In a school environment, whenever a student is struggling with any part of the curriculum, it’s important to take positive action to improve the situation – in other words, to intervene. Putting the best interest of a student first is the goal of all elementary reading intervention programs.
The Goal of Reading Intervention Programs for Elementary School Students
There are typically five accepted pillars of an effective reading program: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. When a student is competent in all five areas, they can hear and identify sounds properly, they demonstrate understanding of the connection between letters and their sounds, they can incorporate and understand words related to specific topics, they can read in an expressive manner with limited errors, and they can understand what they’ve read. If there are signs that one of those pillars is crumbling, that’s when a good reading intervention program should be applied to the teaching strategy to help the struggling student. Essential Skills offers teachers a variety of evidence-based elementary reading intervention programs with easily integrated activities that can help any student struggling with their reading. That said, there are quite a few general strategies teachers can also use in concert with the online reading programs from Essential Skills.
Easily Adopted Strategies to Use in Your Reading Intervention Program
- Make reading a priority. That’s of paramount importance. A young student who struggles with reading in grade one will develop other struggles as he or she progresses. Reading daily to reinforce its importance is necessary. However, it shouldn’t be presented as a chore; make reading fun. Incorporate discussions. Let students ask questions. Read in groups. Read many times during the day. Use books that are culturally relevant to all students. All these elements combine to enhance the materials in your elementary reading intervention programs.
- Incentivize positive reading habits. Every child likes praise, but they like rewards even more. It doesn’t matter if it’s a sticker or an extra five minutes holding the classroom guinea pig, rewarding effort is a great way to engage children and inspire them to try their best.
- Establish the other 3Rs: regular reading routines. A successful reading intervention program is one that encourages children to read on a regular basis at the same time each day. Like recess and snack time, hardwire reading time into your daily calendar. If you’re reading stories out loud, always end at a spot that leaves children wanting more. Shake up the routine by using such tools as sound cards, alphabet flashcards, quick reads and other tried and true methods.
- Remember the effectiveness of direct instruction. Whether you’re teaching one-on-one or in small groups, the impact of direct instruction is always significant. This is especially true for reading intervention, where the added focus on the students pays quick dividends. The “I do, we do, you do” strategy is a great way to provide strong direction while allowing for exploration and discovery through independent tasks.
- Share the power of being in charge. A struggling student might be more engaged if he or she were given opportunity to pick the reading materials for the class or the intervention group. Balancing a teacher’s need to develop the daily lesson plan and a student’s need to feel empowered is a great strategy for a reading intervention program.
- Choose variety. Every year over 20,000 new children’s book titles get published in the U.S. This means there are bound to be books your students may never have seen before that could be of great interest to them creatively, culturally, or visually. Look for unique and creative book titles and develop reading programs around them.
Consider Using Essential Skills in Your Reading Intervention
For the best elementary reading intervention programs, look to Essential Skills suite of teacher-created learning resources. These evidence-based reading programs offer a variety of activities that can be quickly adapted to support struggling readers. Whether it’s a new phonics skill, a new reading strategy, or simply a desire to introduce new materials into your lesson plans, Essential Skills offers exciting new content to bring into the classroom. Conduct your intervention with focus and purpose using Essential Skills online reading programs for elementary students.