New Essential Literacy Instruction Course from Groves and University of St. Thomas

Groves has developed the new online course Essential Literacy Instruction with the University of St. Thomas.

The new educational program is created for elementary educators and reading specialists and underscores the importance of teaching literacy using an approach based on the science of reading, early identification of reading difficulties, and highlights remediation strategies.

Through this new partnership with the University of St. Thomas, Groves is sharing the research-validated teaching methods developed in our school to advance literacy instruction with other teachers and schools in the community. At Groves Academy, we believe that students everywhere should have the same access to high-quality, effective literacy instruction that we provide at our school and Groves Learning Center. We’re working to close the achievement gap by transforming the way learning and literacy are taught through effective, evidence-based reading instruction that benefits all students.

Our aim with the Essential Literacy Course is to give educators everywhere access to literacy instruction methods based on the science of reading, impacting thousands of more students to ensure they receive proven literacy instruction. Our approach is sequential and multi-sensory, allowing students to master and then build upon each new skill at their own pace.

Participants will learn and understand the five components of reading instruction and how to identify children with reading difficulties. The program stresses the importance of early identification of children with reading difficulties, promotes a better understanding of what dyslexia is and what it is not, and highlights effective remediation strategies. The course was written by Ellen Engstrom, the Director of Curriculum at Groves Academy, working closely with a University of St. Thomas course designer.

The length of the self-guided online program is four hours, and upon completion, participants will receive four CEUs.

Participants completing the program “Essential Literacy Instruction” will be able to:
  • Explain how brain development enables reading.
  • Describe the components of scientifically based reading instruction.
  • Explain why structured language instruction is superior to guided reading and the three cueing reading strategy.
  • Define dyslexia, its prevalence, symptoms, and how to identify and support students with severe reading challenges in the general classroom.
  • Describe a model literacy framework with data-informed decision-making.
The topics this course covers include:
  • Scientifically Based Reading Instruction
  • Five Components of Reading Instruction
  • Early Identification of Children with Reading Difficulties
  • Reading Remediation Strategies
  • Understanding Dyslexia
About the program author Ellen Engstrom M.A.

Ellen Engstrom is the director of curriculum at Groves Academy. Since she joined the Groves administrative staff in 2010, Ellen has been the director of teacher training, and director of education, as well as her current position. Prior to her work at Groves Academy, Ellen was on the faculty at Landmark College and a lead education specialist at the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training. She has given multiple workshops and courses for educators on topics such as assistive technology, reading comprehension, writing, study skills, Universal Design for Learning, and supporting students with executive function challenges. Ellen is recognized by the International Dyslexia Association as a dyslexia therapist and a dyslexia trainer, and she has earned various certifications in word study and spelling programs. She has a long-standing interest in dyslexia research and treatment.

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