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Fullard, Jeani Z.
An intermediate extended literacy routine to support struggling third grade readers
h [electronic resource] /
by Jeani Z. Fullard.
[Tampa, Fla] :
b University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 170 pages.
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic dissertation) in PDF format.
ABSTRACT: Large numbers of children in the United States are not functioning at adequate levels of literacy. Students who have weak reading proficiency skills are identified as at-risk; failure to acquire competency early in their schooling adversely affects performance in all academic fields and limits their potential for achievement in life. There is an extensive knowledge base about the skills and strategies children must learn in order to read well. Effective fluency and comprehension strategies need to be taught to help students become powerful, active readers who are in control of their learning. This study evaluated a structured classroom model for delivery of small group reading instruction called the Intermediate Extended Literacy Routine (IELR). The IELR is a model for delivery of explicit reading instruction that incorporates fluency instruction with the intent to provide a bridge between word recognition and comprehension.This study examined the effects of the IELR on the achievement of third graders designated as struggling readers. A repeated single subject experimental design was used. Thirteen students in two classrooms at the same west-central Florida school were given the IELR 4 days a week for 8 weeks. The IELR incorporated explicit strategy instruction and was delivered in the form of focused mini-lessons that targeted specific reading strategies the researcher identified as lacking in the subjects. Assessments of performance were made with timed readings, running records, narrative retellings, and the school district's reading comprehension common assessment tool. Results are presented in tabular and graphic form for analysis.The IELR had a positive effect on reading rate (measured in words read per minute), reading accuracy and increased instructional level assessments: students who received the IELR maintained or increased their instructional level on running record assessments and showed evidence of increased reading rate on timed readings. Reading comprehension, measured by narrative retellings, did not improve for most students over the course of the study. Recommendations for future research include the use of a control group; oral (rather than written) retelling measures to assess comprehension, and a longer duration of IELR application to gauge its effectiveness.
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Advisor: Susan Homan, Ph.D.
Small group instruction
x Childhood Education
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
An Intermediate Extended Literacy Routin e to Support Struggling Third Grade Readers by Jeani Z. Fullard A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Childhood Education College of Education University of South Florida Major Professor: Susan Homan, Ph.D. Stephen Micklo, Ph.D. Jeffery Kromrey, Ph.D. Margaret Hewitt, Ph.D. Date of Approval: December 18, 2008 Keywords: guided reading, early literacy, reading comprehe nsion, reading fluency, small group instruction Copyright 2009, Jeani Z. Fullard
i Table of Contents List of Tables ................................................................................................................ ..... iii List of Figures ............................................................................................................... ..... iv Abstract ...................................................................................................................... ........ vi Chapter 1: Introduction ....................................................................................................... .1 Literacy Issues .........................................................................................................2 Government Influence on Educational Issues ..........................................................3 The Problem ...........................................................................................................11 Purpose of the Study ..............................................................................................17 Research Questions ................................................................................................18 Definition of Terms................................................................................................19 Limitations .............................................................................................................21 Chapter 2: Review of Related Literature ...........................................................................22 Introduction ............................................................................................................22 Effective Schools ...................................................................................................22 Effective Teachers .................................................................................................26 Effective Teachers of Reading ...............................................................................28 Effective Classroom Reading Curriculum Design .................................................38 At-risk Students .....................................................................................................41 School Factors ........................................................................................................45 Acquisition of Fluency and Reading Comprehension ...........................................49 Grouping for Reading Instruction ..........................................................................51 Guided Reading in the Intermediate Grades ..........................................................57 Conclusion .............................................................................................................62 Chapter 3: Method ............................................................................................................. 65 Introduction ............................................................................................................65 Purpose ...................................................................................................................66 Research Questions ................................................................................................66 Setting and Sample ................................................................................................67 Research Design .....................................................................................................70 Independent Variable .............................................................................................73 Procedure ...............................................................................................................75 Dependent Variable ...............................................................................................77 Baseline/Comparison Condition ............................................................................78
ii Experimental Control .............................................................................................79 Measures ................................................................................................................79 Reliability and Validity ..........................................................................................80 Repeated Measures ................................................................................................80 Visual Analysis ......................................................................................................82 Chapter 4: Results ............................................................................................................ ..86 The Context of the Study .......................................................................................86 Sample....................................................................................................................87 Study Participants ..................................................................................................88 Baseline Data .........................................................................................................88 Analysis of Research Questions.............................................................................90 Individual Student Asse ssment Discussion ...........................................................94 Research Question 4 Discussion ..........................................................................121 Chapter 5: Discussion ......................................................................................................124 Introduction ..........................................................................................................124 Study Overview ...................................................................................................127 Implications and Summary ..................................................................................128 Conclusions ..........................................................................................................134 Limitations ...........................................................................................................134 Recommendations fo r Future Study ....................................................................135 References .................................................................................................................... ....137 Appendices .................................................................................................................... ...158 Appendix A: Human Participant Pr otection Completion Certificate ..................159 Appendix B: IRB Approval Letter .......................................................................160 Appendix C: IRB Parent Consent Form ..............................................................162 Appendix D: IRB Student Consent Form ............................................................166 Appendix E: Study Timeline ...............................................................................168 Appendix F: Sample Lesson ................................................................................169 Appendix G: Strategy Lessons .............................................................................170 About the Author ....................................................................................................End page
iii List of Tables Table 1: Grade 4 Achievement Levels .......................................................................6 Table 2: School Effectiveness by Poverty and Reading Performance .....................30 Table 3: Time Spent in Reading Instru ction by School Effectiveness Levels .........31 Table 4: Percent of Teachers Frequently Observed Using Various Approaches to Comprehension Instruction ........................................................................32 Table 5: Six Common Features of Effective Literacy .............................................40 Table 6: Demographics of School ............................................................................68 Table 7: Assessment Chart .......................................................................................70 Table 8: Architecture of the Mini-lesson .................................................................74 Table 9: Sample Focus Lesson .................................................................................76 Table 10: Specific Strategies Used to Address Needs ...............................................77 Table 11: Timeline of the Study.................................................................................87 Table 12: Pinellas County Assessment System (PCAS) Reading Criteria ................89 Table 13: Baseline Data for Study Participants .........................................................90 Table 14: Summary of Individual Stude nt PCAS, Timed Reading and Narrative Retelling Scores .........................................................................................93 Table 15: Interpretation of GORT-3 Sta ndardized Scores for Comprehension .......120 Table 16: Pre/Post Test Standa rd Scores for Comprehension .................................121
iv List of Figures Figure 1: NAEP 1999 trends in academic progress. ....................................................5 Figure 2: Grade 4 scale scores for r eading: Florida vs. National Public .....................7 Figure 3: Florida Grade 4 reading achievement level percentages .............................8 Figure 4: Line graphs illustra ting common response patterns ...................................83 Figure 5: Diagram of mult iple-baseline design .........................................................84 Figure 6: Data from a hypothetical example of an alternating treatment design ......85 Figure 7: Student A1 PCAS, Timed Read ing and Narrative Retelling scores ..........95 Figure 8: Student A2 PCAS, Timed Read ing and Narrative Retelling scores ..........97 Figure 9: Student A3 PCAS, Timed Read ing and Narrative Retelling scores ..........99 Figure 10: Student A4 PCAS, Timed Read ing and Narrative Retelling scores ........101 Figure 11: Student A5 PCAS, Timed Read ing and Narrative Retelling scores ........103 Figure 12: Student A6 PCAS, Timed Read ing and Narrative Retelling scores ........105 Figure 13: Student A7 PCAS, Timed Read ing and Narrative Retelling scores ........107 Figure 14: Student R1 PCAS, Timed Read ing and Narrative Retelling scores ........109 Figure 15: Student R2 PCAS, Timed Read ing and Narrative Retelling scores ........111 Figure 16: Student R3 PCAS, Timed Read ing and Narrative Retelling scores ........113 Figure 17: Student R4 PCAS, Timed Read ing and Narrative Retelling scores ........115 Figure 18: Student R5 PCAS, Timed Read ing and Narrative Retelling scores ........117 Figure 19: Student R6 PCAS, Timed Read ing and Narrative Retelling scores ........119
v Figure 20: Mrs. A's Class GORT-3 Preand Post-test Scores ..................................122 Figure 21: Mrs. R's Class GORT-3 Preand Post-test Scores ..................................122 Figure 22: Timed Readings : Classes Combined .......................................................130 Figure 23: Running Record: Classes Combined .......................................................131 Figure 24: Narrative Retellings: Classes Combined .................................................132 Figure 25: Comparison of comprehens ion scores for the GORT and Common Assessments .............................................................................................133
vi An Intermediate Extended Literacy Routin e to Support Struggling Third Grade Readers Jeanie Z. Fullard ABSTRACT Large numbers of children in the United States are not func tioning at adequate levels of literacy. Students who have weak reading proficiency skills are identified as atrisk ; failure to acquire competency early in their schooling adversely affects performance in all academic fields and limits their potenti al for achievement in life. There is an extensive knowledge base about the skills and st rategies children must learn in order to read well. Effective fluency and comprehensi on strategies need to be taught to help students become powerful, active readers who are in control of their learning. This study evaluated a structured classr oom model for delivery of small group reading instruction called the Intermediate Extended Literacy Routine (IELR). The IELR is a model for delivery of explicit reading in struction that incorporat es fluency instruction with the intent to provide a bridge betw een word recognition and comprehension. This study examined the effects of the IELR on the achievement of third graders designated as struggling readers. A repeated single subject experimental de sign was used. Thirteen students in two classrooms at the same west-central Florida school were given the IELR 4 days a week for 8 weeks. The IELR incorporated explicit strategy instruction and was delivered in the form of focused mini-lessons that targeted specific reading strategies the researcher
vii identified as lacking in the subjects. Assessm ents of performance were made with timed readings, running records, na rrative retellings, and the school district's reading comprehension common assessment tool. Result s are presented in tabular and graphic form for analysis. The IELR had a positive effect on readi ng rate (measured in words read per minute), reading accuracy and increased inst ructional level assessments: students who received the IELR maintained or increased their instruc tional level on running record assessments and showed evidence of increase d reading rate on timed readings. Reading comprehension, measured by narrative retellings did not improve for most students over the course of the study. Recommend ations for future research include the use of a control group; oral (rather than written) retelling m easures to assess comprehension, and a longer duration of IELR application to gauge its effectiveness.
1 Chapter 1 Introduction Over the years there has been mu ch controversy among educators and government agencies over educational issues. One major issue is ch ildrenÂ’s acquisition of literacy skills. Each year reports in the me dia and from government agencies remind the public that large numbers of children are not functioning at adequate levels of literacy (Combs, 2006). The failure of some children to reach their literacy potential is not a new occurrence in our nationÂ’s schools. An increas ing number of students are being identified as at-risk struggling readers, these are students who have weak reading skills and strategies and lack reading proficiency (Chall, Jacob, & Baldwin, 1990). Data from the 2002 and 2003 National Assessment of Educa tional Progress (NAEP) supports the growing concern about childrenÂ’s lack of lite racy development in the United States (EPRU, 2002). The results for Grade 4 students across the United States reveal that only 32% of the students tested function at or above a proficient literacy level (Combs, 2006). Emerging out of the concern over the failu re of students to acquire proficient literacy skills, early literacy development and instruction has become an important subject of national educational policy. This chapter contains an overview of literacy issues in the 21st century and the governmentÂ’s influe nce on educational issues such as early literacy development, reading curriculum and funding.
2 Literacy Issues Through the years there have been calls for several literacy initiatives. In the 1980s through the 1990s, our country went th rough what has been described as the national Â“reading wars.Â” The reading wars raged between proponents of various instructional techniques, most notably between phonics (which emphasizes word recognition and decoding) and whole language (which emphasizes textual meaning). The Â“reading warsÂ” were debates between traditional and progressive pedagogy in AmericaÂ’s schools (Anderson, 1998; Combs, 2006). In 1985, a report from the Commission on Reading, Â“Becoming a Nation of Readers,Â” called for a balanc e between explicit instruction in word reco gnition (phonics) and compre hension, as well as daily opportunities to read and write authentic, mean ingful connected text (Anderson, Hiebert, Scott, & Wilkinson, 1985; Combs, 2006). The 1998 report of the Committee on Prevention of Reading Difficulties in Young Ch ildren recognized the need for balanced instruction that emphasized meaningful read ing and writing with special attention given to the features of print, esp ecially the features of the al phabetic system of our language (Combs, 2006; Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). In 2000, the National Reading Panel publishe d a controversial re port of researchbased reading instruction that became the corn erstone of U.S. federal reading education policy (US Department of Hea lth and Human Services, 2000). The findings of this report lead to the most sweeping edu cational reform in this coun tryÂ’s recent history, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). On January 8, 2002, President Bush signe d the NCLB into law. The NCLB contains some of the most comprehensive reforms of the Elementary and Secondary
3 Educational Act (ESEA) since it was institut ed in 1965. One of the main characteristics of the new law is the emphasis place d on research-supported teaching methods, especially in the teaching of reading. The NCLB provides local districts with more flexibility in spending federa l aid and requires annual math and reading tests. Schools that repeatedly find too many students failing the tests face sanctions. The NCLB is the latest federal government initiative to be enacted. Government Influence on Educational Issues In the 1970s the federal government in itiated the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) that reported on student reading achievement. States began to create minimum competency levels for reading and started to make school achievement information public. After nearly 25 years these minimum competency levels in reading have evolved into newer, higher standards referred to as Basic Proficiencies by NAEP (Cunningham & Allington, 1999). The Senate, Congress and th e President are currently discussing the need for higher student achievement in reading in th e national arena. The issues of reading achievement are also being debated in stat e legislative offices. School reading programs are being more closely scrutinized by educat ional administrators and policy makers. One of the reasons for the increased attention is the relatively low reading achievement of 9year-olds on the NAEP (Campbell, Voelkl & Donahue, 1997), and the concern that reading failure is perceived as a barrier to progress in math and science (OÂ’Sullivan, Reese, & Mazzeo, 1997). In 1996, state and federal reading initiati ves focused on the problem of reading failure at the kindergarten and primary levels (Moats, 2000). In 2000, the National
4 Institute of ChildrenÂ’s Health and Hu man Development (NICHD) reported that researched-based instruction begun in the ea rly grades significan tly reduces the number of children experiencing reading difficulty in later years (NICHD, 2000). Moats (2001) states that reading failure begins early, take s root quickly, and aff ects students for life. Improvement in reading instruction for primar y grade students is happening too slowly to have a positive impact on the growing numb ers of students in the upper elementary grades who have experienced misguided readi ng instruction and scar ce resources (Moats, 2001). The 1999 administration of the NAEP rev ealed that 44% of American fourth graders failed to achieve the new basic profic iency standard. According to this report, since 1983 over 10 million Americans have reached the 12th grade without learning to read at a basic level. Since 1969, NAEP has conducted ongoing nati onwide assessment of student reading achievement at Grades 4 (age 9), 8 (age 13), and 11 (age 17) Figure 1 provides a visual display of the long term trends in reading achievement from 1971 to 1999.
5 Figure 1 NAEP 1999 trends in academic progress Note Figure reproduced from Na tional Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 1999 Long-Term Trend Assessment. Long-term trends in reading achievement show minimal changes across the assessment years. In 1999, the average read ing score for 9-year-old stud ents was only slightly higher than it was in 1971. Thirteen-year-old stude nts showed moderate gains in reading achievement; their average reading score was higher in 1999 than in 1971. There was an overall pattern of increases in reading sc ores for 17-year-old students, but the 1999 average score was not signifi cantly different than in 1971. NAEP assessment results provide informa tion about what students know and can do. Additionally, NAEP provides information about what students should know and be able to do. This information comes from th e NAEP achievement leve ls that are intended to measure how well students' actual achieve ment matches the achievement desired of them in different subjects assessed by NAEP. There are three achievement levels for each
6 grade assessed by NAEP (Grades 4, 8 and 12): Basic Proficient and Advanced The Grade 4 criteria can be found in Table 1. Table 1 Grade 4 Achievement Levels Achievement Level Criteria Basic (208) Fourth grade students performing at the Basic level should demonstrate an understanding of the overall meaning of what they read. When reading text ap propriate for fourth graders, they should be able to make relatively obvious connections between the text and their ow n experiences and extend the ideas in the text by making simple inferences. Proficient (238) Fourth grade students performing at the Proficient level should be able to demonstrat e an overall understanding of the text, providing inferential as well as literal information. When reading text appropriate to fourth grade, they should be able to extend the ideas in the text by making inferences, drawing conclusions, and making c onnections to their own experiences. The connection betw een the text and what the student infers should be clear. Advanced (268) Fourth grade students performing at the Advanced level should be able to generalize about topics in the reading selection and demonstrate an awareness of how authors compose and use literary devices. When reading text appropriate to fourth grade, they should be able to judge text critically and, in general, to give thorough answers that indicate careful thought. Examining student performance within different ranges of the score distribution provides some indication of whether or not overall trends in average scores are reflected in trends for lower-, middle-, or higher-p erforming Reading Quartiles Among 9-year-old students, the average reading scores in each quar tile range in 1999 were higher than in 1971. Among 13-year-old students, overall gains are evident in the upper quartile, and to a
7 lesser extent, in the middle two quartil es. Among 17-year-old students, overall improvement is evident only in the lower quartile. A review of scale scores from 1992 to 2003 i ndicates an upward trend for Florida fourth graders beginning in 1998, and shows them out-performing the National Public by 2003. 1992Florida 208 National Public 215 1994Florida 205 National Public 212 1998Florida 206 National Public 213 2002Florida 214 National Public 217 2003Florida 218 National Public 216 Figure 2. Grade 4 scale scores for readi ng: Florida vs. National Public
8 During the period 1998 Â– 2003, the percentage of Florida fourth graders achieving Proficient and Advanced ratings in reading increase d; the details of this improvement are presented in Figure 3. Below BasicBasic Proficient Advanced 1992 47 31 18 3 1994 50 28 17 5 1998 47 31 18 4 2002 40 33 22 5 2003 37 31 24 8 Figure 3. Florida Grade 4 reading ac hievement level percentages Although there is evidence of increased reading achievement levels among fourth graders, no significant change was detected between 2002 a nd 2003 in the average score for this group. The average Grade 4 score in 2003 did not differ significantly from that in 1992 ( U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessmen t of Educational Progress (NAEP), 1992, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2003 Reading Assessments). As previously noted, the greatest reading increases were in the Profic ient and Advanced categories (see Figures 2 and 3 ). The pressure for achievement accountability, especi ally in reading, is often not directed at the individual teacher or the individual grad e level, but rather at the elementary school level (Kortez, Linn, Dunbar, & Shepard, 1991). This trend may be changing as states begin to look more closely at the issues of accountability and tie student achievement to
9 teacher pay. In an attempt to produce higher ac hievement in reading, sanctions for failure are now placed on the whole school in whic h reading achievement is exceptionally low (Yen & Ferrara, 1997) Under the accountability provisions of the NCLB, all public school campuses, school districts, and the st ate are evaluated for Adequa te Yearly Progress (AYP). Schools, districts and states are required to meet AYP criteria on three measures: Reading/Language Arts, Mathematics, and eith er Graduation Rate (f or high schools and districts) or Attendance Rate (for elementary and middle/juni or high schools). If a school, district, or state that receives Title I-Part A funds fails to meet AYP for two consecutive years, that campus, district, or state is subj ect to certain sanctions and may be required to offer supplemental education services, school choice, and/or take corrective actions. The Florida Education Association (FEA), an NEA affiliate, has responded to the controversy surrounding the impact of NCLB on Florida schools. The president of FEA, Andy Ford, stated "This one-size-fits-all fe deral mandate is wreaking havoc on Florida schools and creating chaos for teachers, pare nts, students and administrators" (FEA, 2006). The NCLB established Reading First as a new, high-quality evidence-based program for the students in the United Stat es. The Reading First initiative builds on the findings of years of scientific research that was compiled at Congre ssional request by the National Reading Panel. The primary goal of Read ing First is to ensure that all children in U.S. schools learn to read by the end of Grade 3. According to the Â“United States Department of Education (USDE) Reading Fi rst Guidance,Â” Reading First provides funds to Local Educational Agencies (LEA) for sc hool districts with the highest numbers or
10 percentages of kindergarte n through Grade 3 students reading below grade level (Marzano, 2001). The National Reading Panel (NRP) report of 2000 was written in response to a Congressional mandate to help parents, teacher s, and policymakers identify key skills and methods central to reading achievement (N euman, 2001). The NRP chose to review only major findings from experimental research studies and recommended: (a) developing phonemic awareness and phonics skills in ki ndergarten and Grade 1; (b) providing regular guided oral reading with focus on fluency; (c) providing silent reading for developing fluency, vocabulary and comprehe nsion; (d) use of direct teaching of comprehension strategies, and noted th at providing good comprehension strategy instruction is a complex instructional activity ; and (e) inclusion of extensive, formal preparation in comprehension strategy teaching for all teachers. In 1998 the Federal Reading Excellence Ac t (REA) was signed into law as a federal effort to redesign American reading in struction by setting crit eria for the type of instructional practices to be supported with federal funds. Such funds have always had some control on how they might be used. The REA substantially incr eased restrictions on federal fundsÂ’ use by requiring that federa l monies allocated under this Act fund only research-based instructional practices. The REA and several state education la ws now require Â“rigorous, replicable, scientific evidenceÂ” to support the design of reading in struction and the selection of reading material. The rationale for this is that scientific ev idence for methods and approaches that have worked well and facili tated reading improvement for large numbers of students can provide a foundation for teachersÂ’ instructional practices.
11 The Problem In todayÂ’s schools many childre n struggle to learn to re ad. The administration of the NAEP (2000) revealed that 44 % of American fourth grader s failed to achieve the new basic proficiency standard. Many teachers a nd parents affirm that reading failure has taken a tremendous toll on childrenÂ’s developm ent of self confidence and motivation to learn, and has a negative effect on their later school performance. Allington (2001) reports that for two decad es American education has suffered a steady bombardment of criticism from politicians, policy makers, and pundits. As a result, questions about American children Â’s reading proficiency have been the cornerstone of negative educational campai gning, causing many adults to believe that American schoolchildren have fallen behind chil dren in other countries and that illiteracy is at epidemic proportions across our countr y. In response to such criticism, national standards and high-stakes testing have been promoted as ways to improve schooling (Allington, 2001). Several theorists have proposed that tests should be used to define educational goals. Normor criterion-refe rence standardized tests are now abundant in classrooms as an attempt to provide both direction and support to teachers a nd schools. Test-driven instruction may serve policy makers, but cr itics argue that the major flaw is the questionable validity of the outcomes (Shepa rd & Airasian, 1988). Bracey (1987) also contends that when curriculum and instructi on are directed by test -based objectives, the results can be fragmentation and a trivialization of education. Given recent publicity about students being unable to read when they graduate from high school, it is natural and predictabl e that policy makers would react (Duffy &
12 Hoffman, 1999). One such reaction is the Fl orida State Statute SB-20-E that mandates any third grade student not performing satisfactorily on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) will be retained in Grade 3 unless he or she is exempt from retention by good cause. Many students in the United States hold their own as readers at the early elementary level but begin to falter in the intermediate elementary grades, third through fifth. They continue to fall further behind in middle years and drop far behind in high school. Allington (2001) says that one contri buting cause may be the misapplication of useful primary instructional te chniques with older students who are having difficulty as readers. Older students struggling with reading often avoi d opportunities to practice reading because it is a slow taxing and frustrating pro cess for them (Ackerman & Dykman, 1996; Cunningham & Stanovich, 1997). These students need reading instruction grounded in research that is in tensive enough to close the achievement gap between these poor readers and their grade-level peers. The instruction should be explicit and impart the skills missed in the prim ary grades (Torgesen, Wagner, Rashotte, Alexander, & Conway, 1997). There is no sing le perfect method for teaching reading and consequently, it can be argued that the pursu it of such a perfect method for teaching reading to all children distracts us from th e real goal of trying to improve reading instruction (Duffy & Hoffman, 2001). Teachers need to learn how to design lessons that foster reading proficiency, fluency, and higher-order thinking for all students. The new national and state standards fo r proficient reading target a more thoughtful literacy than that which has been traditionally taught in schools (Allington,
13 2001). These new reading proficiency standa rds usually require students to exhibit reading behaviors that allow them to read a nd answer extended response items. It requires the student to think about what is read and then explain or descri be the thinking process used in the response. Being asked to think a bout what you have just read is a different skill from just being asked to recall the te xt read. Students are now being asked to demonstrate their skill as fluent readers on comprehensive tests that require analyzing what they read and responding with not only multiple choice responses but with short and long written responses as well. These new literacy assessments provoke more thoughtful responses and are an attempt to move closer to measurement of pr oficiencies designed to identify a person as literate (Cunningham & Allington, 1994). On e approach that may offer reading improvement for some students is flexible and fluid grouping of students for instruction. This reading model teaches fluency and comp rehension strategies while addressing the skills and strategies desired by higher-order literacy standards. What works best in reading instruction has been an ongoing deba te for years by resear chers, educators, administrators, and legislators. Major i ssues revolve around how to group students for reading instruction and the teaching of strate gies to create fluent readers (Ivey, 2000; Kulik & Kulik, 1987; Slavin, 1987; Tomlinson, 2000). This debate centers on the desire that all children be provi ded with adequate instruction to ensure social and academic success and that they have equal opportunities to access needed knowledge as they learn to read (Oakes Gamoran, & Page, 1991; Kulik & Kulik, 1987). Teachers are encouraged to employ instructional methods that promote the active involvement of students in their own lear ning (Tapscott, 1999).
14 Grouping for instruction becomes a key i ssue when teachers are faced with the issues of increased class sizes and the wideni ng diversity in the make up of such classes. Teachers are confronted with the unsettling task of meeting the needs of students who come with a wide variety of ab ilities, interests, skills, strate gies, and levels of motivation, as well as having to deal with their many di fferent racial, ethnic, linguistic and economic backgrounds (Au, 1997). To meet the needs of a diverse stude nt population, many teachers group students by instructional needs, thus differentiating instruc tion. Tomlinson (2000) describes differentiated instruction as the efforts of the teacher to respond to variance among learners in a classroom. Whenever a teacher singles out an individual student or a small group of students and varies the instruction in order to crea te the best possible learning experience he or she is differentiating inst ruction (Tomlinson, 2000). There is evidence to support the use of differentiate d instruction in the elementa ry grades. If students are taught in ways that are responsive to thei r reading levels (Vygotsky, 1986) and their interests (Csikszentmihalyi, 1997), they are more successful in school and find it more satisfying (Tomlinson, 2000). TodayÂ’s teachers are faced with making di fficult instructional decisions as they attempt to facilitate student learning in an effective and motivational manner. One of the major decisions teachers face is how to group students for within class instruction and what method to use to effectively meet each learnerÂ’s needs (Lou, Abrami, & Spence, 2000). A model using whole class in struction results in students being taught as a single unit, with no modifications made to addre ss individual needs. The instructional emphasis
15 is on uniformity, not on diversity. Whole group instruction loses si ght of the various needs of the students (Cunningham, 2003; Ivey & Broaddus, 2001). The focus is on teacher explanation and encouragement and doe s not allow for student interaction with peers. The instruction is designed around a si ngle set of materials appropriate to the learning activity rather than the varying need s and abilities of the students. Whole class instruction emphasizes the same educational obj ectives for the entire class, and engages a fixed pace of instruction for all students (Allington, 2001; Ivey & Broaddus, 2001). In whole group instru ction the delivery of new conten t material is often presented orally by the instructor and followed-up with seatwork to practice the skills taught. Whole group instruction lends itself to direct instruction by the teacher in an attempt to maximize instructional time, followed by gui ded and independent practice. This can result in extrinsic motivati on for learning, as students may be motivated by tangible incentives to learn provided by the teache r (Lou, Abrami, & Spence, 2000). The use of whole group instructi on can result in the st rong getting stronger and the weak getting weaker. This is a generic one size fits all model of instru ction (Stanovich, 1986). An alternative model to whole group in struction is small group guided reading instruction, in which studen ts are taught in several small groups and are grouped by ability (Fountas & Pinnell, 1999). The practice of grouping students by ability increased at the turn of the century and became a co mmon practice in elementary classrooms for several decades (Barr, 1975) The social organization of grouping is not solely responsible for reading success or failure of a given reading program; it is, however, believed that the organization of students does play a crucial role in the facilitation of teaching, learning, and classroom management (Pikulski, 1991).
16 Another issue that needs to be addressed in reading instructio n is the teaching of fluency and comprehension strategies. Teach ers too often assess fluency and reading comprehension rather than actively and effectively teaching reading strategies to their students (Alvermann, 2002; Ivey& Broa ddus, 2001; Tovani & Keene, 2000). Comprehension strategies are powerful tools to help a reader construct meaning from text. Scientifically based research says that text comprehension can be improved by instruction that helps readers use specif ic comprehension strategies (NRP, 2000). Unfortunately, research shows th at very little comprehension instruction occurs in most classrooms (Durkin, 1993). Comprehension is of critical importance to reading skill development in children and is critical to their ability to obtain an education. Reading comprehension has become the essence of r eading, essential to academic learning as well as lifelong learning (Durkin, 1993). The NRP (2000) noted three major themes in the research on the development of reading comprehension skills. First, reading co mprehension is a complex process: It is a cognitive process that cannot be totally unde rstood without a clea r understanding of the role that vocabulary plays in the under standing of what is being read. Second, comprehension is an active process that requires the reader to make intentional connections between what the reader knows and what the author has written. Finally, teacher preparation and training are tied to th e effective ability to better prepare students to develop and apply competent reading comp rehension strategies. Because these three themes serve as the foundation for understand ing how to best facil itate development of comprehension abilities in readers, the majo r findings from the NRP report will be further explored in the ra tionale section.
17 Research over 30 years has shown that in struction in fluency and comprehension helps students understand what they rea d, remember what they have read, and communicate with others about what they read. Fluency and comprehension strategy instruction needs to be taught because it help s students become powerful, active readers who are in control of their reading and their learning (Arm bruster, Anderson, & Ostertag, 1987). Overall, students need instruction in monitoring fluency and comprehension, using semantic organizers, answering and ge nerating good questions, recognizing story structure and summarizing. These strategies ha ve a firm scientific basis for improving reading comprehension. (Armbruster, A nderson, & Ostertag, 1987; Calfee & Brown, 1979; Duffy, 2003; Tovani & Keene, 2000; Good & Stipek, 1983; Hiebert, 1983). While there are no easy answers or as A llington (2001) says, no quick fixes, for optimizing reading achievement, there is an ex tensive knowledge base to show the skills and strategies children must learn in order to read well. These skills and strategies provide the basis for sound curri cular and instructional decisions as well as instructional approaches that can help prevent the conse quences of early reading failure (Neuman & Dickinson, 2001 ). Purpose of the Study Based on the previous information, the n eed for research in the area of grouping for reading instruction at the in dividualÂ’s instructional level is evident. In designing more effective reading instruction, there will alwa ys be a need for research to improve programs that will foster higher student ach ievement levels in reading. According to Allington and Cunningham (1999), we need not be searching for the one best way to
18 teach all children to read for certainly this attempt is doomed to fail; this is a search for the impossible. The purpose of this study is to evaluate a structured classroom model for delivery of reading instruction called the Intermediate Extended Literacy Routine (IELR). The IELR is a model for the delivery of explicit reading instruction th at incorporates the fluency instruction that provi des a bridge between word recognition and comprehension as well as providing text comprehension instru ction. Text comprehensi on instruction is an important part of the IELR guided reading r outine. Students are ta ught to monitor their comprehension. Students learn to be aware of what they do understand, identify what they do not understand, and use appropriate fi x-up strategies to resolve problems in comprehension. This model involves flexible like-needs grouping that allows teachers the opportunity to provide effective s upport for studentsÂ’ literacy learning. Reading instruction must address the need s of the reader. Since children differ, their reading instruction needs to differ. The instruction needs to be designed and modified by the teacher to meet the indivi dual needs of the readers. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine more cl osely the reading achievement levels of students being taught using the IELR guided re ading model in intermediate third grade classrooms. Research Questions This study is designed to answer the following research questions: 1. What are the effects of the Intermedia te Extended Literacy Routine (IELR) on reading fluency of third graders iden tified as struggling in reading as measured by Timed Readings and Running Records?
19 2. What are the effects of the IELR on r eading comprehension of third graders identified as struggling in reading as measured by narrative retellings at increasing levels of difficulty? 3. What are the effects of the IELR on r eading comprehension of third graders identified as struggling in reading as measured by the reading comprehension common assessment from the Pinellas Classroom Assessment System (PCAS)? 4. What are the effects of IELR on reading fluency of third gr aders identified as struggling in reading as measured by Gr ay Oral Reading Test-Fourth Edition (GORT-3) Definition of Terms To clarify the meaning of specific te rms used in this study, the following definitions are applicable: Guided Reading Group. A teaching approach designed to help individual students learn how to process a variety of increasin gly challenging texts with understanding and fluency (Fountas & Pinnell, 2001). Fluency. The level of accuracy and rate wher e decoding is relatively effortless and where oral reading is smooth and accura te with correct prosody (National Reading Panel, 2000). Comprehension. The capacity to perceive a nd understand the meanings communicated by texts (Durkin, 1993).
20 Self-monitoring. The process by which readers are aware of what they do understand, identify what they do not understa nd, and use fix-up stra tegies to resolve problems with comprehension (N ational Reading Panel, 2000). Schema. The background knowledge or what a person already knows about a topic Differentiated small group instruction. Making instruction for reading specialized by modifying it for students n eeds (Fountas & Pinnell, 2001). Dynamic grouping. Grouping for reading instruction in which teachers change the composition of the groups regularly to accommod ate the different learning paths of the readers (Fountas & Pinnell, 2001). Gradient text. The ordering of text according to a specific set of characteristics (Fountas & Pinnell, 2001). Leveled text. The ordering of the difficulty levels of text readabili ty according to ascending or descending difficulty (Fountas & Pinnell, 2001). Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). The standardized test used in primary and secondary public schools of Florid a. First administered in 1998, it replaced the CTBS, Terra Nova, and HSCT exams. Lexile. An absolute scale for measuring reader performance. Lexile Measure is a number indicating the reading demand of th e text in terms of semantic difficulty (vocabulary) and syntactic complexity (sen tence length). The Lexile scale ranges from 200 to 1700. ReaderÂ’s lexile. A measure of a child's level of reading comprehension skills
21 Text lexile. A measure that describes the diffi culty level of reading materials (books, journal articles, pe riodicals, textbooks, etc.). Lexile framework A tool that makes it possible to place readers and text on the same scale. The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS). A set of standardized, individually admi nistered measures of early l iteracy development. They are designed to be short (one mi nute) fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of pre-reading and early reading skills. Struggling reader. A student who has weak reading skills and strategies and lacks reading proficiency. Limitations There are factors to consider in a study such as this that may be considered limitations. The small sample size ( n =13) is one such consideration. The study participants are a convenience sample from a single, large, urban, west coast, Florida school district. The participants were desi gnated as struggling r eaders and came from a heterogeneous group of student s with varied backgrounds. The participants received the treatment in a single subject desi gn; this might have an effect on internal validity due to inte raction of the studen ts with other support programs to which they may have been a ssigned. Maturation and attrition may also threaten the internal validity of the study.
22 Chapter 2 Review of Related Literature Introduction This chapter includes a review of relevant literature concerning theory and current research related to the study. The research reviewed is presented in seven general categories: (1) effectiveness (of schools, teachers, teachers of reading and classroom reading instruction); (2) at-risk students; (3) school factors; (4) acquisition of fluency and reading; (5) comprehension; (6) grouping fo r instruction; and (7 ) guided reading in intermediate grades. Effective schools Research on effective schools conducted ove r the past 40 years pr ovides us with a great deal of information on effective schools and accomplished elementary teachers of reading (Taylor, Pressley, & Pearson, 2000). From this resear ch we learn that effective teachers and schools maintain an academic focu s that keeps students engaged in learning and on task, and teachers provide direct instruction (Brophy, 1973; Durkin & Biddle, 1974; Stallings & Kaskowitz, 1974). Effective teachers emphasize hi gher level thinking skills more than lower level skills; they use modeling and explanation to teach strategies for decoding and comprehending text, and provi de more smallgroup than wholegroup instruction (Knapp, 1995; Roehler & Duffy, 19 84; Taylor, Pearson, Clark, & Walpole, 2000).
23 However, even with all that research te lls us about effective schools and teachers, the fact remains that many students are not reading well enough to keep up with the demands of schooling and fall further behind w ith each school year (Taylor, Pressley, & Pearson, 2000). Stringfield, Millsap, and He rman (1997) conducted a 3-year study of schools implementing special strategies to im prove reading achievement. Instruction was mainly delivered in a teacher-led format, fo cused on discrete skill instruction, and much of the teacherÂ’s time was taken up by mana gement concerns. Stringfield, Millsap, and Herman also reported that their observations showed little evidence of students engaged in sustained reading or applyi ng what they were learning. Th e results suggest that these teachers were not using best practices for effective schools. Even schools recognized as effective still had ample room for instru ctional improvement, which, if implemented, would render greater gains in reading achievement. The Committee on the Prevention of R eading Difficulties in Young Children advocates the importance of systemic, school-w ide restructuring efforts in reading (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). They recommend that poor performing schools consider reading reform efforts that focus on both school -wide organizational issues and improved classroom instruction. Stringfie ld, et al. (1997) found that schools that began reform programs that focused on primary grades ha d greater reading achie vement gains than those schools that spread their resources across the elementary grades and into the secondary grades. They also concluded that schools that used externally developed programs had greater achievement gains than schools that developed their own programs. There are many factors that can contribut e to lower student achievement. In a national study of 400 Chapter 1 schools, res earchers found that high levels of poverty, a
24 greater percentage of retenti ons, and higher levels of stude nt disciplinary actions were related to lower student achievement (Pum a, Karweit, Price, Ricuitti, Thompson, & Vaden-Keirnan, 1997). A study conducted by th e Charles A. Dane Center (1999) highlighted nine high-performing urban elementary schools in which important similarities were found across the schools. Positive influences on student achievement were associated with schools that had a collective sense of re sponsibility for school improvement that includes a focus on putti ng children first, well behaved student populations, and increased time spent on in struction. These schools also provided teachers with time for collaborative planning and learning that focused on instructional issues, instructional leadership and support. Stringfield et al. (1997) conducted a l ongitudinal study of schools using special strategies for educating disa dvantaged children. The study a ddressed several questions: (a) What do children do differently in high-eff ect and low effect schools? (b) How stable are schooling patterns (academic learning time) in highand lo weffect schools? and (c) What are the roles of programs such as sp ecial education, state co mpensatory education, and federally funded compensatory edu cation in determining overall effect? The study design included three parts: a best evidence synthesis and critical review of school effectiveness literature, analyses conducted as part of Phase IV of the Louisiana School Effectiveness Study (LSES), and analyses conducted as part of Phase V of the LSES. As part of the study, the re searchers visited 16 previously identified, matched outlier elementary schools and collected data from (1) lowand highinference classroom observations; (2) st udent, teacher, and principal school climate questionnaires and interviews; (3) program coordination, questionnaires of principals, classroom
25 teachers, Chapter 1 teachers and special ed ucation teachers; (4) new teacher induction interviews; and (5) integrated, high-inference ra tings of instructional processes at student, teacher, and school levels. They obtained program outcome m easures that included statemandated criterion-referenced test scores, norm-referenced test scores and writing samples. Chapter 1 TIERS data and stude nt attendance and academic self-concept measures were also evaluated. Analysis of the results investigated the stability of school effects over time; level of program coordina tion in more effective and less-effective schools; relationships among students, teacher, program and school proc esses; effects of those processes on multiple student outcomes; and effects of districtand state-level polices on school, classroom and student proc esses and outcomes. Researchers in the LSES Phase V analyses tested hypotheses re garding natural change in schools and districts in a less extensive 9-year follo w-up (Stringfield, Millsap, and Herman, 1997). Findings revealed that about ha lf of the schools retained thei r effectiveness status over a 9-year period; the stability was about the same for both effective and less effective schools. Such basic factors as socio-economic status (SES), urban makeup, and grade level affected the success of strategies used to make schools more effective. The importance of the principal throughout al l the phases was more pronounced than expected. The study found several cases in which schools improved dramatically over time as well as several cases where schools became less effective. Stringfield et al. (1997) found schools that showed the greatest achievement gains worked hard at the initia l implementation and the long-term maintenance of the innovation. They further noted the importance of systematic self-improvement in the schools; the changes continued to evolve and expand. This study also found support for
26 the idea that students placed at high risk for academic failure could achieve at levels that met national averages. In the large nationa l study of 400 Chapter 1 schools, researchers found that greater application of grade retention policies a nd higher levels of student disciplinary actions were rela ted to lower student achieve ment (Puma et al., 1997). High performing, high poverty schools had lower than average teacher and student mobility, principals had more years of experien ce, and there was a more orderly school environment than in the average high-povert y school. There was also greater parent and community involvement as well as a better school climate in the high-performing, highpoverty schools. (Puma et al., 1997). There is no single factor that makes a school effective. Effective schools may have different curricula and di fferent approaches to teachi ng and learning. These schools are, however, places where the environmen t nurtures student achievement and personal development, teachers engage students, and class size or student population is small. In effective schools, ground rules set the tone for respectful behavior. Further, when school improvement processes based upon effective schools research are implemented, the proportion of students who achieve academic ex cellence either increases, or, at the very least, remains the same. Effective Teachers Effective teachers have been the focus of a considerable amount of research spanning several decades. Rosenshine and Fu rst (1973) found severa l teacher behaviors consistently related to student achievement. These behaviors include : clarity, variability, enthusiasm, task orientation, teacher direct ness, use of criterion material, use of structuring comments, and multiple levels of questioning. Effective teachers are able to
27 produce better achievement regardless of cu rriculum material, peda gogical approach, or reading program used. What the effective t eacher does with the reading program, not the program itself, makes the difference. Researchers agree that the impact of deci sions made by the teacher is far greater than the impact of decisions made at th e school level (Marzano, 2003). Wright, Horn, and Sanders (1997) analyzed the achievement sc ores of 60,000 students in Grades 3, 4 and 5 in five subject areas (mathematics, social studi es, science, language arts, and reading) and found the most important factor affecting st udent learning is the teacher. They further noted that effective teachers appear to be e ffective with students at all academic levels, regardless of the levels of heterogeneity in th eir classrooms. If the teacher is ineffective, students instructed by that teacher will ma ke inadequate progress regardless of how similar or different the students are in academic achievement. Effective teachers can have a profound influence on student achievement. Researchers have identified many vari ables that correlate with teacher effectiveness. Kathleen Cotton (1995) has identified 150 variables; Fraser, Walberg, Welch and Hattie (1987) have 30 variables they consider components of teacher effectiveness. These lists of variables can be organized in many wa ys. Cotton uses seven categories to organize the 150 va riables she has identif ied: (1) planning; (2) setting goals; (3) classroom management and organization; (4) instruction; (5) teacher-student interaction; (6) equity ; and (7) assessment. Marzano (2003) has developed three teacher-l evel factors (instructional strategies, classroom management, and classroom curriculu m design) to organize the research on teacher effectiveness. MarzanoÂ’s three f actors and CottonÂ’s seven categories contain
28 similar descriptors and reflect the same types of conditions for evaluating teacher effectiveness. The teacher-level factors can be discussed separately, but they cannot be separated in terms of their impact on student achievement (Marzano, 2003). More effective teachers use more effective instru ctional strategies. The expert teacher has a wide variety of instructional strategies and th e knowledge of when these strategies should be employed. In his book First Lessons: A Report on Elemen tary Education in America (1986), former Secretary of Education William Be nnett outlines the need for a well thought out list of research-based strategies. Bennett strongly makes the point that good teaching is not a mystery and research can provide clea r guidance on what makes effective teaching (Marzano, 2003). Of over 40 research-based practices identified by Bennett, the following 10 pertain to classroom instruction: the use of experiments, teacher estimation strategies, teacher expectations effort, reinforcement, classroom time management, direct instruction, memorization, questioning, ho mework, and classroom assessment. Bert Creemers (1994) developed a similar list of instructiona l strategies that added advanced organizers, ability grouping, and clarity of presen tation. Marzano (2003) suggests that effective teachers have more strategies at their disposal than do less effective teachers. After presenting lists of in structional strategies, he encourages taking action steps to promote effective teaching. He recommends providing teachers with an instructional framework for units that use researched-based strategies. Effective Teachers of Reading To help schools reach the goal of all ch ildren reading on grade level by the end of Grade 3, researchers and professional organizatio ns have synthesized much of the recent
29 research on learning to read, effective school reform programs, early reading interventions and effective classr oom practices. In an attempt to look at what they feel is missing in the area of research on effective schools and teachers, Taylor, Pearson, Clark and Walpole (2000) designed a single study to look at school and teacher factors contributing to childrenÂ’s reading success. The study was designed to examine school factors and teacher factors contributing to primary grade studentsÂ’ reading growth and reading achievement. The researchers invest igated school and classroom variables in effective, moderately effective, and less eff ective schools. They also compared classroom practices of accomplished and less accomplishe d teachers (Taylor et al., 2000). The study was conducted in four states (Virginia, Mi nnesota, Colorado and Ca lifornia), included 14 schools, and involved 70 first, second and third grade teachers. Across the schools involved, students who qualified for subsidiz ed lunches comprised 28-92% of the populations. Teachers in the study were observed for one hour of reading instruction each month from December to April to get an ove rall picture of instru ctional practices. Two Grades K-3 teachers from each school with two low and two average readers per teacher served as subjects. To secure an index of overall school e ffectiveness, the researchers created a composite score based upon the overa ll school mean for studentsÂ’ gains on three individually administered read ing measures (words correct per minute, reading words in isolation and retelling of a pa ssage). The school average on a standardized test was used for Grade 3 students. Based on this informa tion, the schools were clustered into three categories. Four schools were considered to be most effective, six schools were
30 designated as moderately effective, and four schools were judged to be least effective. Table 2 presents relevant data on socio-ec onomic status of the schools in the study. Table 2 School Effectiveness by Po verty and Reading Performance Percentage free/reduced price lunch Mean Grade 3 standardized reading test percentile Most effective schools 59 51 Moderately effective schools 69 40 Least effective schools 45 43 Note Data from Taylor et al., 2000 One variable that separated the most e ffective schools from the other schools in the study was time spent in sma ll group instruction for reading. Reading instruction in the most effective schools included teacher-directe d reading of narrative and expository text. The reading instruction incorporated wo rk on phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension (the five research -based instructional practices touted in NCLB as the underpinnings of good reading inst ruction.) Students in the more effective schools spent more time in small group inst ruction across these activities than did students in less effectiv e schools (see Table 3).
31 Table 3 Time Spent in Reading Instruction by School Effectiveness Levels Minutes in small group reading Minutes in whole-group reading Minutes in independent reading Total minutes reading Most effective schools 60 25 28 134 Moderately effective schools 26 37 27 113 Least effective schools 38 30 19 113 Note Data from Taylor, Short, Shearer, & Frye, 1999 Table 4 shows the study findings on comp rehension instructio nal practices. The teachers in the most effective schools used more higher level questions with their students than did the teachers in the modera tely effective and least effective schools. Although the teachers in the most effective schoo ls were more balanced in their use of instructional tools than the teachers in th e moderately effective and least effective schools, it was noted that there was not much comprehension activity in these classrooms in general.
32 Table 4 Percent of Teachers Frequently Observed Using Various Approaches to Comprehension Instruction in Grades 1-3 by School Effectiveness levels Text-based questions Higher level questions Writing in response to reading Most effective schools 37 37 47 Moderately effective schools 34 7 24 Least effective schools 45 0 27 Note Data from Taylor, Short, Shearer, & Frye, 1999 The study points out several other factors that distinguished the most effective schools from moderately and least effective schools. Teachers in the most effective schools communicated more with parents and felt good home-to-school connections played a great role in their success. In f our of the most effective schools, the teachers reported that reading was a priority in thei r building and that this was a factor that contributed to their success. Taylor et al. ( 2000) summarized their fi ndings by stating that sound decisions (including the use of a colla borative model of reading instruction and effective classroom practices) contributed to the success of the mo st effective schools. In another study, Taylor, Peterson, Pear son and Rodriguez (2005) analyzed a small subset from year one of a larger nati onal study on school reform in reading that was funded by the Center of Early Reading Achiev ement (CIERA). The purposes of this more
33 focused analysis of the findings from the study were to: (a) describe the teacher practices that were observed in the classrooms, especia lly those derived from the last four decades of research on effective teachers; (b) examin e the relationship between teachersÂ’ practices and studentsÂ’ growth in reading achievement; a nd (c) provide vignettes that describe what effective practices l ook like in action. The participants in the study were draw n from 80 high-poverty (70-95% of the students qualified for free or reduced lunch) schools. Ac ross the schools, 2-68% of the students were non-native speakers of Eng lish and 67-91% were members of minority groups. The schools involved were geographically diverse; they were located in the rural southeast, a large mid-west city, and a larg e southwestern city. Two teachers per grade level from each school were randomly selected to take part in the classroom observations. The teachers were asked to divide their class into three groups (high, average and low) of students according to their read ing levels. Two children from each group (six students per classroom) were randomly selected for observation. The average class size was 25. The students were given a battery of lite rary assessments in the fall and spring. Grades 1 6 assessments included the Gate-MacGinitie Reading Test, 4th ed., passages from the Basic Reading Inventory, 7th ed., and tests of fluency. Grades K Â– 1 assessments included letter names and sounds, phonemic awaren ess, word dictation, and concepts of print. Each teacher was observed three times for an hour during their reading instruction to document their teaching practices. The crit erion for inter-observer agreement was 80% in coding scores for each of the seven cat egories of the coding scheme (Scanlon & Gelzheiser, 1992). The observa tion protocol combined qua litative note taking and a quantitative coding process. The researchers an alyzed the classroom observations data to
34 investigate the relationship between classr oom instructional practices and studentsÂ’ growth in reading. The research-based classr oom practices analyzed included (Taylor, Pressley, & Pearson, 2002): Whole-group : the percentage of 5-minute segments in which whole-group activities were coded. Small group : the percentage of 5-minute segm ents in which small group activities were coded. Word skills : a sum of a number of 5-minute segments in which the Level 4 activities dealing with word skills were obs erved, divided by the number of segments in which the Level 3 code was designated as reading. Comprehension skills or strategies : the percentage of 5-minute segments in which comprehension skills and strategies were coded, divided by the number of Category 3 reading segments coded. Lower level questioning or writing about text : the percentage of 5-minute segments in which Category 4 activities deal ing with lower level talking or writing about text were observed, divided by the number of Category 3 reading segments coded. Higher level questioning or writing about text : the percentage of 5-minute segments in which Category 4 activities deali ng with higher level ta lking or writing about text were observed, divided by the number of Category 3 reading segments coded. Teacher telling: the percentage of 5-minute segm ents in which the teacher was coded as telling children information. Teacher using recitation : the percentage of 5-minute segments in which the teacher was coded as engaging children in recitation.
35 Teacher coaching : the percentage of 5-minute segm ents in which the teacher was coded as coaching children for independence. Students actively responding : an aggregated variable; th e percentage of responses in which children were coded as engaging in reading, writing, or manipulating out of the total number of coded responses. Data analysis from this study revealed that whole-group instruction across all grade levels was coded more often than small group instruction. This finding is in contrast to what Taylor, P earson, Clark, and Walpole (2000), found in an earlier study of primary grade reading instruc tion in schools that were beat ing the odds (see Table 3). A greater occurrence of small gr oup instruction was found to be characteristic of the most effective schools in the earlie r study. Word work activities we re observed more in Grades K-1 than in Grades 2-6, and comprehension work was seldom observed in the primary grades. These findings were similar to those th at Taylor, Short, Shear er, and Frye (1999) found in previous studies of primary grade r eading instruction in e ffective, low-income schools. A relatively small amount of higher leve l questioning or writi ng related to stories read was observed and this finding was consis tent with results of earlier studies, but Taylor, Pearson, Clark and Wal pole (2000) note that effective teachers in more effective schools are more frequently observed asking hi gher order questions than less effective teachers in less effective schools (Knapp, 1995; Taylor, Pressley, & Pearson, 2002). (See Table 4.) Teacher interaction styles were also re ported. Telling and recitation were major interaction styles of teachers in all grades, but coaching was seldom observed. In their earlier study (Taylor, Pearson, Clark, & Wa lpole 2000), the level of teacher interaction
36 style differed depending on the level of teacher accomplishment; less accomplished teachers were observed telling, while accomplis hed teachers preferred coaching as their main interaction style. Students in this study were observed engaged in passive responding more often than active responding acro ss all grade levels. This is in contrast to what Pressley et al. (2001) found in exem plary first grade teachersÂ’ classrooms, where teachers had their students actively engaged in actual reading and writing. These results were reported to emphasize the characterist ics of the most accomplished teachers in effective classrooms. Taylor et al. (1999), following the wo rk of Bryk and Raudenbush (1989), used Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) analyses to assess the relationship between teacher instructional practices and studentsÂ’ reading and writi ng achievement. The outcome measures were fluency, measured by the number of words read correctly on a grade level passage in one minute, and comprehension, measured by the comprehension subset of the GatesMacGinitie reading tests. These assessme nts were given to students in the fall and again in the spring of the school year. The HL M analysis for fluency revealed that for Grade 1, the incidence of students coded as actively responding was positively related to the spring scores, whereas the HLM analysis fo r Grades 2 and 3 showed that telling had a significant negative relationship on the spri ng scores. Teacher and student actions accounted for the negative relationshi p between telling and spring scores. Telling and recitation were the major styles for delivery of instruction by teachers in all grades. Telling was observed 50-58% of the time and recitation for 60-65% of the time in Grades K-6. Coaching, however, was only observed 12-21% of the time. Teachers were observed using te acher-directed styles of tel ling and recitation for 60-70%
37 of the instructional classroom time. For Grades 2 and 3, the HLM analysis revealed that 45% of the variance in spring scores was be tween teachers. For every 10% increase in teacher-directed event coding, student fluenc y scores decreased by a mean of 4.0 words correct per minute (Taylor, Pear son, Peterson, & Rodriguez, 2005). The HLM analysis of comprehension scores for Grades 46 revealed significant differences in reading comprehension. Increa sed time spent on higher level questions had a positive effect on spring comprehension scor es; telling had a signifi cant negative effect. It was noted that in the more effective schools, teachers were observed asking higher level, aesthetic questions 37% of the tim e. Higher level questioning was observed in moderately effective schools 7% of the time and in the least effective schools, it was not observed at all (see Table 4). The summary of the findings of the desc riptive data of the typical effective classroom indicates that a shift in certai n teaching practices, such as higher level questioning, style of teacher interaction, and encouraging student involvement may be warranted (Taylor, Pressley, & Pearson, 1999) Classroom literacy instruction needs to reflect best practices as identi fied in the research. Accordi ng to Taylor et al. (1999), the findings from their research at the classroom level in combination with earlier research suggests that in addition to what teachers teach, how teachers teach is also important to consider when seeking to make changes in reading instruction as a means to increase studentsÂ’ reading achievement.
38 Effective Classroom Reading Curriculum Design Classroom curriculum design is another fact or in effective teaching. According to Marzano (2003), the breakdown in student learning may be a result of poor classroom curriculum design. For this discussion, curri culum design as it relates to classroom instruction refers to the or der and pacing of the content to be taught as well as the interaction of the students w ith the content that are under the control of the classroom teacher. There are some curricular designs that ar e addressed at the school level, but teachers still need to be able to make decisions regarding curriculum design at the classroom level if they are to meet the uni que needs of their students (Farr, Tulley, & Rayford, 1998; Marzano, 2003). Ellen Whitener (1999) performed a meta-a nalysis of 22 studies and concluded that there was a strong relationship between a studentÂ’s knowledge and experience with content, and the type of seque ncing and pacing necessary to le arn that content. Teachers often do not make decisions about how to pace and sequence the content lessons that they teach (Marzano, 2003). Roger Farr and colleagues found this to be a common situation at both the elementary and secondary level. Teachers often rely on the design of the textbooks to guide sequencing and pacing of instruction (Farr, Tulley, & Rayford, 1998). Taylor and Pearson (2001) found that th e most effective teachers were highly skilled at managing time as well as behavior s. They found that highly effective teachers are clear about the purposes of their activiti es and practices and th eir curriculum design allows for scaffolding to support student learning. Highly effective teachers also encourage self-regulation by teaching student s to monitor their own learning. Teachers
39 should make informed decisions about se quencing, pacing and presentation of instructional content. They need to recognize and articulate th e specifics of the content to be taught, ensure that student s have repeated exposures to the content, identify the procedures to be mastered, structure cont ent and tasks using the principles of good instruction, and engage students in complex tasks that require them to address content in several ways (Marzano, 2003; Taylor & Pearson, 2001). Teachers who are most accomplished in helping students thrive, especially in reading, are skilled in coaching and keeping all children academically on task. They have input in curriculum design and delivery of in struction. Findings of the study by Taylor and Pearson (2001) suggest th at a combination of sound school-level decisions and collaborative efforts, coupled with effective practices within individual classrooms, are needed if schools are to succeed in improving elementary studentsÂ’ reading achievement. Richard Allington (2002), responding to da ta from a study of Grade 1 and Grade 4 teachers in six states, concluded that eff ective reading proficiency rests largely on the ability of classroom teachers to provide e xpert, exemplary reading instruction. Allington and his colleagues at the National Research Center on English Learning and Achievement have studied some of the best elementary t eachers in the United States over the last decade. The teachers were selected from school s that have significant numbers of socioeconomically disadvantaged stude nts and have racial, ethnic, and linguistically diverse student enrollments that mirror the nationÂ’s population. The researcher s spent at least 10 days or more observing a nd videotaping each teacher. Allington (2002) studied teachers who were most effective in developing reading and writing proficiency in th eir students. He identified six common features that he
40 referred to as The Six Ts of effective elementary literacy: time, talk, texts, teaching, tasks, and testing (see Table 5). Table 5 Six Common Features of Effe ctive Elementary Literacy Time Students of A+ teachers spend as much as half the day in reading and writing activities, a significantly high er proportion than in the average classroom. Extensive practice facilitat es reading competency, and practice requires sufficient time. Texts Reading materials of appropriate co mplexity must be readily available. Lower-achieving students in particular require books they can successfully read. Motivation to read is nurtu red by prior success in reading. Teaching Exemplary instructors provide am ple doses of direct, explicit teaching. They model the cognitive processes, such as how to decode words, that skilled readers must master. The best reading teachers model and demonstrate frequently throughout their lessons. Talk Successful reading teachers have a hi gher rate of student talk than found in most classrooms. The quality of the st udent talk also differs; rather than merely responding to teachers' questions the student talk focuses on ideas, problem solving, strategies, and hypot heses. The teachers also use more open-ended questions. Tasks Longer and fewer reading assignments are the norm. Emphasis is given to reading whole books or extended sma ll group research projects. Students are often given choices from a menu of possible tasks. Testing In assessing student performan ce, teachers tended to stress effort and improvement more than achievement This practice does require that teachers know their students well. Very little use of commercial test preparation materials was observed. Allington (2002) noted that reading in struction cannot be packaged or regurgitated from a common script because it must be responsive to studentsÂ’ needs. According to Allington, if we truly hope to achieve the goal of the NCLB, we must focus
41 on creating a much larger number of effective, expert teachers who manage to get better results no matter what curriculum materi als or reading approach they use. There is no single answer to the question of how to best reshape our schoolsÂ’ reading programs and curriculum designs to pr ovide teachers with in structional practices that they can employ in their effort to help all students read well by the time they leave elementary school. Currently in the Un ited States, improving childrenÂ’s reading achievement is a major goal of the No Child Left Behind Act. We have ample research from the last 40 years on what makes effective schools and effective te achers, and there is a wealth of information to help schools and teachers move toward that goal (Taylor & Pearson, 2001). Pulling it all together is the challenge Ongoing professional development that allows teachers the opportunities to work toge ther within buildings to reflect on their teaching practices is needed to ensure that a ll students have a chance to succeed and that no child is left behind. Through research, we have gained knowledge about what makes schools effective. The question remains, howev er, of whether the techniques, processes and procedures that undoubtedly work in schools will also get results with at-risk students. At-Risk Students Who are at-risk students? Defining the term is a controversial issue. Traditionally, at-risk students were those students whose appearance, language, culture, values, communities and/or family structures didnÂ’t match those of the dominant white culture that schools are designed to serve and s upport (Hixson & Tinzmann, 1990). Goodlad and Keating (1990) contend that minorities, the poor, and immigrants were perceived to be
42 culturally or educationally disadvantaged or deprived. McDill, Natriello and Pallas (1986) provide a broader set of characterist ics that correlate with a high likelihood of dropping out. These include demographic, socio economic and instructional issues such as living in high growth states, living in unstable school districts, being a member of a lowincome family, having parents who are not hi gh school graduates, speaking English as a second language, being the child of a single parent, having a negative selfimage, being bored or alienated, having low self-esteem and leaving to pursue alternate work. As it became obvious that the majority of the students labeled at-risk failed to achieve academically, the problem was often attr ibuted to deficiencies in the students themselves, not the schools or the level of e ffective instruction they received (Goodlad & Keating, 1990). In recent years, however, the tendency to blame academic failure purely on the students, their community or their family has diminished. The issue of defining at risk remains a controversial part of the na tional discussion about underachieving students. Ideological and theoretical differences conti nue to exist among educators, policymakers and the general public about the role and res ponsibility of the students, their families and the schools (Hixson & Tinzmann, 1990; Natrie llo, McDill, & Pallas, 1990). Hixson and Tinzmann (1990) provide four general approaches to defining at-risk students that are commonly used by most schools and policymak ers. They are the Predictive Approach, the Descriptive Approach, the Unilate ral Approach and School Factors. The Predictive Approach uses certain st udent characteristic s and conditions to assign the label of at-risk to a student. Conditions such as living with a single parent, being a member of a minority group, having limited English proficiency and so on are defined as at-risk indicators because, statistica lly, students with these indicators are more
43 likely to be in the lower achieving groups a nd more likely to drop out of school. This approach and the Descriptive Approach are the two most commonly used approaches for identifying at-risk students. The Predictive a pproach has the benefit of being clear cut, uses information already available to the schools and other involved agencies, and is based on the idea of intervention rather than remediation of related academic and school problems. The Predictive Approach does have limitations and deficits. This model can promote stereotyping of stude nts and leads educators and policymakers to create programs to identify the ways in which the stude nt needs to change in order to fit into the existing school structures and program s (Goodlad & Keating, 1990). This early categorizing of students as at-risk can have an adverse affect on teacher and school expectations by lowering teachersÂ’ expecta tions of what the student is capable of achieving. The use of the Predictive Approach indicators often can put students in the position of being blamed for poor school pe rformance based on conditions over which they have no control (Richardson & Colfer, 1990). The Descriptive Approach uses a monito ring and intervention strategy. Unlike the Predictive Approach, which uses predisposing in dicators, this approach waits until school problems occur and then identifies the st udentÂ’s problems after a pattern of poor academic performance. This approach is re active in nature. Students who are already performing poorly in school are at risk because they have not been able to successfully maneuver through the system of regular school programs and it is very likely that they will continue perform poorly, falling further and further behind as they pass through the grades or eventually drop out. Their pr oblems can become severe enough to make successful intervention or remediation unlik ely. The Descriptive A pproach can involve
44 supplementary programs rather than changes in the regular curriculum and programs in which the student is not successf ul. This practice can also d eepen the negative impact of labeling and isolate struggling students from their peer ro le models and other support systems. Also, inclusion in ancillary programs often slows down the studentÂ’s progress, increases the degree to which the student falls further behind, and lessens the studentÂ’s belief that he can ever catch up (Levin, 1988). There are programs from the Descriptive Approach that have reported success as intervention programs with students who are at risk of failing to learn to read. One such program is Reading Recovery Many believe Reading Recovery is the best available program for preventing reading failure (P innell, Lyons, & DeFord, 1988; Swartz, Shook, & Hoffman, 1993). Dr. Marie Clay, a New Zealand educator, developed Reading Recovery in the 1970s to deal with the reading failure ther e. Dr. Gay Su Pinnell and Dr. Charlotte Huck introduced it in the United St ates through the Ohio State University in 1984 (Grossen & Coulter, 2004). Reading Recovery involves program-tra ined teachers providing one-to-one tutoring in 30-minute daily sessions to th e lowest 10 to 20% of Grade 1 students who have the prerequisite skills for Reading Rec overy. Reading Recovery supporters say that the program brings the lowest performing children up to the av erage reading level of their peers by the end of Grade 1. Th is is accomplished with 60 le ssons in 12 weeks of one-onone instruction. When students reach this goa l they are Â“discontinuedÂ” from the Reading Recovery program. Each Reading Recovery-t rained teacher, working a half-day with Reading Recovery, is expected to be able to tutor 8 students in one year. According to Hiebert (1994), the actual fi gures from the national databa se indicate that the average
45 number of students per teacher per year is a somewhat lowe r 5.5 (11 students for a fulltime equivalent teacher.) Because of Readi ng Recovery's popularity -and its expense -many independent evaluators have raised ques tions and reviewed the research that is cited to support claims regarding its effectiveness (Grosse n & Coulter, 2004). Although the Descriptive A pproach is one of the most commonly used approaches for identifying at-risk students, it is reactive in nature and does not address the issue of at-risk students until students are performing poorly. In terventions for these students need to be put into place before problems become severe enough to make successful intervention or remediation unlikely. The fourth approach commonly used by schools and policymakers for defining atrisk students is the Unilateral Approach. This approach addresses egalitarian ideals and values while allaying the concerns of parent s, educators and policymakers that too much time and attention is being spent on poorly performing students at the expense of the average and the more gifted students. This approach does, however, tend to ignore the need to attend to those students in the greates t need at the time; these are the students that are not able to function successfully within their current school organization and are performing at unaccepta ble academic levels. School Factors There are School Factors that can also beco me potential causes for students to be considered at-risk. School Factors that ha ve been identified as hindering academic achievement of some students include infl exible scheduling; narrow curriculum; a primary focus on basic/lower-order skills; inappropriate, limited, and rigid instructional strategies; inappropriate te xts and other instructional materials; over-reliance on
46 standardized tests to make instructional deci sions; tracking; isolated pull-out programs; and teacher and administrator beliefs and attitudes toward both students and parents (Hixson & Tinzmann ,1990; Richardson & Colfer, 1990). The positive quality of this approach is that it does not blame poor academic achievement on circumstances beyond the studentÂ’s control. The negative side is th at analysis of school factors is not widely used by state or district le vel policymakers to allocate resources or develop program interventions for at-risk students (Hixson & Tinzmann, 1990). If there is to be success in restructuring schools with the ultimate goal of success for all students, there must be a focus on the problem of at-risk students (Goodlad & Keats, 1984). Effective, high quality edu cation can mean different th ings to different people. Some groups feel students should be better educated in the ba sic skills; others are more concerned that schools prepare students to be technologically literate; still others want schools to teach discipline, citizenship and pos itive democratic values (Durian & Butler, 2004). The concern for at-risk students is whethe r we as a nation can provide them with a quality education. The following findings emerge as a disturbing pictur e of the status of struggling students in the school setting: (a) most experts ag ree that 30% of students in schools today will drop out prior to graduating a nd this number is likely to increase in the coming years (Durian & Butler, 2004); (b) there does not appe ar to be a clear definition of who these students are (Mann, 1986); and (c) society will be responsible for the economic burden for failing to adequately educate these students (Levin, 1989). What can be done to effectively engage and educate students who are at-risk of failing academically? Over the past decades a number of strategies and programs have been designed to provide extr a help to low achieving student s and to equalize distribution
47 of educational resources and opportuniti es (Legters, McDill & McPartland, 1993). Headstart, Title 1 (now Chap ter 1) and Upward Bound are a sample of the large federal programs initiated during the Johnson administ ration in the 1960s.The recently mandated No Child Left Behind Act signed into la w in 2002 contains some of the most comprehensive reforms to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act since it was instituted in 1965. Hodgkinson (1985) noted that successful pr ograms combine intensive, individual training in basic skills with work-related projects, and found that when the relationship between education and work is clear, most pot ential dropouts can be motivated to stay in school and perform at a higher level. The st rategies and programs examined by Legters, McDill and McPartland (1993) consistently revealed two phenomena of concern. The first they refer to as the Â“fade outÂ” effect, in which students participating in a program make significant academic and /or behavioral progress only to have these gains drop off when they are promoted out of the program or move to another school. The second is an observation that individual programs ofte n address only one source of a studentÂ’s difficulties by providing extra help in readi ng or involving the stude nt in a mentoring program. Few programs explicitly address the student as a whole person with many needs and experiences, all of which have an impact on his or her ability to learn (Legters, McDill, & McPartland, (1993). Edmonds (1979) and Haberman (1995) studi ed the effects of poverty on at-risk students. Their conclusions are still relevant to todayÂ’s at-r isk students. Edmonds asserts that all children are educable a nd that the behavior of the scho ol is critical in determining the quality of that education. In his re search on schools serving poor populations, he
48 found that there are effective schools that are successfully working with at-risk students. Haberman refers to these schools as Â“StarÂ” schools. Star school s demonstrate certain characteristics such as str ong administrative leadership; a climate of expectation in which no child is permitted to fall below minimum but attainable levels of achievement; an orderly, but not rigid, atmosphere that is conducive to instru ctional business at hand; an attitude which makes it clear that the pupilÂ’s acquisition of basic sk ills takes precedence over all other school activities; th e ability to divert resources from other areas in order to further the fundamental objectives when necessary; and use frequent monitoring of pupil progress so teachers and the prin cipal are constantly aware of pupil progress in relation to instructional objectives. Although there are many successful school-b ased programs for at-risk students with rich curricular offerings, Levin (1986) asserts that an effec tive strategy to help disadvantaged, at-risk students must incl ude the following components: enriched preschool experiences; a means to improve th e effectiveness of the home as a learning environment; a program to improve the schoolÂ’s effectiveness in meeting the needs of the disadvantaged; and a program to assist those from linguistically different backgrounds to acquire skills in standard English. According to Durian and Butler (2004), a review of research on both effective schools and at-risk students s uggests that there may be va lue in applying effective schooling practices to programs for at-risk st udents. Effective school practices such as clear expectations for academic performan ce, strong leadership to support and guide instructional practices, and fr equent monitoring of student academic progress are evident in programs that successfully meet the needs of at-risk students. Th e challenge to policy
49 makers and educators is to develop innovative and creative strategies that encourage all students to be engaged learne rs (Durian & Butler, 2004). Th e specific needs of at-risk students must be met to ensure no child is left behind. Acquisition of Fluency a nd Reading Comprehension When educators and state department officials were surveyed to determine what teachers should know to be able to run effective school reading programs, they emphasized content-specific pedagogy (Reynol ds, 1995). This reflects the belief that to improve reading, teachers should be experts in strategies pertinent to reading instruction. Teaching reading has never been easy. Noted and respected practitioners and researchers such Halle Yopp, Marilyn Adams, and Da vid Pearson emphasize the importance of systematic and research-based instructional approaches aimed at giving students control as they learn to read (Yopp, 1995; Adam s, 1990; Pearson & Dole, 1987). Countless opportunities open up to children when they b ecome good readers early in life. Research shows that children who read well in the early grades are far more su ccessful in the later years. Too many children struggle with learni ng to read. While there are no easy answers or quick solutions for optimizing r eading achievement, an extensive base now exists to show us the skills children must learn in order to re ad well (Armbruster & Osborne, 2001). Improving reading skills of child ren is a top national and state priority. Research has identified the most essentia l components of reading instruction; among these components are fluency and comprehension (Allington & Walmsley 1995; Cunningham, 2003; Taylor, Peterso n, Pearson, & Rodriguez, 2005).
50 Fluency is the ability to r ead text accurately and qui ckly. Fluency is important because it provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension. Fluent readers read silently, recogni ze words automatically, and gr oup words quickly to help them gain meaning from what they read. Flue nt readers read aloud e ffortlessly and with expression. Their reading sounds as natural as if they were sp eaking (Armbruster & Osborne, 2001). When less fluent readers read aloud, their reading is choppy; they read slowly and word-by-word. Flue nt readers read smoothly; because they recognize words automatically, they donÂ’t have to concentrat e on decoding the words and thus can focus their attention on making sens e of what they are readi ng. Fluent readers can make connections with the text, be tween texts and to their ow n background knowledge as they read. For some students, fluency develops gradually over considerable time and through much practice. At the early stages of reading development, oral reading is slow and labored; early readers are just lear ning to break the code of letter sound correspondence and blending le tter sound into words. Fluency is not a stage of development at which readers can read a ll words quickly and easily; it changes, depending on what readers are reading and their familiarity with the words and the amount of practice they have had with the text they are reading. Even skilled readers may experience difficulty reading text on an unfamiliar topic; their reading may appear labored or slow. Instructional approaches th at have been most successful in building fluency involve students reading text at their instructional level (containing mostly words that students know or that they ca n decode easily) or even at the frustration level (text
51 read with less than 90% succe ss) if there is strong guidanc e and feedback (Kuhn & Stahl, 2003). A recent large-scale study by the Nationa l Assessment of Educational Progress (2005) found that 44% of a repr esentative sample of the natio nÂ’s fourth graders were low in fluency. The study also found a close re lationship between fluency and reading comprehension. Students who scored lower on me asures of fluency also scored lower on measures of comprehension. Grouping for Reading Instruction According to BarrÂ’s historical overview (1975), the launch of Sputnik prompted an increase in the use of homogeneous gr ouping for reading and math instruction in elementary education. This resulted in the development of numerous homogeneous grouping models, the majority of which were within class grouping models. Within class, small grouping models emphasize diversity rath er than uniformity of the instruction (Abrami, Chambers, Poulsen, De Simone, d'Apollonia, & Howden, 1995). The teacher has control over the delivery of instruction, modifying and tailoring instruction to meet the needs of the student groups. The use of small group instruction can have some advantages; with an emphasis on peer inte raction and independent follow-up activities, the teacher has more time to provide reme dial assistance to students experiencing difficulty or enrichment activities for student s in need of more challenging materials (Abrami et al., 1995). When Title I programs were established, pull-out services were used as a model for delivery of additional instruction for st ruggling students. Pullout services for poor readers included homogeneous grouping for re ading instruction (Harris & Sipay, 1980).
52 Inflexible, static homogeneous grouping has been criticized because grouping students by ability lowers self-esteem and motivation among children with learning difficulties and creates an even larger gap between high and low achieving stude nts (Calfee & Brown, 1979; Good & Stipek, 1993; Hiebert, 1983). Ho wever, guided readi ng groups that are fluid, changing in make-up based on needs, woul d alleviate the concern for the effect that tracking would have on students self-esteem and motivation to read. Research suggests that educators should consider the use of flexible and fl uid, likeneeds (homogeneous) grouping when making decisions about how to group students for reading instruction (Baker, 2003; Bloom, 1984; Flood, Lapp, Flood, & Nagel, 1992; Pikulski, 1991; Tomlinson, 2000). In the article Â“Redesigning Reading Instru ction,Â” Ivey (2000) states that children differ as readers. Classrooms are more divers e than ever and teachers need to meet the needs of all learners. Allington and Walmsley in their book Â“No Quick Fix: Rethinking Literacy Programs in AmericaÂ’s Elementary SchoolsÂ” (1995) would have us consider that teachers may be less able to rely on programs fo r students that they feel least prepared to teach. Walmsley and Allington also determined that differentiated reading instruction should no longer be considered as an intervention or remedi al measure but rather as a way to teach all students. They contend that one size fits all readi ng instruction never fit anyone, and that it is time to discard old para digms and redesign reading instruction with the diversity of the students in mind (Lou, Abrami, & Spence, 2002). Empirical studies by Anderson, Wilson and Fielding (1998) Stanovich (1986), Nell (1988) and Csikszentmihalyi (1990) found that reading instruction differed in the amount of time
53 students spent in actual reading ti me and that students need time to sit in the driverÂ’s seat, to navigate, and to make choices about their reading. Students need opportunities to read; the amount of time spent reading separates successful from non-successful readers. Read ing instruction that causes struggling readers to spend less time engaged in the actu al process of reading can be more harmful than helpful to their reading achievement We know from the research of Anderson, Wilson, and Fielding (1998) and Stanovich ( 1996) that the amount of time spent reading separates the successful from the unsuccessful readers. According to Allington and Johnson (1991), the quality of read ing instruction for struggling readers is typically fragmented, lo w-level skill in struction with limited time to actually read and write. Teachers who do not ha ve an adequate model for differentiating reading instruction for their students may va ry instruction in wa ys that could hinder rather than help their struggling stud ents. Without grouping for instruction and differentiating the reading skill and strategy taught based on student needs, schools may actually widen and increase reading di fferences among students (Allington, 1994). Lou, Abrami, and Spence (2002) say that class size and the diversity of the students who populate todayÂ’s classrooms m ean teachers face difficult pedagogical decisions if students are to le arn effectively and enjoyably. One such decision is how to group their students for instruction within th eir classrooms and how to provide effective instruction within th e groups. Small group inst ruction allows a class of students to be taught in several groupings where the emphasis of instruction is on di versity rather than uniformity. There are several reasons for usi ng a model of small group instruction; Lou, Abrami, and Spence further contend that sma ll group instruction allows the teacher to
54 have greater flexibility in adjusting the lear ning objectives and the p ace of the instruction to meet the needs of the learners in th e group. Small group instruction also provides students with opportunities to interact with their peers on a common level. As readers, students may orally rehearse their reading, explain their th inking to others, and have a cooperative environment that promotes risk-t aking rather than a competitive incentive based structure to work within. With sma ll group instruction, stude nts have opportunities to build social and communication skills that can boost their self-e steem as they work with others to learn (Lou, Abrami, & Sp ence, 2002; Kulik & Kulik, 1987). Small group instructional methods that include ability grouping, such as the guided reading in the intermediate grades model, are used primarily in elementary classrooms, especially for reading instruction. The prominent rationale fo r using homogeneous ability grouping is to achieve a compatible grouping of students so they can move together at a similar pace (Durso & Coggins, 1991; Pinnell & Lyons, 1995; Kulik & Kulik, 1987). One of the advantages of grouping student s by ability for reading instruction is that the teacher is able to provide adaptive instruction for students of different relative abilities (Kulik & Kulik, 1991). Reading instruction in the form of guided reading groups are homogeneous small groupings in which the st udents read at or about the same level, demonstrate similar reading behavior, and sh are similar instructional needs. The groups are temporary and dynamic, an important diffe rence from traditional grouping practices of static heterogene ous grouping (Slavin, 1989). In a meta-analysis of research on with in class grouping, Lou, Abrami, & Spence (2002) explain that the educational resear ch on within class grouping reflects mostly positive mean effects for within class grouping on student achievement, yet the
55 magnitude of the effects seemed to appear in consistent across and within the research reviewed. Effects were more positive at the lower grade levels than at the higher grade levels (Kulik & Kulik, 1987, 1991; Slavin, 1987, 1990). Several reasons were offered to explain the less positive effect of small gr oup instruction at higher grade levels. One explanation suggested in the re viewed studies is that more training of teachers on small group instructional strategies ta kes place in the elementary setting than in the high school and college setting. Another explanation o ffered for the less positive effects of small group instruction at the higher levels is that students may be more familiar with whole class instruction and have a less positive at titude towards learning and working in small groups. A final suggestion offered for the expl anation of the negative correlation in the higher grade levels refers to the possible unequal division of work put forth by members of the group in unstructured group learning situ ations due to either social loafers or overachievers (Shepperd, 1993). In cooperative learning st udies that directly comp ared homogeneous ability grouping and heterogeneous ability grouping, Lou, Abrami, Spence, Poulsen, Chambers and dÂ’Apollonia (1996) found that on aver age, small groups formed of homogenous ability students showed higher achievemen t than those in heterogeneous ability groupings. They did, however, conclude that the benefits of homogeneous ability grouping were not consistent for all students of the relative ability levels. Lou et al. reported that medium ability students benef ited more in homogeneous ability groups, low ability students benefited more in heterogene ous ability groups, and high-ability students benefited equally in ei ther type of grouping.
56 The results of this quantitativ e review of the research on the effects of within class grouping on student achievement indicate that not all within class grouping models are equally effective on student ach ievement. The results suggest the effect of small group instruction on student achievement is depe ndent on teacher trai ning. Lou et al. (1996) contend that the effects of small group instruction on student achievement may be optimized when teachers are provided appropr iate training, when students are grouped for instruction based on ability as well as comp atibility as learners, and when cooperative learning strategies are used to further student learning in an interactive format of small grouping. Lou et al., as a result of this me ta-analysis, believe the most important educational predictors of th e effects of small group inst ruction are teacher training, grouping basis, and type of small group in struction. These findings have educational implications for classroom practice and s upport the proposed use of an intermediate guided reading routine as an instructiona l model in the upper elementary grades. The implementation of within class sma ll grouping for reading instruction in the intermediate elementary grades acknowledge s the importance of teacher training. Lou et al. (1996) state that teachers n eed to change and become lear ning facilitators rather than knowledge dispensers. The intermediate gu ided reading routine uses appropriate instructional materials and employs eff ective group-learning strategies. Dynamic intermediate guided reading groups avoid th e traditional problems of grouping because teachers change the composition of these small groups regularly to accommodate the different learning paths of readers. Th rough small group guided reading, students are given opportunities that support their need for social intera ction. The intera ction involved in forming and reforming groups helps create a sense of community in the classroom.
57 This type of grouping for readi ng instruction helps students to talk, read, and think more purposefully about the read ing work they are doing. Guided Reading in the Intermediate Grades Since learning to read is a complex proce ss, it is logical to assume that students require ongoing instruction even after they understand the underlying principles of reading. Young readers are asked to adjust their reading stra tegies as they read for different purposes or when they encounter new genre (Fountas & Pinnell, 2001). They must develop reading behavior s that foster reading compre hension. Readers must learn how to organize their knowledge so that they are able to draw inferences and summarize the increasingly difficult texts they encounter in the interm ediate elementary grades. Fountas and Pinnell further state that explicit instruction is es sential for most students and makes reading more powerful for all students. The purpose of guided reading instruction is to meet the varying instructional needs of all students in a classroom. Guided reading involves small groups of students (three to eight students) who are at a similar place in their reading development. These students demonstrate similar lear ning needs and process text at about the same level. The role of the teacher in guided r eading is to scaffold literacy learning in a way that engages students in making meaning from what they have read. This practice is different from simple checking or testing comprehension afte r the student has read the text. Dowhower (1999) states there is evidence that many t eachers inadvertently take on the role of interrogators because they tend to confuse checking for comprehension with direct teaching of comprehension. Guided reading is an approach to literacy instruction that can help teachers refocus on the importance of the role the teacher plays in reading
58 instruction. The interactive pro cess of reading allows the student to actively engage with the text and build his or her own unde rstanding of the authorÂ’s message. Making meaning from what has been read is the core of the reading process (Braunger & Lewis, 1998; Clay, 1991, 1998; Le arning Media, 1997; Pressley, 1998). The teaching of strategies that foster compre hension is not evident in many classrooms. Dowhower (1999) expressed concerns that di scussions of text content and teaching of strategies to enhance comprehe nsion have been rare in cl assrooms. Pressley points out that although the deve lopment of comprehension is wi dely agreed upon as the goal of literacy instruction, it is rarely offered system atically in the elementary grades. In an empirical study primarily concerning time spent reading, Fielding and Pearson (1994) articulate that frequent and systematic opportunities to r ead and discuss whole text with a teacher and peers allows students to more r eadily make reading comprehension strategies their own. Teachers need to provide frequent oppor tunities for students to read connected text and to interact with others as they use comprehension strategies; this interaction facilitates the development of effective st rategies for comprehe nding both narrative and expository texts of many kinds (Braunger & Lewis, 1998; Caswell & Duke, 1998; Flippo, 1998). In Grades 3 5, guided reading is an approach that is concerned with the development of comprehension. It enables comprehension strategies to be taught systematically using a wide range of texts. During guided reading sessions the students read silently because it is more authentic a nd relevant to real li fe than oral reading. According to Dowhower (1999), guided reading is also more effective for learning than
59 oral round robin reading, which has been shown to decrease comprehension. Ongoing analysis of individual student needs is a critical part of the guided reading routine. Teachers work closely with small groups during guided reading which allows them to monitor carefully each studentÂ’s ability to hand le the text; they then may modify further instruction and text selection based on the student responses. To be effective, it is important that teachers develop an awarene ss of the range of background knowledge that students bring to school and to the readi ng task, including th eir overall background knowledge specific to the text to be read. Guid ed reading enables teach ers to develop this awareness and to more effectively meet th e student needs (Fount as and Pinnell, 2001). In the empirical research of Braunge r and Lewis (1998), Anderson and Pearson, (1998) and Caswell and Duke, (1998), the ne cessity of building schema and accessing prior knowledge is addressed. According to Br aunger and Lewis, if students have some prior knowledge about the new information they are going to encounter in the reading, they are more likely to make meaningful c onnections with the text. The role of prior knowledge in reading is widely recogni zed (Anderson & Pearson, 1984; Caswell & Duke, 1998). In order for guided reading sessions to be effective, teachers are encouraged to take into account the extent to which thei r studentsÂ’ existing schemata match the ideas embedded in the text (Pressley, 1998). Literacy develops best through social interactions and di alogue with others (Dowhower, 1999). According to Fountas and Pinnell (1996), guided reading is essentially a carefully managed Â“social oc currenceÂ” during which the teacher works to extend the studentÂ’s literacy developmen t by responding sensitively to efforts and providing appropriate ongoing s upport as they read. Dugan (1997) advises teachers to
60 scaffold or support studentsÂ’ learning by colla borative means to help them make sense of literature. In 1978, Vygotsky expressed the view of learning as a social occurrence that can be fostered when teaching is focused in the learnerÂ’s Â“zone of proximal development.Â” Vygotsky describes this zone as the area between th e studentÂ’s current achievement and the level the student can achieve with support from a more knowledgeable other. Guided reading groups may supply the students with the support they may need to be successful readers. During guided reading lessons, students read silently. There is discussion of the text be fore, after, and sometimes during the reading. Discussion is basic to the approach since th e main focus is to enhance each studentÂ’s understanding of what they ar e reading (Braunger & Lewis, 1998; Learning Media, 1997; Pressley, 1998). Motivation can play a large role in reading achievement When students want to read, have authentic purposes for reading texts that are relevant and meaningful to them, and are supported in their reading, their motivation is usually high (Au, 1997; Johnston, 1997; Spiegel, 1998). Under these conditions, students are likely to engage more readily and successfully in the task of r eading (Cambourne, 1988, 1998; Flippo, 1998). The design of guided reading sessions creates condit ions that ensure the reading experiences of students are meaningful, purposeful scaffolded and non-threatening. Guided reading groups are small and allow each student to participate fully in the act of reading and inte racting with the text and a knowledgeable other. The nature and extent of studentÂ’s engagement in literacy l earning is crucial because students who are actively engaged and who enjoy the learning experiences are more likely to become skilled readers and writer (Smith & E lley, 1997). The underlyi ng strength of guided
61 reading is its ability to challenge and sca ffold students by provid ing each student the opportunity to be a self-reliant reader who is able to self-e valuate and interact with the text and their peers. Guided reading sessions are designed to ensu re that students will internalize reading strategies as they experience success a nd enjoyment thus contributing to their continued engagement as readers, gradually developing greater independence and competence. Au (1991), and Dugan (1997) argue that supportive patterns of interaction that challenge and support studen ts are particularly beneficial to litera cy learning. Guided reading instruction is designed to ensure that readers experience success so that they will continue to be engaged as readers, gradually devel oping greater independence and competence. Students can gradually internalize and a pply strategies at increasingly higher levels across a range of texts when gi ven systematic support. Students develop competencies that enhance thei r chances of becoming proficie nt critical readers (Fountas & Pinnell, 2001). In a longitudinal study by Allington (2002), the dynamics of reading instruction by what he considered exemplary first and fourth grade teachers were studied. Allington used data collected from a decade of studying first and fourth grade classroom teachers in six states; he conc luded that enhanced reading pr oficiency rests largely on the capacity of the classroom teachers to provide expert, exemplary reading instruction that cannot be packaged or regurgi tated from a common script beca use it is responsive to the childrenÂ’s needs (Allington, 2002) Guided reading is a teac hing approach designed to help individual students learn how to proce ss a variety of increasingly challenging texts with understanding and fluency. Teachers that use the guided reading model of
62 instruction make critical decisions that res pond to student needs on a regular basis. (See Chapter 3 for a description of the guided reading routine.) Conclusion The design, development, and use of the In termediate Extended Literacy Routine (IELR) are supported in resear ch literature (Allington & Walmsley, 1995; Cunningham & Allington, 2003; Farstrup & Samuels, 2002; Taylor, Peterson, Pearson, & Rodriguez, 2005). The viability of the project is grounde d in the success of early intervention programs that hold high expectations for stude nt achievement in the area of reading. The IELR is clearly designed to fo ster the development of reading strategies that increase reading fluency in emergent readers through a consistently delivered alternative model for reading instruction for thir d grade at-risk readers. Clarity of goals is critical for helping young readers and writers who str uggle to acquire literacy. Supplementary programs designed to support studentsÂ’ classr oom literacy and acquisition are often in conflict with those of the regular educati on classroom, or their goals are so underspecified that there is a lack of consiste ncy within the program as well (Winfield, 1995). The IELR is not a supplement to the instru ction already taking place in the regular classroom. Goals are clear and expectations are high in high poverty schools in which children learn to read and write (Hoffman 1991; Purk ey & Smith, 1983). There are many approaches to teaching essential components of reading instruction. The approaches may differ in the amount of guidance and/or directi on teachers give their students as they are learning new skills/strategies. The scientific research reviewed by the National Reading Panel (2000) revealed that different approach es to teaching the essential components of
63 reading are not equally effective (Nationa l Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2000). According to the National Reading Panel report, the most reliably effective approach is called systematic and exp licit instruction With systematic instruction, skills and concepts are taught in a planned and sequenced manner. Lessons focus on clearly defined objectives (teaching po ints) and are stated in terms of what students will do. Guided practice activities are included to actively engage students in the reading work. Students are given an opportunity to take part in tasks that give them a chance to apply what they have been taught. E xplicit instruction means the teacher states clearly what is being taught and effectivel y models how a skilled reader uses it. The purpose of explicit instru ction is to focus the studentÂ’s at tention on what is important in the demonstration. The development of the Intermediate Extended Literacy Routine (IELR) as a model for delivery of instruction is based on the belief that systematic and explicit instruction is a reliable and effective approach for teaching reading skills and strategies to struggling readings. The IELR component used in this study were developed by the researcher and designed to support the proce ss of accelerating the le arning of the lower achieving third grader reader s who part of the general education classroom through a systematic and explicit delivery model. (See Chapter 3, Independent Variable .) The routine consists of focused mini-lesso ns that are explicit in both content and delivery of instruction. The de livery of the IELR instruction consists of an explicit emphasis on fluency or comprehension teachi ng points, a teacher demonstration of a fluency or comprehension skill/strategy, activ e engagement in the reading behavior by
64 the students as they are scaffolded by the te acher, and finally, applic ation of the skill or strategy independently by the students. The component parts of Intermediate Ex tended Literacy Routine (IELR) play a role in preparing students to be suc cessful readers by having teachers spend time engaging students in skill and strategy work that promotes fluency and comprehension. Research suggests that such activities can lead to successful readers and perhaps cut down on the number of students who fail to learn to read. (A llington & Cunningham, 2002; Farstrup & Samuels, 2002; Taylor, Peterson, Pearson, & Rodriguez, 2005). Small differentiated reading groups are pa rticularly important for students who have difficulty learning to r ead. Struggling readers are freq uently lost during whole group instruction and therefore b ecome passive and disengaged from the reading process. Focused teaching in small groups, using leve led text, makes it possible to provide appropriate instruction for a va rying leveled class of learners Guided reading groups that are small, flexible, and varied allow students to support one another as readers and to feel like they are part of a community of learners. The results of the Taylor and Pear son (2002) study on effective reading instruction suggest that childre n in the elementary grades make the greatest growth when a high proportion of their reading instruct ion is delivered through small achievement groups; their progress is monito red regularly and they have ample time to read and to learn needed skills and strategies. The use of instructional strategies and programs that reflect scientifically based reading research are the underp innings of the Intermediate Extended Literacy Routine (IELR).
65 Chapter 3 Method This chapter presents the method and procedures for the study. The chapter is divided into the following sections: (a) purpos e, (b) research questions, (c) setting and sample, (d) research design, (e) independent variable, (f) proce dure, (g) dependent variables, (h) baseline/compa rison condition, (i) experimental control and measures, and (j) visual analysis. Introduction Teachers are under great pressure to fi nd effective strategies for reading instruction for all their students in genera l education classrooms. Only some students succeed in becoming literate; others continue to struggle and fall further behind (Allington, 2001). Many teachers lack the traini ng to work effectively with struggling readers. They need a manageable, predictable routine for reading instruction geared to meet the needs of struggling readers (Pearson & Dole, 1987). In this study, a repeatable, predictabl e, and manageable in-class routine for reading instruction was developed for use in the intermediate grades. This chapter describes the participants, measures, and procedures used for data analysis of this study.
66 Purpose The purpose of this study is to evaluate a structured classroom model for delivery of small group reading instru ction called the Intermediate Extended Literacy Routine (IELR). The IELR is used to deliver explicit reading instruction that incorporates fluency instruction to provide a bridge between word recognition and comprehension and provides text comprehension instruction. Th is study examined the effects of an intermediate guided reading routine on the achievement of third graders who are struggling in reading, as evidenced by weak reading skills and strategies and lack of reading proficiency. Students who are designated as at risk for failure to become literate in the intermediate grades often exhibit problems with fluency, comprehension and metacognitive processes that good reader s employ. The IELR includes components intended to enhance fluency and compre hension. The following specific research questions were addressed through comparison of each participant and his or her growth in reading over an 8 week period. Research Questions 1. What are the effects of the Intermedia te Extended Literacy Routine (IELR) on reading fluency of third graders iden tified as struggling in reading as measured by Timed Readings and Running Records? 2. What are the effects of the IELR on r eading comprehension of third graders identified as struggling in reading as measured by narrative retellings at increasing levels of difficulty? 3. What are the effects of the IELR on r eading comprehension of third graders identified as struggling in reading as measured by the reading comprehension
67 common assessment from the Pinellas Classroom Assessment System (PCAS)? 4. What are the effects of the IELR on comp rehension of third graders identified as struggling in readi ng as measured by the Gray Oral Reading Test-Fourth Edition (GORT-3) comprehension subtest? Setting and Sample Participants for this study were Gr ade 3 students from general education classrooms attending an elementary school in the large urban school di strict of Pinellas County on the west coast of Florida. The to tal school population is 696. The school is an identified Title 1 school with a free and redu ced lunch rate of 54%. The minority student population, including Hispanic, African American, Asian, Native American and Multiracial, is approxim ately 30% of the school population. (See Table 6.)
68 Table 6 Demographics of the School Programs Number Pre-K (VE) 10 Pre-K (CD) 15 SLD Self Contained 27 General Education 644 Total Population 696 Minority Ethnicities Percentage African American 16 Hispanic 8 Multiracial 2 Other Percentage Free and Reduced Lunch 54 Mobility Rate 63 The school is a writing demonstration school for the school dist rict. In August of 2008, 24% of the Grade 3 students at the schoo l were identified as struggling students based on the Diagnostic Inventory of Basi c Skills (DIBELS) or al reading fluency assessment. The participants for this study were dr awn from two Grade 3 classrooms in the school and include only those st udents identifie d as struggling with fluency in reading based on results of the DIBELS Assessmen t. DIBELS is a set of standardized, individually administered measures of early literacy development. They are designed to
69 be short (1 minute) fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of prereading and early reading sk ills. The students in the st udy were drawn from intact classrooms in one school; this is a convenience sample. The researcher sent 16 parent consent forms home with students and followed up with a phone call to each parent explaining the study and asking for them to sign and return the consent forms. Thirteen signed consent forms were returned. Each participant was assigned to a sma ll group for reading in struction using the IELR in his or her homeroom class. The unit of analysis in this study is the student. A multiple baseline design (Richard, Taylor, Ramasamy, & Richards, 1999) was used. Thirteen students were identified to r eceive the treatment, seven students in one classroom and six students in the other cl assroom participated in the study. The researcher, the schoolÂ’s Learning Specialist and the Title 1 teacher administered the assessments. Preand post-tests, three info rmal measures (running record, timed reading, and narrative retellings) and one diagnostic measure (DIBELS ) and the Pinellas County Assessment Series (PCAS) were administer ed; the running record, timed reading and narrative retelling provide performancebased assessment results (see Table 7).
70 Table 7 Assessment Chart Measure Purpose Reading Behavior Assessment Administrator GORT Pre & Post Test Fluency Comprehension Researcher School Learning Specialist DIBELS Identify students for the study Fluency School Assessment Team (Title 1 Teachers & Reading Coach) Pinellas County Assessment PCAS Common assessment Comprehension Classroom teacher Timed Readings Repeated Measure Fluency Title 1 Teacher Researcher (bi-weekly) Running Records Repeated Measure Fluency Title 1 Teacher Researcher (bi-weekly) Narrative Retelling Repeated Measure Comprehension School Learning Special Title 1 Teacher Researcher (bi-weekly) Research Design The research is a single subject research design based on the work of behaviorists such as B.F Skinner and J. B. Watson (Ric hard et al., 1999). The research was conducted using a multiple baseline design across sets of students. The single subject design has continued to gain in popular ity over the years as a tool in educational and clinical research. Single subject research focuses on socially important behaviors and may be applied, behavioral, and analytic (Baer, Wo lf, & Risley, 1968). Single subject designs have been used to look at and document beha viors in students since the beginning of the
71 20th century. This design was widely used during the 1950s and 1960s and continues to be used as a research design in educational and clinical settings. In applied research, there is a societal interest in th e problem being studied and determining the possible outcome is seen as a valid endeavor. Behavioral research refers to a design that studies what participants can do and, if the behavior is quantifiable, through systematic observation. For the purpose of reliability, this design requires an explicit measurement of the observations. Analyt ic refers to the believability of the study (Richard et al., 1999). The event that the researcher controls (in this study, the IE LR) must account for the change in the behavior of the participan ts. The results must be replicable and the events must be generalized and demonstrate th e robustness of the behavior change. In this research design, as with other types of re search, the terms independent and dependent variables are used to descri be elements in the study. The independent variable is the IE LR and the dependent variables of comprehension and fluency are used to meas ure changes that demonstrate the desired outcome of the study. The change s in the targeted behaviors of reading comprehension and fluency levels determine whether th e intervention had the desired effect. Richards et al. (1999) refer to a two stage or phase desi gn that includes a baseline phase and the intervention phase. Each phase in the study is labeled w ith a letter, usually starting with the upper case le tter A. An example would be an A-B design that would represent the baseline phase and intervention phase. For the purpose of this study the A-B design was used. In this study, during the ba seline (A) phase, the re searcher collected data and the IELR was not yet introduced. Th e researcher observed behaviors during this
72 phase to gain an understanding of the curren t performance of the pa rticipants. In the intervention (B) phase, the classroom teacher ap plied the IELR for 8 weeks and data were collected to determine the effectiveness of the treatment. Direct and systematic replications are im portant for maintaining external validity in the single subject design (Richard et al., 1999 ). Direct replication is duplication of the procedure used as closely as possible in the same study. This is achieved by using multiple subjects in one study (inter-subject repl ication) and the conditions are replicated across several similar subjects and compared. In systematic replication, conditions from an earlier study are varied s lightly but the results obtai ned are similar. Along with replication, educational signifi cance is an important factor Educational significance is the idea that the results should translate to real world implic ations with results that are meaningful to practitioners and the lives of the part icipants (Richard et al., 1999). In this study, a single subject, A-B, multiple baseline design across subjects was used. In this study, 14 participan ts were identified from the student populations of teachers who agreed to be part of the study. Fo urteen participants with the same target behavior in the same setting were identif ied. The participants were similar enough to expect that each would respond in a similar manner to the same treatment, and yet were sufficiently independent enough of each other to avoid covariance. Covariance occurs when participants learn vicariously from the experiences of each other (Richard et al., 1999).
73 Independent Variable The independent variable in single subject research is the prac tice, intervention, or behavioral mechanism under investigation. I ndependent variables in single subject research are operationally defined to allow valid interpretation of results and accurate replication of the procedures (Horner, Carr, Halle, McGee, Odom, & Wolery, 2005). The independent variable in this study was the IELR. The IELR consisted of a 20 minute guided reading lesson four days a w eek that incorporated explicit strategy instruction through the use of focused less ons. The focused lessons were designed to explicitly teach read ing strategies such as visuali zation, using context to confirm meaning, determining word meaning, using word structures to construct meaning, repeated readings, making and confirming pr edictions, identifying narrative elements, summarizing, and making inferences and drawin g conclusions. (See Table 8 for a sample lesson.) The delivery of the reading instructi on in the IELR was ba sed on Lucy CalkinÂ’s Reading Workshop Model (Calkins, 2001). The cl assroom teacher used IELR lessons to instruct participants in each group The focused skills and strategy lessons in the IELR were patterned after the minilesson architecture used in the Reading Work shop Model. The architecture of a minilesson identifies a specific teaching point a nd consists of four component parts: the connection, demonstration, activ e engagement, and the link (Calkins, 2001). The teachers in the study received IELR implementation tr aining from the researcher; the researcher met with the participating t eachers twice after school for th e training before instruction
74 began. The teachers received scripted lessons and an explanation of the component parts as presented in Table 8. Table 8 Architecture of the Mini-lesson Component Explanation Teaching Point State what you are going to teach (the objective) The Connection Set the lesson up by reviewing what the students already have been doing or what they already know. (R eview and set up for the learning) Start with a compliment that conn ects to what they have been doing Ex: "Readers, I am so proud of the way youÂ’ve been using what you know about a character to help you predict what will happen next in your story." Contextualize the wor k. Ex: Â“Remember how yesterday Kayla shared her prediction about her story with us and told us that she thought this would happen because her character was curious?Â” State the teaching point. Ex.: "T oday I am going to teach you how toÂ…Â” Directly tell them how you do it. Ex.:Â“ Let me show you what I meanÂ” Teach Demonstrate what you want them to do. Read or reread Â– refer to the text (could be a read aloud) Use consistent language; restate th e teaching point at least 5 times during your lesson Demonstrate how to do the reading or writing work. Ex: Â“ Watch me as I do this work Â“ or Â“Watch me as I show you how to (state the teaching point)Â” Active Engagement Students do the work while you s caffold the learning (guided practice). Needs to match the teaching point Students practice the teaching poi nt on the rug in front of you Students should know exactly what to do before you dismiss them to go off and do it on their own You listen to the students as they try and do the work and guide them. Link Link the reading or writing work to what good readers and writers do. Clearly set up what you want them to do in workshop.
75 Students were placed in an IELR group to determine whethe r the IELR had an effect on reading fluency and reading compre hension. All participan ts received daily classroom instruction in a w hole group reading workshop us ing the district's adopted reading program. In addition, study participants received four 20 minute small group IELR reading sessions a week. In this study, there was a staggered introduction of the intervention within a repeated single subj ect design that allowed for stability and demonstration of the experimental effect with in each data series as well as across data series at staggered times of interventi on (Hersen & Barlow, 1 976; Kazdin, 1988; 1998; Kratochwill & Levin, 1992; Tawney & Gast, 1984). The routine was modeled after the research described in Chapter 2. Descriptions of the IELR lessons are presented in Tables 8 and 9. Procedure The IELR was designed for use 4 days pe r week for 8 weeks and incorporated explicit strategy instruction through the use of focused mini-lessons. The lessons were 20 minutes long and designed to explicitly teach fluency and reading comprehension strategies and skills. Books chosen for th e IELR were both narrative and informational and selected for high inte rest, low level text. Each lesson used in the IELR contained a mini lesson that explicitly taught a reading strategy and provided for teacher demonstration of think aloud, modeling and student-guided practice in app lication of the reading strate gy to his or her reading and rereading of material. There were 32 lessons delivered in an 8 week period. To evaluate and verify that the treatment was being deliver ed in a systematic manner, the researcher
76 made unannounced weekly classroom visits to observe the teacherÂ’s delivery of the mini lessons. The researcher observed each teacher twice a week during the eight weeks of the study and found that the teachers were deliv ering the mini-lessons with fidelity, consistency in delivery of th e scripted lessons was noted. A sample focus lesson is presented in Table 9. Table 9 Sample Focus Lesson The IELR was developed to address the n eeds of struggling third grade readers. The routine addresses the lack of reading fluency and reading comprehension. The IELR routine allows the teacher to interact with the struggli ng reader through a series of reading strategy lessons. The IELR allows th e teacher to provide extended time on task reading to students who need it the most. Th e focused lessons were selected from a Component Explanation Skill to be taught (What?) Fluency Strategy (How?) "We're going to pay attention to punctuation marks." Reading Work (Why?) "Paying attention to punctuation marks as you read helps you know how the author intended the text to be read. It helps you to read smoothly and with expression." Demonstration (Where?) "Readers, today I am going to teach you how to use punctuation marks to help make your reading more understandable." Explicitly model the reading beha vior using punctuation marks to read smoothly and with expression: read a selection from the text without pausing or using the punctu ation marks, then reread with punctuation marks. Guided Practice (How?) Students try the strategy on a t eacher-selected practice passage: "Readers, I want you to turn to you r partner and read the passage I have given you. First, read it once to yourself, checking where you would pause and how the punctuation marks should be used to help you read with expression, then re ad the passage to your partner. Each of you try it." Independent Reading (How?) Students read in their selected ju st right books and practice reading using the punctuation marks as teacher monitors.
77 variety of best practices to target specific reading strategies that the researcher observed were lacking in the struggling r eaders in the study (See Table 10). Table 10 Specific Strategies Used to Address Needs Area Addressed IELR Procedure for Intermediate Guided Reading Fluency Teacher reading aloud to model expression and phrasing Strategies for decoding words Repeated reading of text Peer reading Comprehension Introduction to text Chunking of reading material Setting purpose for reading Teacher Â“Think AloudÂ” and demonstrations Before, during, and after reading questioning Discussions, visualizatio n, and story retelling The IELR is a manageable and cost effective model for delivery of small group reading instruction. The focus lessons were developed for use with the adopted reading series and to be easily adapted for use with additional leveled reading materials available at the site school. Reading mate rials used in this study were high interest low level books and trade books. Dependent Variable Single subject research employs one or mo re dependent variables that are defined and measured. In most cases, the dependent variable in single subject educational research is a form of observable behavior. Dependent variables are operationally defined to allow valid and consistent assessment of th e variable and replica tion of the assessment process (e.g., words read co rrectly per minute). Dependent variables are measured
78 repeatedly within and across controlled condit ions to allow identification of performance patterns prior to the intervention and co mparison of performance patterns across conditions (Horner et al, 2003). Repeated measurement of individuals is required to compare the performance of each participant with his or her own prior pe rformance. Dependent variable recording is assessed for consistency throughout the experi ment by frequent monitoring of interobserver agreement. The measurement of inte r-observer agreement allows assessment for each variable across each participant in each condition of the study (Horner et al., 2005). The studyÂ’s dependent variables or target behaviors are fluency as measured by timed readings and running records, accuracy as measured by running record, and reading comprehension as measured by narrative story retelling. The narrative retelling, timed readings and running record asse ssments were administered by the teacher bi weekly as repeated measures during the study. The Gray Oral Reading TestFourth Edition subtests for comprehension and reading rate and accu racy was used for preand post-tests. Baseline/Comparison Condition Single subject research designs compare th e effects of an intervention with the performance during a baseline or comp arison condition (Hor ner et al., 2003). Measurement of the dependent variable during a baseline should occur until the observed pattern of responding is sufficiently consistent to allow prediction of future responses. Documentation of a predictable pattern during baseline requires multiple data points.
79 Experimental Control Single subject research designs provide e xperimental control for most threats to internal validity and allow confirmati on of a functional relationship between manipulation of the independent variable and the change in the dependent variable (Homer et al., 2003). Documentation of experi mental control can be achieved through: (a) the introduction and wit hdrawal of the independent variable, (b) the staggered introduction of the independent variable at different points in time such as a multiple baseline, and (c) the manipulation of the i ndependent variable across observation periods such as alternating treatment designs. A repeated single subject design was used in this study. The staggered introduction of the intervention within a repeated single subject design allows demonstration of the experimental effect with in each data series as well as across data series at staggered times of interventi on (Hersen & Barlow, 1976; Kazdin, 1988, 1998; Kratochwill & Levin, 1992; Tawney & Gast, 1984). Measures In this study the Gray Oral Reading Test Third Edition (GORT-3) was administered as a preand post-test. Th e GORT-3 (Wiederholt & Bryant, 1992) is a series of standardized oral reading pa ssages for assessing comprehension. The GORT-3 provides an efficient and objective measure of oral reading and aids in the diagnosis of oral reading difficulties. The five scores derived from the assessment give information on a studentÂ’s oral reading skills in terms of: (a) rate -the amount of the time taken by a student to read a story; (b) accuracy -the st udentÂ’s rate and accuracy scores combined; (c) comprehension -the appropriateness of th e studentÂ’s responses to questions about the
80 content of each story read; and (d) overall re ading ability -a combination of a studentÂ’s fluency and comprehension scores In this study the GORT subtest for compre hension was administered as a preand post-test. The test consists of 14 developm entally sequenced reading passages with comprehension questions following the reading of the passages. This assessment was used to provide documentation of student re ading growth as a re sult of the reading intervention. The GORT3 was normed on a sa mple of more than 1,600 students aged 6 through 18. The norm group was stratified to co rrespond to key demographics variables including race, gender, ethnicity, and region. Reliability and Validity The reliability of GORT-3 is high; all aver age internal consistency reliabilities are .90 or above. The test-retest study was conducted with all ages for which the test can be administered and illustrates the stability and reliability of the measure. The validity is extensive and includes studies th at illustrate that GORT-3 can be used with confidence to measure change in oral reading over time (Wiederholt & Bryant, 1992). Repeated Measures Reading fluency was measured with timed readings and running records administered as repeated measures bi-week ly during the study. Fl uency timed readings (which measure words read per minute) were administered by the researcher and Title 1 teacher as measures of fluency. Pinellas County Assessment Series (PCAS) common assessment information was gathered after each school assessment cycle as additional information on student reading comprehension.
81 The running records were administered bi-weekly by the Title 1 teacher and the researcher and were used to assess reading fluency and accuracy; they are already used in the school district as part of an extant di strict-wide assessment pl an. The running record is a tool for coding and anal yzing reading behavior (Cal kins, 2001). The Running Record of Text was developed by Marie Clay ( 1972) and tested for reliability. During the running record assessment, students were aske d to read a leveled book aloud and the Title 1 teacher and the researcher recorded e rrors and miscues made. The books for the assessment were leveled based on the Fountas and Pinnell scale. To address consistency in administration and scoring of the assessmen ts, an inter-observer reliability coefficient was calculated; 95% agreement between scorers was the criterion applied. Reliability of the running record assessment was evaluated through the researcher's random observations of the ad ministering Title 1 teacher. Each Title 1 teacher was observed administering the runni ng records to each st udent at least once during the 8 weeks of this st udy. The researcher completed a running record at the same time as the Title 1 teacher. This provided a dual scoring of the running record and provided a check on the Title 1 teacherÂ’s accu racy at marking and scoring the running record and analyzing the results. A school site-based team that included the school's Reading Coach, Title 1 Facilitator, and two Title 1 Para-professional teachers who were trained as the school's assessment team by the State of Florida' s trainers under the Reading First Grant administered the DIBELS fluency assessment. The data from the DIBELS assessment cycle were used to identify the students for inclusion in this study.
82 Narrative Retelling was the repeated measure for reading comprehension. Narrative Retelling assesses the studentÂ’s abil ity to capture the five story elements of comprehension. It requires the reader to orga nize text information to provide a personal rendition of the story (Koskins et al., 1991). Th e retellings were reco rded and dual scored to assess the completeness of the studentÂ’s retelling using a rubric developed for each story based on Glazer and Brown (1993). Retellin gs required the student to read a story and complete an oral retelling of the st ory. Assessment was based on the student's inclusion of five elements (setting, problem, characters, events, and resolution) of the story. The stories used were of increasing te xt difficulty. The researcher and the Title 1 teacher administered the retellings. Visual Analysis Single subject methodologies employ visual analysis for plotting data as a main tool to evaluate effects on a particular be havior (Alberto & Trout man, 2003). Analysis of single subject research data involves system atic visual comparison of responses within and across conditions of a study (Parsonson & Baer, 1978). Visual analysis involves interpretation of level, trend, and variab ility of performance during baseline and intervention conditions. Level refers to the mean performance during a condition (i.e., phase) of the study. Trend refers to the rate of increase or decrease of the best-fit straight line (i.e., slope) for the dependent variable w ithin a condition. Variab ility refers to the degree to which performance fluctuates around a mean or slope during a phase (Horner et al., 2003). See Figure 4.
83 Figure 4 Line graphs illustrating common response patterns. Graph A shows a change in level; Graph B shows a change in variabi lity, Graph C shows a change in trend, and Graph D shows a change in slope (from Zhan & Ottenbacher, 2001). In visual analysis, the reader can judg e the immediacy of effects following the onset and/or withdrawal of the intervention, the magnitude of changes in the dependent variable, and the consistency of data patterns across multiple presentations of the intervention condition (see Figure 5). The integration of information from these multiple assessments and comparisons is used to de termine if a functional relationship exists between the independent and dependent vari able (Horner et al., 2003; Parsonson & Baer, 1978). Single subject research provides a pract ical methodology for testing educational and behavioral interventions. Single subject methods allow un equivocal analysis of the relationship between individualized interven tions and change in valued outcomes.
84 (Homer et al., 2003). Figure 5 provides a visual representation for how the data in this study is reported. Figure 5 Diagram of multiple-baseline design de monstrating staggered introduction of intervention over three AB units (from Zhan & Ottenbacher, 2001).
85 Figure 6 is a visual represen tation of a hypothetical data se t and illustrates baseline and intervention data similar to that collected in this study. Figure 6. Data from a hypothetical example of an alternating treatment design. After a baseline phase, two treatments (A and B) are introduced and the measurement throughout the intervention phase. The dependent variable in this case is the percentage of cooperative behavior (from Zhan & Ottenbacher, 2001).
86 Chapter 4 Results This chapter is divided into two sections. The first section desc ribes the context of the study. It details when the study took place, the location and classrooms involved, and the characteristics of the school. This secti on also provides demographic properties of the sample and baseline data. The second section reports the results of each question/hypothesis for each participant. The an alysis of each hypothesis is described and a statement is made about whether or not the Intermediate Extended Literacy Routine was successful. The hypotheses are di scussed in numerical order. The Context of the Study The Time Line : Table 11 details the timeline of the study. The study took place in one school over an 8 week period. Data we re collected in Janu ary, February, March, April and the beginning of May 2008.
87 Table 11 Timeline of the Study Sample The study took place in an elementary school in the large urban school district of Pinellas County on the west-central coast of Florida. The total school population was 696. The school was a Title 1 school with a free and reduced lunch rate of 54%. The minority student population, including Hisp anic, African American, Asian, Native American and Multiracial, was approximately 30% of the school population. This school is a writing demonstration school for the sc hool district. In August of 2008, 24% of the third grade students at the school were iden tified as struggling students based on the Diagnostic Inventory of Basic Skills (DIB ELS) oral reading fluency assessment. Date Events November 2007 Identified participating teachers January 2008 Collected District Screening Assessments (baseline data.) Trained the two participating teachers on the Intermediate Extended Literacy Routine (IELR) January 2008 Obtained USF Institutional Review Board (IRB) permission to conduct study. Selected study participants and obtained Informed Consent from participants and their parents. February 2008 Administered GORT-3 (pre-test) Began study: data collected on Running Record, Timed Reading, and Narrative Retelling March 2008 Data collection April 2008 Data collection May 2008 Administered GORT-3 (post-test)
88 In November 2007, the researcher met with several third grade teachers at the school to explained the study; tw o teachers agreed to particip ate. The study took place in the two general education classe s of the participating teachers. Mrs. A. has been teaching 6 years and holds a B.A. degree in Elementary Education. Mrs. R. has been teaching 11 years and holds a B.S. degree in Elemen tary Education. Alth ough their years of experience were different, both teachers used similar instructional practices for reading instruction based on a scientifically research ed core reading program. The core reading program used in the classrooms in this study was Harcourt Trophies. Harcourt Trophies was in its last year of adopti on in the Pinellas County schools. For the purposes of the study, each teacher taught the Intermediate Extended Literacy Routine (IELR) to a small group of students in their classroom. Study Participants A convenience sample of students ( n =13) from two classrooms participated in the study. Seven students from Cla ss A and six students from Class R participated. The students were chosen to participate in th e study bases on DIBLES scores. Each student within a classroom was assigned a number and le tter as an identifier: the first student in Mrs. A's class was designated A1, the second A 2, and so forth to A7. The six participants in Mrs. R's class were similarly identified as R1 through R6. The participants' ethnicity (W = White; B = Black) and gender (M = male ; F = Female) are included in Table 13. Baseline Data The DIBLES was administered in Octobe r 2007 as part of the school districtÂ’s assessment timeline. The DIBLES Oral Read ing Fluency (ORF) score (number of words
89 read correctly in 1 minute) was used to iden tify participants for the study and served as baseline data. Reading comprehension asse ssments were administered in August 2007 (Cycle 1) and November 2007 (Cycle 2); the instrument used was the Pinellas Classroom Assessment System (PCAS). Participant scores from each of these two cycles of the PCAS administration were also used as base line data (see Table 13); Table 12 presents the criteria used in the PCAS for the complete three cycle administration. Table 12. Pinellas Classroom Assessment Sy stem (PCAS) Reading Criteria Cycle Assessment High Performing Meets Expect ations Below Expectations 1 27 30 15 26 0 14 2 27 30 18 26 0 17 3 27 30 21 26 0 20
90 Table 13 Baseline Data for Study Participants Student Gender Ethnicity DIBLES ORF Score Risk Level Cycle 1 Common Assessment Score Cycle 2 Common Assessment Score A1 F W 51 High 17 20 A2 F W 43 High 18 18 A3 F W 70 Moderate 14 15 A4 F W 54 High 13 16 A5 M W 63 Moderate 13 15 A6 M W 68 Moderate 21 21 A7 M W 55 Moderate 16 17 R1 M W 41 High 8 5 R2 M W 74 Moderate 17 15 R3 F W 73 Moderate 17 15 R4 M W 55 Moderate 14 18 R5 F B 58 Moderate 16 18 R6 F W 68 Moderate 18 16 Analysis of Research Questions Prior to a discussion of the results of this study, a restatement of the research questions posed is appropriate:
91 Research Question 1 : What are the effects of the Intermediate Extended Literacy Routine (IELR) on reading fluency of third grad ers identified as struggling in reading as measured by Timed Readings and Running Records? Research Question 2 : What are the effects of the Intermediate Extended Literacy Routine (IELR) on reading comprehension of third graders identified as struggling in reading as measured by narrative retelli ngs at increasing levels of difficulty? Research Question 3 : What are the effects of the Intermediate Extended Literacy Routine (IELR) on reading comprehension of third graders identified as struggling in reading as measured by the reading co mprehension common assessment from the Pinellas Classroom Assessment System (PCAS)? Research Question 4 : What are the effects of the Intermediate Extended Literacy Routine (IELR) on comprehension of third grad ers identified as struggling in reading as measured by the Gray Oral Reading Test-Fourth Edition (GORT-3) comprehension subtest? The expectation for Research Question 1 was that students who received the IELR treatment for eight weeks would improve thei r fluency rate by increasing the number of words read correctly in a minute and increase their instructional level as measured by a running record. According to Rasinski (2003), students at the end of Grade 3 should be able to meet the target cr iterion of 100 words correct per minute. Each participant was assessed bi-weekly using timed reading passage s and running records. The results were mixed; six participants did increase their fl uency rate while seven participants either maintained or decreased their fluency rate. In Mrs. RÂ’s clas s, two students increased the number of words read in a minute, three st udents' performance did not change, and one
92 student decreased in words read in a minute. In Mrs. AÂ’s class, three students increased in words read per minute while two remained at the same level and two decreased words read in a minute on the timed readings. The performance on the timed reading was similar in both classrooms. The expectations for Questions 2 and 3 were that the participants in IELR groups would show an improvement in their comprehe nsion of stories they read. Comprehension was measured using written na rrative retellings and Common Assessments. Rubrics were developed for each story used as retelling assessments. Table 14 presents a summary of the Pinellas Classroom Assessment System (PCAS), Timed Reading and Narrative Retelling scores for each participant across the timeline of the study. Cycle 1 assessments were made in August of 2007; Cycle 2 assessments in November 2007, and Cycle 3 assessments were made in May 2008 at the end of the study. A discussion of the data on reading accuracy, fluency and comprehension for each participant follows, and graphs for visual analysis of each participant's results are presented in fi gures immediately follo wing the discussion.
93 Table 14 Summary of Individual Student PCAS, Ti med Reading and Narrative Retelling Scores Student PCAS Timed Reading Narrative Retelling Cycle Cycle Sep Nov Apr 1 2 3 1 2 3 A1 17 20 23 86 95 104 6 5 10 A2 18 18 24 75 73 77 5 3 10 A3 14 15 19 82 86 74 3 7 6 A4 13 16 24 88 79 89 5 6 4 A5 13 15 23 97 85 92 2 0 2 A6 21 21 28 82 99 98 8 11 8 A7 16 17 11 66 96 85 8 6 11 R1 8 5 12 70 60 60 6 4 2 R2 17 15 25 114 112 113 4 6 2 R3 17 15 25 100 85 109 2 2 2 R4 14 18 24 73 72 73 0 4 2 R5 16 18 15 83 78 83 4 5 4 R6 18 16 26 65 53 85 2 6 4 Note PCAS reading criteria are presented in Table 12; Timed Reading scores are words read correctly in 1 minute; Narrative Rete llings score interpre tation categories are: Struggling (0-4); Delayed (5); Instructional (6-10); Instructional + (11-12); Independent (13-14); Independent + (15)
94 Individual Student Asse ssment Discussion Student A1 was a Caucasian female in Mrs. AÂ’s classroom. She was placed in the IELR group based on her DIBLES Oral Read ing Fluency (ORF) score designation of high risk. She exhibited minimal growth on th e District Common Asse ssments of reading for August, November and May. Student A1 showed an increase in words read correctly in a minute on the timed readings and there wa s also an increase in how accurately she was able to retell storie s over the eight weeks of the study. She went from low instructional level to high instructional level with a slight dip in the second cycle on the narrative retelling assessments. This student stayed at the Grade 3 instructional level on the running record assessment for all three assessment cycles. Graphs representing Student A1's performan ce on the PCAS, timed reading and narrative retelling assessments are displayed in Figure 7.
95 Figure 7. Student A1 PCAS, timed readi ng and narrative retelling scores Timed Reading0 20 40 60 80 100 120 123 CycleScore Narrative Retelling0 2 4 6 8 10 12 123 CycleScore PCAS0 5 10 15 20 25 30 SepNovMayScore
96 Student A2 was a Caucasian female in Mrs. AÂ’s classroom. She was placed in the IELR group based on her DIBLES (ORF) scor e designation of high risk. She had some growth on the District Comm on Assessments of reading for August, November and May, moving from a score of 18 on the August assess ment to a 24 on the May assessment. This student showed a minimal increase in word s read correctly in 1 minute on the timed readings over the three cycles There was also an increase in how accurately she was able to retell stories over the eight weeks of the study. She went from a de layed level to high instructional level with a dip in the second cycle on the narrative retelling assessments. This student went from instructional at the Grade 3 level on the running record assessment to instructional at a Grade 4 level for the last assessment cycle Graphs representing Student A2's performance on the PCAS, timed reading and narrative retelling assessments are displayed in Figure 8.
97 F igure 8 Student A2 PCAS, timed reading and narrative rete lling scores Timed Reading0 20 40 60 80 100 120 123 CycleScore Narrative Retelling 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 123 CycleScore PCAS0 5 10 15 20 25 30 SepNovAprScore
98 Student A3 was a Caucasian female in Mrs. AÂ’s classroom. She was placed in the IELR group based on her DIBLES (ORF) sc ore designation of moderate risk. She showed growth on the Distri ct Common Assessments of r eading for August, November and May moving from a score of 14 (Below Grade Level) on the August assessment to meeting the grade level criteria with a 19 on the May assessment. Student A3 did not experience growth in words read correctly in a minute on the timed readings. She had a decrease in words read corre ctly in a minute on the last assessment cycle going from 86 words the pervious cycle to only 74 words read correctly in 1 minute on the last assessment cycle. There was an increase in how accurately she was able to retell stories over the eight weeks of the study. She went fr om delayed to instructional level on the narrative retelling assessments. This student st ayed at a Grade 3 instructional level on the running record assessment for all three assessment cycles. Graphs representing Student A3's performance on the PCAS, timed reading and narrative retelling assessments are displayed in Figure 9.
99 Figure 9. Student A3 PCAS, timed readi ng and narrative retelling scores Timed Reading0 20 40 60 80 100 120 123 CycleScore Narrative Retelling0 2 4 6 8 10 12 123 CycleScore PCAS 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 SepNovAprScore
100 Student A4 was a Caucasian female in Mrs. AÂ’s classroom. She was placed in the IELR group based on her DIBLES (ORF) sc ore designation of moderate risk. She showed steady growth on the District Co mmon Assessments of reading for August, November and May moving from a score of 13 (Below Grade Level) on the August assessment to meeting the grade level criter ia with a 24 on the May assessment. Student A4 did not experience growth in words read correctly in a minute on the timed readings. Her rate for words read correctly went fr om 88 words the first cycle to only 89 words read correctly in a minute on the last asse ssment cycle. The same pattern was found for accuracy on narrative retell ing of stories she read. She went from delayed to instructional level and back to a delayed level on the narr ative retelling assessment over the 8 weeks of the study. This student went from a Grade 3 in structional level on th e first running record assessment to a Grade 4 instructional level on the last assessment cycle. Graphs representing Student A4's performance on the PCAS, timed reading and narrative retelling assessments are displayed in Figure 10.
101 Figure 10. Student A4 PCAS, timed readi ng and narrative retelling scores Timed Reading0 20 40 60 80 100 120 123 CycleScore Narrative Retelling0 2 4 6 8 10 12 123 CycleScore PCAS0 5 10 15 20 25 30 SepNovMayScore
102 Student A5 was a Caucasian male. He was designated as moderate risk on the DIBELS (ORF). His scores on the District Common Assessments of reading showed growth from August to the May assessment. He moved from a score of 13 on the August assessment, which placed him below level, to meeting the grade level criteria on the May assessment with a score of 23. Student A5 di d not experience growth in words read correctly in a minute on the timed readings. In fact, his rate for words read correctly went down over the eight weeks of the study. His rate for words read correctly went from 97 words the first cycle down to 85 for cycle 2 a nd back up to only 92 words read correctly in a minute on the last assessment cycle, wh ich reflects no improvement in his fluency. The same pattern was found for accuracy on narra tive retelling of stories he read. Student A5 assessed at the struggling level for al l three assessment cycles on the narrative retelling assessment over the eight weeks of th e study. This student assessed at a Grade 2 instructional level on the first running record cycle and increased to Grade 3 instructional level for Cycles 2 and 3 Graphs representing Student A5's performance on the PCAS, timed reading and narrative retelling assessments are displayed in Figure 11.
103 Figure 11. Student A5 PCAS, timed readi ng and narrative retelling scores Timed Reading0 20 40 60 80 100 120 123 CycleScore Narrative Retelling0 2 4 6 8 10 12 123 CycleScore PCAS0 5 10 15 20 25 SepNovMayScore
104 Student A6 was a Caucasian male in Mrs. AÂ’ s classroom. He was placed in the IELR group based on his DIBLES (ORF) score designation of moderate risk. He showed growth on the District Comm on Assessments of reading from August to May, moving from a score of 21on the August assessment to maintaining grade leve l expectations with a 28 on the May assessment. Student A6 did expe rience growth in words read correctly in a minute on the timed readings. There was no in crease in how accurately he was able to retell stories over the eight weeks of the study. He stayed at the inst ructional level on the narrative retelling assessme nts. This student did, however, go from a Grade 2 instructional level on the running record assessment in Cycle 1 to a Grade 4 instructional level for Cycle 3. Graphs representing Student A6's performance on the PCAS, timed reading and narrative retelling assessments are displayed in Figure 12.
105 Figure 12. Student A6 PCAS, timed readi ng and narrative retelling scores Timed Reading0 20 40 60 80 100 120 123 CycleScore Narrative Retelling0 2 4 6 8 10 12 123 CycleScore PCAS0 5 10 15 20 25 30 SepNovMayScore
106 Student A7 was a Caucasian male. He was desi gnated as moderate risk on the DIBELS (ORF). His scores on the District Common Assessments of reading showed a decline from the August to the May assessment. He moved from a score of 16 on the August assessment, which placed him at meeting grade level expectations, to below expectations on the May assessment with a score of 11. Student A7 did experience growth in words read correctly in a minute on the timed readi ngs. His rate for words read correctly went from 66 words the first cycl e up to 96 the second cycle and back down to only 85 words read correctly in 1 minute on th e last assessment cycle. The passages for the timed reading assessment were all at the same reading level, though there was an increase in his reading rate; it did fluctuate over the course of the three assessment cycles. There was an increase in how accurately Stude nt A7 was able to retell stories over the eight weeks of the study. He went from de layed to an instructional + level on the narrative retelling assessments. This student assessed at a Grade 2 instructional level on the first running record cycle and increased to Grade 3 level for Cycle 2 and a Grade 4 level for Cycle 3. He went up a level for each assessment cycle over the eight weeks of the study. Graphs representing Student A7's performance on the PCAS, timed reading and narrative retelling assessments are displayed in Figure 13.
107 Figure 13. Student A7 PCAS, timed readi ng and narrative retelling scores Timed Reading0 20 40 60 80 100 120 123 CycleScore Narrative Retelling0 2 4 6 8 10 12 123 CycleScore PCAS0 5 10 15 20 25 30 SepNovMayScore
108 Student R1 was a Caucasian male in Mrs. RÂ’ s classroom. He was placed in the IELR group based on his DIBLES (ORF) scor e designation of high risk. He showed growth on the District Comm on Assessments of reading from August to May moving from a score of 8 on the August assessment to a 12 on the May assessment, but remained below level in meeting grade level expectati ons for Grade 3. His words read correctly in 1 minute on the timed readings went down ove r the 8 weeks of the study even though the passage read was at the same level each time. There was also a decrease in how accurately he was able to retell stories over the 8 weeks of the study. He went from an instructional level on Cycle 1 to a struggling level for Cycl es 2 and 3 on the narrative retelling assessments; the passages remained at the same level. This studentÂ’s accuracy rate on the running records did increase over the course of the study. He went from a Grade 3 instructional level on the first running record assessment to a Grade 4 instructional level for the last assessment cycle. Graphs representing Student R1's performance on the PCAS, timed reading and narrative retelling assessments are displayed in Figure 14.
109 Figure 14. Student R1 PCAS, timed readi ng and narrative retelling scores Timed Reading0 20 40 60 80 100 120 123 CycleScore Narrative Retelling0 2 4 6 8 10 12 123 CycleScore PCAS0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 SepNovMayScore
110 Student R2 was a Caucasian male in Mrs. RÂ’ s classroom. This student was placed in the IELR group based on his DIBLES (ORF) score designation of moderate risk. He exhibited growth on the Dist rict Common Assessments of reading for August and May, increasing his score from 17 on the August asse ssment to meeting the grade level criteria with a 25 on the May assessment. Student R2 did not experience growth in words read correctly in 1 minute on the timed readings. Hi s scores stayed consistent across all three assessment cycles. This student Â’s performance on the narrative retelling assessments went down over the 8 weeks of the study. He incr eased in his ability to accurately retell a story from Cycle 1 to Cycle 2 but decreased his score on the Cycle 3 retelling assessment. He went from struggling to instructional le vel and then back to delayed level on the narrative retelling assessments over the 8 weeks of the study. This student did however, move from a Grade 3 instructional level on the running record assessment to a Grade 4 instructional level for Cycle 2 and Cycle 3 of the assessment. Graphs representing Student R2's performance on the PCAS, timed reading and narrative retelling assessments are displayed in Figure 15.
111 Figure 15. Student R2 PCAS, timed readi ng and narrative retelling scores Timed Reading0 20 40 60 80 100 120 123 CycleScore Narrative Retelling0 2 4 6 8 10 12 123 CycleScore PCAS0 5 10 15 20 25 30 SepNovMayScore
112 Student R3 was a Caucasian female in Mrs. RÂ’s classroom. She was placed in the IELR group based on her DIBLES (ORF) sc ore designation of moderate risk. She showed growth on the District Common A ssessments of reading for August and May. The August score of 17 met grade level expecta tions; in November her scored slipped to a 15 placing her below grade level expecta tions. Her Common Assessment score for May was 25 that again put her in the meeting gr ade level expectation range. Student R3Â’s performance on the timed reading assessment wa s inconsistent; she did not show growth in words read correctly in 1 minute on the timed readings from Cycle 1 to Cycle 2, but did show an increase in Cycle 3. She incr eased her reading rate by 24 words per minute from Cycle 2 to Cycle 3. Her scores on th e narrative retelling assessment showed no increase in how accurately she was able to retell stories over th e 8 weeks of the study. She stayed at a struggling leve l on the narrative rete lling assessments fo r all three cycles. She did move from Grade 3 instructional level on the first cycle running record assessment to the Grade 4 instructional level on the third cycle running record. Graphs representing Student R3's performance on the PCAS, timed reading and narrative retelling assessments are displayed in Figure 16.
113 Figure 16. Student R3 PCAS, timed readi ng and narrative retelling scores Timed Reading0 20 40 60 80 100 120 123 CycleScore Narrative Retelling0 2 4 6 8 10 12 123 CycleScore PCAS0 5 10 15 20 25 30 SepNovMayScore
114 Student R4 was a Caucasian male. He was desi gnated as moderate risk on the DIBELS (ORF). His scores on the District Common Assessments of reading showed steady growth from the August to the May a ssessment. He moved from a score of 14 on the August assessment, which placed him be low level, to meeting the grade level expectations on the May assessment, with a score of 24. Student R4 did not experience growth in words read correctly in a minute on the timed readi ngs. His rate for words read correctly was static over the eight weeks of the study. He went from 73 words read correctly in a minute the first cycle, to 72 words per minute for Cycle 2, and back up to only 73 words read correctly in 1 minute on th e last assessment cycle; this reflects no improvement in his fluency. The same pattern was found for accuracy on narrative retelling of stories. Student R3 scored at a struggling level for all three assessment cycles on the narrative retelling assessment over the 8 weeks of the study. This student assessed at an instructional le vel for Grade 3 on the first and second running record cycles, and increased to an instructional level for Grade 4 for Cycle 3. Graphs representing Student R4's performance on the PCAS, timed reading and narrative retelling assessments are displayed in Figure 17.
115 Figure 17. Student R4 PCAS, timed readi ng and narrative retelling scores Timed Reading0 20 40 60 80 100 120 123 CycleScore Narrative Retelling0 2 4 6 8 10 12 123 CycleScore PCAS0 5 10 15 20 25 30 SepNovMayScore
116 Student R5 was a Caucasian female in Mrs. RÂ’s classroom. She was placed in Mrs. RÂ’s IELR group based on her DIBLES (O RF) score designation of moderate risk. She showed growth on the District Common Assessments of reading for August, and November. She moved from a score of 16 on the August assessment, meeting the grade level criteria, to a score of 18 on the November assessment that also met grade level criteria. The May assessment showed a decr ease in achievement even though she did meet expectations. Student R5 exhibited static growth in words read correctly in 1 minute on the timed readings. She had little fluctuat ion in words read correctly in a minute, going from 83 words the first cycle to 78 wo rds the second cycle and back to 83 words read correctly the third cycle. The same pattern held true for the narrative retellings; this student did not show an increase in how accura tely she was able to retell stories over the 8 weeks of the study. She went from a struggling level to a delayed level and back to a struggling level on the narrative retelli ng assessments. On the running record assessments, this student went from an inst ructional Grade 3 level in Cycle 1 to an instructional Grade 4 level for Cycles 2 and 3. Graphs representing Student R5's performance on the PCAS, timed reading and narrative retelling assessments are displayed in Figure 18.
117 Figure 18. Student R5 PCAS, timed readi ng and narrative retelling scores Timed Reading0 20 40 60 80 100 120 123 CycleScore Narrative Retelling0 2 4 6 8 10 12 123 CycleScore PCAS0 5 10 15 20 25 30 SepNovMayScore
118 Student R6 was a Caucasian female. She was de signated as moderate risk on the DIBELS (ORF). Her scores on the District Common Assessments of reading showed growth from the August to the May assessm ent. She moved from a score of 18 on the August assessment, to below level on the N ovember assessment and back to meeting grade level criteria on the May assessment w ith a score of 26. Student R6 experienced growth in words read correctly in 1 minute on the timed readi ngs. Her rate for words read correctly went down on the second cycle but then increased by 32 words per minute on the last cycle. Her rate for words read correc tly went from 65 words the first cycle, down to 53 for Cycle 2, and back up to only 85 words read correctly in 1 minute on the last assessment cycle; this demonstrates an improvement in reading rate. There was no increase in how accurately she was able to retell stories over th e 8 weeks of the study. Her scores went from a struggling level to an instructional level a nd then back down to a delayed level on the narrative retelling assessments even t hough all the passages were at the same reading level. This student stayed at a Grade 3 instructional level on the running record assessment for all three assessment cycles. Graphs representing Student R6's performance on the PCAS, timed reading and narrative retelling assessments are displayed in Figure 19.
119 Figure 19. Student R6 PCAS, timed readi ng and narrative retelling scores Timed Reading0 20 40 60 80 100 120 123 CycleScore Narrative Retelling0 2 4 6 8 10 12 123 CycleScore PCAS0 5 10 15 20 25 30 SepNovMayScore
120 Research Question 4 Discussion Question 4 examined whether the particip ants classified as struggling readers demonstrated post-test gains in comprehens ion on a standardized measure following 8 weeks of the IELR. The Gray Oral Reading Te st-3 (GORT-3) was gi ven as a pretest and post-test. The GORT-3 measures reading comprehension following oral reading. Although the GORT-3 assesses three different areas, for purposes of this study, only the comprehension score was used. Guidelines for interpreting standard comprehension scores are shown in Table 15. Table 15 Interpretation of GORT-3 Standardi zed Scores for Comprehension Standard Score Rating 17-21 Very Superior 15-16 Superior 13-14 Above Average 8-12 Average 6-7 Below Average 4-5 Poor 1-3 Very Poor The standard scores for comprehension co llected during the c ourse of this study are presented in Table 16. These scores fr om the Comprehension Subtest of the GORT-3 represent each student's comprehension level of literal and inferential questions posed immediately prior to and after re ceiving eight weeks of the IELR.
121 Table 16 Pre/Post Test Standard Scores for Comprehension Student Pretest Post-test Gain A1 11 11 0 A2 9 9 0 A3 5 10 +5 A4 8 6 -2 A5 9 11 +2 A6 9 9 0 A7 8 8 0 R1 6 7 +1 R2 7 6 -1 R3 9 9 0 R4 8 8 0 R5 8 11 +3 R6 8 8 0 The GORT-3 was given to the participants at the beginning of the study and the participants were retested after eight weeks. Figures 20 and 21 show the two classes' preand post-test results on the GORT-3. The re sults on the GORT-3 preand post-test for Mrs. AÂ’s class show students A1, A2, A6, a nd A7 with no growth and students A3 and A5 with an increase in scores. Student 4A show ed a decrease in performance from preto post-test. Mrs. RÂ’s class showed similar resu lts. Students R3, R4, and R6 had no increase; students R1 and R5 scores increased; student R2 's scores decreased from the preto the post-test.
122 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 A1A2A3A4A5A6A7StudentScore Pre-test Post-test Figure 20 Mrs. A's class GORT-3 pr e& post test scores 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 R1R2R3R4R5R6 StudentScore Pre-test Post-test Figure 21. Mrs. R's class GORT-3 pre& post-test scores
123 A review of the GORT-3 Preand Post-t est results indicates that student A3 showed the greatest improvement. This student moved from the below average category and progressed to the average level on th e GORT-3. Class A had four students who showed no improvement and stayed at the av erage level on the pre and post-tests while one student showed improvement from below le vel to average level. Mrs. RÂ’s class also had four students who made no gains and re mained at the average level for both test administrations; two students showed no impr ovement from the preto the post-test.
124 Chapter 5 Discussion Introduction This study was developed from a need to find a solution for the increasing number of students struggling to acqui re fluency and comprehension as readers in third grade. One of the most important res ponsibilities of educat ors in the elementary grades is to make certain that all students become skil led fluent readers. Th e degree of success in becoming a skilled fluent reader typically is established in the elementary grades (Francis, Shaywitz, Stuebing, Shaywitz, & Fletcher, 1996; Juel, 1988; Torgesen & Burgess, 1998). Unless effective instructional practices are used in this critical period, the inequities that commonly divide students are likely to continue (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). Richard Allington stated that schools are being asked to shift their mission from sorting children into ability groups and th en educating the easie st students well to supporting children so that all students achieve levels of academic performance historically attained by only a few (Allington & Cunningha m, 2002). Elementary school classroom teachers over time have been incr easingly expected to take on the crucial and primary role of accelerating the reading growth of elem entary struggling readers (Walmsley & Allington, 1995). Many struggli ng readers do not qualify for special or compensatory education support services because of the diffe ring criteria used in various
125 school districts to place students into these programs (Spear-Swerling & Sternberg, 1996; Wang, Reynolds, & Walberg, 1988). Therefore, reading growth of struggling readers needs to be supported within the elementary school regular classroom reading programs. Struggling readers need more than effective short-term interventions; they also need effective reading instruction in their regul ar classroom programs (Hiebert & Taylor, 1994b). Exemplary classroom programs cannot al ways ensure that all children will become proficient readers (Slavin, 1996), but they can dramatically reduce the number of children who are currently classified as readi ng disabled or remedial readers. Numerous programs have been implemented to address the needs of struggling readers, but many remedial or support programs have not been proven to be effectiv e in accelerating the reading growth of at-risk students (D uffy & Hester, 1999; Hiebert, 1994b). Although the need exists for elementary school classroom teachers to support the growth of struggling readers, a national survey of elementa ry school teachers revealed that many were unsure of how to meet the n eeds of readers who struggle. Many teachers stated that teaching struggling readers was one of their greatest challenges (Baumann & Duffy, 1996). Use of effective interventions re quires skillful teaching. Teachers who are the most effective with interventions are likely to be those teachers with the most training and experience. However, in the absence of well-trained and e xperienced intervention teachers, the less experienced teacher can de liver effective interventions if they are trained to use a well-developed, explicit, and systematic intervention protocol (Gaskins, 2005). State legislators are holdi ng classroom teachers responsible for the performance of all students on state mandated tests and th erefore teachers are unde r great pressure to
126 teach students who are struggling with liter acy (Duffy-Hester, 1999). Schools in Florida are being graded and sanctions are being pl aced on Title l schools based on learning gains and school grades. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of an enhanced classroom reading instruction in a small group instructional model designed to increase fluency and comprehension of third-grade stud ents at risk for reading difficulties. Small group reading instruction, in th e form of the Intermediate Ex tended Literacy Routine, was provided in addition to the classroom reading program, a nd hypothesized to be more effective than high quality classroom reading instruction alone for students at risk for reading failure. This hypothesis was based on the work of Rasinski, Padak, Linek, and Sturtevant (1994) who assert ed that students who are st ruggling with fluency and comprehension spend too much time focusing attention primarily on decoding individual words and therefore have little attention le ft for comprehending th e text. Oral-reading fluency is based on phonological awareness, letter-sound correspondence, and automatic word recognition; Wolf and Katzir-Cohen ( 2001) stress the need to emphasize both accuracy and fluency at each stage of teach ing. When students do not achieve fluent performance in these critical skills, new skills are more difficult to learn. The result is stress, inattention, and la ck of motivation (Binder, Haughton, & Bateman, 2002). The Intermediate Extended Literacy R outine was designed to provide explicit intensive skill and strategy le ssons that highly engage st udents in learning critical content. The working hypothesis of this study was that participation in the IELR would result in an increase in reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension.
127 Study Overview This study investigated the effects of an intermediate extended literacy routine on the reading fluency and comprehension of th ird grade students who are struggling in reading. The study used a single subject, A-B si ngle subject design two replications. The independent variable was the Intermediate Extended Literacy Routine (IELR). The studyÂ’s dependent variables were fluency as measured by timed readings and running records and reading comprehension as measured by narrative story retellings. The sample ( n =13) was drawn from two Grade 3 classrooms in the same school and included those students identified as struggling in reading. The students were identified based on results of DIBLES and the school district reading common assessments (PCAS). The students in the study were drawn from intact classrooms in one school, and therefore this was a convenience sample. Once the sample was identified and the c onsent forms were signed, instruction of the Intermediate Extended Literacy Routine began in February 2008 and continued until May 2008. The participants for this study were drawn from two third-grade classrooms in the same school and included those students identified as struggli ng with fluency in reading based on results of the DIBELS A ssessment. All participants in the study received four 20 minute small group IELR read ing sessions a week. In struction using the IELR was provided consistently with each gr oup for eight weeks. There was a staggered introduction of the intervention within a multip le baseline design to allow for stability and demonstration of the experimental effect within each data series as well as across data series at staggered times of inte rvention (Hersen & Barlow, 1976; Kazdin, 1988; 1998; Kratochwill & Levin, 1992; Tawney & Gast, 1984).
128 The following hypotheses guided this study: 1. Participants receiving the IELR would show growth in th e running record and the timed reading scores fo r participants in the study. 2. Participants receiving the IELR woul d show growth in comprehension as measured by narrative retellings at increasing levels of difficulty. 3. Participants receiving the IELR woul d show growth in comprehension as measured by the reading comprehension common assessment from the Pinellas Classroom Assessment System (PCAS). 4. Participants receiving the IELR woul d show growth in comprehension as measured by the Gray Oral Reading Test -Fourth Edition (GORT-3) comprehension subtest. The results of the study did not support the hypotheses that th e use of the IELR would increase fluency and comprehension of third graders identified as struggling in reading. There was, however, some increase in the area of timed reading scores and running record instructional leve ls over the course of the study. The findings from this study do suggest some direction for future research. In the following paragraphs, implications and conclusions pertaining to the data collected during this study are discussed and the limitations of the work and further recommendations are given. Implications and Summary The intent of this study was to develop an intervention for th ird grade classroom teachers that would address the needs of st udents who were identified as struggling in reading. The questions in the study fo cused on improving reading fluency and
129 comprehension. It was expected that the part icipants receiving the IELR treatment would show growth in levels of fluency and comp rehension over the eight weeks of the study. The students who received the Intermediate Extended Literacy Routine did not show growth in comprehension, yet there was some evidence of increases in reading rate and accuracy as demonstrated by words r ead per minute on timed readings and on running record instruc tional levels over the course of the study (See Figures 22 & 23). Students A1, A6, R3 and R6 showed an increas e in number of words read in 1 minute. Students A1, A6 and R6 all increased betwee n16 to 20 words per minute, yet with other variables affecting the students it is difficult to determine if the IELR treatment was solely responsible. The students did receive whole group reading instruction in a core reading program each day. The introduction of the DIBLES Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) Assessment as a measure of fluency in third grad e has led teachers to use fluency drills of words read correctly in a minute as an inst ructional practice. Th is practice may have contributed to the increased scores on tim ed readings. Students A3 and R1 actually showed a decrease in words read in a minute. Students A3 and R1 showed decreases of 8 and 9 respectively in words read in a minut e. For the most part, the others students showed an increase in words read in a minute on the timed readings.
130 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 A1A2A3A4A5A6A7R1R2R3R4R5R6 StudentWords Read Per Minute Cycle 1 Cycle 2 Cycle 3 Figure 22. Timed readings: classes combined It was expected that the participants r eceiving the IELR treatment would increase their instructional level as measured by a r unning record. All student s in the study either maintained or increased their running record levels. IELR treatment seemed to have an impact on reading accuracy. At the end of the 8 weeks, all students had an instructional level at grade level or above (see Figure 23). Students A5, A6 and A7 all went from a Grade 2 instructional level to instructional at the Grade 3 level; four students maintained an instructional level at Grade 3. Two students went from instructional at a Grade 2 level to instructional at a Grade 3 level and tw o students made an impressive jump from instructional at Grade 3 level to instructional at a Grade 5 level.
131 Increases in student instructional levels co uld be attributed to the fact that the running record used to measure instructional level was not tim ed. The students were able to decode and use strategies they were taught during the IELR and the core instruction to determine words that they experienced difficu lty with during their re ading. Time was not a factor and therefore allowe d students to pause, think a nd react with a strategy they acquired during instruction. The mixed results of the st udentÂ’s performance on the timed readings may have been a result of the pressure of being timed as they read. Further, the classroom teachers did not use timed reading in their classroom s and therefore the students were not as familiar with this process as they were with running records. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 A1A2A3A4A5A6A7R1R2R3R4R5R6 StudentGrade Instructional Level Cycle 1 Cycle 2 Cycle 3 Figure 23. Running record: classes combined.
132 The effects of the IELR on comprehensi on as measured by narrative retellings showed mixed results. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 A1A2A3A4A5A6A7R1R2R3R4R5R6 StudentRubric Score Cycle 1 Cycle 2 Cycle 3 Figure 24. Narrative retellings: classes combined. Note. Score interpretation categories are: Strugg ling (1-4); Delayed (5); Instructional (610); Instructional + (11-12); Independ ent (13-14); Independent + (15) For narrative retellings, the task was to r ead a Grade 3 level passage and to retell the story in writing. In many cases, the partic ipantÂ’s lack of writing skills may have adversely affected their ability to write a c oherent retelling after reading a passage (see Figure 24). Four students (A1, A2, A3, A7) did show an increase in their instructional level on narrative retellings. These students increased their ability to retell the story to a Grade
133 3 instructional level over the 8 weeks of the study. All four students were in Mrs. AÂ’s class; their results could be a reflection of other teaching pr actices in that classroom and not attributed solely to the IELR. Eight of the participants in the study had narrative retelling scores that either stayed the same or went down. A comparison of comprehension assessment results suggests a relationship in the performance of the partic ipants on the GORT and the PCAS Common Assessment. Students A1, A2, A3, A6, R1, R3, R5, and R6 all assessed at the same level on both the GORT and the Common asse ssment (see Figure 25). 0 1 2 3 A1A2A3A4A5A6A7R1R2R3R4R5R6 StudentAchievement Level CA Nov GORT Pre-test CA May GORT Post-test1 = Below Expectations 2 = Meets Expectations 3 = High Performing Figure 25. Comparison of comprehension sc ores for the GORT and Common Assessments
134 Conclusions 1. Participants in the study either maintained or increased their instructional level on running record. 2. Participants receiving the IELR showed evidence of increases in reading rate demonstrated by words read per minute on timed readings. 3. The majority of participants receiving the IELR did not show growth in comprehension as measured by narrativ e retellings. Eight participants had narrative retelling scores that eith er stayed the same or went down. Limitations Several features of the study limit the findi ngs. First, the size and nature of the sample limit generalization of the findings. The sample size in single subject design research is typically small, and it is diffi cult to generalize these results. Second, the 8 week length of the study may have limited th e impact of the in tervention. Although the data reflects that the majority of participants receiving the IELR did not show growth in comprehension as measured by narrative rete llings, the poor quality of the writing may have negatively impacted the rubric scores for comprehension. At best, this suggests that a longer period of intervention and the use of oral retellings may ha ve resulted in group differences if trends had continued. The rese archer did provide feedback to the schoolÂ’s leadership team based on the finding of this study and encouraged them to work with teachers to promote writing across the curriculum. Finally, the participants in the study were receiving additional instruction in the core reading program and the impact of the core instruction coul d not be isolated
135 Recommendations for Future Study This study provided mixed results. Although the use of the IELR did have a positive impact on reading rate, accuracy and re ading instructional level for the majority of the participants in the st udy, the routine did not prove to be successful in stimulating more growth in reading comprehension. Systema tic replication of this study with a larger sample (to improve internal and external va lidity) and further i nvestigation of which specific aspects of the IELR stimulated gr owth in reading accuracy and rate is recommended. A broader review of the res earch on reading compre hension, higher order thinking and use of metacognitive processes is also recommended. This research study might have implications for ways to design future instruction. It is suggested that the duration of the study be expanded to pr ovide longer student exposure to the IELR. The use of a contro l group would permit comparison of the effectiveness of the IELR to core classroom instruction. Finally, in future iterations of studies like this, it is recommended that oral retellings be used instead of written narrative retelling as an indicator of reading comprehension; the writing ability of the student can impact the quality of the retelling.
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159 Appendix A Human Participant Protection Completion Certificate
160 Appendix B IRB Approval Letter
161 Appendix B (Continued)
162 Appendix C IRB Parent Consent Form
163 Appendix C (Continued)
164 Appendix C (Continued)
165 Appendix C (Continued)
166 Appendix D IRB Student Consent Form
167 Appendix D (Continued)
168 Appendix E Study Timeline January 24, 2008 Trained Partic ipating Classroom teachers February 1, 2008 Pre Test GORT Mrs. AÂ’s Class February 4, 2008 Mrs. AÂ’s Class Begins IELR Routine February 14, 2008 Pre Test GORT Mrs. RÂ’s Class February 18, 2008 Mrs. RÂ’s Class Begins IELR Routine April 7, 2008 Mrs. AÂ’s Class Discontinues IELR April 10, 2008 Post Test GORT Mrs. RÂ’s Class May 5, 2008 Mrs. RÂ’s Class Discontinues IELR May 12, 2008 Post Test GORT Mrs. RÂ’s Class
169 Appendix F Sample Lesson Teaching Point : Using Context to Confirm M eaning of Multiple-Meaning Words (Homographs) Introduction: Say: Â“ Today we will focus on word relationships and discuss words that have multiple meaning. These words look the same or s ound the same, but they mean different things. Homophones and homographs are examples of multiple-meaning words. One way to understand the meaning of words is to think abo ut the other words in the passage. The other words provide clues and help us figure out what a word means .Â” Teach/Model Display chart with homographs and homophones Say: Â“ Homographs are words that are sp elled the same, but have different meanings. Follow along while I read these sentences and think about the underlined words in each sentenceÂ” Teacher reads aloud the first two sentences as students watch. Please put the suntan lotion on my back. Mom tried to back her car into the parking space. Say: Â“ In the first sentence, back means the rea r part of the body from the neck to the waist. In the second senten ce, back means to move in reverse The word back is a homograph. It is spelled the same but means something different in each sentence.Â” Student Engagement: Teacher reads aloud the next two sentences as students watch. We kicked the can into the yard. Dad said that we can play outside until dark. Say: Â“ Turn to your partner and discuss what the word can in each sentence. Circulate and share out what you heard students saying Say: Â“ These are homographs, homographs are words that are spelled the same but meaning is determined by the way th e word is used in a sentence. Did you notice that these two words are pronounced differently, too? We now know that words can be pronounced differently even when they are spelled the same. Using the words in context of the sentence helps us confirm the words meaning and helps us know the correct wa y to pronounce the words. Practice /Apply: Say: Â“ Today as you read in independent reading, look for words that may have multiple meanings. Be sure to read the other words in the passage to better understand the meaning of these words. Be prepared to s hare with me during our individual conference how you did this work.
170 Appendix G Strategy Lessons Adjusting Reading Rate Author's Purpose o Reread to Clarify o Use text structure and format Word relationships o Using phonics to decode o Self-questioning o Homophones o Homographs Decoding Long Words Use context to confirm meaning Monitoring reading for meaning Narrative Elements/ Summarizing
About the Author Jeani Z. Fullard has been an educator for over 20 years. She was an elementary classroom teacher for 11 years and taught underg raduate courses at the college level for 12 years. She received a B. A. in Elementa ry Education from the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL in 1985. She earned an M.A. in Reading from the University of South Florida in 1989. While pursuing a Ph. D. at the University of South Florida, Jeani taught undergraduate courses at both St. Peters burg College and the University of South Florida.