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Douglas Fuchs Devin Kearns and Laura Magnuson Vanderbilt University Boston University and American Institutes for Research April 11 2014 This document was produced under US Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs Award No H326Q110005 Celia Rosenquist serves a ID: 618778 Download Presentation


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Addressing the Needs of Students With Persistent Reading Difficulties Through Intensive Intervention

Douglas Fuchs, Devin Kearns, and Laura MagnusonVanderbilt University, Boston University, and American Institutes for ResearchApril 11, 2014

This document was produced under U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Award No. H326Q110005. Celia Rosenquist serves as the project officer. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the positions or policies of the U.S. Department of Education. No official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of any product, commodity, service or enterprise mentioned in this document is intended or should be inferred.Slide2

The intensive intervention framework (5 min.)Overview of Data-Based Individualization (DBI) in reading (10 min.)

Critical elements of DBI in reading (25 min.)Important considerations for making DBI work (5 min.)Group discussion (15 min.)Session Overview


The Intensive Intervention Framework


Intensive intervention

 addresses severe and persistent learning or behavior difficulties. Intensive intervention should be: Driven by data

Characterized by increased intensity (e.g., smaller group, expanded time) and individualization of academic instruction and/or behavioral supports

What Is Intensive intervention?


Secondary intervention program, delivered with greater intensityProgress

monitoringInformal diagnostic assessmentAdaptationContinued progress monitoring, with adaptations occurring whenever needed to ensure adequate progressFive DBI Steps


A Bird’s Eye View of DBI


Overview of DBI in Reading: Why Do We Do DBI?


Why? Many Students With Disabilities Are Struggling in School

8U.S. elementary-age children with learning disabilities (LD) below 20th percentile on comprehension


High school students with LD years below grade level in reading

3.4 years

Fraction of high school students with LD who drop out


Percentage of students with LD with paid employment, two years postsecondary


“Virtually all children and youth with disabilities, including those with very serious learning problems, are helped sufficiently by the core curriculum with co-teaching, modifications to the core instructional program, or other such supports.”

Why? Unfounded and Naïve Beliefs About Teaching Kids with LD9

Fuchs, Fuchs, & Vaughn, 2014, p. 14

Unfounded and naïve beliefSlide10

Why? Primary and Secondary Prevention Often Are Not Enough


Primary prevention

Low-salt diet Stress reduction

Secondary prevention

Intensive intervention




ACE inhibitors

Other novel, patient-specific treatments

The Medical Analogy:

High Blood Pressure TreatmentSlide11

A Case Study: Kelsey

11In fourth gradeReads at a second-grade level

Participated in a secondary intervention using a research-validated program

Group of six 30 minutes, 4 times a week, for 7 weeks

Explicit instruction Led by knowledgeable paraprofessionalSlide12

Kelsey’s Secondary Intervention Progress


Progress monitored on a measure of passage reading fluency

Her aim/goal line

(where we want her weekly scores to be)

Her progress

(her actual scores)Slide13

Kelsey is exactly the type of child who needs intensive intervention.Kelsey received good instruction.

Kelsey needs a more intensive instructional program.Kelsey Is Not Responding to Secondary Prevention13

Many children in intensive intervention participated in good programs.

Their problems are not anyone’s “fault.”

Some children just need


time structure practice clarity teacher attention


methods of explanation content



After Secondary Prevention:

What Do We Do for Kelsey Now?Slide15

Data-Based Individualization

Improving Skills for Students With Intensive Needs15Slide16

Secondary prevention with greater intensity

Progress monitoringDiagnostic assessmentAdaptation of the interventionIterations5A. Progress monitoring5B. Analysis5C. AdaptationSteps of DBI in Reading


Danielson & Rosenquist, 2014; Lemons, Kearns, & Davidson, 2014








Secondary Prevention With Greater Intensity


Secondary prevention programNot an approach or a loosely structured set of activitiesResearch-validated program (tested by researchers)

Clear sequence of lessonsExplicit instruction (I do, we do, you do) approach (Archer & Hughes, 2011)Fidelity of implementationGreater intensity (quantitative changes)Greater frequency, length of sessions, or durationSmaller group sizeLess heterogeneity in the group (students more similar in level)

Secondary Prevention With Greater Intensity


Kelsey’s Secondary Prevention Program





(Fuchs, Kearns et al., 2012)

Focused on Foundational Skills

Sight words

Sound-symbol correspondence



Reading level-appropriate textsSlide20

Kelsey’s Progress After Secondary Prevention


Oral reading fluency (accuracy; %)

Oral reading fluency (rate)



improvement in oral reading fluency


and accuracySlide21

Intensifying Secondary Prevention: Quantitative Changes

214 days

5 days


4 students

3 students



Progress Monitoring


Reliable and valid measure (evaluated by researchers)Use “Academic Progress Monitoring Tools Chart” available at

Easy-to-administer measureTakes little teacher and student timeEasy to scoreMeasure can be given weeklyEnough parallel formsDesigned for regular administrationChoose a Progress Monitoring (PM) Measure


Determine the correct levelStudent’s instructional level Not student’s grade level

Determine student’s aim and plot itCollect Initial Data and Create an Aimline 24

Kelsey is doing


oral reading fluency

Using second-grade benchmark (85)


Using second-grade expected rate of improvement (to 72)Slide25

Collect data weeklyAfter seven weeks (8 data points), evaluate progressIs student tracking the aimline?

Yes—stay on targetAbove—increase the goal or stay on targetBelow—diagnose and adapt instructionCollect Data Through Initial DBI25Slide26

Diagnostic Assessment


Informal Diagnostic Assessment


Error analysis of PM data

Classroom assessments and work samples

Standardized assessments (if possible)Slide28

Review the diagnostic assessmentsCome up with a theory about what might be causing the student’s academic difficulty

Start considering adaptationsUsing the Assessment Results28

bunny vu… IDK

knife twin

Spellings include all sounds

Replaces nonwords with real words

Good sight word knowledge

PM errors are mainly for polysyllabic words

spin … IDK count?


tends to guess

and needs strategies to

decode polysyllabic




20 minutes with teacher in small group, rather than 15 minutes5 minutes of one-to-one time with teacher15 minutes of partner practice, rather than whole-group reading activities in general education

Adaptation for Kelsey:Quantitative Changes30Slide31

Adaptation for Kelsey:Qualitative Changes

Skip ahead in the scope and sequence to the polysyllabic lessons

Supplement with polysyllabic

strategies …Slide32

Polysyllabic Strategy Options



Peeling off

Overt strategy

Lovett, Lacarenza, &

Borden, 2000

Archer, Gleason, & Vachon, 2002

“I peel off (affix) at the beginning (or end) of the word. The root is ____. The word is ____.”

(p. 468)

“First, I will try /

first pronunciation

/, then I will try /

second pronunciation

/, and see which gives me a real word.” (p. 469)

Vowel alert

Covert strategySlide33

Polysyllabic Strategy Options

DISSECT Lenz & Hughes, 1990Discover the contextIsolate the word’s prefix


eparate the word’s suffix


ay the word’s stem or base word


xamine the word’s stem


heck with another person


ry to find the word in the dictionary


O’Connor et al

., 2002; O’Connor, Fulmer





Bell, 2005; O’Connor


Bell, 2004


reak the word apart


xamine each part


ay each part


ry the whole thing in context

Mnemonic strategiesSlide34

Polysyllabic Strategy Options


Wilson, 2002

Lindamood &

Lindamood, 1998

Syllable marking

Tracking with syllablesSlide35

How to decide:Think about the principles for intensive intervention

Which strategies have small steps?Which strategies have precise language (3Cs language: clear, concise, consistent)?Which strategies lend themselves to modeling real reading behavior?ChoicesPeeling offVowel alertOvert and covert strategiesPolysyllabic Strategy Chosen


Results of Adaptation




Check Progress Weekly: Are the Adaptations Still Working?


What should we do now?Diagnose: What is the source of the problem?Adapt: How can we change the program again to produce greater growth?

After Four Points Below the Line, Diagnose and Adapt Again39Slide40

Important Considerations for Making DBI Work

Tips From Our Work in Schools40Slide41

Make Sure You Choose a Valid and Reliable PM System


Running records

Program-specific mastery measures



The Instructional Platform Is a PROGRAM



An adequate resource but not an instructional platform: Not systematic and explicitSlide43

The Instructional Platform Is a PROGRAM



An adequate website with actual lesson plans, but it is not a program that is tightly and carefully designedSlide44

The Adaptations Make Sense


Balance training

Kearns & Fuchs (2013)

Brain workouts

Working memory treatment

Neurofeedback training


To date, few scientific studies suggest these “cognitive” approaches work: Stick to academicsSlide45

Every other week is not enough during DBI.Weekly monitoring is needed to show small changes.

Monitor Progress Enough45Slide46

Do not forget to loop them in early in the process.Make sure the entire staff knows about DBI and basically what will happen.Include other service providers, such as speech pathologists, who may have insight and ideas.

Make Sure All Key Individuals Come to DBI Meetings46Slide47

Tools ChartsAcademic Intervention:

Progress Monitoring: NCII Resources


DBI Training Series

Webinars now for our April 29th webinar: “So What do I do Now? Strategies for Intensifying Intervention when Standard Approaches Don’t Work

NCII Resources


Group Discussion


Archer, A. L., Gleason, M.,,&

Vachon, V. (2002). REWARDS (Reading Excellence: Word Attack & Rate Development Strategies). Longmont, CO: Sopris West. Archer, A. L., & Hughes, C. A. (2011). Explicit instruction: Effective and efficient teaching. New York, NY: Guilford. Danielson, L., & Rosenquist, C. (2014). Introduction to the TEC special issue on data-based individualization. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 46, 6–12


Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L. S., & Vaughn, S. (2014). What is intensive instruction and why is it important?.

TEACHING Exceptional Children




Lemons, C. J., Kearns, D. M., & Davidson, K. A. (2014). Data-based individualization in reading:


interventions for students with significant reading disabilities.

TEACHING Exceptional Children, 46, 20–29.


, B. K., & Hughes, C. A. (1990). A word identification strategy for adolescents with learning disabilities.

Journal of Learning Disabilities, 23,



, 163.

Lindamood, P


& Lindamood, P. (l998).

The Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing






, and speech

, Austin, TX: PRO-ED, Inc.Lovett, M. W., Lacerenza, L., & Borden, S. L. (2000). Putting struggling readers on the PHAST track: A program to integrate phonological and strategy-based remedial reading instruction and maximize outcomes. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 33, 458–476.O’Connor, R. E., Bell,

K. M., Harty, K. R., Larkin, L. K., Sackor, S., & Zigmond, N. (2002). Teaching reading to poor readers in the intermediate grades: A comparison of text difficulty. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 474–485.


R. E

., & Bell, K. M. (2004). Teaching students with reading disability to read words. In A. Stone, E. Silliman, B. Ehren, & K. Apel (Eds.),

Handbook of language and literacy: Development and disorders




). New

York, NY:

Guilford Press.O’Connor, R. E., Fulmer, D., Harty, K., & Bell, K. (2005). Layers of reading intervention in kindergarten through third grade: Changes in teaching and child outcomes. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 38, 440–455.Wilson, B. (2002). The Wilson Reading System. Millbury, MA: Wilson Language Training.  References50Slide51

This module was produced under the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Award No. H326Q110005. Celia Rosenquist serves as the project officer. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the positions or polices of the U.S. Department of Education. No official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of any product, commodity, service, or enterprise mentioned in this website is intended or should be inferred.


National Center on Intensive Intervention

1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NWWashington, DC 20007-3835866-577-5787www.intensiveintervention.orgEmail:


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