Science of Teaching Reading

SAReads® is bridging the gap between the science of reading and classroom instruction. Modern technology shows how the human brain learns to read. Functional MRIs of the brain prove that “picking up the mechanics” of reading isn’t easy or natural. This explains why so many children do not learn to read through exposure to books and language.

Humans are born with brain circuitry to pick up spoken language; but no one is born with reading circuity. Reading has to be taught (Psychology Today, May 2018).

[Chelsea: Please insert the Shaywitz brain and possibly some fMRI images to show how neural pathways form with explicit, systematic reading instruction.]

A formula introduced by Gough and Tunmer in 1986 known as “The Simple View of Reading” demonstrates that Decoding and Language Comprehension are separate and necessary skills for Reading Comprehension. For example, a student with strong language and poor decoding will not achieve reading comprehension.

"Code-emphasis instruction is necessary in the early grades because most reading problems unfold in the very beginning stages of literacy acquisition." ~ Louisa Moats

The science of teaching reading involves specialized skills that are difficult for teachers to acquire through typical teacher education channels. SAReads® addresses this critical need by training, coaching and supporting teachers as they transform their classroom instruction to align with the science.

Explicit, systematic reading instruction is critical. If teachers teach the harder phonemic awareness tasks before children have learned the easier ones, many children will fail to develop phonemic awareness. These children will struggle with more difficult reading skills that require phonemic awareness, such as using phonics to decode unfamiliar words. (Moats)

"There is remarkable consensus about the basic theory of how reading works and the causes of reading successes and failures."  ~ Mark Seidenberg

The Science of Reading in Texas

The 2019 Texas teaching standards (i.e., TEKS) follow the science of reading and require phonics instruction from kindergarten through 5 grade. In order to become a certified teacher in Texas, teachers must know the science of teaching reading.

The 86th Texas Legislature passed the transformative education bill [House Bill 3  (HB 3)] summer 2019. The Texas Education Agency will release resources that explain House Bill 3 so that the public at-large can better understand the different components of the law and what guidance they can expect from the agency over the next few weeks and months. See HB 3 in 30 Video Series.

Resources