Structured Literacy series


Structured Literacy is the umbrella term used by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) to unify and encompass evidence-based programs and approaches that are aligned to the Knowledge and Practice Standards and are effective for students identified with SLD/Dyslexia (most commonly known as Orton-Gillingham or Multisensory Structured Language).

This approach is beneficial for all children learning to read but is essential for students with SLD/Dyslexia. Our course was designed in response to recent legislation.

Our 30-hour series, instructed by Literacy How mentors, is for special education teachers, reading interventionists, and any staff who work with struggling readers.

Scroll down to read about topics covered. Three books in the Literacy How Professional Learning Series, Phonemic Awareness & Phonics; Syntax; and Vocabulary, are included and integrated into the course.

new! TWo virtual options for the summer of 2021

 Use this summer to take advantage of learning opportunities that will prepare you to apply the Science of Reading research in your classroom this fall!  

We have two different programs on offer:

          Structured Literacy for Tier 1, and

          Structured Literacy for Tier 2/3 and Specialized Instruction

“This is the best and most helpful PD I have had in MANY years.
The videos were great and definitely backed up the learning points as well as broke up the presentation … the visuals were helpful and will give me something I can refer to later on. Excellent presenter! Her humor and expertise kept me totally engaged.” 

-Participant, Virtual Structured Literacy Series

“I benefited from seeing some lessons in action, and lesson plan structures in order to see how all components of structured literacy can be applied in a 30-40 minute session. I plan to use these observations as I begin to structure my lesson plans the same way.”

-Participant, Virtual Structured Literacy Series

“Awesome reminder and knowledge about the importance of a systematic approach to teaching literacyI will be using the syllable house, word ladders and many more things to help my struggling readers.”

-Participant, Virtual Structured Literacy Series

“I liked the socrative quizzes—especially how the Mentor would explain the answers immediately so I understood why I got an answer wrong. I also appreciated the way she dabbled in models of lessons along with the powerpoint presentations. It broke things up a little. I liked the books she pitched, too!”

-Participant, Virtual Structured Literacy Series

“This series has empowered our team to take a fresh look at our curriculum, to be more diagnostic, and to adjust our instruction based on our observations of student performance in each of the areas of structured literacy.

We leave each session armed with ready-to-use materials, including informal assessments, instructional activities, and research publications to sharpen our understanding. What a valuable experience this has been!”

Candice LaConti, Reading/Language Arts Specialist
K-5, Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools

Our 30-hr series explained

Topic one | Understanding and Assessing SLD/Dyslexia: The Role of Phonology in Reading
  • Learn why many students with learning problems have difficulties with some aspect of language.
  • Learn about dyslexia, the most prevalent and best understood language-based learning disability.
  • Learn how to recognize the warning signs of dyslexia.
  • Learn how to use a variety of assessments—screening, diagnostic and progress monitoring—to identify and understand your students’ reading difficulties.
  • Understand the relationship between language and reading acquisition.
Topic two | Phonemic Awareness and Beginning Phonics: The Foundation of Learning to Read
  • Learn why most students with word recognition problems have difficulty becoming fluent readers and may struggle with phonemic awareness, decoding, and/or spelling.
  • Learn how to link assessment data to reading material selection
  • Learn how to engage children in key instructional strategies and activities that teach these essential skills.
  • Learn how to integrate handwriting into foundational skill instruction
Topic Three | Advanced Phonics and Morphology Instruction: Linking Sounds, Symbols, and Meaning
  • Understand the importance of teaching students how to identify six syllable/vowel patterns in order to read and spell multisyllabic words including those that are comprised of more than one unit of meaning.
  • Learn why morphology—the study of base/root words and affixes—helps readers decode and unlock the meaning of complex words.
  • Learn how to teach these advanced skills, including morphology, in engaging and meaningful ways.
Topic four | Grammar and Syntax: The Building Blocks for Comprehending and Writing Sentences
  • Learn why many children with comprehension problems have difficulty understanding sentences.
  • Understand why students must learn the function of the words in sentences and how their arrangement changes meaning.
  • Learn engaging ways to improve students’ ability to speak, read, and write different types of sentences with a variety of structures.
  • Learn techniques to support students’ ability to write coherent, interesting, and complex sentences.
Topic five | Semantics: Strengthening Vocabulary and Text Comprehension
  • Understand how and why semantics—the meaning conveyed by words and sentences—helps students make sense of the world.
  • Learn why reading comprehension depends on knowing what words and sentences mean in context and why students with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities have difficulty with this important element of language.
  • Learn how to incorporate explicit vocabulary instruction into your reading comprehension lessons, building on the first four workshops in the series.