The Biggest Intervention Tragedy: Not Applying Skills


So, we think we know what your biggest problem in your intervention is. We bet it’s…

…getting the skills you are teaching to generalize.

Were we right? If we were, you’re not alone (and it’s not because your intervention is bad)!

We were here once too. We were doing everything right (or so we thought), but our students weren’t able to apply the skills we were teaching outside of our sessions.

We were following OG (Orton-GIllingham) to a ‘T’. Our students were making great results in decoding and spelling, but they weren’t reading. They weren’t taking what we were talking about and using it at school.

We even had students telling us that the work we were doing wasn’t “real reading.” We didn’t know what they meant! We were going through all of the skills, and doing everything we were taught. But time and time again, a student would make great, isolated growth, just to fall backwards after their decoding instruction was over.

Then we realized something.

The students weren’t applying what they were learning.

This wasn’t for lack of effort on their part. Traditional OG instruction didn’t have them taking their skills and tying them to something bigger. They were learning words and rules in isolation, but without explicit instruction, they couldn’t recognize how this fit into the bigger picture. They didn’t understand that the rules they were learning fit into non-controlled passages and writing.

We realized that in order to be best supporting our students, we needed to be immediately connecting this for them. We can’t just tie an orthographic skill to a phonologic one without also tying in semantics. We can’t teach a student how to read a word list but not a passage. While the level of challenge is clearly a factor, students need to be solidifying all skills and tying their decoding work to a greater purpose if we want these skills to stick.

Mikayla StoreyComment