This is the second video in a series of free on-demand professional learning videos from CORE and Pivot Learning* that feature expert advice about supporting students with word reading difficulties.

Dr. Carrie Thomson BeckMany educators are building their skills to be effective in remote learning environments and want to know how to meet the needs of all their students. Students with word reading difficulties, including dyslexia, require explicit, systematic, evidence-based instruction and intervention. This hour-long video provides educators with tips and tricks for how to continue presenting high-quality reading interventions virtually. To ensure intervention focuses on a formula for word reading success, participants will learn methods for how to present phonological awareness, phonic decoding and text reading activities in a virtual learning format. (more…)

Dr. Louisa MoatsSpelling is a key component of reading instruction. Yet, in a time of spell check and LOL, the importance of spelling is often short changed. Learning to spell is essentially a language learning process. We do not remember words simply as strings of letters. Teaching spelling involves teaching about language — its phonemes, graphemes, syllable structures, morphemes, and syntactic structures — and showing students why words are spelled the way they are.

During this hour long webinar, Dr. Louisa Moats discusses:


Jasmine LaneJasmine Lane is a first generation college graduate and an early-career High School English teacher in Minnesota. In her short time in the classroom, and through her own personal history, Ms. Lane knows all too well the negative and life-long impact that poor literacy skills have on students.  In her blog, “Literacy: The Forgotten Social Justice Issue,” Ms. Lane shares that her grandfather, Willie Lane, did not learn to read until he was in his 30s because he would have been “attacked, threatened, or possibly murdered for daring to be a Black Man reading in the Jim Crow south.”

Linda Diamond, president of CORE and author of the Teaching Reading Sourcebook, sat down with Ms. Lane, just a few short weeks after her beloved grandfather passed away, to talk further about how today’s failure to apply the science of reading to instruction continues to put young people, particularly those who have been marginalized and traditionally underserved, at a disadvantage and ill equipped to reach their full potential. (more…)

During the 2018–19 school year CORE provided training to primary grade teachers and administrators in Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) in the science of reading and how use the Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics and Sight words (SIPPS) reading foundational skills program. This professional learning was followed by modified lesson studies that provided additional modeling and practice to enable teachers to ensure the program components were implemented with fidelity.

SEG Measurement, a third-party research firm, looked at the reading performance of approximately 475 first grade students in eight schools where teachers had participated in CORE professional development. These 475 students were matched based on multiple characteristics to an additional group of 475 students whose teachers did not receive training and coaching from CORE to create a control group. The study was designed to meet the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) guidance for Moderate Evidence (U.S. Department of Education, 2016).

Students in classes with teachers participating in CORE professional development showed significantly greater growth in reading skills than did students in classes with teachers who did not receive CORE professional development. (more…)

A must-read blog by Barbara Crook, an ELA editor at Victory Productions, that clearly articulates the flaws in balanced literacy.

An uneasy peace has settled over the land regarding phonics instruction and its critical contribution to reading competency. Since the heyday of whole language, phonics has returned to classrooms as part of a “balanced literacy” approach to reading.

Shouldn’t this put an end to the reading wars? Not so far, although the current state of the debate is a welcome de-escalation of the intense hostilities of the past. Critics of balanced literacy say it still does not emphasize enough the teaching of letter-sound correspondences in spoken language or sound-spelling relationships in written language, and that it relies too heavily on strategies long associated with whole language.

Keep reading on the Victory Productions website.

Dean BallardBy Dean Ballard, Director of Mathematics, CORE

Remote instruction has moved to the top of almost everyone’s list of concerns. We are asking ourselves how to do it, will students be there, what will actually be learned, and what will this mean when we return to face-to-face instruction? I cannot tackle all of this in one blog; however, I will share a few of the techniques we have been using in the last few months to create high levels of engagement online.


Linda Diamond

by Linda Diamond, President, CORE and author of Teaching Reading Sourcebook and Assessing Reading: Multiple Measures

I just finished listening to Emily Hanford’s last podcast on APM, What the Words Say.

My husband wanted to know why I was crying.  I answered, “because I am so angry and so frustrated.” We have known for years how to teach reading, yet as a nation we still aren’t doing what we should. Reading instruction should not be a matter of personal philosophy or preference anymore than a medical intervention should be based on philosophy. Hanford’s most recent podcast hits so close to home. At CORE we had two consultants working with educators in juvenile court schools. They know that failure to learn to read is a direct route to prison. (more…)

Colorado Department of EducationUnder the Colorado Reading to Ensure Academic Development Act (READ Act), passed by the Colorado legislature in 2012, all kindergarten through 3rd grade teachers must complete evidence-based training in teaching reading by the 2021-22 school year. The Colorado Department of Education recently approved CORE’s in-person and Online Elementary Reading Academies along with the Language Conventions & Writing Fundamentals course to help districts meet the training requirements.

Teacher knowledge and practice based on the science of reading are a critical part of the The READ Act. Educators must have a deep understanding of the art and science of reading to help every child become a strong reader. Both the in-person and Online Elementary Reading Academy teach educators the critical components of reading and effective instructional practices, based on the science of reading. CORE’s nationally acclaimed textbooks, Teaching Reading Sourcebook and Assessing Reading: Multiple Measures, are used throughout the courses and provided as resources to educators.

The Language Conventions and Writing Fundamentals workshop deepens teachers’ knowledge of the structure of English and provides effective practices to teach writing to both primary- and upper- grade elementary students, from basic sentence construction through longer compositions.

Together, these courses will prepare educators to effectively teach all students to read at grade level by third grade, including English learners and those with word-reading difficulties and dyslexia.

Call 619.405.9973 or email to discuss how CORE can help your district meet Colorado’s requirement for evidence-based training in teaching reading.



California once again has pending legislation (SB 614 (S. Rubio)) that would eliminate knowledge of evidence-based reading as a basic teaching requirement. Reading outcomes for all students will suffer by not having qualified teachers trained in teaching students how to read based on the science of reading. Students in less-resourced schools, African-American students, students of color, those learning English, and those with dyslexia and other learning disabilities will be most impacted should SB 614 be passed. In light of learning loss caused by school closures due to the COVD-19 pandemic, it is more critical than ever that teachers understand the foundational reading skills necessary to teach our children, especially our students in greatest need.

Dr. Louisa Moats shares her reasons for opposing SB 614 in these two videos. You can make your voice heard about SB 614 by submitting a letter of opposition to the California legislator using this form. (more…)

Enhance your practice with CORE’s 2020-21 free professional learning webinar series. From improving instruction for English Learners and lessons learned from remote learning to math interventions within Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, our webinars are a convenient and free way to build your skills. Please share these webinars with your team. Everyone is welcome!