The science of reading is the body of research that has been conducted on how we learn to read and write. This research has been conducted over decades, but only recently has much of it been introduced to today’s classroom teachers.
It’s important to note that as more research is conducted, we may need to revise our previous understandings. In addition, there is disagreement when it comes to translational science: how to apply this science to day-to-day teaching.
I say this to let you know that while I recommend all of these books, the authors do not agree with each other on all points.
Enjoy studying them for yourself!
*This list will continue to grow as I complete particular books. While I have read portions of countless books, I am choosing to include only the books I have read in their entirety.
I hope you will share this post with others on their science of reading journey!
For those passionate about the science of reading, this book will be too simple and not go far enough. But for those starting out, it’s the ideal first step.
I love the practical examples and the easy-to-read format. Don’t let the price tag scare you – it’s worth every penny.
It’s been a few years since I read it; paging through it makes me eager to read it again!
I find the book most helpful in understanding dyslexia; while it does include several chapters about teaching readers with dyslexia, I didn’t find that section particularly useful.
A treasure for sure!
It took the author three years to write the first edition of this book as she combed over thousands of pages of relevant reading research. Chall’s conclusion? “Beginning readers learn better when their instruction emphasizes learning the alphabetic code, one that places first importance at the beginning on learning the relationship between letters and their sounds.”
Anyone serious about learning the science of reading should read this book. Grab a highlighter – you’ll find countless gems!
(Side note – While I really enjoyed and recommend this book, the authors’ not-so-subtle derision of politically conservative values got old really fast.)
I recommend this book for someone who already has a good understanding of the science of reading but is looking for more. (Not for the beginner.)
My favorite part of the book is the recommended reading schedules by grade level in the book.
Easy to read, easy to apply … can’t recommend it enough!
But I just finished reading it for a class I’m taking (Fluency & Comprehension – Mount St. Joseph University) – and I love it.
Hennessy helps us understand that comprehension is big and complex – but she breaks it down by giving us a blueprint for planning comprehension instruction.
This book is for teachers of any grade level … it’s definitely worth barreling through!
I love how the book breaks down everything teachers should know about the English language – with exercises (and answer keys) so you can make sure you understand.
You can even purchase an accompanying workbook!
If you’re like I was a couple of years ago – and don’t know a fricative from a liquid or a grapheme from a morpheme, this is the book for you!
This book is on most “must-read” science of reading book lists, but it’s not easy to get through. I appreciate Seidenberg’s goal – to help teachers understand the research and how it can help us shape our teaching – but man, the book needs subtitles. If you have the patience to get through it, you’ll learn a lot. But to get much out of it you may need to read it twice.
That said, if you get a chance to hear Seidenberg speak online or in real life, I highly recommend it!
This book is recommended reading for anyone who wants to become a stronger reading teacher.
I don’t recommend you teach ALL the rules … there are a lot! But the more you know, the more equipped you are as you help your students read and spell.