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IES Releases New Practice Guide on Reading for Grades K–3
July 5, 2016

IES Releases New Practice Guide on Reading for Grades K–3

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) released a new Educator's Practice Guide today (July 5, 2016) that is designed to help teachers and education leaders improve reading skills for students in early elementary school grades.

The new guide, Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grades, provides recommendations from a panel of expert researchers and nationally recognized practitioners. The recommendations are based on the review of hundreds of research studies and are supplemented by the professional expertise of experienced educators. This is the 20th practice guide published through the What Works Clearinghouse, which is a part of IES' National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance.

"Educator's Practice Guides provide clear, actionable recommendations for improving classroom instruction and student supports," said Ruth Curran Neild, delegated director of IES, the independent statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education. "The guide is based on careful reviews of rigorous research but also incorporates the practical wisdom of educators, particularly with regard to ideas for implementing the recommendations. Practice guides are another example of how IES bridges research and practice."

The Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grades practice guide offers four key recommendations for teaching phonological awareness, fluency, vocabulary and other academic language skills:

The release of the new Educator's Practice Guide is the first step in bringing these recommendations to school districts across the country. IES will soon release other resources, including videos and a guide summary, to help practitioners and policymakers fully understand the recommendations and bring them to life in the classroom. The Regional Educational Laboratories, also a part of IES, will have a key role in hosting in-person and virtual learning opportunities about the guide and developing additional materials to assist educators in implementing the recommendations.

The panel members for this Educator's Practice Guide are Barbara Foorman (chair) of Florida State University; Michael Coyne of the University of Connecticut; Carolyn A. Denton, of the Children's Learning Institute and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; Joseph Dimino of Instructional Research Group; Lynda Hayes of the University of Florida; Laura Justice of The Ohio State University; Warnick Lewis of Bond Elementary School in Leon County, Florida; and Richard Wagner of Florida State University.

The What Works Clearinghouse is widely used by practitioners and policymakers across the country. In the past year alone, the What Works Clearinghouse website has received nearly 3.6 million page views. And IES is continuing to make improvements to ensure WWC becomes an even more valuable resource.

Later this month, the WWC will release the first two intervention reports in a new topic area—Supporting Postsecondary Success—which will focus on interventions and policies that seek to improve outcomes for students in postsecondary programs.

In the fall, IES will launch a new What Works Clearinghouse website that includes an improved "Find What Works" tool, which will allow educators to easily search for and compare the research about the effectiveness of interventions in education.

Media Contact: Dana Tofig, Communications Director, Institute of Education Sciences, 202-245-8235,