More information about Folding-In can be found at a variety of websites, including:

Folding in is a very simple intervention that can be used with many different types of students, including students who are struggling with sight words/letters (depending on grade), vocabulary, or general reading fluency in need of additional support, or even in different categories (see the separate post “Folding In – Math” for an example in mathematics). This additional intervention is easily adaptable and can be used at all intervention tiers depending on resources. The intervention could also include direct instruction on errors and use a variety of error correction procedures. 

This intervention involves creation of a master deck of flash cards in the area of need (e.g. sight words, vocabulary, letter names) and a baseline assessment of known vs. unknown cards, with known indicating that the student can correctly respond in less than 3 seconds (automatic). The cards are sorted following this baseline, and in future sessions, the tutor creates a deck of 10 cards, 7 known and 3 unknown. The card is shown, and if the student gets the card right, the tutor repeats the correct answer back, while if they get it wrong, the tutor corrects the student and asks them to repeat the correct answer. This process is repeated until the student can get the daily deck correct 3 times in a row, and then can be repeated again by removing 3 cards from the daily deck and adding 3 new unknowns.

This intervention is valuable because it is quick, extremely flexible to student need, and can be implemented for as much or as little time is available with the tutor. Folding in is considered an “incremental rehearsal” intervention, and appears to result from Shapiro’s (2004) Academic Skills Problems Workbook. In the Best Practices for Reading Problems chapter of the Best Practices book, Joseph (2008) states that this technique “has been supported in several investigations for teaching reading words as a whole and teaching vocabulary” (p. 1171), helping students acquire fluency and also maintain these words over time. 

Joseph, L. M. (2008). Best practices on interventions for students with reading problems. Best practices in school psychology, 4, 1163-1180.

Shapiro, E. S. (2004). Academic skills problems: Direct assessment and intervention (3rd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.


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