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SEDL's Reading Resources
Cognitive Framework of Reading Reading Assessment Database Short Papers Reading First Links
Table of Contents


Cognitive Elements of Reading

Reading Assessment Techniques

Research Evidence

Using the Framework



PDF version

Related Resources
Glossary of reading terms

Instructional Resources - Literary References

Instructional Resources - Instructional Activities

Using the Framework

The cognitive framework of reading acquisition described in these pages was created as the centerpiece of a suite of tools designed to help K-2 reading teachers develop effective, research-based, child-centered instructional strategies. The framework is the centerpiece because the first priority was to help teachers gain an "expert" view of reading acquisition. When multiple K-2 teachers on a campus all share this view, they can work more effectively as a team to organize reading instruction across grade levels. Using the framework as the "big picture" of reading acquisition, teachers can examine what each child should learn in each grade, and they can develop a more coherent reading program so that one class complements and supports the next. Using the framework and the suite of tools, teachers can develop campus-wide assessment strategies that better inform the developmental progress of individual children from year to year. Teachers can thereby better communicate assessment information to other concerned parties, such as parents, school administrators, and other colleagues.

Available in Print and Online

Most of these tools and resources can be accessed through SEDL’s Web site, free of charge. Most of these tools and resources are being presented in electronic format because many of them are interactive, and it is not possible to convey the information effectively on paper. The Reading Assessment Database for Grades K-2, for example, contains information about some 150 assessments. Those summaries could have been printed, but it is much more efficient to present that information in a searchable database.

SEDL is distributing this essential text describing the cognitive framework of reading acquisition in hard copy, but all of the text in this printed document is also available on the Web site. The hard copy is more pleasant to read than electronic text, but it should be noted that while all of the text in the paper document is contained on the Web site, the reverse is not true: Many resources are included in the electronic version that were not reproduced in the paper document. Printing all of that information would be too cumbersome. That information is no less relevant to reading instruction, though, and we encourage teachers to spend some time looking through all that is available on the electronic version.

There is added benefit to the electronic format over the paper format — the electronic format made it possible to truly integrate all of SEDL’s reading resources. These resources are moderately useful in isolation, but when combined and integrated, they provide a very rich information resource for teachers that is also useful to administrators and staff developers. We have described the cognitive framework of reading acquisition as the centerpiece around which all of the other resources were developed, and the electronic version of this suite of resources makes the reason for this description quite evident.

Using the Resources Online

To use the electronic version, you may start with the A-shaped graphical representation of the framework. The various cognitive elements are represented in the graphic, and to explore each element, you simply use the mouse to click on an element in the graphic that interests you.

Once you select an element, you have five "pathways" to choose from:

  1. You can find out more about the cognitive element itself by reading an in-depth description of the element.
  2. You can learn about assessment techniques and search our database for published reading assessments that specifically test that element.
  3. You can browse through our database of ideas for classroom activities that specifically support that element.
  4. You can access our bibliography for research articles related to that element.

Naturally, most of these resources can be used alone. For example, the Reading Assessment Database has its own search-interface so you can perform more advanced searches for assessments. However, the way that most people will be introduced to SEDL’s resources is through the lens of the cognitive framework of reading acquisition. We feel that when people see how they can use the framework as an organizing and sorting tool, they will begin to use it to organize and sort reading instruction in their own schools.

Archived Resource

The resources listed on this website are from a past project. The Reading Assessment Database and external links have not been updated since 2009.

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