Reading interventions for situations where the student has not spent enough time doing the academic activity

HELPS Program
The Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies (HELPS) One-on-One Program integrates eight research-based instructional strategies that are easy to use and designed to improve students’ reading fluency. The HELPS Program can be implemented in approximately 10 minutes per student and used by various types of educators (e.g., regular or special education teachers, teacher assistants, school psychologists, reading specialists, librarians, well-trained parents, etc.). All materials and information needed to implement this program can be accessed for free from the HELPS Program website:
Incremental Rehearsal

A student is presented with flashcards containing unknown items added in to a group of known items. Presenting known information along with unknown allows for high rates of success and can increase retention of the newly learned items, behavioral momentum and resulting time on task. Research shows that this technique can be used with sight/vocabulary words, simple math facts, letter names, and survival words/signs.In addition, this technique could be used for other facts, such as state capitals or the meanings of prefixes or suffixes, etc.



Keyword Mnemonics

Mnemonics are strategies and techniques that aid in memory.  A mnemonic keyword connects a new vocabulary word to students’ prior knowledge by using a visual depicting the definition to the new vocabulary word.  New vocabulary terms are introduced through a similar sounding word (keyword).  This keyword is illustrated in such a way that the keyword interacts with critical attributes of the definition of the new word.  Lastly, a sentence is created to connect the keyword to the new definition.

Common Core Standards: Varied

Setting: Whole Class, Small Group, Individual

Focus Area: Acquisition, Fluency and Generalization

Full Brief Link

Listening Passage Preview

Listening Passage Preview is an intervention that can be used to increase the accuracy with which students read. It is design to increase reading fluency, but focuses more on the accuracy than the rate with which students read. The teacher or interventionist reads the previously selected passage aloud for as the student follows along. While the passage is being read through the first time, the student(s) is instructed to follow along. Once the reading has been completed, the student will then read the same passage aloud. This intervention can be conducted one on one, or in a small-group setting by having the teacher read aloud then partnering children to read aloud to one another. Although the intervention is called Listening Passage Preview, it is probably best to read only two sentences at a time rather than the entire passage.

EBI Brief for the Listening Passage Preview

Partner Reading

A fluent reader (Partner 1) is paired with a less fluent reader (Partner 2). Partner 1 reads the material to model fluent reading. Then, Partner 2 reads the material and Partner 1 corrects any errors made. This should be conducted for about 30-35 minutes 3 times per week.


Readers’ Theatre

The goal of the Readers’ Theatre intervention is to assist youth and adolescents in acquiring motivation for reading and building supplemental opportunities to enhance reading fluency and comprehension. Readers’ Theatre is an intervention designed to improve students’ reading through the use of strategies similar to repeated reading to practice reading fluently, while incorporating engaging activities to increase participants’ motivation to read. Readers’ Theatre is an intervention designed to increase students’ fluency and motivation to read aloud by incorporating strategies that combines engaging creative arts performance with reading practice. Young and Rasinski (2017) found Reader’s Theatre to have a large effects in improving words read accurately (d = 2.21) and students’ prosody (d = 1.15) when implemented with 2nd graders, 31% who were ELL. Similarly, middle school students (60% disadvantaged), were shown to improve in their reading fluency (d = .848). This intervention is not manualized, but it’s a supplemental approach that can be combined with a more targeted strategy to improve motivation or cultural fit of a reading intervention.

EBI Brief for Readers’ Theatre

Reading Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS)

Reading PALS is a whole-class peer-tutoring program that can be used with students from kindergarten through sixth grade and in high school. Students work on grade-level reading skills. The focus in kindergarten and first grade is on word recognition and fluency. The emphasis in second through sixth grade and in high school is fluency and reading comprehension. The PALS model allows for students to practice reading skills with immediate feedback and to have extensive reading practice.

Reciprocal Teaching

Reciprocal Teaching is an instructional approach designed to enhance student comprehension of text. Students engage in group discussion using four strategies: summarizing, questioning, clarifying, and predicting.

The summarizer highlights the key ideas within the text. The questioner will ask questions based on uncertainties within the text or in connection to other ideas or texts previously discussed. The clarifier will address confusing aspects of the texts and try to answer questions posed by the questioner. The predictor will make guesses on what the upcoming text is about based on the title of the story, storyline, pictures, foreshadowing, etc.

EBI Brief for the Reciprocal Teaching

Repeated Readings

A student is given a reading passage and is asked to read multiple times. As fluency increases, decoding and word identification become more automatic. With gained automaticity attention is no longer used to decode words. Therefore, increased automaticity and fluency allow students to utilize the newly available attention to comprehend materials read.

Story Detective

Story Detective turns the reader into a “detective” making predictions about a story as it unfolds through a series of clues. Students are given clues one at a time that, when listed in their entirety, create the outline of a story. The teacher reads one clue such as, “Two friends were walking home for dinner.” The student then has the opportunity to be the “detective” and make a prediction about where the story is headed. The teacher follows that prediction by asking the student to explain his/her thoughts. A second clue is then given. The details of this clue may prove or disprove the previous prediction and a new or extended prediction is made.

Full Intervention Brief: Story Detective

Evidence Brief: Story Detective EB


Tutoring Buddy

Tutoring Buddy Letter Sounds (TBLS) is a computer-aided teaching tool designed to teach letter sound correspondence using incremental rehearsal. The program has been used successfully with children between the ages of 4 and 6. Using TBLS interventionists preform a brief assessment of letter sound knowledge and the software selects known and unknown letters for instruction. TBLS is a multi-purpose tool. It can be used to:

  1. Identify students who would most benefit from supplemental instruction (screening takes about 1 minute per student on average)
  2. Teach letter-sound correspondence effectively and efficiently (on average 5 minutes per session)
  3. Monitor student response to the intervention- progress-monitoring data is collected and charted automatically.
  4. Inform instruction by showing teachers which letter sounds are known by none, some, and all students.

Setting: Individual

Focus Area: Acquisition and Fluency

EBI Brief Template Tutoring Buddy

Tutoring Buddy Evidence Brief