Practice: A Key to Automaticity

Presented by Nancy Chapel Eberhardt, Sheryl Ferlito & Jennifer Ferlito

Meaningful practice—many trials in varied contexts distributed over time—is a key to learning. Practice is a component of the teaching and learning process essential to reach automaticity. This session explores the role of practice in multiple domains of Structured Literacy content. Practice activities, using categorization, analogy building and phrase building illustrate how to build strong orthographic and semantic networks. The session highlights Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) as a component of effective practice.

Conference registration required.


Session Objectives

  • Review the importance of practice as part of the teaching-learning process.
  • Discuss features of meaningful practice in multiple domains of literacy learning: decoding, vocabulary, and syntax.
  • Demonstrate activities—categorization, analogy building, and sentence building—designed to build accuracy and fluency to improve decoding and comprehension, including examples of Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI)

More about the speaker

Nancy Chapel Eberhardt

Nancy Chapel Eberhardt is currently an educational consultant with 3T Literacy Group. She has experience as a special education teacher, administrator, and professional development provider. Nancy contributed as author and co-author to the development of the literacy intervention curriculum LANGUAGE!. She recently collaborated with Margie Gillis to develop the Literacy How Professional Learning Series. Nancy is the co-author of Sortegories 3.0, a web-based app that provides practice with decoding, vocabulary and syntax to improve reading comprehension and fluency. She serves as a member of IDA’s Perspectives and the Examiner editorial boards and is on the board for The Reading League Connecticut chapter.

Sheryl Ferlito

Sheryl Ferlito, Ed.S., is a Special Education Literacy and Intervention Coordinator at Chippewa Valley Schools in Macomb County, Michigan. In addition to 25 years as special education educator for grades K-12, Sheryl co-facilitates the Leadership Group of the Macomb Dyslexia Network providing professional development and support for teachers and administrators. Sheryl was recently recognized by her county as a MacombReads Literacy Ambassador. She was the contributing writer for LANGUAGE! 3rd Edition and LANGUAGE! Live. She also co-authored Sortegories. You can follow Sheryl on Twitter @ Sheryl_ferlito and

Jennifer Ferlito

Jennifer Ferlito is an ASHA certified Speech-language Pathologist with teacher certification in the area of speech-language impairments. She currently teaches kindergarten in Macomb Intermediate School District’s Severely Language Impaired Program implementing structured literacy instruction aligned with the Science of Reading. Jennifer is also a Reading Science Doctoral student at Mount St. Joseph University.