Triple I stands for Immediate Intensive Intervention. Triple I is the practice of providing reading intervention to students as soon as they are perceived as struggling, rather than waiting for the end of a grading period or evaluation of deficits. Most middle-school-aged students require intervention in the area of reading comprehension, rather than decoding.


The Learning Focused Movement in education strongly emphasizes the previewing of vocabulary with struggling students. Previewing refers to explicitly teaching the meaning of words students will encounter in text. Typically, previewing is done in a small group. One previewing activity is the creating of a Frayer model with students. A Frayer model is a type of graphic organizer that is effective for vocabulary instruction. The teacher divides a piece of chart paper or section of whiteboard into four quadrants. In the center of the page, she writes the vocabulary word. In the upper left-hand quadrant, the teacher writes the definition of the word. In the upper right-hand quadrant, the teacher lists characteristics of the term. In the lower left-hand quadrant, examples are given. This can include drawings or words and phrases. In the lower right-hand quadrant, non-examples are listed. Students can create their own Frayer models based on the group model, and keep them in a notebook for reference.

Story Pyramid

Another graphic organizer that is beneficial for reading comprehension is the story pyramid. Similar to a story map, the pyramid is a visual that can be drawn on any sheet of paper. On the top line, students list the name of the main character of the story. On the second line, pupils write two words that describe the character. On the third line, students suggest three words to define the setting. The students give four words that express the problem of the story on the fourth line. Students write five words to describe an event from the story on the fifth line. On the sixth line, students offer six words about another story event. On the seventh line, the students tell about a third event using seven words. On the eighth and final line students communicate the solution to the story problem using eight words.

Line-Check Method

As students read independently, they can use the line-check method for self-checking of comprehension. After each line he reads, the student writes a check or a line. A check indicates he understood the line that he read; a line indicates he did not comprehend. After the student finishes a selection, he can go back and reread the sections with lines. If he still does not understand, he can ask for peer or teacher assistance with the portions he does not understand.


One of the most important facets of reading comprehension is the ability to visualize what you read. While visualization is automatic for most students, some struggle with building images in their minds. An activity for building visualization skills is “What am I?” The teacher writes the names of everyday objects and places on the tops of index cards. Below the terms, she writes five or six facts about each item or place. These facts should describe such things as the object’s length, use and color. To play, the teacher reads one fact at a time, and students try to guess what object or place is being described.