An interview with Mark Pennington about his Teaching Reading Intervention Program. Interview conducted by Dr. Sam Bommarito

An interview with Mark Pennington about his Teaching Reading Intervention Program. Interview conducted by Dr. Sam Bommarito

This week I am beginning a two-part interview with Mark Pennington about his reading program. I do this in the spirit of presenting ideas from all sides. Mark’s program is aimed at the older reader. Its foundations lie in the ideas of Science of Reading and Scarborough’s Rope. It includes direct phonics instruction for middle school/high school students. I recognize that some research indicates that such instruction does not usually pay large dividends. However, in a recent blog, Timothy Shanahan pointed out that newer studies indicate that some students could benefit from such instruction LINK. Could Mark’s program benefit some of the students you serve? Check out the links to the free materials he has provided and see what you think.

The regular readers of this blog know I am a centrist and believe that if we are to cut through the gordian knot that is reading instruction, it will take using ideas from all approaches. In the first part of the interview, we will look at the decoding aspect of Mark’s program. The video stops as Mark changes from talking about decoding to talking about comprehension. Next week’s blog post will deal with Mark’s approaches to comprehension. The following week I will be blogging about the importance of looking at all the research, especially research by folks like Nell Duke and P.D. Pearson, as one develops a curriculum for teaching comprehension. So, the next few weeks should prove both interesting and informative.

About the author (taken from the Mark Pennington Blog)

Mark Pennington is an educational author, publisher, reading specialist, and teacher. Mark’s English-language arts/reading resources help teachers apply assessment-based instruction to teach grade-level Common Core State Standards and also individualize instruction for the diverse needs of their students.

Mark has taught in the elementary, middle school, high school, and community college settings. He has also served as a district reading specialist. His MA Education (Reading Specialist) is from California State University at Sacramento. Mark received his teaching credential at the University of California at Los Angeles after graduating Magna cum Laude from the University of Southern California. Go Trojans!

Teachers refer to his books as “user friendly,” “written by a teacher for teachers and their students,” “comprehensive,” “minimal prep and correcting/grading,” “easy to individualize instruction,” and “efficient and effective balanced instruction.”

Mark and his family live in the beautiful Sierra Foothills of Northern California. In his spare time, Mark is a blues musician and avid day hiker.

Here is the link to the first half of the interview:

Mark’s Background Information                                              00:28

Marks Program- Introduction to                                             06:16

Activity 1 Prefixes                                                                         10:30

Sam and Friends Phonics Books (suitable for older kids)                                                                                                                                                               17:33

Dr. B. talks about Nell Duke and Comprehension                                                                                                                                                                          31:29



Important Links from Mark (includes a link to his full Teaching Reading Intervention program):

Mark Pennington BLOG LINK

Teaching Reading Intervention full-year word recognition and language comprehension program for students ages 8-adult.

Free ELA and Reading Assessments from the Pennington Publishing Blog

Over 700 ELA and Reading Articles with FREE lessons, activities, and resources from the Pennington Publishing Blog


Soooo- until next week when we resume with part two of this interview, Happy Reading and Writing.

Dr. Sam Bommarito, aka the centrist who uses ideas from all sides to inform his teaching

Copyright 2022 by Dr. Sam Bommarito. Views/interpretations expressed here are solely the view of this author and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other person or organization.

P.S. If you found the blog through Facebook or Twitter, please consider following the blog to make sure you won’t miss it.  Use the “follow” entry on the sidebar of the blog.

1 thought on “An interview with Mark Pennington about his Teaching Reading Intervention Program. Interview conducted by Dr. Sam Bommarito

Let's talk! What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.