Tier 2 Interventions


Tier 2 instruction is designed for students that are not making progress during core curriculum lessons. These students need supplemental research-based instruction in a small group setting. Students struggling with reading fluency and not meeting grade level standards would fit in this tier.


Repeated Reading

Repeated reading is a method that helps to improve fluency by having a student reading a passage or short text continuously until an appropriate level of fluency is achieved. This intervention has been found to improve word recognition accuracy, automaticity, prosody and comprehension. In addition, the repeated reading process has been found to help students successfully read subsequent new passages. Repeated reading does not have to happen during only one session or in one setting. It can occur in multiple settings and in multiple sessions.


Previewing passages and pre-teaching key words in a small group setting is another way to improve reading fluency. Teachers introduce new reading material and/or vocabulary before initial whole group instruction.


Peer Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS)

Peer Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) is a peer mediated tutoring program that focuses on three reading strategies: retelling, paragraph shrinking, and prediction. It is designed supplement an existing reading curriculum. PALS is intended for use with students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Students participate in 20-40 minute sessions, depending on the grade level, three to four times each week. Students follow specific routines during PALS instruction. In grades two through six, the same routine is used. Kindergarten and first grade routines are different due to the need to focus on beginning reading skills.

PALS engages students in four activities; partner reading, retell, paragraph shrinking and prediction relay. Both partners are given a card containing questions to be asked during each of the four activities. For partner reading, the teacher places students in pairs, pairing high-level readers with low-level readers. Students alternate the role of the coach and reader throughout each lesson. Students predict what will happen next in the portion of the text and later discuss their predictions. They also engage in paragraph shrinking, where students retell the main idea in 10 words or less. Students can earn points as they work through each activity. Points are tracked and accumulate toward the reward of class recognition.


QuickReads is a program designed to increase reading fluency, comprehension, and background knowledge. The QuickRead program consists of four levels, each focusing on either science or social studies topics. Each topic contains five related passages along with a comprehension component.

This curriculum can be used with students in grades one through six. It is recommended that QuickReads be used for three-to-five sessions per week, with each session lasting 15-20 minutes. For tier 2 instruction, the program will usually be administered in a small group setting.

Students first read a text, highlighting two or three words that they do not know. A graphic organizer is then completed. The teacher then reads the story aloud with the students, modeling fluent reading. Next students silently read the text one more time independently, trying to read as many correct words as possible as the teacher measures how many correct words they read in a minute. Finally, the students answer comprehension question about the passage.

Fluency-Oriented Reading Instruction

Fluency-Oriented Reading Instruction (FORI), developed by Stahl and Heubach (2005), is a comprehensive intervention that has led to positive results in improving reading fluency. This intervention was originally designed for classrooms where the majority of students were reading below grade level (Schwanenflugel et al., 2009). FORI is intended to be used with a core reading program during a five day week. The process utilizes teacher modeling, repeated reading, echo reading, and partner reading. With FORI, one story is read repeatedly throughout the entire week. Initially, the teacher introduces a text, reading the selection to the class as she models fluent reading. He or she will then lead a discussion focusing on comprehension and key vocabulary words. The next lesson entails students echo reading the selection, and sending the reading selection home to read for homework. The selection is read chorally on the third day, and is again assigned to read for homework. On the fourth day, partner reading is utilized as well as other extension activities. The teacher assesses reading fluency on the final day by asking individual students to read the story on a one-on-one basis (Schwanenflugel et al., 2009; Hiebert, 2005).

Reader’s Theatre

Reader’s Theatre can also work as a tier 2 intervention when teachers choose a play and parts specifically for students that need additional fluency intervention. Also, the teacher can assign each group of students different plays written based on reading level.

Book Buddies

Book Buddies is a one-on-one tutoring program for primary-grade struggling readers featuring individualized, structured lesson plans based on ongoing assessment. Lesson plans are written by experienced reading teachers who train tutors and supervise them during each lesson. Tutors are primarily volunteers, students and school personnel.

Individual lessons are divided into three parts. For the transitional reader, the lesson includes rereading for fluency for 5-10 minutes, word study for 10-15 minutes and reading and writing for 20-30 minutes.


Oral reading fluency measures can be a good indicator of general reading proficiency. They provide a quick and easy way to both screen students and measure fluency progress.

Individual students read a grade-level passage aloud for a specific amount of time, usually one minute. The teacher measures accuracy and the number of words read. Prosody can also be noted.

It is important to create a baseline for tier 2 students and then measure student progress biweekly during each RTI cycle. A quick and easy way to do this is to administer the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills Next Oral Reading Fluency (DIBELS Next ORF) subtest. DIBELS Next is an assessment that is designed to monitor early literacy and reading skills. It can be used both as a screening assessment as well as progress-monitoring tool. This assessment uses short passages to benchmark and progress monitor reading fluency skills. The ORF subset consists of grade level passages that are read aloud for one minute. Omitted words, substitutions and hesitations of more than three seconds are considered errors. The ORF score consists of the number of correct words read in one minute. All DIBELS Next materials can be obtained on line.








Reader’s Theater

Reading A-Z  – https://www.readinga-z.com/newfiles/strat/theater_strat.html

Reader’s Theater Scripts and Play – http://www.teachingheart.net/readerstheater.htm



Book Buddies



DIBELS Next – https://dibels.uoregon.edu