Fitting 90 Minutes of Reading Instruction In A Special Education Class

Does your district have a policy or recommendation for how many minutes of reading instruction you need to do a day? Many people ask me how to get in 60 to 90 minutes of reading instruction a day when we have SO. MUCH. TO. COVER!!

Does your district have a policy or recommendation for how many minutes of reading instruction you need to do a day? Many people ask me how to get in 60 to 90 minutes of reading instruction a day when we have SO. MUCH. TO. COVER!!


It can feel really overwhelming to hear such a big number. A couple of things to keep in mind.... First, your district probably came up with the policy with regular education classrooms in mind. It will look different in our programs. Second, we are SKILLED at multi-tasking and creating activities that target more than one skill at a time. That's literally what we do all day, every day!! So take a deep breath and read on 😀




Here are some ways I spread 90 minutes of instruction into our school day:

We do direct instruction every morning for an hour. During that hour, students rotate through conepts, math and writing centers. I also pull students for 1:1 instruction during this hour. In our district, read and writing tasks both count towards our 90 minutes.

Our reading centers are in the afternoon. We have 3 centers students rotate through every 15 minutes for a total of 45 minutes. The first center is word work, the 2nd center is listening to a book on tape or being read to by an adult and the 3rd center is the writing center.

During our reading centers we use our reading comprehension books with visuals, and the reading tasks in our theme units. We use our CVC word builders and sight word tasks for reading and writing sight words.

For my students who very early learners I use interactive books. For them, my focus is on building attention to text, directionality, etc.




Our read to self time is right after lunch and also targets sensory and self-regulation. During this time, students spread out on towels or in our gaming chairs and read quietly. We also roll the therapy ball on students during this time, and work on self-regulation strategies during this time.

Does your district have a policy or recommendation for how many minutes of reading instruction you need to do a day? Many people ask me how to get in 60 to 90 minutes of reading instruction a day when we have SO. MUCH. TO. COVER!!



Here is an example from another day:


Science is an easy time to add in both reading and writing. Read more about how we integrate science and reading by clicking:



Science naturally lends itself to reading and writing because you need to teach vocabulary, read and hear about experiments and concepts. Science journals where you write about what you did or learned counts towards your 90 minutes!




On Mondays, students do a journal page about something they did over the weekend. If you have students that didn't do anything they could also draw or write about what they wanted to do, the weather, etc. Not only does this count in your 90 minutes, it is great for working on memory, talking about something that isn't present, etc.

While my class is writing or drawing in their journal, we target stretching words, hearing sounds, letter identification, writing a dictated letter, copying, sequencing, reading & spelling sight words, etc. There is so much you can do with journals!

I hope these suggestions have sparked some ideas of how you can take what you are already doing and make small tweaks to count it towards your reading time block. You have got this!!

Looking for ideas on targeting specific reading skills? Check out these blog posts...











Does your district have a policy or recommendation for how many minutes of reading instruction you need to do a day? Many people ask me how to get in 60 to 90 minutes of reading instruction a day when we have SO. MUCH. TO. COVER!!

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