If a student falls behind in reading skills by a year or more, schools often provide supplemental reading instruction. If enough students are below grade level, schools may even adopt reading intervention programs as part of their core curriculum. Sometimes they use nationally known reading programs; other times they may distill information from a number of approaches into their own intervention programs. Students may work one on one with a teacher or they may participate in small group instruction, depending on the program.
Florida Center for Reading Research
Those searching for information about the structure of various reading intervention programs can access a lengthy list compiled by the Florida State University's Center for Reading Research. Although the Center primarily focuses on Florida schools, it has studied a number of programs that can be found nationwide. Here are eight organized alphabetically. Read more about all these programs on the Center's website.
Accelerated Reader (AR)
This is a computer-based program that supplements regular language arts instruction. It focuses on independent reading of high quality children's and teen literature. Students select from a wide array of AR titles based on their reading grade equivalent (GE) score on a standardized test. After reading AR books, they take tests online. As they pass tests, they gradually work their way up to more difficult levels.
PLATO Early Reading Program
PLATO Early Reading is also a computerized supplement to regular reading instruction, but is only for kindergarten through third grade. It interweaves instruction and assessment through an online reading center and a series of CDs that can be played on a computer or a Sony Play Station.
Reading Recovery focuses solely on the lowest achieving readers in first grade. It is a short-term program that provides intensive, 30-minute one-to-one lessons that occur daily for up to 20 weeks. An important aspect of this program is that it builds on student strengths.
Although it is generally designed for struggling first grade readers, Reading Rescue is used with students through third grade and those who are second language learners. One-on-one instruction may be provided by support staff and administrators as well as licensed teachers.
Saxon Phonics and Spelling
This K-3 program is used in conjunction with any core reading program. From kindergarten through second grade, it focuses on phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling, alphabetizing, handwriting and fluency. Third graders work on maintaining skills and learning more advanced spelling strategies.
Soar to Success
Struggling readers from third through eighth grade may encounter Soar to Success. Soar is based on small group instruction involving "reciprocal teaching." The teacher facilitates group discussion in which students become more aware of how to summarize, clarify, question and make predictions about their reading.
Success for All
Success for All can be used as the entire language arts curriculum or added as a supplement to a program using structured basal reading texts. Instruction occurs in 90-minute blocks and includes one-on-one tutoring for the students who struggle most.
Wilson Reading System
Wilson is a program for students from second to twelfth grade. Originally designed to aid dyslexic students, it has expanded its scope to work with a wider range of struggling readers through a heavy emphasis on decoding word analysis and spelling.
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