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  • Writer's pictureM. Kovack

Connecting the Science of Reading with the Art of Implementation

Curiosity built around the Science of Reading? Check.

How this works in the real world of the classroom? (chirping crickets)

Although 2020 will be remembered for the few most obvious events, I will remember it as the year that drew teachers to the science of reading in droves. Granted, this curiosity was bourgeoning before 2020, but when the lockdown happened, teachers and administrators had the time and freedom to do their own research & to step around the status quo.

Drawing is from my son! Petrie, J. L. (2021). [drawing]. Retrieved from

As an experienced tutor for children with (often profound) dyslexia, I am confident about how to implement the science in a one-to-one setting. It truly is an art, and it never ceases to amaze me that there is so much to learn. Implementation into the general classroom, however, is a whole other kettle of fish.

Although the “Science of Reading” (what we have gleaned from the scientific method used by a variety of disciplines about how we learn to read) has been around for decades, the “Science of Implementation” (how we implement this information effectively and efficiently) has not had as much traction.

Technically, the “science of implementation” includes not only the study of research into practice via informed educators, but also the capacity building, decision making, and policy creation required on many levels (schools, school boards/divisions, ministries, etc.) to "identify, allocate, and effectively utilize them time and space needed to actually implement the programs or systems as intended" (Wilson & Duda, 2018, p. 7).

For an outstanding overview of the science behind implementation, listen to this Amplify podcast (S6 E3): Focused implementation: Doing less to do more with Dr. Doug Reeves:

Even just the first 10 minutes will help you understand the critical nature of what science tells us is necessary for lasting and meaningful change. The most enlightening part of this podcast for me was the focus on "DE-implementation", and how we need to be very specific about what initiatives we are NOT doing any more before providing the big plan for what we are now doing.

Some quotes from Doug Reeves (from the Amplify Podcast):

“When was the last time in education, anybody heard of de-implementation? All we do is pile one thing on top of another, on top of another, and then we don't then, then we wonder why it didn't work.” —Doug Reeves

However, while waiting for implementation science to secure systemic and longterm change, many teachers are overwhelmed with the knowledge they have been gaining this year, and are struggling to understand how reading instruction should now look in their classroom. While training is critical (see Step Two: Training on this website to get started), here is an example of a daily schedule for grade one:

Download this pdf here:

90-min. Daily Literacy Block Schedule
Download PDF • 305KB

Here is my Google Slides Code Pack - Just "Make a Copy" and add/change/delete as needed.

ONLit ( has SEVERAL good examples of what a sample daily schedule could look like. Click on the link to view!




Eccles, M.P., Mittman, B.S. Welcome to Implementation Science . Implementation Sci1, 1 (2006).

Wilson, B.A., & Duda, M.A. (2018). Theme editors’ introduction: The art and science of implementation. Perspectives on Language and Literacy, 44(4), 7-9.

Science of Reading: The Podcast (2022). S6 E3: Focused Implementation: Doing less to do more with Dr. Doug Reeves. Retrieved from

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