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July 29 @ 9:00 am August 2 @ 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 course for teachers, deepen your understanding of the alphabetic linguistic system and learn how to teach for phonological awareness, phonics, word structure, vocabulary, spelling, and word analysis skills in grades K-8.

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

July 29–August 2, 2024
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
Earn 35 PD hours or 3 graduate credits
$895 + cost of required professional texts
  • Separate cost for 3 graduate credits (see Graduate Credit information tab below for more details)fees for graduate credit
  • Literacy Collaborative Affiliation Discount available
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, word structure, vocabulary, spelling, and word study analysis lessons.

You will develop an understanding of the essential elements of a word study curriculum, including the role of providing explicit systematic foundational lessons along with opportunities to engage in inquiry and actively work with words to develop understandings about how sounds, letters, and words 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, and evidence-based 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.

Nikki Drury, Literacy Trainer

Nikki worked as a literacy coach and teacher in public school for many years before joining the Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative as an Intermediate Trainer. She has experience as a primary and intermediate classroom teacher and literacy instructional coach at the intermediate level. Over the years, she has worked with students, educators, and administrators to improve literacy outcomes.


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.

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.

Graduate Credit Option

With additional assignments and fees, this course can be taken for 3 graduate credits. During the registration process, you will have the option to register as a Graduate Credit attendee. When your registration is complete, contact to finish the additional registration process for grad credits through Lesley University.

  • $2,700 ($875*/credit + $25*/credit comprehensive fee) *subject to change
  • Course numbers:
    • Grades K-3 — EEDUC 6039-30
    • Grades 3-8 — EEDUC 6049-34

Cancellation Deadline & Refund Policies


If you cancel your registration 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

If you register within the week prior to the first day of this training, you may incur additional fees for expedited shipping. You may 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. Graduate Credit participants will be expected to complete additional assignments.

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