Reading Intervention: What Works for Middle and High School Students

Summer 2023 Event Graphic

Elementary reading instruction and early intervention have recently received a lot of attention. The goal is to prevent students from developing reading difficulties. What do we do when those foundational skills weaknesses compound into complex literacy needs? How do we help our students who continue to struggle in middle and high school?

Intervention begins with assessment. We will discuss the challenges and instructional benefits of screening older students. We will connect diagnostic assessment data to instructional planning. Sessions will feature these evidence-based practices for improving adolescent students' ability to read and comprehend text:

  • Using a strategy to read multisyllabic words
  • Improving reading fluency (accuracy, rate, and prosody)
  • Building vocabulary and topic knowledge

Instructional resources and tools will be shared and modeled. The information presented in this workshop is grounded in explicit instruction and evidence-based practices identified by the Institute of Education Sciences. All attendees will receive an electronic copy of the presentation resources.

Please join us for 6 hours of professional learning!

This event has been approved for 6 Continuing Education (CE) hours by ALTA (the Academic Language Therapy Association), CERI (the Center for Effective Reading Instruction), and TASL (Tennessee Academy for School Leaders via Tennessee Department of Education).


When: 8:30am - 3:30pm Central Time on June 13, 2023

Where: In-person at MTSU & Synchronous Virtual Attendance Options

Cost: $199 per person. There are online and purchase order payment options.



All in-person attendees receive a free travel mug!

Coffee and water will be provided to in-person attendees throughout the day.

Lunch is on your own.

Quote on the TN Center for the Study & Treatment of Dyslexia travel mug:

"Teaching is the greatest act of optimism"


Travel Mug for In-person Attendees




Registration for this event is closed.

For questions about the event, please contact Kim Haag at


Conference Agenda (Central Time Zone)

8:00 - 8:30 In-person registration (Livestream opens at 8:15)
8:25 - 8:30 Welcome / Housekeeping / Introductions - Karen Kehoe
8:30 - 9:00

Reading Difficulties in Older Students - Erin Alexander

Many students continue to experience reading difficulties beyond elementary school. This can affect their ability to learn content presented in a variety of courses. We will examine the skills needed to be a good reader and discuss characteristics of older students who have challenges in learning to read. You will learn about different types of reading difficulties that may be experienced by students.

9:00 - 9:10


9:10 - 9:50

Using Data to Determine Instructional Needs - Erin Alexander

Screening data can tell us which students may need reading intervention. However, educators often need more information to determine why a student is having difficulty with grade level reading skills. In this session, we will discuss different types of assessment tools and their purpose. We will examine tools that help us know which reading skills to target with intervention. The goal is to match instruction to the needs of each student.

9:50 - 10:00 Break
10:00 - 10:40

Intervention Planning  - Erin Alexander

We will use case studies to model the process of using data to determine a student’s instructional needs. The data will be used to plan a student’s reading intervention.

10:40 - 10:50


10:50 - 12:00

Teaching a Consistent Strategy for Reading Complex Words - Melinda Hirschmann

In this session, you will learn an explicit step-by-step method to help students read multi-syllable words. This strategy simultaneously integrates and reinforces basic reading skills. It will be demonstrated using authentic middle and high school texts. Students also need lots of practice opportunities to apply the strategy independently. We'll explore different ways to help your students get the practice they need. When your students’ word level reading becomes automatic, they can focus on text comprehension.

12:00 - 1:15

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 - 2:15

Planning Repeated Reading Practice with Purpose - Melinda Hirschmann

Timed repeated readings can give students the incorrect idea that speed is the goal of fluency practice. The goal of fluency instruction is to strengthen your students’ comprehension. You will learn how to plan purposeful repeated reading activities. We’ll also share strategies to improve your students’ prosody. We’ll examine the variety of text types needed to provide lots of reading practice to build these skills.

2:15 - 2:25


2:25 - 3:25

Improving Reading Comprehension - Melinda Hirschmann

Independent reading comprehension relies on the successful integration of many complex literacy skills. We want to set our students up for success to understand complex texts. In this session, routines that build students’ topic knowledge and vocabulary, prior to reading complex text, will be shared and modeled. Strategies for independently figuring out word meanings, such as using context clues and applying knowledge of affixes and roots, will also be included.

3:25 - 3:30

Closure / Housekeeping - Karen Kehoe


Workshop Presenters


Erin Alexander, Ed.S., NCSP, CALT headshot      Melinda Hirschmann, Ed.D., CALT headshot
Erin Alexander, Ed.S., NCSP, CALT   Melinda Hirschmann, Ed.D., CALT



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