“In all my 35 years of teaching, Literacy How has been the most engaging professional development in the essential components of comprehensive literacy and has consistently offered embedded mentor support in teachers’ classrooms.”

—Catherine Pomeroy, Reading Consultant, Bradley Elementary School, Derby, CT School

mentor_iconOur experienced Mentors deliver evidence-based content targeted primarily for PreK-3 general education and special education teachers. Literacy How’s Professional Development series is designed to cover every component of comprehensive literacy instruction depicted in our Reading Wheel.

Schools and districts can also arrange for follow-up embedded coaching sessions.

Comprehensive, Evidence-based Tier 1 Literacy Instruction


Phonemic Awareness: What It Is and How to Teach It

Learn why phonemic awareness is a necessary prerequisite for learning to read. Understand the developmental sequence of phonological awareness, become comfortable producing the sounds of English, practice segmenting and blending words to five sounds. Learn how to engage children in key instructional strategies and activities that teach this critical skill to mastery utilizing our new Phonemic Awareness and Phonics Handbook.

“One of my PD ‘AHA!’ moments is that ‘phoneme awareness and phonics are the building blocks of reading.  A student’s ability to segment and blend phonemes is a predictor of future reading success’.”
—Jacyln Cincotta, Anne E. Fowler Fellow, Fairfield University


Know the Code: Explicit, Systematic, Differentiated Phonics Instruction

Gain a basic understanding of the history and origins of English and learn about the research supporting phonics instruction. Become familiar with tools for phonics, including words sorts, phoneme/grapheme mapping, syllable types, and the purpose and power of decodable text. Learn songs, games, and activities to engage students in word study for differentiated small group instruction utilizing our new Phonemic Awareness and Phonics Handbook.

“I had so much success using the syllable house and explicitly teaching my students the six syllable types.  The students loved being challenged and were so excited to see their reading progress.”
—Julie Kamp, Grade 2 and 3 Special Education Teacher, Meriden, CT

Juicy Vocabulary: Making Words Stick

Vocabulary encompasses several critical dimensions in the area of literacy including word relationships, multiple meaning words, and morphological elements. Learn about the essential components of robust vocabulary instruction and its relationship to reading comprehension. Find out how to select, extend, and maintain words in order to tackle the “30 million word gap” utilizing our new Vocabulary Handbook.

“One of my PD ‘AHA!’ moments is to use ‘kid-friendly definitions of words’ when teaching vocabulary.”
—Heather Riera, Grade 2-4 teacher, Winchester, CT

Advanced Code Instruction and Morphology

Learn the rationale behind instruction in the study of affixes (prefixes and suffixes) and Latin roots and Greek combining forms to build students’ vocabulary and improve their spelling. Learn how to incorporate morphology instruction into your language arts instruction—whether you teach K-1st or 2nd grade and beyond.

“Teaching morphemes enhances both vocabulary and understanding of multi-syllabic words at one time.  (More bang for your buck!)”
—Deborah Zaleha, K-5 Reading Specialist, Derby, CT

AdjectiveSplashSyntax Instruction: The Bridge between Reading Fluency and Comprehension

In order to read fluently and comprehend connected text, students must understand a variety of sentence structures. Learn how to support students’ reading fluency and comprehension by teaching phrasing and sentence structure with a focus on oral language. Find out ways to incorporate grammar and syntax into your language arts block. This workshop will set the stage for the following workshop on written expression utilizing our new Syntax Handbook.

“The ‘I Spy’ activity for elaborated noun phrases worked out great. It really got students thinking, talking, then writing!”
—Tricia Marini, Grade 2-3 teacher, Derby, CT


Writing is Not a Separate Subject: Explicit Writing Instruction and the Writing Process

Instruction in written expression must include explicit instruction in sentence writing. This workshop will build on the prior workshop (Syntax Instruction) as you identify and recognize the various skills that are necessary for proficient writing. Learn how to recognize students’ developmental stages of writing and the strategies and interventions that support writing at the sentence and discourse levels. Learn how to integrate this systematic and explicit writing instruction into your curriculum using your existing writing program.

“I have a student who doesn’t produce any writing on paper. I’ll have him make lists of items in a specific topic to help him get started.”
-Alyssa Bogdanowicz, K-1 Special Education teacher, Strawberry Hill, Stamford, CT

Oral Language at the Core: Preparing Students to Engage in Close Reading

Speaking and listening are the foundation of literacy. Learn about oral language development and its relationship to language comprehension and reading comprehension. Learn what makes reading comprehension challenging for many students and what students must be able to know and do in order to read text “closely.” Participants will also learn how to analyze the text and the task to ensure that students develop reading proficiency.

“Great activities presented for facilitating student discussions using the permanent partner structure.”
-Jodi Winikainen, Grade 3, John C. Mead School, Ansonia

Narrative Story Map

Reading Comprehension: Understanding Narrative Text

How do the elements of story structure relate to the Common Core State Standards? Learn about the relationship between macrostructure and microstructure, the two levels of narrative structure. Practice analyzing literature to identify key story grammar elements. Learn effective classroom instructional practices designed to promote comprehension of narratives.

“The critical thinking or deep comprehension triangle allowed my students to truly understand the story structure.”
-Kayla Shortell, 2nd grade, Mead School, Ansonia

Reading Comprehension: Why and How to Teach Informational Text

The Common Core State Standards emphasize the importance of expository/informational texts. Understand expository text structures and the importance of syntactic structures in text comprehension. Gain an awareness of the types of comprehension problems your students may be having related to text and sentence structure. Understand the literate language requirements of expository text and learn methods and activities that will support students in their comprehension of expository text.

“The bundling activity helps my students master the compare/contrast standard.”
-Kayla Shortell, 2nd grade, Mead School, Ansonia

Assessment: Why and How to Dig Deeper to Drive Instruction

Learn to use and analyze “dig deeper” diagnostic assessments to drive your instruction. This workshop focuses on the how and why of informal assessments for each of the areas studied over the course of this professional development series. Gain experience with the administration and analysis of quick and easy diagnostic assessments to inform your instruction.

Interested in learning more?

IndividualReader_08.09.13Call our office at 203-239-7323 (READ) to discuss how we can work together.