Reading Intervention Strategies Will Help Your Lowest Readers
As a reading specialist, I know that reading intervention strategies work! An effective early intervention reading program may make the difference of a lifetime. Most of your lower level readers can catch up if the best interventions are used. But at this point I must tell you that the best intervention programs are delivered by trained professionals. Most of the time this means having a reading teacher or specialist trained in the intervention. But any certified teacher can also be trained in the program. The intervention is in addition to what is already done in the classroom.
If your school doesn’t have any early interventions in place at the k-2 levels, it may be time for a change. Assessments should be in place in kindergarten for phonological awareness and reading readiness. Reading leveling should be performed for all elementary grades at the beginning of the school year.
Fountas and Pinnell
are examples of companies that make leveling kits. Students who do not read at grade level and are having reading difficulties should be referred for reading intervention.
So what do reading intervention strategies look like?
These instructional times are concentrated periods of time working on reading skills with no more than 3 students at a time. One on one is best, but research shows that there should be no more than 3 students with a trained teacher.
The intervention period includes familiar rereads for
, word work, writing, and new material. In my state, the state reading association has named the Reading Recovery method as the exemplar early intervention reading program. Reading Recovery is one on one for 12-20 weeks with the lowest first graders. The Reading Recovery Council of North America states that the method has proven effective for about 75% of targeted students. Teachers must be specially trained in Reading Recovery to use this method.
Some school districts use a Reading Recovery-like model. The same results as Reading Recovery won’t necessarily occur, but if strictness in the modified model is followed, you should see results. For instance, in my school district we follow a model that can be used 2 on 1 or 1 on 1. The district trains us in the model but urges us to receive the class training in this particular reading intervention at the local university. The reading teachers see about 10 students each day for 30 minutes. We see first and second graders who have been leveled as the lowest in the class. When a student reaches grade level reading, he is dismissed and we take on the next student on our waiting list. It’s a beautiful thing to see students transform into readers!
The goal of these reading interventions is: Get low level students reading up to grade level by providing concentrated early intervention.
Your program doesn't have to follow the Reading Recovery method. Intervention can be done at any grade level. Just remember those ratios, though! Effective intervention happens with 3 or less students in a group.
I have supplied reading intervention strategies to older elementary students and also with high school students. I have used an informal reading inventory, like the
Qualitative Reading Inventory
, to determine reading levels. Then I use intervention methods that I learned when trained as a reading specialist. Appropriate reading comprehension passages are matched to individual students. Proper training in effective interventions is key.
Reading intervention strategies are a part of well-rounded elementary reading programs. But beware of purchased programs. The person who delivers these programs matters the most. Programs never take the place of qualified professionals in reading.
An early reading intervention program isn’t just for first grade. It can also be used in kindergarten. These programs focus on phonological awareness and learning the alphabetic principle. Effective reading intervention strategies starting in kindergarten will strengthen those weaker students for possibly their entire lives.
What about the older reader?
Strategies for improving reading comprehension are also a part of reading interventions. When students reach a third grade reading level, more emphasis is put on reading to learn instead of learning to read. The majority of school reading is informational. Non-fiction is usually harder for students to understand because it is unfamiliar. Students lack background knowledge needed for comprehension.
Reading intervention strategies are used with those having reading difficulties and those needing reading help. Most schools have those students. Are yours getting the reading help they need?
Return from Reading Intervention Strategies to Reading Strategies Help