Science of reading handbook

Watching students learn to read: magic. Knowing how they get there: science.

What does the science of reading really mean? What does it tell us about how to teach? How can we bring those insights and practices into our classrooms (remote or otherwise)?

Our handbook has the answers—based on the latest science and adaptable to every shift in the educational landscape.

Getting started

Large-scale remote learning is settling into what is, for now, the new normal. We’re hearing from educators who want actionable resources to support their ongoing professional development, especially as they explore and deliver new ways of teaching and engaging. We’ve pulled a first batch together here and will be adding more in the weeks ahead. Our “Learn – Listen – Lead” routine will help you turn research into results for your students and your colleagues.

Download: Science of Reading Primer, Part One

Download: Science of Reading Primer, Part Two

Download: Science of Reading: Making the shift eBook

Foundational skills resources

Strong, systematic sound-first instruction is critical to helping students learn to decode and can increase student success. Learn how specific skills can increase your impact. 

Learn: Emily Hanford’s “Hard Words” article 

Listen: Anne Lucas on the importance of comprehension and the specific skills that can boost it

Listen: Bruce McCandliss on the changes a child’s brain shows when learning to read

Lead:  Which resource in this section did you find the most useful? Share it with 4-5 of your local colleagues.

Lead: Challenge a colleague to this Scarborough’s Rope activity–work through a sample lesson from your district and point out elements of the reading rope.

Knowledge resources

Students need to be able to both read words and get the meaning of what they’re reading. Find out how to help them build key background knowledge from the get-go, so that it compounds over time.

Learn: Why knowledge matters and Natalie Wexler’s podcast

Learn: Achieve the Core’s overview of the importance of building knowledge (“baseball study”)

Listen: Jasmine Lane on the importance of equity, and how early literacy teachers can make a difference

Listen: Tim Shanahan on four crucial aspects in teaching reading and his views on teaching reading in middle school as an extension of evidence-based early literacy practices.

Lead: What’s your favorite resource for building knowledge in a specific domain? Link it in your district’s social media and in your educator communities. Include the hashtag #sorforyou to spread the word!

Lead: Start a virtual book club for The Knowledge Gap with your colleagues

Getting ready for back-to-school

Though it feels like the landscape is changing every day, we know that back-to-school will be here soon. How will it be different this year? What assessments will you need for BOY? What gaps might you need to fill in order to ensure equity? We will continue to post planning tools to help you get ready.

Learn: EdWeek article on wrapping this year with capstone projects

Learn: Catch up on dyslexia risk factors and state legislation with our dyslexia toolkit.

Learn:  Baltimore educator Lucas Drerup shares his views on making middle school ELA both enjoyable and rigorous for students.

Listen: Nancy Nelson on the importance of universal screeners in literacy instruction

Listen: Jackson-Madison CAO Jared Myracle shares his thoughts on change management and the science of reading.

Lead: Begin compiling a list of key questions for your district’s back-to-school plan. Share the list with your colleagues and post it on Science of Reading: The Community.

Stay connected!

Looking for ways to connect with other educators and stay updated on the latest research and trends in the science of reading? Check out the ways you can do so below.

Science of Reading: The Podcast delivers the latest insights from researchers and practitioners in early reading. Further your professional development with each episode by subscribing and downloading them now.

Science of Reading: The Community is built for those committed to fostering conversation around the science of reading and implementing best practices in the classroom (including the virtual classroom).

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