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Literacy Instruction for Diverse Learners: Practical Applications of a Developmental Continuum

Presenters: Gay Ward, Margaret Phinney
For: Teachers (both novice and experienced) of Early Childhood and Elementary students; as well education administrators and parents
CPD Hours: 1.5
Available: On Demand

Individual Rental Group Rentalr


On-Demand Webinar

This presentation is available for a 30-day rental via Vimeo On Demand, allowing you to view the webinar at any time, as often as you would like, within your rental period.

$55/individual (Certificate of Continuing Professional Development for 1 person)
$200/group (CPD certificates for up to 20 persons)


Dr. Phinney and Dr. Ward will provide an extensive and practical literacy continuum framework that will enable you to meet the needs of the wide range of development found within any group of literacy learners, regardless of age/grade level. They will present an overview of a 7-phase continuum from pre-verbal through flexible, illustrated with video or audio tapes of learners in each phase. They will also give examples of teaching strategies that match the learners’ needs in engagement, comprehension, and language-to-print components and will share appropriate children’s literature and their use for supporting learners at each phase. Case studies will provide you with the opportunity to practice assessing learners’ strengths and growth areas and plan appropriate learning experiences to meet identified needs.

Learner Outcomes:

  • An understanding of the characteristics of the 7 phases of the developmental continuum of literacy and an appreciation that a child will be developing in aspects of more than 1 phase at any given time.
  • An understanding of key formative assessment questions to ask at each phase of development that will help you identify growth areas in engagement, comprehension, and language-to-print components of literacy.
  • Knowledge of key literacy strategies that can be used at each phase of development to support learners.
  • An understanding that “reading is making meaning,” which can be well supported in a context of rich literature and integrated curriculum with opportunities to explore varied genres and engage in literacy activities for multiple purposes.

Gay Ward, PhD, is a professor emerita of teacher education at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where she coordinated the Early Childhood undergraduate programs and the Montessori master's program. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I).

Margaret Phinney, EdD, former director of the master's reading program at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, is a literacy instructor and author. Her children’s books include Baba Yaga: A Russian Folktale (with Lydian Green), Exploring Land Habitats (with Terri Talas), and Will You Play with Me? (with Lynne Woodcock Cravath). She is also the author of Reading with the Troubled Reader.

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