Being a proficient reader has an impact on a student’s entire education.  Teaching students to read is the work of educators.  Some are well-equipped to take on such a significant task, while others wish they were better prepared and supported to make the decisions that can change a child’s life.  The good news is that we have a wealth of information available to us to apply to our instructional approach that will enable us to reach students like never before.  The bad news is that many teachers have not been introduced to this information.  Intervention research estimates that the use of evidence-based prevention and intervention approaches across students could decrease the number of below-level readers from 30% to 5%.  Over the past years, the Science of Reading has compiled information that holds important implications for empowering teachers with the knowledge and helping students to succeed in reading.  

The Science of Reading: What it is

The Science of Reading (SoR) is a comprehensive body of research that encompasses years of scientific knowledge, spans across many languages, and shares the contributions of experts from relevant disciplines such as education, special education, literacy, psychology, neurology, and more. The Science of Reading has evolved from a wide span of research designs, experimental methods, participants, and statistical analyses. This conclusive, empirically supported research provides us with the information we need to gain a deeper understanding of how we learn to read, what skills are involved, how they work together, and which parts of the brain are responsible for reading development. From this research, we can identify an evidence-based best practice approach for teaching foundational literacy skills called Structured Literacy.  

David Kilpatrick stated, “We teach reading in different ways; they [students] learn to read proficiently in only one way.”  The Science of Reading (SoR) has demystified any wonder of how we learn to read and offers evidence backed by science to confirm that there is one right way to teach reading. In addition to this, the SoR offers key information to drive our approach to instruction and to reach all learners.

The Science of Reading: What we know

“If a child memorizes ten words, then the child can read ten words.  But, if the child can learn the sounds of ten letters, the child can read…

350 three-sound words

4,320 four-sound words

21,650 five-sound words

Reading Instruction

Structured Literacy is an approach to teaching reading that is based on the Science of Reading.

Structured Literacy:  How we teach

Structured Literacy: What we teach

The Science of Reading has proven that a Structured Literacy approach is a necessary foundation for reading success. As teachers, we make a commitment to continue our education to support the learning of every student.  IMSE’s Orton-Gillingham program makes it possible for teachers to integrate evidence-based and research-based reading instruction and intervention strategies into Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) to empower all students in every classroom.  

To learn more about the Science of Reading and Structured Literacy, check out the following great reads:

Essentials of Assessing, Preventing, and Overcoming Reading Difficulties by David Kilpatrick

Equipped for Reading Success by David Kilpatrick

Reading in the Brain: The New Science of How We Read by Stanislas Dehaene

Phonics from A to Z: A Practical Guide by Wiley Blevins

Unlocking Literacy: Effective Decoding and Spelling Instruction by Marcia Henry

Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World by Maryanne Wolf

About The Author

Dr. Kirstina Ordetx is a Level 4 Master Instructor with The Institute for Multi-Sensory Education (IMSE). She holds a doctorate in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in pediatric neurology.  Dr. Ordetx is an educational specialist with over 25 years of clinical experience, research, and consultation. She is a certified Structured Literacy Dyslexia Interventionist through the Center for Effective Reading Instruction, a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Executive Functions Coach, and a registered Licensed Mental Health Intern. Dr. Ordetx has published two books that compile her research and practice in Theory of Mind.  She has served on accreditation committees for the Florida Council of Independent Schools, is a university adjunct professor in developmental and child psychology, and presents at various national and international conferences. Dr. Ordetx is head of school for a private academy in Lakewood Ranch, Florida specializing in the multi-sensory education of students who have language and learning-based differences. She is the Executive Director of the Pinnacle Pediatric Therapy Group, a multi-disciplinary, pediatric therapy clinic.

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The IMSE approach allows teachers to incorporate the five components essential to an effective reading program into their daily lessons: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. 

The approach is based on the Orton-Gillingham methodology and focuses on explicit, direct instruction that is sequential, structured, and multi-sensory.

It is IMSE’s mission that all children must have the ability to read to fully realize their potential. We are committed to providing teachers with the knowledge and tools to prepare future minds.

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