Frequently Asked Questions for Explorations: The Intervention Solution

What is Explorations: The Intervention Solution?

Explorations: The Intervention Solution provides effective small group instruction for students who are struggling in reading.  This intervention aims to provide students with explicit instruction in meta-cognitive reading strategies as they read informational text.  Students will be engaged in guided practice and independent practice as they participate in ongoing application of these strategies.

  • Flexible use of 6 meta-cognitive strategies:
    1. Making Connections
    2. Monitoring and Clarifying
    3. Predicting and Inferring
    4. Questioning
    5. Summarizing
    6. Visualizing
  • Independent use of vocabulary strategies
  • Locating and using information to support comprehension of written text and visual elements
  • Improving attitudes towards reading and broadening reading interests
  • Using and comprehending information through literal, interpretative, and critical lenses.


How Do You Define a Struggling Reader?

A struggling reader is one—having the cognitive tools to be a successful reader–who has developed a breakdown in strategic processing and metacognition, and as a result is having difficulty controlling and managing the meaning-making process in a purposeful and reflective way while reading.


How Does Explorations: The Intervention Solution Support the Struggling Reader?

Explorations: The Intervention Solution supports the struggling reader by providing a well-designed intervention framework that promotes meta-cognitive processing through the gradual release of responsibility.   The framework consists of four main parts:

  1. Modeling of the comprehension strategy with a poster
  2. Supported practice with students reading in pairs with partner cards
  3. Independent reading with short text of 3 levels of difficulty
  4. Extended independent reading with a topic aligned book

The structured routine supports and scaffolds struggling readers and English Language Learners as they progress toward grade-level proficiency.  The program focuses on the teaching strategies that will promote proficient and competent readers.


Is the program centered on evidence-based practices?

Explorations: The Intervention Solution is an integrated, informational, intervention program that is based on the process of the gradual release of responsibility and the apprenticeship approach. The practices that support this theory of learning are helping students to acquire literacy through assisted instruction and a knowledgeable teacher.  In addition, research-based practices include a structured routine that utilizes mini-lessons, demonstrations, and discussions to promote problem-solving and reflective thinking.

Research Based Principles Effective Teaching Practices
Observation and Responsive Teaching Teachers observe how students respond and design interactions according to students’ needs
Modeling These demonstrations are used with intentional purposes and explicit think-alouds
Scaffolded Language for Problem-Solving Teachers prompt students to use meta-cognition to resolve dissonance in reading and writing
Adjustable Scaffolds The lesson framework contains varying degrees of support to engage the reader in a scaffolded process as he works towards independence in reading
Structured Routines Students reach higher levels of literacy development through the gradual release of responsibility lesson framework
Assisted and Independent Work Students read in small groups with the teacher, with a partner, and independently in each intervention lesson
Transfer Students acquire knowledge of metacognitive strategies and use them flexibly for various purposes



How is Instruction Differentiated in Explorations: The Intervention Solution?

Explorations: The Intervention Solution offers a variety of ways that teachers can differentiate instruction to meet the needs of the struggling reader.

The program is comprised of 5 sets that have a narrow range of readability levels.  The texts within each set contain text that support struggling readers as they progress towards grade level proficiency.  The Sets range in difficulty of guided reading levels from K (DRA 20) to Y (DRA 60).

There are 6 Topic Units within each Set.  Each Topic Unit contains high interest texts that motivate students.  The text in each Topic Unit is leveled for targeted intervention, and the independent practice cards come in 3 different levels for further differentiation.

Finally, teachers can differentiate instruction not only by the level of the Topic Unit, but also differentiate with the focus Comprehension Strategy assigned to each set.  For example, students who need targeted instruction on making inferences, the teacher can choose the appropriate leveled Set and then choose the Topic Unit that provides explicit instruction in making inferences.


Does Explorations: The Intervention Solution Include Assessment that is Built In?

Placement in the Program

  • Students are selected for intervention based on the school or district assessment process. Students are placed according to their instructional reading level.

Teacher Assessment

  • Each Set contains six assessment cards and an assessment manual. These assessments provide the teacher with the information about the students’ use of reading strategies, their comprehension, and their ability to locate and use information from the text.

Student Assessment

  • Lessons provide opportunities for discussion and reflection
  • Students participate in self-assessment in each lesson as the learning goal is directly related to the comprehension strategy focus.


Is There Ample Reading Material for the Diverse Needs of Students?

Yes, there are a variety of digital and print, short, complex texts and full length leveled texts in each Topic Unit.  During the Model the Strategy lesson component, a digital short complex text or a print poster is used to support the teacher in modeling the comprehension strategy.  Moving on to the second sequence, the students work in pairs, using their large format Working with Partner Cards.  When students have mastered the strategy, they work individually on one of the 3 leveled Practice Cards. The text level of the card is differentiated as identified by one, two, or three stripes on each card, indicating the degree of difficulty.  Finally, there is a leveled full-length text in each Topic Unit that students can read independently or in a small group.


Are All of the Materials and Resources Included to Teach a Lesson?

Yes, Explorations: The Intervention Solution contains all the resources needed to teach each intervention lesson.  Each Topic Unit comes packaged in a grab-and-go format for ease of teacher use.  Each Topic Unit contains the following:

  • Poster for Modeled Instruction (1 Poster)
  • Working with a Partner Cards (3 copies of one card)
  • Working by Yourself Cards (18 cards, 6 each for Below, Above, and Baseline Difficulty)
  • Lesson Plan
  • Full Length book for independent reading (6 copies)
  • Digital Access to print materials and extension resources


How Do Teachers Select a Topic Unit to Begin Instruction?

First, teachers are encouraged to select an Explorations Intervention Set based on the student’s instructional reading level.  After identifying the appropriate leveled Set of materials, teachers then can choose a Topic Unit based on the Unit’s assigned comprehension strategy or the content area topic.


How is Each Topic Unit Paced?

Explorations: The Intervention Solution supports the development of six core reading comprehension strategies within each Set.  Each Topic Unit within a set contains a flexible timetable of instruction to meet the needs of the varying lengths of time that intervention teachers meet with their students.  The Getting Started Resource contains pacing guides that provide flexible five-day, seven-day, ten-day, and 15-day lesson schedules.  The pacing guides illustrate how teachers who meet with students 2, 3, or 5 days a week can use the resources effectively as they cycle through each of the 6 Topic Units in a Set, within their chosen time frame.


Can the Digital Components be Utilized Without an Interactive Whiteboard?

Yes, a USB device for each Topic Unit is included in the program.  The digital version of the Model the Strategy Poster can be projected and enlarged using an LCD or a Data Projector.  The digital accessibility makes it convenient for modeling the comprehension strategy for a whole or small group of students. The USB device also contains printable resources for vocabulary instruction for each Topic Unit located in the Printable Resources Folder on the device.