Early Intervention in Reading Programs

Children who struggle with reading in the early grades have a hard time catching up in reading. Fortunately, we know a great deal about what it takes to help struggling readers become successful readers.

Early Intervention in Reading (EIR®) developed by Barbara M. Taylor, Professor Emerita, University of Minnesota, is a reading intervention model with twelve years of research documenting results.  Please contact us for more information at info@earlyinterventioninreading.com.

Research Results Include:

*72% of first grade children at risk of failing to learn to read in first grade are reading independently by the end of the year after EIR® training, and 94% of the children who have been followed into grade 2 are reading on a second grade level in May of second grade.

*96% of the children who come to second grade reading on a preprimer level or lower are reading on a second grade level by the end of the year, and 92% of the children in follow-up evaluations are reading on a grade 3 level in May of third grade.

The EIR Instructional Models at Different Grade Levels

Early Intervention in Reading (EIR®) consists of grade-level, research-based intervention programs in which teachers learn proven strategies for helping struggling readers in the elementary grades. The EIR programs for grades K, 1, 2, 3, and 4/5 are described in detail in the Catching Readers books by Barbara Taylor, published by Heinemann. Highlights of the programs at the various grade levels are provided below.

Catching Readers Booklist


gr k CR 9780325028873 EIR Kindergarten

This is a literature-based emergent literacy/oral language program. Features include:

  • Whole class instruction with small group follow-up for struggling emergent readers
  • Literature enjoyment
  • Discussion of stories related to children’s lives
  • Creative dramatics
  • Emergent literacy development including:
    • concepts of print
    • rhyme
    • phonemic awareness
    • letter name/sound
  • Extra instruction/practice for children with low emergent literacy and oral language abilities

gr 1 CR 9780325028880 gr 2 CR 9780325028897  EIR® in Grades 1 and 2

Intervention models for these two grades include daily (20-30 minutes) of supplemental instruction (in addition to instruction in the regular reading program) for a group of four to seven struggling readers.  Instruction is provided by a classroom teacher or a classroom teacher and a reading resource teacher working collaboratively. The grade 1 program is for students who enter grade 1 with low emergent literacy abilities and who are not making progress in learning to read.  The grade 2 program is for students who enter grade 2 not yet reading independently.

The intervention models are based on research-supported instructional procedures that follow a routine and regular pace (three days per story) and include:

  • repeated reading of stories
  • phonemic awareness training
  • systematic phonics instruction and working with words activities
  • coaching in the use of word recognition strategies
  • guided writing
  • higher level questioning
  • vocabulary instruction
  • one-on-one reading in addition to the small group lesson
  • strategies for independence

Models also include:

  • Consistent coaching by the teacher to foster strategy use and independence
  • Regular monitoring of progress
  • Selection of stories easy enough so that children are successful and yet challenging enough so that children progress
  • Parent involvement

gr 2 CR 9780325028897 EIR® Grade 2 Accelerated Program

This program follows the same instructional strategies and routines as the grade 3 program (See below). The cross age tutoring is not included, however. The grade 2 accelerated program is for students who enter grade 2 reading independently but who need intervention instruction to be reading on grade level by the end of the year.

gr 3 CR 9780325028903 gr 4_5 CR 9780325028910 EIR® in Grades 3 and 4/5

Models focus on strategy instruction for struggling readers and cross age tutoring. The intervention models have been found to lead to improved reading attitudes, self-concepts, and reading achievement.

Models include:

  • Daily (20-30 minutes) supplemental small group instruction and practice
  • Focus on fluency, word recognition, vocabulary, high level talk and writing about texts, and comprehension strategies
  • The use of narrative and informational text in grade 3;  primarily the use of informational text in grade 4/5
  • Weekly tutoring of children in EIR® in grade 1 (for grade 3 students) or grade 2/3 (for grade 4/5 students) and follow-up debriefing sessions

Professional Development

An essential component of Early Intervention in Reading (EIR®) is ongoing professional development for teachers.  Detailed suggestions for monthly school-based professional development sessions are covered in each Catching Readers book. For more information about professional development support that is in addition to the chapters on collaborative professional learning in the Catching Readers books, please contact us at info@earlyinterventioninreading.com.