Philosophy and Approach

Really Great Reading's Philosophy and Approach

How It Works

A student’s ability to read affects every academic area. Decoding quickly and effortlessly is a basic skill evident in readers who comprehend well. Struggling readers who have gaps in their phonics knowledge will likely face frustration and difficulty in multiple subjects. We believe it is never too late to improve these basic skills in struggling readers. To do this, it is critical to diagnose their specific problems and offer appropriate instruction. Really Great Reading provides assessments, grouping systems and lessons that help students strengthen key basic reading skills, which leads to improved reading fluency and text comprehension.

Really Great Reading believes that every child and adult has the right to appropriate, quality reading instruction. We give teachers the tools and knowledge to teach all students (not just those who learn easily) to read. We make assessment and grouping efficient and accurate and make reading instruction interactive, explicit, structured, and multisensory so that students not only learn to read, but enjoy the learning process. 

Building Strong Comprehenders
Good readers possess a variety of skills that, in combination, lead to proficiency in text comprehension. These skills include decoding, fluency, academic vocabulary, an understanding of various types of text, strong background knowledge, and an understanding of syntax. Each of these skills is important, and if any are weak, students’ comprehension often suffers. Certain basic skills, including the ability to decode words accurately and fluently, are important for good readers of any age. Not all students master these skills in the same way or at the same time. Some need explicit, systematic and multisensory instruction in decoding to become proficient readers.
Decoding Accuracy Is Key to Comprehension
Accurate decoding is an important foundation of reading comprehension, and is a skill that must be mastered in order for students to make sense of the more complex content they encounter as they move into the upper elementary, middle, and high school years. Every other component of reading can be in place for a student, but without strong decoding skills, a student must rely on context or memory to accurately read words already in their vocabularies, neither of which is a consistently reliable word recognition strategy. Using context clues works only as long as the words in the text are in the student’s vocabulary. Therefore, it is imperative that students learn to decode words accurately so that using context is not their primary strategy for reading unfamiliar words.
Decoding with Automaticity
Automaticity in decoding is also a critical skill for proficient reading of texts with strong comprehension.  Students who have gaps in their phonics knowledge are less likely to read with automaticity. They spend so much mental energy on decoding that their comprehension of text suffers. When students decode automatically, their mental desk space is freed up to focus on the vocabulary and overall meaning of the text.  


Strong Decoding Leads to Greater Fluency
When students are able to decode words accurately and automatically, they are better able to derive correct meaning when they read. Accurate and automatic reading can also lead to improvement in fluency. With stronger fluency, students will not stumble as frequently over unknown words, nor will they have to reread text if they discover they have made a mistake. In addition, improved accuracy, automaticity, and fluency leads to more confident readers.
  • Explicit, systematic instruction builds strong readers.
  • Multisensory instruction builds skills.
  • Scaffolded instruction provides the support that students need.
  • Explicit phonemic awareness instruction is the first step to successful decoding.
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