Reading at Northside

The body of work referred to as the “science of reading” is not an ideology, a philosophy, a political agenda, a one-size-fits-all approach, a program of instruction, nor a specific component of instruction. It is the emerging consensus from many related disciplines, based on literally thousands of studies, supported by hundreds of millions of research dollars, conducted across the world in many languages. These studies have revealed a great deal about how we learn to read, what goes wrong when students don’t learn, and what kind of instruction is most likely to work the best for the most students.

  - Dr. Louisa Moats

"If a student MEMORIZES ten words, then they can "read" (if they remember) ten words.  But, if students LEARN the sounds of ten letters, then they can read:

  • 350 three-sound words

  • 4,320 four-sound words

  • 21,650 five-sound words”

Have you ever wondered how we learn to read? What happens in our brain when we see a word on paper? Well, reading involves a variety of processes that take place within the different regions of the brain. Scientific advances in imaging allow researchers to view images of the brain that reveal information about what really happens in our brain while we read and which areas are involved in the process.

At Northside, we are committed to our students and their families. We believe that through the use of effective instructional practices that are aligned with the science of reading, all students, no matter their grade, will become proficient readers. We are aiming towards building a solid literacy foundation that will lead to a bright future for all of our owls.

 The science of reading is a term that refers to research conducted over the past years by leading reading experts,  scientists, psychologists, speech therapists, and reading researchers on how we learn to read. There is an actual science to teaching reading! Research has shown that if reading is taught with the brain in mind, the rate of reading failure would drop from 20%-30% to 10% and/or less. 

Our student Learning Specialist working with lower school students


The National Reading Panel's Report in 2000, Teaching Children to Read, identified the following five elements as the most important skills students need to become proficient readers:

  • Phonemic Awareness

  • Phonics

  • Fluency

  • Vocabulary

  • Comprehension

Reading comprehension is driven by two broad skill sets that are identified in the Simple View of Reading. This is further detailed in Scarborough’s Reading Rope, which highlights the essential components of reading:

Scarborough's Reading Rope (2001)

For further information on this topic, we invite you to read the following articles:

 What is the Science of Reading?

 Why Should Schools Use a Structured Literacy Approach?

The Reading Brain