For students that have not made progress after a six-week cycle of tier 2 lessons, tier 3 instruction must be implemented. Tier 3 provides research-based intensive instruction through specially designed programs for individual students. Students are progress monitored weekly to make sure the intervention is being effective. Two interventions that can be used for tier 3 instruction are QuickReads and Read Naturally.
QuickReads can be used for tier 3 as well as tier 2 instruction. When QuickReads is taught for tier 3 however, lessons are taught individually rather than in a small group. QuickReads is a program designed to increase reading fluency, comprehension, and background knowledge. 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. 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.
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.
Read Naturally is another program designed to increase reading fluency. It is a structured intervention program that uses teacher modeling, repeated reading, and progress monitoring strategies to improve reading proficiency. The Read Naturally is designed to be used with individual students.
Students begin by first selecting one of 24 stories within their assigned reading level. Students listen and read along as key words and their definitions are read aloud. They then write a prediction of what they think the story is about by using the story title, key words and provided pictures. A cold read, where students read the story for the first time, is completed to provide a baseline. This is a timed reading where the teacher notes the words that are unfamiliar to students. The number of words a student has correctly read is then recorded on a graph in blue. Students then whisper read while listening to the recorded story several times. Next students time themselves as they read the same story several times, working to meet a predetermined goal. Then students do a hot read where the teacher times students. The number of correct words per minute is recorded in red on the student’s graph. Students then answer comprehension questions about the story. Finally students retell the story either orally or in writing, focusing on the main idea of the story.
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.
It is important that students receiving tier 3 instruction be progress-monitored each week. 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.