When it comes to improving reading, experts agree that schools should focus on teaching core skills and making sure kids are exposed to engaging content. But schools also need to be able to identify kids who are struggling and provide targeted instruction.
To do this, school administrators need to understand the science of reading and learn how to use data to target resources. They also need to get teachers trained and equipped with curricula that emphasize evidence-based strategies and relevant, engaging content.
Students who continue to struggle despite receiving high-quality instruction in general education classrooms often require additional small group intervention, also called targeted instruction. This can range from small-group pull-out to individual one-on-one instruction.
Strategies for implementing targeted reading instruction include using model readers, rereading oral and text-based texts, using strategy groups, and developing a systematic and sequential approach to teaching students how to read.
Research supports the idea that acquiring good fluency is a key element of success in reading (Chard, Gersten, & Chard, 2000; Hasbrouck, Ihnot, Rogers, & Rasinski, 1999; Smith and Elley, 1997).
Developing fluency can be done by helping students to understand the meaning of words by activating prior knowledge and making predictions, self-monitoring for understanding, asking and answering questions, and making inferences. It can also be done by providing feedback on the student’s reading and allowing them to make corrective corrections. It can also be achieved by giving students a variety of opportunities to read independently, such as allowing them to select their own books or assigning creative book reports.
Small group instruction is a critical element of the Reading Intervention curriculum. It provides targeted learning, allows students to focus and ask questions, and encourages risk taking and deeper thinking.
In order for small group instruction to be effective, teachers must provide the students with ample time and resources to engage in meaningful activity. It is also important to teach students how to work independently.
To do this, teachers must make sure that they are providing their students with the necessary time to be successful in their independent reading lessons. In addition, teachers must also be very clear with their goals and expectations of the end result from the small group lesson.
In the case of tier 3 Reading Interventions, students should receive several sessions per week that focus on phonemic awareness, decoding, and comprehension. Other sessions might focus on vocabulary and discourse activities.
Individual instruction enables the teacher to design lessons that are specifically tailored to each student’s strengths and needs. This approach to literacy learning is especially effective for students who are struggling.
Despite the fact that most classroom teachers can identify struggling readers through informal assessment tools such as observation, in-depth diagnosis of these students requires the assistance of a specialist. The specialist must administer, score, and interpret diagnostic tests that can provide information about a student’s strengths and weaknesses.
While individualized instruction is essential to realizing the goals of Reading Recovery, schools often struggle to implement it successfully due to several roadblocks. First, school resources are usually too limited to support tier 3 instruction. Second, many school teachers do not have the specialized training necessary to carry out intensive intervention strategies effectively.
Assessments are a key component of effective reading intervention. They help teachers gauge student strengths and weaknesses so they can adjust and guide learning accordingly.
As a teacher, you can choose the type of assessment that is right for you and your students. For example, you can use a criterion-referenced test to compare a student’s current skill level against a set of grade-level standards that you are working to develop.
These types of assessments are usually administered before and after instruction so you can evaluate students’ progress.
These forms of assessment are often referred to as formative reading comprehension assessments. The goal of these assessments is to encourage student learning by providing them with feedback about their understanding often (daily) and in real time so they can discover misconceptions, learn how to overcome those misconceptions, and improve their overall comprehension skills.