Instructional Decision-Making Before Reading During/After Reading Letter/Word Work Reading/Writing Connections

Facilitator Notes


How do we support struggling readers to become independent problem solvers?

As children read, we work to provide them with the most appropriate support to accelerate their progress in developing independence.  Prompts are calls to action: demonstrating a new approach to problem solving; helping children figure out how to use what they know or partially know in a new situation; reinforcing their actions through naming them.  We pay close attention to using clear, consistent language to help children learn multiple ways to problem solve on their own.   We teach children how to monitor and self-correct by cross-checking meaning, structure and visual (MSV) information.  Eventually, they begin to use these sources of information in an integrated manner, quickly and efficiently, to read more difficult texts.

Video: Prompting for Independence;
Transcript, First Grade,
Katie Babb, Emily Garrett, Maryann McBride

Video: MSV 1; Transcript,
Emily Garrett, First Grade

Video: Using MSV 2 ; Transcript,
Maryann McBride, First Grade
Ashinique Owens, Second Grade

Growth Over Time: What lessons can we learn about helping a struggling reader build independence?

Children’s running records over time help us track their progress in developing independence.  Recognizing the “red flag” of multiple appeals from a first grader at the beginning of the year in her intervention group, Reading Recovery/Intervention Teacher Katie Babb prompted consistently for strategic action to build student independence.

Supporting Documents: Growth Over Time Running Records


How do we use specific praise to strengthen our struggling readers?

The emphasis of specific praise is not on evaluation, but on naming for children the strategies they attempted or used successfully, to help them replicate or develop those actions.  For a struggling reader, knowing what he/she has done well is a powerful tool.

Video: Using Students’ Strengths;
Maryann McBride, First Grade 

Video: Praising Attempts 1; Transcript,
Maryann McBride, Katie Babb
First Grade


Video: Praising Attempts 2 ; Transcript,
Maryann McBride, First Grade

Video: Building Confidence; Transcript,
Maryann McBride, First Grade


How do we provide the appropriate amount of help to struggling readers? 

Finding the “just right” amount of support to provide a struggling reader is similar to finding the “just right” book.  Too much reinforces passivity and dependence on the teacher; too little leads to frustration and disengagement.

Video: Levels of Support 1; Transcript,
Maryann McBride, CC Bates, Grade 1

Video: Levels of Support 2 ; Transcript,
Elizabeth Arnold, Second Grade


How do we differentiate support to students during reading?

Children reading at the same text level often have very different strengths and needs.  One child may rely heavily on meaning and ignore visual, while another uses visual but doesn’t use meaning to confirm.  As students move up levels, they have more options for strategies to use on their own.  One child may need support in using analogies while another needs to work on seeing larger parts of words rather than proceeding letter by letter. Guided reading offers us the opportunity to prompt directly into the specific needs of each child, while all reading the same text.

Supporting Documents: Lesson Notes During Reading, Levels 16 and 20

Video: Differentiating Support 1;
Elizabeth Arnold, Second Grade

Video: Differentiating Support 2;
Elizabeth Arnold, Second Grade