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Early Reading Skills Builder (ERSB)

Early Reading Skills Builder (ERSB)

Diane Browder, PhD; Lynn Ahlgrim-Delzell, PhD; and Leah Wood, PhD

All Grades

All Ages

Age Neutral

Early Reading Skills Builder (ERSB) is an age neutral curriculum that can be used to teach students in all grade and age groups including pre-kindergarten, elementary, secondary, transition, and older adult.

Data Capture

Early Reading Skills Builder (ERSB) includes ongoing assessments and progress monitoring tools to capture data and document student achievement.

Research Based

Early Reading Skills Builder (ERSB) uses highly effective instructional strategies supported by research to promote student learning and progress.

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A targeted program designed to help elementary students with developmental disabilities progress to a second-grade reading level.

The Early Reading Skills Builder (ERSB) is a research-based curriculum covering all National Reading Panel components, moving students to a second-grade reading level. ERSB is a natural progression from the Early Literacy Skills Builder (ELSB) curriculum.

Why teachers and educators love the Early Literacy Skills Builder (ELSB) curriculum:

  • Lessons include identifying, blending, and segmenting sounds, decoding words, reading sight words and connected text, and answering comprehension questions.
  • Won the 2014 Digital Innovation Learning Award (DILA) from edSurge and Digital Promise for Excellence and Research.
  • Reflects a multiyear research study at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) for teaching students with an intellectual disability or autism
  • Blends curriculum to integrate technology with print materials.
  • Software collects individual student data automatically and will advance the student based on 80% accuracy.
  • Includes software and professionally recorded phonemes that can be blended together to serve as a student’s voice.

What makes this early reading curriculum so effective?

Research-Backed Efficacy 

The development and research behind the Early Reading Skills Builder (ERSB) were supported by an SBIR grant, shared between Attainment Company and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC). The first study focused on learning phonics with an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device. The second study used a randomized control protocol. The ERSB group had a significant interaction effect for letter-sound correspondence, decoding, and total scores.

26 Progressive with Structured Lessons

ERSB Curriculum Plus consists of 26 progressive levels with five structured lessons each. Lessons follow an eight-step activity sequence, which includes identifying, blending, and segmenting sounds, decoding words, reading sight words and connected text, and answering comprehension questions. In addition to these lessons, students use a writing journal to reflect on what they learned as part of that level. Students progress at their own pace, moving to the next level when they show mastery for three consecutive lessons.

The ERSB Curriculum Plus complete learning kit includes everything you need to teach a multiyear literacy program:

  • 1 software device license for any platform (Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android)
  • 1-year subscription for web-based software
  • 1 Teacher's Guide (298 pages)
  • 2 sets of 4 Champion Reader Books (8 books total, 100-112 pages each)
  • 10 Consumable Champion Writer Journals
  • 1 Champion Writer Journal (134 pages)
  • 1 Dry-erase board
  • 200 Flashcards
  • Downloadable digital resources
  • Samples of communication overlays
  • The entire page set of workbook pages as accessible GoWorksheets (iPad only). The GoWorksheets can be used with the free GoWorksheet app or the full GoWorksheet Plus app available on the App Store.

The Early Reading Skills Builder Interactive Lesson Support: 

  • Helps teachers plan lessons and create student activities. 
  • Assists in bridging in-person and online instructions with teacher tools that adapt to all learning environments. 
  • Is created by an internal team of special educators who have curated a collection of ready-made resources that can be implemented in the classroom or at home.
  • Includes virtual, engaging video lessons that serve as exemplars that follow the same instruction sequence laid out by the curriculum authors; lessons integrate the use of evidence-based practices and student response options for all students. 
  • Includes interactive PowerPoint presentations that correspond with virtual lessons and provide premade activities with built-in feedback and reinforcement 
  • Includes GoWorksheets (for iPad) and Google Forms (for Chromebook) which turn the Math Fun worksheets into interactive digital worksheets.
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Supporting Research Articles

Ahlgrim-Delzell, L., Browder, D. M., & Wood, L., (2014). Effects of systematic instruction and an augmentative communication device on phonics skills acquisition for students with moderate intellectual disability who are nonverbal. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 49 (4), 517–532.

Randomized Control Trial Research

Ahlgrim-Delzell, L., Browder, D. M., Wood, L., Stanger, C., Preston, A., & Kemp-Inman, A (2014). Systematic instruction of phonics skills using an iPad for students who are AAC users. Journal of Special Education, 50 (2), 86–97.

Stanger, C., Mims, P., Wood, L., & Ahlgrim-Delzell, L., (2016). Supporting Literacy Achievements for Students with Intellectual Disability and Autism through Curricular Programs that Incorporate Assistive Technology. Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits, 10 (1).

Related Research Articles

Early Reading Skills Builder Curriculum: Research Summary of Three Iterative Research Protocols