Practice Guide iconPractice Guide
This guide offers five specific recommendations to help educators identify struggling readers and implement evidence-based strategies to promote their reading achievement. Teachers and reading specialists can utilize these strategies to implement RtI and multi-tier intervention methods and frameworks at the classroom or school level. Recommendations cover how to screen students for reading problems, design a multi-tier intervention program, adjust instruction to help struggling readers, and monitor student progress.
Screen all students for potential reading problems at the beginning of the year and again in the middle of the year.
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Provide time for differentiated reading instruction for all students based on assessments of students’ current reading level.
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Provide intensive, systematic instruction on up to three foundational reading skills in small groups to students who score below the benchmark score on universal screening.
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Monitor the progress of tier 2 students at least once a month.
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Provide intensive instruction on a daily basis that promotes the development of the various components of reading proficiency to students who show minimal progress after reasonable time in tier 2 small group instruction (tier 3).
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Transcript PDF (140 KB)
Video (6:16 minutes)

Regularly monitor the progress of students at risk for developing reading disabilities.

Learn More About This Recommendation (1.2 MB)

Transcript PDF (115 KB)
Video (6:46 minutes)

Typically, these groups meet between three and five times a week, for 20 to 40 minutes.

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Transcript PDF (145 KB)
Video (5:32 minutes)

Use these data to determine whether students still require intervention. For those students still making insufficient progress, schoolwide teams should design a tier 3 intervention plan.

Learn More About This Recommendation (1.2 MB)

  • Administrators
  • Policymakers
  • Researchers
  • School Specialist
  • Teacher

This practice guide was prepared for the WWC by Mathematica under contract ED-07-CO-0062.

The following research staff contributed to the guide: Kristin Hallgren, Scott Cody, and Cassie Pickens Jewell.

These videos were prepared by WestEd under the Doing What Works Contract (ED-PEP-11-C-0068).
All videos are based on recommendations from the WWC practice guides and are designed to complement the guides.

  • Russell Gersten (Chair)
    Instructional Research Group

    Play an interview of Panel Chair, Russell Gersten, and Sharon Vaughn: Evolution of Response to Intervention (7:04 minutes)
  • Donald Compton
    Vanderbilt University
  • Carol M. Connor
    Florida State University
  • Joseph Dimino
    Instructional Research Group
  • Lana Santoro
    Instructional Research Group
  • Sylvia Linan-Thompson
    University of Texas, Austin
  • W. David Tilly
    Heartland Area Education Agency
Literacy Instruction Strategies for Success: Multi-Tier Intervention in Primary Grades
December 4, 2020

This video from Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest (REL Midwest) discusses the most effective evidence-based practices for identifying and assisting struggling readers.

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