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July 31, 2023 @ 9:00 am August 4, 2023 @ 3:30 pm

Word Study: Teaching Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling in Grades K-8

Learn how phonics, spelling, vocabulary, and word study contribute to the development of readers and writers in grades K-8.

In this 5-day training for teachers, deepen your understanding of the alphabetic linguistic system and learn about instruction in phonics, phonological awareness, vocabulary, spelling, and word analysis skills in grades K-8.

Register to participate in-person at Lesley University or virtually!

July 31–August 4, 2023
9:00-11:30am & 1:00-3:30pm (EST)
Number of Days:
In-Person at Lesley University or Virtual
Grade Levels:
Literacy Teaching
  • Literacy Coaches & Teacher Leaders
  • Classroom Teachers & Interventionists
Non-credit; graduate credit available
$895 + cost of required professional texts
  • Literacy Collaborative Affiliation Discount available
  • Additional fees for graduate credit
Course Description & Outcomes
In-Person at Lesley or Virtual
Policies & Graduate Credit Option


In this course you will expand your knowledge of the essential understandings related to the alphabetic system that characterizes English and examine how the learning behaviors grow in complexity over time across grades K-8. You will learn how to assess, plan for, and teach effective phonological awareness, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, and word study analysis lessons for students.

You will develop an understanding of the essential elements of a word study curriculum, including the role of providing explicit systematic foundational skills lessons along with opportunities to engage in inquiry and actively work with words to understand how they work. Through direct, systematic phonics instruction and word study analysis, students expand their knowledge and become effective and efficient when reading and writing increasingly more complex texts.

Course Outcomes

  • Understand the relationship between phonics, spelling, and vocabulary, and how students develop competencies over time
  • Demonstrate knowledge of foundational language systems: phonology, morphology, and orthography
  • Assess and expand your knowledge of the nine areas of learning that include: phonological awareness, early literacy concepts, letter knowledge, letter/sound relationships, spelling patterns, high frequency words, word meaning/vocabulary, word structure, and word-solving actions
  • Examine the importance of word consciousness and how to nurture in students an awareness, interest, and curiosity of words
  • Build knowledge of how to provide direct, systematic instruction and explicit inquiry-based learning that helps all students develop essential understandings of how words work
  • Differentiate word study teaching to address varying strengths and needs and assure the success of multilingual learners and students who may need additional support

You can take this course for noncredit and earn 35 professional development hours, or you may take it for 3 graduate credits. Those taking the course for graduate level credit will choose a grade level span of either grades K-3 or 3-8 as a focus for credit assignments.

Heather Rodman, Literacy Trainer Headshot of Heather Rodman

Prior to joining the Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative as a Primary Trainer, Heather was a Kindergarten, first, second, third, and fourth grade classroom teacher in Middletown, CT for 16 years. She was also a Primary Literacy Coordinator for five years where she provided literacy training and coaching to K-5 teachers. In addition, she was a member of the Connecticut Department of Education Common Core State Standards Curriculum Design Team for English Language Arts.


You may choose to attend this training in-person at Lesley University or virtually in real time. Should any of the conditions change and it is determined the training will be offered virtually only, you will be notified as soon as possible. We recommend that you contact us before reserving travel and lodging.

If you choose to attend in-person, the training room will have Lesley University’s HyFlex Classroom Technology to support an engaging learning environment for in-person and virtual participants. If you have questions about in-person or virtual attendance, please email us at

In-person participants are required to follow the Lesley safety protocols noted on the Policies & Graduate Credit Option tab.

Required Texts

You are responsible for purchasing/having access to the following professional texts for this course:

  • Either version of The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum:
    • Fountas, I.C.  & Pinnell, G.S. (2022).  The Fountas & Pinnell literacy continuum: A tool for assessment, planning, and teaching, grades prek-8, second edition. Heinemann.
    • Fountas, I.C.  & Pinnell, G.S. (2016).  The Fountas & Pinnell literacy continuum: A tool for assessment, planning, and teaching, grades prek-8, expanded edition. Heinemann.
  • Fountas, I.C.  & Pinnell, G.S. (2017).  The comprehensive phonics, spelling, and word study guide. Heinemann.
  • Fountas, I.C.  & Pinnell, G.S. (2018). Word matters: Teaching phonics and spelling in the reading/writing classroom. Heinemann.
  • Rasinski, T., Padak, N., Newton, R.M., & Newton, E. (2008). Greek & Latin roots: Keys to building vocabulary. Shell Education.

Recommended Texts

  • Blevins, W. (2017). Phonics from A to Z, 3rd editions: A practical guide. Scholastic.

Cancellation Deadline & Refund Policies


You must cancel your registration no later than two weeks before the first day of training to get a full refund. If you cancel your registration within the two weeks prior to the first day of training, you will be charged a $50 processing fee. Email if you have a cancellation or substitution request. Regardless of weather conditions, if the event is held but you cannot attend, you will be billed for the full amount. 

Graduate Credit

Review the university’s cancellation and refund policies for credit bearing courses.

Registration Deadline & Shipping Policies

The registration portal closes two business days before the first day of training to allow the minimum amount of time to ship additional training materials (if applicable).

If you register within two weeks before the registration portal closes, you may incur additional fees for expedited shipping. You may still experience delays in receiving your materials.

Requirements for Participation

After the training, you will receive a certificate of attendance for your participation. To receive a complete certificate, participation during the specified times is required. Additional work may be assigned to meet the professional development hours.

COVID-19 Protocols

At this point in time, participants who have opted to come to Lesley University for the in-person format of professional learning must be prepared to follow the University’s COVID-19 protocols before and during the event.

  • You must be “up to date on vaccinations” as defined by the CDC.
  • Refrain from coming to campus if you are feeling COVID-19 symptoms. If you are feeling sick, symptomatic, or test positive for COVID-19, please stay home and email to switch your registration to virtual.
  • Masks are highly recommended indoors, but not required at this time. If there is a mask requirement for the event you are attending, our team will communicate this decision.
  • Please read the Lesley University’s COVID-19 protocols are designed to protect the health and safety of our community.

Graduate Credit Option

With additional assignments and fees, this course can be taken for 3 graduate credits. Contact to register for credit.

  •  $2,325 ($750*/credit + $25*/credit comprehensive fee) *subject to change
  • Course numbers: EEDUC 6039.30 (Grades K-3) OR EEDUC 6049.34 (Grades 3-8)


With Your Colleagues Option

  • We can deliver this training to your school/district. This option can be delivered virtually or in-person for a group within your school/district (as COVID-19 social distancing guidelines allow).
  • Fees are determined by the number of participants and the duration of training.
  • If applicable, travel expenses for each trainer (airfare, hotel, meals, and rental car) are an additional cost to be paid by the district.
  • Professional development sessions that require extensive travel or overnight stays (if applicable) may incur an additional surcharge.
  • If the number of participants exceeds the maximum, another trainer may be needed. This will increase training costs and travel expenses.
  • Unless otherwise noted, fees do not include the cost of any required books or materials. The faculty trainer will consult with the district to select books based on the topics and the district’s needs.
  • School districts in the same geographic area participating in the same training may combine their resources to meet participant minimums. Payment must be on one district’s purchase order.

For detailed costs, complete our online form to request this training for your school/district and we will contact you.

Interested in professional learning at your school or district? Schedule a meeting with one of our trainers.

“The teacher was excellent. Although I’ve been teaching for 30+ years, I learned so much from her, and as a result, my instructional practices will be more explicit and effective.”

Cindy N., Classroom Teacher, Harrison Central School District, NY

“I feel empowered and energized to dive into literacy with a more holistic approach after this course. I felt like phonics was a challenging area I just couldn’t quite get a grasp on. But, after learning all the ways I can integrate phonics instruction throughout the day, I am excited to put into practice the tools and strategies I learned.”

Myra C., Classroom Teacher, The Village School, MA

“I have gained more knowledge about how language works, and the areas in which I need to focus when teaching phonics and spelling. I have been reminded about the power of observation as an evaluation tool, and the importance of teaching one, precise principle.”

Maresa N., Classroom Teacher, Elm Hill School, VT