IES What Works Clearinghouse Practice Guides

The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) at the Institute for Education Sciences (IES) publishes practice guides. A practice guide is a publication that presents recommendations for educators to address challenges in their classrooms and schools. They are based on reviews of research, the experiences of practitioners, and the expert opinions of a panel of nationally recognized experts. This page highlights the practice guides focused on language and literacy.


Click on a practice guide to review its recommendations.


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

WWC guide cover
This practice guide provides four recommendations for teaching foundational reading skills to students in kindergarten through 3rd grade. Each recommendation includes implementation steps and solutions for common obstacles. The recommendations also summarize and rate supporting evidence. This guide is geared towards teachers, administrators, and other educators who want to improve their students’ foundational reading skills, and is a companion to the practice guide, Improving Reading Comprehension in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade.

 

①  

Teach students academic language skills, including the use of inferential and narrative language, and vocabulary knowledge.

Minimal Evidence
Tier 4
 

See an instructional example in the classroom

Video 1: Inferential Language, Read Aloud & Discussion from IES.
This video depicts a kindergarten class engaging in a read aloud and discussion (5:12).

Video 2: Inferential Language, Read Aloud & Discussion from IES.
This video depicts a third grade class engaging in a read aloud and discussion (5:24).

②  

Develop awareness of the segments of sounds in speech and how they link to letters.

Minimal Evidence
Tier 1
 

See an instructional example in the classroom

Video 15: Phonemes Linked to Letters from IES.
This video depicts a small group of first grade students engaging in a phonemes linked to letters activity using Elkonin boxes, manipulatives, and letter-tiles (4:52).

Video 18: Word Building from IES.
This video depicts a small group of first grade students engaging in a word-building activity using sound boxes and letter-tiles (5:45).

➂  

Teach students to decode woreds, analyze word parts, and write and recognize words.

Minimal Evidence
Tier 1
 

See an instructional example in the classroom

Video 17: Letter–Sounds from IES.
This video depicts a whole group of K/1 students engaging in a phonemes linked to letters activity using letter-sound cards, mini-whiteboards, and markers (5:03).

Video 29: Decodable Words in Isolation and in Text from IES.
This video depicts a small group of first grade students engaging in a decodable words in isolation and in text activity using letter-cards and pocket charts (7:43).

➃  

Ensure that each student reads connected text every day to support reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension.

Minimal Evidence
Tier 2
 

See an instructional example in the classroom

Video 35: Partner Reading from IES.
This video depicts a second grade class engaging in a partner reading (3:04).

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