Monday, September 28, 2020

A Deep Dive into The Big Five: How to Determine Reading Interventions

Last week, I shared with you all about The Big Five. Today we will take a deeper dive into WHY knowing and understanding The Big 5 is important in supporting your struggling readers.

Let's pretend that Henry is in the 3rd grade and he is struggling with reading comprehension. This might be your focus for intervention and small groups, right??

We need to take a deeper dive into WHY he is struggling with comprehension. Knowing about The Big Five will help you to determine specific interventions that your students may need.  Let's take a look at this example:

These are prompts we typically use with our students right? Can YOU tell me about what you just read? For many of our students, this is what the text is like when they are reading! It could be either due to the fact that they are unable to decode the word or possibly that they simply just don't know what the word means. Both of these issues lead to a breakdown in understanding. 

We need to refer back to The Big Five and think of it as a Hierarchy of Reading Skills. 

The reason why Henry is struggling with Comprehension is likely due to several different factors. For 3rd graders, their beginning of year oral reading fluency assessments can provide a lot of information. If your student's reading rate is way below grade-level expectations and/or their accuracy rate is low, it is highly likely that your student is struggling to decode the text. They are reading slowly (and with many errors) because they are spending most of their cognitive energy trying to figure out what each word is. Since their brain is focused on this, they are unable to comprehend the text. 

Analyzing the errors also helps you to determine what the student needs. Perhaps the student is unable to read-only multi-syllabic words. This tells you that your intervention will need to focus on decoding multi-syllabic words. 

Taking a step back to analyze each component of The Big Five is necessary for truly targeting your students' intervention needs. Continue to move one step back along the hierarchy to determine a starting point for interventions. 

I hope that this post was helpful to you! If you have any questions, I'd love to answer them for you! Send me a DM over on Instagram or Facebook!

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