2g: Letterland Alignment to Reading Standards and Response to Intervention

Common Core Reading Standards

The majority of U.S. states have adopted the Common Core State Standards (2010) or developed similar standards of their own. Letterland is tightly aligned with these standards, specifically the four elements of the Foundational Literacy Strand:

  1. Print Concepts
  2. Phonological Awareness
  3. Phonics and Word Recognition
  4. Fluency

Click here to explore the Foundational Literacy Strand for kindergarten.

Additionally, Letterland’s instructional practices also support Common Core Language Standards and the Speaking and Listening Standards. Click on the Kindergarten Language Standards and the Speaking & Listening Standards to see the connection between strategies and language standards.


RtI and MTSS

The phrases 'Response to Intervention' (RtI) and 'Multi-Tiered System of Supports' (MTSS) are sometimes used interchangeably among educators. They are both instructional frameworks that include universal screening of all students, multiple tiers of instruction and support services, and an integrated data collection and assessment system to inform decisions at each tier of instruction. The framework can be used for literacy, math, or positive behavior supports.


The visual below is commonly used to show how a multi-tiered system of instruction works. 

Tier I core instruction is what is used to teach literacy skills to all students in the general education classroom. If this instruction is high-quality, research-based, and delivered by teachers who have received appropriate professional development that trains them to use best instructional practices, then in theory 80% of students will learn grade-level literacy skills without the need for additional support.

The Letterland Step-by-Step Daily Lessons provide core instruction for all students in the general classroom.


Tier II support instruction is provided to students who do reach benchmark goals for literacy skills and therefore need small-group, targeted support instruction in addition to the time spent participating in classroom core instruction. Tier II support is typically provided on a short-term basis until students catch up on skills and no longer need Tier II support, or until they are identified as needed additional Tier III support. In theory, this should affect approximately 15% of students, although in some schools this number is higher. 

The Letterland small group activities embedded in the Step-by-Step Daily Lessons can be used to provideTier II support in small-groups.


Tier III intervention is more intensive, more specialized, and more longer term instruction for students who continue to struggle with literacy skills. Most students who require Tier III instruction are typically eligible to receive special education services. In theory, this should affect approximately 5% of students, although in some schools this number is higher.

The Letterland Intervention Small Group Intervention Lessons can be used to provide intensive intervention instruction.

Tier I Letterland lessons are rigorous, especially the Phonemic Awareness Fast Track unit at the start of kindergarten, but the program is designed with a lot of flexibility and differentiation in mind so that students at all levels of the learning curve can receive the amount of practice and review to meet their specific learning needs. In classrooms where the majority of students are having difficulty mastering a phonics concept during the typical two-day kindergarten lessons, additional practice activities are available so that the teacher can “double-dose” and add additional daily lessons related to the same phonics concept. Because the same Letterlander stories and multi-sensory instructional practices are used in both the Step-by-Step Daily Lessons and the Intervention Small Group Lessons, there is consistency between what is provided across different tiers of instruction.


Additional Module Resources (optional)

  • Click here to learn more about RtI and MTSS.
  • Click here to access the National Reading Panel Report.
  • Click here to access the National Early Reading Panel Report.
  • Reading Rockets is a non-profit website dedicated to improving knowledge about reading development and instruction