Integrated Program: Intervention A for K-1 (IPID: 101)
Welcome to FreeReading's Intervention A, a reading intervention program for small groups of one to six kindergarten or first grade students who need additional help with phonological awareness and phonics.
FreeReading is currently used by educators in all 50 states and in over 160 countries. FreeReading Intervention A is the first open-source instructional program to be approved through an official state adoption. The state of Florida recently approved FreeReading as a supplemental reading program that state schools may use during the 2008-2009 school year. To see how FreeReading correlates to Florida state instructional standards, click here. To learn more about FreeReading and the advantages of the program, click here.
The program consists of multiple overlapping strands of instruction (click any title to read about that strand):
|Phonological Awareness||Students learn to blend and segment the sounds in spoken words.|
|Letter Sounds||Students learn to say the most common sound for printed letters.|
|Letter Writing||Students learn the correct way to write letters.|
|Sounding Out||Students put everything they have learned so far together, so that they can take a regular word in print, such as sat, produce the letter-sound pattern, sssaaat, and blend to produce the word, sat. For the first time, they read words.|
|Word-Form Recognition||Students take a regular word in print and say it without sounding out aloud|
|Irregular Words||Students learn to read high-frequency irregular words such as the and was by sight.|
|Reading Connected Text||Students learn to read their first sentence-long stories.|
|Letter Combinations||Students learn to say the most common sounds for letter combinations such as sh and oa and correctly decode VCe words.|
|Irregular Words II||Students expand the set of high-frequency irregular words that they can read by sight.|
|Advanced Phonics||Students learn to read word families, compound words, contractions, double-letter words, silent-letter words, -ed words, and -s words.|
The program comprises 40 weeks of instruction, 5 days per week, 30 minutes per day. (The timings given for individual activities in the program are generous; most teachers complete the activities in less time.) Click on a week to view and print the activities for that week. You can also download and print a multi-page version of the complete map here.
Where to start
First, read this page and the pages it links to (especially the strand pages listed at the top). Then print the first few weeks of instruction. Determine what week to start at as follows:
- For kindergarten students at risk for reading, start at Week 1, Day 1.
- For first grade students at risk for reading, start at Week 21, Day 1.
If you have access to reading assessment tools, you can fine tune the best place to start the intervention for an individual student or small group. This is described below.
Intervention A as eight, five-week periods of instruction
Some teachers may find it helpful to think of the complete 40-week sequence as eight five-week periods with overlapping elements. Practicing existing skills and introducing new skills are important in each period.
- Weeks 1-5: Basic phonological awareness (rhyming, onset-rime, introduce phoneme blending and segmenting); letter sounds; letter writing.
- Weeks 6-10: Segmenting first, last, and middle phonemes; continue letter sounds and letter writing; begin sounding out (CVC and CVCC words).
- Weeks 11-15: Phoneme substitution; continue letter sounds and letter writing; continue sounding out (stop sounds and CVCC words); introduce word-form recognition; introduce irregular (sight) words.
- Weeks 16-20: Complete letter sounds and letter writing; continue sounding out (CCVCC and CCCVCC words) and word-form recognition; more irregular words.
- Weeks 21-25: More irregular words; introduce letter combinations; introduce VCe words.
- Weeks 26-30: Accelerate the introduction of irregular words; continue letter combinations.
- Weeks 31-35: Complete letter combinations; more irregular words; begin advanced phonics (word families, double-letter words, silent-letter words, compound words, contractions, -ed and -s words); introduce reading connected text.
- Weeks 36-40: More irregular words; longer connected text passages fiction and nonfiction up to 80 words.
Adjusting the intervention as you deliver it
As you will see, the directions for activities in FreeReading are explicit, right down to what you should say to students. You don't have to read these words verbatim (though they have been chosen very carefully), but you should stay as close as you can to the meaning of them. Make sure you follow the right sequence of steps in the What to do section for each activity, too.
If you find you are finishing intervention sessions early, having completed all the activities, you can either provide more practice with that day's activities or you can follow the Related Activities links to find supplemental activities to work on.
If you complete sessions early and students seem to find the material too easy, consider jumping ahead in the program. Make sure that all the students in the group are ready for this (if some are and some are not, regrouping students may be necessary).
You will notice that the lesson formats of FreeReading follow a consistent pattern. This helps structure the daily routine and allows you to focus your attention on the content of the lesson and individual students rather than on the way the lessons are presented.
Using assessments with Intervention A
It is strongly recommended that you assess and monitor the progress of at-risk students with whom you are using Intervention A. This will enable you to:
- Place students at the right starting point in the program
- Accelerate or decelerate the program based on progress
- Determine whether the program is effective for a student or a group
Choose an assessment that (a) can be quickly administered and scored, (c) gives reliable and valid guidance on whether a student is at risk, (b) allows progress to be monitored, and (d) provides sufficient diagnostic information to place a student in the program. There are many available assessments. One that meets the above criteria and is widely used is DIBELS. A page describing how to use DIBELS to place a student in Intervention A is here: Using DIBELS to place a student in Intervention A.
FreeReading includes many high-quality materials for classroom use. Everything you need to teach Intervention A is here:
- Picture cards: Various sets and sizes of free downloadable picture cards
- Sound pronunciation guides: Recordings in MP3 format of the recommended way to segment words into onset-rimes and phonemes
- Most common sounds: The most common sounds for letters and letter combinations
- Letter cards: Various sets and sizes of free, downloadable letter cards for letters and letter combinations
- Regular and irregular words: An explanation of regular and irregular words
- Letter formation guide: A teacher's guide to the proper formation of upper- and lowercase letters
- Sounding out word cards: Free, downloadable index-card sized copies of all the words used in sounding out activities
- Irregular word cards: Index-card sized printable copies of all the irregular words used in the Irregular Words and Irregular Words II activities
- Decodable passages: Short passages constructed only from words that have been taught in the program or that students can sound out
- Word List Generator: A searchable database of 2000+ words that you can print as index cards and use in helping students to learn word recognition skills
- Advanced phonics word cards: Index-card sized printable copies of double-letter words, silent-letter words, compound words, contractions, and -ed words
- Word families (phonograms): A list of all word families taught and links to printable lists of words in each family
Additional useful resources for teachers and administrators
- Online Education Communities
- Teaching Resources and Websites
- Education Blogs
- Literacy is Priceless:A Blog for Reading Teachers
Some notes about the program
What's not included
The program does not explicitly address the following, which should be the subject of the core reading program or other supplemental material:
- Oral language
- Conceptual understanding
- Content knowledge
- Affect and motivation to read
The program is:
- Explicit: The teacher gives explicit instruction and then models all skills being taught. Correction routines are also made explicit.
- Systematic: The program comprises multiple overlapping sequences of instruction, each addressing a critical skill thoroughly.
- Research-based: You can see references here.
A key feature of the pedagogy is the use of an Introduce, Reintroduce, Build Accuracy, Build Fluency progression for each strand of instruction. By accuracy we mean helping students discriminate between similar items such as letters m and n or irregular words this and that. By fluency we mean helping students become automatic in foundation skills such as blending. Further discussion of the pedagogical approach can be found in these articles:
- Five Big Ideas, which shows how Intervention A relates to the "five big ideas" identified by the National Reading Panel
- Ehri's Four Phases of Word Reading, which explains how Intervention A supports Linnea Ehri's developmental model
- No place to hide, which explains a key pedagogical concept behind Intervention A.