Skip to content

Implementing the Science of Reading to Improve Your Reading Scores in One School Year

Using the science of reading, educators will have the tools they need to get all students on track in their reading journey.

Sixty-four percent of students nationwide are not reading proficiently by the end of third grade. If things stay the same, 75 percent will never catch up. All teachers should have access to effective, evidence-based reading instruction to help students build a solid foundation for reading success. 

Our mission at Reading Horizons is to increase educators’ potential to reach every learner with engaging, high-impact instruction, regardless of learning differences and language barriers. Using the science of reading, here’s how educators can improve students’ reading scores in one school year. 

What We Know about the Science of Reading

According to the National Reading Panel, word recognition instruction should be

  1. explicitly taught by the teacher;
  2. systematically planned and organized; and
  3. sequenced in a fashion that moves from simple to complex. 

Structured Literacy is systematic and cumulative, explicit, and diagnostic. It makes all the components of effective literacy come together for the student. If educators factor in quality comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, phonics/decoding, and phonemic awareness lessons into their curriculum, their students will have greater reading success.


What to Look For in a Science of Reading Curriculum 

A first step to helping students reach reading proficiency is to provide educators with resources that reduce stress and ensure quality. With proper materials, educators can focus more on teaching. You can set educators up for success by doing the following:

  • Making sure they have all necessary materials to effectively implement the program 
  • Providing sufficient training and coaching, especially during the first year of implementation
  • Supporting teachers in accessing online resources and providing the opportunity for collaborative learning 
  • Providing sufficient time for teachers to implement Structured Literacy in the course of their daily schedule 

Using a Structured Literacy instructional framework that explicitly teaches word identification and decoding strategies based on the science of reading is crucial to effective reading practice. Students can practice using Orton-Gillingham principles on sound-symbol association and syllable instruction—ensuring an explicit, systematic, sequential, and multisensory framework. 

The newly expanded Reading Horizons Discovery® supports educators with science-based, tech-enabled foundational reading instruction that helps all students reach reading proficiency.

We love to encourage positive feedback for our students on their journey to becoming lifelong readers. Using the science of reading, educators will have the tools they need to improve their students’ reading skills and have a strong foundation to continue their reading practice after third grade.

Best Practices for Implementing the Reading Horizons® Method

An important part of the science of reading is using informal and formal assessments to guide instruction. Informal assessment can occur through observation, lesson check-ups, student work samples, and more. Formal assessments such as diagnostic, formative, and summative can also inform classroom instruction. Daily instruction driven by data from formal assessments, informal assessments, and progress monitoring help educators teach skills to student mastery and give targeted instruction to students who need extra practice. When students have automaticity with the skills, they have cognitive bandwidth available for comprehension.

Another aspect of effective reading instruction is phonological awareness, which encompasses tasks related to words, syllables, onset-rime, and phonemic awareness. A quality lesson includes the practice of manipulating the sound structure of words. 

Quality practice also includes a systematic and cumulative instructional design. The educator increases student autonomy and mastery by gradually releasing the responsibility onto the student. Teachers can implement this by the “I Do, We Do, You Do” practice, spending a little time each day to review concepts, instruct, dictate, and then transfer the knowledge in a way students will take into their own hands for comprehension and eventual mastery. 

Decades of research have formed the science of reading and the science of learning. Our full-time job is to translate findings and apply them to teaching and learning. That way, we can continually equip teachers with the field’s latest and greatest reading discoveries. After you’ve had a chance to explore the program, let’s chat.

Yvette Manns, M.Ed., is a former elementary teacher, instructional coach, children’s book author, and education consultant. She now works as an education specialist at Reading Horizons. She can be reached at

Literacy Talks

Do you love Literacy Talks?

Subscribe wherever you listen to your favorite Podcasts!

Apple Podcast Icon
amazon music icon
Spotify green icon
YouTube Music Icon

Join Our Community

We’re in this together. Join our community of educators and stay on top of professional learning opportunities, emerging research, and education trends!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.