Key Principles of Thinking Reading
Students regularly average three months’ progress for every half hour lesson. The programme synthesises five powerful, well-documented approaches to dramatically improve progress in reading while minimising time out of the regular classroom, and is targeted at people reading more than three years behind their peers.
Thinking Reading for one-to-one intensive instruction is based on five well-researched approaches:
- Phonics and Phonological Awareness, to help students master the correspondence between spoken and written language.
- Direct Instruction, to help students rapidly improve and maintain their reading skills.
- Precision Teaching, to help students master and retain learning.
- Applied Behaviour Analysis, to motivate and engage students.
- Responsive Feedback, to ensure that students grow rapidly in skills and confidence.
Key principles of the programme are:
- Systematic assessment of student knowledge of sound-spelling associations
- Thorough analysis of the material to be taught
- Texts are selected for engaging presentation and subject matter
- Carefully calibrated steps so each one is achievable, but never unnecessary
- Steps are taught to mastery
- Rigorous success criteria including fluency of reading
- Carefully scripted teaching sequences and error correction procedure
- Tightly focused, briskly-paced lessons
- High levels of student engagement in every task
- Students are able to choose from a range of graded texts at each level
- Reversible relationship between reading and spelling is explicitly taught
- Vocabulary building to increase comprehension and knowledge
- Immediate feedback for students
- Student independence is fostered through mastery and high expectations
- Students are motivated by seeing their progress presented in graphic form
- Careful analysis of error patterns to solve problems
- Teaching decisions are made based on daily student data
- Extended writing tasks to review and generalise learning
- Unseen text is used for pre- and post-testing as an independent measure
This programme is particularly effective in enabling students to catch up quickly, because:
- It identifies missing knowledge and skills and each student’s programme is adjusted accordingly. Time is not wasted teaching students things they already know.
- Students build skills to fluency, so that they are able to combine them more easily and to generalise them to new material — ‘curriculum leaps’.