Structured Literacy

Early Reading Skills Toolkit

A collection of relevant and practical resources to support a student’s development of important reading skills.

Phonological Awareness

What are Phonological and Phonemic Awareness? Reading Rockets (Resource)

Phoneme vs. Phonological Awareness  The Reading League (Video)

44 Phonemes Rollins Center for Language Literacy (Video)

What Do Phonemes Have To Do With It?  PaTTAN Literacy Symposium  (Video)



Phonics instruction supports how the brain learns to read  World Innovation for Education Summit (Video)

Phonics and Decoding Reading Rockets (Resource)

Using a Heart Word approach for High-Frequency Words Really Great Reading (Resource)

Phonics Instruction Reading Rockets (Videos)

Syllable types in phonics instruction Reading Rockets (Resource)


Automatic Word Recognition/Fluency

Oral Reading Fluency: Understanding the Purpose The Reading League  (Video)

What Do We Need to Know about Reading Fluency Jan Hasbrouck Read Naturally (Webinar)

Orthographic Mapping Keys to Literacy (Resource)

Orthographic Mapping is a Critical Skill for Learning New Words 95 Percent Group (webinar)

Orthographic Mapping: What It Is and Why It’s Important The Reading League (video)



How Spelling Supports Reading Reading Rockets (Resource)

Close Encounters with Students’ Spelling: What They Tell Us About Language Learning Voyager Sopris (Webinar)

Using a Sound Wall Approach Kastner Literacy Collection (Resource)

Spelling is an Integral Part of Learning the Language, Not a Matter of Memorization by Drs. Malatesha Joshi, Rebecca Treiman, Suzanne Carreker, and Louisa C. Moats American Educator (Resource)

Guidelines for Effective Phonics Instruction from Keys to Literacy  (Resource)

Decodable Text

Decodable Text Resources Kastner Literacy Collection (Resource)

Decodable Text Sources Reading League (Resource)

Teaching with Decodable Texts 95% Group, Inc (Webinar)

Decodable Text Webinar Series Voyager Sopris (Webinar)

Deciphering Decodable Texts Reading League (Video)

Decodable Readers Protocol Achieve the Core (Resource)

Decodable Words in Isolation and in Text Institute of Education (Video)

Syntax and Grammar


Why build knowledge and vocabulary? Achieve the Core (Resource)

Wexler, N. (Summer, 2020). Building Knowledge: What an Elementary Curriculum Should Do, American Teacher Magazine. (Resource)

Building Knowledge: Expanding the World Through Reading Achieve the Core (Resource)

Supporting Knowledge Building Achieve the Core (Research)

Building Background Knowledge Reading Rocket (Resource)

Building World Knowledge Achieve Network (Video)

Knowledge Matters from TNTP (Grade 2 instructional example)

Building Knowledge from Achieve the Core (Resource Module)

Building Knowledge Using Informational Text Read Alouds

Nurturing the Inquiring Mind Through the Nonfiction Read-Aloud Reading Rocket (Article)

Read Aloud Project Achieve the Core (Resource)

Building Knowledge Using Text Sets

Text Set Project Achieve the Core (Resource)

Teaching with Text Sets: K-5 Instructional Practices and Reading Resources for Building Knowledge Great Minds (Webinar)

Curriculum Evaluation Guidelines

When reviewing curricula for Tier I instruction, it is essential to ensure they do not include instructional practices that are not aligned with the scientific evidence base of how children learn to read. The Curriculum Evaluation Guidelines is a tool that is considered a “living document” meaning that it will be periodically updated based on user feedback, suggestions for optimizing use, etc.  The Reading League’s Curriculum Evaluation Guidelines are designed to highlight any non-aligned practices, or “red flags,” that may be present in the areas of:

  • Word Recognition
  • Language Comprehension
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Writing
  • Assessment

The Nebraska Instructional Materials Collaborative

The Nebraska Instructional Materials Collaborative features guidance, resources and professional development for instructional materials aligned to Nebraska’s English Language Arts Standards. The Nebraska Instructional Materials Collaborative maximizes administrators’, curriculum directors’, teacher leaders’, and teachers’ time by highlighting high quality, standards-aligned instructional materials. That way, more time can be spent on strategies that support effective implementation and less time can be spent on selecting materials.

NeMTSS Program Comparison Tool

Use the Program Comparison Tool to compare educational programs and evaluate goodness of fit for your district. This resource is intended to help educators make an informed decision about programs that may work well in their schools. The programs included in this resource are a selection of those available and not an exhaustive list. This tool does NOT constitute an “approved list,” nor are these programs required. Users may filter programs by targeted skills, grade level, intended population and intended group. Users may also filter programs by specific qualities, (e.g., multisensory application, use with ELL/DLL populations, computer-based delivery). Finally, users may also filter programs by evidence base, using ratings from the What Works Clearinghouse, Evidence for ESSA (ESSA), or the NeMTSS Evidence-Based Practice classification system.

Quick Guide For Reading Assessment

This decision-making flowchart from AIM Institute can assist in using reading assessment data to accelerate learning and inform instruction. When assessing emerging readers, this progression should be utilized from the bottom of the progression up, with new assessment measures added and analyzed as they become developmentally appropriate. When assessing older students in third grade or beyond, the analysis should start at the top of the progression with reading comprehension and fluency measures, then down through the foundational sub-skills as needed.


Reading Assessments Crosswalk

The reading assessment crosswalk identifies and provides a comparison of skills assessed on a variety of early reading assessments. This document was created by the NeMTSS Implementation Support Team, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Project # 19-94-2810-4415-M-37 (USDE Grant #H027A027170079).


Literacy Skill Instruction Decision Chart

This literacy skill decision chart from Glean Education was created to support teachers with making instructional decisions based on their literacy skill assessment data. Use these decision charts after assessing students with a universal screener to walk through the next steps of identifying skill needs, grouping based on skill deficits, and designing instruction to meet student’s needs

Disclaimer: Links to third-party websites do not constitute an endorsement of the content, viewpoint, accuracy, opinions, policies, products, services, or accessibility of the sites.

Updated May 22, 2023 12:00am