This on-demand course is a flexible way to learn more about effective instruction of decoding and spelling.

Aligned with Strand B: Foundations of Language of the Ontario Language Curriculum, participants can move through the videos, activities, and quizzes at their own pace. It includes how to teach basic and complex phonics, spelling, strategies for reading and spelling multi-syllable words, and basic morphology; these are all elements of the Word Recognition strand of Scarborough’s Reading Rope.

Course Duration: 15 hours

Course Access: Indefinite 


  1. Click Register Here button on right-hand panel
  2. Create an account on our learning portal
  3. You will get a confirmation email, follow the steps and pay for the course
  4. Access the course at any time using the username and log in

Fee: $75 and available indefinitely for everyone. 

Group registrations are available for school boards and organizations that want to train their educations. Click the "Group Registration" button to apply.

Free course access is provided to full-time students in an education-related program and educators working in First Nation schools. Proof of being a student is required. Please click "Students and First Nation Educators" button to apply. 

Unit 1: Learn why some students have trouble learning to read and spell. Also how to teach basic letter sounds, as well as blending and segmenting sounds to read and spell words without guessing.

Unit 2: Learn how to teach complex phonics (consonant blends, closed/open syllables, v_e code, vowel teams) using a scope and sequence and decodable text.

Unit 3: Learn how to teach effective spelling rules/conventions, including suffixing rules.

Unit 4: Learn how to teach strategies for reading and spelling multisyllable words.

Unit 5: Learn about basic morphology that is helpful for word recognition, spelling, and reading comprehension.







Unit 1 A -   Make a code deck, phonics  screener

Unit 2A -

More complex code unit

Unit 3A -

Spelling 'rules' and conventions

Unit 4A -

Syllable types & syllable division

Unit 5A -


Unit 1B -

Teaching a phonics lesson unit

Unit 2B -

Consonant blends, irregular words, scope & sequence unit

Unit 3B -  Teaching suffixes

Unit 4B -  Stress & Schwa

Unit 5B - Anglo-Saxon layer

Unit 1C -

Handwriting, games, tiered instruction unit

Unit 2C-

Differentiating instruction Sept-June

Unit 3C -  Three GREAT suffix spelling rules


Unit 5C -Latin Layer


Unit 5D -  Greek Layer


Jan Maclean

Jan MacLean started her working career as an occupational therapist. Her own children’s struggles with learning to read led her to pursue training in Structured Literacy and to co-found The Reading Clinic in Kingston in 2001 with Jennifer Harrison. The Reading Clinic grew to employ seven instructors providing 1:1 intervention for children with difficulties in reading, writing and math. By the time Jan retired from The Reading Clinic in 2016, 40 students were attending daily and hundreds of students had come through its doors. Jan served on the board of IDA Ontario from 2008-2012 and is currently a member of the IDA Ontario Advisory Board. Jan is a Certified Orton-Gillingham Practitioner and Educator as well as a Structured Literacy/Dyslexia Specialist.

Emily Moorhead

Emily Moorhead, OCT (BAH, B.Ed) is a Kindergarten teacher in the Limestone District School Board. She completed her teacher training at Queen’s University and is an enthusiastic and passionate teacher. Emily began using a structured literacy approach in her teaching when her own son experienced difficulty learning to read, and has continued to learn and refine her practice ever since. Emily has worked as a mentor teacher and coach for teachers working with The Reading Teacher's Top Ten Tools and The Big Dippers, and shares her classroom experiences with others through presentations, webinars, and professional learning circles. 


Jennifer Harrison

Jennifer Harrison, (BAH), co-founded the Reading Clinic in Kingston with Jan MacLean in 2001. Jennifer developed clinic curriculum and spent thousands of hours working with clients ranging in age from 4 to 18. She instructed both parent and professional courses at the clinic and in the community, and as Director, navigated the expansion of the clinic in 2016. She is an Associate Orton-Gillingham Practitioner & Educator. Since 2020, Jennifer has maintained a private practice in Kingston.

"Highly recommend this @IDA_Ontario online course! I’m only just beginning Unit 1 and have had an AHA learning moment! Learn at your own pace!"

“I cannot say enough good things about the Basics of Decoding and Spelling Instruction course from @IDA_Ontario. Such practical content for educators to help us dig into foundational literacy instruction as we unpack the new language curriculum.”

"If you are new to the Science of Reading & about to embark on teaching the new curriculum, you need to take this very economical & comprehensive course.”

"The decoding process was beneficial; I learned how to structure a phonics lesson and help my learners progress with a proper sequence."

"I have a better understanding of the majority of the rules of English and will be better able to assist students learning to read and spell.”

“I have a better understanding of decodable texts and how my students should read them”

“I learned strategies to go about teaching students letter sounds, blends, digraphs etc. It is very useful to also see the scope and sequence of when it may be appropriate to introduce different pieces of the code."

  • Start Date: Anytime
  • Duration: 15 hours
  • On-Demand Virtual Learning
  • Indefinite Access


Click Register Here button below

Create an account on our learning portal

You will get a confirmation email, follow the steps and pay for the course

Access the course at any time using the username and log in

Before you register, please review our refund policy. Click here:Terms and Conditions and Refund Policy

Group registrations are available for school boards and organizations that want to train their educators. Please complete the form below. 


For questions or changes in your registration, please contact