Under “normal” educational conditions, reading intervention programs like the ones developed by Essential Skills to implement reading intervention strategies are mainly focused on students who are struggling in the classroom. Kids that do not keep up with their peers often need to have specific problems identified and ideally remedied. Primary classroom teachers are charged with the care of 20+ young individuals.
They are responsible for socializing, establishing routines and ensuring the physical and mental well-being of their charges. Add to this the enormous task of teaching a group of children to read, it can be hard to find the time to effectively help the kid who “just doesn’t get it”. Using an evidence-based reading program can both identify specific areas of need and provide practice and assessment to help the teacher monitor progress.
Since the pandemic struck, forcibly changing the way school works in most areas, we find other causes of the need for reading intervention. While school districts did their best to provide evidence-based reading programs with or without some classroom time, many provisions were last minute, and could not accommodate students who needed extra help.
In addition, parents did not always agree on the safety levels promised, did not have the resources to provide their children with suitable access to online lessons, or the time to supervise to ensure kids were on task.
For these reasons the beginning of the next school year will find students with a wide range of learning gaps. While teachers struggle to deliver standard curriculum, they will be faced with the challenge of making sure all students are on the same level with their literacy skills.
The online reading intervention programs from Essential Skills are an invaluable tool to address this issue. The programs identify learning gaps , provide high-interest, engaging activities to practice these skills, and give instant feedback to students and teachers.
Because reading intervention programs are tier-based, classroom lessons can readily be adjusted to accommodate students of all abilities. While most whole class lesson planning will be aimed at tier 1 students, tier 2 students could be working in small groups with teacher support as other students work individually. Those students that have been deemed to require tier 3 intervention may be withdrawn for a portion of the day to work through the online programs with a reading specialist.
In all cases Essential Skills provide evidence-based reading programs that will engage students with the content. As kids see their own progress, they will become more confident and motivated to learn. Returning from pandemic to regular mode will not be easy, but there are tools that can help. Essential Skills goal is to ensure that every student has an equal opportunity to learn.