What Is the Evidence for an Uninterrupted, 90-Minute Literacy Instruction Block?

Date 

January 2018

Social 

With schools across the country reevaluating literacy practices in light of the best available evidence, educators are taking a close look at the use of an uninterrupted, 90-minute literacy block for early reading instruction.

This brief provides educators with the background, rationale and evidence for implementing an uninterrupted, 90-minute literacy block as part of a comprehensive approach to teaching reading in elementary schools.

As of 2017, the literature continues to suggest that an uninterrupted block of at least 90 minutes is an effective practice for early literacy instruction, even though the practice falls in the “demonstrates a rationale” evidence level of ESSA. The available research includes:

  • The pedagogy of literacy strategies that engage students
  • The descriptive and causal implementation research on school effectiveness in the 1990s
  • Studies about the importance of time use and allocation balanced with the reality of misperceptions among teachers about how to best allocate time for literacy instruction
  • Studies about the negative effects of interruptions on student outcomes
  • And the Reading First evaluations that report schools’ perceived successes with the strategy