is doing.

Marnie Ginsberg, Ph.D., is the Founder and CEO of Reading Simplified.  

In 1999, Marnie searched high and low for answers to the question, “How do you teach reading quickly?”. She found lots of conflicting advice and theories. Overwhelming! She finally ran across ideas that made sense. Before and after school, she tutored two boys in her class who originally were below the 1st-grade level, and their achievement jumped ahead to the middle of 3rd grade!. Armed with this early success between 2013 and 2015, Marnie developed K-5 sets of student materials and training videos for a national, non-profit mentoring organization. Then she began Reading Simplified, which has had over 150,000 email readers enjoy their free trainings and resources, as well as the training and curriculum inside the paid Reading Simplified Academy, which has served over 14,000 teachers and parents.  So, as you can tell, many children have been reached over the years with instruction that yields much more rapid achievement gains than mainstream approaches.

This biography is based on highlights from the “Our Story So Far” post on her website. For more details about Marnie and her program, use this LINK.

These are highlights of the interview. In case you want to jump to a particular topic, the highlights are time-stamped.


Link to the Reading Simplified Website LINK.

Targeted Reading Intervention articles:


Targeted Reading Instruction’s ongoing work

What Works Clearinghouse: What Works Clearinghouse review of 1 Targeted Reading Intervention study

Switch It game: Integrate-don’t-isolate-A child learning 13 letter sounds and advancing in PA in 5 days with just eight min. of Switch It per day: LINK 

Access to a sample Streamlined Pathway: LINK

Access to Marnie’s Timeline of Research: Follow the directions at this LINK to download the full timeline pictured below. Each item on the timeline links to the research described. BTW- in addition to these well-chosen pieces, I would suggest readers also examine the work of Duke and Scanlon.

Marnie’s podcast and the blog on Set for Variability LINK.

Dr. Sam’s reflections & some upcoming events and posts

Dr. Ginsberg ‘s work can be added to several projects I’ve done interviews about, including Nora Chahbazi and her speech first instructional system LINK, Denise Ritchie and her work at the THRASS institute LINK,  Jan Richardson, and her work with Guided Reading LINK, LINK and  Penny Slater & Kathy Roe and their work at HFL Education which adapts the work of Tim Rasinski in teaching prosody. LINK. What all these folks have in common is that they have created research-based ways to help children learn the decoding skills they need and do that in a way that also promotes comprehension. Next week, I’ll be posting my interview with Bruce Hewitt LINK about his upcoming piece which is scheduled to appear in Spell Talk. The name of that post is “Our Choice: Rapidly Translate, Evaluate and Adopt Innovative Literacy Methods or Prolong the Reading Wars.” That upcoming post outlines his proposal to effectively end the reading wars by using ideas and practices from all sides in order to create and implement effective practices for the teaching of reading. I think you will find the interview about his ideas quite interesting.

I have been championing the idea of avoiding the dichotomies often associated with discussions about the teaching of reading and replacing that dichotomous thinking with a search for common ground LINK, LINK, LINK. I think if you look carefully at the work of the folks I talk about in the paragraph above, there really is a great deal of common ground in what they propose to do. There are many things teachers can adapt and start to use in their own teaching. By the way, Dr. Ginsberg ‘s ideas add many new things for teachers to consider, and I want to thank her for sharing those resources. So, until next week, this is Dr. Sam, signing off.

Happy Reading and Writing.

Dr. Sam Bommarito (aka, the guy in the middle taking flak from all sides)

Copyright 2023 by Dr. Sam Bommarito. Views/interpretations expressed here are solely this author’s views and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other person or organization.

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BREAKING NEWS: Today Lucy Calkins launched her new website; please look at her ideas on how to rebalance literacy. LINK

4 thoughts on “Dr. Sam Bommarito interviews Marnie Ginsberg, Ph.D. the Founder and CEO of Reading Simplified

  1. Screwtape

    Ah, Dr. Bommarito,

    I’ve just had the delightful opportunity to peruse your most recent interview with Dr. Marnie Ginsberg. Her work in the realm of reading is certainly… enlightening.

    Speaking of shifting sands and pedagogical intrigues, I couldn’t help but notice the sudden development from Columbia University.

    They’ve chosen to dissolve the Lucy Calkins’ Reading and Writing Project.


    How curious that amidst your conversations about reading education, there emerges such a dramatic twist.

    Yours in anticipation of the next revelation,


    1. doctorsam7 Post author

      I’m well award of the recent development. See my next response to see where things in this conversation are going. Espcially notice the ideas of Bruce Hewlett.

  2. Helen Proulx

    Hi Sam,

    As always so grateful for your work illuminating the many amazing educators who are dedicated to helping all children become literate.

    In this case I went into it feeling a bit leery because of Marnie’s SoR stance. I got excited about half way through when I realized how much common ground there is between her & I of what children need to learn how to do & why it is important as well as some of the how’s!

    From my RR & classroom teacher lens I translated some of her points to be:
    -the importance of being flexible when word solving
    -the importance of searching for & monitoring for multiple sources of info. when reading
    -the power of self-correction
    -working with text at the child’s instructional level to provide opportunities for independent & supported problem solving
    -scaffolding starting with least support & moving to more support as necessary

    The only thing that disappointed me was that she talked about many of these ideas as being new. These are ideas that Marie Clay & others were studying & writing about decades ago. As you always say, it’s important to look at all the research.

    Love the end of the blog where you curate a little text set of interviews for further learning for us.

    Best regards,



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