Reading Research







Most avid readers have a stack of juicy novels sitting on their bedside table, just waiting for a few uninterrupted moments, or one of those midnight marathons of reading. I confess! I have one of those never ending piles of books, but I also have another collection that I love to peruse when I have the time. Reading research/resource books are my nemesis! (Keep me out of bookstores, please!) There is a positive point to all of this. Administrators are more willing to open their budget pages when you can quote research as you ask for funding for some special project, books, or instructional materials. It works every time!

My university classes and the intervention programs at my school were research driven. I believe that classroom teachers must be teacher/researchers in order to be effective and to be taken seriously by parents and administrators.

The following bibliography includes an assortment of books and programs that I have used to guide my thinking about teaching language arts. I have also included links to some websites that are invaluable. Some have small fees for reproducible instructional materials, but others are free for the time it takes to push keys on your computer keyboard! Granted, many of these may seem like they are dated, but the theory and ideas worked for me and should work for you, too! I pulled these titles right from my personal collection of books. Many were recommended by speakers and instructors that presented at the university over the years. Happy reading!

If you are still in the classroom and find some powerful research, please don't hesitate to share it and I'll add it to the list. Just email me at

New section: I decided to include links to some of the handouts I provided to teachers and/or parents during the courses I taught at the University of California, San Diego. Some may be appropriate for parent ed or just for your personal reading. I recently moved to a community in western New York that has a large home school population. I plan to use some of these materials during hands on workshops for parents of young children. My church has offered me the opportunity to use the basement so that there will be plenty of room and a place for snacks in their kitchen, too!





University Handouts

Please contact me at to receive any of these handouts via email or on a Flash Drive.

 Primary Writing: Twenty-five pages of ideas for teachers and parents

Strategies Handout: Thirty-two pages of suggestions that include the why and the how of teaching reading

The Literarium: A Teacher's Bag of Tricks ( A Compendium of Strategies and Activities to Enhance Literacy). These were collected over the years from my own personal reading and from university classes while working on my masters and Reading Recovery credentials.

Alphabetic Knowledge and Alphabetic Principle

Vocabulary Strategies Handout

Reading Aloud Handout: What Does Research Say?

What is Phonemic Awareness? What Does Research Say and How Do We Develop It?

Fluency: Reading Better and Faster (PowerPoint Presentation)

Make Sense of Spelling and Spell Well! PowerPoint Presentation

Phonemic Awareness and the Alphabetic Principle: A Joyful Noise (PowerPoint Presentation)

Developing Meaning Vocabulary: A PowerPoint Presentation

Emergent Literacy: Developing Oral Language Skills (A PowerPoint Presentation)

Word Recognition: I can read all of these words! (PowerPoint Presentation

Instructional Interventions for the Struggling Reader and Writer

List of Appropriate School Based Accommodations and Interventions (for a 504 Plan or for Adaptations and Modifications Section of an IEP)  PowerPoint Presentation

Concepts About Print Handout

Tips for Teachers






Cooper, J. David (2006). Literacy: Helping Children Construction Meaning. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Harvey, Stephanie and Goudvis, Anne (2000 ) Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension to Enhance Understanding. Stenhouse Publishers.

Miller, Debbie (2002). Reading With Meaning: Teaching Comprehension in the Primary Grades. Stenhouse.

Pinnell, Gay Su and Scharer, Patricia (2003). Teaching for Comprehension in Reading, Grades K-2. Teaching Resources.





Developing Literacy Through Instruction

Booth, David, ed. (1996). Literacy Techniques for Building Successful Readers and Writers. Markham, Ontario, Canada: Pembroke Publishers Ltd.

Dorn, Linda and Soffos, Carla (2001). Shaping Literate Minds: Developing Self-Regulated Learners. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse.

Fry, Edward (1995). How to Teach Reading: For Teachers, Parents, Tutors. Laguna Beach, CA: Laguna Beach Educational Books.

Gentry, J. Richard (2006). Breaking the Code: The New Science of Beginning Reading and Writing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Gentry, J. Richard (2000). The Literacy Map: Guiding Children to Where They Need to Be (K-3). Greenvale, NY: Mondo Publishing.

Graves, Donald (1991). The Reading/Writing Teacher's Companion: Build  Literate Classroom. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Reutzel, Ray and Cooter, Robert, Jr. (1992). Teaching Children to Read: From Basals to Books. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.

Tarasoff, Mary (1998). Reading Instruction That Makes Sense. Victoria, B.C.: Active Learning Institute, Inc.







 Emergent Literacy

Burns, Susan, Griffin, Peg, and Snow, Catherine, eds. (1999). Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children's Reading Success. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Clay, Marie (1993). An Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Clay, Marie (1993). Reading Recovery: A Guidebook For Teachers in Training. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Dorn, Linda, French, Cathy, and Jones, Tammy (1998). Apprenticeship in Literacy: Transitions Across Reading and Writing. York, Maine: Stenhouse.

Fountas and Pinnell, Guided Reading.

Soderman, Anne, Gregory, Kara, and O'Neill, Louise (1999). Scaffolding Emergent Literacy: A Child-Centered Approach for Preschool through Grade 5. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.






Literacy Centers

Dorn, Linda, French, Cathy, and Jones, Tammy (1998). Apprenticeship in Literacy: Transitions Across Reading and Writing. York, Maine: Stenhouse.

Marriott, Donna (1997). What are the Other Kids Doing? . . . while you teach small groups. Cypress, CA: Creative Teaching Press, Inc.






Oral Reading and Fluency

Blevins, Wiley (2002). Building Fluency : Lessons and Strategies for Reading Success. Scholastic.

Brand, Max & Gayle (2006). Practical Fluency: Classroom Perspectives, Grades K-6. (not available yet)

Fountas, Irene and Pinnell, Gay Su (2006) Teaching for Comprehending and Fluency : Thinking, Talking, and Writing About Reading, K-8. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Opitz, Michael and Rasinksi, Timothy (1998). Good-Bye Round Robin: 25 Effective Oral Reading Strategies. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Rasinski, Timothy (2005). Fluency Instruction : Research-Based Best Practices.  The Guilford Press.

Rasinski, Timothy (2003). The Fluent Reader: Oral Reading Strategies for Building Word Recognition, Fluency, and Comprehension. Teaching Resources.

Rasinski, Timothy and Padak, Nancy (2000).  From Phonics to Fluency: Effective Teaching of Decoding and Reading Fluency in the Elementary School. Allyn & Bacon.

Samuels, S. Jay and Farstrup, Alan E. eds (2006). What Research Has to Say About Fluency Instruction. International Reading Association.






Phonics and Phonemic Awareness

Adams, Marilyn, et al (1998). Phonemic Awareness in Young Children: A Classroom Curriculum. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

Fox, Barbara (2003). Word Recognition Activities: patterns and Strategies for Developing Fluency. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.

Fox, Barbara (2000). Word Identification Strategies: Phonics from a New Perspective. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.

Heilman, Arthur W. (2002). Phonics in Proper Perspective, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.

Powell, Debbie and Hornsby, David (1993). Learning Phonics and Spelling in a Whole Language Classroom. New York: Scholastic Professional Books.

Wagstaff, Janiel (1994). Phonics That Work! New Strategies for the Reading/Writing Classroom. New York: Scholastic Professional Books.






Struggling Readers

Allington, Richard, ed. Teaching Struggling Readers: Articles From the Reading Teacher, Newark, Delaware: International Reading Association.

Allington, Richard L., What Really Matters for Struggling Readers:
Designing Research-Based Programs
, New York, NY: Addison-Wesley Longman.

J. David Cooper, David J. Chard, Nancy D. Kiger (2006). The Struggling Reader : Interventions That Work

Fondrk, Susan and Frasca, Cheryl, Helping Struggling Readers: Successful Reading Techniques (Grades 1-3), Parsippany, New Jersey: Good Year Books.

Reutzel, D. Ray and Cooter, Robert B. Jr., Balanced Reading Strategies and Practices: Assessing and Assisting Readers with Special Needs, Upper Saddle, New Jersey: Merrill Prentice Hall.






Word Study

Allen, Janet (1999). Words, Words, words: Teaching Vocabulary in Grades 4-12. York, Maine: Stenhouse.

Bear, Donald, Invernizzi, Marcia, Templeton, Shane, and Johnston, Francine (2000). Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.

Cramer, Ronald (1998). The Spelling Connection: Integrating Reading, Writing, and Spelling Instruction. New York: The Guilford Press.

Fountas and Pinnell. Matching Books to Readers

Ganske, Kathy (2000). Word Journeys: Assessment-Guided Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary Instruction. New York: The Guilford Press.

Pinnell, Gay Su, and Fountas, Irene (1998). Word Matters: Teaching Phonics and Spelling in the Reading/Writing Classroom. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Pinnell, Gay Su, and Fountas, Irene (1999). Voices on Word Matters: Learning About Phonics and Spelling in the Literacy Classroom. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.







Apprenticeship in Literacy:
Go to Curriculum and Instruction for writing rubrics, checklists, etc.
You can access reproducible handwriting sheets here. for the study guide that goes with Apprenticeship in Literacy video tapes for Resources for Reading online catalog.  for lesson plans, leveled booklists, parent suggestions, kids corner, author information and much more. for a collection downloadable (for a small fee) worksheets for vocabulary development, K-4.
This site for the Internet School Library Media Center has hundreds of links to authors, their birthdays, biographies, interviews, puppets, bulletin boards, and lesson plans. I was amazed at the depth of the information available for teachers and parents. Go there!
This Internet School Library Media Center site has information on ADD, Autism, Learning Disabilities and LD online.  is a good source for early literacy for primary teachers.  is chock full of teacher friendly lesson plans and information for: Four Blocks Literacy Model, 6 Traits Writing, Author Studies, Readers Theater Scripts, Comprehension, Poetry and Math.

A to Z Teachers Stuff is an incredible website! Teachers and parents can print coloring pages, activity pages for all of Jan Brett's books, download book lists, e-mail postcards from the site and reproduce cards and envelopes.
The acronym stands for the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement.
This page leads into the site for Webbing Into Literacy. I have found and used many reproducible materials for early literacy at this site. It's also excellent for preschoolers and parent ed.
If you're looking for wonderful cartoons to use in seminars for staff development, this is the place! Your middle school students will love the ones that are related to math and I'm sure that they will empathize with the cartoon characters! The artist, Randy Glasbergen does a fantastic job at getting to the heart of humor in the classroom.
The site for the National Reading Panel. Free downloads available include Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read and Teaching Children to Read: An Evidence-Based Assessment of the Scientific Research Literature on Reading and Its Implications for Reading Instruction. Teachers can order complementary copies for staff development and/or parent education. The National Reading Panel reviewed more than 100,000 studies in the process of developing these helpful guides.
You will love the clever artwork by the owner and artist from this site, Ron Leishman. He has a powerful sense of humor, is a former classroom teacher, and takes requests for new artwork. He also has a free site for daily clips: Use his artwork to enhance materials that you develop yourself and for flyers to connect your classroom with parents.






Dorn, Linda and Soffos, Carla (2001). Scaffolding Young Writers: A Writers' Workshop Approach. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse.

Fitzpatrick, Jo (1999). Teaching Beginning Writing. Huntington Beach, CA: Creative Teaching Press.

Routman, Regie (2000). Kids' Poems: Teaching First Graders to Love Writing Poetry. New York: Scholastic Professional Books. (Also available for other grade levels.)