Reading Interventions from Start to Finish Using i-Ready

Hi there! I'm Christi Moore from @moore_in_the_middle and I'm here to chat about reading interventions! Being an interventionist to students who were coming to me instead of going to Art or Music had its fair share of challenges. Once you add a program (i-Ready) that they haven’t seen since elementary school, that added a whole new set of challenges. 

They were frustrated. 

They were insulted. 

They were confused (“I can read just fine!”) 

...and I understood it all. 

Before teaching them- I knew that I had to connect with them. During the first week of school, I made it my mission to establish a warm and inviting environment where we could all make mistakes and grow together. Every class was different, but they all generally started out similarly.

Day ONE: #classroomexpectations

Students come in to work on a warm up. Usually, I have my 6th graders complete the ABCs About Me assignment, and my 7th and 8th graders complete the What’s In Your Head assignment for a few class periods. This helps me to get to know them as a reader, while also giving me something to put up in my classroom! The pictures that I hang up are phenomenal! 

Once the tardy bell rings and class starts, I always start off by telling them what respect looks like in my classroom. My job is to figure out where they are, and push them to be better. Both as a person AND a student. I use this time to establish that it might look different for each person and sometimes, it might feel like I don’t care. I encourage them to share when they feel I have pushed them to that point, because I never want them to feel as if I have given up on them. I talk about my spicy personality and how sometimes, I’m so focused on the goal that I miss their journey. Communication is key. I then give them an opportunity to anonymously (and respectfully)  tell me how they feel. I share these anonymous concerns with the class the next day. 

I also use this opportunity to send home packets to inform parents of my public Instagram (@moore_in_the_middle) that I use to connect with educators and gain and share ideas, ask for contact information and ask (from a parent perspective) how I can help their child in reading and reading comprehension. 

Students homework is to get these forms back to me at the end of the week for “Moore Bucks” (my classroom reward system separate from the school. I use to reward them electronically, which they turn in for pencils, pens and candy on Moore Bucks Monday every other week). 

Days TWO and THREE: #classroomrules #virtualclassroomrules

Usually, students at this point students have been in school for a few weeks, so rules are not their favorite. I start by asking students why rules exist, and why my rules might look different from PE or Science. This usually sets the tone for the rules we may have in our classroom and why. I explain where to find things and how and when to ask questions when needed. 

I then tell them to get in front of the SmartBoard for us to review rules. I ask someone to hit the lights, and I start with my Movie Rules (Option 1) (Option 2)😌

Ohhh how the tables turn when they see clips from Zootopia, Pocohantas, Remember the Titans and the Sandlot. I ask them what rules they could possibly gather from them. Sometimes this is fine individually, sometimes in groups and sometimes a mix. 

The conversations are always worth it, both on topic and off. I’m reminded how old I am and told how cool I am. Which in middle school- is a TOTAL win. I use this as an opportunity to remind them that class is what they make it. And how I’m glad they’re choosing to make the most of this class and opportunity they have. Sometimes this takes one class period, sometimes two. 

Days FOUR and FIVE: Regardless of how long, the week after we return, a review of my classroom rules and expectations are a must. 

Students can either create a 15 question classroom rules quiz, a classroom rules playlist of 5 songs (one per rule) with 5 sentence explanations explaining each, or a comic strip- all showing their understanding of the rules. 

As they create these, I pull students to conference with them and set up their classroom notebooks. These notebooks are nothing fancy; just a way for them to have all of their papers in one place. They typically never leave the classroom unless students ask for them to. It’s a great time for me to meet with students either one on one or in a small group setting while others are preoccupied with their assessment on classroom rules. 


i-Ready is SUCH a great tool that I used as a middle school interventionist for two years. That means, there has to be LOTS of buy in. 

At this point (week two) I briefly review rules and reward Moore Bucks. Students know to expect a Moore Bucks Monday the following week, and work to earn these bucks that some students feel they are too cool for. Since I award them digitally, it’s never obvious who gets money. Most appreciate this. 

I then tell all students that this is their week to show me their character. I explain the benefits of i-Ready, and how their Diagnostic has placed them on their pathway. I explain how 45 minutes can go by quickly and what my expectations are. They work for 30 and we read 15. An elementary teacher at heart, read alouds are my time to share my love of reading with them. It’s usually short lived, because students often enjoy reading to me after a few days. 

As students are all working on i-Ready, I use this opportunity to conference with students one-on-one on why they’re here with me for i-Ready reading (I have also created this for i-Ready math!). I pull out their i-Ready Diagnostic and have real conversations (also known as data chats) with them. I am careful not to pass judgement, and often use this time to find ways to connect with them. Most are honest and ask for a chance to retake it. Before I allow for that, I ask them to reflect on how this attempt will be different. They set goals on what areas they feel they can improve on and how they plan on making the most of this second opportunity. 

Some students realize that they don’t need to retake the entire Diagnostic, but instead that their pathway needs to be readjusted. I print their upcoming lessons and together, we set goals. Realistically, how many lessons can you complete with the time given in class. If they reach their goal, they get paid (Moore Bucks), have class time to work on class work for other classes, or to work on something reading related. Ironically, most ask to continue working on i-Ready and others take this time to work ReadTheory (with use of this tracker) or Dreamscape (free reading websites). 


The i-Ready Toolbox is a great paid resource for you to use and reach students. There, you can find information on how best to help students on almost all levels (enrichment, core or intervention). 

i-Ready has plenty of interventions within the program itself. The company is constantly asking for feedback and updating resources, which is one of the many reasons why I love it!

One resource that I really appreciate is the Tools for Scaffolding Comprehension. Currently, there are resources for third grade through eighth grade. It takes a standard, allows you to choose a level of the support, provides options on text complexity, and walks you through the entire lesson (model, before reading, during reading, practice, check for understanding, reflection- everything!)

On individual student diagnostic reports, I often rely on the Can Do & Next Steps. It takes where students placed in their domain, and shows you what skills students should be able to complete independently, and what your next steps and resources for instruction beyond that. Every lesson from the Ready North Carolina ELA Instruction book is there for you to use with the student. It’s AMAZING! 

In addition, I use Curriculum Associates Strategies to Achieve Reading Success (STARS) to tackle main concepts as a supplemental resource. Students like the repetition of the lesson format and I appreciate the self check on question numbers three and four. 

Lastly and sometimes, most importantly, my resources come from other teachers! i-Ready Central is a website where teachers share their ideas. I love looking at ways to motivate students individually, as a class or as a school.

If you have any questions about reading interventions or using i-Ready, please do not hesitate to reach out on Instagram at @moore_in_the_middle!

Thanks for reading,

Christi Moore

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