Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade

Posted by U.S. Department of Education on August 1, 2016

Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade

About this practice guide
The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) publishes practice guides in education to provide educators with the best available evidence and expertise on current challenges in education. The What
Works Clearinghouse (WWC) develops practice guides in conjunction with an expert panel, combining the panel’s expertise with the findings of existing rigorous research to produce specific
recommendations for addressing these challenges. The WWC and the panel rate the strength of the research evidence supporting each of their recommendations. See Appendix A for a full description of practice guides.

The goal of this practice guide is to offer educators specific, evidence-based recommendations for teaching foundational reading skills to students in kindergarten through 3rd grade. This guide
is a companion to the existing practice guide, Improving Reading Comprehension in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade, and as a set, these guides offer recommendations for preparing students
to be successful readers. Both guides recommend some practices that can and should be implemented beginning in kindergarten, and both guides also suggest some instructional practices that can be implemented after students have mastered early reading skills. This guide synthesizes the best available research on foundational reading skills and shares practices that are supported
by evidence. It is intended to be practical and easy for teachers to use. The guide includes many examples in each recommendation to demonstrate the concepts discussed.
Practice guides published by IES are available on the WWC website at

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