The question we hear so much is, where do I start with my reading intervention program? The answer is simple: assessments. Reading intervention must start with assessment. Teachers must know what areas students are struggling with so they can meet their needs effectively.
Once you assess students, use the data to identify those students who are at risk. Then, be sure to monitor their progress often. Struggling readers should be assessed at least bi weekly, if not weekly.
After you’ve assessed the student, it’s important to analyze the running record. Running records give the teachers so much information.
Self-Corrections in Struggling Readers
A topic that we have been discussing at school recently has been self-correction rates. Some teachers asked for guidance so I gave them some guidelines. I also think that if a student has a 1:1 ratio but has more than 5 errors that were self-corrected the child is working way too hard. Analyze the errors and look at the information the student is neglecting. Is it a weakness in decoding left to right, or a lack of high-frequency word vocabulary? Address the weakness so the child becomes a more accurate and confident reader. Students who struggle with sight words or high frequency words, can practice those daily using sight word games! These make their learning fun and the kids enjoy them so much!
1:4 and higher show that the student isn’t monitoring consistently.
Is the student noticing that it doesn’t sound right, make sense, or look right?
Is the student self-correcting with only one source of information and ignoring the others?
The goal is to be flexible and to use all of the cues/information together. (Meaning-pictures, Structure-language, Visual-letters.)
Errors In Reading
Errors in reading are a common issue. It’s important to look for patterns with errors. Are students only having errors with proper nouns? Do they struggle with reading all the way through the word? Think about why you think the student is making the error. This is crucial to figure out how to drive the instruction.
In the primary grades, students sometimes learn a strategy I call “Guess and GO”. These students are looking at the beginning of the word, and guessing on the rest. They do not read through the middle of the word.
Sometimes students will have errors similar to guessing, like this:
Whenever students have these errors, I show them both words. I ask the students if they can see how the words are different and how they are the same. We discuss the meaning of each word and then use instructional strategies from our intervention binders to help fix it. We use these instructional strategies in our small group instruction to help students make progress in their independent reading levels.
In the binders, we’ve included running records that you are analyzed to help you learn how to properly use running records as a data point for your students. This has been so helpful to so many of our colleagues!
Through the intervention binders , students practice skills that they are weak in every single day. This gives students the opportunity to practice the instructional skills they need in order to help close their achievement gap. If you have questions about how often you should do reading intervention, ask me over here.