How to Target Your Intervention to Get the Best Results
Oh boy, targeted instruction is a big one - so buckle up because we absolutely LOVE this topic.
What does it mean to provide targeted literacy instruction?
Well, we are so glad you asked. As you already know by now, we are huge fans of using the literacy processing triangle basically everywhere possible. Have you seen it? Probably so, but in case not, here it is:
We know that students who struggle with literacy struggle because of difficulties in one or more of these areas. They struggle with phonology (understanding the sound structure of the language), orthography (understanding the visual structure of the language), or semantics (understanding the meaning structure of the language).
We must start by targeting their specific breakdowns. We talked all about this in our blog about picking relevant intervention activities. But sometimes we need an even bigger picture view of what we’re doing and why we are doing it. So…
How do I make sure I’m meeting my students’ needs ?
Providing truly targeted intervention is two-fold:
1 - You need to be tracking and measuring your long-term goals (the student’s increased ability to read and write most likely).
This should be done with standardized measures that help you to see that Standard Scores based on the Standard Bell Curve are improving. This means not only are there raw score abilities going up but that they are closing the gap to catch up with grade-level peers. This is why it’s critical that at the very least formal standardized testing MUST occur in IEP triennials…at the very least. Ideally this would be happening every year or even every 6-months.
You can typically tell that you have a standardized assessment because scores are provided as Standard Scores (Average of 100) with Percentile Ranks (Average of 50) and could be graphed on a bell curve like this. Students scores should be moving toward the right as you continue intervention.
We love literacy assessments such as:
Word Identification & Spelling Test (WIST), Gray Oral Reading Test (GORT-5), Test of Integrated Language & Literacy Skills (TILLS), Oral & Written Language Scales (OWLS-2), etc.
You also need to be tracking daily progress with daily tracking sheets like this! Which will help keep you on track recognizing IMMEDIATELY if there are skills that just are not sticking for your students. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog where we will walk you all the way through this process!
2 - You need to be thoughtful and strategic on exactly what you are targeting and why.
Based on your intervention, and based on you choosing relevant therapy activities (you did that right?)…if you’re not quite sure on what that might look like you may want to download this visual to help target those goals!
We have one more resource that we ABSOLUTELY love to help us guide our intervention.
When we are choosing activities we always want to make sure we are pairing Standardized Assessments with qualitative or curriculum based assessments. We have a number of curriculum-based assessments we use with our students. >>>Click here if you’d like to join us for a free online training to learn more about how we work with our students<<< because if you’re just starting out and don’t have access to Standardized Assessments you may want to use something curriculum-based in addition to standardized assessment (that’s what we do) to guide intervention.
This resource is all about identifying where students have strengths and weaknesses. Once you know where you have strengths and weaknesses you can start picking more relevant intervention activities. We wrote all about what this might look like over here!
Download this resource to get access to our step by step list of identifying where students have strengths and weaknesses along with some of the standardized assessments we would recommend to measure each one. You can be selective in the assessments you are purchasing, especially if you are just starting out or are needing to go to the assessment cabinet and pulling out what you need from your school. The assessments we typically use as our go-to assessments for a student intake include:
Check out our video here to get an idea of what this looks like and let us know if you have questions in the comments!