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May 13 @ 9:00 am July 7 @ 3:30 pm

Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling in the Reading & Writing Classroom in Grades 3-8  

Examine the essential role that phonics and word study play in developing readers and writers.

In this 8-week online graduate course for teachers, learn the importance of systematic instruction in vocabulary, spelling, and word analysis skills in the intermediate grades and middle school.

May 13 – July 7, 2024 (Summer Term I)
Number of Days:
8 weeks
Grade Levels:
Literacy Teaching
  • Classroom Teachers & Interventionists
  • Literacy Coaches & Teacher Leaders
Earn 3 graduate credits
Online Course
$2,325 ($750/credit + $25/credit comprehensive fee) + required texts
  • Course: EEDUC 6049.80
  • Fees are subject to change
Course Descriptions & Outcomes
Cancellation Deadlines & Refund Policies


Expand your knowledge of the alphabetic system and how words work. Assess students’ reading and writing for phonics and spelling knowledge in your 3-8 classroom. Develop an understanding of the essential elements of a word study curriculum, including the role of providing explicit systematic lessons on word study principles along with opportunities for students to apply what they have learned to reading and writing. Use a continuum of word study to plan for instruction. 

In this course, you’ll expand your knowledge of how words work and you’ll learn how to support English learners and students who have difficulty learning to read and write. 

By enrolling in an online course, you have the flexibility to learn at your own pace with the support of a virtual community and have access to a variety of educational resources and materials at your convenience. 

Course Outcomes 

  • Assess your understanding and knowledge of what children need to know about letters, words, and how they work 
  • Develop a continuum of what children need to know about letters, words, and how they work across grades 3-8 
  • Learn how to administer and analyze a variety of individual and group assessments 
  • Learn how to plan for the word study/phonics curriculum for the children in your classrooms 
  • Plan for effective word study lessons 
  • Learn how to integrate phonics and vocabulary study across the literacy curriculum 
  • Investigate and reflect upon spelling instruction 
  • Design effective lessons for explicit “out-of-text” teaching and plan for “in-text” teaching of phonics and word study during all reading and writing instruction 

Required Texts 

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

  • Fountas, I.C.  & Pinnell, G.S. (2022, 2017).  The Fountas & Pinnell literacy continuum: A tool for assessment, planning, and teaching, 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., & Newton, E. (2013). Greek and Latin roots: Keys to building vocabulary. Shell Education. 

This option must be taken for 3 graduate credits. To participate in this course for graduate credit, you’ll need to be teaching in a classroom in grades 3–8 or have access to a student you can work with over time. 

Take the course individually or as an elective in our 18-credit  Online Graduate Certificate in Developing Literacy Expertise Through Responsive Classroom Teaching. 

Heather Rodman, Literacy TrainerHeadshot 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.


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