Literacy How Professional Learning Series

The Literacy How Professional Learning Series translates the latest reading research into how-to instructional practices. Based on the current and comprehensive Literacy How reading model, the Series draws upon the authors’ decades of expertise and experience working with thousands of general and special education teachers. Organized for the busy educator who may be trying to find specific information, as well as for the professional seeking deeper understanding of literacy instruction and learning, the Series emphasizes Pre-K-3 conceptual and skill development. Teachers of older emerging or struggling readers will also find these tools useful.

Each title in the series includes:

  • Relevant ResearchThe research basis for that domain of literacy development presented against the backdrop of Chall’s stages of reading development, with key research points presented in a bullet-point style
  • Knowledge for Effective InstructionBackground knowledge and the principles that drive instruction for that domain
  • Activities for Instruction and Informal AssessmentA collection of evidence-based activities written in an objective-driven format for that component of literacy instruction (with access to printable versions for e-books)
  • Text Selection Skills AnalysisStage-specific text selections (i.e., predictable, code-emphasis, and authentic) illustrate using text to advance skill application
  • AppendixRecommended resources for content and more in depth information referenced in the e-book.

The Literacy How Professional Learning Series will include five Knowledge to Practice e-books:  Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary, Syntax, and Reading Comprehension.

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The Literacy How Professional Learning Series is available on Download the free Kindle app to your smartphone, tablet, or computer—no Kindle device required. If you enjoyed the e-book, please consider writing a review on Amazon.

Phonemic Awareness and Phonics are both in one volume. Now in print and as an e-book!

“Authors Eberhardt and Gillis set the Phonemic Awareness stage providing two brief, but necessary, sections to build and confirm prior knowledge in this foundational component of beginning reading. Para professionals, novice and veteran teachers will benefit from the Relevant Research and Knowledge for Effective Instruction sections.

The book’s gem is found in the robust Activities for Instruction and Informal Assessment section. User-friendly activities are organized by domains and sequenced by stages of reading development. To be sure that teachers are not teaching skills in isolation without opportunities for transfer to text, Text Analysis examples are presented in the same order as the activities. This brilliant addition is often missed by many authors of this subject area.

This addition to Literacy How Professional Learning Series will provide awesome professional development for teachers, administrators and Paraprofessionals. Relevant references for informal assessments and resources add to the book’s appeal.”

—Sheryl Ferlito, Ed.S., co-author of Sortegories, contributing writer of Language! and Language! Live, Special Education teacher/learning consultant

“Gillis and Eberhardt have condensed so much information into a manageable sized text. This is the kind of knowledge and accompanying practices that make such a difference in teachers’ ability to move the needle for struggling readers. The activities they present are really solid and would be easy for teachers to do. This knowledge to practice approach is missing in a lot of resources out there for teachers.

Everyone interested in understanding and guiding the reading development of children should be excited that Gillis and Eberhardt are now making the deep knowledge and exemplary practices of Literacy How available to us all in this book series.”

—Bob Cunningham, Advisor on Learning and Attention Issues to and Noted Education Leader

Phonemic Awareness and Phonics: Knowledge to Practice is for any educator who’s wondered:

  • What is the difference between phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, and phonics?
  • What are phonemes are how are they organized and produced?
  • What are the st/ages of phonological awareness development?
  • What activities support the development of phonological and phonemic awareness?
  • What can problems with phonemic awareness indicate?
  • What is the ultimate goal of phonics instruction?
  • How should letter names be taught?
  • What is the connection between phonemic awareness and phonics?
  • What are graphophonemic connections and why are they important?
  • What are syllable types and why should I teach them?
  • Why is “invented spelling” important and when is it relevant?
  • What is the role of code-emphasis (aka decodable) text in learning to read?

Preview and buy Phonemic Awareness and Phonics here.

Syntax is available in print and as an e-book!

“What Gillis and Eberhardt accomplish here is a rare feat.  They blend a deep and complex understanding of the research concerning syntax with lessons teachers can immediately implement in their classrooms.  Using an array of scaffolded activities that are at once hands-on, interactive, engaging, and accessible, this resource is essential for any teacher who is serious about developing an understanding of sentences in young children. Syntax: Knowledge to Practice brilliantly fills a void in theory-to-practice writing by arming instructors with best practices for teaching young children the essential foundational skills they need to begin their journeys as writers.”

—William Van Cleave, W.V.C.ED, Educational Consultant and Author, Writing Matters

“Gillis and Eberhardt’s new handbook, Syntax: Knowledge to Practice, is a welcome resource for teachers who want to know how to teach sentence skills in engaging and effective ways. Throughout the book, the authors employ a structured yet meaning-centered approach that emphasizes the role, or function, of words in sentences. This instructional focus on fostering the sense of sentence patterns holds great promise for “helping grammar stick” in children who struggle to internalize grammatical rules.”

—Charles Haynes, Ed.D., CCC-SLP; Professor, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston; Author, From Talking to Writing: Strategies for Supporting Narrative and Expository Writing

Syntax: Knowledge to Practice is for any educator who’s wondered:

  • How is grammar related to syntax?
  • How does syntax (sentence-level skills) instruction improve text comprehension and written expression?
  • Why should syntax be taught in the context of writing?
  • How should syntactic awareness be taught?
  • Why teach meaning links to improve text cohesion?

Preview and buy Syntax here.

Vocabulary is available in print and as an e-book!

“Vocabulary: Knowledge to Practice provides teachers with the principles of effective vocabulary instruction, along with specific activities for young learners. I’m delighted that Gillis and Eberhardt include early instruction of morphology, concentrating on bases, compound words, prefixes and suffixes. This evidenced-based professional development series will benefit both general and special education teachers.”

—Marcia K. Henry, Ph.D. Author, Unlocking Literacy: Effective Decoding and Spelling Instruction; former president, The International Dyslexia Association; Professor Emerita, San Jose State University

“Vocabulary: Knowledge to Practice is an extremely valuable resource for a wide range of educators who teach reading, including teacher candidates as well as in-service teachers. The content of the book is very well-grounded in research, but explained clearly, with a focus on practical applications. The discussion of ‘cognitive preparation’ of texts, with numerous specific examples of this process, is especially useful. If the other titles in this professional development series for teachers are as good as this one, Gillis and Eberhardt have hit a home run.”

—Louise Spear-Swerling, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Special Education and Reading, Southern Connecticut State University; Author, The Power of RTI and Reading Profiles: A Blueprint for Solving Reading Problems


Vocabulary: Knowledge to Practice is for any educator who’s wondered:

  • What is the 30-million word gap?
  • How does vocabulary relate to reading comprehension?
  • Why is a word worth teaching?
  • Is there a tool that can help me select and teach the best words?
  • What are child-friendly definitions? How do they support vocabulary development?
  • How can I leverage my instruction to build my students’ lexicons?

Preview and buy Vocabulary here.

Coming Soon!   Comprehension: Knowledge to Practice