Early Reading Accelerators (K-2)

Reading science emphasizes two critical pieces in systematic early reading instruction: securing foundational skills and building knowledge and vocabulary. These "Early Reading Accelerators" are essential content that all readers need access to in order to become proficient. While each student and their experiences are unique, we can accelerate the development of reading proficiency for all students by implementing these practices strategically through classroom instruction and materials. On the page below, you'll find information about these critical concepts and resources you can use to turn these ideas into actions in the 2020–21 school year.

How do we ensure that we are teaching Early Reading Accelerators’ content to all students, while also centering students whose academic needs are not being met by school?

Early Reading Accelerators Quick Start Guide. Explore this guide for an overview of what the Early Reading Accelerators are and how we can implement them equitably. 


Or, click through the Prezi below for a more dynamic presentation, including sample videos of classrooms engaging in this work and additional resources you can use to build your knowledge of these Accelerators.

Many students need support with reading, but students of color, students from families experiencing poverty, and English learners are less likely to have access to resources that support reading success, including: effective instructional practices, appropriate individualized supports, or teachers and materials that reflect their identities. To implement the Early Reading Accelerators equitably, we must consider student supports, culturally relevant content and practices, and aligned instructional materials. This means that we have a deep knowledge of the Accelerators’ content and instruct in ways that value all students’ backgrounds, languages, cultures, points of view, knowledge, and skills.

For a deeper dive on the Early Reading Accelerators, explore these additional Collections:

Foundational Skills. Foundational skills - print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, and fluency - are the building blocks of early reading. This Collection has resources, materials, and best practices for teaching these concepts to all students.

Knowledge & Vocabulary. Reading ability and knowledge about the world are tightly connected. This Collection has techniques and practices to leverage and grow each student's knowledge of the world with their reading ability.

Case Study

Shifting Early Literacy Practices: The Story of an Early Reading Pilot in San Antonio Independent School District. Reflections, guidance, and tools on how a school district pilot focused on “Early Reading Accelerators” has the potential to shape literacy vision and transform reading practices across the country.

Guidance for 2020-21

How can we best support all K-2 students' learning, amplify what matters most for early reading, and foster students' social-emotional development?
We are in a never-before-seen moment, teaching in conditions that vary from state to state, city to city, and even classroom to classroom. Teachers are dealing with the ongoing impacts of disrupted schooling and are eager to support each of their students with early reading while reentering school in 2020–2021.
For more, see Integrating Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (SEAD): An Action Guide for School Leadership Teams.

Supporting Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (SEAD) for Early Readers.  Use these strategies to facilitate the Social, Emotional, and Academic Development of your early readers as they engage with the work of the Early Reading Accelerators.

As we navigate these new and challenging times, we hope to ideate and learn from one another. Here you will find resources and tools meant to support educators and students with the unique needs of this school year, connected to the content of the Early Reading Accelerators.

Resources for Remote Learning

Many of us will be engaging in some form of remote learning this coming school year and must find ways to connect with and teach our young students as we ourselves learn new tools, platforms, and practices. 

Early Readers Practice Reading Routine for Synchronous, Asynchronous, or Low/No Tech Learning.  Use this weekly routine to support your early readers with decodable or knowledge-building texts in a variety of remote settings. 

  • Watch this webinar to hear how teachers are engaging in the Early Reading Accelerators during remote learning. To receive a professional learning certificate, view on-demand.

Continue to share new resources and learning with us on Twitter: #coreadvocates @achievethecore

Review the below sample lessons for ideas about how you might engage your early readers virtually through synchronous, asynchronous, or low or no technology teaching and learning. Note: please view these as samples meant to show the work of teaching in this moment.

  • Engage students in virtual phonological awareness work, like in this activity for Kindergarteners or first graders. You can see more model videos and get the lesson plans from this free, comprehensive phonological awareness program here: Best for All Sounds: Sounds First Phonemic Awareness Program.

    Delete the first sound from the second syllable in a two-syllable word. (Found in TN Materials: Kindergarten, Week 19; Grade 1, Week 3)

Supporting English Learners

In addition to the remote learning ideas above, use the resources below to think more deeply about supporting students learning English while engaging in the work of the Early Reading Accelerators remotely.

Learning from Each Other

We asked educators around the country to share their best practices for teaching early reading remotely. Here are some of the success stories they shared.