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Recipes for Effective Literacy Instruction



When it comes to reading instruction, this Website is predominantly focused on reading COMPREHENSION (see the "Comprehension 101" page), not phonics. However, I'm including this page to ensure that users of this Website are aware of the importance of phonics instruction for early readers.

If you haven't listened to it yet, I highly recommend Emily Hanford's podcast SOLD A STORY, which explains the history of reading instruction and sheds light on the research behind the science of reading.  BOTTOM LINE: Children who struggle to DECODE will also struggle to COMPREHEND.

If you are the parent of a struggling reader, it may help you to know that you are not alone and that there are some research-supported things that your child's school can and should be doing to help.  Again, Emily Hansford at APM Reports has done extensive reporting on how reading is taught: HERE.

Here are some additional useful links about WHY WE NEED TO TEACH PHONICS:


If you believe your child is struggling with dyslexia, it may help to listen to this podcast: "Hard to Read: How American Schools Fail Kids with Dyslexia" APM Reports podcast by Emily Hanford, Sept. 11, 2017. Also, check out UFLI's Parent Resource Hub and Dyslexia Resources Hub.

Also, "dyslexie" font may help: Check out https://www.dyslexiefont.com



  • You can actually create your own CUSTOMIZED DECODABLE TEXTS using ChatGPT!  See this TLC Blog post: "One Way to Solve Reading Problems with ChatGPT."  (PS-- Check out the "A.I. TIPS" page for more ideas.) Then, take things a step further: How to Combine PHONICS with COMPREHENSION: AI Decodables Plus Diffit!
  • The Reading Universe (originally the Barksdale Reading Institute) offers a TON of SCIENCE OF READING RESOURCES.
  • Fly Leaf publishing currently (2022-23) offers free online decodable books with "homework" sheets that can be used for independent practice HERE.
  • West Virginia offers a free set of resources. Please click HERE to access a Google Drive containing these resources. You can download anything/everything you want. NOTE: Please DO NOT send a request for access; just download whatever you want.
  • Jessica R. Toste, PhD, provides FREE open-source reading intervention resources, including Word Connections, which is described as "a supplemental reading intervention program. It includes 40 lessons (40 min each), divided into four units of instruction. Word Connections was developed for students in third grade and above who continue to experience challenges with word reading even though they have developed foundational decoding skills. The lessons focus on promoting automaticity with reading 'big words.' This approach to multisyllabic word reading integrates multiple opportunities for students to manipulate and read words, rather than focusing on rule-based instruction."
  • UFLI (Univ. of Florida Literacy Institute) has developed EXTENSIVE FREE resources on phonics instruction, including virtual instruction tools and a well-organized toolbox with lessons and materials.


REGARDING TEACHER PREPARATION in the science of reading, here are some important research reports:




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