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The Principal’s Reading Walk-Through: K-3. Orientation.

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This publication was adapted by the Center on Instruction from multiple products as shown in acknowledgments and cited in references. The Center on Instruction is operated by RMC Research Corporation in partnership with the Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University; Instructional Research Group; the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics at the University of Houston; and The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at the University of Texas at Austin. The contents of this Guide were developed under cooperative agreement S283B050034 with the U.S. Department of Education. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

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National Reading Panel: High quality instruction during the early school years can prevent reading difficulties for many children.
five components of reading
Five Components of Reading
  • Phonemic awarenessPhonicsFluencyVocabularyComprehension
A Principal’s Reading Walk-Through is a systematic way to collect real-time teaching and learning data.
reading walk through categories
Classroom Environment CE

Instructional Materials IM

Teacher Instruction TI

Reading Centers RC

Phonemic Awareness PA

Phonics P

Fluency F

Vocabulary V

Comprehension C

Reading Walk-through Categories
teacher instruction
Teacher Instruction

When a teacher providesexplicit instruction,students don’t have to guess what they should learn.

reading centers
Reading Centers

Each center offers meaningful, research-basedactivities that reinforce or extend what the teacher has already taught explicitly.

concepts of print
Concepts of Print

Awareness that print carries a message, directionality, differences between letters and words, distinctions between upper and lower case, punctuation, etc.

phonemic awareness
Phonemic Awareness

The ability to hear and manipulate the individual sounds in words.


The relationship between graphemes (letters) and the phonemes (sounds) they represent.

Fluency includes both automaticity (accuracy and speed) and prosody (appropriate expression and phrasing).



To develop strong vocabularies, 1st and 2nd graders need to learn more than 800 words a year—about two words a day. (Nagy & Anderson, 1984; Beck, 2002)


  • Comprehension rests on metacognition—an awareness of one’s thinking and understanding: Does it make sense?

Observation and reflective practice support a school’s evolution into a professional learning community.

Teachers who feel enabled to succeed with students are more committed and effective than those who feel unsupported in their teaching and in their practice.

The Principal’s Reading Walk-Through helps track trends—

      • over time,
      • by teachers,
      • by grade level,
      • by indicator,
      • by category.