Observational data collected on 17 special education students and 17 regular education students in grades three and four were analyzed to document the nature of the instructional ecology (task, structure, teacher location, and teacher activity) and student responding during those portions of the school day allocated to reading. Few differences were found in the nature of the instructional ecology; special education students were allocated significantly more time for individual structures and received more approval from the teacher than regular education students. While differences were found for specific types of student responses, there were no differences in overall academic responding during reading. Percentage data did suggest possible differences in specific academic responses for the two groups of students as a function of the task and teaching structure. Implications for instruction and future research are discussed.