The path to reading proficiency by Grade 3: Systematic, explicit instruction

As you and your early learners face more rigorous reading standards, it’s important to ensure that every child is advancing with the necessary foundational skills to reach grade-level proficiency by Grade 3. What’s the best way to close the achievement gap early?

The answer is through systematic and explicit instruction in the five foundational areas of reading—the building blocks to children’s success not only in reading, but also throughout their formal education, their careers, and their lives as informed citizens:

  • The Alphabet
  • Phonological Awareness
  • Phonics and Word Recognition
  • Spelling and Encoding
  • Fluency

Without a deep understanding of these foundational skills, children will not have the tools necessary to tackle the more rigorous expectations they’ll encounter in their learning. It’s our job as educators to prepare them for these shifts in instruction. Some key strategies for helping children achieve mastery include introducing:

  • Text complexity to build their knowledge across a broad range of subjects;
  • Text-dependent questions that help them discern the key points, request clarification, ask relevant questions, and summarize using and citing specific text-based evidence when offering an interpretation;
  • Range and quality of texts, including nonfiction, that encourage children to consider multiple perspectives that represent a variety of periods, cultures, and perspectives;
  • Academic vocabulary in reading, writing, speaking, and listening tasks to help them appreciate nuances.

Meet the teachers of Beastie Hall

Top thought leaders in early education, neuroscience, and gaming theory have developed a learning environment that makes mastery of foundational skills fun and engaging for every child. Let us introduce you to the teachers of iRead’s Beastie Hall—all experts in foundational reading skills—whose classrooms are in the virtual school created by this team of experts.

  • Miss A and Coach Z, whose classroom focuses on the alphabet and phonemic awareness
  • Mr. Sounders, who will guide your children to mastery of the 44 sounds and highest-utility spellings of the English language
  • Mr. Seemore, whose specialty is building automaticity with high-frequency sight words
  • Mrs. Wordy, who makes learning word parts and syllables fun and helps children unlock multisyllabic words
  • Professor Readwell, whose “Success Room” helps children celebrate their accomplishments and apply their skills with independent reading

In the coming weeks, we’ll take you inside each of the Beastie Hall classrooms to learn more about how these onscreen teachers are supporting reading mastery and helping you do what you do best: planning and delivering high-impact instruction with the help of targeted data.

Until next time, here’s your chance to explore iRead and Beastie Hall on your own.