Sometimes I have to remind myself that program implementation is not the be-all/end-all of teaching reading. In other words, we can nearly perfectly implement a reading or intervention program but still not reach all students in our classrooms, because the program is designed only reach the benchmark or near-benchmark student. In an effort to truly get all students to benchmark, we have to provide a rich, well-planned, excellently delivered daily time of supplemental intervention in addition to core/grade level instruction.

Whether we call it Tier II, supplemental time, walk to intervention, intervention, reaching all learners or any other iteration of the above, we have to have a time where we diagnose reading failure/success, plan for boosting or gap-filling instruction, deliver the instruction in small groups and monitor the heck out of the instruction. THIS is differentiated instruction – instruction beyond the “core” teaching at grade level, designed to boost knowledge and skill application for benchmark and advanced kids or provide explicit teaching on “already taught” skills for students failing to meet the benchmark. The end result? They are ALL reading on benchmark at least and at a higher level than they have previously.

We are launching a two-month web series on Differentiating Instruction – the blog on the homepage, the Member Center video clips, forum posts, Knowledge Base articles and downloadable resources will all provide support for you as you work to provide the most focused, explicit instruction for all your students based upon their instructional needs.