Reading Mastery

Commercial Program
Comprehension, Phonemic Awareness, Phonics & Decoding, Vocabulary

30-45 mins

Target Student

Students of all reading levels; students with/without disabilities


Reading Mastery is an accelerated program that aims to help beginning readers identify letter sounds, segment words into sounds, blend sounds into words, develop vocabulary, and begin to learn comprehension strategies.  Reading Mastery Classic consists of two levels. Reading Mastery Fast Cycle is an accelerated program that condenses Levels I and II.

Reading Mastery can be used as a supplement to a core reading program or as a stand-alone reading program for students with or without disabilities.


A typical 30- to 45-minute Reading Mastery lesson includes seven to nine short activities. The activities encompass multiple strands of content, such as phonemic awareness, letter-sound correspondence, sounding out words, word recognition, vocabulary, oral reading fluency, and comprehension.

Program materials include fully scripted lessons to guide teachers through repeated instructional steps (model new content, provide guided practice, and implement individual practice and application). Signals and group responses are used to keep students involved, help them stay on task, and to control lesson pacing.

Teachers assess student performance throughout the program, and struggling students receive remedial exercises. The program typically spans 1 academic year.


Cooke, N. L., Gibbs, S. L., Campbell, M. L., & Shalvis, S. L. (2004). A comparison of Reading Mastery Fast Cycle and Horizons Fast Track A-B on the reading achievement of students with mild disabilities. Journal of Direct Instruction, 4(2), 139–151.

Goss, C. L., & Brown-Chidsey, R. (2012). Tier 2 reading interventions: Comparison of Reading Mastery and Fundations double dose. Preventing School Failure, 56(1), 65-74.

Stockard, J., & Engelmann, K.  (2010). The development of early academic success: The impact of Direct Instruction's Reading Mastery. Journal of Behavior Assessment & Intervention in Children, 1(1), 2-24.

Research Summary

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