LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) was recently accredited by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA). Developed by Louisa Moats, Ed.D., and Carol Tolman, Ed.D., LETRS is a professional development course focusing on the structures of English language, highlighting the cognitive processes of learning to read, and exploring the teaching practices proven to be most effective in preventing and remediating reading difficulties, including dyslexia. Compatible with all kinds of literacy programs, LETRS teaches educators how to best teach language and literacy skills to any student. Designed to fill in the holes of teacher preparation, LETRS stands out from other programs with its online assignments, varying delivery methods, in-depth videos that emphasize real-world connections, and comprehensive demonstrations of instruction methods, maximizing instructor understanding of the materials. “We were able to see gaps in teaching and resources,” says Ann Marie Thigpen, superintendent of Niles City Schools in Niles, Ohio, “evaluate what to keep and get rid of, and re-evaluate the use of pull-out vs. push-in for Title I services. It gave us the springboard to change our instructional practices.” Within a year of the implementation of LETRS in Niles, Ohio, students reading at or above average increased from 56 percent to 87 percent within one school year.


The Reading Teachers Top Ten Tools

The Reading Teachers Top Ten Tools, a new online course that informs teachers of the most tried and true teaching daily practices that help students read, was recently accredited by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA). This course is segmented into ten parts, or tools. The first tool is Knowledge- In this section, teachers are presented with conceptual models that help them address key contextual questions, such as what they should be teaching, and how they should be teaching it. The second tool, Oral Language, informs educators about the relationship between oral language and written language, the neural pathways that bolster reading development, and discusses practices that can be routinized in daily classroom activities to support language development and reading skills. In the third tool, Phonemes, the importance of the phoneme and its relevance to meaning is emphasized, in addition to classroom practices that bring attention to the phoneme during the school day. In the fourth tool, Phonics and Spelling, reading comprehension and decoding are studied, with the goal of improving phonics and increasing results. The fifth tool, Vocabulary, dissects the structure of a word and examines how minute changes in these structures can change the comprehension of a word. In tool 6, Comprehension, the differences between the process of reading comprehension and the product of reading comprehension are made clear, including ways to test and strengthen each of these components. Tool seven, Fluency, will teach educators how to use practice and activities to improve the fluency of students in the classroom. Tool eight, Writing, the importance of the relationship between written language and spoken language is made clear, providing examples of activities that would help encourage students to write often in the classroom. Tool nine, Read Alouds, provides academic groundwork for the positive language development that comes from reading aloud and how to fit it into a busy school day schedule. Tool ten, Collaboration, introduces educators with methods of networking and communication, emphasizing the idea that teachers who are committed to being better educators are not alone. The Reading Teachers Top Ten Tools are incredible resources that can help teachers become more successful and comprehensive educators no matter what their previous experience has been.