I recently read a brilliant article by Pernille Ripp, "When We Harm Rather Than Help—Some Thoughts on Reading Interventions." It captured my attention with the initial quote (pictured).
In the article, Pernille outlines the problematic results of some reading interventions. She also provokes reflection about the practices used by many teachers, schools, and districts, all with the best of intentions, to support our most struggling readers. During a conversation with a group of second-grade teachers, a literacy coach, and a principal around this article, we discussed how many of the practices were being used in their own school and what some alternatives might be. Here are a few of the ideas brainstormed by the group:
- Keep our most at-risk students in the classroom with the homeroom teacher and provide intervention in short bursts of instruction within the student's self-selected text.
- Devote more time to searching for and matching high-quality literature to our most at-risk readers and be certain they spend more time reading than receiving instruction.
- If there must be interventions with a child, provide curricular coherence by having all interventionists teach the same strategy. Again, make certain that children spend more time reading than with instruction.
At the end of our team meeting, the group was excited to learn what others are doing to avoid the unintended mishaps of interventions. We would love to hear your thoughts as well.
We have a new topic on our Discussion Board about reading interventions.
Why not take some time to visit the Discussion Board and see what you can learn from and share with others?