How To: Master Spelling or Sight Words: Cover-Copy-Compare

This intervention promotes the acquisition of spelling or sight words. The  student is given a sheet containing words to practice.


  • Carter, S. L., Won, C., & Mayton, M. R. (2013). Enhancing foreign language competency using the cover, copy, compare technique: An exploratory evaluation. Education and Treatment of Children, 36(2), 105-116.
  • Joseph, L. M., Konrad, M., Cates, G., Vajcner, T., Eveleigh, E., & Fishley, K. M. (2011). A meta-analytic review of the cover-copy-compare and variations of this self-management procedure. Psychology in the Schools, 49(2), 122-136.
  • Skinner, C. H., Bamberg, H. W., Smith, E. S., & Powell, S. S. (1993). Cognitive cover, copy, and compare: Subvocal responding to increase rates of accurate division responding. Remedial and Special Education, 14(1), 49-56.
  • Skinner, C. H., McLaughlin, T. F., & Logan, P. (1997). Cover, copy, and compare: A self-managed academic intervention effective across skills, students, and settings. Journal of Behavioral Education, 7, 295-306.

Spelling: Repeated Review of Spelling Words with Shared Rime

DESCRIPTION: The student practices the reading and spelling of words from word families that have similar pronunciation and shared spelling patterns (rimes) (adapted from Conrad, 2


  • Conrad, N. J. (2008). From reading to spelling and spelling to reading: Transfer goes both ways. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100, 869-878.

Conrad, N. J. (2008). From reading to spelling and spelling to reading: Transfer goes both ways. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100, 869-878.

Spelling: Self-Correction with Verbal Cues

DESCRIPTION: The student takes a brief spelling pre-test, follows a self-guided process to check and correct spelling errors using verbal cues, and then takes a spelling post-test


  • Gettinger, M. (1985). Effects of teacher-directed versus student-directed instruction and cues versus no cues for improving spelling performance. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 18, 167-171.

Sentence Combining: Teaching Rules of Sentence Structure by Doing

Students with poor writing skills often write sentences that lack 'syntactic maturity' (Robinson & Howell, 2008).


  • Graham, S., & Perin, D. (2007). Writing next: Effective  strategies to improve writing of adolescents in middle and high schools -  A report to Carnegie Corporation of New York. Washington, DC Alliance  for Excellent Education.
  • Robinson, L. K., & Howell, K. W. (2008). Best practices in  curriculum-based evaluation & written expression. In A. Thomas &  J. Grimes (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology V (pp. 439-452).  Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.
  • Saddler, B. (2005). Sentence combining: A sentence-level writing intervention. The Reading Teacher, 58, 468-471.
  • Strong, W. (1986). Creative approaches to sentence combining.  Urbana, OL: ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading and Communication Skill &  National Council of Teachers of English.

School-Wide Strategies for Managing... WRITING

The act of writing contains its own inner tensions.

Jim's Hints

How To' Strategy Sheets on Writing Topics. You can find a library of well-written strategy sheets on advanced writing topics such as defining audience, reorganizing drafts, and making transitions between sections of a paper. The site is sponsored by the Writing Center at the University of North Carolina.

Articles on Writing Instruction. This page contains links to articles on such topics as helping children with disabilities to access skills required for effective writing, employing instruction in memory techniques to teach writing, and the uses of computer-assisted writing instruction. The page is sponsored by the Access Center.

College Writing Center Directory. Some of the best on-line resources for writing instruction and intervention come from college and university writing centers. This page from Purdue University's Writing Lab provides a directory of links to writing centers across the nation and in other parts of the world.

Writing Interventions: A Collaborative Project. Part of a larger collection of intervention ideas, this page contains practical suggestions to improve writing instruction. 'The CSSS Project' is a collaboration between the Illinois State University Departments of School Psychology and Special Education and the Peoria (IL) School District.

Writing Skills Checklist.This 'Writing Skills Checklist' from Intervention Central allows intervention teams to inventory the student's mastery of the components of good writing--including the physical production of writing, mechanics and conventions, content and preparation, and the production and revision of drafts. The checklist also provides intervention ideas to address identified writing problems.

Integrated Writing Instruction

Students with writing disabilities typically find the act of writing to be both difficult and unrewarding.

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