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Reading and Math Intervention

Tips for Parents
For Parents in Grades 3-6 Reading Intervention:  At parent teacher conferences, you received assessment information about strengths and weaknesses of your son or daughter's reading skills.  The areas starred were areas with which you could help at home.  Below are directions for each of the starred areas:

Sight Word Intervention

  1. Sight Word Flash Cards: Select words missed from independent or instructional reading (Red hot, AR books etc.).  Create flash cards from the words missed. Input the words three days by saying, “This is the word (say word on flash card). What is the word?” Student answers.  After inputting three days (younger children may need more repetition), ask the student what the word is until he/she gets the word correct five days in a row.  Start over on the five times correct, if the word is missed once.  Work with no more than 10-15 words at a time.
  2. Word Family Sorts: Use word families, endings, or vowel patterns (etc.) to sort into groups.  Comparing and contrasting helps build characteristic, categories, and patterns in the brain.  Always have the student say the words as he/she sorts into groups.  The sorting can be pre-determined by the parent or title personnel or determined by the student.  Use the errors in a student’s reading to determine which patterns the student may not understand.  Create groups of words to show this pattern.  If you need help with words, see your child’s classroom teacher or intervention staff.
  3. Rainbow Trace (younger children) or Sticking Words (older children): You write the troublesome sight word on a paper in dark marker.  The student says the sounds as they trace the letters with the pad of their index finger eight times.  The student then airplane writes the letters while say the sounds eight times.  Finally, the letters are traced with colored, pencils, markers or crayons moving from lightest color to darkest color while saying the sounds in the word.


  1. Modeling of a Decoding Process: Decoding is breaking apart a word into meaningful chunks to say the word.  Modeling the chunking process is very helpful.  Spot-n-dot is one chunking strategy students may use to say the words.  Splitting the word between double consonants or at syllable junctures is another strategy used to break apart a word to pronounce the word.  Always teach students to match the broken-down word to a word they have heard before and check in context to see if the word is correct.  If you want help or training, see your classroom teach.
  2. Identify Word Structure: Teaching students to recognize prefixes, suffixes, and root words helps facilitate decoding.
  3. Finger Spelling:  Teach students to touch thumb to fingers for each sound or syllable (older students) to help with the order of the sounds.  When you put the sounds or syllables back together again, the physical touch helps the brain remember and order the sounds.
  4. Hand Signals for Onset and Rime; Onset is thumb up; Rime is hand forward; Close fist, pull back, and say the blended word.

Fluency Accuracy

  1. Feedback for Listening: Teaching students to listen to themselves to catch errors is helpful for accuracy.  Repeating the sentence as read back to the student and asking if that sounds right, helps develop an “ear” for fluency.  Always set a goal for accuracy (95% of words red correctly) before moving to a speed goal.
  2. Sight Word Work: Building sight words or decoding methods (listed above) also aides in building accuracy.

Fluency Speed

  1. Repeated Reading: Repeated readings with sequential goals of accuracy, speed, phrasing and expression helps build skills necessary for fluency speed.  Do not continue building speed if students are reading at recommended fluency levels because this tends to create students who believe fluency is only about speed.  Instead once a student has reached the goals for accuracy and speed, set the next goal for phrasing and the following goal for expression.
  2. “I read…We read…You read” is a good daily strategy used in short passages to build fluency.  The “I read” stage is done by the adult and models word accuracy and phrasing.  “We read” allows guided practice (You read the same passage together at the same time).  “I read” is independent practice.
  3. Paired reading and/or Neurological Impress:  Adult sits on right side with finger pointing above the words.  The student reads along with the adult at a comfortable pace.  If using paired reading, the student signals the adult to “drop out” and the student continues alone.  When the student needs support he/she signals the adult, the adult joins back into the paired reading.  Usually a tap on the leg is the signal. Neurological impress method generally does not pass reading from adult to child; the reading is done in unison.

Comprehension Literal

  1. Visualization: Supporting visualization of text by asking questions such as, “How did you see that? What color was the ….? Or Forcing a choice such as, “Did you visualize that __ from the front or the side?  Did you see the person in the story in the kitchen or patio?”  Discussing the link between visualization and memory is helpful.  Asking students to reread to get an image is appropriate as well. Breaking a paragraph into sentences and discussing the image of each sentence is helpful.
  2. Monitoring comprehension by teaching a strategy with the following steps:  a.) Stop at the end of each paragraph. b.) Ask: Who or what is this about? c.) What does the paragraph tell me about….? d.) Answer question b & c e.) If you cannot answer:  reread, slow down, fix picture.  Use a physical signal like an arrow or a circle the student touches to signal they have done this process and know what they have read.  After the signal, feel free to check understanding if necessary.  Increase independence and wean from touch point to facilitate independent monitoring.

Comprehension Higher Order Thinking Skills

  1. An inference requires that students read beyond the text.  Using the following steps helps students base their inferences on something in the text.  “The text says…(find section in the text)….I know that….(tell what is in your background knowledge)…The two combined helps me answer the question because….(reason the two logically answer question)
  1. Summarizing requires that a student put many thoughts into a succinct expression.  Two strategies work especially well. 
  • STRATEGY 1:  Step 1: Identify the topic. Say to yourself, "What is this paragraph about? This paragraph is about ___(say the topic one word or a few words.  Look for and idea that is repeated in the paragraph or section)___."Step 2: Identify the main idea. Say to yourself, "What does this paragraph say about ___(Say the topic in one word or a few words) The topic of the paragraph is____. It tells that ______(state what you think is the main idea)____. (To identify the main idea, look at all the statements about the topic and decide what you think the main idea is. )
  • STRATEGY 2: Step 1: What did you read?  (a paragraph, section, chapter etc) Step 2: What VERB matches the writing of the text? (compares, describes, contrasts,..avoid “is about”)  Step 3:  State the Big Picture of the paragraph or section.  What does the paragraph tell you about the topic?  Step 4:  Say:  This (state the what ) (state the verb) (state the big picture).  Example:  This paragraph describes what deciduous trees are like.

Vocabulary Learning Strategies

  1. Self-Selected Vocabulary: The best vocabulary learning strategy is to teach students to be aware of word meanings and collect unknown words.  Make a guess from context and check with a friend, teacher, dictionary, online help.  Once students know the correct definition of the word, draw a picture of the meaning and review frequently.  Always put correct meanings in own words not dictionary terms.  Make sure definition is not too general to be useful.
  2. Word learning strategies also help.  Two general classes of strategies are helpful:  Context guessing a meaning from words around the word and Deconstruction: breaking apart a word into its prefix, root, and suffix, figuring out the meaning of each part, and putting the meanings back together to decide the meaning of the whole word.  (You generally start with the meaning of the suffix when combing the meanings of the parts:  “Geo-ology is the “study of (ology) rocks or earth (geo)” Transportation is the process of (tion) moving (port) materials or people across or to (trans) a different part of the county.”

Standardized Testing Practice:

  1. Marking Text: Finding answers back in the text by requiring students to highlight and label the text with the question number is a good habit for test preparation.
  2. Reasoning Focus: Having students tell their reasoning for one answer over another requires that students process possibilities rather than guess answers.
  3. Narrowing Answers: Eliminating choices that do not make sense so you narrow to fewer answers is helpful.

Parents of Children in Grades 1-2

Spelling Hints to use at home:

Rainbow Tracing

    Write the word in large letters for your child to trace.

    Have your child trace over the letters 10 times using colors, markers, etc. going from lighter colors to darker colors, each time saying the sounds that those letters make.


    Have your child "chunk" the word in syllables according to how THEY say the word, not necessarily how the dictionary divides the word.   Write the word in syllables (easier to remember smaller parts) and then put the "chunks" together.