There are only a few areas in which to target reading interventions – but we must TARGET reading interventions:

  1. Phonemic awareness
  2. Multisensory reading supports
  3. Simple phonics
  4. Advanced phonics
  5. Fluency
  6. Comprehension

And they each have resources and/or programs. The Florida Center for Reading Research is a goldmine. Headed by Joseph Torgeson, an expert on the Mount Rushmore of reading gurus, the Center provides free, research-based resources to meet all student needs in all reading domains. While the resources are organized into K-1, 2-3, and 4-5 grade bands, please don’t let that dissuade you from using the 4-5 resources with students at-risk in the area of reading in grades 6-12. The resources apply and are totally appropriate; we’ve used them very successfully in middle and high schools.

The Center’s resources, while outstanding, are not the same as a program that is complete, scoped-and-sequenced, and accompanied by extensive supports for interventionists. There are, in the areas of reading, dozens of research-based interventions with which we have had success and that are reasonably priced. One note: We love the idea of computer-based supports to meet student needs. Given their current costs and the necessary technologies (devices and infrastructure) needed to make them work, we find ourselves typically using and recommend print-based solutions. That does not mean that computer-based interventions are not appropriate, although we do favor an adult working with a small group, a trained educator who is able to frequently check for a specific student’s understanding and provide immediate corrective feedback. Here are a few programs in the domains listed above that work:

  1. Phonemic Awareness
  • Early Reading Intervention (Pearson-Scott Foreman)
  • SIPPS Beginning Level, 3rd (Collaborative Classroom)
  1. Multisensory reading supports
  • Barton
  • Orton-Gillingham
  1. Simple Phonics
    • Read Well (Sopris Learning)
    • SIPPS Extension Level, 3rd (Collaborative Classroom)
  2. Advanced Phonics
  • REWARDS (Sopris Learning)
  • SIPPS Challenge Level, 3rd (Collaborative Classroom)
  1. Fluency
  • Read Naturally
  • Six Minute Solution (Sopris Learning)
  1. Comprehension
  • Making Connections K-6(EPS-School Specialty)
  • Making Connections Intervention (MCI) 6-12 (EPS-School Specialty)

Programs don’t teach students; educators do. But, students with significant reading needs, and the educators who serve them (and probably have multiple other responsibility throughout the day), deserve a research-based program, particularly when they are relatively cost-effective.


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