Making Progress in Reading – What Works?

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I was wondering if there is a website or database that actually lists what reading curriculum meets the definition of scientifically research based curriculum. My daughter’s school is using a one-size fits all most curriculum and she has made no progress.

You’ll find information on reviewed research on reading programs at the What Works Clearing House.,Literacy

That may not be the place to start.

Parent Input – Methodology

Methodology is usually left up to school personnel. Unfortunately, that is not often an area where parents will have much say.

But, closing the gap between skills and ability, is an area where you have an immense amount of input.

The main areas where parents have some power are:

  • progress
  • present level of performance

Start with these questions.

1. Are your daughter’s deficits in phonological awareness, decoding, vocabulary, comprehension, or fluency?

2. Is there an IEP goal for the skill that needs improvement? Is it a measurable goal?

3. What progress has your daughter made in that skill area?

4. Do you have data from evaluations that tells you her standard scores for assessments of that particular skill are rising (making progress)?

5. Are the standard scores stable (not making progress), or dropping (regressing)?

When you have the answers to these questions, focus on addressing those areas.

Progress Reports

If the progress reports do not provide detail on your daughter’s progress toward mastery of her IEP goals, write a letter to request the specific detail of what is missing.

Here’s an example.

IEP Goal: will “master the 6 syllable types by June”

Progress report: “making good progress”

Write a letter asking which syllable types she has mastered.

If she hasn’t mastered syllable types, ask what is her degree of mastery for each syllable type. Be sure you refer to the measurement tool that was specified in her IEP.

If the progress is not sufficient to master the goal by the end of the IEP, then you have a reason for the team to change the instructional methodology.

Your daughter needs a program that has a greater likelihood of getting her to where the team initially planned for her to be by June.

You might also like…

Methodology in the IEP
Should We Include Methodology in the IEP?
Is Your Child Making Progress in Special Ed?
Considerations When Selecting a Reading Program
Reading is NOT “One Size Fits All”
Research-Based Instruction

  1. we live in Abilene, tx, im not sure if that matters, i was told by someone to go to this website to get info… i have a 7 yr old 2nd grader. and i was courious about what wrights law is all about. myself(mother) and my huseband(father) struggled in school greatly with learning dissabilty ect.. i don’t want my child to be like we where. im not really good at navigating the website or even understanding fully what it is i am reading. dose any child quilfiy to be asseted?? do i just go to his school and ask them to test him?? i was also told that the school has to if i do request testing and the have a timeframe too do so.. and also can request testing only Once a year, is that true??.. i am just lost and need some guidance. if you or someone can just give me a step by step instructions on w

  2. Hi I am a special education teacher with intense training in some of the best reading programs in the nation. The school district that I work for is wanting me to teach from the Wonder Works program a forgo all my training. This does not individualize to the child’s needs due to my training being so deep. I shift kids lives. I have taught dyslexic children how to read and want to continue this. The Wonder Works program is not as intense nor as focused. I am struggling to follow this. How can a district supersede my training on individualizing for my students?

    • Thank-you for caring enough to question the system. You understand that you can “shift” a kid’s life. My child, now in college, is dyslexic and was taught to read by dedicated professionals like you with deep training, advocacy and a passion to “shift lives.” How do you build a foundation out of straw during such critical years of reading development? Will your administrators allow you some flexibility to modify and use some of your own techniques and instructional methods? Some districts focus on the budget and what will “sell” to parents and other stakeholders. By doing so, the students, who need the most remediation, lose out. It looks good because it is wrapped in a pretty package when in reality it may not benefit all kids.

      • You are so right! It is a pretty package. Today my students were putting there heads on their desk rather than participate in the Wonder Works because they find it boring. They never did this with Wilson Reading System. The district is very very very closed to questions, but today I learned that I can alter the teaching method, so guess what, that is what I will do and the way I teach it will look more like the best reading programs I know. I am still left with the challenge of slowing down the teaching until my students reach mastery. Not sure I can control this but I will try.

    • Your district should have procedures for taking issues/concerns up the chain of command. The director of special ed should be part of the process in your situation.

      • The district does not have this. I have had so much unpleasant push back that I am not pursuing my concerns anymore. It is very poor leadership and management. I am disappointed.

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