Welcome to Elementary Language Arts


Our mission is to enable all Utah students to become proficient in the area of literacy for the purposes of reaching their individual potential and becoming successful citizens in today's world.

Utah Core Standards

Core Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects | Black and White

Appendices A,B,C | Black and White


The Utah Core Standards for English Language Arts (ELA) have been revised as of June, 2013. They now include standards for handwriting in grades K-5. The Standards referring to Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects were not revised.

Utah State Board of Education (USBE):

Teacher Endorsements

Learning Opportunities for Teachers

Utah State Board of Education (USBE) is offering online several courses in partnership with Utah Education Network (UEN) for elementary teachers in Utah.


There are many quality programs in the state that offer the required courses.

The following contact list is not comprehensive but you can e-mail the contact person to ask about their availability of classes, schedule, etc.

Please contact Jennifer Throndsen if your information is missing below:

  • Brigham Young University | Joyce Terry | E-mail 
  • Southern Utah University | Leilani Nautu | E-mail
  • Summit Academy (USBE or Southern Utah University credit) | Libby Jacobs | E-mail
  • University of Utah | Dr. Jan Dole | E-mail
  • Utah State University | Sylvia Read | E-mail
  • Utah Valley University | Dr. Mary Sowder | E-mail
  • Westminster College | Dr. Kristi Jones | E-mail

Other Information Resources:

Level 1

Level I Reading Endorsement Application

The Utah Reading Endorsement offers practicing elementary and secondary teachers an opportunity to deepen their knowledge and skills in the area of literacy. The purpose of this program is to strengthen reading achievement of Utah's school children by providing their teachers with the strategies, processes, and structures for augmenting classroom reading instruction in grades K-12.

The Level 1 Reading Endorsement requires a passing score on a PRAXIS content knowledge test and seven (7) graduate-level courses taken within the last eight (8) years.


The following seven course frameworks demonstrate the depth and breadth of the expected curriculum within a course meeting that requirement. Reading endorsement courses are aligned to Utah’s instructional goals and Core Standards as well as to the International Literacy Association (ILA) Standards.

Note: All course frameworks updated in 2015-2016.

  1. Foundations of Literacy Instruction
  2. Reading and Writing Across the Disciplines
  3. Reading Assessment and Instructional Interventions
  4. K-12 Literacy Processes and Practices: Instructional Implications
  5. Reading Comprehension Instruction
  6. Writing Instruction
  7. Literature and Informational Texts for Children and Adolescents

If you are an institution that would like to demonstrate your alignment to the Utah Level 1 Reading Endorsement Frameworks, please submit the following via e-mail to the K-12 Literacy Coordinator, Jennifer Throndsen:

  1. Contact information for the person submitting the information. 
  2. Official university course description, including course level designation.
  3. Current syllabus for the course being taught.
  4. Written summary of the alignment between the Utah Framework and the proposed class, including documentation or artifacts as needed.
  5. List of instructors for the course and current curriculum vita (Utah requires a minimum of a Master’s degree and Level 2 reading endorsement for course instructors).


The PRAXIS Teaching Reading (0204 or 5204) test must be passed with a score of 159 or higher. Learn More about the test, including test preparation materials and registration. This requirement was instituted on January 1, 2011, and any application submitted after that date is required to have a passing Praxis score.

Level 2

Level 2 Reading Endorsement Application

Teachers who have obtained a Level I Endorsement and who want to work as school- or district-level literacy coaches will want to complete the Level 2 Endorsement. This endorsement provides a systems-level perspective on literacy instruction and program design and will deepen the candidate’s knowledge of literacy instruction and implementation.


The following course frameworks demonstrate the depth and breadth of the expected curriculum within a course meeting that requirement. Reading endorsement courses are aligned to Utah’s instructional goals and Core Standards as well as to the International Reading Association Standards.

Note: Course frameworks updated in 2015-2016.

  1. Literacy Research (New)
  2. Instructional Leadership of Literacy Programs (coming soon)
  3. Literacy Specialist Internship

Other Information

Literacy Worldwide 
International Literacy Association

USBE Reading Endorsement Correlation with International Literacy Association 2010 Standards for Reading Professionals

Endorsement - Reading Interventionist

The purpose of the Reading Interventionist Endorsement is to provide educators with academic and field-based opportunities to learn best practices for meeting the instructional needs of students who a struggling to learn to read. The nine credit endorsement will focus on Tier II and Tier III instructional methods, strategies, assessment, and curricula that improve student outcomes. The Level I Reading Endorsement is a prerequisite to earning this endorsement.

Course Framework

Tier II Small Group Reading Intervention Clinical Practicum

Tier III Reading Intervention Clinical Practicum

Interventionist Capstone

For vendors interested in applying to become an approved vendor for either Tier II or Tier II intervention programs, please review and submit the application below. The program must meet the requirements describe in the application to become qualified.

Vendor Application

Tier II Small Group Intervention Practicum

Tier III Reading Intervention Practicum

Course Offerings

The University of Utah is currently offering the Tier II and Tier III courses for the endorsement. If you are interested, please contact:

Tier II
Julie Jaussi

Tier III
University of Utah Reading Clinic (UURC)

The Intervention Seminar and Internship is expected to be available starting in the Fall of 2016. 

2017 Summer Comprehensive Course
West Valley City, Utah

Slingerland Institute for Literacy:


Principals' Literacy Institute

The principal is the key instructional leader of the school site. Having current, research-based information about literacy is a critical support to every principal. The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Principals' Literacy Institute is designed to help principals stay current in the research and issues surrounding literacy and literacy assessment at their schools.

Areas of Study

The Literacy Institute is an intensive, six-day professional learning opportunity designed for elementary principals. It is focused on literacy assessment and instruction. The first session examines the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) assessment: how is it administered, what it shows about students’ literacy, and what we can do with the information to guide instruction. The second session centers on effective Tier 1 and Tier 2 instructional strategies; the third session closes with Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions and supports. Each session includes a school visit, expert lecture, and discussion. Pre-readings will be provided.

No meeting information available at this time!

State Literacy Directors


Location: USBE
Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Tuesday, September 12

Information coming soon!

Wednesday, November 15

Information coming soon!

Tuesday, January 16

Information coming soon!

Tuesday, March 20

Information coming soon!


Location: USBE
Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Wednesday, November 9

Agenda | Presentation

K-3 Reading:

  • Early Intervention Software Program Evaluation

Professional Learning Connections:

  • Reading Interventionist Endorsement Framework
  • Application for the USBE Reading Interventionist Endorsement

Early Childhood Programs:

  • Informed Decisions 2016 Early Learning Election Brief
  • Research Brief: Impact of Full Day Kindergarten on End of Year DIBELS
  • Utah's Kindergarten Readiness Assessment

Self-Study Guides:

  • Implementing Early Literacy Interventions
  • Implementing Literacy Interventions in Grades 3-8
  • Reading Tiered Fidelity Inventory Elementary-Level Edition

Wednesday, September 7

Agenda | Presentation 

K-3 Reading and Early Intervention Data and Policy Overview:

  • K-3 Reading Memo
  • Reading on Grade Level (ROGL) Designations
  • Standard Test Administration and Testing Ethics Policy
  • Utah Consolidated Application (UCA) Reading Achievement Program Application Questions
  • UCA Checklist
  • UCA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

K-3 Early Reading Software:

  • Vendor Dosage Recommendations

Utah's Kindergarten Readiness Assessment:

  • Test Administration Manual

Early Literacy Alternate Assessment:

  • Grade 1
  • Grade 2
  • Grade 3


  • DIBELS Next: Benchmark Goals and Composite
  • DIBELS Newsletter

Paired Reading:

  • Paired Reading Using Difficult Text

Visible Learning:

  • Visible Learning for Literacy
    Pages 3-4

Professional Learning Opportunities:

  • Institute for Multi-Sensory Education (ISME) Workshop

Thursday, September 1


Diagnostic Assessment:

  • Core Phonics Surveys
  • Quick Phonological Awareness Screening (QPAS)

Parent Notification Sample Letters:

  • ROGL: Beginning of Year (BOY)
  • ROGL: Middle of Year (MOY)/End of Year (EOY)
  • Not ROGL: BOY
  • ROGL: Opt Out

K-3 Reading:

  • Alternate Assessment: DIBELS for 2016-2017
  • Indicators of Student Reading Proficiency
  • Overview of Data Gateway
  • Utah eTranscript and Record Exchange (UTREX) ROGL Guidance

Multi-Tier System of Support (MTSS):

  • DIBELS Next: Summary of Benchmark Goals and Cut Points for Risk
  • DIBELS Next: Survey
  • MTSS Handout
  • Progress Monitoring with DIBELS Next
  • Research-Based Tier Programs

Location: USBE
Time: 9 a.m. - Noon

Wednesday, March 16

Agenda | Presentation

Legislative Updates:

  • Early Intervention Program 53A-17a-167
  • Senate Bill (S.B.) 101 (March)
    High Quality Schools Readiness Program Expansion

Professional Learning:

  • 18th Annual Emma Eccles Jones Early Childhood Symposium
  • Bias and Sensitivity Guidelines
  • Enroll in Administering the Teaching of Silent Reading Efficiency and Comprehension (TOSREC)
    Utah Education Network (UEN)
  • Systems for Teaching Complete Texts
  • Utah Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (UASCD) Fall Conference 2016
  • Elementary Principals' Literacy Institute

Writing Collection Project Prompts and Text Sets

Informational Writing Prompt:

  • Kindergarten
  • Grade 1
  • Grade 2
  • Grade 3
  • Grade 4
  • Grade 5
  • Grade 6 

Opinion Writing Prompt:

  • Kindergarten
  • Grade 1
  • Grade 2
  • Grade 3
  • Grade 4
  • Grade 5
  • Grade 6

Dynamic DIBELS:

  • Progress Monitoring with DIBELS Next

ROGL and Uniform Growth Goal (UGG):

  • Overview of Updates
  • Student ROGL Report Examples
  • UTREx ROGL Guidance

Tuesday, February 9

Agenda | Presentation

Legislative Preview:

  • House Bill (H.B.) 41
    Fees for Supplemental Hours
  • H.B. 42
    Optional Enhanced Kindergarten Amendments
  • S.B. 101 (February)
    High Quality Schools Readiness Program Expansion

In Development:

  • Paid Internship: Administrative and Events Coordinator
    Utah Preparting Students Today for a Rewarding Tomorrow (UPSTART)/Waterford
  • Paid Internship: Early Literacy Events
  • Read.Graduate.Succeed
  • Wilson Language Training
    University of Utah Reading Clinic
  • Utah Multi-Tier System of Supports (UMTSS) Connections Conference 2016

Professional Learning:

  • Benefits. Challenges. Possible Solutions.
  • Research-Based Tier Programs
  • Utah MTSS 3-Tier Definitions

Tuesday, November 10

Agenda | Presentation | Webinar

Core Introduction Reading Standards 7-9:

  • 21st Century Child Labor
  • Casey at the Bat
  • Polar Bears Graphic Organizer
  • Polar Bears Graphic Organizer Example
  • Scandal Exposed
  • The Day the Crayons Quit: The Day the Crayons Came Home

Legislation Updates:

  • Draft Chairs’ Proposal for School Readiness Committee Bill Opened in the August Interim Meeting
  • Fees for Supplemental Hours
  • Optional Enhanced Kindergarten (OEK) Amendments

Early Intervention Software Resources:

  • Dosage Recommendations and Instructional Weeks: K-3 Early Intervention Program (Educational Technology)
  • Early Intervention Software Update 2014-2015
  • Program Fidelity of Use

Thursday, September 3

Agenda | Presentation

Uniform Growth Goal:

  • 2013-2014 Pathways Report
  • 2014-2015 Pathways Report
  • 2014-2015 Statewide DIBELS Data
  • Indicators of Student Reading Proficiency
  • R277-406: K-3 Reading Improvement Program and the State Reading Goal
  • ROGL Student Record (S1): Detailed Field Descriptions

Parent Notification Sample Letters:

  • ROGL: Opt Out
  • Not ROGL: BOY

Alternate Assessment Resources:

  • Literacy Score Reporting
  • DIBELS Alternate Assessment Options for Grades 1-3
  • Early Literacy Alternate Assessment Using Dynamic Learning Maps (DLMs)/Essential Elements (EEs) Grades 1-3
  • Early Literacy Alternate Assessment: EEs Grade 1
  • Early Literacy Alternate Assessment: EEs Grade 2
  • Early Literacy Alternate Assessment: EEs Grade 3

DIBELS Resources:

  • DIBELS Institutes
  • DIBELS Next: Summary of Benchmark Goals and Cut Points for Risk 

UCA for Early Childhood Programs:

  • K-3 Reading Improvement Program: FAQs
  • Program/Budget Details

K-3 Early Intervention Program (Software):

  • Application
  • Dosage Recommendations

Early Learning:

  • Kindergarten Options
  • Pre-Kindergarten (PreK) Options

Assessment Updates:

  • Utah Compose & Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence (SAGE) Opinion/Argument Essay Rubric Comparison
  • Utah Compose & SAGE Explanatory Essay Rubric Comparison

State Literacy Directors



Location: Utah State Board of Education (USBE)
Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Tuesday, September 12

Information coming soon!

Wednesday, November 15

Information coming soon!

Tuesday, January 16

Information coming soon!

Tuesday, March 20

Information coming soon!


Core-Aligned Writing Resources

Achieve the Core
A national organization that has assembled a variety of resources to help support the shifts in instruction required in implementing the Core. They have complied an extensive selection of materials on writing that include samples of student writing with annotations to show how various Core standards are met. Student samples are shown as they were transcribed, annotated with comments, and corrected for spelling and grammar for use as examples with students.

Other Resources

Professional Organizations

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)
A community of educators, advocating sound policies and sharing best practices to achieve the success of each learner.

International Dyslexia Association - Rocky Mountain Branch (IDA-RMB)
The IDA-RMB supports those living with dyslexia, language and literacy challenges by promoting structured literacy through research, education and advocacy to individuals, families and educators by servicing communities in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

International Literacy Association (ILA)
The International Reading Association is an 85,000-member nonprofit professional organization dedicated to improving reading instruction and promoting literacy around the world.

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
The nation's largest and most influential organization of early childhood educators and others dedicated to improving the quality of programs for children from birth through third grade.

National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
Devoted to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education.

Research on Literacy

Center for the improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA)
A national center for research on early reading, representing a consortium of educators from five universities (the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, with the University of Southern California, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Georgia); teacher educators; teachers; publishers of texts, tests, and technology; professional organizations; and schools and school districts across the United States. CIERA is supported under the Educational Research and Development Centers Program, PR/Award Number R305R70004, as administered by the Office of Education

Florida Center for Reading Research
Has several project that focus on research-based practices related to literacy instruction and assessment for children in pre-school through 12th grade.

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
Located within the Institute of Education Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education, is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education.

National Center on Adult Literacy (NCAL)
Was established in 1990 with a major grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The Center is currently supported by federal, state, and local agencies as well as by private foundations and corporations.

National Right to Read Foundation (NRRF)
The Mission of The National Right to Read Foundation (NRRF) is to Return to the Schools of America, Reading Instruction which follows Scientifically Based Reading Research. This site is designed to provide assistance for those engaged in this effort.

Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts
Committed to providing leadership to educators in effective reading instruction through its diversified research, technical assistance, and professional development projects.

Web Resources

American Library Association
The oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 64,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.

The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS)
A set of standardized, individually administered measures of early literacy development. They are designed to be short (one minute) fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of pre-reading and early reading skills.

Children's Book Council
A nonprofit trade association of publishers and packagers of trade books and related materials for children and young adults.

Children's Literature Web Guide
Is an attempt to gather together and categorize the growing number of Internet resources related to books for Children and Young Adults.

Guide to Grammar and Writing
Contains scores of digital handouts on grammar and English usage, over 170 computer-graded quizzes, recommendations on writing from basic problems in subject-verb agreement and the use of articles to exercises in parallel structures and help with argumentative essays, and a way to submit questions about grammar and writing.

Library of Congress
The nation's oldest federal cultural institution. The Library preserves a collection of nearly 121 million items, more than two-thirds of which are in media other than books.

New York Public Library
Information about the programs, services, and collections of The New York Public Library, along with access to its catalogs and other information databases.

PBS TeacherSource
Provides nearly 3,000 free lesson plans and activities for educators tied to PBS programming and correlated to local and national standards.

Reading Rockets for Professionals
Offers research-based and best-practice information for professions that impact kids' reading achievement.

Reading Rockets for Teachers
Was created for teachers. They gather great resources and make them easily available for free. They also encourage you to print out and distribute whatever you need. 

Resources - Parent and Student

Especially for Parents Reading Tips
A list of tips for parent on how to get children excited about reading.

PBS Kids
Funded in part by a Ready To Learn cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Education.

National Center for Family Literacy
Creates educational and economic opportunity for the most at-risk children and parents.

Reading Rockets for Families
A step-by-step guide to what parents can do to raise a reader.

Scholastic for Parents
A website for parents with resources to encourage a love of learning.

The Starfall learn-to-read website is offered free as a public service.

Word Build & Bank
Provides a simple, engaging way for students to generate dozens of different words by first choosing an ending (for example -an, -ed, -at, -op) and then adding a beginning letter or blend.

K-3 Reading Improvement Program

As per Title 53A, Chapter 17a, Section 150, the K-3 Reading Improvement Program was created to supplement other school resources in order to achieve the state's Uniform Growth Goal. A Local Education Agency (LEA) meaning a school district or charter school) must administer Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) to students in grades 1-3 at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year. After administration of the assessment, parents or guardians are to be notified of the student’s results. LEAs must demonstrate growth based upon student learning gains as measured by the benchmark assessment. Each LEA must create a Reading Achievement Plan to address their K-3 reading competency.

Uniform Growth Goal (UGG)

Per Rule R277-406: K-3 Reading Improvement Program and the State Reading Goal, the state UGG requires 47.83% of third grade students to make typical, above typical, or well above typical growth from the beginning of year to end of year as measured by Pathways of Progress on the DIBELS assessment. LEAs must assess 95% of their students in grades 1-3. When determining LEA UGG percentages, raw data is collected through UTREx, and appropriate filters run.

Reading Achievement Plan

To receive program money, an LEA must annually submit a Reading Improvement Plan to the Board no later than November 1, which incorporates the following components: assessment, intervention strategies, professional development, reading performance standards; and, specific measurable goals. LEAs shall submit their Reading Achievement Plan through the Utah Consolidated Application (UCA).

DIBELS Assessment

The Board selected DIBELS as the statewide assessment for assessing reading competency in grades 1-3. DIBELS is administered three times a year: at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the year. The assessment provides educators, students, and families with information about a student’s reading proficiency. Parents or guardians are notified of their student’s performance after each administration period. This may occur through phone calls, parent conferences, or letters home. Examples of parent notification letters are accessible below.

Sample Parent Notification Letters:

For some students, DIBELS may not appropriately measure literacy skills. Alternate assessment options exist for students whose Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams have determined it to be necessary. To learn more about the options available, please visit the Special Education Assessment page.

K-3 Reading Improvement Program Results

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) shall make an annual report that includes information on:

  1. Student learning gains in reading for the past school year and the five-year trend;
  2. The percentage of third grade students reading on grade level in the past school year and the five-year trend;
  3. The progress of schools and school districts in meeting goals stated in a school district’s or charter school’s plan for student reading proficiency; and
  4. The progress of schools and school districts in meeting goals stated in a school district’s or charter school’s plan for reading proficiency; and
  5. The correlation between third grade students reading on grade level and results of third grade language arts scores on a criterion-reference test or computer adaptive tests; and
  6. May include recommendations on how to increase the percentage of third grade students who read on grade level.

Elementary Language Arts Team

Jennifer Throndsen
Phone: (801) 538-7893 | E-mail

Sara Wiebke
Phone: (801) 538-7935 | E-mail

Noralee Green
Executive Secretary
Phone (801) 538-7784 | E-mail