Martin Kozloff
David Gill
December, 2004
This module describes the main features of
Reading First.
Five major reading skills, or Big Ideas.
 Three kinds of curricula.
 Four kinds of assessments.
 Systematic and explicit instruction.
 Scientific validation of all aspects of
instruction (the first four items in this
list).
 Reading as a school-wide endeavor.

Five Major Reading Skills, or Big Ideas
Reading First gives educators a clear picture of reading.
Proficient reading consists of five major skills, or big ideas.
When these five skills are taught in a logically progressive
sequence, early skills help students to learn and use the
later-taught skills.
This leads to accurate, rapid reading with comprehension and
enjoyment.
More information is on the IDEA website, at
http://reading.uoregon.edu/big_ideas/trial_bi_index.php
Now let’s look at the five main reading skills, or big ideas.
Five Major Reading Skills, or Big Ideas
The five major reading skills are:
1. Phonemic awareness
2. The Alphabetic principle


3.
4.
5.
Letter-sound correspondence
r says rrr
Sounding out, or decoding, words
“rim” -> rrriiiimmm -> rim
Fluency
Vocabulary
Comprehension
Big Idea 1. Phonemic Awareness:
Phonemic Awareness Is…
The Ability to Hear and to Manipulate Sounds in Words.
There are a dozen ways to hear and manipulate sounds in words.
These ways are best taught from easier to harder. For example,
1. Identify words that sound the same and different.
run
fun
sit
mouse hat
house
2. Rhyme. can, man, fan, rrr__
3. Count the number of words in a sentence.
The dog sat by the cat = 6 words
Big Idea 1. Phonemic Awareness: Continued
4. Count the number of sounds (phonemes) in a word.
sat = /s/a/t/ = 3 sounds
5. Blend (make) words from separate syllables and
sounds.
“Listen. ice…..cream. What word?” icecream
“Listen. mmm…aaa…nnn. What word?” man
6. Segment words by identifying the first, last, and
middle (medial) sounds.
“What’s the first sound in rrrruuuunnn?”
Big Idea 1. Phonemic Awareness: Continued
7. Say what a word would be if one sound were
removed (phoneme deletion).
“Listen… sssaaaat. Take out ssss. What
word now?...” at
8. Say what a word would be if a sound were
replaced with another sound.
“Listen…. ssssiiiit. Take out ssss and put in
fff. What word now?...” fit
Big Idea 1. Phonemic Awareness: Continued
Caution!
1. It’s best to work on only three or so
kinds of phonemic awareness—not all of
them.
2. The best choices are rhyming,
segmenting, and blending.
Big Idea 1. Phonemic Awareness: Continued
3. Connect skill at phonemic awareness with
instruction on the alphabetic principle—
a. letter-sound correspondence
m says mmm
b. sounding out words
raaannn -> ran
Specifically…
Big Idea 1. Phonemic Awareness: Continued
 Don’t work on phonemic awareness by itself
for weeks and then work on letter-sound
correspondence and sounding out.
 Instead, in close succession, when you teach
students to hear and manipulate sounds in
words, teach them the letters that go with
those sounds and then to sound out words
made of those letters.
Big Idea 1. Phonemic Awareness: Continued
Phonemic awareness helps students to read and to do
other literacy skills.
How?
Students who hear and manipulate sounds (phonemes)
and syllables in words, and words in sentences, can more
easily do the following:
1. Remember which sound goes with which letter.
2. Sound out words. cat k/aaaa/t
3. Say and read sentences smoothly.
Big Idea 1. Phonemic Awareness: Continued
4. Spell.
“How do you spell cat?”
kaaaat. /k/ is c. /a/ is a. /t/ is t.
c a t…cat.
5. Detect and correct errors in reading and
spelling.
“The hou…no hhoorrr…horse ran fast.”
Big Idea 1. Phonemic Awareness: Continued
See
http://reading.uoregon.edu/pa/index.ph
p for more information on phonemic
awareness.
Big Idea 2. Alphabetic Principle
The Alphabetic Principle is…
The Ability to Associate Sounds With Letters and to Use
This Knowledge to Read Words.
The alphabetic principle (sometimes called phonics) has two
skill-parts.
1.
The student knows letter-sound (sound-symbol)
relationships:
m says /mmm/, i says /iii/, and r says /rrr/.
2.
The student uses letter-sound knowledge to sound out or
decode words—perhaps letter by letter at first and then
quickly.
“The bike has a bent rrrriiiimmm….rim.”
Big Idea 2. The Alphabetic Principle: Continued
When students use letter-sound knowledge to
sound out words (the alphabetic principle, or
phonics), they know exactly what the written
word says.
However,
 Many students are not taught to use phonics
knowledge as the first and most reliable
strategy for identifying words.
 Many students are not taught phonics in a
systematic way.
Big Idea 2. The Alphabetic Principle: Continued
Many students are (wrongly!) taught to guess
using context cues. “What word fits there?”
So, instead of reading words as written (“The
bike has a bent rim”) these mistaught
students guess…
“The bike has a
be…be..bell…belt….ri…ri…rip. The bike has a
belt rip.”
Big Idea 2. The Alphabetic Principle: Continued
When students can’t read words as written (can’t read
the letters), they try to guess or “predict” what a word
is, using
 Pictures on the page. “A cat picture. Billy put on his
cat.” [The word is “hat.”]
 The shape of a word. “That word looks like it says
‘baby’.” [The word is “maybe.”]
 A few letters in the word. The child says “kite” instead
of “kit.”
 What seems to fit the meaning of a sentence. “The
lamp fell…down.” [The word is “over.”]
Big Idea 2. The Alphabetic Principle: Continued
Using these “context cues” is NOT
reading—any more than guessing
answers to math problems is the same as
solving problems.
“Show your work.”
“I can’t.”
“Why not?”
“I guessed.”
Big Idea 2. The Alphabetic Principle: Continued
Students who guess what words say (because
they were taught to do this, or because they
were not taught phonics systematically, and
therefore have to guess), may never become
skillful readers.
That’s why Reading First stresses thorough,
systematic, and explicit instruction in the
alphabetic principle.
Read more at
http://reading.uoregon.edu/au/index.php
Big Idea 3. Fluency With Text
Fluency is…
The Effortless, Automatic Ability to Read Words in Connected
Text.
 Fluency means reading with accuracy, speed, and prosody (pitch,
emphasis).
 Fluency is important for enjoyment and comprehension.
If a person struggles with words such as “guilty”
(gu…qu…guil…quil…), the person will also struggle to figure
out the meaning of sentences.
In fact, dysfluent readers spend so much time and effort
trying to figure out what the separate words say, they can
barely pay attention to the meaning of the sentence.
“The ju..jur….jury found her gu..qu…guil…quil…”) In other words,
they learn very little (e.g., vocabulary, ideas) from reading.
Big Idea 3. Fluency With Text: Continued
To help students read connected text (e.g.,
story passages) accurately, quickly, and
with prosody, it is important to:
1. Teach students to decode separate words
(regular and irregular) accurately and
quickly—which means (1) using knowledge
of letter-sound correspondence (not
guessing); and (2) blending the sounds into
words.
2. Teach students to self-correct.
“ssiiib… No sssiiip…sip.”
Big Idea 3. Fluency With Text: Continued
3. Provide practice reading words enough
times that it’s almost automatic; that is,
the words become “sight words.”
4. Provide practice reading text with which
students are already accurate.
5. Encourage students (and model how) to
read faster and faster without making errors
(i.e., more words correct per minute, or
wcpm).
Big Idea 3. Fluency With Text: Continued
Note!
Sight words are not words a student
memorizes. The student still knows how
to decode words letter by letter.
The student has simply read the words so
often that decoding takes only an instant.
Learn more about fluency here.
http://reading.uoregon.edu/flu/
Big Idea 4. Vocabulary
Vocabulary is…
Understanding (receptive) and Using (expressive)
Words to Gain and Express Meaning.
The first three reading skills…
1. Phonemic awareness
2. The alphabetic principle--letter-sound correspondence
and the strategy for sounding out or decoding words
3. Fluency…
…have to do with the mechanics of reading.
The last two skills—vocabulary and comprehension—
have to do with making sense of the written word.
Big Idea 4. Vocabulary: Continued
Vocabulary and comprehension can’t be taken for granted.
 Many students won’t “pick up” these skills.
 Students should be taught systematically and explicitly how to
get and express the meaning of words and passages.
 This is especially important for students from low
socioeconomic backgrounds. These students
 Are read to less often.
 Hear fewer vocabulary words, and therefore
 Understand and use far fewer words than children born to
working class or professional class families.
Big Idea 4. Vocabulary: Continued
Here are important methods of
vocabulary instruction.
1. Read storybooks to children.
2. Provide direct instruction of new
vocabulary words by:
Selecting important words in a story.
Explaining or defining the words.
Giving students many chances to
discuss and use the new words.
Big Idea 4. Vocabulary: Continued
3. Teach older students morphemic analysis (analysis
of word parts) to determine meaning. For
example,
“Bisect. Bi means two. Sect means part.
So, bisect means divide into two parts.”
4. Teach contextual analysis--inferring the meaning
a word from the context in which it occurs.
“The fan’s oscillations cooled everyone in the
room…Sometimes fans move back and forth. If
everyone was cooled, it probably means the fan
blew on everyone. So, oscillate probably means
to move back and forth.”
Find more on vocabulary here.
http://reading.uoregon.edu/voc/
Big Idea 5. Comprehension
Comprehension is…
Reading and Reflecting on a Text to Gain Meaning
Sentences don’t tell you what they mean.
Students must interact with the text—for example,
1. Ask questions. “When did Huck see that Jim was more
than a slave?”
2. Check to see if the text gives answers.
3. Reread, and modify interpretations.
4. Connect one sentence with later sentences to get the
flow of the argument or the flow of events in time.
Big Idea 5. Comprehension: Continued
These comprehension strategies are learned
best when taught explicitly. This means
1. Setting comprehension objectives.
For example, students will answer specific
literal (who, what, when), inferential (why),
and evaluative (what might have happened
if…?) questions.
2. Focusing on main ideas in a story or
informational text.
Big Idea 5. Comprehension: Continued
3.Preteaching vocabulary words important for
comprehending the material.
4. Reading (with students) the material in
manageable chunks, and asking literal,
inferential, and evaluative questions on each
chunk.
5.Using a KWL strategy: students think about and
discuss what I know; what I want to know; and
what I learned.
Learn more about comprehension here.
http://reading.uoregon.edu/comp
A Comprehensive Set of Curriculum
Materials
No set of curriculum materials (program) is
adequate for teaching all five main reading
skills to all beginning readers.
Materials may have the following weaknesses.
Weaknesses in Curriculum Materials
There are two main weaknesses in curriculum
materials.
1. The scope and sequence (what is taught and
in what order) may not adequately cover all
five skills.
For example, there is too little instruction on
phonemic awareness; some skills are taught
in the wrong order; there is too little review
and practice.
Weaknesses in Curricula
2.
Materials are designed for the average student, and may
not provide the sort of instruction needed by:
 Students with little background knowledge; for
example,
 small vocabulary
 little phonemic awareness
 little knowledge of letter-sound correspondence

Students with specific difficulties learning to read.
For example, some students know how to sound out
words, but they take too long to do it. As a result,
they can’t keep pace as the teacher points to words
on the board and asks the class to read each word
quickly.
Weaknesses in Curricula
Therefore, a comprehensive reading curriculum
will have three sets of materials.
Reading First recommends three kinds of
curriculum materials, or what is sometimes
called the “three-tier model”--which you can
read about at the following websites.





http://www.utsystem.edu/EveryChild/Presentations
/SVaughnPDF9-9-02.pdf
http://www.texasreading.org/3tier/materials.asp
http://texasreading.tea.state.tx.us/readingfirst/3tie
modreainsint.pdf
http://www.fcrr.org/science/pptpresentations.htm
http://www.fcrr.org/science/publications.htm
Three-Tiered Model
The three sets of materials are
 Core. For almost all students.
 Supplemental. To fill gaps in core
materials or to provide additional
instruction to certain students.
 Intervention. Highly focused, intensive
instruction for certain students.
Core Materials in the Three-Tiered Model
A core reading program should:
1. Cover all five main reading skills, or big
ideas.
2. Be designed to be useful for almost all
beginning readers.
3. Be well-designed, in terms of sequencing
of skills, practice, and building simpler
skills into more complex wholes, to name
a few features.
Core Materials: Continued
The University of Oregon’s website states:
“A core reading program is the primary
instructional tool that teachers use to teach
children to learn to read and ensure they
reach reading levels that meet or exceed
grade-level standards. A core program should
address the instructional needs of the majority
of students in a respective school or
district…Adoption of a core does not imply
that other materials and strategies are not
used to provide a rich, comprehensive
program of instruction.”
Core Materials: Continued
“The core program, however, should serve as the
primary reading program for the school and the
expectation is that all teachers within and between
the primary grades will use the core program as the
base of reading instruction. Such programs may or
may not be commercial textbook series… Teaching
reading is far more complex than most
professionals and laypersons realize. The demands
of the phonologic, alphabetic, semantic, and
syntactic systems of written language require a
careful schedule and sequence of prioritized
objectives, explicit strategies, and scaffolds that
support students' initial learning and transfer of
knowledge and skills to other contexts.”
Core Materials: Continued
“The requirements of curriculum
construction and instructional design that
effectively move children through the
‘learning to read’ stage to the ‘reading to
learn’ stage are simply too important to
leave to the judgment of individuals. The
better the core addresses instructional
priorities, the less teachers will need to
supplement and modify instruction for the
majority of learners.”
[http://reading.uoregon.edu/curricula/core
_program.php ]
Core Materials: Continued
Criteria for evaluating core reading programs,
and reviews of many core programs, can be
found here.
 http://reading.uoregon.edu/curricula/index.ph
p
 http://reading.uoregon.edu/appendices/con_gu
ide.php
 http://reading.uoregon.edu/curricula/or_rfc_r
eview_2.php
Supplemental Materials in the Three-Tiered Model
Supplementary curricula or programs are used
in two ways.
1. They fill gaps in a core reading program.
For example, a core program may have too
little instruction on rhyming (one aspect of
phonemic awareness), or it may have too few
storybooks connected to its instruction on
decoding and vocabulary. Therefore, a school
or district would purchase or create materials
to give the additional instruction.
Supplemental Materials in the Three-Tiered Model
2. A core program may not provide the
amount of highly focused instruction some
students need on certain skills.
For example, some students enter school
with a vocabulary so small that they don’t
know what the stories are about.
Therefore, a school or district might use a
supplementary program for accelerating
these students’ vocabulary development.
Supplemental Materials in the Three-Tiered Model
Caution. It’s important to select core and
supplementary materials that are compatible,
or at least to train teachers to make them
compatible. For example, a core program
might tell teachers exactly how to correct
errors when students misread words. For
example, the word is “made” but a student
reads “mad.” “He m….mmm…mad the....”
Teacher. “That word is made. What word?”
Student. “made.”
Teacher. “Spell made.”
Student. “m a d e”
Teacher. “What word?”
Student. “made.”
Teacher. “Yes, made. Please start the
sentence again, Joey.”
Supplemental Materials in the Three-Tiered Model
However, supplementary materials might
not tell teachers how to correct reading
errors, or they may suggest a different
method (format). This will confuse
students. So, the school either has to use
core and supplemental materials that
correct errors the same way, or the school
has to decide that teachers will apply to all
supplementary materials the error
correction format used in the core program.
Intervention Materials in the Three-Tiered Model
Intervention programs are designed to meet the needs
of students with so little background knowledge or so
much difficulty learning to read that they need
specially designed instruction and special, additional
time for instruction.
For example, diagnostic assessment may show that
some kindergartners are falling behind, perhaps
because their phonemic awareness skills are still so
weak. Or, some third graders struggle to comprehend
text because they are still weak on basic
comprehension skills.
In both cases, students would get extra time for
interventions, using materials that focus on their skill
weaknesses.
Intervention Materials in the Three-Tiered Model
Caution. Again, core and intervention
materials should be compatible; e.g., both
teach the same word identification and
comprehension strategies.
In addition, teachers must ensure that what
students learn during intervention instruction
is transferred to general (core) reading
instruction. For example, teachers ensure that
students are taught to use their new phonemic
awareness and comprehension skills when they
are with the rest of the class reading
storybooks in the core materials. Otherwise,
intervention instruction will be of little
benefit.
Intervention Materials in the Three-Tiered Model
You can read more about supplementary and
intervention programs at the following
websites.
 http://reading.uoregon.edu/curricula/or_rfc_r
eview_si.php
 http://readingserver.edb.utexas.edu/downloa
ds/primary/booklets/Essential_Strategies.pdf
 http://oregonreadingfirst.uoregon.edu/downlo
ads/S-I_Review_Full_06-23-04.pdf
 http://readingserver.edb.utexas.edu/downloa
ds/primary/booklets/supplementTutoringGr35.pdf
Four Kinds of Assessments
A rule in Reading First is that instruction should be
rational and accountable. Teachers need solid
information on skills students bring and do not bring to
reading instruction, on progress they are making during
instruction, and how much progress they made during
the year. Without this information, teachers can’t
successfully:
 Assign students to proper reading groups and to
properly trained teachers.
 Decide if the core program is adequate or if students
need supplemental or intervention instruction (and on
exactly which skills).
 Decide at the end of the year if students are ready to
move to the next year/level of a core program.
Therefore, Reading First advocates four kinds of
assessments. Each has a different function.
Four Kinds of Assessments: Screening
Screening assessment is used when students
enter a beginning reading program or at the
start of the year.
The function is to determine whether a
student has the entry skills (e.g., knowledge
of the alphabet, phonemic awareness, and
vocabulary) that are likely to make
instruction in the core program alone
adequate, or whether the student has
specific skill deficits and learning difficulties
that require supplemental and/or
intervention instruction.
Progress Monitoring: Continued
Progress is monitored on skills worked
on. These assessments might be done
bi-weekly (or more often) to see how
much students’ skill at decoding
(sounding out) words is improving, or
how much fluency (measured as words
correct per minute, wcpm) is
increasing. This information is used to
make decisions.
Progress Monitoring: Continued
Decisions based on progress monitoring:
1. A student should be moved to a reading group that is
progressing more quickly (or more slowly).
2. A student might get extra practice at decoding so
the student reads connected text more accurately
and quickly.
3. A student’s progress is so slow that intervention
instruction is called for. However, before that is
done, more information is needed—supplied by
diagnostic assessment, discussed later.
Progress Monitoring: Continued
Progress monitoring also says something about
the quality of a curriculum and/or the quality
of instruction delivered by teachers. For
example,
1. If teachers use the core program exactly as
instructed but many students make little
progress, this suggests weaknesses in the core
program. The core then might be reevaluated
with the following documents.
 http://reading.uoregon.edu/curricula/con_guid
e.php
 http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/Evaluating%2
0a%20Core%20Reading%20Program.pdf
Progress Monitoring: Continued
2.Students in Ms. Black’s class make excellent
progress in the core program, but students in
Ms. Winter’s class do not. This suggests that
Ms. Winter is not using the core properly. For
example, Ms. Winter may not correct errors, or
she may go to the next lesson before students
master skills in the present one. In this case,
Ms. Winter’s teaching must be assessed. The
inventory, here, shows how to assess teachers’
reading instruction.
 http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/inventory.doc
Diagnostic Assessment
Screening assessment may show, for example,
that a student has little knowledge of
phonemic awareness.
But what does this mean?
 Does this mean the student is not read to and
talked with enough at home?
 Does it mean the student can’t easily hear the
differences between one word and another?
 Does it mean the student simply has trouble
producing the sounds?
Diagnostic Assessment: Continued
Likewise, progress monitoring may show that a student
is not picking up skill at sounding out words.
Does this mean the student’s knowledge of letter-sound
relationships (s says /s/) is weak, and therefore the
student can’t say and blend the separate sounds in
many words?
Or could it be that the student knows letter-sound
relationships but has a hard time retrieving and then
using this knowledge quickly enough to keep up with
the pace of instruction?
Clearly, making the right instructional decision requires
answers to these questions, which are supplied by
diagnostic assessment.
Outcome Assessment
Outcome assessment determines how much students
have learned at the end of a semester or year. This
information is used to evaluate:
 The quality of the core, supplemental, and intervention
materials.
 The quality of instruction.
 Student motivation, attention, and participation.
 Students’ specific reading skills and difficulties—leading
to decisions about curricula (keep, change, modify),
instruction (ways to improve and how to assist
teachers), and classroom management.
Features of Good Assessments
Assessment instruments should:
1.
Provide valid information (information on the skills that need to
be measured).
2.
Be appropriate for students’ age and grade level.
3.
Be reliable (different users would get about the same data with
the same students).
4.
Be relatively easy to use.
5.
Provide objective information (e.g., 100 correct words per
minute) rather than impressions (“Sally reads pretty accurately
and quickly”).
Therefore, it’s wise to select instruments with a solid track
record.
Features of Good Assessments
Here are sources that describe and evaluate many
assessment instruments.
 http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/rfassessmentins
truments.pdf
 http://idea.uoregon.edu/assessment/analysis_resu
lts/assess_results_by_test.html
 http://www.fcrr.org/assessment/
 http://idea.uoregon.edu:16080/assessment/
Systematic and Explicit Instruction
The most respected scientific research in education
and psychology shows clearly that instruction yields
higher and faster achievement in more students
(with and without learning difficulties) when
instruction is systematic and explicit.




Here are some resources you might examine.
http://epaa.asu.edu/barak/barak.html
http://epaa.asu.edu/barak/barak1.html
http://idea.uoregon.edu/~ncite/documents/techrep/t
ech05.pdf
http://idea.uoregon.edu/~ncite/documents/techrep/t
ech06.html
But what does systematic and explicit mean?
Systematic Instruction: Continued
Systematic means that:
1. Instruction is given in a planned, logically progressive
sequence of things to be taught. For example, certain
letter-sounds (a, s, i, m, r) are taught before other
letter-sounds (b, n, y, sh) because they are easier to
learn and are used more often.
2. Instruction is guided and assessed with clearly defined
objectives for everything taught. Objectives are stated
in terms of what students will do.
Poor objective. Students read story books quickly
and get most words right.
Good objective. Students are given two minutes to
read the assigned passage from “The bear and the
hare.” They read the passage at a rate of at least
100 words correct per minute.”
Systematic Instruction: Continued
3.
Instruction is focused precisely on the thing
(knowledge unit) to be learned, as specified by the
objective.
For example, if students are to read a passage at 100
wcpm, then that is exactly what the teacher focuses
on during the ten minute fluency exercise during
lessons. She does not work on fluency, new
vocabulary, and comprehension at the same time.
4.
Instruction provides planned practice to strengthen all
of the skills worked on.
Systematic Instruction: Continued
5. Instruction provides planned work on new
examples (e.g., words, text) to foster
application or generalization of previously
taught knowledge.
6. Instruction includes assessments designed
and used in a timely fashion to monitor the
different phases of instruction, or mastery:
acquisition, fluency, generalization,
retention, and independence.
Systematic and Explicit Instruction: Continued
Explicit means that:
1. The teacher reveals in an obvious and clear way to
students the knowledge she is trying to communicate.
She does this through demonstrations (modeling) and
running commentary to students. For example,
“I’ll show you how to sound out this word. [man is
written on the board.] Listen. I do NOT stop between
the sounds. [Teacher touches under each letter as
she says the sound.] mmmmaaaannn. Now, I’ll say it
fast. [Teacher slides her finger under the word.]
man.”
Explicit Instruction: Continued
2. The teacher ensures student attention to
important features of an example or
demonstration.
“Look. [points to the word “ate”] Here is a
vowel, then a consonant, and then an e at
the end [name]. So, we do NOT say the e at
the end.”
Explicit Instruction: Continued
Here’s an example of instruction that is not
explicit. It is implicit—or buried in the
teacher’s talk.
The teacher holds up a big book that
has a paragraph from a story. She
reads the words slowly. Occasionally
she points to the letter r in different
words and says rrr. She expects that
this will be enough for students to get
the connection between the letter and
the sound. Of
course, many students
do not get it.
Systematic and Explicit Instruction
In contrast, using explicit instruction the
teacher would hold up the big book and say,
“New sound. This sound (points to the
letter r in ran) is rrr. Say it with me… And
this sound (points to r in car) is rrr. Say it
with me… And this sound (points to r in
barn) is rrr. Let’s see if you remember our
new sound. What sound is this? (points to
r in ran)… What sound is this? (points to r
in barn)… What sound is this? (points to r
in car)…. Now I’ll read the story.”
(Teacher points to each r as she reads and
has students say rrr and then read the
whole word.)
Systematic and Explicit Instruction
Explicit instruction of letter-sound
correspondence, in which…
 The teacher focuses on sounds in isolation to
aid attention.
 Points to the letter and says the sound (model).
 Has students say the sound with her and then
by themselves.
 Practices this many times over the next few
days
…is more likely to teach most students quickly.
Scientific Validation
This is one of the most important contributions of
Reading First. Every curriculum or program, every
teaching method (e.g., how to correct errors), and
every assessment instrument must be:
1. Valid (does what it is supposed to do) and reliable
(works the same way in the hands of different people).
2. Based on scientific research. For example, the
sequence for introducing new letters-sounds in a core
program must be based on solid scientific research that
says this is an effective sequence.
3. Field tested to ensure that it is valid and reliable and
effective before it is used.
Scientific Validation
Teachers will be more confident, and certainly
will be more effective, if all of their teaching
methods and materials are known to work.
Here are websites with more information on
scientific validation.
 http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/RigorousEvid
ence.pdf
 http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/whatresearch
says.htm
 http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/Research%20
and%20Reason.pdf
 http://www.ecs.org/html/educationIssues/Rese
arch/primer/understandingtutorial.asp
Reading is a school-wide Endeavor
If teachers in different grade levels and
classes use different curricula, different
assessments, different teaching methods,
and different rules for interpreting
assessment data and for making
instructional decisions, students are not
likely to benefit as much from reading
instruction as they would if reading were a
coordinated school-wide activity.
Reading is a School-wide Endeavor
Therefore, schools need to:
1. Develop a school mission stressing the importance
of reading, setting high but realistic achievement
goals for each year, and assuming primary
responsibility for students’ achievement.
2. Examine different curricula and assessment
instruments (using materials at the websites listed
earlier), and select the ones shown to be most
effective.
3. Select the right teachers for the right jobs. It’s
essential that the best teachers teach students in
the early stages of reading and teach students who
are behind or who need interventions.
Reading is a School-wide Endeavor
4. Select specialists to coordinate testing, collect
assessment information, order curricula, obtain outside
consultation and training, and provide technical
assistance to teachers.
5. Ensure principals and other administrators know: the
five reading skills; what explicit and systematic
instruction looks like; what effective reading instruction
looks like; what to ask job applicants to ensure that they
get skilled teachers; know the criteria that define
adequate curricula; and have the strength to require
teachers to use curricula faithfully and to improve their
teaching as needed.
6. Provide professional development on all aspects of
Reading First, as well as timely ongoing assistance.
Reading is a School-wide Endeavor
Here is the website for an instrument that lays out the
skills teachers need. It can also be used to guide
assessment, professional development, and ongoing
assistance.
 http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/inventory.doc





Additional materials on school-wide implementation
include the following.
http://oregonreadingfirst.uoregon.edu/downloads/Progr
am_Fidelity_Checklist.doc
http://www.texasreading.org/utcrla/
http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/al_jan_02.pdf
http://readingserver.edb.utexas.edu/downloads/primary
/guides/2000_word_analysis_SE.PDF
http://reading.uoregon.edu/logistics/trial_log_index.ph
p
Let’s summarize
The six features of Reading First discussed
above amount to an integrated approach to
reading.
 There are five main reading skills: phonemic
awareness, the alphabetic principle (lettersound correspondence and using this
knowledge to decode words), fluency
(accuracy and speed), vocabulary, and
comprehension.
 Three kinds of curricula ensure that virtually
all children learn to read: core programs,
supplementary programs, and intervention
programs—with placement determined by
assessment information.
Let’s Summarize
 There are four kinds of assessments: screening,
diagnostic, progress monitoring, and outcome.
These provide information used to make decisions
about students’ curriculum and instructional needs,
the quality of curricula used, and the quality of
instruction.
 The wisest course is to teach all skills systematically
(in a planned, logical sequence) and explicitly (the
teacher clearly demonstrates knowledge).
 All of the above are based on the rules and
procedures of scientific research to ensure validity,
reliability, and effectiveness.
 All of the above are part of a coordinated, schoolwide effort that includes clear mission, strong
leadership, assignments based on expertise, and
professional development.
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Introduction to Reading First