This year, many of us are faced with the challenge of offering online reading interventions for our students! Oh my gosh! How do I do that? The ideas that make for effective
intervention don’t change based on the delivery system, so we need to take what we
already know and apply it in a new way. So, what are these fundamentals that we need to
reestablish in our stressed-out, on-line minds?
Before I can even begin to think about instruction or assessment, I need to really know my students. This means listening to them read while taking a running record or reading record. If you don’t know how to do this, at the very least, you need to listen and take notes while the students read a passage at their instructional reading level. After listening to a child read, I have a conversation about the story to see if they got the gist of the story. Based on that information, I make a list of strengths and needs for each student participating in the online intervention.
For the youngest children, it might mean especially noticing how they even handle a book or what they do when I read to them. I also want to collect an unassisted writing sample. Once I look at these two very natural ways of understanding readers and writers, I might need to learn more about children and do a quick check of letter and sound knowledge or sight word knowledge. If you are a classroom teacher, you may already have this information ready to analyze. If you are an interventionist, it is a good idea for you to listen to the children read yourself. Observing the reader in action can tell you as much as the data itself.
Based on this information, I can group children together considering their reading level and instructional needs. Research tells us that a group of three children is the maximum size to have a positive impact on learning when it comes to intervention. So, groups are then formed. This will help me be able to ensure that every child feels successful during the online reading intervention.
Now what about the elements of the instructional plan for an intervention? There are 9
components of effective intervention in addition to assessment. I list them here for you to consider:
Watch for the next post I have for you regarding intervention. I will offer suggestions of
instructional activities in each of the domains of reading.