Phonics Refresher for Equity-Minded Teachers

Course Description

Research indicates the need for explicit, systematic phonics instruction, yet schools and teachers face challenges in implementing robust and effective phonics lessons.  There are often two underlying reasons for this.  First, many teachers were either not taught via phonics-focused instruction, do not remember learning phonics, and/or had negative experiences with learning to read.  Second, conversations about teaching phonics rarely center equity and justice, thus making it seem like they have nothing to do with one another.   

This course brings together two important bodies of research, “The Science of Reading” (research recognizing the importance of phonics instruction in the process of learning to read) and “Culturally Responsive Teaching” (research acknowledging the importance of building on students’ linguistic and cultural resources), to offer a vision of equity-focused phonics instruction that builds on the assets of both teachers and students.   

In this three-session course, teachers will build their conceptual framework for thinking about equity-focused phonics instruction, explore the phonetic patterns beginning readers learn, learn concrete strategies for teaching phonics, and have opportunities to discuss the challenges and joys of teaching phonics with other teachers.  Prepare to start the school year with joyful and asset-oriented phonics instruction!

Course Objectives

  • Explore the purposes of and research on phonics instruction 
  • Learn the trajectory of phonics skills beginning readers learn as they become proficient readers and writers  
  • Discuss ways phonics instruction can be implemented in their classrooms 
  • Reflect on your own experiences with learning and teaching phonics and how that intersects with your goals as an equity-minded teacher  

Meet the Facilitator

Kendra Lomax

 Maxine Alloway is a Teaching Associate at the University of Washington.  She began her career as an elementary school teacher and teacher leader in Boston and Philadelphia, as well as England and Israel.  She moved to Seattle in 2006 to pursue her doctorate degree, with a focus on teacher learning.  For the past thirteen years, Maxine has worked with teacher candidates, teachers, and teacher leaders throughout the Puget Sound area, as both a literacy instructor and an instructional coach.  She has served on the organizing committee for the Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference and volunteered with University Beyond Bars.   Maxine’s work focuses on literacy and learning for liberation.  

Course Details

  • Participants will meet in three online synchronous sessions on August 3, 10, 17,  9:30-11:30am. Participants will also complete approximately 3 hours of asynchronous reading and coursework between sessions. 
  • The registration fee for this course is $150. Teachers paying for their own registration out-of-pocket may select the discounted rate of $125.  
  • Registration includes up to 9 clock hours for full participation in the course.
  • Space is limited. Please join our waitlist if the course becomes full. We will contact you in the event that a seat becomes available or an additional date/time of the course is created.  For questions or to register a large group of educators, please contact