Science of Reading Strategies for Elementary Teachers – 2024

The Science of Reading is overhauling many teaching methods in education to evidence-based best practices. Many researchers, authors, and educators are finding strategies that provide learners with systematic and explicit instruction. Looking for Science of Reading strategies? Look no further!

What are the Science of Reading Strategies?

The Science of Reading strategies fall under Structured Literacy components. The Simple View of Reading (SVoR) shares that Language Comprehension x Word Reading = Reading Comprehension. This means that students must have background knowledge regarding language, as well as decoding skills, in order to read for understanding.

The Processing Model for Word Recognition involves reciprocity of Context and Meaning Processessors, as well as Phonological and Orthographic Processors. Connecting the later two are phonics. 

Why are Science of Reading Strategies Important?

The Science of Reading strategies are important because they provide clear and evidence-based practice. They can act as a framework and allows for personalization based on the student. 

10 Science of Reading Strategies

Below are 10 science of reading strategies you can use in your classroom.

1. Identify Your Scope and Sequence

Whether you are in a district that has a phonics curriculum or not, be sure to see your Structured Literacy blocks from a big picture perspective. Note what skills are focused on within each unit and ways these skills can be applied to books and spelling.

2. Follow the Syllable Types

Data shows that the syllable types are the rules that reading and spelling are based off of. Check in your phonics programming to be sure your curriculum follows and identifies the syllable types!

3. Build in Phonemic Awareness

Phonemic awareness is the foundation of reading! Also known as reading in the dark, all of these skills are done without even seeing the letters. Have students rhyme, identify beginning sounds, and blend nonsense words to practice phonemic awareness. 

4. Repeated Readings

A strategy for students to become more fluent is to expose them to multiple reads within a passage or text. You can have students use different voices, whisper read, or learn to read to self. Most importantly, have them notice their own expression and intonation! 

5. Systematic Instruction

Stick to the plan! Being systematic means that you follow a sequence. 

6. Provide Lots of Opportunities to Blend and Segment

Help students strengthen their skills by blending and segmenting words. 

7. Categorize Your Sight Words

Sight words involve both regular and irregular words. Whether you follow Fry Words, Dolch Words, or something different completely, you can organize sight words to help students with their word acquisition. For example, teach “be”, “we”, and “he” together!

8. Intertwine Reading and Writing

As data and research show, decoding and encoding are interrelated. As students learn phonics reading skills, have students also write these patterns to practice mapping their words. 

9. Read in Isolation, Phrases, and Sentences

It is imperative for reading fluency that we master skills in isolation, then apply our decoding strategies to text! By reading in phrases, students learn to show intonation and expression. 

10. I Do-We Do-You Do

Provide guided instruction, scaffolding as needed for students to identify patterns and key elements. Through this gradual release, students feel more confident, more fluent, and ready to break the reading code! 

5 Science of Reading Decoding Strategies

Below are 5 science of reading decoding strategies you can use in your classroom.

1. Get Dirty!

Learning reading should be hands-on to promote the connection between alphabetic principle and phonological skills. 

2. Tap, Tap, Tap!

Take out the guess work! When coming to an unknown word, have students tap out each sound and blend to say the word. 

3. Know the Code

No matter the phonics program you use, syllable types can be coded to imprint patterns on our brains. Mark vowels that say their sounds versus their names, circle affixes, and even underline blends and digraphs. By marking words, we are taking another step towards full understanding. 

4. Generalize for Mastery

Do not forget that reading goes beyond the isolation of skills. Encourage decodables, passages, and story writing to generalize all phonics skills.

5. Out With Word Walls, In With Sound Walls

If trick words do not always follow our known decoding rules, how can students find them on a wall? Switch over to Sound Walls, which is a place students can reference based on sounds and letters.

In closing, we hope you found these science of reading strategies helpful! If you did, then you may also be interested in these posts:

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