Early Reading Training: Course 1

Friday, June 11, 2021 | 05:18pm

By: Dr. Lisa Coons, Chief Academic Officer

"This sounds first instruction has given us a clear, explicit path for phonemic awareness, and we're helping all students be successful in that area. It's been the best thing that has ever happened to us in reading instruction." 

-- Linda Deberry, Principal, Dyersburg Primary School


As we are all finishing up the school year, the department is thrilled that so many Tennessee educators are also finishing up Course 1 of the Early Reading Training!

I am pleased to share that more than one-third of the nearly 12,000 teachers who have registered for the Early Reading Training have completed Course 1. That's more than 3,000 teachers representing 122 districts across the state who have collectively invested more than 90,000 hours in honing their craft so that they can become more effective early reading teachers! The department is humbled by this commitment to Tennessee students. 


A Sneak Peek into Course 1

Course 1 of our Early Reading Training -- which teachers complete asynchronously and must finish and pass before attending the live Course 2 training this summer -- provides an in-depth introduction into sounds-first literacy instruction.

Take a look at the Early Reading Training course overview, and you can get a sense of everything Course 1 entails. Not only does it explore the research behind sounds-first reading, it also introduces the connection between phonological and phonemic awareness and offers practical ways to develop skilled readers. It then concludes with a 25-item, multiple-select assessment.

Here are a few snapshots of the content included in Course 1:

Early Reading Training - Course 1 - Graphic1
Early Reading Training - Course 1 - Graphic3
Early Reading Training - Course 1 - Graphic2

What Teachers Are Saying

The feedback I am hearing from educators who have taken Course 1 of the Early Reading Training is all positive. 

Take Carissa Comer, a K-2 Literacy Coach in Putnam County, for example. The thing that struck her the most after completing Course 1 was its research-based approach. 

Elizabeth Rose, Principal at Roane County Schools, echoes this sentiment:

"The sounds-first Course 1 was very informative," she states. "It really gave me a good background for why I should invest in and learn more about this TNFSCS supplement that is being made available to all our teachers across the state of Tennessee."

Yet perhaps my favorite takeaway from their feedback is that the Early Reading Training is a "no shame zone." Many educators are learning that they need to refine their instruction… and the important thing is to Know Better, Do Better. What matters most is moving forward equipped with every tool in the toolbox to do an effective and impactful job in getting all of our children reading on grade level by the third grade.

I can't wait to dig into the work of Course 2 with teachers over the summer.