Fredrick Douglass

DECADES OF RESEARCH IN HOW STUDENTS LEARN TO READ HAVE PROVEN THAT:Direct, Intensive, Systematic, Early, Comprehensive (DISEC) instruction in the alphabetic code is essential if students are to become proficient readers, accurate spellers, and skilled writers. 


“At the level of the written word, English is one of the most complex languages in the world.Due to this complexity, most English speakers do not know the basic building blocks of the language; the sounds, their corresponding written expressions, and the spelling rules that go with them.”

“There are 26 letters in the alphabet, but they represent 44 sounds that can be spelled in 74 basic ways…learning these 74 phonograms and 30 spelling rules is the most efficient route to mastering English.”

“There are more than 2 million words in the English lexicon.The average adult speaker knows between 40,000 and 60,000 words…with a well-educated adult mastering up to 200,000 words.”

“Surely the most efficient way to master such a large lexicon is to learn the 104 tools which together describe how to read and spell each of these words.”

“Diane McGuinness, PhD, has shown that human memory is limited to approximately 2,000 individual symbols.Yet adult speakers of English need to master 40,000 to 200,000 words – an impossible task without the understanding of how to decipher the code.” “Many adults who are functionally illiterate know between

1,000 and 2,000 sight words.Though these students were successful at the task presented to them – memorizing individual words – they are unable to use this knowledge to meaningfully decode new words and thereby crippled from being able to read anything beyond the elementary level.”

Note:Quotations above are taken from Chapter 1, Uncovering the Logic of English, Eide, Denise; Pedia Learning, Inc., Minneapolis, MN, USA, 2012.

Because most of American schools require students to memorize words, rather than systematically teach them the complete sound/symbol knowledge of English spelling, we have had a decades long literacy crisis that has not significantly changed despite billions upon billions of dollars spent at local, state and federal levels to address this crisis.

The most recent statistics provided by the National Assessment of Education Progress indicate that 83% of African American, 78% of Hispanic and 57% of white 4th grade students have not been taught to read proficiently in our tax payer supported public schools.

This guide provides teachers and parents a reference to some of the excellent resource materials that can be used in the classroom, or at home to teach students to read proficiently.This list is not exhaustive, and CRE does not endorse or place these “instructional tools” in a priority order. They are listed alphabetically by the publisher’s name.

CRE strongly recommends that each resource be explored to determine which one will be the most effective for the age/grade/ability of the student(s).Websites are provided so that information about cost, content, and evidence of success can be ascertained. 

The Report of the National Reading Panel issued in 2000 identified the five components of reading instruction.They include:direct, systematic instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, fluency, and comprehension. 

Each of the resources listed in this guide include all of these essential components.Some of these resources are more comprehensive than others, also including grammar, syntax, morphemes, graphemes, and penmanship to name a few.However, each resource addresses the KEY element/components effectively – direct, intensive, systematic, early, comprehensive instruction in the English alphabetic code to the point of automaticity.

*Please note: “Professional development” is available, from many of the resource providers listed here.Some is available at no cost, and in other cases for a fee.

Criteria for evaluating K – 3 Structured Reading Programs

The National Right to Read Foundation endorses reading programs that are consistent with the findings of the 2016 Practice Guide of the What Works Clearinghouse and the Report of the National Reading Panel (NRP).

The NRP five components of reading instruction are listed below.

Phonemic Awareness

Helps children understand and recognize the relationship between the letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language.

Multisensory Phonics Instruction

This approach leads to an understanding of the alphabetic principle–the systematic and predictable, logical relationships between written letters and the spoken sounds they represent.


Once decoding words becomes automatic, the focus is on making connections between the ideas in a text, and between those ideas and the student’s background knowledge.Repeated and monitored oral reading improves reading fluency and overall reading achievement.

Vocabulary Development

Students should be able to decode, read, and comprehend any word in their spoken vocabulary, and read them aloud fluently and accurately without guessing.They should learn to use the dictionary, write the vocabulary words they know in sentences, paragraphs, and stories, spell the words they use accurately, and be able to read more complex content consistent with their age and grade level.


By the end of second grade or before, students should be able to comprehend in reading, what they can talk about and understand.Identifying story or text structure and the main idea, looking up unknown words in the dictionary, summarizing parts of the text, and classroom discussion are all parts of building good comprehension.


SUMMARY:All About Reading is a fun and engaging program that starts with essential pre-reading skills and continues on to teach all five key components of reading. It contains everything your student needs to become a fluent reader for life!

Easy to Learn

Powerful teaching methods are at the center of All About Reading.

Multisensory approach makes it easy for kids to understand

Built-in review system helps learning stick

Kids look forward to reading lessons because of the motivating, hands-on activities

This mastery-based, building block program works with kids who have learning disabilities as well as those who do not

Our explicit teaching helps students succeed

Easy to Teach

All About Reading makes your job easy and stress-free

Everything is planned out for you with “open and go” lesson plans

Lessons are organized and lightly scripted so you don’t have to figure out what to teach next

You don’t have to worry about missing some critical element of teaching reading – it’s all included

If you ever have a question, just pick up the phone or email us. You get FREE LIFETIME SUPPORT.

Each level has a short placement test to help you determine which level is best for your student.


SUMMARY:Blend Phonics is a FREE DOWNLOAD for Every Teacher in America

Don Potter has been a successful reading teacher (and now private tutor) for several decades.He states that Blend Phonics is the easiest method for teaching beginning reading that he has seen anywhere.It is also unsurpassed for remedial reading instruction for a person of any age.

Reading Made Easy with Blend Phonics. This inexpensive paperback also contains “The Blend Phonics Fluency Drills” as modified by Don Potter with the permission of the Hazel Loring Foundation. 


SUMMARY:There is a direct link between a child’s academic performance and future success when provided with positive early experiences and the development of early reading skills.

Children who cannot read proficiently by grade 3 are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than those who are proficient readers!Often parents ask: “Why do I need to teach my child to read when they will learn to read at school?”

According to the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) 67% of all Grade 4 students cannot read at a proficient level! This shocking statistic should not be surprising.Many teachers are not familiar with how to teach the alphabetic principles that are the basic building blocks of reading.

This program provides parents a way to teach their children to read before they enter formal schooling, or as a supplement for students at any grade level.It is simple, direct and follows the principles identified in the Report of the National Reading Panel.


A Rosetta Stone Company

SUMMARY:Lexia Reading Core5 provides all students—from “at risk” to on-level and “advanced”—with a systematic and structured approach to six areas of reading instruction, from phonological awareness to comprehension. The program creates personalized learning paths for each student through an adaptive placement approach and scaffolded activities that align to Common Core and other rigorous state standards.

Phonological awareness activities include identifying, segmenting, blending, and manipulating syllables and sounds in words. Phonemic Awareness is a component of phonological awareness that focuses on individual sounds within words.

Phonics activities include the ability to apply knowledge of letter-sound correspondence to reading and spelling words. In addition, phonics activities involve pattern recognition of syllable types, rules for syllable division, and simple spelling generalizations that are based on letter-sound correspondence.

Structural analysis activities include work on recognizing meaningful parts of multisyllabic words derived from Latin and Greek.

Automaticity is systematically developed through a series of warm-ups and activities focused on speed of processing. Fluency is addressed through activities that involve analysis of sentence structure and ultimately the timed silent reading of passages.

Vocabulary activities are structured to teach word-learning strategies to provide exposure to rich and varied vocabulary words, and to allow students to develop an awareness of word relationships and associations.

Comprehension activities develop the ability to understand information at a concrete level as well as an abstract level through the application of higher order thinking skills. Activities develop comprehension strategies through interaction with increasingly complex narrative and informational texts.

*Professional Development Available.


SUMMARY:The Language Tune-Up Kit (LTK®) curriculum includes the eight essential instructional elements needed to successfully teach

students:Multisensory: Instruction involves immediate, intensive, and continuous interaction between what the student is seeing, hearing, and feeling in the speech mechanisms and the writing hand. All the language elements taught are reinforced by having the student listen, speak, read and write. In LTK the student uses a mouse, microphone and keyboard to learn newly taught phonograms and to spell and write letters, words, and sounds from dictation.Alphabetic/Phonetic: Sound-symbol associations along with linguistic rules and generalizations are introduced in a linguistically logical, understandable order. The essence of the phonetic approach is to make letter-to-sound correlations as simple and comprehensive as possible.Synthetic/Analytic: The student is taught how to blend sounds together. When using LTK, the student hears the sounds pronounced while seeing the letters move together to make familiar words. LTK teaches the student how to segment words into separate speech sounds before beginning to spell. Drills which require placing the sound and filling in the blanks allows the student to apply the process to many words.Structured: The student learns one sound association, linguistic rule, or non-phonetic word and practices using it with previously taught material before learning the next language concept. In LTK, each new piece of the language taught is specifically reviewed multiple times through drills and spelling practice. If confusions occur later in another context, additional review is provided. LTK divides the linguistic rules into separate lesson activities and provides practice and correction routines for each lesson activity.Sequenced: Linguistic concepts are taught in a sequence which will minimize potentially confusing elements. The logic and order of LTK’s curriculum was determined by Orton-Gilligham experts who based their training in the Orton-Gillingham method. Their combined experience exceeds over 50 years in using this method to teach students of all ages and to train teachers.Cumulative: The student should be asked to use each newly introduced element while reinforcing others that have been taught. LTK’s quizzes test all of the linguistic information previously taught. Student scores typically indicate 90 to 100 percent mastery within the quizzes. There are multiple review lessons interspersed throughout LTK to provide practice and reinforcement.Repetitive: The concepts are repeated until the student gains mastery. The program provides 10 repetitions within each lesson activity and measures student mastery. If a mastery level of 80 percent is achieved, the student automatically

progresses to the next lesson activity. If not achieved, additional sets of repetitions are provided and achievement of 80 percent mastery is again determined.Cognitive: The student should understand the “linguistic logic” underlying word formations and patterns and be able to demonstrate that understanding while writing words. During the introductory and review portions of the lessons, LTK explains rules and generalizations both verbally and with on-screen demonstrations. 


SUMMARY:Grades 3 to adult.Logic of English Essentials is designed to introduce students to the linguistic structure of English.It develops phonemic awareness, decoding skills, vocabulary, fluency, spelling, and reading comprehension. Students will discover the 74 written phonograms and 31 spelling rules that accurately describe 98% of English words.It also teaches students the linguistic and morphological factors influencing many of the 2% of words that do not fully follow the phonics rules.This systematic, research-based program is packed with games and activities that address diverse learning styles and make learning FUN!

*Professional development available.


SUMMARY:Logic of English Foundations is a curriculum that teaches children ages 4 to 7 years old to read without guessing or memorizing sight words.Students develop phonemic awareness, learn to read and write the 74 basic phonograms, and increase reading fluency through structured but playful activities. 

The innovative Rhythm of Handwriting method is built into the Foundations curriculum, aiding students in developing fluid handwriting.Step-by-step, students grow in reading comprehension skills, moving from words and phrases to sentences, paragraphs, and well-known children’s books.Using evidence based reading instruction methods, Foundations combines multi-sensory learning with the latest in linguistic research to provide students with the best possible foundation for education; strong reading and writing skills.

If you’d like to start teaching your child about sounds and laying the groundwork for learning to read, but aren’t sure you’re ready to start a curriculum, you may also want to consider Doodling Dragons:An ABC Book of Sounds or the Doodling Dragons App.

*Professional development available.


Language Circle Enterprises, Inc.

SUMMARY:Project Read is a comprehensive language arts program designed to provide explicit instruction in a structured reading curriculum. The goal of the program is to help all students become thoughtful, purposeful, and independent readers. Lessons are intended to occur daily within an extended block of time devoted to reading instruction. Emphasis is placed on systematic, direct instruction in concepts and skills supported and enhanced by a teaching approach that includes visual, kinesthetic, auditory and tactile strategies (VAKT), and the use of body language.

Project Read offers language arts instruction in three curricular strands: Encoding/Decoding, Reading Comprehension, and Written Expression. The Reading Comprehension strand provides instruction in three different forms: Story Form Literature Connection—focused on narrative text for grades 1-5; Report Form—with emphasis on expository text for students in grades 3-12; and Story Form- focused on narrative text for grades 6-12. The Written Expression strand, Framing Your Thoughts, provides systematic and sequential instruction for written expression. The scope and sequence of Project Read is explicitly outlined at the beginning of each teacher’s guide and includes instructional pacing, skill and concept introduction, and spelling generalizations and patterns. The sequence of skills within phonics lessons is arranged from the simplest unit of sound to more complex, and from highest frequency of use to lowest.

©Florida Center for Reading Research ▪ 850-644-9352 *Professional Development Available


SUMMARY:Teaches students of all ages the basics of phonics with a time-tested, foolproof approach.

This tenth edition teaches reading using sounds and spelling patterns. These sounds and patterns are introduced one at a time, and slowly built into words, syllables, phrases, and sentences. Simple step-by-step directions begin every lesson.

Although originally designed for K-2 emergent readers, Phonics Pathways is also successfully being used with adolescent and adult learners, as well as second language learners and students with learning disabilities. Wise and humorous proverbs encourage virtues such as patience, perseverance, honesty, kindness, compassion, courage, and loyalty.

Offers help for all students including those with learning disabilities or very short attention spans

Includes extensive examples, word lists, and practice readings that are 100% decodable

Uses a multisensory approach that benefits all learning styles

This bestselling, much-loved book offers a complete approach to teaching phonics and reading for a fraction of the cost of other programs.

Now in its fifth edition, Reading Pathways (with help from Dewey the Bookworm) offers an easy-to-use, highly effective approach to teaching reading accuracy and fluency to students of all ages, using a unique pyramid format.

Reading Pyramids begins with one word and slowly build into phrases and sentences of gradually increasing complexity. As the student moves from the pinnacle to the base of each pyramid, the phrase or sentence becomes more interesting and expansive, and the student’s confidence grows with each line completed. Progressively building up the amount of text per line increases eye span, strengthens eye tracking, and develops reading fluency. The book also features more challenging multi-syllable word pyramid exercises and games to further develop fluency and vocabulary.

Learning to read long words by syllables removes the fear and mystique of multi-syllable words and helps students build the strong vocabulary so critical for success in reading and writing.

READ WELL Reading Curriculum

Voyager Sopris Learning

SUMMARY:Read Well® is a comprehensive K–3 reading and language arts solution that helps students build the critical skills needed to be successful readers and learners. The research-based program allows teachers to effectively target students at all stages of development. Through a flexible approach of whole-class instruction, differentiated small-group instruction, and individual student practice, teachers have the flexibility they need to meet students at their skill levels and adapt instruction accordingly. Read Well meets the challenges of the CCSS—along with the needs of each child.

Read Well

Builds close readers

Develops proficient writers

Provides multiple entry points for appropriate student placement

Incorporates an innovative blend of small-group peer collaboration and whole-class instruction

Teaches comprehension in an explicit and systematic way

Offers comprehensive training and implementation support

*Professional development available.


The Foundation for reading English

SUMMARY:Reading Horizons Discovery direct instruction materials provide teachers with scripted lessons for delivering high-engagement reading instruction to beginning and struggling readers in grades K-3.

Through these activities, teachers can provide students with the practice that will build their current skill level and help them transfer decoding skills to connected text.

In this program teachers are provided with six scripted manuals for teaching Grades 1-3, and two separate volumes for Kindergarten instruction.The scripted lesson plans help with implementation by requiring little preparation time.Scripted lessons also ensure that instructional integrity is maintained.

Teachers can be confident they have taught each skill as explicitly and as succinctly as possible. This helps students quickly grasp each new concept.

Each teacher’s kit includes non-consumable materials that can be used year after year to make instruction more engaging and interactive for students. This includes a Game Supplement and classroom posters. In addition, the Spelling Supplement is available to facilitate an integrated reading and spelling curriculum for students in grades K-3. 

*Professional development available.


SUMMARY:The Remediation Plus Early Language Teacher curriculum supports teachers with emergent literacy. If you teach kindergarten or grade 1, buy the curriculum and learn how to teach the students the 26 letters, their sounds they represent, how the sounds are shaped for the writing process, and how to blend the sounds to learn how to read, segment and spell them.

The R+ Early Language Manual is geared to support teachers. The scientific research from both Dr. Samuel Orton and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development have given us enough pertinent, empirically-proven reading research that, if conscientiously followed would prevent the high risks of reading failure that exist today!Based on phonemic awareness training and multisensory systematic explicit synthetic phonics.R+ Readers are a perfect complement to the Early Language Teachers Curriculum.

The curriculum includes:Phoneme grapheme correspondence and multisensory handwriting for the alphabet; Read and Spell – Segmentation and blending of CVC words and sentences; Consonant blends; Teaching and Writing Capital Letters.The Remediation Plus System achieves both reading and spelling proficiency by applying the findings of research in the classroom.

The Remediation Plus (R+) intervention program is a multisensory, systematic, phonics curriculum for all ages of students who struggle with reading, spelling, and/or handwriting due to learning disabilities, dyslexia, or reading lag. It is taught to mastery (30-45 min. per day)3 -4 students by teachers trained in the program(training has 8 hours of DVD and 1-2 days as a group) Total program duration for typical students is approximately 32 hours for grade 1 -50 hours for grade 2 and 100 hours for grade 3. The R+ System teaches the 44 speech sounds in a systematic curriculum. Every lesson plan has direct instruction in hearing the phoneme, developing the phoneme grapheme correspondence and segmenting the phonemes from speech. Students are taught that the grapheme of phonemes changes on placement.

Students are also taught rules of the English Language. Specifically, there are seven rules in total and each lesson has been fully developed clinically. The R+ System systematically teaches the students the six lessons on syllables for their success in both reading and spelling of multisyllabic words.

Overall, the R+ System includes 85 sequential lesson plans. At the end of the sequence teachers use the R+ grammar curriculum to learn to:

  • teach parts of speech in a sentence
  • review all word types, nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, etc.
  • teach the Main Idea and semantic webbing from existing text
  • teach retelling the story
  • teach students to create their own stories with proper writing instruction

In 2015 Johns Hopkins U completed a gold standard effectiveness study on the R+ intervention.

*Professional Development Available.



Pearson Learning

SUMMARY:Build fluent, independent readers through a unique 36-step learning-to-read curriculum built on carefully sequenced, systematic, and explicit phonics instruction. With over 25 years of proven classroom success and developed by Sue Dickson, a well-known educator with 27 years of primary grade experience, Sing, Spell, Read & Write uses music as the primary instructional vehicle. This fun and engaging reading program will:

Provide a creative, encouraging learning environment that engages every learning style and stimulates brain activity.

Ensure individual success through its use of a multisensory, multimodal approach that requires total participation from all learners.

Delight students with sing-alongs, games, charts, and appealing story books children can read all by themselves as early as Level K.

Draw upon the research and demonstrated success of using music in reading and spelling skill development to produce reading success for children.

Align to current research on brain function, language acquisition, and reading, as well as, scientific research clearly stating that systematic and explicit phonics instruction is the most effective way to encourage a child’s growth in reading.

Incorporates the research-based principles of reading instruction as required by the Report of the National Reading Panel, including phonemic awareness and phonological awareness, systematic, explicit phonics instruction, vocabulary development, fluency and oral reading skills, and reading comprehension strategies.

*Professional development available.



SUMMARY:The heart of the Sonday System 1®, this 214-page book contains 5 Pre-Reading and 36 Reading levels. Structured, predictable plans create familiarity, thus increasing the comfort level of teachers and students. This allows the learner to progress as quickly as possible but as slowly as necessary. Instructional content is printed in red while clear delivery procedures are in back. Teachers learn the sounds and rules as they teach. Mastery checks after every third level check progress, provide diagnostic information, and help gauge the pace of instruction.

The system is an Orton-Gillingham based, systematic, explicit, sequential, and cumulative multisensory language instruction program which cements student learning into long-term memory. The system is easy for instructors to use and contains: a check for knowledge, 5 Pre-Reading and 36 Reading levels, mastery checks, and templates for creating personal learning plans.

The concepts and elements taught in Sonday System 1® are:

Phonological Awareness, Phonemic Awareness, Consonant and Vowel Sounds, Vowel Pairs, Consonant Blends and Diagraphs, R Controlled Vowels, Vowel Consonant-e, Compound Words, Non-Phonetic Words, Spelling, Rules for English Language, Reading/Writing Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension.

*Professional development available.



Spalding Education – 6th Revised Edition

Home of Scientifically-based Language Arts Instruction

SUMMARY:Spalding Education International (SEI) is dedicated to teaching all students to spell, write and read. SEI is the home of The Writing Road to Reading, a comprehensive K-6 total language arts program. 

In The Writing Road to Reading, all elements of the language are integrated in spelling, writing, and reading lessons.The Spalding program includes instruction in all of the elements of reading instruction listed here, and more.

Phonemic awareness; Systematic phonics; High-frequency vocabulary; Word meanings and usages; Word parts; Grammar; Composition; Literary appreciation; Text structure; Fluency; Listening; Reading comprehension

Spalding is time-tested (now in its 6th revised edition) and validated by current research.Spalding Education International is located in Phoenix, Arizona and Spalding Education Australia is located in Sydney, New South Wales.

*Professional Development Available.


Zaner-Bloser Publishers

SUMMARY:The Superkids® Reading program is a core literacy

curriculum for kindergarten through second grade that teaches all aspects of reading seamlessly integrated into the language arts. Built on scientific research and proven pedagogy, it combines rigorous instruction with highly motivating materials.

Systematic, Explicit Instruction: The step-by-step lessons build skills systematically as children progress from kindergarten through second grade thus creating confident readers.Decodable Text: As children learn new phonetic elements, they immediately apply these skills to engaging decodable literary and informational text.

By second grade, children have learned the phonetic elements necessary to read text that isn’t phonetically controlled.Integration: Superkids integrates reading, spelling, handwriting, grammar, and composition into one program. 

Motivation: Children love the engaging Superkids characters.

Each character has a unique personality and interests. The Superkids stories capture the universal experiences of childhood.

By the time they finish the program, students have acquired the linguistic understanding required to develop into a fully literate individual. After Superkids, third-graders can read on grade level with accuracy, fluency, and understanding in any reading program.

*Professional development available.


SUMMARY:Wilson Fundations® provides research-based, multisensory materials and strategies essential to a comprehensive reading, spelling, and handwriting program.Students in grades K-3 receive a systematic program in critical foundational skills that emphasizes:

  • Phonemic awareness
  • Phonics/ word study
  • High frequency word study
  • Reading fluency
  • Vocabulary development
  • Comprehension strategies
  • Handwriting
  • Spelling

Students entering Fundations Level K for kindergarten and the Pre-K Activity Set are introduced to activities for learning letter-keyword-sound, alphabetic order, and letter-formation skills.Fundations serves as a prevention program to help reduce reading and spelling failure.This allows students requiring a more intensive program to be identified early before undergoing years of struggle.

*Professional development available.

YesPhonics™ Express Program – 2015

SUMMARY:YesPhonics Express gives you all the tools you need to teach reading, writing and spelling – to anyone. Don’t waste hours and days out of the classroom learning to teach phonics when you can immediately start using the simple tools in

YesPhonics™, including a complete curriculum, step-by-step worksheets, and much more.

Unlock the hidden potential inside every student by teaching the 72 phonograms – with flashcards, word games, and writing assignments. 

 YesPhonics Express decodes the English language, making it fun and easy to learn. Use the 72 Orton phonograms, the 45 phonetic sounds in the English language, and fun illustrations to embed and anchor students’ learning. Replace the grueling task of robotically memorizing and repeating words without understanding or caring.

The engaging YesPhonics tools and phonics games provide a comprehensive curriculum for teachers, tutors, and parents. YesPhonics Express is designed primarily for K-3rd grade-level readers, but can also be used to teach older students, adults, remedial readers, and those learning English as a second language. To read more, click: Who Uses YesPhonics™. 

YesPhonics™ activities keep your students engaged and encouraged to succeed at higher levels. Reluctant readers aren’t the only students easily bored with the traditional, repetitive “look-say” memorization techniques. 

YesPhonics teaches them to decode complicated words and sounds on their own. Don’t let your student/s fall into the margins of learning when they can become enthusiastic, independent readers.

Students learn HOW to write, with the 7 strokes of manuscript writing in the YesPhonics unique Circle Point Chart.

YesPhonics™ Express teaches cursive and manuscript writing in a format designed to accommodate the motor skills of growing children.

YesPhonics acts as an effective language arts program teaching students capitalization, punctuation, prepositions, verbs, nouns, homographs, homonyms, and more.

Your student/s will be able to read unfamiliar words syllable-by-syllable when they complete the third level of the YesPhonics program.

It won’t matter how long the word is: your “graduate” will have a vocabulary of approximately 30,000 words. Compare this with the 900 words third graders are typically able to read, spell and write using a Whole Language program.



SUMMARY:Zoo-phonics® is a method developed to make children strong readers and spellers using a “phono” (hearing), “oral” (speaking), “visual” (seeing), “kinesthetic” (moving), and “tactile” (touching)—whole brain approach. Students actually learn the sounds of the alphabet and advanced phonemic concepts through an easily understood, concrete method of presentation.

Zoo-phonics® uses animals drawn in the shapes of the letters for ease in memory. A related body movement is given for each letter. This concrete approach cements the sounds to the shapes of the letters. Lowercase letters and their sounds are taught first (needed 95% of the time in text); capital letters and letter names are taught later.

Zoo-phonics® also provides a springboard for all other academia such as math, art, music, cooking/nutrition, social studies, science, grooming, physical education, and sensory/drama.

Every aspect of the program has been field-tested and found to be effective. Educational research repeatedly supports the focus of phonics in early reading programs, as well as the educational benefits of pictorial mnemonics and kinesthetic approaches to learning that are unique to Zoo-phonics®.

Currently Zoo-phonics® is used throughout the United States and internationally as a highly effective language arts program.

*Professional development available



SUMMARY:Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling

What is LETRS?

LETRS comprehensive professional development responds to the growing need for high-quality support for literacy educators. More than any other professional development curriculum, LETRS prepares educators for the challenging work of teaching literacy.

Who benefits from LETRS?

LETRS is for educators striving to raise literacy achievement for all learners in grades K–12.


  • Deepens educator knowledge—includes the “what,” “why,” and “how” of literacy instruction
  • Works with educators to develop a road map for meeting the Common Core State Standards
  • Sharpens educators’ ability to diagnose why students are struggling and how to provide proven intervention
  • Offers more than a decade of demonstrated success in schools and districts across the United States
  • Provides real-world professional development that is relevant, timely, and actionable

LETRS Focuses on raising pre K–12 literacy achievement for all learners.


Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading

SUMMARY:The IDA Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading define what all teachers of reading need to know and be able to do to teach all students to read proficiently. The IDA Standards were written for two main audiences: classroom educators and dyslexia specialists. IDA has written separate narratives for each audience.

To view the IDA Standards document for classroom educators, click here.

To view the IDA Standards document for dyslexia specialists, click here.

The IDA Standards serve as the basis for IDA’s credentialing activities, which include the review and accreditation of university and independent teacher training programs and certification of individuals. IDA began reviewing and accrediting teacher preparation programs for their alignment with the IDA Standards in 2012. These include programs for prospective teachers, dyslexia specialists, and dyslexia therapists. University reviews are conducted every other year; independent programs are reviewed periodically. For a list of university programs that have been accredited by IDA, click here. For a list of independent teacher training programs accredited by IDA, click here .

Graduates of IDA accredited programs will be eligible to sit for the IDA exam and receive IDA certification, which will be available in 2016. IDA Certification indicates that a teacher or dyslexia specialist has mastered the content and skills outlined in the IDA Knowledge and Practice Standards and can teach students to become strong readers.


SUMMARY:Professional Development Services for Teachers

“Effective professional development for educators involves reflection, discussion, support, collaboration and continuous reference to the classroom and student work. Teachers need an array of skills and knowledge to successfully teach students to read well, and they need to continue to develop their professional capacity throughout their careers.”—McCardle, Chhabra, & Kapinus. (2009). Reading Research in Action: A Teacher’s Guide for Student Success. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

We Partner with and Empower Teachers by:Respecting and responding to each school’s unique culture and climate. As external literacy specialists, our goal is to become viable members of school teams and earn teachers’ trust.Beginning by building on what teachers already know and do right.We recognize that teachers want all students to achieve.Providing a customized professional development process that includes modeling, co-teaching, coaching, and reflection. 

We Develop Teachers’ Knowledge by:Translating quality reading research findings into the most effective teaching for educators at all levels with a particular emphasis on PreK to grade 3;Providing guidance in setting high, but realistic goals for student achievement, starting with the end in mind through backwards planning using the K-grade 3 scope and sequences we have developed (i.e., curriculum maps);Helping create powerful lessons that create pathways for faster automatic word recognition by continuously linking speaking, listening, reading, and writing; Offering a variety of professional development workshop models; 

We Support Teachers’ Practice by:Maximizing the effective use of resources, including classroom materials and school staff; Recommending and developing supplemental materials for classroom instruction; Matching the right type of text to students’ needs to give them practice in mastering reading skills; Helping teachers learn how to choose from a variety of books—predictable text for children who are learning the alphabetic principle; decodable text for students who need practice applying phonics skills; leveled text for working on comprehension strategies; authentic text to give students the opportunity to read quality literature and different genres; Maintaining teachers’ privacy as we work together to hone their instructional effectiveness.


SUMMARY:The Slingerland® Institute for Literacy is a non-profit organization that trains teachers to instruct students struggling with reading, writing and spelling skills. The Slingerland® Approach teaches oral and written language skills in the classroom to all types of learners, especially those with dyslexia.

The Slingerland® Multisensory Structured Language Teacher Training Course is accredited at the Teaching and Instructor of Teaching levels by the International Multisensory Structured Language Educational Council (IMSLEC).

Time and again, research has shown the effectiveness of the Slingerland® Multisensory Structured Language Approach (MSL) in helping children and adults with specific language disability learn how to read, spell and write. And because we train classroom teachers, each Slingerland-certified teacher can help up to 30 children each and every year. Since 1960, we have trained more than 16,000 teachers, who have helped over 3.5 million children. 

Our Mission Statement:The mission of the Slingerland® Institute is to provide teacher training in the Slingerland® Approach – opening educational opportunities for all learners, especially those with dyslexia.



A forty-five hour course in systematic, multi-sensory techniques for teaching the acquisition of the basic skills for reading, sponsored by The APPLE Group, Inc. of Jonesboro, Arkansas.

The participants will learn a multi-sensory approach to intervention strategies for children who exhibit different learning styles. The goal of the course is for the participants to have a full understanding of multisensory intervention skills. They will have an understanding of current scientific research and brain studies involving dyslexia and effective, evidence-based reading programs.

CONNECTIONS: OG in 3D is a, systematic, multi-sensory research-based approach to teaching the phonology, decoding, and reading skills of the English language.The trainee will be well-versed in preparing, implementing, and conducting the components of an Orton-Gillingham based lesson which includes phonemic awareness (enabling the student to detect, segment, blend, and manipulate sounds in the spoken language); grapho-phonemic knowledge for teaching the letter-sound plan of English; and the structure of the English language that includes morphology, semantics, syntax, and pragmatics.

Participants will learn linguistic instruction directed toward proficiency and fluency with the patterns of language so that words and sentences are carriers of meaning. Connections: OG in 3D teaches strategies for decoding, encoding, word recognition, fluency, and comprehension.

This workshop is for:

  • teachers
  • special educators
  • counselors
  • principals
  • intervention specialists
  • reading specialists
  • parents or grandparents of dyslexics
  • tutors

One in five children has trouble learning to read in spite of having normal intelligence, no emotional disturbances, adequate instruction, and no sensory deficits.These children need a different approach to learning language, that emphasizes the sounds and that letters represent, and how to put them together and take them apart.

Their hands, eyes, ears, and voices have to work together to retain what is being taught. This requires a structured, sequential, multisensory method of teaching.Not only is this type of instruction essential for children who do not respond well to typical teaching methods, but it also works for all children and can be used in any classroom with amazing results. 



Direct Instruction (DI) is a model for teaching that emphasizes well-developed and carefully planned lessons designed around small learning increments and clearly defined and prescribed teaching tasks. It is based on the theory that clear instruction eliminating misinterpretations can greatly improve and accelerate learning.

Its creators, Siegfried Engelmann and Dr. Wesley Becker, and their colleagues believe, and have proved, that correctly applied DI can improve academic performance as well as certain affective behaviors. It is currently in use in thousands of schools across the nation as well as in Canada, the UK and Australia. Schools using DI accept a vision that actually delivers many outcomes only promised by other models.

 Direct Instruction operates on five key philosophical principles:

All children can be taught to read.

All children can improve academically and in terms of self-image.

All teachers can succeed if provided with adequate training and materials.

Low performers and disadvantaged learners must be taught at a faster rate than typically occurs if they are to catch up to their higher-performing peers.

All details of instruction must be controlled to minimize the chance of students’ misinterpreting the information being taught and to maximize the reinforcing effect of instruction.

Why does DI work?

There are four main features of DI that ensure students learn faster and more efficiently than any other program or technique available:

Students are placed in instruction at their skill level.

When students begin the program, each student is tested to find out which skills they have already mastered and which ones they need to work on. From this, students are grouped together with other students needing to work on the same skills. These groups are organized by the level of the program that is appropriate for students, rather than the grade level the students are in.

The program’s structure is designed to ensure mastery of the content.

The program is organized so that skills are introduced gradually, giving children a chance to learn those skills and apply them before being required to learn another new set of skills. Only 10% of each lesson is new material. The remaining 90% of each lesson’s content is review and application of skills students have already learned but need practice with in order to master. Skills and concepts are taught in isolation and then integrated with other skills into more sophisticated, higher-level applications. All details of instruction are controlled to minimize the chance of students’ misinterpreting the information being taught and to maximize the reinforcing effect of instruction.

Instruction is modified to accommodate each student’s rate of learning.

A particularly wonderful part about DI is that students are retaught or accelerated at the rate at which they learn. If they need more practice with a specific skill, teachers can provide the additional instruction within the program to ensure students master the skill. Conversely, if a student is easily acquiring the new skills and needs to advance to the next level, students can be moved to a new placement so that they may continue adding to the skills they already possess.

Programs are field tested and revised before publication.

DI programs are very unique in the way they are written and revised before publication. All DI programs are field tested with real students and revised based on those tests before they are ever published. This means that the program your student is receiving has already been proven to work.

The implementation of Direct Instruction and the five key philosophical principles will introduce a crucial element in the school system: change. Teachers will generally be required to behave differently than before and schools may need an entirely different organization than they previously employed. Even staff members will be called upon to alter some operations. The popular valuing of teacher creativity and autonomy as high priorities must give way to a willingness to follow certain carefully prescribed instructional practices.

What remains the same, however, is the importance of hard work, dedication and commitment to students. And, it is crucial that all concerned adopt and internalize the belief that all students, if properly taught, can learn to read proficiently.