Tips to Ensure Your Instruction Is Systematic
Part 3 of the Science of Reading Instruction Series
We can help you determine that. In this blog series, Savvas author and literacy expert Dr. Lee Wright breaks down the four main components of Science of Reading-aligned instruction, providing teachers actionable insights into what explicit, systematic, integrated, and engaging instruction look like in the classroom. In this post, we focus on integrated instruction.
Savvas Insights Team
A lesson that teaches students critical reading skills is proven to be more effective when it’s delivered in an explicit, systematic manner. But in order to be fully aligned to the Science of Reading, that lesson shouldn’t stop at the end of a literacy block — it should be integrated into other content areas as well.
“Integrated instruction is when we go in and teach a skill, knowing in the back of our mind that we have to give children multiple opportunities throughout the day, throughout the week, throughout the month, and possibly throughout the year to revisit that skill,” said Dr. Lee Wright, Savvas author and literacy expert.
In this blog post, we’ll define integrated instruction and give an example of what it looks like in the classroom. We’ll also discuss what some of the Science of Reading research says about the benefits of integrated reading instruction.
When reading lessons are integrated it means that a teacher doesn’t just teach students a lesson about a particular skill within an allotted period of time and then move on. The teacher gives students many opportunities to apply that skill at other times in other content areas, such as writing, science, or math.
“For example, if I taught ‘prediction’ this morning during a read-aloud,” said Lee, “I may ask my children to make a prediction during science instruction, during writing instruction, or during social studies instruction.”
Research has shown that by providing many opportunities for students to apply and practice previously taught reading skills within these other content areas not only helps with reading proficiency, but it will also help students comprehend the content in those areas of instruction.
To hear directly from Lee about Integrated instruction, watch the video below.
There have been many studies over the years that show the benefits that integrating reading instruction with other content areas can have on student learning.
For example, a 2021 study that took place in a second-grade classroom showed a combination of social studies and literacy instruction led to increased learning of content in both disciplines, as well as improved ability to read informational texts (Duke, Halvorsen, Strachan, Kim, & Konstantopoulos, 2021).
Another 2017 study showed that when social studies and science were taught within the literacy block in kindergarten through fourth grade it was also effective in increasing content knowledge as well as the ability to read informational texts (Connor, Dombek, Crowe, Spencer, Tighe, Coffinger, Zargar, Wood, & Petscher, 2017).
Combining literacy instruction with other content areas is a great way for teachers to help students build academic vocabulary and background knowledge that, together, are essential to reading comprehension.
“So if your reading instruction is designed to be integrated, then you know that you're operating in the world of the Science of Reading and much more likely to have a higher impact on children's ability to become proficient readers,” said Lee.
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