Science of Reading

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Description: This video provides a brief overview of the science of reading and the different bodies of research that contribute to it.
Description: Although the scientific evidence base for effective reading has existed for decades, the term “the science of reading” has gained traction in the last few years, potentially leading to misunderstandings. As a result, we believe that a common definition is useful for the field.
Description: IDA infographics help make complex information easy to digest, remember, and share and are made for a wide audience–those new to dyslexia and related literacy/learning issues as well as the experts. Please share our infographics as well as our Fact Sheets to raise awareness about dyslexia and to help support the policy and practice changes needed to bring effective instruction (particularly in reading) to every child with dyslexia in every classroom across the nation. 
Description: We currently teach reading as if it is a skill to absorb rather than a skill to be taught. Research has proven again and again that the most effective way to teach children to read is phonics- the method of connecting sounds with letters or groups of letters in an alphabetic writing system. However, for the past 40 years, we have used an approach known as balanced literacy, a method that aims to guide children into reading with minimal phonics, context clues and memorized sight words. Melissa...
Description: 2022 Annual Conference Session Recordings Keynote: From Science to Poetry in the Teaching of Reading: Reflections in a Digital Culture, Maryanne Wolf Day 1: 1A: The Science of Reading - Definition and Beyond, Stephanie Stollar 1B: Climbing the Ladder of Reading & Writing: Some Children Climb More Slowly While Other Children Leap Up, Nancy Young 1C: Implementation Matters: Literacy Leadership as the Catalyst for Change, Kymyona Burk 1D: Morphemes are Mesmerizing! Deborah Glaser 2A: Calling...
Description: Key features of Stuctured Literacy, SL, approaches include (a) explicit, systematic, and sequential teaching of literacy at multiple levels-phonemes, letter–sound relationships, syllable patterns, morphemes, vocabulary, sentence structure, paragraph structure, and text structure; (b) cumulative practice and ongoing review; (c) a high level of student- teacher interaction; (d) the use of carefully chosen examples and nonexamples; (e) decodable text; and (f) prompt, corrective feedback.
Description: This Lesson Planning Table includes Areas of Focus, Time and Day as well as an Instructional Actitvity Menu to enrich your instruction.
Description: In January of 2014 the Mississippi Department of Education began providing early literacy professional development to all K-3 educators using the Language Essentials for Teaching Reading and Spelling program. Participants received the professional development content across eight modules split into two phases. Each phase included six weeks of online coursework and three days of face-to-face workshops. Typically, educators completed one phase per academic year. Content ranged from learning the...
Description: This practice guide provides four recommendations for teaching foundational reading skills to students in kindergarten through 3rd grade. Each recommendation includes implementation steps and solutions for common obstacles. The recommendations also summarize and rate supporting evidence. This guide is geared towards teachers, administrators, and other educators who want to improve their students’ foundational reading skills, and is a companion to the practice guide, Improving Reading...
Description: This site includes the recordings of the Keynote: Transforming the Family Tree Through Literacy by Tracy Weeden as well as 6 other presentations.   Check out: 1B: Structured Literacy Instruction for Tier 1 by Louise Spear-Swerling 2A: Reading Fluency: Essential Reading Comprehension by Jan Hasbrouck 2B: Choosing and Learning Decodable Text by Wiley Blevins
Description: Teacher preparation and licensure; dyslexia and other learning disabilities. Requires Board of Education regulations governing teacher licensure to require every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license to complete awareness training, provided by the Department of Education, on the indicators of dyslexia and the evidence-based interventions and accommodations for dyslexia. The bill requires the Department of Education to collaborate with the State Council of Higher Education for...
Description: The future depends on our children and one way to fully empower them is to recognize that literacy is a fundamental right in society.  Join Dr. Maria Murray—founder and president and CEO of The Reading League—for an innovative podcast episode as she explains why the science of reading is now regarded as a defining movement and addresses the need to protect the integrity of its findings so that the promise of successful reading outcomes for our students can be realized. In this...
Description: In today’s learning environments, a wide range of technologies are creating new options for differentiating instruction and supporting the participation of all students, including students with disabilities. Students and school staff in an Alberta K-6 school discuss the importance of providing students with the technology tools they need in order to be successful learners.
Description: Emily Freitag and other Instruction Partners separated their literacy examples into two parts, because the way students learn foundational skills is quite different from the way students advance comprehension. This is not a grade-band division—students in K–2 need to learn foundational skills and comprehension (chiefly through oral reading) and students in grades 3+ may continue to need support with foundational skills. But leaders benefit from understanding the differences...
Description: At the start of the 2021-22 school year, perhaps more than any other year, getting students off to a strong start is critical. Teachers and administrators are rightfully worried about what the data will show due to past instructional interruptions. During this event, Dr. Susan Hall discusses using MTSS data to determine how to address the literacy needs of K-5 students by pinpointing skill gaps and acting quickly to provide the most effective differentiated instruction. MTSS Data Webinar...
Description: This article by Joan Sedita explains why vocabulary instruction is an essential piece of reading instruction and outlines strategies that teachers can use to boost vocabulary instruction in their settings. 
Description: The Frayer Model is a strategy that uses a graphic organizer for vocabulary building. This technique requires students to (1) define the target vocabulary words or concepts, and (2) apply this information by generating examples and non-examples. This information is placed on a chart that is divided into four sections to provide a visual representation for students.
Description: Teaching vocabulary is complex. What words are important for a child to know and in what context? In this excerpt from Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction, the authors consider what principles might be used for selecting which words to explicitly teach.
Description: A word map is a visual organizer that promotes vocabulary development. Using a graphic organizer, students think about terms or concepts in several ways. Most word map organizers engage students in developing a definition, synonyms, antonyms, and a picture for a given vocabulary word or concept. Enhancing students' vocabulary is important to developing their reading comprehension.
Description: Scientific research has shown how children learn to read and how they should be taught. But many educators don't know the science and, in some cases, actively resist it. As a result, millions of kids are being set up to fail. The prevailing approaches to reading instruction in American schools are inconsistent with basic things scientists have discovered about how children learn to read. Many educators don't know the science, and in some cases actively resist it. The resistance is the result of...
Description: This first of its kind review finds Lucy Calkins' materials (Units of Study) don't align with the science of reading. Most Americans have likely never heard of Lucy Calkins, but their children's teachers probably have. Calkins, a professor of education at Columbia University, has created one of the nation's most widely used reading instruction programs, and, according to a groundbreaking new report, the program is deeply flawed.
Description: The issues we are raising in our article are not new. Twenty years ago was a heady time for literacy research and practice in both general education and special education. The publication of the National Reading Panel (NRP) report1 is a widely recognized landmark for literacy practices. Less frequently recognized are reports on reforming special education, such as the Fordham Foundation/Progressive Policy Institute report Rethinking Special Education for a New Century,2 the Office of Special...
Description: Many kids struggle with reading – and children of color are far less likely to get the help they need. A false assumption about what it takes to be a skilled reader has created deep inequalities among U.S. children, putting many on a difficult path in life.  Reading is essential — not just for school success, but for life. When children have trouble learning to read, it can kick off a devastating downward spiral.1 Struggling readers are more likely to report feeling sad, lonely,...
Description: Dr. Carol Toman, phonological awareness expert, provides a graphic overview of the phases critical to the development of literacy.
Description: Students who read with understanding at an early age gain access to a broader range of texts, knowledge, and educational opportunities, making early reading comprehension instruction particularly critical. This guide recommends five specific steps that teachers, reading coaches, and principals can take to successfully improve reading comprehension for young readers.
Description: With the passage of the Virginia Literacy Act (VLA) in the 2022 General Assembly, Virginia is taking the lead nationwide to improve early literacy outcomes for Virginia’s young learners. Through the VLA, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) will support school divisions through a multi-year effort with tools, resources, technical assistance and funding.
Description: Teachers and Administrators, do you and your team want to learn more about morphology instruction? Do you need classroom materials for morphemic analysis? If so, this resource is for you! The intention of this document is to compile resources for your professional learning and classroom use. It is broken into three sections that could be used for individual exploration, or as a collaborative learning team. Section 1 provides quick reads to build background knowledge and essential understanding...
Description: This month is Dyslexia/LD/ADHD Awareness Month, and the author had the honor of sitting down with Resha Conroy, a parent of a child with Dyslexia. She is also a member of the National Center on Improving Literacy Family Engagement Advisory Board and has started her own non-profit, Dyslexia Alliance for Black Children.
Description: The UFLI Foundations Toolbox contains all the lesson resources to accompany the lesson plans provided in the UFLI Foundations manual.Every lesson has companion resources that will help you implement the lessons efficiently, effectively, and consistently. Some of the companion lesson resources you will find below include: Lesson slide decks (in PowerPoint and Google Slide formats) Decodable passages Homework sheets Games and activities for additional practice We have grouped the lessons into...
Description: When reviewing curricula for Tier I instruction, it is essential to ensure they do not include instructional practices that are not aligned with the scientific evidence base of how children learn to read. The Curriculum Evaluation Guidelines are designed to highlight any non-aligned practices, or “red flags,” that may be present in the areas of: Word Recognition Language Comprehension Reading Comprehension Writing Assessment
Description: More Information & Registration for the K-12 SOL Institutes in English Language Arts: K-12 SOL Conferences in English Language Arts utilize a train-the-trainer model featuring demonstrations by classroom practitioners, reading specialists, school and division administrators, higher education partners, the Virginia Literacy Partnerships Office (PALS), and the VDOE Office of Student Assessment. Presenters will provide professional development that focuses on continued implementation of...
Description: The purpose of the Early Intervention Reading Initiative (EIRI) is to provide early reading intervention services to students in kindergarten through the third grade who demonstrate substantial deficiencies based on their individual performance on a literacy screener provided or approved by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). The provided early literacy screener in Virginia is the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screener (PALS). PALS data should be utilized to inform instruction and...
Description: What is the Science of Reading?  The Science of Reading is an interdisciplinary body of scientifically-based research about reading and issues related to reading and writing.  This research has been conducted over the last five decades worldwide. It is derived from thousands of studies conducted in multiple languages in cognitive psychology, communication sciences, developmental psychology, education, special education, implementation sciences, linguistics, neurosciences, and school...
Description: Joan Sedita explores the power of writing to support students’ reading comprehension.   
Description: Guiding Principles of Structured Word Inquiry (“scientific word investigation”) The primary function of English spelling is to represent meaning. The conventions by which English spelling represents meaning are so well-ordered and reliable that spelling can be investigated and understood through scientific inquiry. Scientific inquiry is necessary to safely guide spelling instruction and understanding. Scientific inquiry is the only means by which a learning community can safely...
Description: Literacy expert Timothy Shanahan shares best practices for teaching reading and writing. Dr. Shanahan is an internationally recognized professor of urban education and reading researcher who has extensive experience with children in inner-city schools and children with special needs. All posts are reprinted with permission from Shanahan on Literacy.
Description: Dr. Deb Glaser’s presentation is on the impact of incorporating morphological analysis into the intermediate grades.  
Description: Anita Archer shares ways to support intermediate struggling readers through evidence-based practices.