Beginning elementary level special educators need to be well versed in evidence based intensive reading interventions in order to serve both special and general education students. Here we highlight two suggested effective practices for beginning special educators: explicit decoding and vocabulary instruction. Explicit decoding instruction focuses on teaching students an effective and reliable strategy for reading or decoding individual words. It is a flexible strategy that can be used to decode single syllable words with different letters and letter combinations. Explicit vocabulary instruction directly teaches students the meanings of important academic vocabulary to increase the breadth and depth of their vocabulary knowledge that they can use to understand text once it is decoded. Components of vocabulary instruction include selecting appropriate words, developing student friendly definitions, providing multiple opportunities to interact with words in different contexts, and promoting students’ deep understanding of vocabulary. In addition, we highlight three suggested resources for elementary educators looking for more information on evidence based practices and interventions. Finally, we emphasize that effective instruction should be conspicuous, scaffolded, and provide multiple opportunities to respond with corrective feedback.