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12 Principles of Effective Practice in K-3 Reading Instruction
Reprinted from: Kinzer, C., Labbo, L. D., Leu, D. J., & Teale, W. H. (2002). Best Practices - teacher preparation - technology: Connections that enhance children’s literacy acquisition and reading achievement. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, April, 1-5.
1. Teacher knowledge, insight, and orchestration of instruction
The teacher’s knowledge, ability to make principled, insightful, instructional decisions for individual children, and the ability to orchestrate effective instruction for the group of children being taught are more influential factors in student literacy achievement than knowing particular procedures for instruction or following scripted lesson plans.
2. Language, culture, home background, and literacy instruction
Providing school reading instruction that builds on young children’s language, culture, and home background enhances their chances for success in learning to read and write.
3. Emergent literacy foundations
Basic early literacy concepts, skills, and positive attitudes that form the foundation for subsequent reading and writing achievement are developed by immersing young children in literacy-rich classrooms.
4. Phonemic awareness instruction

Instructional activities that develop children’s phonemic awareness increase reading achievement, when individual children have not acquired this important knowledge.

5. Decoding Instruction
Instruction in the sound-symbol correspondences of language (often called phonics instruction) is positively related to student achievement in reading.
6. Comprehension instruction
Instructional activities that develop children’s abilities and strategies for comprehending written language enhance reading achievement.
7. Independent reading
The more young children read a variety of texts that interest them, the more likely they are to achieve well in reading.
8. Fluency instruction
Fostering the development of reading fluency through appropriate instructional activities and extensive opportunities to read fluently is associated with higher reading achievement.
9. Integrating writing and reading
Providing writing instruction linked to reading instruction enhances achievement in reading as well as in writing.
10. Technology and early literacy development
Integrating computer and Internet technologies into literacy instruction in the early grades of school provides the foundation for continued learning of both conventional and digital literacies as children proceed through school.
11. Early assessment and instructional intervention
Monitoring children’s early literacy development through ongoing classroom assessment and providing instruction based on the diagnostic information obtained, including appropriate instructional intervention to children who fall significantly behind, enhances the chances that children will achieve satisfactorily in reading and writing.
12. Enthusiasm for reading and writing
Teaching in ways that foster young children’s enthusiasm for and engagement with reading and writing enhances the likelihood that they will learn to read and write successfully and become lifelong readers and writers.
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