Strategies We Use









Evidence That It’s Working



Reading, Writing and Math

 Explicit Comprehension Instruction using the…

 Gradual-Release strategy

Model skill (also Think- Alouds), then practice with students, then allow them time to practice and work independently

Students will demonstrate competence in performing skill or in understanding what they’ve read or have written.  They may be able to perform the skill independently with minimal teacher support.




 Reading & Writing




 Word Study

  • Systematic teaching of target words.
  • Pronunciation
  • Self-assess – I’ve never heard the word, I’ve heard it, I’ve used it in speaking or writing
  • Part of speech
  • Explain meaning using words they know
  • Provide examples
  • Multiple and repeated exposures to new words
  • Writing the word

 Improved vocabulary, improvement in comprehension scores through computer based assessments or CBM probes (Curriculum Based Assessments), increased vocabulary accuracy as evidenced via computer based assessments, student writing samples that have more depth and clarity.  Improvement in oral language skills.

Reading, Writing, and content areas like Science or History.

Questioning Strategies

Teaching students strategies for questioning before, during, and after reading.  This holds students accountable

Increased comprehension scores on computerized or class based assessments.  Increased engagement from students during reading.

Reading & Encoding (spelling)

Adaptive Technology - Read 180 is built around the concept of expanded recall.  Moving new information from working memory to long-term memory.  Students are asked to retrieve new skills over long periods of time until those skills are mastered.

Using computer software that adjusts to students needs.  Very technical -often using advanced algorithms to look for error patterns or latency in responses. 

The desired result of programs that use adaptive technology is increased reading automaticity and fluency.

Adaptive technology also gathers and assesses students while they are working.  This data can be reviewed later to see how they are progressing.  Data we can use to measure progress might include: time spent on task; comprehension or vocabulary accuracy; sight word fluency or accuracy; spelling accuracy; total words read; lexile scores obtained over time; etc.


All Disciplines – Academic and Behavior


Data Collection paired with Immediate Feedback to students

We rely on a lot of data to drive our instruction and measure progress.  The data we collect is frequently (daily/weekly) reported to students.

It is much harder to quantify the effectiveness of immediate feedback as a strategy.  We can say (anecdotally), however, that we do observe increased student engagement over time.  When students see how they are performing on a regular basis (especially via graphs), they put forth more effort.


All Disciplines


Flexible Pacing of Instruction

Certain programs that we use allow students to move at their own pace.  i.e. Accelerated Math, First in Math, Read 180, and System 44.

Students move forward once they have demonstrated mastery of newly acquired skills.  Previously learned material is often reintroduced to see if students have maintained their understanding of concepts



All Disciplines



Individualized Instruction

Instruction is given to individual students or small groups, based on the needs they present.   The teacher and support staff work together to help provide instruction to individuals or groups who need it.  Sometimes specific assignments are tailored to each individual student so that not everyone is working on the same concepts at the same time.

All students show improved test scores and complete their assignments according to expectations because they (or the small group) are getting the specific help they need.


Reading, Writing, and content areas like Science or History


Anchored Instruction

Using video or audio to build background or vocabulary knowledge before reading.  This activates prior knowledge and helps students develop mental models of texts.  Ultimately, this helps students develop meaning from what they read.

Students will demonstrate more fluent reading and more of a connection to the texts they are reading.  Students will show that they are connecting to texts on a deeper level.




Narrow Reading

Reading texts with overlapping topics.  The texts are very short, start easy and gradually get harder, and delve into real-world issues that are high interest and age appropriate.  Key ideas, concepts, and vocabulary are repeated throughout.

Students show increased motivation and interest in reading.  Increased comprehension and vocabulary scores.  Acquisition of new vocabulary.  Using and generalizing the meanings of new terms.




Writing which can be applied across disciplines




Scaffolded Writing Instruction

Helping students organize their writing by breaking the writing process down into smaller steps and then guiding them through the process.  We also provide writing models to assist the process. (i.e. brainstorm webs, prewriting organizers, student models or samples, concept maps, writing frames, prompts, or sentence starters.)

Students will provide better writing samples over time.  With practice students will see the benefit of each step in the writing process.  Published writing assignments can be typed and even include artwork.  Comparing the student’s published writing samples over time will either reveal progress or show lack of progress in their writing.  Displaying the students’ published writing samples will provide recognition for their hard work.  It also communicates that we expect them to do quality work.

Reading, Writing, and content areas like Science or History


Oral Cloze Shared Reading

Reading text aloud with students (shared reading) and pausing at key words.  When you pause the whole class responds with the missing word.

Monitor student’s responses to see if they are responding and who might not be responding.  If the whole class responds, then this strategy is working to help students stay focused and engaged in reading texts.


PDF Strategies Used to Support Students Academically   --  Here is a description of just a few of the key strategies we use every day to reach students who struggle with learning or processing information.