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Information about “Keys to Beginning Reading” by Keys to Literacy

The face-to-face training “Keys to Beginning Reading” by Keys to Literacy is organized into twelve modules that include 45 hours of content on scientifically and evidence-based practices in teaching reading. Participants will receive a 458-page, hard-copy manual  and access to activity packets and handouts. Details about the topics presented in each module can be found below. 

Module 1: Reading Basics

Topic Outline:

  • Overview of the 5 components of reading

  • Chall’s Stages of reading development

  • The Simple View of Reading, Scarborough’s Reading Rope

  • Language Components: phonology, orthography, morphology, semantics, syntax, discourse, pragmatics

  • Teaching principles, Gradual Release of Responsibility

  • Overview of dyslexia

  • Decoding Simulation

Module 2: Oral Language                      

Topic Outline:

  • The language-literacy connection

  • Listening and discussion skills

  • Talk moves

  • Developing language through read aloud

  • Extended Activities, Make and Takes through Connect to the Classroom

Module 3: Phonological Awareness

Topic Outline:

  • Introduction to phonology, why teach it

  • Word awareness, syllable awareness; instructional suggestions

  • Alliteration, onset/rime, and rhyme awareness; instructional suggestions

  • Introduction to phonemic awareness

  • Phoneme identification, blending, segmenting; instructional suggestions

  • Phoneme manipulation; instructional suggestions

  • Informal assessment of phonological awareness

  • Extended Activities, Make and Takes through Connect to the Classroom

Module 4: Phonics

Topic Outline:

  • The alphabetic principle, the Simple View of Reading (the decoding side)

  • History of phonics instruction, explicit vs. incidental instruction

  • Phonemic awareness and phonics connection

  • Guidelines for effective phonics instruction, suggested phonics lesson routine

  • Systematic phonics scope and sequence

  • Letter naming; instructional practices

  • Letter-sound correspondences; instructional practices

  • Blending and segmenting to read and spell words

  • Orthographic Mapping

  • Decodable text

  • Spelling rules and generalizations; using spelling inventories

  • Word families and word chains

  • Advanced word study: syllable types

  • High frequency sight words – decodable and irregular

  • Syllable types; syllable division

  • Schwa in unaccented syllables

  • Common affixes and structural analysis for multisyllable words

  • Connected text

  • Extended Activities, Make and Takes through Connect to the Classroom

Module 5: Fluency

Topic Outline:

  • Fluency defined: accuracy, rate, prosody, automaticity

  • Measuring fluency - Words Correct Per Minute; using fluency norms

  • Text difficulty and fluency

  • Fluency instruction for letter-sound association, word parts, syllables; instructional suggestions

  • Determining independent, instructional and frustrational levels of text

  • Fluency practice with connected text; instructional suggestions

  • Assessing and measuring fluency progress

  • Extended Activities, Make and Takes through Connect to the Classroom

Module 6: Vocabulary

Topic Outline:

  • How students learn words; effective vocabulary instruction

  • Previewing strategies before students read or are read to

  • Activities to connect vocabulary (semantic mapping, semantic feature analysis, categorizing, opposites)

  • Selecting words to teach in-depth; three tier model

  • Using read aloud and text talk to teach vocabulary

  • Templates for teaching words (Frayer, Concept Definition Map, Two-Column)

  • Using context and word parts for unfamiliar words

  • Developing a word-conscious classroom

  • Extended Activities, Make and Takes through Connect to the Classroom

Module 7: Sentence Structure

Topic Outline:

  • Connection between syntactic awareness and comprehension

  • Troublesome sentence structure

  • Activities to develop sentence skills: sentence scramble, sentence elaboration, sentence combining

  • Extended Activities, Make and Takes through Connect to the Classroom

Module 8: Text Structure

Topic Outline:

  • Connection between knowledge of text structure and comprehension

  • Narrative text structure; instructional suggestions

  • Informational text structure; instructional suggestions

  • Text features – clues to meaning

  • Paragraph structure; instructional suggestions

  • Patterns of organization (description, sequence, cause/effect, compare/contrast, problem/solution)

  • Transition words/phrases

  • Extended Activities, Make and Takes through Connect to the Classroom

Module 9: Comprehension

Topic Outline:

  • The Simple View of Reading (the language comprehension side)

  • Metacognition; instructional suggestions

  • Inference skills

  • Strategy instruction; using routines

  • Categorizing and main idea skills; instructional suggestions

  • Topic web graphic organizer; instructional suggestions

  • Two-column graphic organizer, instructional suggestions

  • Retelling and summarizing skills; instructional suggestions

  • Answering and generating questions; instructional suggestions

  • Extended Activities, Make and Takes through Connect to the Classroom

Supplemental Module: Instruction for Struggling Students

Topic Outline:

  • Causes of reading difficulty: environmental and neurobiological

  • Learning disabilities and dyslexia defined

  • The reading brain

  • Effects on phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension skills from:

    • Learning disabilities and dyslexia

    • Deficits in executive function skills

    • English language learning

  • Tiered literacy instruction

Supplemental Module: Reading Assessment

Topic Outline:

  • Types of assessment: reliable/valid, formal/informal; screening, diagnostic, progress monitoring, summative

  • Assessment tasks for phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension

  • Assessment for students at risk

  • Assessment data analysis to drive instructional decisions within an MTSS framework

Supplemental Module: Course Review

Topic Outline:

  • Course review card sort activity and debrief

  • Final reflection activity

  • Two-Column Take Away Review – Implementations goals and action steps


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