Reading Mastery Classic and its successive edition, Reading Mastery Rainbow Edition, are powerful Direct Instruction reading programs that have been recognized for decades for transforming young learners into capable readers. Reading Mastery is the continuation of the DISTAR reading program under a new name. Reading Mastery is designed to help students in grades K-6 learn efficiently by using intensive, explicit and systematic teaching. The program is broken into briskly paced daily lessons that include systematic, explicit instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics. The program gradually incorporates more challenging strategies for developing fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Reading Mastery has the power to prevent reading problems and to accelerate the skills of students already showing average or above average performance.
The first two levels of Reading Mastery focus on the acquisition of accurate and fluent decoding skills. A special alphabet that is eventually faded in the second level of the program prompts young readers to sound out decodable texts independently. The third through sixth levels of Reading Mastery emphasize the development of comprehension and vocabulary. The third and fourth levels focus on using reading as a vehicle to learn new information. Stories at these levels integrate a great deal of science and social studies content and are used as vehicles through which students use reading to learn new information. The last two levels of Reading Mastery focus on literature. While the upper levels of Reading Mastery focus on comprehension and vocabulary, the programs continue work on developing decoding, word recognition, and fluency. Revisions to Reading Mastery have been designed to make the instruction easier and more efficient for teachers and students.
Reading Mastery Fast Cycle presents the content on Reading Mastery I and II in one school year. Stories and exercises in Fast Cycle are basically same as RM I and II, except half the lessons are not included. Fast Cycle can be used with younger children who can progress at an accelerated pace or students in second and third grade who are behind.