The Evidence Base for Being a Reader

Level 4 – Demonstrates a Rationale

The Evidence Base for Being a Reader

Recommended Instructional PracticesBeing a Reader
Program Features (K–2)
Teach Comprehension Strategies● Teach and model how to use reading comprehension strategies: question generation, summarization, visualization, clarification, and prediction
● Teach reading comprehension strategies through a gradual release of responsibility

● Making meaning through analyzing the events and characters in stories, retelling, making connections, exploring
text features, and making inferences
● Comprehension strategies taught with the goal of having the students apply the strategies to their independent reading (making connections, questioning, retelling, making inferences, determining important ideas, using text features, analyzing text structure, and summarizing)
IES Practice Guides:
K–3 Reading (2010)

National Reading Panel:
Teaching Children to Read (2000)
Facilitate Text Discussion, Speaking and Listening, and Social Skills

● Guide students through focused, high-quality discussion of the meaning of text
● Give students the opportunity to learn by collaborating with their peers
● Development of skills needed to participate in small-group discussions about texts in a meaningful way
● Discussions of text are focused using thoughtful, open-ended questions
● Development of students’ listening and speaking skills
● Cooperative structures and partner activities
IES Practice Guides:
K–3 Reading (2010)
Engage Students in Shared Reading● Provide repeated oral reading with feedback and guidance to develop fluency, including questioning the text, providing feedback to students, repeating, expanding, and modeling● The teacher reads and rereads carefully selected large-format texts with the whole class, models
effective reading behaviors and strategies, and invites the students to be involved in reading and discussing the texts
● The teacher models fluent reading and uses comprehension strategies
● Students wonder and answer questions before, during, and after a read-aloud to make sense of text
National Reading Panel:
Teaching Children to Read (2000)

National Early Literacy Panel: Developing Early Literacy (2008)
Teach About Text Features and Genres● Teach students to identify and use the text’s organizational structure
to comprehend, learn, and remember content
● Teach reading comprehension with multiple genres
● Text features, text structure, and story elements (e.g., sequencing, theme, character, problem and solution) are used to understand different genres
● Genres taught: fiction, folktale, memoir, biography, expository nonfiction, narrative nonfiction, and poetry
IES Practice Guide:
K–3 Reading (2010)
Provide Explicit Instruction and Connected, Independent Reading● Provide both explicit instruction in specific comprehension strategies and a great deal of time and opportunity for actual reading, writing, and discussion of text
● Ensure that each student reads connected text every day to support reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension
● Give students reading choices
Small-Group Reading (Sets 1–5):
● Students receive explicit instruction in phonics, decoding, high-frequency word recognition, and comprehension—practicing the skills immediately in appropriately leveled texts

Individualized Daily Reading:
● Students read independently in self- selected texts at their independent reading levels
● The teacher confers with individual students, helping them select appropriate books and assessing and supporting their reading

Independent Work:
● Students work independently on meaningful literacy activities (reading, writing, word work) while the teacher instructs small groups or individuals
IES Practice Guides: Foundational Skills (2016)

K–3 Reading (2010)
Support Academic Language and Vocabulary Knowledge● Teach students academic language skills, including the use of inferential and narrative language and vocabulary
● Provide explicit and indirect vocabulary instruction
Word Study Lessons (grade 2):
● Word Study lessons focus on developing the strategies students can use to decode polysyllabic words (e.g., base words, meaningful affixes, and identifying strategies for dividing words into syllables)
● Introduction of challenging vocabulary embedded in read-alouds
● Explicit instruction of Tier 2 vocabulary words and independent word-learning strategies (e.g., affixes, antonyms, synonyms, multiple-meaning words, context clues, idioms, roots, and compound words)
IES Practice Guides:
Foundational Skills (2016)

National Reading Panel:
Teaching Children to Read (2000)

National Early Literacy Panel: Developing Early Literacy (2008)
Provide Assessment and Differentiation● Provide time for differentiated reading instruction for all students based on assessments of students’ current reading levels
● Adjust instruction or differentiate instruction based on assessments of student progress
Small-Group Reading:
● Students are matched with texts at their assessed reading levels and instruction is provided to address their differing needs

Placement Assessments:
● Small-Group Reading Placement Assessments (Sets 1–5 and Sets 7–12)

Formative Assessments:
● Group Progress Assessments
● Class Assessments
● Individualized Daily Reading (IDR) Conferences
● Independent Work Observations

Summative Assessments:
● Student Progress Assessment
● Mastery Tests (Sets 1–5)
● Letter Name Assessment (Kindergarten)
● Word Study Assessment (Grade 2)
● Social Skills Assessment
IES Practice Guides:
RTI (2009)

K–3 Reading (2010)

Establish Early Reading Foundational Skills

Recommended Instructional PracticesBeing a Reader
Program Features (K–2)
Phonological Awareness● Develop awareness of segments of sounds in speech and how they link to letters
● Teach students to manipulate phonemes
Small-Group Reading(Sets 1–5):
● Oral phonological awareness activities (whole class and small group)
● Oral segmenting and blending
● Identifying beginning, middle, and ending sounds
● Blending onsets and rimes
● Identifying and producing rimes
● Identifying syllables
● Dropping first and last sounds and initial blends
● Word building exercises (letter-sound relationships)
● Sound sorts (small group)
IES Practice Guide: Foundational Skills (2016)

National Reading Panel:
Teaching Children to Read (2000)

National Early Literacy Panel:
Developing Early Literacy (2008)
Phonics and Decoding● Teach students to decode words, analyze word parts, recognize sound-spelling patterns, and write and recognize words
● Provide systematic phonics instruction
● Support detecting or manipulating small units of sounds in words and alphabetic knowledge
Small-Group Reading (Sets 1–5):
● Single consonants
● Short vowels/CVC patterns
● Consonant blends
● Long vowels/CVCe pattern
● Complex vowels
● Inflectional endings
● Two-syllable decoding
Guided Spelling (Sets 1–5, 7, 8 and Grade 2 Word Study):
● Spelling-sound relationships
● Polysyllabic words
● High-frequency words
IES Practice Guide: Foundational Skills (2016)

National Reading Panel:
Teaching Children to Read (2000)

National Early Literacy Panel:
Developing Early Literacy (2008)

Connecting Being a Reader to Hattie’s High Yield Practices

Guided by the work of Fisher, Frey, and Hattie (2016), the table below identifies the most prominent influences that occur in the Being a Reader program and their corresponding effect sizes. To keep the table concise, effect sizes greater than .40 are listed with a brief explanation.

High Yield Practices Embedded in the Being a Reader Program
ES + InfluenceExplanation
.82 Classroom Discussion● Facilitation questions and discussion prompts 
● Open-ended questions invite a variety of responses and encourage students to listen and respect the ideas of others
● Wait time gives students the chance to think before responding and encourage participation 
.75 Feedback● Embedded corrective feedback routines are provided
● Teacher-Student conferences provide regular opportunities for individualized feedback
.72 Teacher-Student Relationships● Consistent, clear instruction builds trust
● Teachers build strong relationships with students and facilitate and strengthen relationships among students
● Students learn procedures in which they are responsible to one another; they regularly discuss and solve problems related to their work together
● Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning and to be aware of the effect of their behavior on others
.69 Metacognitive Strategies● Students learn to self-monitor to check their comprehension
● Formal instruction in self-monitoring and self-correcting occurs in Small-Group Reading Sets 8, 10, and 11. 
.67 Vocabulary Programs● Vocabulary lessons teach high-utility words found in or suggested by the read-aloud texts
● Strategies that can be used to unlock word meanings when reading independently are taught
.65 Prior Achievement● Placement Assessment is used to determine entry point
● Mastery Tests allow teachers to track what students know compared to the content that has been taught
● Lessons include ways to draw on students’ experiences, backgrounds, and prior knowledge and to build on those during instruction
.64 Self-Verbalization & Self-Questioning● Students are encouraged to think critically and share their ideas and opinions
● Students are encouraged to build on one another’s thinking, explore and respond to different viewpoints, and generate independent thinking
● Unit is dedicated to Wondering/Questioning in each grade level, K–2
.63 Teaching Students to Summarize● A developmental build in summarizing is evident across grades, beginning with retelling and sequencing and then summarizing
.60 Comprehension Programs● Each Unit of whole-class instruction is focused on a comprehension strategy
● Reading strategies are taught directly through read-aloud experiences
● Read-alouds, strategy, and guided and independent strategy practice lessons are used to teach and practice comprehension strategies. 
.59 Direct Instruction● Instructional routines provide consistent instruction
● New skills are explicitly introduced, modeled, and practiced
.57 Mastery Learning● Mastery Tests occur every 2 weeks
● Reteach options are included
.54 Student-Centered Teaching● Opportunities to reteach are provided and guidance on when to reteach is based on student performance
● Student engagement and response to each routine determines the instructional next step (i.e. to insert a correction routine, to slow the pace, to increase practice, or to reteach)
● The program is designed with educational equity in mind to ensure every student receives what they need in order to develop to their full academic and social potential 
.54 Phonics Instruction● The program is built upon a systematic scope and sequence
● Instruction is explicit and targeted to each student’s developmental level 
.52 Classroom Management● Instructional routines offer consistent structure
● Support is provided for strategic classroom arrangement
● Setting the Foundation Lessons support the development of Independent Work structures so students successfully learn to self-select activities, negotiate with others, think about how to share and handle materials, and consider how their choices affect those around them. 
● Explicit instruction is provided for classroom procedures, routines, and social skills
.49 Small_Group Learning● Small-Group Reading targets instruction to match each student’s developmental level 
● Heterogeneous grouping and random pairing occur throughout the year
.48 Questioning● As students progress along the phonics continuum, they are encouraged to ask questions about spelling sounds in words that lead them to correct spelling
● Questioning/Wondering is a focus for one Unit in each grade level
.45 Mnemonics● Mnemonic devices are used to introduce, practice, and encode spelling-sound correspondences
.42 Cooperative Learning● Students engage in regular discussions to reflect on classroom values and community
● Ongoing peer partnerships and the use of cooperative structures allow students to regularly express their thinking and listen to others’ thinking
.39 Social Skills Programs● Students think about and act on five core values: responsibility, respect, caring, fairness, and helpfulness
● Students learn how their actions affect the community
● Students work in pairs, small groups, and as a class to listen and learn from one another
Fisher, D., Frey, N, & Hattie, J (2016). Visible learning for literacy, grades K–12: Implementing the practices that work best to accelerate student learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.