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Explicit Instruction in Reading: A ThreeTier Approach


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Title: Explicit Instruction in Reading: A ThreeTier Approach

Explicit Instruction in Reading A Three-Tier
  • Nancy Marchand-Martella, Ph.D.
  • marchandmartella_at_sisna.com
  • (509) 468-0672
  • 12th Annual Eastern PA Special Education
    Administrators Conference
  • Hershey, PA
  • October 23, 2008

Favorite Saying as a University Professor
  • Everyone believes that to be a good teacher all
    you need is to love to teach, but no one believes
    that to be a good surgeon all you need is to love
    to cut! --Albert Shanker, past president, AFT

Consider the Following
  • Most students can experience improved reading (to
    average levels) through well designed reading
    programs offered by highly trained teachers.
    (Reid Lyon)
  • Literacy instruction should continue beyond
    elementary school and be tailored to the more
    complex reading tasks faced by middle and high
    school students. (National Institute for
  • 3 out of 10 eighth graders are proficient readers
    (National Governors Association Center for Best
  • We need to focus on strategies for narrative AND
    expository text beyond 3rd grade! (National
    Association of Secondary School Principals)
  • About 70 of older readers require some form of
    remediation Reading Next…teach reading
    comprehension skills. (Biancarosa and Snow)
  • One years growth for one year of instruction is
    not sufficient for at-risk students to meet grade
    level standards (Center for Instruction)
  • US students consistently behind their peers
    around the world when it comes to math
    performance (American Institutes for Research)

Instruction Matters!
  • Three things are needed to remediate skill
  • Solid instructional program
  • Well trained instructor
  • Effective instructional delivery

Solid Instructional Program The 3-Tier Model
A Model for Implementing RTI (Fuchs Fuchs, 2007)
  • Schools employ three tiers--one tier separates
    general and special education.
  • Tier 1 use universal screening (below 25th
    percentile or below benchmark) and 5 weeks of
    weekly progress monitoring to identify students
    for preventative intervention.
  • Two preventative intervention models (Tiers 2
  • Problem solving (individually tailored
    interventions based on progress monitoring)
  • Standard protocol (standard methods/programs to
    address skill deficits)

Solid Instructional Program (Reading)
Report of the NRP
  • Phonemic Awareness.
  • Explicit Phonics.
  • Fluency.
  • Vocabulary.
  • Text Comprehension.
  • Source NICHD. (2000).

Phonemic Awareness
  • Definition The ability to notice, think about,
    and work with the individual sounds in spoken
  • Example (explicit with focus on blending and
  • Teacher Listen. Im going to say the sounds in
    the word jam--/j/ /a/ /m/. What word?
  • Children Jam.
  • Teacher You say the sounds in the word jam.
  • Children /j/ /a/ /m/

Tips for Improving Phonemic Awareness
  • Use phonemic segmentation and blending
  • (a) segmentation (tell me the sounds in XXX)
  • (b) blending (Ill say the sounds and you tell
    me the word. Listen. /X/ /X/ /X/. What word?).
  • (c) about 20 hrs PA, K/1 focus

Phonics Instruction
  • Definition Teaches relationship between letters
    (graphemes) and sounds (phonemes)--the alphabetic
    principle (this is the letter m and it makes the
    sound /m/).
  • Example
  • Teacher writes man on board.
  • Teacher Sound it out. Get ready.
  • Students mmmaaannn
  • Teacher Say it fast.
  • Students man
  • Teacher What word?
  • Students man

Tips for Better Phonics Instruction
  • Model sounds in order presented in program.
  • Provide lots of practice. They should say it
    like they know it.
  • See/say/write--all modalities.
  • Use blending--dont stop between the sounds.
  • Sam cat

  • Definition Ability to read text accurately,
    quickly, and with expression.
  • Example (repeated oral reading opportunities
    with feedback explicit modeling).
  • 60 wpm with 98 accuracy-1st
  • 90 wpm with 98 accuracy-2nd
  • 120 wpm with 98 accuracy-3rd
  • 150 wpm with 98 accuracy-4th

Tips to Improve Fluency Instruction
  • Modeling
  • Model fluent, expressive, reading of a passage
  • Students track while listening
  • Guided Practice with Feedback
  • Students practice reading same passage multiple
    times aloud (NICHD 2000 notes up to 4 repeated
    reads), miscues are corrected and reviewed until
  • Chorally in a group (whole group or small group)
  • With adults (i.e., teacher, IA, parent, tutor)
  • Assisted reading (i.e., tape, computer)
  • Whisper read
  • Partner reading with peers
  • Paired reading--the student reads aloud in tandem
    with an accomplished reader at student signal
    (tap on hand), the helping reader stops reading
    while the student continues.

Hasbrouck and Tindal (2006) Fluency Norms
  • Completed an extensive study of oral reading
  • Students scoring below 50th percentile using
    average score of 2 unpracticed readings from
    grade-level materials need a fluency-building
  • Table notes average weekly improvement you can
    expect (spring score - fall score divided by 32

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Vocabulary Instruction
  • Definition Learning words used in
    speaking/recognizing words when listening
    recognizing and using words in print.

Facts about Vocabulary Instruction
  • Students learn meanings of most words INDIRECTLY
    through everyday experiences with oral written
  • Engage in daily oral language.
  • Listen to adults read to them.
  • Read extensively on their own.
  • Source Armbruster et al. (2003) NICHD (2000).

Facts about Vocabulary Instruction
  • Some vocabulary should be taught DIRECTLY
  • Specific word instruction.
  • Word learning strategies.
  • Source Armbruster et al. (2003) NICHD (2000).

What words need instructional attention?
  • Tier 1 (basic words)
  • Baby, walk, happy, clock
  • Tier 2 (high frequency words found in a variety
    of domains)
  • Coincidence, absurd, benevolent, industrious,
    fortunate, dubious
  • Tier 3 (specific domain low frequency words)
  • Lathe, peninsula, isotope, refinery

What do you do with Tier 2 words?
  • Define words with Tier 1 or student friendly
  • Benevolent means good.
  • Jovial means happy.
  • Merchant is a person who buys and sells lots of
  • Reluctant means not sure you really want to do

Synonyms Teaching Tips (Carnine et al., 2004)
  • Heres a new word. Sturdy. Sturdy means strong.
    What does sturdy mean? (strong) Whats another
    word for strong? (sturdy)
  • Present positive and negative examples (need 6
    consecutive correct responses).
  • Tom leaned against a pole. The pole fell over.
    Was the pole sturdy or not sturdy? (not sturdy)
  • Sally sat on the wooden bench. The bench didnt
    move. Was the wooden bench sturdy or not sturdy?
  • A house fell down during the hurricane. Was the
    house sturdy or not sturdy? (not sturdy)
  • Review previously learned words and new word.
  • Is it mild out today? How do you know?
  • Is that chair sturdy? How do you know?
  • Is my desk tidy? How do you know?

Student Vocabulary Log
Four Square Vocabulary
  • Word Activity

Word Learning Strategies
  • Use dictionaries and other reference aids.
  • Teacher models how to take words that are
    unknown and look them up in a dictionary
    students then practice looking up words to
    determine their meanings.
  • Co-Build Student Dictionary. (ISBN
  • Longman Handy Learners Dictionary of American
    English (ISBN 0-582-36472-8)
  • ESL Beginners Dictionary Harper Collins (ISBN
  • Use context clues.
  • Use word parts.
  • Morphographs/morphemes.
  • Roots/affixes (prefix/suffix).
  • Source Armbruster et al. (2003)

Text Comprehension Strategies
  • Sets of steps that good readers use to make sense
    of what they read.
  • Seven strategies appear to have firm scientific
  • Monitoring comprehension.
  • Using graphic and semantic organizers.
  • Answering questions.
  • Generating questions.
  • Recognizing story structure.
  • Summarizing.
  • Cooperative learning.
  • Source Armbruster et al. (2003) NICHD (2000).

Guidelines for How to Teach Comprehension
  • Direct explanation
  • Explain why strategy helps comprehension when
    to it.
  • Modeling
  • Demonstrate how to apply strategy using a think
  • Guided Practice
  • Guide assist students in using strategy
    provide feedback (corrective and positive).
  • Application
  • Practice strategy until independent.
  • Source Armbruster et al. (2003) NICHD (2000)

Monitoring Comprehension
  • Teaches students to
  • Be aware of what they DO understand.
  • Be aware of what they DO NOT understand (e.g.,
    where difficulty is--I dont understand the
    first paragraph what difficulty is--I dont
    understand what the author means when she
  • Use appropriate fix up techniques to resolve
    problems (e.g., look back in text look forward
    in text restate difficult text in your own
  • Source Armbruster et al. (2003)

Answering Questions
  • Intersperse questions
  • Explicit (stated explicitly in a single
  • Implicit (implied by information presented in two
    or more sentences).
  • Scriptal (not found in text but part of readers
    prior knowledge).
  • Source Armbruster et al. (2003).

Generating Questions
  • Teach students to ask their own questions such
  • What is the main idea of this paragraph/chapter?
  • Who are the characters?
  • Why did Mrs. Jones feel sad?
  • Would you feel sad if that happened to you? Why?
  • SQ3R Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review
    (Reflect added as 4th R).
  • Multi-Pass (survey pass size-up pass sort-out
  • Source Armbruster et al. (2003) Hartlep
    Forsyth (2000).

Dont Forget Blooms Taxonomy!
  • Knowledge define, duplicate, label, list,
    memorize, name, order, recognize, relate, recall,
    repeat, reproduce state.
  • Comprehension classify, describe, discuss,
    explain, express, identify, indicate, locate,
    recognize, report, restate, review, select,
  • Application apply, choose, demonstrate,
    dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret,
    operate, practice, schedule, sketch, solve, use,
  • Analysis analyze, appraise, calculate,
    categorize, compare, contrast, criticize,
    differentiate, discriminate, distinguish,
    examine, experiment, question, test.
  • Synthesis arrange, assemble, collect, compose,
    construct, create, design, develop, formulate,
    manage, organize, plan, prepare, propose, set up,
  • Evaluation appraise, argue, assess, attach,
    choose compare, defend estimate, judge, predict,
    rate, core, select, support, value, evaluate.

  • Identify/generate main ideas.
  • Condense information into their own words.
  • Use paragraph-shrinking technique (1) name who
    or what the paragraph is about, (2) tell the most
    important thing about the who or what, and (3)
    say (write) the main idea using this information
    in 10 words or less.

Multiple Strategy Instruction Reciprocal
  • Instructional activity involving dialogue between
    the teacher and students structured around the
    use of
  • Predicting.
  • Summarizing.
  • Generating Questions.
  • Clarifying.
  • Source Palincsar Brown (1984).

Reciprocal Teaching (Example)
Source Jim Wright, www.interventioncentral.org
Core Programs with Interventions
  • Scott Foresman Reading Street (My Sidewalks on
    Scott Foresman Reading Street)
  • Harcourt Storytown (Intervention Station)
  • MacMillan/McGraw-Hill Treasures (Triumphs)
  • Voyager Universal Literacy (Passport/Journeys)
  • Houghton Mifflin (Early Success/Soar to Success)
  • Imagine It! (formerly Open Court) (Kaleidoscope)
  • Read Well Plus and Reading Mastery Signature
    Edition (use same program with students who need
    intervention--RM can also incorporate Corrective

Publishers and Programs
  • Sopris West
  • (www.sopriswest.com)
  • (a) REWARDS/REWARDS PLUS, (b) Language!, (c)
    6-Minute Solution, (d) Vocabulary Through
    Morphemes, (e) Multiple Meaning Vocabulary, (f)
    Stepping Stones, (g) Sound Partners (h) Early
    Vocabulary Connections (i) Step up to Writing
  • Pearson Learning (www.pearsonlearning.com)
  • (a) Comprehension Plus, (b) Quick Reads
  • Voyager Learning (www.voyagerlearning.com)
  • (a) Universal Literacy, (b) Passport, (c)
  • Read Naturally (www.readnaturally.com)

Publishers and Programs (cont)
  • Curriculum Associates (www.curriculumassociates.co
  • (a) Phonics for Reading
  • Steck-Vaughn (www.harcourtachieve.com)
  • (a) Elements of Reading Vocabulary,
  • (b) Elements of Reading Comprehension
  • Houghton Mifflin (www.houghtonmifflin.com)
  • (a) Soar to Success, (b) Early Success
  • Novel Ideas (www.novelideas-inc.com)
  • (a) Adventures in Language
  • Science Research Associates (www.sra4kids.com)
  • (a) Reading Mastery Signature Edition with
    Lesson Connections, (b) Reading Mastery Classic,
    (c) Horizons, (d) Corrective Reading, (e)
    Ravenscourt, (f) Reading Success, (g) Early
    Interventions in Reading, (h) Expressive
    Writing/Basic Writing Skills/High Performance
    Writing, (I) Spelling Mastery/Spelling through
    Morphographs and Read to Achieve!!
  • Paul H. Brookes (www.brookespublishing.com)
  • (a) Road to the Code, (b) Phonemic Awareness in
    Young Children, (c) Ladders to Literacy

What Works Best for Struggling Students? (Vaughn
Linan-Thompson, 2003)
  • Controlled task difficulty.
  • Small group instruction.
  • Modeling.
  • Ongoing progress monitoring.
  • Ongoing and systematic feedback to students.
  • Distributed practice with ample review items.
  • Well specified and carefully designed
    (systematic) programs.
  • Validated programs.
  • Direct and explicit instruction.

Systematic and Explicit Instruction
  • Systematic means our plan of instruction includes
    a carefully selected set of examples
    (non-examples) organized into a logical sequence
    to promote maximum learning and to avoid
  • Explicit is often referred to as
    demonstration-prompt-practice (I do/we do/you
    do) there is an emphasis on proceeding in small
    steps, checking for student understanding, and
    achieving active and successful participation by
    all students (see Rosenshine, 1986 for details).

Systematic and Explicit Instruction The two go
hand in hand
direct instruction (di) or explicit
instruction (Rosenshine, 1986)
  • Correct previous days homework review what has
    been taught.
  • Describe goal of lesson.
  • Present new material in small steps, using clear
    instructions and modeling (I do).
  • Provide repeated opportunities for students to
    practice with feedback (We do) monitor student
    learning through varied exercises.
  • Continue with practice until independent
    performance (You do).
  • Provide review (You do over time).

Lesson Plan for Sounding Out First Word am
  • Review Review sounds /a/ and /m/.
  • Goal Today we are going to sound out our first
  • I do My turn. I will sound out this word
    without stopping between the sounds. /aaammm/. My
    turn again. /aaammm/. I did it without stopping
    between the sounds.
  • We do Lets try it together. Remember do it
    without stopping between the sounds. /aaammm/.
    Again. /aaammm/. Great. We did it without
    stopping between the sounds.
  • You do Your turn. Do it without stopping
    between the sounds.
  • You do over time Provide opportunities to sound
    out am.

Design Your Own Lesson Plan
  • Review
  • Goal
  • I do Watch as I do it.
  • We do Lets do it together.
  • You do Ill watch as you do it.
  • You do over time Try another one.

Evaluation Form Are we using Explicit
Instruction? (Adapted from Arrasmith, 2003)
What does this statement mean to you?

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Presentation Techniques
  • Active student participation.
  • Oral participation little time for students to
  • Unison responding.
  • Opportunities to respond student safety.
  • Signals.
  • Cue students to respond together.
  • Pacing.
  • Move quickly from activity to activity allows
    little down time learning is maximized
    behavior problems diminish.
  • Teaching to mastery.
  • Engineered for 100 success cumulative skill
  • Error corrections.
  • Model-Lead-Test-Retest.
  • Motivation.
  • Programs include 80-90 previously learned
    information coupled with 10-20 new information
    when students are successful, they are motivated.

Teaching to Mastery (firm responding)
  • Say it (or do it) like you know it
  • Do a starting over or give another problem

Error Corrections
  • Model/Lead/Test/Retest Format
  • Signal Error Format

Motivation and Praise
  • Add yes to what students say (e.g., Yes, that
    word is tenacity.
  • Name at end of request to respond (e.g., Read
    the word, James.)
  • Point systems (CR) graph student reading rate
  • Success is the best motivator! Always stay
    positive. Do not show frustration!

Supporting Mastery
  • All students appropriately placed
  • All groups must be homogeneous
  • Scheduling time scheduled for lesson easy
    movement across groups flexible grouping
  • Adequate time for groups to complete all aspects
    of program
  • Continuous progress move to other levels
  • Continuity of school-wide management procedures
  • Regularly monitor groups

Behavior Management
  • Academic performance is directly related to
    behavior management
  • Why do you think this is the case?

Corrective Reading STAR
  • Sit in a learning position.
  • Track with your finger.
  • Answer on signal.
  • Respect each other.

If you target the following instructional skills,
you will have fewer behavior problems
  • Appropriate instructional cues (1) tell student
    what he needs to do rather than ask him (put your
    pencil down rather than can you put your pencil
    down?) (2) specify behavior (you need to read
    this passage please rather than do it) (3) give
    student a chance to respond rather than nag (wait
  • Specific praise (1) tell student what she is
    doing the right way (be specific) (2) use more
    specific praise compared to general
  • (great hand writing rather than super)
  • Appropriate error corrections (1) no negativity,
    (2) I do/we do/you do (3) praise attempt (that
    was a good try).
  • Based on research conducted by Martella and
    colleagues using peer tutors with students with
    severe behavior problems

  • Use a solid instructional program
  • Have well-trained teachers
  • Use explicit instruction
  • I do/we do/you do with lots of review.
  • Use ample praise! Be specific!
  • Use good error correction techniques.
  • Have expectations. Teach them. Catch students
    when they exhibit them.
  • Remember Good instruction leads to good behavior
    which leads to improvements in academic

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