Research-Based Reading Instructional Practices

Reading is an essential skill for every subject area. Thus, it is vital to establish a school culture that recognizes that every teacher is a reading teacher. Effective reading instructional practices include supporting students’ ability to self-monitor comprehension and develop word knowledge and providing evidence-based interventions to students who struggle to learn to read.

reading instructional practices brief
Reading Research-to-Practice Brief

Overview of Reading Instructional Principles and Practices

Principle 1: Establish schoolwide practices for enhancing reading for understanding in all content area instruction.

  • Practice 1: Identify key words for learning, teach at least two words per class every day, and review one word from previous instruction.
  • Practice 2: Instruct students to ask and answer questions while they read to monitor comprehension and learning.
  • Practice 3: Teach students to comprehend the relationships among ideas using graphic organizers.

Principle 2: Teach word-meaning strategies within content area classes.

  • Practice 1: Provide explicit instruction for important words.
  • Practice 2: Provide instruction in word-learning strategies.

Principle 3: Activate and build appropriate background knowledge for understanding text content.

  • Practice 1: Instruct students to use text to support answers.

Principle 4: Teach students to use reading comprehension strategies while reading complex text.

  • Practice 1: Instruct students to generate questions while reading to build comprehension.
  • Practice 2: Instruct students to generate main ideas at regular intervals in a text.

Principle 5: Provide intensive reading interventions to students with reading problems.

  • Practice 1: Identify students who are two or more grade levels behind in reading and provide daily reading intervention.

Principle 6: Guide students during text-related oral and written activities that support the interpretation, analysis, and summarization of text.

  • Practice 1: Foster discussion among small groups of students.
  • Practice 2: Instruct students in how to summarize text.
  • Practice 3: Enhance text understanding through teacher-guided conversations.

Principle 7: Maximize opportunities for students to read and connect a range of texts.

  • Practice 1: Provide an advanced organizer of all of the key ideas and key words to better prepare students to read text.
  • Practice 2: Read for a speci ed amount of time (e.g., 3 minutes) and then provide a prompt for student response.
  • Practice 3: Have students participate in partner reading.

Principle 8: Organize students into collaborative groups for reading tasks.

  • Practice 1: Implement collaborative groups with strategic reading practices to improve student outcomes.
  • Practice 2: Implement team-based learning to clarify, apply, and extend students’ understanding of text and content.

Principle 9: Discontinue using practices that are NOT associated with improved outcomes for students.

  • Practice 1: Take stock of all of the instructional practices and models that teachers are currently implementing and determine whether they are necessary and associated with improved outcomes for students.