Dr. Laura Tortorelli – Literacy Webinar on Phonemic Awareness

Cracking the Code of Early Literacy: What Is Phonemic Awareness and Why Does It Matter?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017  7-8pm EST

RECORDING    SLIDES    RESOURCES

PhonemicAwarenessIn this session, we will explore an important, often-discussed, and often-misunderstood building block of early literacy: phonemic awareness. What is phonemic awareness exactly, and why is it so important for children’s reading development? How is it different from phonological awareness and phonics? To answer these questions, we will discuss research on the role of phonemic awareness in learning to read, how phonological awareness and phonemic awareness develop over time, and the reasons that both children AND teachers often struggle with phonemic awareness in the classroom. In the context of the Michigan state ELA standards, we will discuss how to assess phonemic awareness and key instructional activities that build phonemic awareness.  

Recommended Reading: Phonemic Awareness in Young Children by Marilyn Jager Adams, Barbara Foorman, Ingvar Lundberg, and Terri Beeler

Tortorelli-LauraLaura Tortorelli received her Ph.D. in reading education from the University of Virginia in 2015 and is currently an assistant professor in the Teacher Education department at Michigan State University.  Her research examines the context in which children develop into proficient readers and writers in the early elementary grades, with a focus on how word recognition and writing skills develop from Prekindergarten to 3rd grade. She draws on developmental perspectives (Chall, 1986; Ehri, 2005; Sharp, Sinatra, & Reynolds, 2008) and the RAND model (RAND Reading Study Group, 2002) of reading comprehension to highlight how reader, text, and task factors interact in an iterative process that shapes reading development over time. She has recently been named the 2016-2017 Jeanne S. Chall Visiting Researcher by Harvard School of Education and an Emerging Scholars Fellow by the Hall of Reading Fame. Her current projects analyze writing in Prekindergarten, alphabet knowledge in kindergarten, and interactions between reading fluency and text complexity in second grade. In addition, Dr. Tortorelli is beginning a year-long collaboration with teachers in the Flint Community Schools to support their early literacy instruction.

Dr. Laura Tortorelli – Literacy Webinar

Words in the World: Transferring Word Study to Everyday Reading and Writing

Thursday, November 17, 2016  7-8pm EST

RECORDING    SLIDES    RESOURCES

Word study is one of the most effective ways to teach children to read and spell words. All too often, however, teachers spend hours assessing children, designing sorts, cutting up words, and sorting them, only to find that children continue to misread and/or misspell these words or similar words in their other language arts work. This webinar is designed to help you and your students get more out of your classroom word work. We will review the step-by-step process of designing effective, individualized word study with an emphasis on this final step, embedding word study in meaningful classroom reading and writing activities. We will explore classroom activities to help children “make the jump” from word study lessons to real texts and writing assignments, including dictated writing, word hunts, word study reader’s theatre, and more. We will discuss strategies to help children extend their word study knowledge by approaching new words through analogy and morphological (spelling-meaning) connections. We will also discuss the most effective way to teach high frequency words in the context of word study. Finally we will discuss effectively pairing texts with word study lessons, and the right times to use decodable books, leveled books, children’s literature, and even basal readers in word study.

Tortorelli-LauraLaura Tortorelli received her Ph.D. in reading education from the University of Virginia in 2015 and is currently an assistant professor in the Teacher Education department at Michigan State University.  Her research examines the context in which children develop into proficient readers and writers in the early elementary grades, with a focus on how word recognition and writing skills develop from Prekindergarten to 3rd grade. She draws on developmental perspectives (Chall, 1986; Ehri, 2005; Sharp, Sinatra, & Reynolds, 2008) and the RAND model (RAND Reading Study Group, 2002) of reading comprehension to highlight how reader, text, and task factors interact in an iterative process that shapes reading development over time. She has recently been named the 2016-2017 Jeanne S. Chall Visiting Researcher by Harvard School of Education and an Emerging Scholars Fellow by the Hall of Reading Fame. Her current projects analyze writing in Prekindergarten, alphabet knowledge in kindergarten, and interactions between reading fluency and text complexity in second grade. In addition, Dr. Tortorelli is beginning a year-long collaboration with teachers in the Flint Community Schools to support their early literacy instruction.