Beginning Reading Instruction: Components and Features of a Research-based Reading Program

Research-based programs for beginning reading instruction provide comprehensive, well-organized instructional plans and practice opportunities that allow all students to make sense of reading. Some students begin school with a well-developed understanding of many aspects of reading and become accomplished readers with minimal instruction. Other students need a great deal of careful and meaningful instruction to become accomplished readers. A teacher’s task is to find out what students do understand, what they need to learn, and what needs to be provided in the classroom.

Download and review the Beginning Reading Instruction booklet. This publication details the twelve essential components of research-based reading programs, the eight features of classrooms and campuses that support effective beginning reading instruction, and the eight essential elements for adapting instruction to facilitate beginning reading success for children with special needs.

Download and review the Guidelines for Examining Phonics and Word Recognition booklet. The goals of beginning reading instruction include that students learn to read with confidence and fluency, that they understand what they read, and that they find reading a source of both knowledge and enjoyment. To enable all students to achieve these goals, beginning reading instruction programs must offer balanced instruction that provides students with a variety of experiences. 

Beginning Reading Instruction: Professional Development Resources to Support Learning

Students need frequent opportunities to talk, read, and write in the many ways they use language both inside and outside the classroom. Because the language arts (reading, writing, listening and speaking) are so interrelated, children must be given the opportunity to practice the strands of language arts in connected and purposeful ways.

The following resources support teacher development in learning how to effectively teach beginning reading skills. This list is not meant to be exhaustive; please use the search feature of the Texas Gateway for additional resources.

Targeting the 2%

This resource provides reading intervention lessons for teachers who work with students in grades K–5. Targeting the 2 Percent (T2%) aims to improve the instruction, content knowledge, and academic achievement of Texas students transitioning from assessments based on modified standards to the general state assessment, the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®).

Building Blocks for Teaching Students with Reading Difficulties

This professional development consists of a series of resources with videos that demonstrate how to teach reading and spelling skills to struggling adolescent readers. The resources are organized so that later lessons build upon earlier ones. The series can be used as a set of sequential lessons or separately to address the particular needs of students.