Surpass the Class Reading Therapists use multi-sensory instructional techniques in order to help students improve their reading and written language challenges. An excellent description of multi-sensory structured language teaching can be found here.

Some of the specific techniques are displayed below:Reading Specialist Port Townsend,

Reading Decoding:

  • Color coded sound cards with key words to reinforce newly learned sounds
  • Making words with color coded sound cards or syllable cards
  • Color coded phonetic whole word flash cards for each newly learned reading skill
  • Sight word cards based on the individual needs of the student (multi-sensory methods for learning sight words including sky writing, gel boards etc.)
  • Daily word list reading of current pattern and charting of results
  • Sentence reading of controlled text, focusing on decoding, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension
  • Unique “sound tapping” method for one-to-one correspondence of each sound in a word

Reading Comprehension:

  • Reading passages of controlled text with a focus on decoding, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension
  • Visualization techniques for creating a “mind movie” when reading controlled and non-controlled text and verbalizing the images
  • Explicit teaching of specific thinking strategies to use during reading (Monitoring Comprehension, Making Connections, Questioning, Visualizing, Determining Importance, Summarizing and Synthesizing Information)

Reading Fluency:

  • Repeated readings of short passages at student’s reading level
  • Focus on prosody, rate, and accuracy
  • Student graphs results for first reading and final reading after practice


  • Drill spelling sounds with color coded magnetic letter tiles
  • Student makes words with color coded magnetic letter tiles
  • Written practice dictation of sounds, real words, pseudo words, sight words, and sentences


  • Explicit teaching of 6 Traits Writing (
  • Explicit teaching of Rewards Writing (Grades 5 – 12)(
  • Explicit teaching of Step-up-to-Writing (See links and resources for a power point explanation)