Frequently Asked Questions


What is Wired for Reading?

Wired for Reading is an engaging, multi-sensory word analysis program designed to improve reading, spelling, and vocabulary. Based in the latest research, students are taught to use linguistics in a kid-friendly way to understand the deep structure of language and phonics. As they learn to connect speech to sounds, sounds to letters, and letters to meaning, English spelling patterns are demystified, and students are empowered to confidently and fluidly decode words when reading and spelling.

The content of the program is shown using the House of English graphic organizer to represent both the teaching sequence and word origin. Developmentally, each layer represents a different skill set students need to analyze words for reading, spelling, and vocabulary.

The Foundation of the Wired for Reading House of English focuses on building speech-motor connections to develop phonological awareness (the ability to hear sounds and their order) using kid-friendly linguistics terms.

The next layer of the House of English represents the Germanic Anglo Saxon roots of English. Beginning with the fundamental letter-sound associations needed for beginning readers, as students develop proficiency they move on to more complex Anglo Saxon based spelling patterns and eventually learn how to read and spell multi-syllabic words. At the same time, they will also be learning research based strategies to tackle the Common but Quirky words that do not match modern phonetic patterns.

The top two layers of the House of English represent the contributions of Latin and Greek to English. In order to fluently decipher and spell above a 3.5 reading level, students need to learn Latin and Greek based spelling patterns and most common morphemes.

What current scientific research is Wired for Reading based on?

Wired for Reading is derived from and deeply grounded in evidence based research including the works of Allington, Duke, Beck, Berninger, Calfee, Henry, Moats, Olson, Pearson, Toregsen, Wise, and Wolf, among many others. Each lesson has been designed using the dual filters of the recommendations of the National Reading Panel and pedagogical best practices as defined by scientifically based research.

What is a Certified Wired for Reading Specialist?

A Certified Wired for Reading Specialist (CWRS) is a dedicated and skilled reading therapist that has been extensively trained in the Wired for Reading curriculum and has completed a rigorous mentoring process. Often educated in multiple approaches and techniques, these educators work closely with their students and families as a team to help each child become a better reader and speller.

How do I know Wired for Reading will be a match for my child?

Despite well-intentioned advice, there is no such thing as one program that is the best match for all students who have reading and writing difficulties. The National Reading Panel conducted a meta-analysis of reading intervention programs and found that effective programs addressed five main components of reading: Phonological Awareness, Alphabetic Principle, Fluency, Comprehension, and Vocabulary. (See for more information.) After that, the effectiveness of the instruction depends on the sophistication of the tutor, their depth of knowledge of the program, and whether they have been trained in multiple evidence based methods. To make an informed decision, make sure that your tutor is using an evidence based curriculum and ask them to share about their training and experience with the curriculum they use.

How long will my student need Wired for Reading tutoring?

While the length of therapy depends on the individual student and the extent of their needs, the typical range of therapy is usually between 1 – 3 years and is dependent on the amount and quality of home practice.

Do you require a diagnostic report to work with my child?

A full diagnostic report is not required but highly recommended. A list of professionals that provide formal diagnostic services is on the Wired for Reading website under the Resources tab.

If, while working with a Certified Wired for Reading Specialist, there are indications that warrant diagnostic testing and/or referrals to other interventionists, the Specialist will discuss this with you in private and provide you with referrals if possible.

Most Certified Wired for Reading Specialists do not provide formal diagnostic testing as part of the therapy process. However, in conjunction with parents, coaches, and classroom teachers they will monitor progress on an on-going basis through informal reading, writing, and spelling measures and tasks.

What is the team approach?

A Certified Wired for Reading Specialist works as a team with the parent (and/or coach/other caregiver) and child. As part of the intervention team, you will take part in both the hard work and the pleasure and excitement of watching your child make breakthroughs. You will also be able to recognize later if skills slip and if a few review sessions would be helpful. Parents really like working this way, and have been thrilled with their children’s progress. However, if you think you and your child might not work well as a team, we can discuss other options, such as a coach.

How often and for how long do I need to practice with my child between sessions?

Home practice is an essential part of the team approach. In the beginning, practice will happen more frequently but will be of shorter duration, usually a minimum of 3-4 times a week for 10-15 minutes each time. As you and your child progress through the program, practice routines will become more varied and in depth with some days focused on reading skills and some days focused on spelling skills. Ideally practice at this point would be a minimum of 3 times per week for 30-40 minutes in addition to this regular practice. Once automaticity routines are established, students will need brief daily practice of 2-3 minutes every day. If they have a coach it reduces the need for parent directed practice. If you are struggling to get the practice in, your therapist may recommend adding a coach, more frequent sessions, or finding a different avenue for intervention work.

What is a coach and are they required?

A coach is a person who has been trained in the Wired for Reading method and wants to learn more. Many are in the process of becoming certified in Wired for Reading. Bringing their own personalities and experiences, they are a welcome addition to the team and are there to support the parent and the child with home practice, and share their observations and questions to help make the therapy as effective as it can be. Coaches sit in on the sessions with the parent and the child and then meet with the child at least one other time each week at a mutually agreed upon time and location, usually the child’s house or school. They are not paid for the intervention session with the Certified Wired for Reading Specialist, however, they are paid by the parent for outside practice sessions. They do not work for the Certified Wired for Reading Specialist; they are hired by the parent.

Coaches are not required but are highly recommended. Students who have coaches tend to move through the material more quickly and learn it more deeply. Moreover, a coach provides support to both the child and the parent, allowing the parent to share the responsibility of home practice.

If I take the classes, will I have everything I need to work with my child?

Though you will receive the background knowledge and materials you need to do the program at the class, it depends upon your comfort level, relationship with your child, and your child’s processing issues. Most parents who take the class choose to partner with a reading therapist to provide support and guidance. However, some parents, particularly those who already home school their child, are able to implement the program on their own. Still others do the therapy on their own but with the added support of monthly consultation with an experienced therapist.

All parents who have taken the course have said that it was helpful in understanding the scope and intention and helped them help their children in whichever setting they choose for therapy.

What is the difference between support tutoring and intervention tutoring?

A support tutor helps the child keep up and understand school work. The intention of the tutoring is to bolster the student’s ability to keep up with their class work.

An intervention tutor uses a researched based program to address underlying processing issues that cause barriers to learning how to read and spell in more traditional ways. The intention of the tutoring is to change the way the child processes print so that they will be able to keep up with class work on their own.

Though there may be times in their academic life when they need accommodations (extra time, note-takers) or support tutoring for particularly rigorous coursework, many students who receive targeted, evidence based tutoring will be able to confidently, and independently tackle most academic subjects.

Some students may transition from intervention tutoring to support tutoring particularly when faced with subjects that require a great deal of reading and writing. These students often also benefit from explicit training in how to use technology to support them in keeping up with reading and writing work load.

Does Wired for Reading work for older children?

One of the strengths of the Wired for Reading program is that the material can be presented in a more sophisticated way that is courteous to the intellect of an older child, while simultaneously addressing low order phonological processing skills.  The same depth and sophistication that makes learning the linguistics-based foundation of Wired for Reading intriguing and challenging for teachers is also what allows older students with these low order processing challenges to engage with the material.  It is often recommended for older and twice exceptional children for this very reason.


What is Wired for Reading and what are its advantages?

Wired for Reading is a research-based word analysis program that focuses on using linguistics to teach the deep structure of language and phonics. Using the Gradual Release of Responsibility model, concepts are taught using engaging, multi-sensory, and multi-modal lessons with clearly defined learning goals. Students then use differentiated evidence-based games and activities to practice, apply, automate, and transfer learned skills.

Wired for Reading is grounded in a linguistics based approach to understanding the English language. Research consistently shows that when teachers understand linguistics, the deep structure of language and phonics, they are better able to better understand their students’ decoding and spelling errors and can better guide students to self-monitor and self-correct during independent reading and spelling. (McCutchen et al., 2009)

The content of Wired for Reading focuses not only on building phonological and phonics skills, but also on developing an understanding of the history of the English language and how this history affects spelling to support both phonics and morphological understanding. In accordance with RTI, differentiation is built into the scope and sequence of Wired for Reading by allowing all students to receive the same content at the pace and depth that best meets their needs.

Wired for Reading is also written with a focus on integrated literacy and the elements of the National Reading Panel “Big 5” recommendations. The lessons are aligned to best instructional practices and are based on Common Core Standards skills.

Does Wired for Reading align with the Common Core Standards?

The scope and sequence of our phonological, phonics, and morphology work align to the sequence of skills in both Common Core Foundation and Language. Wired for Reading integrates word analysis skills with grammar, fluency work, and word, phrase and sentence level comprehension. The foundational level Word Wires curriculum book also includes integration for shared reading experiences, and explicit instruction for handwriting. Each Word Wires manual includes an index identifying which lessons address each of the Common Core Standards in Foundation and Language and this information is also being added to the Wired for Reading Teacher’s Manual during its current revision process.

What current scientific research is Wired for Reading based on?

Wired for Reading is derived from and deeply grounded in evidence-based research including the works of Allington, Duke, Beck, Berninger, Calfee, Henry, Moats, Olson, Pearson, Toregsen, Wise, and Wolf, among many others. Each lesson has been designed using the dual filters of the recommendations of the National Reading Panel and pedagogical best practices as defined by scientifically-based research.

What literacy skills does Wired for Reading work towards?

As a recursive word analysis program, all skills are taught, practiced, applied, automated and transfer at the sound, word, phrase, sentence, and paragraph level.

Handwriting (Foundational Word Wires Curriculum Book Only):

  • Sequence of letter formation instruction is based on advice from Occupational Therapist’s concept of degrees of difficulty.
  • Letter formation is taught using research based strategies on motor sequencing and mental imagery (Berninger et al., 1997).

Articulatory-based Phonological Awareness:

  • Phonological instruction is taught following a linguistic developmental sequence, beginning with the sounds that are easiest to hear see and feel.
  • Students learn to organize consonant sounds by the articulatory sequence of place (lip, tip, or back), as well as by five manner groups, and whether the sound is voiced or unvoiced. This kid friendly linguistic structure creates a common classroom vocabulary for both phonological and phonics exploration and error handling.
  • Students learn to map all 18 English vowel sounds phonologically, based on location in the mouth to help strengthen their phonological awareness and train them to use their mouth to help their ears in future reading and spelling tasks.
  • Students track sounds and their order, and learn to manipulate sounds in single syllable words by using mouth cards as a scaffold for phonological awareness and memory.
  • Students are taught to say and stretch sounds to hear and feel the sounds and their order in words in order to be able to self-monitor and self-correct as they read and spell.


  • Students learn all phonics patterns using multi-modal and multi-sensory strategies using stories, drawing, music, drama, and games.
  • Students learn to use word origin to make spelling choices, starting with Anglo Saxon based core patterns, and later followed by Latin and Greek multisyllabic spelling patterns. The word origin framework provides a placeholder for patterns that don’t follow early phonics skills.
  • Students learn all consonant letters and their sounds, including diagraphs and blends.
  • Students learn the 6 syllable types (Closed, Open, VCe, R-controlled, Vowel teams (Wired names: O-team, 2 Vowels Go Walking, and Leftovers), and –le.
  • Students are taught to differentiate between y as a consonant and y as a vowel.

Sight Word Development:

  • Sequence of sight word instruction is based on the most common words in English, as well as words found in students’ independent writing.
  • Students use research-based practices of color coding and mental imagery to develop visual imagery of letter patterns in words. (Berninger et al., 2006)


  • Students learn the three elements of words; sounds, letters and meaning through a graphic organizer called the Word Triangle. (Berninger & Fayol, 2008)
  • Students learn multiple meaning strategies for homonyms and words with multiple meanings and shades of meaning (bank, can) using the Flower Word strategy. (Wolf et al., 2008)
  • Students learn grammar words such as of , the, and, by practicing them in a meaningful context such as, United State of America, the best movie, dogs and cats using the Glue Word strategy. (Wolf, 2008)
  • Students learn parts of speech to understand the jobs of words, particularly grammar words, in phrases and sentences to aid fluency and transfer.
  • Students learn basic suffixes (-s, -es, -ed, -ing, -er, -y) morphologically as meaning based chunks, playing with how adding suffixes change the meaning of the base word.
How does Wired for Reading integrate into the RTI Model?

The RTI model expects a continuity in curriculum and pedagogical practices between all three tiers, so that all students learn the same content and routines. To respond to the needs of Tier 2 and 3 students, the pacing and depth of Wired for Reading instruction is adapted and may delve deeper and scaffold back to support different learning needs. Double dosing and pre-teaching during intervention work and learning the architecture of English, as developed in the Wired for Reading curriculum, helps all students receive the same content, but at the pacing and depth that best fits their needs.

Our model of instruction is based the RTI model where core concepts are taught whole group, with pre- or post-teaching based on the needs of individual students. The Wired for Reading program is ideal for students with Dyslexia and Dysgraphia because it explicitly addresses the low-order neural processing issues (phonological awareness and memory, orthographic coding, and rapid automatic naming) that are the root of why these students struggle with learning to read, spell, and write. This aspect of instruction is built into the RTI framework for Tier 2 and 3 students and is not considered a separate “program” but rather a differentiation of learning.

What assessments are included in Wired for Reading?

The curriculum manual includes criteria assessment for both placement and differentiation. Also, there are end of unit assessments to gauge understanding of common core concepts. The expectation for partner work includes end of the week spelling assessments for both sight words and pattern spelling. Built into the instructional practices are ongoing, informal teacher observations to determine students’ need for additional support and/or readiness for next level of instruction. All word lists are leveled to provide differentiation during practice of core skills. Many of the games and activities can be used to provide informal assessment, particularly to differentiate small group work.

What other schools and districts are using Wired for Reading?

Many other schools and districts use Wired for Reading to varying degrees depending on the needs of each district and school. Public school districts include: Bellevue, Edmonds, Shoreline, Seattle, Highline, Monroe, Lake Stevens, Lake Crescent, Renton, and Mercer Island. Private schools include: The Archdiocese of Seattle (St. Joseph and St. Luke especially), The Evergreen School, The Meridian School, The Brighton School, Spruce Street School, The Little School, Giddens, Jewish Day School, The Seattle Jewish Community School, The Seattle Hebrew Academy, The Perkins School, and West Hills Christian School (Portland, OR).

What is the difference between the Wired for Reading Teacher’s Manual and the Word-Wires K-1 Foundation Curriculum?

The Wired for Reading Teacher’s Manual is designed not only to be a guide for teachers while taking the class, but also to be a flexible source material for teaching phonological awareness, phonics skills, and word study strategies that can be adapted for whole class, small group, or one on one instruction. It is suitable for all Tiers of students using the RTI Framework, as the pacing and depth of the content can be easily differentiated.

The Wired for Reading Teacher’s Manual is only available as a part of the Wired for Reading Introductory Teacher Training class or by separate purchase by those who have completed the training.

The Word-Wires K-1 Foundation Curriculum is a stand-alone Tier 1 Kindergarten or First Grade word study curriculum. The intention is to provide every day, at your fingertips support for the general classroom teacher while also including differentiation suggestions for Tier 2 and Tier 3 small groups. Though taking the Wired for Reading Teacher Training Courses is highly recommended, completion of the courses is not required to purchase and use this curriculum.


How do I register?

You must sign up for the class online. Go to Registration

Is this course only for certificated teachers?

No. Tutors, paraprofessionals, and parents take our courses to support the teachers with whom they are working, to work with their own students and/or to work with their own children.

Which course should I take with respect to the grade level I teach/tutor?

Our courses are geared towards reading level, using the Response To Intervention (RTI) model.

Tier One: Reading level K-3
Tier Two and Three: All students with reading and spelling challenges K-12

Tier One: Reading level 2-4
Tier Two and Three: Continuation with students (pacing may vary)

Tier One: Reading level 3-6
Tier Two and Three: Continuation with students

Can secure my registration with a PO?

Yes, please email the PO to after you have signed up for the course on line.

Can I pay with a check?

Yes. Please register online and choose the “pay later” option. Your space is not reserved until your payment has been received in our office.

Where do I send my check?

Please write the level of class (Intro, Intermediate, Advanced) and the date of the course in the memo section. Return to:

Wired For Reading
c/o Laura Rogan
2311 NW 201st Street
Shoreline, WA 98177

Will I receive a registration confirmation?

Upon signing up for a course, you will receive registration confirmation email. This will be sent to the “registration contact” you entered when you signed up.

What is your cancellation policy?

Tuition payment is refundable before the tuition deadline, less a $15 handling fee. Tuition is non-refundable after this deadline, except in the case of illness or family emergency. In the case of illness or family emergency, tuition payment may be applied to the same Wired For Reading course within one year of the original course date if an email is sent to before the course begins.

Is there a deadline for paying my tuition balance?

Yes.  The deadline is published for each course on the website and is also included in the registration confirmation email.

Can I hold a space for my TBD staff member?

You may not hold spaces by registering under a place holder name or Jane or John Doe. We will not provide refunds nor give credit to those who register this way.

What is your inclement weather policy?

In the event of snow, classes may be canceled that day or evening and rescheduled on a later date. If a participant is unable to make the make up session, he or she may make up the missed material at any future same level course for up to one year from the original missed day at no extra cost, including a waiver of the alum materials fee. Refunds for snow days will not be given.

Classes will be canceled or delayed if weather conditions cause the host school to close or if conditions warrant such action. Please check the Wired For Reading web site home page to learn whether a session has been canceled and/or post-poned because of snow.

Will the price of your classes increase?

Prices and terms and conditions are subject to change.

Can I get clock hours or credit?

You can earn clock hours or credit for our courses through Seattle University. The course registrar will send you an email on how to qualify and apply for clock hours or university credit.


Who can I contact with additional questions?

If you have any registration questions or comments, please contact our course registrar at

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