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Teaching the Science of Reading: Best Practice & Best Resources

In recent years, teachers worldwide have been increasingly turning to the Science of Reading as a guiding framework for literacy instruction. But what exactly is the Science of Reading, and why has it gained such widespread recognition and acclaim? πŸ€”


This research-backed approach draws upon decades of scientific inquiry to provide teachers with evidence-based strategies for effective instruction. By focusing on five key areasβ€”phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehensionβ€”teachers can provide students with a strong foundation in literacy that will serve them well throughout their academic journey and beyond! πŸ’›




The roots of the Science of Reading can be traced back to pioneering research conducted in the mid-20th century by scholars such as Jeanne Chall, Isabel Beck, and Linnea Ehri. Their work laid the groundwork for our current understanding of reading acquisition and provided compelling evidence for the effectiveness of explicit instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics. In recent decades, advances in technology and neuroscience have further deepened our understanding of the reading process, leading to the refinement and validation of the Science of Reading principles. Neuroimaging studies have revealed the neural pathways involved in reading and have underscored the critical role of phonological processing in literacy development 🧠


So why is the Science of Reading so effective? Simply put, it works because it is grounded in rigorous scientific research ⭐️ By aligning instructional practices with the underlying cognitive processes involved in reading, teachers can provide students with the support they need to become skilled readers and writers.


Here at TT, we absolutely love the Science of Reading and what it can do for you and your students, so we’ve worked hard to make sure you have all of the resources and tools you could ever need to implement this approach effectively in your classroom (with as little effort on your part as possible!) πŸ’› In this blog post, we’ll explore the five core components of the Science of Reading and discuss practical strategies for incorporating them into your classroom instruction using the TT webby. Join us as we embark on a journey to unlock the power of reading together!




Phonemic awareness lays the groundwork for proficient reading and writing by focusing on language sounds. Activities like rhyming games, sound segmentation, and blending exercises help students develop this essential skill. Incorporating phonemic awareness activities into your daily routine can strengthen students’ ability to manipulate sounds, setting the stage for success in phonics instruction.


πŸ’› Spin & Splat: This easy, low-prep task card game is available for all multi-letter sounds and is perfect for practising phonemic awareness! Students spin to an image on the spinner and use a counter or manipulative to cover the matching image. It can be used independently, in pairs, in small groups or as an assessment task.


πŸ’› Spin, POP, Graph & Write: Are your students still obsessed with the ‘pop’ fidget toys? They’ll love this interactive activity that helps students to identify, segment and blend sounds. You can use the paper image to tap and pop the bubbles, or use the actual fidget toys for an added element of fun! This resource is available for CVC words and CVCC/CCVC words.


πŸ’› Phonemic Awareness Assessment EDITABLE:Β Use this comprehensive early years assessment to obtain critical recorded data on how your students’ phonemic awareness is progressing. It’s editable too, meaning you can alter it to suit your students and context!





Phonics instruction teaches the relationship between letters and sounds, enabling students to decode written words accurately. A systematic and explicit approach to phonics, supplemented by multisensory activities, is critical to helping students grasp these concepts effectively. You can empower students to become confident readers and writers by providing structured phonics instruction 🌈


πŸ’› Phonics Interactive PowerPoints: Available for every single and multi-letter sound, these interactive digital presentations will help your students learn to match letters to sounds. No prep needed, just download and press play! Did you know there are also matching workbooks for every presentation?


πŸ’› Phonics Reading Mats: These handy resources are available in pond, garden and space variations, in both printable and digital formats! Each contains three letter sets and asks students to use their phonics knowledge to blend sounds and create CVC words.


πŸ’› Phonics Craftivities: Match each letter to the initial sound of a word and then create a fun hands-on craft using the lower-case letter and the created word! These craftivities are available for every letter of the alphabet and are just so fun and engaging πŸ₯°


πŸ’› BONUS: Digi-Tool Dashboard Word Builder: We love the Word Builder and we think you will too! Customisable to include exactly the sounds you’re looking to explore, you can use the word builder to create and change words. Check your blending using the in-built voiceover!





A rich vocabulary is crucial for comprehension and academic achievement. Integrate explicit vocabulary instruction into your lessons, exposing students to a diverse range of words and teaching them strategies for word learning πŸ’‘ Encourage reading across various genres and provide opportunities for meaningful discussion to deepen students’ understanding of vocabulary in context.


πŸ’› Book Tasting Event: Genre Study: Explore different book genres to support vocabulary expansion using this fun book tasting event! Set up like a restaurant, students move from table to table, ‘tasting’ different book genres and responding to what they’ve read.


πŸ’› Dive into Topic-Specific Vocabulary: These no-prep worksheet sets come in three different topics and are perfect for upper years students looking to explore different topic-specific vocabulary. Simply provide the themed passage to read, then explore the challenging vocabulary used!


πŸ’› Digi-Tool Dashboard Flashcards: Encountering specific vocabulary daily in your school and context? Use our Digi-Tool Dashboard to record new vocabulary as a flashcard set. You can then use the dashboard as part of a daily or weekly routine to practise reading and defining new relevant vocabulary!





Fluent reading involves reading text accurately, smoothly, and with expression πŸ—£οΈ Incorporate repeated oral reading, modelled reading, and fluency-building exercises into your classroom routine to promote fluency. Focusing on fluency enables students to read more efficiently, allowing them to devote more attention to comprehension ⭐️


πŸ’› Speech Sound Fluency Strips: Perfect your students’ pronounciation and fluency in reading with these handy oral language strips! Each strip explores the sound and relevant mouth shape, and gives plenty of word examples for your students to practise reading with fluency.


πŸ’› Read the Decodable Sentence LET’S STEAL: We have lots of amazing digi-games perfect for practising fluency, but this one is definitely one of our favourites! Students read each decodable sentence and select the image that best matches the sentence.


πŸ’› Make a Sentence: This Science of Reading-based activity is available for all major multi-letter sound patterns, and helps students to develop fluency through sentence creation. Students connect task cards to create legible sentences.





Comprehension is the ultimate goal of reading, as it involves understanding and interpreting a text instead of simply recognising the language. It’s so important to teach students various comprehension strategies, such as predicting, summarising, questioning, and making connections 🧠 Providing explicit instruction in these strategies and fostering critical thinking skills empowers students to engage deeply with the texts they read!


πŸ’› Book Units: We have a wide range of book units available for both lower and upper years! Pick and choose the resources that best suit your students and context. For lower years, try Giraffes Can’t Dance, The Very Noisy Bear, or Snap! Teaching upper years? You’ll love our resources for Fox by Margaret Wild and The Peasant Prince by Li Cunxin.


πŸ’› Reading & Comprehension Package: Need something super easy and low-prep? You’ll love this collection of comprehension packages, each focused on different sound patterns. Ideal for fast finishers or relief teacher folders, or just for an easy afternoon English lesson!


πŸ’› The Miserable Magpie Oral Comprehension Package: Does your school follow Talk 4 Writing? This package is ideal for practising oral comprehension and fluency and is easily adapted to a Talk 4 Writing context. The download includes displays, worksheets, discussion cards and a comprehensive text passage.




By embracing the Science of Reading in your classroom, you can provide students with a strong foundation in literacy that will serve them well throughout their academic journey and beyond. By prioritising phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension, you set your students up for success in reading and writing.


Let us know what you’re doing in your classroom by tagging us @topteacher πŸ’›

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