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Route to Reading: Check for Potholes

If you prefer, read the text version of the infographic.

Route to Reading: Check for Potholes

Route to Reading: Check for Potholes

Reading instruction should be:

Explicit:Teaching that is direct and step-by-step, including explaining and showing how to do something.

Systematic: Teaching that has a carefully planned sequence, including teaching necessary skills first, building from easier to more difficult tasks, and breaking down harder skills into smaller parts.

Evidence-based: Programs supported by strong, moderate, or promising research evidence of their effectiveness; or demonstrating a rationale that they can improve a targeted outcome.

Questions to ask your child's school:

Are phonological awareness, phonics,and spelling taught explicitly and systematically?

Does the phonics instruction focus on blending and segmenting sounds to read and spell words?

Are there opportunities for my child to read books that have the phonics skills he or she has learned in them?

When my child reads aloud, is she or he encouraged to look carefully at printed words and use decoding skills to read unfamiliar words?

Suggested Citation

National Center on Improving Literacy (2020). Route to Reading: Check for Potholes. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Special Education Programs, National Center on Improving Literacy. Retrieved from