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Reading Foundations for Emergent and Early Readers (PreK-2)

Do you ever wonder what you can do to help young students gain a better foundation in reading? This online course is designed for teachers in grades PreK-2 who want to build a solid foundation in reading for each of their students from the very beginning. Information on the building blocks of reading is shared together with specific strategies for incorporating these foundational skills into everyday practice. Teachers will gain a solid understanding of such concepts as phonemic awareness, phonics, decoding, sight words, vocabulary, and fluency, just to name a few. Teachers will also learn assessment strategies such as retelling and asking students to answer questions using textual evidence. Finally, teachers will also learn how to help their students choose “just right” books for their individual reading levels. By the end of this course, teachers will more fully understand how to best help their students with learning how to read and will have gained valuable classroom ideas to incorporate these skills into their everyday teaching. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units from UC San Diego Extension. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"I thought the content and resources from this course were amazing. I will be incorporating many new strategies into my instruction." - Tamara Moskowitz


Enrollment Options

Register Course Registration Only $199

RegisterCourse Plus Credit from UC San Diego Extension Only $429


Required Resource Book: This course has a modestly-priced required resource book (available in both new and used versions) that can be purchased through Amazon using the following link. Note that you can begin and participate in your course before the book arrives.

Know Better, Do Better: Teaching the Foundations so Every Child Can Read” by Meredith Liben and David Liben

If you are registering for multiple courses, use the following link to access the book list for all PDI courses with direct purchase links through Amazon. PDI Course Resource Book List


Topical Outline / Click here to request a copy of the detailed syllabus

PDI Course Number: 82BXX

UCSD Course Number: EDUC41676

Unit One

  • Overview of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts
  • Concepts of Print
  • Phonological/Phonemic Awareness
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography/Write an article reflection

Unit Two

  • Phonics
  • Spelling and Word Families
  • Decoding Strategies
  • Assignment #2: Analyze the results from spelling tests

Unit Three

  • Sight Words
  • Fluency
  • Text Types and "Just Right" Books for Emergent Readers
  • Assignment #3: Develop a plan for teaching sight words based on a given scenario

Unit Four

  • Building Vocabulary
  • Genre Matters: Balancing Types of Text
  • Writing with Reading in Mind
  • Assignment #4: Create a vocabulary game

Unit Five

  • Making the Most Out of Read Alouds
  • Asking and Answering Questions with Evidence
  • Effective Story Retells
  • Assignment #5: Design and perform a read aloud

Unit Six

  • Comparing and Contrasting
  • Features of Nonfiction Texts
  • Making Connections
  • Assignment #6: Develop an annotated read aloud list
  • Assignment #7: Reading/Learning Log (Based on required resource book)