“Vocabulary: Knowledge to Practice provides teachers with the principles of effective vocabulary instruction, along with specific activities for young learners. I’m delighted that Gillis and Eberhardt include early instruction of morphology, concentrating on bases, compound words, prefixes and suffixes. This evidenced-based professional development series will benefit both general and special education teachers.”

—Marcia K. Henry, Ph.D. Author, Unlocking Literacy: Effective Decoding and Spelling Instruction; former president, The International Dyslexia Association; Professor Emerita, San Jose State University


“Vocabulary: Knowledge to Practice is an extremely valuable resource for a wide range of educators who teach reading, including teacher candidates as well as in-service teachers. The content of the book is very well-grounded in research, but explained clearly, with a focus on practical applications. The discussion of ‘cognitive preparation’ of texts, with numerous specific examples of this process, is especially useful. If the other titles in this professional development series for teachers are as good as this one, Gillis and Eberhardt have hit a home run.”

—Louise Spear-Swerling, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Special Education and Reading, Southern Connecticut State University; Author, The Power of RTI and Reading Profiles: A Blueprint for Solving Reading Problems


Literacy How Professional Learning Series

The Literacy How Professional Learning Series translates the latest reading research into how-to instructional practices. Based on the current and comprehensive Literacy How reading model, the Series draws upon the authors’ decades of expertise and experience working with thousands of general and special education teachers. Organized for the busy educator who may be trying to find specific information, as well as for the professional seeking deeper understanding of literacy instruction and learning, the Series emphasizes Pre-K-3 conceptual and skill development. Teachers of older emerging or struggling readers will also find these tools useful.


Available now on!

The first release in the Literacy How Professional Learning Series. Vocabulary: Knowledge to Practice is now available on Preview and buy it here! Download the free Kindle app to your smartphone, tablet, or computer—no Kindle device required. If you enjoyed the e-book, please consider writing a review on Amazon.

Vocabulary: Knowledge to Practice is for any educator who’s wondered:

  • What is the 30-million word gap?
  • How does vocabulary relate to reading comprehension?
  • Why is a word worth teaching?
  • Is there a tool that can help me select and teach the best words?
  • What are child-friendly definitions? How do they support vocabulary development?
  • How can I leverage my instruction to build my students’ lexicons?

The Literacy How Professional Learning Series will include five Knowledge to Practice e-books:  Phoneme Awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary, Syntax, and Reading Comprehension (which will be published in the coming months).  Next up:  Syntax.

Each title in the series includes:

  • Relevant ResearchThe research basis for that domain of literacy development presented against the backdrop of Chall’s stages of reading development, with key research points presented in a bullet-point style
  • Knowledge for Effective InstructionBackground knowledge and the principles that drive instruction for that domain
  • Activities for Instruction and Informal AssessmentA collection of evidence-based activities written in an objective-driven format for that component of literacy instruction (with access to printable versions)
  • Text Selection Skills AnalysisStage-specific text selections (i.e., predictable, code-emphasis, and authentic) illustrate using text to advance skill application
  • AppendixRecommended resources for content and more in depth information referenced in the e-book.