Asynchronous Courses on Teaching Reading and Writing

The Reading Portal

The Reading PortalTM is the newest addition to the supports we offer teachers and school leaders around the teaching of reading and writing. On The Reading Portal, you’ll find a suite of asynchronous, self-paced courses on key topics in literacy instruction. A summary of our initial offerings are listed below, with more to come soon.

These courses are perfects for districts who don’t have common PD time to dedicate to these topics, or for teachers who prefer to have access to tutorials and information to come back to again and again as the year progresses.

For information on school or district licenses, please contact us. Individuals can purchase 12-month access to courses here. We hope to see you inside one of our courses!

Distance Learning Series

ELA Lesson Demonstration and Tips for Success (Synchronous Instruction) - 1.5 hours

This course shows an entire synchronous lesson from start to finish, with tips for moving each section of the lesson to the virtual environment along the way. 


  • I Do
  • We Do
  • You Do
  • Turn and Talks
  • Stop and Jots
  • Small Group Work Time
  • Social Resilience Strategies for Opening and Closing
  • Brain Breaks
Asynchronous and Synchronous Instruction: Tips and Blended Learning Models - 2 hours

This course covers tips and best practices for both synchronous and asynchronous instruction and blended learning models that can be used in both. If you are new to the distance learning environment or want to learn more about how to take advantage of either situation, this course will leave you with ideas that you can immediately implement in your classrooms.


  • Asynchronous vs. Synchronous Learning
    • Overview and Key Differences
    • Pros and Cons
    • A Look at the Research
    • Balancing Synchronous and Asynchronous Instruction
    • Ideas for Using Your Synchronous Time
    • Lesson Length and Suggestions for Offline Tasks
    • The Accountability and Feedback Loop
    • Differentiating Instruction
    • The Hybrid Model: What Should You Prioritize for In-person Learning?
    • Tips for Using Social Media for Distance Learning
  • Blended Learning Models
    • Choice Boards
    • Flipped Lessons
    • Hyperdocs 
Engaging Students in Distance ELAR Instruction - 1.5 hours

Step-by-step tutorials on how to design and implement engaging activities for students to complete in either the synchronous or asynchronous environment.


  • Stops and Jots with Zoom and Padlet (demo and tutorial)
  • Using Google Documents for Collaborative Activities (demo and tutorial)
  • Creating Interactive Letter and Word Sorts (tutorial)
  • Screen Breaks
  • Virtual Four Corners & This or That (tutorial)
  • Turn and Talks and Small Groups Using Breakout Rooms (demo and tutorial)
  • Annotating Texts (tutorial)


Creating Instructional Videos for Asynchronous Instruction - 2.5 hours

This course will introduce you to the research around instructional videos, including ideas for including pause points, best practices for using note-catchers, and creating homework assignments that build teacher/student and student/student connection.

This course also has step-by-step tutorials on recording and editing videos using various programs. Included in the program cost is the opportunity to submit an instructional video of your own and receive feedback.


  • Designing Instructional Videos
    • Overview of Best Practices
    • Designing Slides that Keep Students’ Attention
    • Using Guided Note-catchers
    • Pause Points
    • Ideas for Collecting Homework
  • Recording Videos
    • Comparision of Common Recording Programs
    • Tutorial: How to Record Videos Using Zoom
    • Tutorial: How to Record Videos Using PowerPoint
    • Tutorial: How to Record Videos Using Screencast-o-matic
  • Editing Videos
    • Tutorial: Editing Videos with Screencast-o-matic
    • Making Your Videos Interactive
    • Using EdPuzzle to Insert Interactive Pause Points

Early Literacy Series

Phonological Awareness - 2.5 hours

This course provides preschool teachers with an overview of phonological awareness, reviewing the various components that make up phonological awareness, in addition to instructional activities that are appropriate for each area. It includes ideas for both in-person and online instruction, in addition to ideas of how parents can help their children develop these vital pre-literacy skills. Although this course references the Texas PreK Guidelines, it is appropriate for all preschool teachers who want to learn about evidence-based phonological awareness instruction.


  • Science of Reading (Scarborough’s Rope)
  • Phonological Awareness
    • Overview
    • Types of Instructional Activities
  • Elements of Phonological Awareness (Overview and Instructional Activities)
    • Sentence Segmentation
    • Alliteration
    • Syllable Awareness
    • Rhyming
    • Onsets and rimes
    • Phonemic Awareness
  • Auditory Discrimination
    • Overview
    • Instructional Activities
  • Planning for Phonological Awareness Instruction
    • Developmental Timeline
    • Progress Monitoring with CIRCLE
    • Family Engagement
    • Case Study
Phonemic Awareness (1.5 hours)

This course goes into detail about phonemic awareness instruction. It covers both the why and the how of building these important pre-literacy skills in our youngest students. 


  • Science of Reading (Scarborough’s Rope)
  • Phonemes and Phonemic Awareness
    • Brief Review of Phonological Awareness
    • Phoneme Review and Practice
    • Characteristics of Phonemes
    • Teaching Phonemes by Shape of Mouth
    • Continuous vs. Stop Phonemes
  • Phonemic Awareness Instruction
    • Hierarchy of Difficulty 
    • Blending Arms
    • Elkonin Boxes
    • Word Trains
  • Planning for Phonological Awareness Instruction
    • Developmental Timeline
    • Progress Monitoring with CIRCLE
    • Family Engagement
    • Case Study