Focus on Phonics

(Grades K-3) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 72T02 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC41475


Course Description

Do your students lack basic phonics skills? Does this deficit hamper their reading abilities? This online course focuses on effective ways to teach children the most critical phonics skills needed for reading success. Phonics basics will be emphasized along with specific ways to help students who are struggling in this area. The course begins by providing assessment techniques such as running records, miscue analysis, as well as other more informal phonics assessments so that diagnostic information can be used to effectively plan instruction. Details about how phonics and decoding impact fluency and comprehension are provided. Using context clues and structural analysis as a means of decoding will be introduced as well as suggestions for teaching sight words, high frequency words, and instant words. Teachers will also learn how to use the making words approach and chunking strategies as well as how to implement reader’s workshop and literacy stations. Teachers will gain ideas for properly using the language experience approach to reinforce phonics and spelling skills. By the end of this course, teachers will have the strategies and tools needed to strengthen their students’ phonics skills and help them become successful readers. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units (50 hours of training) from University of California San Diego (UCSD) Division of Extended Studies. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"I felt that this course touched on everything that I was looking for in the area of phonics. I felt the articles were easy to read and informative. The instructor and staff could not have been more helpful" - Megan Barberio

Enrollment Options

Course Only

$124

Course with Credit from UCSD

$329

This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UCSD.

You have up to one year from the date you are enrolled to complete a flex course.


Click here to view the course syllabus.

Print our customized course approval form to share with your school district.

UCSD Course Number: EDUC41475
Unit One
  • Focus on Phonics
  • A Dictionary of Phonics Terms
  • Introduction to the Common Core Standards for Reading
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1
Unit Two
  • Running Records
  • Miscue Analysis
  • Other Informal Phonics Assessments
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2
Unit Three
  • How to Use Diagnostic Information
  • Decoding, Fluency, and Comprehension
  • Decoding and Phonics
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3
Unit Four
  • Decoding and Structural Analysis
  • Making Words
  • Language Experience Approach
  • Test #4
Unit Five
  • Visual and Auditory Discrimination
  • Phonics and Spelling
  • High Frequency and Sight Words
  • Test #5
Unit Six
  • Early Reading Strategies
  • Literacy Work Stations
  • Reader's Workshop
  • Assignment #4: Develop three literacy work stations
  • Assignment #5: Course Reflection

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