RISE supports teachers in bringing the best research-based instruction to emerging readers (K-3), struggling readers (grade 4-adult) and English language learners. RISE endorses both teacher-led direct instruction and software-based instruction. While nothing can match the level of learning that comes from hands-on, multi-sensory teaching lead by a skilled teacher, software-based instruction can also play an important role in the learning process.
7 Pillars of Effective Reading Instruction
What do excellent teachers know and do in the classroom? RISE assists teachers in creating classrooms where research in reading instruction is translated into practice. This includes the 7 pillars of effective reading instruction. The “pillars” are a framework developed by Reutzel and Cooper in 2011 to assist teachers in understanding all of the research about the teaching of reading.
- Have Teacher Knowledge - Each teacher of reading should understand the basics about phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. The teacher should understand how each of these important skills is related to the others, how the skills develop and how and when to teach them. The teacher should strive to continually stay abreast of the latest literacy research.
- Use Evidenced-Based Teaching Practices - Each teacher of reading should use strategies that are grounded in research. Using “evidenced-based” teaching practices means that the teacher will have excellent classroom management, teach the essential skills listed in the “teacher knowledge” section above, create a “print-rich” environment that includes lots of different reading materials, and have an interactive classroom where students are encouraged to engage in learning and talk to one another. Instructional programs should only include programs that have been proven to work through sound research.
- Apply Classroom Assessment - A excellent reading teacher is continually assessing the skills of each student. Real-time assessments provide the teacher with information needed to plan daily instruction based on what each student needs to learn or practice next. Assessments can include observations or performance measures that provide a specific understanding of a reader’s skill in a particular area.
- Employ Intervention Plans for Struggling and English Language Learners - When a reader is not progressing as expected, the teacher must provide additional support and assistance. Multiple interventions should be provided until the student has moved past the area of difficulty. Particular attention should be paid to students who are learning English for the first time. They will require additional time and support.
- Provide Motivation and Engagement - A student who wants to learn and participates actively in learning will progress much faster. A teacher can increase motivation and engagement by giving students choice, challenge and control over their learning. Students who talk to one another about their learning will be more engaged, so a collaborative classroom is ideal. The teacher can assist further by setting clear expectations coupled with meaningful feedback and consequences.
- Include Family and Community Connections - When parents, family and community are involved in the learning process, students learn more. Teachers who are able to provide strong connections to all of the people in the student’s world will likely have more success.
- Use Technology - Excellent teachers use and integrate technology into their daily reading and writing instruction. The use of software-based instruction can:
- individualize instruction so that each student learns exactly what is required at that moment in order to progress;
- maintain consistency so that reading instruction is organized, systematic and sequential;
- facilitate independence so that reading students can move forward as quickly as possible;
- extend learning beyond the walls of the classroom.