Tutoring Sixth Graders Who Struggle with Reading: Illustrations Of Wood's Contingent Interventions

Laura R. Hedin, Janet S. Gaffney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Teachers working with students with reading difficulties must decide when and how to intervene. Wood (2002) suggested that teachers' shift their levels of support to match students' needs based on moment-by-moment observations-that is, teachers should scaffold their support. In this qualitative analysis, we investigated instructors' scaffolding of strategy use during tutoring lessons with sixth-grade struggling readers. As students thought aloud about astronomy passages, teachers made contingent instructional decisions. Lesson transcripts were coded for Wood's levels of contingent intervention (i.e., general verbal, specific verbal, specific verbal with nonverbal, preparation for action, and demonstration) and repair processes. Instructors constructed some successful scaffolds but more often demonstrated or interrupted readers' problem solving with "preemptive prompts." Implications for instruction and teacher preparation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-256
Number of pages50
JournalReading Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language


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