Professional Development & Technical Assistance
Reading First Support
Archived Information

What's New?

A Review of the Current Research on Vocabulary Instruction.

RMC Vocabulary Instruction Synthesis Final 1 [PDF, 1.5MB]

A synthesis by the National Reading Techinical Assistance Center of research on vocabulary instruction published since the landmark 2000 report of the Naitonal Reading Panel.

Spanish Reading Instruction for English Language Learners

Spanish Reading Instruction for ELLs Final [PDF, 1.5MB]

A case study of the reading achievement of students in California who received reading instruction in their primary language.

The Study of the Effectiveness of K-3 Literacy Coaches [PDF, 1.5MB]

A 2010 NRTAC report based on data from Reading First principals, teachers, and coaches in 17 states.

How Does Coaching Affect Classroom Practice? [PDF, 1.5MD]

A 2010 NRTAC report based on the California Reading First year 5 evaluation report (2006-07).

A Review of the current Research on Comprehension Instruction[PDF, 1.5MB]

A 2010 research synthesis by the NRTAC that reviews research published since the 2000 National Reading Panel report.

The following resources relate to technical assistance and professional development for reading first. For more resources, visit the Sustaining Reading First and Instructional Leadership pages.

Tips for Designing a High Quality Professional Development Program – A Reading First Quality Brief [PDF, 1.5MB]

A Reading First Quality Brief providing an overview of the components of a RF professional development plan for those just getting started with implementation.

A Principal's Guide to Intensive Reading Interventions for Struggling Readers in Reading First Schools – A Reading First Quality Brief [PDF, 164KB]

A Reading First Quality Brief that provides information critical to developing and implementing an effective school level intervention program to meet the instructional needs of all students.

Materials, Resources and Publications

The following resources, materials, and publications on implementing Reading First programs aligned with scientifically based reading research (SBRR) are available for State and local Reading First programs. These would also be of use to those who are working towards implementing a comprehensive reading program that is aligned with SBRR.

Extensive Reading Interventions in Grades K-3: From Research to Practice.

Center on Instruction, 2007. Publication: 84 pages.
Authors: Nancy Scammacca, Sharon Vaughn, Greg Roberts, Jeanne Wanzek, Joseph Torgesen
Audience: State, district, and elementary school practitioners involved in planning reading interventions, including RTI.

This document summarizes 12 high-quality research studies from 1997 to 2005, describing each study's design, providers, participants, and results. The authors identify key implications for practice, from provider training to intervention types and training. Also included are calculations of estimated personnel costs per student, detailed accounts of each study, methodological considerations, and tables comparing study characteristics and effect sizes.

Teaching All Students to Read in Elementary School: A Guide for Principals.

Center on Instruction, 2007. Publication: 39 pages.
Authors: Joseph Torgesen, Debra Houston, Lila Rissman, Marcia Kosanovich
Audience: Elementary school principals

Intended as a "quick start" reference for elementary school principals, this document outlines three critical elements in an effective, research-based K-3 reading program—high-quality instruction and follow-up, the use of data to guide instruction, and intervention resources for struggling readers—and the critical leadership tasks associated with improved reading outcomes for elementary level students. Those tasks concern providing professional development and appropriate classroom resources, undertaking classroom observations, and understanding the use of assessment and assessment data in improved reading outcomes. A special section addresses instructional and intervention considerations for students in grades 4 through 6; recommendations for further reading steer principals toward more detailed treatments of the issues raised in this document.

Differentiated Reading Instruction: Small Group Alternative Lesson Structures for All Students.

Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University, Just Read, Florida, 2006. Publication: 9 pages.
Authors: Marcia Kosanovich, Karen Ladinsky, Luanne Nelson, Joseph Torgesen
Audience: Elementary school reading coaches and K-3 teachers

Produced for all Reading First coaches and teachers in Florida, this document provides guidance in planning differentiated small-groups instruction based on data. Guidance is based on scientifically based reading research for reading instruction, with an emphasis on the five big ideas (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension). With concrete examples of instructional models, such as skill-focused small-group instruction that coaches and teachers may use to improve Reading First implementation with struggling readers, the content applies in many settings beyond Florida.

Effective Literacy and English Language Instruction for English Learners in the Elementary Grades.
Audience: K–3 teachers, coaches, and principals, LEA and SEA personnel

A resource on evidence-based effective practices for educators of English learners in the elementary grades, this guide integrates five recommendations into a comprehensive approach for improving reading achievement and language development for English learners. The rationale for each recommendation is accompanied by practical information on carrying it out, with descriptions of potential roadblocks and solutions and detailed suggestions for addressing problems as they arise. This publication could be a useful professional development resource or valuable coaching tool. It also contains suggestions for policy- and decision-makers on literacy instruction for English learners.

The Effects of Family Literacy Interventions on Children’s Acquisition of Reading:

From Kindergarten to Grade 3. National Institute for Literacy with National Center for Family Literacy, 2006. Publication: 30 pages.
Author: Monique Senechal
Audience: K – 3 teachers and administrators, LEA and SEA personnel

This meta-analytic review confirms that parent-child activities focused on reading enhance children's literacy. An analysis of different types of parent-child interactions shows how each produces different results. For example, in intervention interactions, children whose parents teach them literacy skills (e.g., the alphabet, word reading, letter-sound correspondences, phonics rules, sight words) outperformed children in a control group to a statistically significant extent. The study answers basic questions about what types of parent support are linked with children’s reading achievement.

Shining Stars: Learn to Read for Kindergarteners, First Graders, and Second & Third Graders.

National Institute for Literacy with RMC Research Corporation, 2006. Publications: 4 pages each.
Authors: C. Ralph Adler, Elizabeth Goldman
Audience: Parents of children in grades K – 3

The Shining Stars series offers parents guidance in helping their children learn to read. Each booklet comprises a short narrative in a parent’s voice about his or her child’s reading experience, examples and model prompts for parent-child discussions of words and reading, and a list of developmental grade-level literacy benchmarks that parents are encouraged to use in discussing their children’s reading progress with teachers

Research-Based Practices in Early Reading Series: A Focus on Comprehension.

Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, 2005. Publication: 50 pages.
Authors: Fran Lehr and Jean Osborn
Audience: Teachers, coaches, and administrators

This is the third in a series of booklets examining major topics of beginning reading instruction. It reports research findings on the range of factors related to the reader, the text, and the reading activity itself that affect reading comprehension. Outlining the components of effective comprehension instruction, it offers examples of implementing strategy-focused and content-focused comprehension instruction in the classroom and provides brief discussions about assessing comprehension and the importance of providing opportunities to read. A rich reference section includes the National Reading Panel Report, the 2002 report from the Rand Reading Study Group, and other high-quality research studies.

Research-Based Practices in Early Reading Series: A Focus on Fluency.

Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, 2003. Publication: 31 pages.
Authors: Jean Osborn, Fran Lehr, Elfrieda Hiebert
Audience:Teachers, coaches, and administrators

The first in a series of booklets that examines major topics of beginning reading instruction, this document summarizes the key research findings on the role of fluency in the reading process, factors that affect fluency development and effective instructional practices that strengthen fluency levels. Drawing heavily upon the National Reading Panel's findings as well as other experimental studies, it provides examples of instructional practices, such as repeated oral reading, to increase children's fluency and includes sections on independent silent reading and assessment measures to determine oral reading fluency.

Research-Based Practices in Early Reading Series: A Focus on Vocabulary.

Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, 2004. Publication: 43 pages.
Authors: Fran Lehr, Jean Osborn, Elfrieda Hiebert
Audience:Teachers, coaches, and administrators

This booklet, the second in a series on major topics of beginning reading instruction, summarizes current research findings on the importance of vocabulary to comprehension, how children acquire vocabulary, and the most effective vocabulary strategies in supporting that acquisition. The authors support their conclusions with findings from the National Reading Panel Report and studies conducted by other researchers in the field of vocabulary. They examine the depth and breadth of vocabulary learning necessary to affect comprehension and look at several topics of interest to practitioners, such as how students learn new words, selecting types of words to teach, and effective strategies for teaching vocabulary.

Assurances for the Sake of Our Students: Improving Student Achievement in Reading and Language Arts!

Reading Lions Center, California Reading First Technical Assistance Center, 2003; revised 2008. Publication: 31 pages.
Authors: Special Features by Marion Joseph, Roy Romer, and Ronni Ephraim

Or ordered through:
Reading Lions Center
10461 Placerville Road, Suite 130
Sacramento, California 95827
Fax 916-228-2444
Audience: K – 6 teachers, coaches, and principals

Providing professional guidance on the components considered necessary for successful implementation of a systemic SBRR reading program at district and school levels, this document covers implementation components prescribed for all Reading First districts and schools in California. Intended to assist districts and schools in defining the components expected to be implemented as part of the Reading First Plan, these assurances are said to "embody the research-based factors and conditions that have been proven to impact students' achievement." Special features by Marion Joseph, Roy Romer, and Ronni Ephraim address the importance of the assurances in improving student achievement.

READ ALL ABOUT IT! Readings to Inform the Profession.

Reading Lions Center, California State Board of Education, 1999; new edition with a forward by Louisa Cook Moats in 2008. Publication: 453 pages.
Authors: Numerous Authors
Audience: K – 3 teachers and administrators
Ordered at a cost at:
Or through:
Reading Lions Center
10461 Placerville Road, Suite 130
Sacramento, California 95827
Fax 916-228-2444

This anthology of thirty-three articles on beginning reading instruction that is aligned to the scientific research on reading includes essays by G. Reid Lyon, Marilyn Jager Adams, Charles A. Perfetti, Sally E. Shaywitz, Isabelle Y. Lieberman, Connie Juel, Joseph K. Torgesen, S. Jay Samuels, Steven A. Stahl, Marcia K. Henry, Linnea C. Ehri, Keith Stanovich, Barbara R. Foorman, and others. Among the many topics addressed are a school’s first mission, defining scientific research, phoneme awareness and letter knowledge, decoding sounds and words, assessment, building fluency, and vocabulary and comprehension strategies. This publication is a useful resource for professional development.

Supplemental Instruction for Struggling Readers, Grade 3: A Guide for Tutors.

University of Texas System, Texas Education Agency, 2002; revised 2005. Publication: 178 pages.
Authors: Melanie Ballatore, Suzanne Garrett, Michael Krezmien, Susannah More, Sylvia Linan-Thompson, Jennifer Stone, Jeanne Wanzek
Or ordered through:
Audience: Reading tutors of struggling third-grade readers

This manual provides supplemental reading instruction lessons for students at risk of failing high-stakes assessments. The lessons are based on research showing that students who experience persistent reading difficulties benefit from lessons that include all four instructional elements, with particular emphasis on explicit teaching of word analysis strategies. Research (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998) also suggests that students who struggle with reading need explicit, systematic, and intensive instruction that includes critical elements of effective reading programs.

Explore the Evidence-based Research on Reading.

National Institute for Literacy in partnership with RMC Research Corporation, 2006. Database.
National Reading Panel: 460 Studies Examined Between 1997 and 2000
Audience: Teachers, administrators, and LEA and SEA personnel

This electronic database contains abstracts of the 460 research studies included in the 2002 National Reading Panel (NRP) report. Abstracts are organized into seven categories related to teaching reading: phonemic awareness instruction, phonics instruction, fluency instruction, vocabulary instruction, text comprehension instruction, computer technology and reading instruction, and teacher education and reading instruction. This resource offers professional developers training materials and direct access to scientifically based reading research as well as information on the background on scientifically based reading research; the definition of reading, criteria for research quality; and principles derived from the reading research, including a question and answer series about reading.

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Last Modified: 09/07/2010