Becoming An Expert on Reading Intervention

Graphic: students ordering alphabet during intervention session
Intervention session

The Science of Teaching Reading suggests that targeted and explicit instruction is necessary to grow students in the area of reading.

So, my goal in my new role as an academic interventionist is to become an expert on reading intervention in order to do just that- grow students!

This is year one for me, but here are four beginner tips that may help you transition smoothly into your role as an interventionist and I want that for you!!

1.Cart vs. Classroom 

Cart Example

Understand your district’s intervention model.

I push into the classroom to conduct reading intervention. This means that I have to prepare for all grade levels and travel throughout the school day from grade to grade( K-5) with the resources and activities I need.

To effectively do this, I created a traveling cart. For each grade level, I purchased a medium basket. This size allows all 6 baskets to fit perfectly on the media cart I use.

Each basket has a folder with daily lessons. Under each folder are the picture books, manipulatives, and handouts needed for the various lessons I teach.

In addition, I keep a binder with my schedule,  groups, student data, and blank intervention logs.

If you are fortunate and conduct intervention in a designated classroom.  I suggest decorating it like you would in your general ed. class. I would also suggest that it be done with all grade levels in mind.

When pulling your groups during intervention time, for each grade, pick up all of the students you will have sessions with at one time. EVERY SECOND COUNTS.

While meeting with your first group, have your second group work on review, pre-work for their upcoming lesson, writing, or reading a take-home leveled book that will enrich them.

image by rawpixel


To group scholars, create a document that is easy to read and navigate. This spreadsheet should have what students receive intervention, what type of intervention or the specific area of focus for a 4 week period and, from whom they will receive intervention instruction and for how long.

Grouping should be done using data, teacher input, and scholar knowledge. I use NWEA Map data.  I meet with grade-level teachers once every 4-6 weeks and I observe scholars, how they respond to and interact with peers to decide how I group students that need intervention. 

3. Teacher Support 

As an interventionist, yes your focus is scholar growth, but aside from you directly teaching scholars. supporting teachers is going to make a significant impact.

The truth is that intervention is for all scholars. This means that teachers will also provide intervention. To help lessen the load, I provide resources, schedules, and create activities for teachers to use during intervention time. 

Teachers are working hard and adding more to their plates isn’t ideal. I strongly suggest communicating often, asking how you can support them, and helping them understand that this is teamwork.

4.Tech & Tools

During intervention, we use the blended learning model to encourage engagement. So students get face time with their teacher or me. They work in small groups with peers, they work independently writing or reading for a specific purpose and they use technology.

My top 3 technology platforms for intervention are:

Education Galaxy

Learning Farm 

Give them a try and see how you like them for yourself!

Having only recently transitioned from classroom to reading cart, I’d like to say that presently I am not an expert on reading intervention. But now that I have the fall semester behind me, I have learned a lot and hope to share much more.The more I learn, the more you’ll know and for sure- the more we will grow.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Colossians 3:23-24 NIV

Happy intervening!!