Reading Teacher

The Science of Reading

The Science of Reading

The science of reading teaching is an extensively researched field of study. The Science of Reading, shortened in the field to SoR has been debated for nearly a hundred years, as organized school curricula began to be developed and approved.

What is the Science of Reading

The Science of Reading is a field of study that examines how children learn to read and how educators can best support this process. Research in this area has been ongoing for decades, with new studies emerging that shed light on effective teaching strategies and approaches. The Science of Reading is based on the premise that reading is a complex process requiring a range of skills and abilities, including phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Here are some of the key areas that the Science of Reading explores:

Phonemic Awareness


Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and identify individual sounds, or phonemes, in spoken words. This is an important skill for early readers to develop, as it lays the foundation for phonics and word recognition. Teachers can support phonemic awareness by using activities such as sound games and rhyming exercises.




Phonics is the relationship between sounds and letters, and involves using this knowledge to decode written words. Phonics instruction helps children understand the rules of the English language, such as how different letter combinations create different sounds. Decodable readers, such as those provided by Reading Teacher, are a valuable tool for teaching phonics.




Fluency refers to the ability to read accurately, quickly, and with expression. Fluent readers are able to read smoothly and without hesitation, which helps them comprehend what they are reading. Teachers can support fluency by providing students with ample opportunities to practice reading aloud, as well as modeling fluent reading themselves.




Vocabulary refers to the words that a reader knows and understands. Building a strong vocabulary is essential for comprehension, as readers need to be able to understand the words they are reading. Teachers can support vocabulary development by exposing students to a range of words through reading materials, word games, and other activities.




Comprehension is the ability to understand what has been read. This is the ultimate goal of reading instruction, as it allows readers to derive meaning from text. Teachers can support comprehension by teaching strategies such as predicting, questioning, summarizing, and clarifying. By using these strategies, students can better understand and remember what they have read.


By understanding these key areas of the Science of Reading, teachers can support their students in becoming confident, fluent readers who are prepared for academic success. By incorporating approaches and tools that are aligned with the Science of Reading, such as those provided by Reading Teacher, educators can help their students develop the skills and abilities they need to become successful readers.

How Reading Teacher aligns with the SoR

Reading Teacherr is a comprehensive platform that aligns with the Science of Reading by utilizing every tool that has been established to be beneficial in learning to read step by step, building confidence in young readers and establishing a strong foundation through phonics. It offers over 100 animated and interactive stories, spread over 25 different levels, which are designed to highlight each new phoneme through new words at least five times in the story it first appears in, and then continues to appear another five times in the next ten texts. This approach, along with high-frequency words, ensures that the reader is thoroughly familiar with the new words as they get reps at them.


Teachers can use Reading Teacher to support early literacy development by providing students with access to engaging, interactive stories that are aligned with the Science of Reading. The platform is designed to be used by parents, teachers, and independent learners, which makes it a versatile tool for any setting. Teachers can use the platform to monitor student progress, identify areas of weakness, and provide targeted interventions to support their students' growth.


In addition to providing a range of reading materials, Reading Teacher is dedicated to helping underprivileged children and communities access learning resources and reading programs. The platform remains at the forefront of science, providing tried and proven solutions for the advancement of young readers. By using Reading Teacher, teachers can support their students in becoming confident, fluent readers who are prepared for academic success.

According to research, children who struggle with reading in their early years are less likely to succeed academically in later years. By using Reading Teacher, teachers can ensure that their students are provided with a solid foundation in early literacy skills, setting them up for success in their academic careers.


Right to ReadIt’s generally well understood that children learn to speak through a combination of sounds and visual clues (e.g., learning to recognize how someone says “car” and associating that with the sights and sounds of a moving car). This, however, is not how we typically learn to read.


With alphabetical language, it is important to realize (and connect the dots) between certain combinations of letters and the type of phonetic sound they produce. This is now acknowledged as the preferred way to “decode” written text and create memories that then allow young readers to associate words through repeated sounds.


Decodable readers are a prime tool for developing such sound (no pun intended) memory. The other option is leveled reading, as explained below.

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Access Level 1’s four interactive stories and the accompanying supplemental resources to teach elementary students how to read. No credit card is needed. Join the 42,635 teachers and students using our reading program.

What Teachers Should Know About the Science of Reading

What Teachers Should Know About the Science of Reading

science of reading

Over 25 million children in the US cannot read proficiently. Reading difficulties are most common in children with ADHD and dyslexia. Learning to read is a complex process, and structured literacy is a comprehensive approach to literacy instruction that is effective for all students but essential for students with dyslexia. Structured literacy is based on the science of reading.


Here, we cover in detail the science of reading, structured literacy, and how they support children with learning differences.


Before getting into the benefits of using decodable books in kindergarten and first grade, we will first explain how they work.

What Is the Science of Reading?

The science of reading is the research that reading experts, especially cognitive scientists and psychologists, have conducted to demonstrate the methods that best help children to learn to read.

The science of reading helps us understand the cognitive processes that are essential for fluent reading.

The science of reading answers many questions, including:

  • What are the skills involved in reading?
  • How do children learn to read fluently?
  • Why do some children struggle with reading?

How is reading related to spelling and writing?

How Is Phonics Involved in the Science of Reading?

how to read

Phonics is an essential part of the science of reading approach. But, the science of reading is not limited to the idea of phonics. Phonics is a teaching method that involves the relationship between sounds and their spellings. It’s an essential part of teaching struggling readers how to read because it helps them map sounds onto spelling.

Research shows that developing a strong understanding of phonics enhances reading ability as they help children hear and use different sounds to distinguish one word from another. The understanding of phonics complements the other aspects involved in the science of reading. But, as we discussed earlier, there’s much more to the science behind reading than just phonics. The other essential facets include phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.

What Is Structured Literacy?

Structured literacy is a comprehensive approach to teaching oral and written language. Research has shown that it’s effective for all children but is essential for dyslexic children. It’s an umbrella term used by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA).


Structured literacy merges decoding, encoding, sight words, phonological awareness, fluency, and comprehension. It also teaches children letter knowledge, types of syllables, spelling rules, and meaningful parts of words. Unlike balanced literacy, skills with a structured literacy approach are taught in a direct way.


You can think of structured reading as a research-based method of instruction that helps children that struggle to read. With structured reading, teachers introduce children to new skills in a logical manner.


It doesn’t involve one particular method.


The structured literacy components include:

  • Phonology – the understanding of sound patterns and their meanings
  • Sound-Symbol Association–the understanding of mapping sounds to letters
  • Syllable Instruction – knowing how to divide words into syllables
  • Syntax – understanding grammatical orders
  • Semantics – understanding the meaning of words
  • Morphology – the study of the internal structures of the words

What Is the Difference Between Structured and Balanced Literacy?

The balanced literacy approach is characterized by the use of authentic texts. It focuses on shared and guided reading. On the other hand, structured reading teaches the structure of language through explicitsystematic, diagnostic, and cumulative instruction in phonological awareness, phonics, syllable instruction, morphology, semantics, and syntax.

Balanced literacy teachers teach students the important components of reading through:

  • Read aloud
  • Shared reading
  • Guided reading
  • Independent reading

Final Words

Structured reading is based on the science of reading that allows teachers to incorporate essential components to an effective reading program into their daily lessons. It’s important because it helps people understand the cognitive processes that are imperative for successful reading acquisition.

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Learn More about Reading Teacher:

Reading Teacher access includes 100 animated, interactive stories across 25 different levels. Each story introduces or reviews a new phoneme, new words, and special (high frequency) words.


Each new word throughout the program is then repeated at least five times in the book in which it first appears, and then five more times in the next ten books. Prior to starting each story, children are prompted to select the ‘Listen’ or ‘Read’ option which allows for multiple exposures, experiences, and allows for additional reinforcements of growing skills. Over the course of our program, children will learn over 337 decodable words and gain confidence in their reading abilities. Reading Teacher aligns with the science of reading through a tailored, sequenced approach. Our reading program blends the 5 components of phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension into a simple, straightforward program. Each of the 25 levels of our programs is specifically crafted to build on the previous level's skills to lay the foundation in helping children with various reading abilities meet their unique needs through scaffolding and differentiation.

Start Teaching Reading for Free Now!

Access Level 1’s four interactive stories and the accompanying supplemental resources to teach elementary students how to read. No credit card is needed. Join the 42,635 teachers and students using our reading program.