Tutoring with ThemeReads

Tutoring with ThemeReads’s goal is to increase vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, and background knowledge for students in grades 4-8 who are reading below grade level.

When Briggs Elementary School in Tahlequah, Okla. returned to in-person learning in September 2021, the pandemic learning gaps were obvious. Many of the school’s Pre-K-8 students struggled to read at grade level.

Finding the solution was easy. Briggs already had in place an effective strategy for early reading success with Success for All Foundation’s (SFA) Reading Roots classroom program, and its reading intervention, Tutoring with the Lightning Squad. But many older students were struggling in reading before these tools were put in place. A new resource, SFA’s Tutoring with ThemeReads intervention program, was exactly what was needed for Briggs’ students in grades 5-8 “on the bubble” between basic and proficient reading skills.

Following initial benchmark assessments for all students, Briggs matched 44 students with selected Briggs teachers and staff trained by SFA in the ThemeReads program. Beginning in February 2022, each tutor worked with groups of four students during the school day on the individualized, cooperative reading program.

ThemeReads’ peer-coaching model is perfect for middle school students who want opportunities to shine among peers. Students work in pairs and take turns as “reader” and “coach,” encouraging each other. Tutors perform regular progress assessments—Briggs tests every student monthly to monitor reading progress—fill in gaps, and keep students on track. The ThemeReads content was also a hit with students hungry for independence. By choosing articles and stories based on their interests, combined with ThemeReads’ focus on reading components, consistent coaching, and peer encouragement, students experienced deeper, almost immediate reading engagement.

“Middle school kids like options. The ThemeReads content interests them, which increases their ability and stamina. With ThemeReads’ cooperative learning model, they don’t feel alone. SFA has the tools to focus on remediation to catch up kids to where they need to be.”

Lora Galvin, Briggs’ SFA Coach/Facilitator

Tutoring with ThemeReads:

  • Pairs of students are coached by school tutors in groups of four while working together during 30-minute tutoring sessions, 3-5 days/week
  • Engaging/motivating, rigorous, and individualized web-based software
  • Extensive professional development and on-going coaching for school tutors for high-quality implementation of research-proven processes
  • Regular assessments and dashboard for student progress, shared weekly with classroom teacher and parents
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