The Courses


The Wired for Reading Introductory course offers an engaging, quick, but deep exploration of linguistics as it applies to teaching reading and spelling. It simplifies English spelling patterns without compromising them, allowing students to learn how to connect speech to sounds, sounds to letters, and letters to meaning, thus empowering students to fluidly break down words as they read and spell. Its multi-sensory, systematic approach has a strong record of success for struggling readers both in and out of the regular classroom. At the same time, all learners benefit from the program’s engaging exploration of morphology and the architecture of the English Language.

Grounded in research, the Wired For Reading Introductory Course is organized and presented in four parts:

Teacher Essentials  Linguistic Foundation Core Anglo Saxon Phonics Common But Quirky Words

In addition to large group discussion, participants work in small groups. Most small groups will be guided by at least one ‘alum’, a participant repeating the class to deepen his or her skills. The bulk of course time is spent on Linguistic Foundations and Core Anglo Saxon concepts.

Optional: Three credits through Seattle University Professional Development program EPDLA 900 for $50 a credit or 30 Washington State clock hours at $3 dollars per clock hour. Credits earned may apply towards Washington State teacher certification and for advancement on the salary scale.


  • A targeted review of the reading research needed to provide teacher background for the program
  • Explanations of the underlying neural processing problems that can create barriers to reading and spelling
  • Definition and discussion of the ‘Response to Intervention’ (RTI) model for providing differentiated instruction
  • Exploration of Baddeley & Hitch’s model of the working memory
  • A brief history of the English language to provide a context for why English phonics are challenging and a discussion of how multiple word origins have created an awkward spelling puzzle, but have also given us a tremendous reading comprehension advantage. English loves to adopt eloquent words from all over the world, and each new immigrant word carries along its own spelling tradition. Hence English is rich with words (and spelling choices).
  • Exploration of Wired for Reading’s teaching philosophy and its two visual organizers: The House of English and the Learning Spiral (inspired by Bruner (1977))


  • Using a speech-motor approach to teach phonological awareness creates a deep and powerful foundation for reading and spelling.
  • Studying the relationships between speech and sounds, sounds and letter patterns, and meaning patterns in words and how these impact phonics patterns.
  • Learning kid-friendly terms for Linguistic concepts
  • Creating and using a Vowel Key to track all 18 English vowel sounds using multi-sensory techniques.
Research indicates that when teachers learn linguistics, the deep structure of English, they are better prepared to understand and respond to their students’ decoding and spelling errors. (McCutchen, 1998; McCutchen, Green, Abbot, & Sanders, 2009).


  • Originating from the Anglo Saxon heritage of English, these are the first words children learn to say, read, and spell.
  • Phonics comes alive through stories that weave together to highlight the interconnection of English spelling patterns. Storytelling through art, music, drama, and laughter personifies patterns, and makes them engaging, imaginative, and memorable, rather than just rules to be memorized.
  • In order to have one source to manage multiple spelling patterns, spelling choices are taught and attached to the Vowel key one pattern at a time from most common to least common, recursively.
  • Focus is on single syllable ‘root’ base words to prepare the way for the multi-syllable work explored more intensely in the Intermediate Course.
  • Using Adapted American Sign Language, learn the meanings of the most common Anglo Saxon suffixes and how they change the meaning of the root.


  • Common and quirky words have been a part of English for so long that they no longer fit modern letter-sound correspondence. To learn how to read and spell these old, but useful words, we will use research based strategies to burn them into our mind’s eye, and understand how they impact grammar.
  • Learn to look for meaning and word origin cues to know how to spell tricky words.
  • Learning how to make non-phonetic words burn into the mind’s eye using the best research based strategies – color coding and mental imagery (Berninger, 2006).
  • Delving into small grammar words used to glue more meaningful words together and discovering how to imbue grammar words with as much meaning as possible to aid rapid recall. By themselves, these common, grammar words are not terribly meaningful, but they are terribly important. (Wolf, 2008).

Wired for Reading draws upon the research of Dr. Virginia Berninger, Dr. Robert Calfee, Dr. Marcia Henry, Dr. Louisa Moats, Dr. Dick Olson, and Dr. Joe Torgesen, Dr. Barbara Wise, and Dr. Maryanne Wolf, among others.





  • Dates:
  • Time: Thursday/ Friday from 4:30-7:45 AND Saturday from 8:15-4:30
  • Location: Syre Elementary School, 19545 12th Ave NW, Shoreline, WA 98177
  • Tuition: $1200 (Early Bird- before March 5, 2020)
    *Includes materials
  • Late Fee: $125 will be assessed if tuition received after the deadline
  • Deposit: $150 Reserves place (Non refundable after deadline.)
  • Alum: $195
  • Registration Deadline: March 5, 2020

July 13-17, 2020



  • Dates: July 13-17, 2020
  • Time: Monday-Friday 8:15-3:15
  • Location: Serene Lake Elementary School, 4709 Picnic Point Rd,
    Edmonds, WA 98026
  • Tuition: $1200 (Early Bird- before January 16, 2020)
    *Includes materials
  • Late Fee: $125 will be assessed if tuition received after the deadline
  • Deposit: $150 Reserves place (Non refundable after deadline.)
  • Alum: $195
  • Registration Deadline: July 6, 2020
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