Enhanced Core Reading Instruction is a program for struggling first grade readers. In the study of this program, all students, experimental and control, received 90 minutes of core reading instruction and 30 minutes of Tier 2 (supplemental) instruction. Enhanced Core Reading Instruction primarily focuses on Tier 2 teaching, providing teachers with professional development and materials to improve the alignment of Tier 2 with Tier 1 core instruction. Students in groups of 3-5 are pretaught content soon to be taught in the core classroom. Most small-group instruction is provided by instructional assistants. Teaching focuses on phonemic awareness, sound blending, word reading, fluency, reading decodable text, and irregular words. Core reading teachers also receive professional days on these strategies. In total, core teachers and small-group instructors receive three days of professional development.
A study in Oregon and Massachusetts compared first graders taught in Enhanced Core Reading Instruction to those taught in a control group. Differences on Woodcock Johnson and SAT-10 scales favored the Enhanced Core Reading Instruction group, and these were significant for Woodcock-Johnson Word Attack and SAT-10 Word Reading, qualifying Enhanced Core Reading Instruction for the ESSA “Strong” category.
Core reading instruction is provided by classroom teachers in a whole group setting. Intervention is provided in small groups of 3-5 students by teachers or instructional assistants.
Training manuals and materials are available and training is required for the instructor. The Enhanced Core Reading Instruction materials include professional development workbooks for teachers and interventionists and a Leadership Guide for literacy leaders. These workbooks are designed to be used in a study group, self-study or as part of a facilitated training. The Tier 1 instruction training includes a recommended 3 days of self or guided study using the Enhanced Core Reading Instruction professional development workbooks for teachers. The minimum qualifications of Tier 1 instructors are that they be classroom teachers. The Tier 2 instruction training includes a recommended 2 days of self or guided study using the Enhanced Core Reading Instruction professional development workbooks for interventionists. The minimum qualifications of Tier 2 instructors are that they be paraprofessionals. The program assumes that the instructor has some experience with reading instruction. The authors describe practical routines for enhancing core reading instruction in essential areas including foundational reading skills, vocabulary, and comprehension that are directly aligned with the Common Core State Standards.
The program does not require technology.