Reading Interventions

› Interventions

Powerful reading interventions that are both research and results based will grow your students (if you choose the right medicine for the illness).  


Interventions happen when data is analyzed from either a universal screener or progress monitoring.  If the data shows a consistent lack of growth in an academic content area, under state and federal laws, a school must provide a research-based intervention.

Think of it like a doctor:

  • diagnose the reason why a child is a struggling reader
  • prescribe a treatment plan (like a DIBELS intervention) based on the severity of the reading diagnosis
  • progress monitor with approved RTI resources
  • re-evaluate frequently the response to intervention program being used.

When students needs are not being met through the standard reading program, it is time to introduce RTI resources.

a boat lost at sea is like a child getting the wrong reading interventions
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Many resources are also appropriate for the higher achieving students. Districts are analyzing how to use data as a response to intervention for gifted students.

These students must show high growth and meet their AYP (adequate yearly progress) goals, and will benefit from gifted reading interventions.

After giving a universal screener such as DIBELS, AIMS Web or the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS), the data should be used to determine which reading response to intervention or RTI resources are most suitable.



Tiered Reading Interventions

Tier 1 is excellent classroom teaching using evidence-based methods of instruction. This is where a teacher's creativity and knowledge of how to best use a children reading program can shine.

Tier 2 interventions can be performed by either the classroom teacher or a specialist.  It is in addition to core instruction.  This is often where using something like a colored overlay in addition to extra instruction can make a huge difference.

Tier 3 is intense.  This is always with a teacher who specializes in providing interventions for the neediest children and is also in addition to core instruction.  Tier 3 often is a daily intervention for at least 30-60 minutes per day.


Special Note:  One of the hardest things about teaching reading is to motivate some students to read.  Without a desire to read, all of the interventions will not produce a more strategic reader. A proven motivator for encouraging kids to read is Reading Karate - you have never seen kids work so hard for a paper belt!

It cannot be emphasized enough, however, that regular classroom instruction in the five components of reading must be done with integrity every day before any thoughts of further reading interventions come into play.

A child must also have a full year of solid instruction with correct interventions being monitored before any type of testing for a disability can occur.

If you are having difficulty getting those critical Tier 1 lessons in, try using Teachable Poetry for Fluency and Comprehension. I used this as part of a DIBELS Next intervention study with a fluency protocol written by Dr. Timothy Rasinski from Kent State. 


(Note that the PALS referenced as an intervention is NOT the same as PALS referenced as a universal screener).




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