Deepening Literacy Knowledge  

Deepening Literacy Knowledge

The ESU10 Teaching & Learning Department is invested in sharing LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) with English Language Arts teachers across the service area. LETRS was developed by literacy experts Dr. Louisa Moats, Dr. Carol Tolman, and Dr. Lucy Hart Paulson. This flexible literacy professional learning solution benefits educators and administrators by teaching the skills needed to master the fundamentals of reading instruction-phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, writing and language.

We have learned from research that only 35% of students are reading proficiently, but 95% CAN learn to read. Teachers are the most essential factor in student success, however, only about half of teaching institutions are effectively preparing teachers for literacy instruction. In order to teach reading effectively, one must have a deep understanding of the processes and the science behind it. LETRS is professional learning embedded with the science of reading that empowers teachers. It is an investment in teachers’ literacy knowledge and professional practice that enables them to gain the essential skills to master literacy instruction required to apply and transform student learning.

Susan Evans, retired Teaching & Learning Coordinator, first introduced this professional learning program to administrators and teachers during the 2019-2020 school year. Since then, we have continued to be committed to offering this high-quality literacy training to our school districts. LETRS requires a two-year teacher commitment. Year 1 teachers engage in Volume 1, Unit 1-4 and Year 2 Volume 2, Units 5-8.

  • Unit 1: The Challenge of Learning to Read
  • Unit 2: The Speech Sounds of English
  • Unit 3: Teaching Beginning Phonics, Word Recognition, and Spelling
  • Unit 4: Advanced Decoding, Spelling, and Word Recognition
  • Unit 5: The Mighty Word: Oral Language and Vocabulary
  • Unit 6: Digging for Meaning: Understanding Reading Comprehension
  • Unit 7: Text-Driven Comprehension Instruction
  • Unit 8: The Reading-Writing Connection

During the 2021-22 school year, ESU 10 trained 103 teachers in Units 1-4 and 27 teachers in Units 5-8. Next year, we will train 120 teachers in Units 1-4 and 120 in Units 5-8. These are exciting numbers and we continue to get requests for additional training. Our staff will remain focused on providing teachers with the what, why and how of scientifically based reading instruction and empower them with the knowledge, the confidence, and the skills to become reading experts which will ultimately impact student reading achievement.

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