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25+ Science of Reading Resources

Updated: Jan 27

As a parent or teacher, you may have heard of The Science of Reading. Perhaps you'd like to better understand what research, resources, and tools are available to support your students in reading. Here you will find a clickable list of some of the resources we share with families and colleagues who wish to know more about literacy, reading, and dyslexia.

What Is the Science of Reading?

The Science of Reading is a body of empirical research that has been developed over the past 50 years integrating studies in neuroscience, linguistics, cognitive science, education, and psychology to help us better understand how our brains learn to read.

"The “Science of Reading” is a phrase representing the accumulated knowledge about reading, reading development, and best practices for reading instruction obtained by the use of the scientific method," Petscher et al. 2020

The Current State of Reading Achievement in the United States

It is helpful to understand the history of reading instruction in the United States in order to understand why it is critical to implement curriculum instruction based in Structured Literacy for all of our students.

Since 1969, the National Center on Education Statistics has been publishing the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Learn more about the history of the Nation's Report Card HERE.

In 2019, the percentage of fourth-grade public school students performing at or above the NAEP Proficient level in reading was 34 percent nationally. Across the states/jurisdictions, the percentage of public school fourth-graders performing at or above NAEP Proficient in reading ranged from 24 percent to 49 percent.

There are many factors related to the lack of appreciable improvement in reading outcomes, including yet not limited to:

  • Instruction and curriculum not aligned with science

  • Failure to properly screen PreK-2nd graders for dyslexia, dyscalculia, and developmental coordination disorder

  • Increasing ELL learners who require, yet may not receive, systematic & explicit instruction

  • Diminished implementation of phonological & morphological interventions in PreK-2nd grade

  • Diminished access to developmental preschool and kindergarten

  • An over-emphasis on teaching to the test

  • The growing divide between students of wealth and students in poverty

  • Declines in physical activities that support sensory, fine, and gross motor development

  • Diminished access to high-quality sleep & nutrition

  • Students of color continue to lag behind Caucasians and Asians due to historical inequity, poverty, underfunded schools, and diminished opportunities for language, arts, and math.

A Few Concepts to Consider

Reading, writing, and math do not come naturally, evolutionarily. Humans are agricultural beings we were designed to roam, forage and feed our young. We were not designed to read, write, and compute.

For many students reading, writing and math require explicit, systematic, and developmentally progressive instruction.

The reading code in English is a complex melding of middle English, Anglo-Saxon and Latin influences with inconsistent oral, grammatical and syntactic structure. This leads to a language with inconsistent rules which for many, must be explicitly taught, Learn more here.

For the 10-12% of students with weaknesses in phonological awareness, learning to read will not occur simply by providing text-rich environments. These students require explicit systematic phonological instruction to develop the pathways in the brain that map sounds to letters and print.

Research shows that it is more effective to intervene early prior to first grade to ameliorate phonological deficits. The longer we wait, the harder it is for the student. Deliberate, frequent, distributed practice in oral awareness, phonological awareness, and sound manipulation is needed.

The great news is that explicit, systematic phonological awareness instruction leads to more easily understood phonics and morpheme manipulation for all readers not just those with dyslexia. The key is to move to letter-sound awareness and orthographic mapping as soon as the oral awareness and phonological awareness skills are mastered.

Note: "Most research has suggested that dyslexia can be said to affect 3–10% of the population, depending on the exclusionary criteria and the specific cut-offs that are used for its diagnosis (Peterson & Pennington, 2015). Many studies have found that dyslexia is under substantial genetic influence, with heritability estimates typically varying between 50 and 60% (Grigorenko, 2004; Olson & Byrne, 2005; Pennington & Olson, 2005)", Brimo et al., 2021).

Below you will find clickable links so that you may dive into SoR, Structured Literacy, and dyslexia more thoroughly.

I. Science of Reading (SoR)

  1. The Science of Reading: A Defining Guide - The Reading League

  2. Understanding Structured Literacy

  3. IES Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade

  4. The Evidence That Early Intervention Prevents Reading Failure - Torgesen, 2004

  5. Louisa Moats

  6. The Reading League 5th Annual Conference 2021 Conference - OnDemand

  7. How the Science of Reading Informs 21st-Century Education - Petscher et al. 2020

  8. Teaching Reading is Rocket Science via Reading Rockets - Louisa Moats 2020

  9. Reading Science Academy - YouTube - Stephanie Stollar

  10. The Literacy Nest

  11. The Reading League Book List (Click on Recommended Books on the left under Knowledge Base)

  12. The Science of Reading Podcast - Amplify

  13. Sold a Story - Hanford

  14. The Reading Wars - Hanford

  15. Oral Reading Fluency as a red flag for reading difficulties 3rd-4th grade - NAEP

  16. Supporting Oral Reading Fluency and Comprehension

  17. How Mississippi Improved Reading Achievement

  18. Teacher Prep in SoR Program Review - National Council on Teacher Quality, 2020

  19. National Center on Improving Literacy

  20. UFL Dyslexia Certificate

  21. Oregon RTLI FREE Videos on Teaching Reading

  22. Voyager-Sopris FREE Video Lessons

  23. A LETRS Story - Wyoming

  24. Colorado State Advised List of Literacy Programs

  25. CKLA FREE Resources

  26. Texas Reads

  27. Reading Guide Grades 4-9 - Institute for Education Sciences, 2022

II. Phonological & Phonemic Awareness

  1. Dr. Mark Seidenberg Three-Part Video Series on Phonemic Awareness

  2. 30 Science of Reading Resources - Heggerty

  3. The Importance of Phonological Processing - Moats & Tolman

  4. Understanding Phonological Awareness - Reading Rockets

  5. What is Phonological Awareness? - Mass Literacy

  6. Miss Campbell Reading Instagram

III. Dyslexia Screening & Assessment

  1. IDA Fact Sheets

  2. Dyslexia Facts & Myths

  3. Early Bird Screener

  4. Massachusetts Literacy Resources

  5. Screening Early Literacy Components

  6. Tests for Dyslexia and Language Disorders

  7. The National Center on Improving Literacy

  8. The PAST Test

Dyslexia Screening with Dr. Nadine Gaab (Video)

IV: Classroom Tools & Resources

  1. Decodable Texts

  2. Dyslexia in the Classroom: What every teacher needs to know

  3. Dyslexic Advantage

  4. Dyslexia Friendly Style Guide

  5. Fry Sight Words

  6. IDA Dyslexia Library

  7. Lively Letters

  8. Made by Dyslexia

  9. Mrs. Bliss Sound Wall Resources

  10. Rhythm and Writing Program

  11. The Reading League Curriculum Evaluation Tool

  12. UFLI Heart Words

  13. UFLI Literacy Resources

  14. Understanding the How and Why of Sound Walls

  15. We Are Teachers 350 Online Resources

V: Book List

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