How to Form Reading Intervention Groups

Do you ever find yourself looking at your class and not knowing how to form your reading intervention groups? This used to be a real struggle for me during the first few weeks of school. When I first started teaching, I was thrown into a classroom that did not have a consistent teacher for the first 6 weeks of school. I felt like I was pulling from all the resources I could find to put together a plan to teach my students. Learning how to properly use assessment tools to form my groups was a GAME CHANGER in targeting the instruction that each student in my classroom needs. During the first week of school, I assess every single student using the following two assessments.

Core Phonics Assessment

I always give the CORE Phonics Survey to every student in my classroom, regardless of their reading ability. You can find this full assessment and so many other fantastic teaching tools in the Teaching Reading Sourcebook. This assessment begins by assessing letter and sound fluency. After completing all letters and sounds, the assessment tests a student’s ability to read cvc words. The assessment slowly increases in difficulty by assessing words that target a specific skill. Sometimes my students are able to read fluently when they enter my classroom, but this assessment will show me if they have any specific gaps we can address to improve their reading ability. Once I have a clear picture of the skills that my students need to work on, then I can form small group intervention groups accordingly.

Sight Word Assessment

The second assessment I give is a FRY sight word assessment. I want to know how many sight words each student can read upon entry to my classroom so I can track their progress through the year. I created an easy to use sight word checkoff sheet that I use as a quick glance at where each student needs to practice. Once I have identified where the student falls on the list, I give the student a bookmark to practice containing the next set of 20 Fry words. You can click here to grab the checkoff list and Fry word bookmarks in my TpT store.

How I Utilize This Data

Since the CORE Phonics Survey tells me EXACTLY which skills my students need to focus on, I use this data to break students into groups. I have a group that needs targeted instruction in letter and sound fluency. My second group is able to identify sounds, but they are still working on blending cvc words. My third group is working on blending sounds to read words containing blends. My fourth group is working on digraphs. My fifth group needs help with r-controlled vowels. My sixth group has mastered all the previously mentioned skills, but is now working on more difficult words. All students also receive sight word instruction by creating lists and flash cards based on the words each student is working on.

I hope these two assessments help to give you a place to start when forming your reading intervention groups. Without having a proper plan in place, it creates a larger burden for you as a teacher to identify the reading needs within your classroom. If you want to read more about how I use the Fry Word Bookmarks in my classroom, be sure to check out my Using Bookmarks to Master Fry Words blog post.


This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. I earn a small commission each time someone makes a purchase through one of my affiliate links, which helps to support The Primary Brain blog. As always, I only recommend products that I love and all ideas shared are my own.