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Reading 101

A guide to teaching reading and writing
asian teacher working with students in class
Published: June 30, 2021

Reading 101 is a self-paced professional development course for K-3 teachers, developed by Reading Rockets. The program provides teachers with an in-depth knowledge of reading and writing so they are prepared to guide their students into becoming skilled and enthusiastic readers and writers.

Reading 101 was produced in collaboration with the Center for Effective Reading Instruction and The International Dyslexia Association. Reading 101 has also received generous support from the National Education Association.

Welcome to Reading 101!

Our brains are hard-wired to master spoken language, but learning to read is another story. Learning to read is a very complex skill — one of the most complex things that we ask our children to take on. And for many kids, it doesn’t come easily.

As a result, teaching children to read and write well can be a very challenging job. So much so that researcher Louisa Moats called her influential article “Teaching Reading IS Rocket Science.” (This incidentally, became the inspiration for the “Reading Rockets” name!).

There are many reasons why children succeed or struggle in school, but among school-related factors, teachers matter the most. What teachers know and what they do in class every day have an enormous impact on student achievement.

It’s never easy, but when reading instruction is delivered by knowledgeable, skilled teachers, more students will be more successful, and all but the most severe reading disabilities can be addressed effectively. This is true even for students who are most at risk.

Reading 101 presents some of the core information that teachers need to help young children learn to read and write well and to support the children who struggle. You may want to start with the introductory section, How Children Learn to Read and then move on to our course modules:

Access the course module library or go directly to the individual modules below:

Letter of completion

Reading Rockets does not offer CEUs for this self-study course. After completing the modules, you can download a Letter of Completion.


To learn how you can become certified by the Center for Effective Reading Instruction, visit Becoming a Certified Literacy Teacher.

Production credits

Reading 101 is a service of WETA/ Reading Rockets in collaboration with the Center for Effective Reading Instruction and The International Dyslexia Association. Reading 101 is made possible in part by grants from The National Education Association and the LD Network.

Executive Editor, Reading 101: Noel Gunther
Director, Reading Rockets: Tina Chovanec

Contributing writers and editors:

  • Suzanne Carreker, PhD, CALT-QI
  • Margaret Goldberg
  • Elizabeth Liptak
  • Nicole Lubar
  • Latrice Seals, Ed.D.
  • Louise Spear-Swerling, Ph.D.

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The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.