3 Intervention Strategies for Language Arts

Reading and writing are core competencies that are necessary for basic functioning inside, and outside, the classroom. Despite this, there are still students who are falling behind or are not being reached by whole classroom instruction strategies. To help you reach these students, here are 3 strategies that can be used during intervention to bring struggling students back up to grade level in language arts.

Paired Reading

Paired reading is done between a proficient reader (such as a fellow student, parent, or teacher) and the struggling student. The accomplished reader and the student should read aloud together, and create a silent signal (like a hand tap) for when the lower-performing student wants to read aloud alone. If the signal is delivered, the other reader should follow along silently as the text is read aloud. If the student misreads or struggles with a world, the stronger reader should pause, point out the error, and they should practice reading the word correctly together.

Main Idea Mapping

Graphic organizers are highly effective and useful during intervention sessions. Struggling students benefit from having a visual aide in which they can organize their thoughts and notes. As a result, mapping main ideas is a great way to target reading comprehension.

During this activity, you will explain to students that paragraphs usually have sentences that tell you what the “point,” or the main message, of the paragraph, is. After you model summarizing the main idea, you can demonstrate how to identify the key facts that support the main idea. Always refer back to the graphic organizer when introducing the skill, and confirm that each student is following along and keeping up with your notes. Additionally, be sure to allow students to practice identifying main ideas on their own.

Text-Lookback Questions

Struggling readers need to know how to return to the text and pull out important information. For this intervention strategy, select a series of short expository texts and prepare a few text recall questions. Before introducing this strategy, you may need to explain to students the difference between text recall questions and opinion questions.

Model for the students how to read the question and highlight keywords that tell you what to look for in the text to find the answer. When you look back to the text, narrate your thoughts as you search for answers to the question. Demonstrate returning to diagrams, headings, beginning sentences, and conclusions to find answers. Keep in mind that this is another excellent opportunity to use a graphic organizer during the intervention. After students have practiced referring back to the text independently, allow them to create their own text recall questions to extend the lesson and reinforce the skill.

For the most part, these strategies are best suited for small group interventions. Additionally, they can be divided into even smaller lessons for students who need more guided or independent practice. Finally, be sure to administer formative assessments to students before and after the lessons. This will ensure that their progress is being recorded, and you can identify the skills that they need extra practice with before the end of the year.

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