Professional Development

Foundational Skills

Common Core Reading: Foundational Skills


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Are you teaching your students foundational skills? Do you need to build fluency for on-level or struggling readers? Are you looking for new activities that give students the skills they need to read and comprehend texts with increased independence?

Get the most out of your Common Core training with this scaffolded professional development course and interactive workshop. We cover foundational skills and more as we show you how to optimize your lessons. Our hands-on workshop will guide you through creating a new lesson plan that you can use immediately.

Product Description

This course reviews the basics of teaching foundational skills under the Common Core State Standards. K-5 teachers in Common Core states will find this session useful, but it is relevant to any ELA teacher who wants their students to reinforce basic principles of reading, have a solid grasp of phonics and word recognition, and practice skills that will make them fluent, independent readers.

The course begins by analyzing how the traditional foundational skills are addressed in Common Core. Throughout the course, teachers will learn how Common Core addresses the same foundational skills that are familiar to teachers, but does so in context instead of in isolation. After exploring the new approach to foundational skills instruction, the course moves into a hands-on workshop. In this section, teachers use our instruction, guidance, and downloadable resources to begin a new lesson plan or update an existing plan to fit the CCSS framework. See the Table of Contents tab for more detailed information.

At the end of the course, participants will have access to useful downloadable resources that they can refer as often as needed, even after the course is complete. Teachers will gain a new outlook on teaching foundational skills in the Common Core classroom. Participants will also leave the course with a new lesson plan made as part of our hands-on workshop. Upon upload of that finished lesson plan, we will issue a certificate that can be submitted to administrators as proof of completed professional development hours.

More Information

Designed with K–5 teachers in mind, but useful for all ELA or ELD instructors.

This course takes 1–3 hours to complete. Upon uploading a completed lesson plan, you will receive a certificate that can be submitted to your administrator as proof of time spent.

For Illinois teachers, ISBE clock hours will be provided upon request. Contact us for more details.

See our Professional Development page for information on our other online and in-person professional development offerings.


Introduction and opening video
Lesson 1. Explain how Common Core treats reading foundational skills across and within strands.
    Continuing Attention to the Five Pillars of Reading
    Overlapping Between Foundational Skills and Other ELA Standards
    Teaching the Five Pillars Simultaneously
    Focusing on Foundational Skills in Grades K-5
    Building to Comprehension and Vocabulary
    Breaking Up Foundational Skills by Grade

Lesson 2. Learn strategies for how to integrate foundational skills into instruction.
    Developing a Routine Checklist.
    Reviewing Key Aspects of Foundational Skills Instruction

Hands-On Workshop
    Review Resources
    Create a Foundational Skills Lesson Plan
    Upload Your Lesson
    Reflect on Your Lesson and Make Improvements for Next Time

Foundational Skills Progression
Instructional Routine downloadable template
Foundational Skills Curriculum Maps (Grades K–5)
Foundational Skills Checklists (Grades K–5)