Webinar Series

The Science of Reading Webinar Series:

Phonological Awareness, Reading, and Writing:
What Teachers Need to Know

Reading Science

Although we may not always know what came first, (the chicken or the egg?), we do know what came first in the world of literacy: speech. Both reading and writing are based on speech. We use a “speech-to-print” system, not a “print-to-speech” system when decoding and encoding words. Without an understanding of the way sounds are represented in print, many students continue to function well behind their peers. Evidence exists in support of phonemic awareness and its foundational role, but what does that really mean, and how does that translate to practical applications in the classroom? Join Dr. Carol Tolman as she outlines the role of phonological awareness, what misspellings tell us about students’ misunderstandings of phonemes, and what we can do about these errors to enhance their learning.

Attendees will learn to:

  • Listen to students’ articulation errors as a window into their understanding of phonemes
  • Identify reasons for specific misspellings, leading to targeted instructional responses that improve reading and spelling
  • Articulate why subphonemic features are an important component of instruction

Carol Tolman

Carol Tolman, Ed.D.

Carol Tolman, Ed.D, was awarded a doctorate in Educational Psychology with a concentration in literacy and has been a consultant at the state, district, and school levels for over 15 years. Prior to earning her doctorate, Dr. Tolman was a classroom teacher and Special Educator with more than 25 years of experience in public schools at the elementary and secondary levels. She spent 12 of those years designing and implementing an innovative, exemplary reading clinic for academically challenged middle and high school students.

In addition to spearheading many successful, long-term literacy initiatives throughout the country, Dr. Tolman has published Working Smarter, Not Harder: What Teachers of Reading Need to Know and Be Able to Do and The Relationship between Teacher Knowledge and Effective RtI: When we Know Better, we Do Better (IDA Perspectives). Carol is co-author of LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) Presenter’s Kits, co-author of LETRS Modules 1, 2nd Edition, co-author of LETRS Module 10, 2nd Edition, and co-author with Dr. Louisa Moats of the LETRS 3rd Edition series of text and on-line supports for teachers of reading and spelling. Dr. Tolman has presided over the LETRS Leadership Board, created LETRS On-Line, and provides LETRS Trainer of Trainer (TOT) workshops to prepare others for the rigorous study involved in becoming a Certified Local LETRS Trainer.

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