Read by Grade Three

In 2016, the Michigan Legislature passed a law that requires schools to identify learners who are struggling with reading and writing and to provide additional help. The law states that third graders may repeat third grade if they are more than one grade level behind beginning with the 2019-2020 school year.

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has compiled resources and responses to frequently asked questions regarding MCL 380.1280f, referred to as the “Read by Grade Three” law.

If your child receives an  Individual Reading Improvement Plan (IRIP) from their school, below is more information about their recommended "Focus of Instruction."

Focus of Instruction Phonemic Awareness Phonics Fluency Vocabulary Comprehension
Definition The ability to hear and distinguish sounds. 

The ability to understand the relationship between letters and the sounds they represent. 

The ability to read with sufficient speed to support understanding.  Knowledge of and memory for word meanings.  The ability to understand and draw meaning from text. 


  • Recognizing sounds, alone and in words
  • Adding sounds to words
  • Taking apart words and breaking them into their different sounds
  • Moving sounds
  • Recognizing print patterns that represent sounds
  • Syllable patterns
  • Word parts (prefixes, suffixes and root words)
  • Automatic word recognition
  • Accurate word recognition
  • Use of expression
  • Receptive Vocabulary - words we understand when read or spoken to us
  • Expressive vocabulary - words we know well enough to use in speaking and writing


  • Paying attention to important information
  • Interpreting specific meanings in text
  • Identifying the main idea
  • Verbal responses to questions
  • Application of new information gained through reading
Resources Quick Tip Video Quick Tip Video Quick Tip Video

Quick Tip Video 1

Quick Tip Video 2 



More information can be found in this comprehensive downloadable Parent Toolkit:  Read at Home for Student Success

Other resources include:

Want your child to receive free books? Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is available in our area! 

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