The Science of Reading: Where Do I Start?

Foundational Instruction Based on Reading Science

Overwhelmed by all the seemingly sudden info about the science of teaching reading? I gotcha covered!

Bookmark this 1 page for your easy jumpstart to the Science of Reading. Discover the basics with this series of 5 videos to answer the question… “Where Do I Start in learning about the science of reading?”

Yep, you guessed it, in the following videos, I'll share instructional ideas and activities that are foundational to learning how to read words.

Here at Reading Simplified we specialize in explaining the research briefly but, of equal importance, in translating these ideas into efficient routines that get exponential growth. 🚀

confused teacher wondering what to do


Out of the Starting Blocks with the Alphabetic Principle

After the foundation of oral language, the first step into learning how to read is really the alphabetic principle–the concept that our written language is a code for sounds.

And we can get our young students out of the starting blocks fast when we offer them activities that integrate multiple reading sub-processes.

Discover how much faster children can learn to crack the code with the streamlined activities Build It and Switch It in the video below.

In the video above, you saw our introductory activity, Build It, that quickly reveals the alphabetic principle to the young student. Notice all the reading sub-skills that are learned with this simple activity. Click here to learn more about Build It and access a free word list for absolute beginners. 

Build It is rapidly followed by Switch It, which really takes over and becomes a star player in helping children gain advanced phonemic awareness and strong decoding skills. Again, notice all the skills that students practice with Switch It.

Access the free Switch It Game and all the how-to's here.

Switch It decoding activity diagram


The #1 Decoding Strategy

What is the #1 decoding strategy, according to research in reading? 🧐 

I'll explain it and why it's so important in this session! Look for video examples that make adding this to your classroom routine a piece of cake.

In the video above, you learned about the essential Blend As You Read decoding strategy. We teach this with our activity Read It and reinforce it through Guided Reading and Re-Reading for Fluency, of course. 

Head here to learn more about Read It and access word lists and procedures. 

Read It decoding activity diagram image


Learning Letter-Sounds by Reading, Writing, and Manipulating Words

What are the most potent activities for building knowledge of the letter-sounds? 🔤

For most school-aged kids, the answer is simple…

  • Reading,
  • Writing, &
  • Manipulating WORDS.

In addition to Build It and Switch It which were introduced above, this video models more about Write It and Sort It.

When you pack your tool kit with these core Reading Simplified word work activities, you are well prepared to teach anyone sound-based decoding. 

You'll not only be in alignment with what we know so far about how the brain learns to read…you'll also be using the most efficient activities yet invented. 🥂

Grab your sample Sort It packet here.

Write It diagram image
Sort It diagram image


Getting to Real Reading... Fast

Ready for more GOOD News? There are simple ways to accelerate our students' achievement–even if they don't recognize a single letter-sound. Not by the teacher working harder–but by working smarter!

One of these ways is by getting to real reading fast. 🏎 For the absolute beginner or the student who just struggles with reading, we can leap 🐸 them into real reading much faster than mainstream curricula would have us move.

No… I'm not talking about books that prompt them to look first to pictures as their main source of “reading.”

Instead, let's talk about a few tangible strategies that will sky rocket our kids' growth this year! 🚀

"It is apparently important that the prerequisite phonological awareness and skill at spelling-to-sound mapping be in place early in the child's development, because their absence can initiate a causal chain of escalating negative side effects...."

Dr. Keith Stanovich

Stanovich, Keith. (1986). Matthew Effects in Reading: Some Consequences of Individual Differences in the Acquisition of Literacy. Reading Research Quarterly. 21. 360-407.


Sight Words: More Than Meets the Eye

Kids gotta have sight words, right?

100%, according to the research. BUT some students will learn so-called sight words the right way…

…and some will learn them the wrong way.

What we do as teachers and parents at the BEGINNING of their reading journey may set them up for success or failure!

So please watch the video below to discover the pitfalls to avoid when teaching high frequency words and simple activities to ensure your students' high flying instead! ✈

You're Invited!

Save Your Seat for Our Most Popular On‑Demand Workshop

3 Activities A Day to Keep Reading Difficulties Away

We've boiled down the science into an easy, streamlined system and in this free workshop, I'll share the 3 most important activities that we use with every beginning or striving reader. Watch students take flight through Switch It, Read It, and Sort It.

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