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Reading Intervention in the Primary Grades


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Table of Contents

1. Response to Intervention: Basic Concepts and Definitions
2. Putting the RTI Steps into Action
3. The Primary Grades Intervention Lesson Plan
4. Interventions for Letter Instruction
5. Interventions for Decoding and Phonemic Segmentation
6. Interventions for Fluency
7. What to Do When Interventions Don't Work: Problem Solving

About the Author

Heidi Anne E. Mesmer, PhD, is Associate Professor of Literacy in the School of Education at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. A former third-grade teacher, she has held tenure-track positions at Virginia Commonwealth University and Oklahoma State University. Since 1999, Dr. Mesmer has studied beginning reading materials and text difficulty. She has worked extensively with schools and teachers in Virginia and Oklahoma, serving as co-principal investigator on a number of funded projects, and has published articles in a range of journals. Eric Mesmer, PhD, NCSP, is Associate Professor of Psychology and the coordinator of the school psychology program at Radford University in Radford, Virginia. He has served as an RTI consultant to local school districts and worked as a practicing school psychologist for several years. His research interests include the application of behavioral generalization principles to the academic responding of students with behavioral and learning difficulties, school psychologists' involvement in RTI, and teacher interpretation and use of progress monitoring data. Dr. Mesmer served as co-principal investigator of a teacher training grant providing professional development in data-driven reading assessment and intervention practices. Jennifer Jones, EdD, is Associate Professor of Literacy Education in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership at Radford University. She is an award-winning teacher educator and scholar whose research foci include RTI and core comprehension instruction in the elementary grades, and who works with teachers through ongoing, research-based professional development. A former classroom teacher, Dr. Jones has served in leadership roles in state and national literacy organizations, and her research has been published in research and practitioner journals.


"'Must' reading for all primary grade classroom teachers, reading specialists, and interventionists. The book presents common-sense ideas that will enable teachers to develop effective differentiated instruction for their students. It's clear that the authors have worked closely with schools and understand their topic well; they share workable solutions to challenges and issues in RTI implementation. Instructors will find this book a useful tool for helping future teachers understand how to teach foundational skills in the early grades."--Rita M. Bean, PhD, Department of Instruction and Learning (Emerita), University of Pittsburgh

"An excellent resource for schools that are building a culture of RTI. Teachers, administrators, and school leaders will find many tools and insights, plus answers to questions they didn't know they had. The discussions of goal setting and intervention lesson planning are especially helpful. This book will greatly support my conversations with the schools I serve."--Kristen Jones, MS, REACH Instructional Coach for Oklahoma

"This book is about developing for all students what the Common Core State Standards call the foundations of reading. It offers workable and effective approaches for helping primary grade learners master critical skills. The authors have certainly done their homework in translating theory and research into productive practice. Written in a readable, conversational style, the book enables practitioners to design instruction that is based on state-of-the-art knowledge and that will make a difference in students' reading lives."--Timothy Rasinski, PhD, Reading and Writing Center, Kent State University

"Classroom teachers, reading specialists, and school psychologists will find this book useful because it is grounded in evidence-based theories of how children learn to read and best practices for teaching them. Rather than adopting a prescriptive, deficit-based, programmatic approach to RTI, the authors advocate meeting children's literacy needs through high-quality instruction and collaboration across tiers of instructional support. How refreshing to have such a practical resource for the general education classroom."--Marcia Invernizzi, PhD, Henderson Professor of Reading Education, University of Virginia

"This highly practical book provides research-based strategies and resources for all steps of the RTI problem-solving framework. The authors' years of experience in classrooms are evident in their attention to the details that matter. They supply lesson plans, checklists, and explicit instructional strategies. This is the book you will reach for again and again when you are working with struggling readers (or their teachers) in the real world!"--Brooke Blanks, PhD, Special Education Program, Radford University

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