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UW College of Education Dean Presents Webinar on Foundational Reading Skills

November 13, 2017
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UW College of Education Dean Ray Reutzel

Good gardeners know that every beautiful flower starts as a seed. They also know that it takes the right amount of sunlight, water and fertilizer for that seed to complete its transformation. Foundational reading skills are the seeds of reading comprehension. If these “seeds” are planted at an early age and nurtured by teachers and parents, students will have a much greater chance of blossoming into great readers.

University of Wyoming College of Education Dean Ray Reutzel recently was invited to share his expertise on reading comprehension and early childhood literacy during an Education Week webinar. Education Week is an independent, nonprofit, national publication covering the critical issues facing American schools. The webinar had one of the largest audiences of any Education Week webinar, with over 1,700 viewers watching live across the world.

Reutzel’s presentation, “Planting the Seeds of Reading Comprehension Using the Foundational Skills,” focused on the latest research on foundational reading skills instruction for young children.

“Research has clearly shown that young students’ early reading success is highly dependent on knowledgeable primary grade teachers who understand and teach reading foundational skills,” Reutzel says.

During the webinar, Reutzel presented six areas of reading foundations that should be a part of every early-reading classroom: concepts about print, letter recognition, phonological awareness, phonics, word recognition and oral reading fluency. He also shared teaching tips for each skill that teachers can use in the classroom to help ensure their students acquire these skills.

The presentation was based on a white paper he published through Curriculum Associates, a leading educational technology company. The white paper also was recently shared via the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development SmartBrief newsletter, a daily snapshot of the education community.

“I so admire these teachers who come to school every day prepared to practice and improve their early literacy instruction,” Reutzel says.

To learn more about novel methods to improve early literacy instruction, view the webinar here. 

Reutzel is the author of more than 230 published research reports, articles, books, book chapters and monographs on reading, early literacy and early childhood education. He has received more than $16 million in research and program development funding. He serves as president (2017-19) of the international Reading Hall of Fame.

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