Our Philosophy

Reading, Writing and Thinking in the Active Literacy Classroom

Kids' thinking matters! When our students begin to understand that their thinking matters, learning changes. They develop a passion for literacy. The refrain of What time is recess? When’s lunch? becomes an anthem of “Can we please go read now?” As educators, we take kids' thoughts, ideas, questions, opinions and learning seriously.

At Stephanie Harvey Consulting, we advocate instruction that engages kids and guides them as they read, write and think their way through the day and across the curriculum. We teach the reader not merely the reading. We share and model strategies that support readers to merge their thinking with the text, to construct meaning, acquire knowledge and actively use it.  

Our staff development efforts support teachers to plan engaging instruction that places an emphasis on teaching for understanding. Based on the comprehension research of P. David Pearson and his colleagues, our focus is on teaching comprehension strategies that lead students to become thoughtful, active, independent readers and writers. We work side by side with teachers to create a culture of thinking in their classrooms, a literate environment that spurs wonder, excitement, achievement and a passion for learning. We help teachers organize active literacy classrooms where students do not spend the day filling in bubbles and blanks, but rather read, write, talk, listen and investigate their way into thinking, learning and understanding. Inquiry-based learning and project-based learning are central to understanding and acquiring knowledge in classrooms such as these.

Principles that guide our work include

  • Teach for understanding and engagement
  • Foster passion and curiosity
  • Make thinking visible
  • Create an environment that values collaborative learning and thinking
  • Support kids to read extensively in text they can and want to read
  • Build instruction around authentic, relevant and significant topics
  • Provide explicit instruction with the Gradual Release of Responsibility framework
  • Create a common language for literacy
  • Differentiate instruction and text
  • Teach with the end in mind

Above all at Stephanie Harvey Consulting, we honor and respect educators. We know they do the most important work. We believe, as Donald Graves has said, that “teachers need to be the chief learners in the classroom, principals the chief learners in the building, superintendents the chief learners in the district,” and so on. We know that nothing matters more to student achievement and learning than the teacher. So in addition to working with teachers side by side in their classrooms, we create books, resources and DVDs for teachers to read, study and discuss in collaborative groups.