Look For These 8 Features in Science of Reading Products

Look For These 8 Features in Science of Reading Products


As 38 states turn to curriculum and teaching practices backed by the Science of Reading, there is a noticeable increase in the demand for reading products rooted in this research.

With so many reading products on the market, how do districts decide which ones are best for students?

Let’s review what the Science of Reading is before we dive in.

The Science of Reading is the culmination of thousands of studies spanning multiple decades that reveals what works in literacy education. This evidence guides instructional practices to ensure students receive high-quality literacy instruction. 

8 Tips for Developing a High-Quality Science of Reading Product

We recently read an insightful interview in which Heidi Anne Mesmer, Professor of Literacy Education at Virginia Tech, spoke with EdWeek Market Brief about what districts look for when choosing a reading product. She also gave suggestions for vendors creating reading curriculums and resources. View the full interview here. 

Read Mesmer’s suggestions for creating strong reading products, and learn how Just Right Reader is accelerating reading achievement with Science of Reading Decodables.

1. Take into account that research and best practices are not static - they are always evolving.

Just Right Reader partners with leading literacy experts and researchers nationwide to ensure we remain current on the latest Science of Reading research and best instructional practices. Our products grow and evolve as research continues to reveal what is effective for developing readers. 

2. Ensure the curriculum and resources are research-based.

In 2019, our CEO and founder, Sara Rich, made it her mission to make reading fun and accessible for all students by providing an authentic experience through engaging decodable books backed by research. She worked with literacy experts and researchers who showed her what makes a great Science of Reading decodable. We continue to grow our company ensuring that every product we develop revolves around the Science of Reading and what works in literacy instruction.

3. Engage students. 

With extensive Classroom Libraries and Take-Everywhere Packs, students have plenty of opportunities to practice their decoding skills in engaging, connected text, which creates space for them to become strong readers. 

Just Right Reader Decodable Books

Our Decodables feature:

  • An extensive library of 700+ titles 
  • Engaging and relatable stories with diverse characters and vibrant illustrations that motivate students to keep reading
  • Research-based, rigorous phonics scope and sequence that aligns to all phonics programs and curriculums 
  • QR codes that link to memorable video lessons in English and Spanish
  • Personalized Take-Everywhere Decodable Packs that extend phonics practice from school into homes

    4. Include systematic morphological instruction and access to informational text.

    Our High Interest decodables focus on multisyllabic word study, text structure, and grade-level topics to build upon students' decoding skills and support reading stamina in the upper grades.

    High Interest Decodables feature:

    • Practice with multisyllabic words
    • Engaging topics for 3rd-5th grade developing readers
    • Explicit phonics practice of prefixes, roots, and suffixes
    • Access to informational texts
    • Memorable video phonics lessons in English and Spanish
    • Research-based, rigorous phonics scope and sequence that aligns to all phonics programs and curriculums 

    5. Utilize high-quality, on-demand videos.

    At Just Right Reader, educators and video production team members produce fun and memorable video phonics lessons. Students, teachers and caregivers simply scan a QR code on each decodable to access videos in English and Spanish.

    Phonics video lessons: 

    • Reinforce targeted phonics skills in every decodable
    • Support caregivers reading with their student

    6. Create resources that are easily accessible to teachers.

    Not only do our Science of Reading Decodables align to all phonics programs and curriculums, but they are easily implemented districtwide. 

    We provide wrap-around support for administrators, teachers, and caregivers with:

    •  Getting started guides
    •  Video lessons in English and Spanish
    •  Rigorous lesson plans for every title
    •  Curriculum alignment charts

    … and more!

    7. Provide educators with ongoing professional development. 

    Just Right Reader has a dedicated team to support instructional leaders and educators every step of the way. The team provides exceptional value by creating a seamless implementation process. They meet with schools to determine goals, provide resources and ongoing support to reach those goals, and more. 

    Our Impact Manager, a certified teacher and literacy coach, provides professional development modules and in-person training centered around the specific needs of each school. 

    8. Partner with research scientists and translational research scientists.

    Just Right Reader Science of Reading Symposiums

    We regularly team up with both research scientists and translational research scientists to showcase the latest research and share actionable strategies to accelerate reading achievement. 

    Our symposiums provide a space for thought-leaders, administrators, and educators to come together to learn the research and implement the best instructional practices for students.

    Click here to join us for an upcoming symposium! 

    Read the full interview with Heidi Messmer and EdWeek Market Brief here


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         Fittes, E. K. (2023, December 7). What’s Missing From ‘Science of Reading’-Focused Products. EdWeek Market Brief.

         Schwartz, S. (2023, July 21).Which states have passed “science of reading” laws? what’s in them? Education Week.

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