Grades K–12

Getting Started with SRA Reading Laboratory Leveled Reading Program

Process for Implementing SRA Reading Laboratory®

SRA Reading Laboratory® is a flexible program that can be easily implemented to fit a variety of school calendars and schedules. Below are some tips that have been proven to be successful in classrooms over the past 60 years.

Pre-Test Phase

You begin using the program in your classroom by giving a short six-minute test—the Starting Level Guide—to determine the color level in which each student should start. Even if your students have used the program before, it is still important to begin each school year with the Starting Level Guide and other introductory procedures to ensure the smooth working of the system.

Training Phase

One suggestion that has been proven effective is to use the program over a fairly concentrated period of time instead of being widely spaced across the entire school year. The recommended schedule calls for eight sessions (twenty to forty minutes long) spaced closely together during the training phase and then followed by a phase in which students use the program materials independently. When practice periods are kept close together, there is carryover learning from one day to the next. When practice periods are too far apart, carryover is lessened, and students tend to forget not only the information learned but even the procedures to follow.

Progressing Levels

It is not intended that every student work his or her way through all the Power Builders in a level or that a student work the Power Builders in strict sequence. Instead, a student selects Power Builders in random sequence from his or her assigned level; as soon as the student's scores show adequate progress, the student advances to the next color level.

Thus, the number of Power Builders that any student will work in a level will vary according to his or her abilities and learning rate. A typical student should probably complete at least four Power Builders in a level; others may do eight or ten. Some students may require practice with all Power Builders in a level before moving on.


After the training phase, it is a good idea to begin holding weekly conferences with each student to review his or her progress. You are strongly encouraged to make these conferences mutual consultations in which you and the student decide together if it is time to move to a new level. Getting students accustomed to taking responsibility for their own learning progress is important if you are to realize the full potential of SRA Reading Laboratory® as not just a builder of skills but of self-image and self-confidence as well.