Blending Reading and Writing Instruction with Phonological Awareness, Orthographic Mapping, and Phonics

Monday, October 5 - Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Institute will be offered virtually through Zoom.

Grade: K-3
Featuring: Natalie Louis, Angela Baez, Brittany Nocito, and Michael Rae-Grant
Payment: Purchase orders for this institute can be made out to: Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, 525 W 120th Street, Box 77, New York, NY 10027

In the heated debate about the best way to teach reading, researchers agree on one thing: the central role of phonological awareness in literacy development. Phonological awareness, the ability to manipulate sounds in words, is critical for learning to read—and spell—within any alphabetic writing system. Phonics brings phonological skills to print, and reading and writing workshop gives those skills a purpose. This institute will highlight the intersection of these subjects and explore our latest thinking on how to grow proficient, engaged readers and writers.

TCRWP has studied with brain researchers at The Child Mind Institute, and we’re eager to share all we’ve learned about assessment-based instruction in foundational skills. We’ll describe the new assessments we’ve developed hand in hand with Child Mind, and explain what they can reveal about student readiness and next steps for your teaching. We’ll also revisit familiar assessments and look with fresh eyes at how they should be used and when they should be given.

Fueled by our work with the Child Mind Institute, we’ve reconsidered ways to prompt readers. We’ll share revisions to our thinking about shared reading and guided reading, with an increased emphasis on using phonics when word-solving. We will focus on strategies that help kids become more agile with visual information and reframe how the other sources of information can be useful to readers. Our conversation will then turn to orthographic mapping and its role in conventional reading and writing. Because orthographic mapping—now considered the most current theory of how people build a sight vocabulary—requires advanced phonemic awareness, we’ll suggest systematic (and joyful!) ways to support phoneme blending, segmenting, and manipulating.

Our earliest readers are always on our minds, and for years, we’ve worked to develop best practices to help them thrive in reading workshop. We’ve long tried to solve the riddle of what children read before they have enough phonics to decode words. In this institute, you’ll hear about our newest recommendations for a beginning reader’s baggie, including decodable books, shared writing texts, and familiar trade books. We’ll share whole group work and conferring suggestions that foster orthographic mapping. We’ll also explore a layered small group approach that incorporates phonological awareness, phonics, and partner work.

You’ll leave this institute with an armload of methods and strategies for developing the foundational skills that will unlock a lifetime of reading and writing.


$650/$600 NYC DOE


This institute will be offered online, in real-time via Zoom, and will not be recorded for later distribution. We will accept attendees until the institute has reached capacity.