Decodable Readers: Small Group Instruction

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about the science of reading this year. We all have. Here’s the thing: this isn’t new. This approach has been around for years. In fact, when I started teaching, this is how I learned to teach reading. This is how I’ve approached teaching reading because it’s what I knew. It’s why our TKS BOOTCAMP curriculum is designed the way it is. It’s why our Read It Up creations are designed the way they are. This also explains our use of decodable text. So keep reading to see how we use decodable text in our classroom!

Decodable Readers

As teachers, we all want to grow and improve our craft. I don’t think I’m ever very good at teaching but I am always open to learn and grow and try new things. In our district, we had a few years where the push was all guided reading but even then I made sure to work on decoding and explicit phonics because that was what I knew. Over the last two years, that push has switched from guided reading to explicit phonics instruction. This move allowed us more freedom and flexibility with our small group instruction time. We could now do phonics-based small groups as well as pull guided reading groups. Now we have moved completely away from guided reading groups to small group instruction using decodable texts.

During this time, we were also being pushed to use decodable readers with our groups. This was a bit new for me (I knew about decodable texts and had used them some, but to focus on them was new…) because our focus had been on guided reading with leveled texts. In order to continue using our TKS BOOTCAMP curriculum as our phonics curriculum, we needed to add decodable readers. So that is why the decodable readers were added.

Decodable Readers: Why?

One of the biggest keys for students’ success as readers is confidence. Decodable readers help boost the confidence of our readers. And if a child feels like a reader, they will be better readers. Decodable readers or text allow students to decode words and be successful readers. Because decodable readers contain so much decodable text it allows students to apply and practice the phonics skills we’ve taught in whole group lessons during our BOOTCAMP phonics time. Decodable readers are a key part of the systematic, explicit phonics instruction that helps our students succeed as readers and writers!

decodable readers kindergarten

Decodable Readers: The Features

When I created and wrote our decodable readers, I wanted to include decodable text as well as have the stories be used for comprehension as well.

On the front cover, we included the phonics skill we’re teaching. This allows a very quick review or refreshers of the skill.

small group phonics instruction

For each decodable reader, there are four options: there is a simpler version and a more challenging version. Each version is available in color or blackline. This gives you some options when working with students so you’re better able to meet their needs as readers.

At the end of the decodable reader is a writing page. Here students can apply their phonics skills to write or encode the words. All of the words contain the focus skill or pattern.

Decodable Readers In Action

Check out these videos to see our decodable readers in action!


The decodable readers are included in our TKS BOOTCAMP curriculum which is a systematic, explicit, research-based, classroom-proven phonics and math curriculum. The curriculum is aligned with the science of reading. For more on TKS BOOTCAMP, visit our TKS BOOTCAMP page!

For more information and to purchase the TKS BOOTCAMP CURRICULUM, click the image below!

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