ArticlePDF Available

Meta-analysis of targeted small-group reading interventions


Abstract and Figures

Small-group reading interventions are commonly used in schools but the components that make them effective are still debated or unknown. The current study meta-analyzed 26 small-group reading intervention studies that resulted in 27 effect sizes. Findings suggested a moderate overall effect for small-group reading interventions (weighted g = 0.54). Interventions were more effective if they were targeted to a specific skill (g = 0.65), then as part of a comprehensive intervention program that addressed multiple skills (g = 0.35). There was a small correlation between intervention effects and group size (r = 0.21) and duration (r = 0.11). Small-group interventions led to a larger median effect size (g = 0.64) for elementary-aged students than for those in middle or high school (g = 0.20), but the two confidence intervals overlapped. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
Journal of School Psychology
journal homepage:
Meta-analysis of targeted small-group reading interventions
Matthew S. Hall
, Matthew K. Burns
University of Minnesota, United States
University of Missouri, United States
Action Editor: Steve Kilgus
Small-group reading interventions are commonly used in schools but the components that make
them eective are still debated or unknown. The current study meta-analyzed 26 small-group
reading intervention studies that resulted in 27 eect sizes. Findings suggested a moderate
overall eect for small-group reading interventions (weighted g= 0.54). Interventions were
more eective if they were targeted to a specic skill (g= 0.65), then as part of a comprehensive
intervention program that addressed multiple skills (g= 0.35). There was a small correlation
between intervention eects and group size (r= 0.21) and duration (r= 0.11). Small-group
interventions led to a larger median eect size (g= 0.64) for elementary-aged students than for
those in middle or high school (g= 0.20), but the two condence intervals overlapped.
Implications for research and practice are discussed.
1. Introduction
For students to eectively learn, instruction must match their diverse levels and needs (Al Otaiba & Fuchs, 2006; Kamps &
Greenwood, 2005). Small-group intervention is dened as supplemental instruction delivered simultaneously to three or more stu-
dents with homogenous skills to support their reading needs (Gersten et al., 2009). Small-group interventions provide the opportunity
for students with reading diculties to receive literacy instruction that more closely matches their needs. To date, small-group
intervention is the component of a reading response-to-intervention model with the strongest research base (Gersten et al., 2009).
Previous research indicates that small-group reading interventions should (a) focus on the ve areas of reading instruction
(phonemic awareness, phonics, uency, vocabulary, and comprehension) as outlined by the National Reading Panel (2000), (b) be
implemented three to ve times per week for approximately 20 to 40 min each session, and (c) build skills gradually while providing
opportunity for frequent interventionist-student interaction (Gersten et al., 2009). Although small-group reading interventions are a
common method used with struggling readers in U.S. schools (Foorman & Torgesen, 2001), important questions remain regarding the
practice. We will describe the research, as well as evidence gaps or areas of inconsistency, in the literature below.
1.1. Eects of small-group reading interventions
Research has consistently demonstrated the positive eects of small-group reading interventions with students at risk for reading
failure in early elementary (Kamps et al., 2008; Nielsen & Friesen, 2012), upper elementary (Faggella-Luby & Wardwell, 2011),
middle school (Faggella-Luby & Wardwell, 2011; Vaughn et al., 2011), and high school (Bemboom & McMaster, 2013). Previous
meta-analytic research found large eects for interventions with struggling readers in grades 4 through 12 (g= 0.95; Scammacca
et al., 2007), but an update of the meta-analysis found smaller eects (g= 0.49) and hypothesized that the change was due to use of
Received 22 June 2016; Received in revised form 19 October 2017; Accepted 8 November 2017
Corresponding author at: 109 Hill Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, United States.
E-mail address: (M.K. Burns).
Journal of School Psychology 66 (2018) 54–66
Available online 15 November 2017
0022-4405/ © 2017 Society for the Study of School Psychology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
more standardized measures, dierences in participant characteristics, more rigorous research designs, and improvements in the
business-as-usual control group (Scammacca, Roberts, Vaughn, & Stuebing, 2015).
1.1.1. Standardized measures
Researchers have long recognized that standardized norm-referenced measures of reading are less sensitive to growth and in-
dividual dierences in reading than briefer measures such as curriculum-based measurement (Marston, Fuchs, & Deno, 1986). Al-
though standardized measures correlate well with state accountability tests (Shapiro & Gebhardt, 2012), curriculum-based mea-
surement results in much more sensitive data (Miura Wayman, Wallace, Wiley, Tichá, & Espin, 2007). Scammacca et al. (2015)
compared the eects from standardized measures of reading to the data from a previous meta-analysis and found smaller average
eect size (g= 0.21) as compared to the previous research (g= 0.42; Scammacca et al., 2007). Thus, the result of using standardized
measures to assess the eect of reading interventions appears to be an area in need of additional research.
1.1.2. Student characteristics
Beyond outcome measures, the age of the student receiving the small-group intervention could also inuence the results. Previous
research has consistently found that age of the student aected the results of reading intervention, but the dierence was most
pronounced for students in preschool and kindergarten (Suggate, 2016), and the eects of reading interventions for students in
kindergarten maintained through the third grade (Simmons et al., 2008). Moreover, a synthesis of previous research found that
reading interventions were most eective for students in kindergarten and rst grade, but the review only included students through
third grades (Wanzek & Vaughn, 2007). Vaughn et al. (2010) found small eects (d= 0.16) for a small-group reading intervention
with students in middle school. However, meta-analytic research found larger mean eects for students in 4th through 12th grades
(Scammacca et al., 2007, 2015). Such equivocality in ndings to date suggests the grade of students receiving small-group reading
intervention is also an area in need of additional research. Research designs. When reviewing the research of a specic topic such as reading interventions, study methodology and
quality of the research design should be taken into account to reduce potential bias in the ndings (Wortman, 1994). Higher quality
designs include studies that use randomized assignment and have low attrition or equal groups after attrition (What Works
Clearinghouse, 2008). Systematic reviews of the reading intervention literature found that randomized experiments are a common
method of small-group reading intervention research (Slavin, Lake, Davis, & Madden, 2011). Previous research is somewhat
conicting in that while some studies have indicated study quality did not inuence reading outcomes (Ehri et al., 2001), other
investigations have suggested higher quality research designs yielded larger eects (Elbaum, Vaughn, Tejero Hughes, & Watson
Moody, 2000; Piasta & Wagner, 2010). In addition, research has demonstrated that the quality of the control or comparison group
needs to be considered, as this group represents the counterfactual against which intervention eects are evaluated and estimated
(Lemons, Fuchs, Gilbert, & Fuchs, 2014).
1.2. Characteristics of the intervention
There are other areas of potential research for small-group interventions because many components of what makes small-group
reading interventions eective are still debated or unknown (Begeny, Krouse, Ross, & Mitchell, 2009; Chambers et al., 2011; Slavin
et al., 2011). Below we will discuss the intervention group size, who administers the intervention, and intervention duration as
characteristics of the intervention that could inuence the eects.
1.2.1. Interventionist
Delivering interventions to multiple students simultaneously can be more ecient and require less time than when administering
them to each student separately, but who is administering the intervention is also important to consider when determining inter-
vention eciency. In an extensive review of the literature on eective reading interventions, Slavin et al. (2011) found that inter-
ventions delivered by paraprofessionals and volunteers were eective, but the interventions were more eective when delivered by
certied teachers. Moreover, volunteers can eectively implement reading interventions, but the eectiveness may depend on how
well the volunteers were trained (Elbaum et al., 2000).
1.2.2. Intervention dosage
Another important consideration for intervention eciency is the length of time the intervention is implemented. Researchers are
more frequently considering intervention dose, or the number of teaching episodes per intervention session, which is cumulatively
computed by multiplying the number of teaching episodes per session, by the number of sessions per week, by the number of weeks
(Warren, Fey, & Yoder, 2007). Most intervention researchers do not report teaching episodes, but report total intervention duration in
minutes or hours as an indicator of dose. It may seem intuitive that the longer an intervention is delivered the more eective it will
be, but meta-analytic research found that intervention length was not associated with reading outcomes (Elbaum et al., 2000;
Swanson, 1999). There could be a nonlinear relationship between intervention duration and eects because moderate-length in-
terventions had the largest eects, and interventions that were short or relatively long in duration were equally eective (Ehri et al.,
M.S. Hall, M.K. Burns Journal of School Psychology 66 (2018) 54–66
1.2.3. Group size
The size of the group remains a question in need of research. Previous research found that small-group interventions were at least
as eective as one-on-one interventions (Ehri et al., 2001; Elbaum et al., 2000; Piasta & Wagner, 2010). Vaughn et al. (2003) directly
compared the impact of dierent intervention group sizes by administering the same reading intervention to students individually, in
groups of 3, and in groups of 10. Interventions delivered in groups of 3 students were more eective than groups of 10, and equally
eective to the individually delivered interventions, but there was little guidance beyond comparing 3 to 10 students. Moreover,
meta-analytic research found a small relationship (r=0.09) between eects and size of the group (Suggate, 2016).
1.3. Targeted interventions
As described above, research regarding the eects of small-group interventions has found mixed results due to various factors, one
of which could be the target of the intervention. A standardized small-group intervention that addressed word recognition, voca-
bulary, uency, and comprehension led to only small eects for struggling readers (d= 0.16, Vaughn et al., 2010). There were
several hypotheses regarding why the intervention led to only small eects. For example, the Vaughn et al. (2010) study was
conducted at a middle school, and most reading intervention research is conducted with elementary-aged students, but meta-analytic
research with adolescent struggling readers found average eect sizes that ranged from g= 0.49 (Scammacca et al., 2015)to
g= 0.95 (Scammacca et al., 2007). Perhaps the interventions in the Vaughn et al. (2010) study were not targeted enough to address
the specic reading decits of students in the group.
Burns and colleagues (Burns & Coolong-Chan, 2006; Burns & Gibbons, 2012; VanDerHeyden & Burns, 2010)dened targeted
interventions as those interventions that focused most directly on one area of the National Reading Panel (NRP; National Institute of
Child Health and Human Development, 2000), according to student needs. Research supported targeted interventions based on the
ve areas of NRP because phonological decoding predicted word reading, and the rate and accuracy of word reading predicted
comprehension among struggling readers (Berninger, Abbott, Vermeulen, & Fulton, 2006). Moreover, Suggate (2016) found mod-
erate eects for interventions that focused on phonemic awareness (d= 0.47), phonics (d= 0.50), and comprehension (d= 0.58),
and Ehri et al. (2001) found an average large eect (d= 1.38) from 35 studies that examined small-group reading interventions for
phonemic awareness.
The targeted approach to implementing small-group intervention was tested by Burns et al. (2016) with 631 s- and third-grade
students as part of the Path to Reading Excellence in School Sites (PRESS Research Team, 2014) project. Interventions delivered in
small groups were targeted according to phonemic awareness, decoding, reading uency, or vocabulary and comprehension, which
was compared to a control group that received a comprehensive small-group intervention that focused on comprehension and reading
uency, with decoding and phonemic awareness embedded within the lessons. The targeted intervention led to signicantly more
growth on measures of reading uency and comprehension than the control group, with moderate to large eects (η
= 0.12 for
second grade and η
= 0.16 for third grade). Although the nding was consistent with previous intervention research that found
interventions were more eective if they correctly targeted the student's area of challenge (Burns, VanDerHeyden, & Zaslofsky,
2014), the study was quasi-experimental with little control over the intervention that students received in the control group. Thus,
additional research is needed to determine the potential dierential eects for targeted small-group interventions.
1.4. Purpose
Although small-group reading interventions are commonly used, many components of what makes small-group reading inter-
ventions eective are still debated. With the large number of students with reading diculties, the limited resources available in
schools, and the increasing popularity of multi-tiered systems of support that utilize small-group instruction, there is a need to gain a
better understanding of how to most eectively and eciently deliver small-group reading interventions. Moreover, meta-analytic
methods are eective means to synthesize literature in which potentially contradicting ndings occur and to make specic re-
commendations for practice (Kavale & Forness, 2000). Therefore, the goal of the current study was to apply meta-analytic techniques
to examine the eects of targeted small-group reading interventions and to identify components of small-group instruction that were
most eective.
This meta-analysis was guided by the following research questions:
1. How eective are small-group reading interventions at increasing reading skills?
2. How eective are small-group reading interventions when they target specic skills as compared to a more comprehensive
approach that addresses multiple skills.
3. How do intervention characteristics such as interventionist, dose, and group size impact the eect of small-group reading in-
4. What eect do participant-level variables (e.g., student grade) have on the eectiveness of small-group reading interventions?
5. How do study characteristics such as research design, outcome measure used, and control group impact the results of small-group
reading intervention studies?
M.S. Hall, M.K. Burns Journal of School Psychology 66 (2018) 54–66
2. Method
2.1. Data collection
The PsycINFO, ERIC, and Education Full Text electronic databases were searched for articles using the terms reading or literacy,
small group”“tier II or tier 2,”“phonemic awareness,”“decoding,”“uency,”“vocabulary,”“comprehension,and intervention.
As shown in Fig. 1, the electronic search resulted in 2119 citations, the titles of which were reviewed for relevance. A total of 1903
were eliminated without further review for lack of relevance. A total of 216 citations were further reviewed by examining their
abstracts, and another 94 citations were eliminated because they were not directly about small-group reading interventions, leaving
122 total articles. The following inclusionary criteria were used to compare the remaining articles in order to nd data usable for the
current meta-analysis:
1. The study implemented a small-group reading intervention.
2. The outcome variables of the study were directly related to reading or literacy performance.
3. The group size of the intervention included between 3 and 15 students. Three was established as the minimum to avoid research
with dyads, and because it was used as the minimum group size in previous research (Vaughn et al., 2003). A group size of 15 was
set as the maximum to avoid research with entire classrooms.
4. The intervention was delivered by an adult rather than peer to peer (e.g., peer learning groups or cooperative learning groups).
5. The participants were students in grades K through 12.
6. The participants were native English speakers.
7. The study was published in a peer-reviewed journal.
8. The study used a quantitative group comparison research design, either experimental or quasi-experimental, allowing for esti-
mates of eect size as compared with a control condition.
9. The study presented sucient information to calculate eect sizes.
10. The study was written in English.
Thirteen of the 122 articles were excluded because a small-group reading intervention was not used as a main treatment (e.g., the
reading intervention was only one part of a multi-component intervention), 7 were eliminated because the outcome variables were
not directly related to reading performance, 41 were excluded because they used group sizes that were less than three students or did
not give the group size, and 20 were removed because they were a review or did not use a quantitative research design. Studies using
a single-case design method were not included in the current study due to the diculty of interpreting eect sizes and combining the
eects with group design studies (Baron & Derenne, 2000), which resulted in 15 articles being excluded.
Fig. 1. Flow chart of the study selection process.
M.S. Hall, M.K. Burns Journal of School Psychology 66 (2018) 54–66
After identifying articles appropriate for the meta-analysis from the electronic searches, an ancestral search of the reference lists
from included articles was conducted to identify potential additional articles, but no additional studies were found. In total, 26
articles met the inclusion criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. It should be noted that one of the articles reported two
independent studies within the same article (i.e., Study 1 and Study 2; Coyne, McCoach, & Kapp, 2007), which were coded separately
and increased the number of studies to 27.
The interrater agreement for whether the studies met the inclusion criteria was assessed by the rst author and a school psy-
chology graduate student by randomly selecting 25% (n= 26) of the articles initially screened. The total agreements were divided by
the total articles that were randomly selected and initially resulted in 81% agreement. All of the disagreements involved the size of
the groups in the study, where the second rater included studies that used groups of two students. The two raters met to discuss the
disagreements and reached 100% agreement after clarifying the intervention group size variable.
2.2. Coding
The 27 articles were coded according to variables relevant to the research question. The coding process is described below.
2.2.1. Targeted interventions
Three studies used either a phonemic awareness or phonics intervention (e.g., teaching the sounds that corresponded to individual
phonemes; O'Shaughnessy & Swanson, 2000), one study used a reading uency intervention (repeated reading and reading widely;
Kuhn, 2005), ve studies used a vocabulary intervention (explicit instruction with contextual information and denitions using
multiple exposers to the word; Coyne et al., 2007), and four addressed reading comprehension (e.g., teaching students how to
summarize, question, clarify, and predict as they read; Sporer, Brunstein, & Kieschke, 2009). Thus, 13 studies targeted the inter-
vention to one of the areas identied by the NRP and were coded as targeted interventions. An additional 14 studies (including both
presented by Coyne et al., 2007) used an intervention that included a combination of aforementioned intervention type categories,
which were coded as comprehensive interventions.
2.2.2. Intervention variables
A variety of intervention variables were coded to determine how intervention characteristics aected the results of small-group
reading interventions. The study examined who implemented the intervention (i.e., interventionist), the intervention dose, and
intervention group size. Interventionist. Three groups of treatment agents, or those who implemented the intervention, were used in the included
studies. Researchers or graduate student research assistants administered the small-group intervention for 14 of the studies; personnel
from within the school (e.g., teachers or paraprofessionals) implemented the intervention for 10 of the studies; and 4 eects were
from studies that used volunteers or other trained interventionists from outside of the school to provide the small-group
interventions. Intervention dose. Treatment dose was coded as total time in hours the intervention was delivered. Minutes were converted to
a decimal point by dividing the minutes by 60 (e.g., 90 min equaled 1.5 h). There was considerable variability in intervention time
with a range of 1.5 h to 1440 h over the course of several weeks. The mean number of hours was 123.59 (SD = 287.00) and the
median was 30.00. Three studies did not provide information regarding the amount of time dedicated to the intervention. Intervention group size. Intervention group size was coded as a continuous count of the total number of students in each
instructional group. The size of the intervention groups varied greatly between the studies and many studies used a range of group
sizes within the same study. The median group size was used for studies reporting a range of group sizes. The average group size was
4.98 (SD = 2.41) students and the median was 4.50.
2.2.3. Participant variable: grade
Studies meeting the criteria for inclusion were coded according to the grade of the participants in their study. Nineteen studies
included students who were in kindergarten through 5th grade and were classied as elementary. Seven studies included students
who were in 6th through 12th grade and were classied as secondary. One study included students in both groups.
2.2.4. Study variables
Finally, variables associated with study characteristics were coded. The variables of interest were research design, outcome
measure used, and type of control group.
2.2.5. Research design
In order to account for the quality of the research design, studies were coded into three categories using methods from the What
Works Clearinghouse (2008) Procedures and Standards. The research standards take into account if the study was an experimental or
quasi-experimental design, the amount of attrition in the study, and the equality of the groups for studies of high attrition. Fifteen
eects were from studies that were categorized as meeting the standards (i.e., study included a randomized design with low attrition
and equality across groups), seven were from studies that met the standards with reservations (i.e., quasi-experimental designs or was
M.S. Hall, M.K. Burns Journal of School Psychology 66 (2018) 54–66
a randomized design with either high attrition or unequal groups), and ve were from studies that did not meet the standards (i.e.,
did not use randomization with high attrition and unequal groups). Outcome measure. The outcome measure used was coded to examine the eect that use of standardized measure had on
intervention eectiveness. Studies that used standardized norm-referenced measures were classied as standardized, and those that
used researcher-developed measures or curriculum-based measurement were coded as informal measures. A total of 8 studies used
standardized measures (e.g., Test of Word Reading Eciency;Torgesen, Rashotte, & Wagner, 1999), 9 used informal measures (e.g.,
curriculum-based measures and researcher-developed comprehension questions), and 10 used a combination of the two. Although
not used in the analyses, the type of measure used was further coded according to reading skill measured and reported in Table 1. One
study only measured phonemic awareness (measures of blending and segmenting sounds; Kerins, Trotter, & Schoenbrodt, 2010). One
study only measured phonics (measures of letter-sound knowledge, word recognition, and spelling; Schuele et al., 2008). One study
measured reading uency (word reading eciency; Kuhn, 2005). Five studies examined the eect on vocabulary (e.g., expressive
measure of story word denitions, receptive measure of story word denitions, and receptive measure of understanding story words
in context; Coyne et al., 2007). Four studies used comprehension as the dependent variable (cloze, strategy use, and group-
administered standardized measure of reading comprehension; Faggella-Luby & Wardwell, 2011). Finally, 15 studies used a
combination of measures to examine the eect on reading. Control group. The intervention eect sizes were obtained in each study by comparing the eects to a control group.
Therefore, the type of control group (i.e., business as usual or active) used in each study was coded to account for any impact this may
have on the results. Active control groups provide some type of similar intervention to the one being studied, but is dierent in some
important way (Boot, Simons, Stothart, & Stutts, 2013). Therefore, studies were coded as using an active control group if the control
group received a dierent reading intervention or additional supplemental instruction. Studies were coded as using a business-as-
usual control group if the control group did not receive any additional reading intervention beyond regular classroom instruction.
Eighteen eects were from studies that used an active comparison group and nine were from studies that used a business-as-usual
comparison group. Fidelity. Although not included in the analysis, treatment implementation delity outcomes for each study were recorded.
Eighteen studies reported treatment delity data. The mean delity reported ranged from 87% to 100% with an overall mean of 94%
across the fteen studies. One study (Torgesen et al., 2010) videotaped treatment sessions for delity and stated that treatment
implementation delity was very high, but they did not report any data. Eight studies did not mention collecting treatment delity
2.2.6. Reliability of the coding
A second person also coded the study variables for approximately 40% (n= 10) of the studies. The number of variables that were
coded the same way by both coders was totaled and divided by the total number of variables across the studies. The two coders
agreed 100% of the time.
2.3. Eect size calculation and analysis
The study assumed random-eects and calculated eect sizes for each study with Hedges gusing the formula outlined by Hedges
(1981), and recommended by the What Works Clearinghouse Standards (2008), which adjusts for the size of the samples. Hedges gis
a standardized mean dierence statistic, calculating the dierence between the post-test treatment and control group means, divided
by the pooled standard deviation. Although the Hedges gindex has a slight upward bias when estimating population eects, each
outcome measure is adjusted to correct for this bias (Hedges, 1981). With this adjustment, Hedges ghas sound statistical properties in
small sample sizes.
The eect sizes for each reading measure were calculated and the mean was calculated for studies that included more than one
reading measure so that each study contributed only one estimate of eect to the analyses. One study (Coyne et al., 2007) contributed
two eect sizes to the meta-analysis because it reported separate studies with dierent samples and interventions. Eect sizes were
weighted according to the inverse of the variance and median weighted eects were reported for each variable. Median eects were
reported because there were too few eects for some of the variables for the data to meet the assumptions necessary for parametric
statistics (i.e., mean). The 95% condence intervals for the median eect sizes were compared to determine if the intervals over-
lapped. Those that did not overlap were judged to be reliably dierent to a p< 0.05 criterion. Cohen (1988) provided criteria to
interpret estimates of eect for g,r, and r
. The criteria for gwere 0.2 for a small eect, 0.5 for a medium eect, and 0.8 for a large
eect. The corresponding recommended values for a small, medium, and large eect for rwere 0.10, 0.30, and 0.50 respectively, and
0.02, 0.13, and 0.26 respectively for r
A failsafe N was computed (Orwin, 1983) to address potential publication biases, as only published studies were used in the meta-
analysis. Failsafe N provides information on the stability of a meta-analysis by identifying how many studies with a zero eect would
have to be found to change a medium or large eect to a small eect. The criterion of 0.20 was used to indicate a small eect (Cohen,
1988). The criterion for a small eect is somewhat arbitrary, but it is commonly accepted in the absence of any other criterion to
guide a particular line of research.
M.S. Hall, M.K. Burns Journal of School Psychology 66 (2018) 54–66
3. Results
The rst research question addressed the overall eects of small-group reading interventions. A total of 27 eect sizes were
calculated from 26 studies investigating the eect of small-group reading interventions on reading skills. A summary of the study
Table 1
Summary information on interventions included in the meta-analysis by study.
Study Grade Group size (median) Intervention type Measure Eect size (g)
Bemboom and McMaster (2013) 10 8 Multiple Fluency
Case et al. (2010) 1 3.5 Multiple PA
Coyne et al. (2007)
Study 1
K 3.5 Voc Voc 1.64
Coyne et al. (2007)
Study 2
K 3.5 Voc Voc 1.23
Faggella-Luby and Wardwell (2011) 56 6 Comp Comp 0.49
Glenberg, Brown, and Levin (2007) 12 3 Comp Comp 1.99
Graves, Brandon, Duesbery, McIntosh, and Pyle (2011) 6 3 Multiple Phonics
Graves, Duesbery, Pyle, Brandon, and McIntosh (2011) 6 3 Multiple Phonics
Jimenez et al. (2010) K2 5 Multiple PA
Kamps et al. (2007) 12 5 Multiple Phonics
Kamps et al. (2008) K2 4.5 Multiple Phonics
Kuhn (2005) 2 6 Fluency Fluency 0.07
Loftus, Coyne, McCoach, Zipoli, and Pullen (2010) K 3.5 Voc Voc 0.44
Mathes et al. (2005) 1 3 Multiple PA
Mathes et al. (2003) 1 4.5 Multiple Phonics
Nielsen and Friesen (2012) K 4.5 Voc Voc 1.12
O'Shaughnessy and Swanson (2000) 2 5 Phonics PA
Penno, Wilkinson, and Moore (2002) K 12 Voc Voc 0.70
Rashotte, MacPhee, and Torgesen (2001) 16 4 Multiple PA
Schuele et al. (2008) K 6 Phonics Phonics 0.26
Sporer et al. (2009) 6 5 Comp Comp 0.58
Torgesen, Wagner, Rashotte, Herron, and Lindamood (2010) 1 3 Multiple PA
Vaughn et al. (2010) 78 10.5 Multiple Phonics
Vaughn et al. (2010) 6 12.5 Multiple PA
Vaughn et al. (2011) 78 4.5 Multiple PA
Westerveld and Gillon (2008) 3 3.5 Comp Comp 0.65
Note. Comp = Reading Comprehension, Fluency = Reading Fluency, PA = Phonemic Awareness, Voc = Vocabulary.
M.S. Hall, M.K. Burns Journal of School Psychology 66 (2018) 54–66
characteristics is presented in Table 1. The eect sizes ranged from g=0.21 to 1.99 with a median weighted eect size of g= 0.54
(95% CI = 0.32 to 0.76).
3.1. Targeted intervention
The second research question addressed the eects of targeted small group interventions in comparison to more comprehensive
intervention packages. Eect sizes were examined according to if the intervention was targeted (k= 13) or more comprehensive (i.e.,
containing components across intervention type categories, k= 14). Targeted interventions were found to have a larger weighted
eect size (g= 0.65, 95% CI = 0.33 to 0.97) than comprehensive interventions (g= 0.35, 95% CI = 0.11 to 0.59), but the two
condence intervals overlapped. Failsafe N analyses found that there would have to be 29 studies with 0 eect to reduce the median
eect size to fall below the criterion for a small eect (i.e., g= 0.20). The Failsafe N for comprehensive interventions suggested that
11 studies with 0 eect would have to be included to change the eect size to a small magnitude of 0.20 or less.
3.2. Intervention variables
Several dierent intervention variables were examined to determine which small-group reading intervention components con-
tributed to the eect of the intervention. The results of the analyses are described below.
3.2.1. Interventionist
First, studies were grouped by the treatment agent to determine eect sizes according to the person who implemented the
intervention. As shown in Table 2, interventions implemented by a researcher or graduate research assistant yielded a weighted eect
size of g= 0.51 (95% CI = 0.18 to 0.84). Studies that used stawithin the school to implement the intervention had a weighted
eect size of g= 0.59 (95% CI = 0.26 to 0.91). Finally, interventions implemented by a trained interventionist from outside the
school were found to have an eect size of g= 0.52 (95% CI = 0.31 to 0.73). Once again, there was considerable overlap between
the three condence intervals and the magnitudes of the weighted eect sizes were quite similar.
3.2.2. Intervention dose/duration
The dosage of the intervention was examined according to the total amount of hours the intervention was implemented. Three
studies did not report the intervention amount and were not included in this analysis. The studies resulted in a mean of 123.59
(SD = 287.00) hours of intervention, but the data were not normally distributed (skewness = 4.37, kurtosis = 20.33). Thus, the data
were normalized by identifying outliers with Tukey's interquartile range and removing the outliers from the analyses, which resulted
in 2 sets of data being removed from the analysis. The resulting correlation between intervention duration and eect size was small
r=0.11, p= 0.62.
3.2.3. Intervention group size
The last intervention component that was examined was the size of the intervention groups. The mean group size was 4.98
students (SD = 2.41), but again the data were not normally distributed (skewness = 2.20, kurtosis = 4.94). Thus, the data were
normalized by identifying outliers with Tukey's interquartile range and removing the outliers from the analyses, which resulted in 3
Table 2
Median eect sizes according to student and intervention variables.
Variable kWeighted g95% CI Fail safe N
Intervention agent
Researcher or graduate student 14 0.51 0.180.84 22
Within school personnel 10 0.59 0.260.91 20
Outside school interventionists 3 0.52 0.310.73 6
Student grade
Elementary 19 0.64 0.380.90 42
Secondary 7 0.20 0.010.41 NA
Combination 1 0.49 NA 1
Study quality
Meets standards 15 0.59 0.330.85 29
Meets with reservations 7 0.26 0.150.67 2
Does not meet standards 5 0.23 0.280.70 < 1
Reading outcome measure
Standardized 8 0.39 0.020.80 8
Informal 9 0.58 0.230.83 17
Combination 10 0.60 0.250.95 20
Control group type
Business as usual 18 0.44 0.280.60 22
Active 9 1.32 0.891.75 50
Total 27 0.54 0.320.76 46
M.S. Hall, M.K. Burns Journal of School Psychology 66 (2018) 54–66
sets of data being removed. The resulting correlation between group size and intervention eect was small r=0.21, p= 0.34.
The eects of targeted interventions, group size, and intervention dosage (number of intervention hours) were analyzed with a
regression using the three variables as the predictors and intervention eect as the dependent variable. The targeted variable was
coded as a 0 if it addressed multiple skills and a 1 if it was targeted to one area of reading. Data that were identied as outliers on the
intervention dosage or group size data were excluded. The type of intervention was entered rst, then the order of the variables was
determined by the magnitude of the correlation with eect size, with group size being entered second and intervention duration
third. As shown in Table 3, none of the variables were signicant predictors, but type of intervention (targeted or comprehensive)
accounted for a small to medium amount of variance (r
= 0.08) (Cohen, 1988). The size of the intervention group added an
additional 11% variance, which is also a medium eect, but adding in intervention duration only added 3% of the variance for a total
of 22%.
3.3. Participant variables: student grade
The impact of small-group reading interventions was examined by the grade of the students receiving the intervention. As shown
in Table 2, the eect sizes for students in elementary school (i.e., students in grades K through 5th grades) was moderate (g= 0.64,
95% CI = 0.380.90), and the eect size for students in secondary grades (8th through 12th grades) was small (g= 0.20, 95%
CI = 0.010.41). One study used students from both grade groups, and had a moderate eect (g= 0.49). Although the median
eect size was larger for elementary than secondary students, there was some overlap between the two condence intervals.
However, the condence interval for secondary students include zero.
3.4. Study variables
Finally, variables associated with the research were evaluated. The variables examined were quality of the research design,
outcome measures used, and type of control group.
3.4.1. Research design
Studies were grouped according to the quality of the design using the categories presented in the What Works Clearinghouse
(2008) Procedures and Standards. Studies that met standards yielded a weighted eect size of g= 0.59 (95% CI = 0.33 to 0.85).
Those that met standards with reservations had a weighted eect size of g= 0.26 (95% CI = 0.15 to 0.67). Studies that did not
meet the What Works Clearinghouse standards yielded an eect size of g= 0.23 (95% CI = 0.28 to 0.70). Although there was
overlap between the condence intervals, the condence intervals for studies that met standards with reservations and those that did
not meet standards both included zero.
3.4.2. Outcome measure used
Next, type of outcome measure used was examined. Standardized reading measures resulted in a median weighted eect size of
g= 0.39 (95% CI = 0.02 to 0.80), informal measures resulted in a median weighted eect size of g= 0.58 (95% CI = 0.23 to
0.83), and the studies that used a combination of the two resulted in a median weighted eect size of g= 0.60 (95% CI = 0.25 to
0.95). There was considerable overlap between the three condence intervals.
3.4.3. Control group
Finally, the type of control group that was used was also examined. Studies that used a business-as-usual control group were found
to have a weighted eect size of g= 0.44 (95% CI = 0.28 to 0.60), whereas studies that used an active control group were found to
have a weighted eect size of g=1.32 (95% CI = 0.89 to 1.75). The two condence intervals did not overlap, which suggested that
the eect size for studies that used an active control group was reliably larger than those that used a business-as-usual condition.
4. Discussion
The current study investigated the eects of small-group reading interventions with 27 eects from 26 studies. While previous
Table 3
Regression analyses for intervention variables and eect sizes.
Model 1 Model 2 Model 3
BS.E. βtBS.E. βtBS.E. βt
Constant 0.96 0.34 2.86
1.93 0.72 2.69
2.21 0.79 2.80
Targeted intervention 0.28 0.22 0.29 1.32 0.44 0.23 0.45 1.89 0.63 0.32 0.64 1.97
Group size 0.17 0.12 0.36 1.51 0.20 0.12 0.41 1.68
Intervention duration 0.01 0.01 0.26 0.88
= 0.08, FChange = 1.74 R
= 0.19, FChange = 2.29 R
= 0.22, FChange = 0.78
p< 0.05.
M.S. Hall, M.K. Burns Journal of School Psychology 66 (2018) 54–66
research found that small-group reading interventions were eective (e.g., Ehri et al., 2001; Piasta & Wagner, 2010; Vaughn et al.,
2003), the current study examined the eects of targeted small-group reading interventions relative to a series of variables, such as
intervention-related variables, grade as a student variable, and research design.
4.1. Eectiveness of small-group interventions
An overall weighted eect size for small-group reading interventions of g= 0.54 was found, suggesting that small-group reading
interventions in general were moderately eective. The condence interval for the overall median eect did not include 0, and 46
studies with a 0 eect would have to be found to change the score to fall below the criterion for a small eect of g= 0.20. Thus,
across the examined studies, small-group reading interventions reliably resulted in a positive eect for students.
4.2. Targeted small-group interventions
Interventions that were targeted to a single reading skill area were found to be more eective than more general interventions
that combined multiple reading skill areas; however, the condence intervals did overlap. One of the core elements of a multi-tiered
system of support is assessing students to identify their needs and providing them with explicit instruction in those areas (Fuchs &
Fuchs, 2006; Gersten et al., 2009; Justice, 2006). The current nding was consistent with previous research regarding the importance
of targeted reading interventions (Burns et al., 2016) and could provide a hypothesis about why previous comprehensive small-group
interventions led to small eects (Vaughn et al., 2010). Thus, providing targeted reading interventions to students in small-groups
through a multi-tiered system of support or other models appears to be an eective method for increasing students' reading skills.
However, additional research is needed to more directly compare the two approaches and to determine how to best identify which
intervention to target for individual students.
4.3. Intervention characteristics
Several intervention characteristics were examined in the current analysis, including interventionist, dosage (as measured by total
intervention duration), and group size.
4.3.1. Interventionist
The intervention agent seemed to have an impact on the eectiveness of the intervention, but there was considerable overlap
between the eect size condence intervals for all three types of treatment agents. Small-group reading interventions implemented by
teachers had a small to moderate median eect size and were less eective than when the intervention was administered by re-
searchers or by trained interventionists from outside the school. This is somewhat in contrast to previous research that found teachers
to be more eective at implementing interventions than volunteers (Slavin et al., 2011) and as eective at implementing inter-
ventions as researchers (Piasta & Wagner, 2010). A possible explanation for the results in the current study is the amount of training
provided to the interventionists. Studies using interventionists from outside of the school provided the interventionists with training
in administering the intervention (Rashotte et al., 2001; Torgesen et al., 2010; Vaughn et al., 2010), which could account for the
larger eect size and is consistent with the ndings from Elbaum et al. (2000). This hypothesis would support providing adequate
training to those implementing a small-group reading intervention, but additional research is needed.
4.3.2. Intervention dose
There was a small correlation between the number of intervention hours and size of the eect. Several reasons for this limited
relationship are possible. For instance, certain studies might have involved interventions that were stopped once a student reached a
certain criterion. In contrast, intervention dosage in other studies might have continued irrespective of student response. The shortest
interventions were the vocabulary storybook reading interventions, which yielded strong eects (Coyne et al., 2007; Nielsen &
Friesen, 2012; Penno et al., 2002) and suggested that small-group storybook reading interventions were an eective method for
increasing young students' vocabulary in a short amount of time.
4.3.3. Group size
There was also a small and negative relationship between group size and intervention eects (r=0.21). Previous research
found that groups of less than ve students were more eective than groups with ve or more students (Vaughn et al., 2003). Given
the need for schools to nd more ecient ways to provide interventions to struggling learners (Fielding, Kerr, & Rosier, 2007),
understanding how the size of a reading intervention group impacts the eectiveness of the intervention is an important con-
sideration. Only one study (Vaughn et al., 2003) has systematically investigated the size of reading intervention groups, which
suggests that this is an important area for future research to address.
The use of targeted interventions and group size accounted for 19% of the variance, which is a large eect (Cohen, 1988). The two
variables were roughly equal in magnitude of eect (r
= 0.09 and r
= 0.11) respectively. The intervention dosage, as measured by
total intervention duration, accounted for a small amount of variance. Thus, it seems that targeted interventions and group size are
the two most important intervention variables among the ones examined.
M.S. Hall, M.K. Burns Journal of School Psychology 66 (2018) 54–66
4.4. Grade of students
Interventions delivered to elementary school students resulted in an eect size that was over three times as large as the one for
secondary students, but the condence intervals for the two estimates of eect did overlap. This nding is consistent with the
research on literacy instruction in general that emphasizes the importance of early intervention (Good, Simmons, & Smith, 1998;
Wanzek & Vaughn, 2007) and supports providing additional small-group intervention for students displaying early signs of ex-
periencing reading diculties. The current data are more consistent with Scammacca et al. (2015) meta-analysis that found a
moderate eect (g= 0.49) than the older one that found a large eect (g= 0.95).
4.5. Study characteristics
Several study characteristics were examined in the current analysis, including the quality of the research design, the measure
used, and the control group.
4.5.1. Research design
Studies that utilized high quality research designs were the most common in the present analysis and also yielded the largest
overall eect size. Given that higher quality research designs are less susceptible to internal and external threats to validity and
increase the condence with which causal attributions can be made (Shadish, Cook, & Campbell, 2002), this nding is encouraging
and increases the condence that can be placed in the overall eectiveness of small-group reading interventions.
4.5.2. Outcome measure
The current study found an eect for standardized measures of g= 0.39, which was consistent with the two previous meta-
analyses (g= 0.21; Scammacca et al., 2015;g= 0.42; Scammacca et al., 2007). The informal measures resulted in a somewhat larger
eect (g= 0.58), but the two condence intervals overlapped. It could be hypothesized that targeted interventions would measure
outcomes with more precise and informal measures than comprehensive interventions, which could partially explain the somewhat
larger eects for the targeted interventions. However, the dierence between the median scores for the two types of measures was not
reliably dierent, was not likely to be the explanation for other ndings, and suggested an area in need of additional research.
4.5.3. Control group
It was somewhat surprising that studies that used an active control group had a weighted eect size that was approximately three
times as large as the weighted eect for comparisons to a business-as-usual control group. Given that students in active control groups
receive an intervention similar to the intervention groups, this nding is dicult to explain. Perhaps taking students out of core
literacy instruction and providing an inferior intervention led to less student learning than allowing students to remain in class.
Alternatively, the current data support the concept that core instruction has improved in recent years and provide a counterfactual to
the research hypothesis (Lemons et al., 2014). Additional research in this area is needed given the importance of core instruction to
successful reading development and the counterintuitive nding in the current study.
4.6. Limitations
The ndings and conclusions of this present analysis are not without their limitations. As is the case with all meta-analyses,
caution must be taken when interpreting the causal relationships of the variables. The variables were not manipulated in the current
study and therefore it is not clear whether they caused the dierences in eect sizes or if the results were caused by spurious factors.
Many studies that used small-group interventions were not included in the analysis because their range of intervention group size
included groups of two students, and therefore did not meet the inclusion criteria of groups of 315 students. Consequently, the
relatively small number of studies and eect sizes included in the analysis is a limitation to the ndings. However, the number of
studies implementing small-group reading interventions that we identied was greater than other recent extensive reviews of the
reading intervention literature (e.g., Slavin et al., 2011). Moreover, we only included published studies to ensure some basic level of
rigor and to avoid one data set being represented more than once. However, including only published studies could have resulted in a
publication bias. We attempted to address that by including a failsafe N estimate for each variable, but the inuence of only including
published studies cannot be ignored.
We used the framework of the NRP (2000) to guide our search and search terms, which may be conceptually preferable to
searching a wider variety of terms that could be arbitrarily selected, but may have limited the potential of the search process to
identify all possible studies. Future researchers could replicate this design with even more comprehensive search terms. Moreover, we
excluded peer-delivered reading interventions, which may have aected the current results. Future meta-analytic researchers could
include peer-delivered interventions or study them on their own.
It would be interesting to compare the eects of small-group reading interventions on specic measures of reading. We reported
the measures used in Table 1, but did not report median eect sizes for each because of the small number of studies that used some of
the measures. Future meta-analytic researchers could directly examine the eect that measure has on reading interventions.
Another limitation of the current study is that components other than the small-group intervention were included in three of the
studies used in the analysis. Two studies implemented a Tier-1 (i.e., classroom-wide) intervention in addition to the small-group
intervention that was not provided to the comparison students and one study provided a reward component to help with behavior
M.S. Hall, M.K. Burns Journal of School Psychology 66 (2018) 54–66
during the intervention. Due to the fact that only three studies provided additional components, these were not accounted for in the
analysis, but may have had an impact on the results. Finally, we used weighted eect sizes, but could not adjust the means because
most studies did not include a pretest.
5. Conclusion
This meta-analysis adds to the current research demonstrating that small-group reading interventions are eective (Ehri et al.,
2001; Elbaum et al., 2000; Piasta & Wagner, 2010; Scammacca et al., 2007, 2015; Vaughn et al., 2003). The results of this study
suggest that reading intervention provided in small-groups was eective, and there were moderate eects for using targeted inter-
ventions. Several intervention variables were related to intervention eects, but using targeted interventions and group size were the
two most closely related to the outcomes. The grade of the student and study characteristics also led to dierential eects, and
suggested important areas of future research.
Al Otaiba, S., & Fuchs, D. (2006). Who are the young children for whom best practices in reading are ineective? Journal of Learning Disabilities, 39, 414431.
Baron, A., & Derenne, A. (2000). Quantitative summaries of single-subject studies: What do group comparisons tell us about individual performances? Behavior Analyst,
23, 101106.
Begeny, J. C., Krouse, H. E., Ross, S. G., & Mitchell, R. C. (2009). Increasing elementary-aged students' reading uency with small-group interventions: A comparison of
repeated reading, listening passage preview, and listening only strategies. Journal of Behavioral Education, 18, 211228.
*Bemboom, C. M., & McMaster, K. L. (2013). A comparison of lower- and higher-resourced tier 2 reading interventions for high school sophomores. Learning Disabilities
Research and Practice, 28, 184195.
Berninger, V. W., Abbott, R. D., Vermeulen, K., & Fulton, C. M. (2006). Paths to reading comprehension in at-risk second-grade readers. Journal of Learning Disabilities,
39, 334351.
Boot, W. R., Simons, D. J., Stothart, C., & Stutts, C. (2013). The pervasive problem with placebos in psychology: Why active control groups are not sucient to rule out
placebo eects. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 8, 445454.
Burns, M., & Gibbons, K. (2012). Implementing response-to-intervention in elementary and secondary schools: Procedures to assure scientic-based practices (2nd ed.). New
York: Routledge.
Burns, M. K., & Coolong-Chan, M. (2006). Response to intervention: The role of and eect on school psychology. School Psychology Forum: Research in Practice, 1,
Burns, M. K., Maki, E. E., Karich, A. C., Hall, M., McComas, J. J., & Helman, L. (2016). Problem-analysis at tier 2: Using data to nd the category of the problem. In S.
Jimerson, M. K. Burns, & A. M. VanDerHeyden (Eds.). Handbook of response to intervention: The science and practice of assessment and intervention (pp. 293308).
(2nd ed). New York: Springer.
Burns, M. K., VanDerHeyden, A. M., & Zaslofsky, A. F. (2014). Best practices in delivering intensive academic interventions with a skill-by-treatment interaction. In P.
L. Harrison, & A. Thomas (Eds.). Best practices in school psychology: Student-level services (pp. 129141). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.
*Case, L. P., Speece, D. L., Silverman, R., Ritchey, K. D., Schatschneider, C., Cooper, D. H., ... Jacobs, D. (2010). Validation of a supplemental reading intervention for
rst-grade children. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 43, 402417.
Chambers, B., Slavin, R. E., Madden, N. A., Abrami, P., Logan, M. K., & Giord, R. (2011). Small-group, computer-assisted tutoring to improve reading outcomes for
struggling rst and second graders. The Elementary School Journal, 111, 625640.
Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
*Coyne, M. D., McCoach, D. B., & Kapp, S. (2007). Vocabulary intervention for kindergarten students: Comparing extended instruction to embedded instruction and
incidental exposure. Learning Disability Quarterly, 30,7488.
Ehri, L. C., Nunes, S. R., Willows, D. M., Schuster, B. V., Yaghoub-Zadeh, Z., & Shanahan, T. (2001). Phonemic awareness instruction helps children learn to read:
Evidence from the National Reading Panel's meta-analysis. Reading Research Quarterly, 36, 250287.
Elbaum, B., Vaughn, S., Tejero Hughes, M., & Watson Moody, S. (2000). How eective are one-to-one tutoring programs in reading for elementary students at risk for
reading failure? A meta-analysis of the intervention research. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92, 605.
*Faggella-Luby, M., & Wardwell, M. (2011). RTI in a middle school: Findings and practical implications of a tier 2 reading comprehension study. Learning Disability
Quarterly, 34,3549.
Fielding, L., Kerr, N., & Rosier, P. (2007). Annual growth for all students, catch-up growth for those who are behind. Kennewick: The New Foundation Press.
Foorman, B. R., & Torgesen, J. (2001). Critical elements of classroom and small-group instruction promote reading success in all children. Learning Disabilities Research
and Practice, 16, 203212.
Fuchs, D., & Fuchs, L. S. (2006). Introduction to response to intervention: What, why, and how valid is it? Reading Research Quarterly, 41,9399.
Gersten, R., Compton, D., Connor, C. M., Dimino, J., Santoro, L., Linan-Thompson, S., & Tilly, W. D. (2008). Assisting students struggling with reading: Response to
Intervention and multi-tier intervention for reading in the primary grades. A practice guide. (NCEE 2009-4045). Washington, DC: National Center for Education
Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.
*Glenberg, A. M., Brown, M., & Levin, J. R. (2007). Enhancing comprehension in small reading groups using a manipulation strategy. Contemporary Educational
Psychology, 32, 389399.
Good, R., III, Simmons, D., & Smith, S. (1998). Eective academic interventions in the United States: Evaluating and enhancing the acquisition of early reading skills.
School Psychology Review, 27,4556.
*Graves, A. W., Brandon, R., Duesbery, L., McIntosh, A., & Pyle, N. B. (2011). The eects of tier 2 literacy instruction in sixth grade: Toward the development of a
response-to-intervention model in middle school. Learning Disability Quarterly, 34,7386.
*Graves, A. W., Duesbery, L., Pyle, N. B., Brandon, R. R., & McIntosh, A. S. (2011). Two studies of tier II literacy development: Throwing sixth graders a lifeline. The
Elementary School Journal, 111, 641661.
Hedges, L. V. (1981). Distribution theory for Glass's estimator of eect size and related estimators. Journal of Educational Statistics, 6, 107128.
*Jimenez, J. E., Rodriguez, C., Crespo, P., Gonzalez, D., Artiles, C., & Alfonso, M. (2010). Implementation of response to intervention (RtI) model in Spain: An example
of a collaboration between Canarian universities and the Department of Education of the Canary Islands. Psicothema, 22, 935942.
Justice, L. M. (2006). Evidence-based practice, response to intervention, and the prevention of reading diculties. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 37,
*Kamps, D., Abbott, M., Greenwood, C., Arreaga-Mayer, C., Wills, H., Longsta, J., ... Walton, C. (2007). Use of evidence-based, small-group reading instruction for
English language learners in elementary grades: Secondary-tier intervention. Learning Disability Quarterly, 30, 153168.
*Kamps, D., Abbott, M., Greenwood, C., Wills, H., Veerkamp, M., & Kaufman, J. (2008). Eects of small-group reading instruction and curriculum dierences for
Indicates included in the analysis.
M.S. Hall, M.K. Burns Journal of School Psychology 66 (2018) 54–66
students most at risk in kindergarten: Two-year results for secondary- and tertiary-level interventions. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41, 101114.
Kamps, D., & Greenwood, C. (2005). Formulating secondary level reading interventions. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 38, 500509.
Kavale, K. A., & Forness, S. R. (2000). Policy decisions in special education: The role of meta-analysis. In R. Gersten, E. P. Schiller, & S. Vaughn (Eds.). Contemporary
special education research: Syntheses of knowledge base on critical instructional issues (pp. 281326). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
*Kerins, M. R., Trotter, D., & Schoenbrodt, L. (2010). Eects of a tier 2 intervention on literacy measures: Lessons learned. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 26,
*Kuhn, M. R. (2005). A comparative study of small-group uency instruction. Reading Psychology, 26, 127146.
Lemons, C. J., Fuchs, D., Gilbert, J. K., & Fuchs, L. S. (2014). Evidence-based practices in a changing world: Reconsidering the counterfactual in education research.
Educational Researcher, 43, 242252.
*Loftus, S. M., Coyne, M. D., McCoach, D. B., Zipoli, R., & Pullen, P. C. (2010). Eects of a supplemental vocabulary intervention on the word knowledge of
kindergarten students at risk for language and literacy diculties. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 25, 124136.
Marston, D., Fuchs, L. S., & Deno, S. L. (1986). Measuring pupil progress: A comparison of standardized achievement tests and curriculum-related measures.
Diagnostique, 11,7790.
*Mathes, P. G., Denton, C. A., Fletcher, J. M., Anthony, J. L., Francis, D. J., & Schatschneider, C. (2005). The eects of theoretically dierent instruction and student
characteristics on the skills of struggling readers. Reading Research Quarterly, 40, 148182.
*Mathes, P. G., Torgesen, J. K., Clancy-Menchetti, J., Santi, K., Nicholas, K., Robinson, C., & Grek, M. (2003). A comparison of teacher-directed versus peer-assisted
instruction to struggling rst-grade readers. The Elementary School Journal, 103, 459479.
Miura Wayman, M., Wallace, T., Wiley, H. I., Tichá, R., & Espin, C. A. (2007). Literature synthesis on curriculum-based measurement in reading. Journal of Special
Education, 41,85120.
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the
scientic research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction (NIH Publication No. 00-4769). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Oce.
*Nielsen, D. C., & Friesen, L. D. (2012). A study of the eectiveness of a small-group intervention on the vocabulary and narrative development of at-risk kindergarten
children. Reading Psychology, 33, 269299.
Orwin, R. G. (1983). A fail-safe N for eect size in meta-analysis. Journal of Educational Statistics, 8, 157159.
*O'Shaughnessy, T. E., & Swanson, H. L. (2000). A comparison of two reading interventions for children with reading disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 33,
*Penno, J. F., Wilkinson, I. A. G., & Moore, D. W. (2002). Vocabulary acquisition from teacher explanation and repeated listening to stories: Do they overcome the
Matthew eect? Journal of Educational Psychology, 94,2333.
Piasta, S. B., & Wagner, R. K. (2010). Developing early literacy skills: A meta-analysis of alphabet learning and instruction. Reading Research Quarterly, 45,838.
PRESS Research Team (2014). PRESS intervention manual. Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota Center for Reading Research, University of Minnesota.
*Rashotte, C. A., MacPhee, K., & Torgesen, J. K. (2001). The eectiveness of a group reading instruction program with poor readers in multiple grades. Learning
Disability Quarterly, 24, 119134.
Scammacca, N., Roberts, G., Vaughn, S., Edmonds, M., Wexler, J., Reutebuch, C. K., & Torgesen, J. K. (2007). Interventions for adolescent struggling readers: A meta-
analysis with implications for practice. Portsmouth, NH: RMC Research Corporation, Center on Instruction.
Scammacca, N. K., Roberts, G., Vaughn, S., & Stuebing, K. K. (2015). A meta-analysis of interventions for struggling readers in grades 412: 19802011. Journal of
Learning Disabilities, 48, 369390.
*Schuele, C. M., Justice, L. M., Cabell, S. Q., Knighton, K., Kingery, B., & Lee, M. W. (2008). Field-based evaluation of two-tiered instruction for enhancing kindergarten
phonological awareness. Early Education and Development, 19, 726752.
Shadish, W. R., Cook, T. D., & Campbell, D. T. (2002). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for generalized causal inference. Boston: Houghton Miin.
Shapiro, E. S., & Gebhardt, S. N. (2012). Comparing computer-adaptive and curriculum-based measurement methods of assessment. School Psychology Review, 41,
Simmons, D. C., Coyne, M. D., Kwok, O. M., McDonagh, S., Harn, B. A., & Kame'enui, E. J. (2008). Indexing response to intervention: A longitudinal study of reading
risk from kindergarten through third grade. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41, 158173.
Slavin, R. E., Lake, C., Davis, S., & Madden, N. A. (2011). Eective programs for struggling readers: A best-evidence synthesis. Educational Research Review, 6,1
*Sporer, N., Brunstein, J. C., & Kieschke, U. (2009). Improving students' reading comprehension skills: Eects of strategy instruction and reciprocal teaching. Learning
and Instruction, 19, 272286.
Suggate, S. P. (2016). A meta-analysis of the long-term eects of phonemic awareness, phonics, uency, and reading comprehension interventions. Journal of Learning
Disabilities, 49,7796.
Swanson, H. L. (1999). Reading research for students with LD: A meta-analysis of intervention outcomes. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 32, 504532.
Torgesen, J. K., Rashotte, C. A., & Wagner, R. K. (1999). TOWRE: Test of word reading eciency. Austin, TX: Pro-ed.
*Torgesen, J. K., Wagner, R. K., Rashotte, C. A., Herron, J., & Lindamood, P. (2010). Computer-assisted instruction to prevent early reading diculties in students at
risk for dyslexia: Outcomes from two instructional approaches. Annals of Dyslexia, 60,4056.
VanDerHeyden, A. M., & Burns, M. K. (2010). Essentials of response to intervention. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
*Vaughn, S., Cirino, P. T., Wanzek, J., Wexler, J., Fletcher, J. M., Denton, C. D., ... Francis, D. J. (2010). Response to intervention for middle school students with
reading diculties: Eects of a primary and secondary intervention. School Psychology Review, 39,321.
Vaughn, S., Linan-Thompson, S., Kouzekanani, K., Bryant, D. P., Dickson, S., & Blozis, S. A. (2003). Reading instruction grouping for students with reading diculties.
Remedial and Special Education, 24, 301315.
*Vaughn, S., Wanzek, J., Wexler, J., Barth, A., Cirino, P. T., Fletcher, J., ... Francis, D. (2010). The relative eects of group size on reading progress of older students
with reading diculties. Reading and Writing, 23, 931956.
*Vaughn, S., Wexler, J., Roberts, G., Barth, A. A., Cirino, P. T., Romain, M. A., ... Denton, C. A. (2011). Eects of individualized and standardized interventions on
middle school students with reading disabilities. Exceptional Children, 77, 391407.
Wanzek, J., & Vaughn, S. (2007). Research-based implications from extensive early reading interventions. School Psychology Review, 36, 541561.
Warren, S. F., Fey, M. E., & Yoder, P. J. (2007). Dierential treatment intensity research: A missing link to creating optimally eective communication interventions.
Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 13,7077.
*Westerveld, M. F., & Gillon, G. T. (2008). Oral narrative intervention for children with mixed reading disability. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 24,3154.
What Works Clearinghouse (2008). WWC procedures and standards handbook. Washington, DC: Institute for Education Science.
Wortman, P. M. (1994). Judging research quality. In H. Cooper, & L. V. Hedges (Eds.). The handbook of research synthesis (pp. 97109). New York: Russell Sage
M.S. Hall, M.K. Burns Journal of School Psychology 66 (2018) 54–66
... Proposer un enseignement en petits groupes, plutôt qu'en groupe classe, peut aider les enseignants à différencier les apprentissages. Les recherches ont clairement établi les bénéfices d'un enseignement en petits groupes par rapport à un enseignement en classe entière (Ehri et al., 2001 ;Hall & Burns, 2018 ;Kulik & Kulik, 1992 ;Lou et al., 1996 ;Slavin, 1987). Travailler en sous-groupes est bénéfique pour les élèves de tous niveaux mais offre le plus de gain aux élèves les plus faibles (Lou et al., 1996), dès l'école élémentaire (Hall & Burns, 2018). ...
... Les recherches ont clairement établi les bénéfices d'un enseignement en petits groupes par rapport à un enseignement en classe entière (Ehri et al., 2001 ;Hall & Burns, 2018 ;Kulik & Kulik, 1992 ;Lou et al., 1996 ;Slavin, 1987). Travailler en sous-groupes est bénéfique pour les élèves de tous niveaux mais offre le plus de gain aux élèves les plus faibles (Lou et al., 1996), dès l'école élémentaire (Hall & Burns, 2018). Proposer des groupes de niveaux homogènes semble être plus favorable aux apprentissages de la lecture que les groupes hétérogènes (Lou et al., 1996). ...
... Dans la méta-analyse de Silverman et al., (2020),les interventions en compréhension de 43 études (2010-2020) ont une durée qui varie entre 1h et 100h, avec une moyenne de 20h. Les auteurs ne trouvent pas d'effet de la durée sur les apprentissages, alors que d'autres méta-analyses l'observent (e.g., Hall & Burns, 2018). Cependant, parmi les études analysées dans Silverman et al., (2020), peu d'interventions ont une durée inférieure à 5h, notamment au CP (2 études sur 12). ...
Full-text available
L’apprentissage de la lecture est une activité complexe qui requiert, au CP, un enseignement explicite et structuré, souvent guidé par une méthode de lecture (i.e., un ensemble d’outils pour l’enseignant et les élèves) éditée. Une équipe pluridisciplinaire, composée d’enseignants, de chercheurs et d’un éditeur (les Éditions Hatier), a choisi de proposer une nouvelle méthode de lecture pour le CP, basée sur les preuves : la méthode Lili CP. Une telle méthode se doit d’être utile (efficace) pour les apprentissages des élèves, mais elle doit aussi être utilisable (facile à prendre en main) et acceptable (compatible avec la classe) pour les enseignants et les élèves, afin de pouvoir être largement adoptée. L’objectif principal de cette thèse était d’évaluer l’utilité, l’utilisabilité et l’acceptabilité de certains outils et de certaines séquences de la méthode en cours de conception, afin d’identifier des pistes concrètes d’amélioration.Notre recherche a débuté par une analyse des pratiques des potentiels futurs utilisateurs. Un questionnaire diffusé à large échelle a mis en évidence la grande diversité des pratiques enseignantes au CP et les principaux critères de choix d’une méthode de lecture. Une étude a révélé l’excellent niveau d’utilisabilité et d’acceptabilité du matériel original d’entrainement à la combinatoire prévu dans Lili CP. Deux interfaces différentes du guide pédagogique au format web ont été comparées, en terme d’utilisabilité et d’acceptabilité également, permettant de dégager la pertinence de certains choix de présentation pour la future méthode. Dans une étude expérimentale, nous avons évalué l’efficacité d’une séquence d’enseignement explicite de la compréhension conçue pour Lili CP, sur les acquis des élèves dans ce domaine. La comparaison à un groupe contrôle actif (i.e., ayant suivi une autre séquence, plus classique, d’enseignement de la compréhension) a démontré l’intérêt de ce type de séquence pour la compétence entrainée.Enfin, deux versions (basique et gamifiée) de l’application numérique ECRIMO, développée pour Lili CP et visant à entrainer l’écriture de mots en autonomie, ont été évaluées sur les trois dimensions d’utilité, d’utilisabilité et d’acceptabilité. L’application, dans ses deux versions, obtient d’excellents scores d’utilisabilité et d’acceptabilité. Les entrainements avec ECRIMO, dans ses deux versions, se sont révélés aussi efficaces qu’un entrainement à l’encodage sous forme d’exercices classiques de dictée dirigés par l’enseignant. Dans tous les groupes entrainés, les progrès en encodage sont plus importants que dans le groupe contrôle et sont visibles surtout chez les élèves ayant déjà un bon niveau d’encodage en début de CP. Enfin, pour ces élèves, la version basique a engendré un progrès plus important que la version gamifiée.Ce travail doctoral apporte une démonstration de la possibilité et de l’intérêt de conduire une évaluation intégrée des outils éducatifs qui doivent être étudiés dans les trois dimensions d’utilité, d’utilisabilité et d’acceptabilité, avant leur diffusion à grande échelle sur le terrain. Il se conclut par la proposition d’une nouvelle démarche intégrée de conception et d’évaluation d’outils pédagogiques.
... Indeed, within the developmental/ educational literatures reading interventions that target "simple view" component(s) have been found to produce robust downstream effects on reading comprehension (National Reading Panel (US), National Institute of Child Health, Human Development (US), National Reading Excellence Initiative, National Institute for Literacy (US), & United States Department of Health, 2000). Moreover, such benefits have been found for children across socioeconomic status (Bus et al., 1995) and intellectual abilities (Hill, 2016), though reading interventions that intervene at younger ages generally result in larger benefits (Goodwin & Ahn, 2013;Hall & Burns, 2018)-at least for at-risk readers without ADHD. ...
... This heterogeneity may reflect the wide range of methodologies and interventions studied. For example, intervention dosage-though a nonsignificant predictor of reading intervention efficacy in studies not recruiting based on ADHD status (Hall & Burns, 2018;Okkinga et al., 2018)-may affect reading intervention outcomes for children with ADHD (e.g., Miller et al., 2013). The hypothesized benefits of higher intervention dosage for children with ADHD may occur because children with ADHD are off-task during academic instruction about 25% of the time (Kofler et al., 2008), and demonstrate more frequent moment-to-moment shifts between attentive and inattentive behavior (Kofler et al., 2008;Rapport et al., 2009). ...
... Similarly, Stewart and Austin's (2020) conclusion that reading interventions do not meet criteria as an evidence-based practice for children with ADHD warrants scrutiny due to their restrictive inclusion criteria, which resulted in the exclusion of all three randomized control trials (RCT) published during their specified dates of review. In addition, the authors excluded studies that included children younger than fourth grade, which may significantly limit conclusions that can be drawn given (a) evidence from non-ADHD samples that earlier reading intervention is likely to produce more robust improvements (Goodwin & Ahn, 2013;Hall & Burns, 2018), and that (b) the majority of research on reading interventions for children with ADHD has been conducted with samples that include children both younger and older than fourth grade (e.g., Tamm et al., 2017;Tannock et al., 2018). ...
Objective Utilizing a multi-level meta-analytic approach, this review is the first to systematically quantify the efficacy of reading interventions for school-aged children with ADHD and identify potential factors that may increase the success of reading-related interventions for these children. Method 18 studies (15 peer-reviewed articles, 3 dissertations) published from 1986 to 2020 ( N = 564) were meta-analyzed. Results Findings revealed reading interventions are highly effective for improving reading skills based on both study-developed/curriculum-based measures ( g = 1.91) and standardized/norm-referenced achievement tests ( g = 1.11) in high-quality studies of children with rigorously-diagnosed ADHD. Reading interventions that include at least 30 hours of intervention targeting decoding/phonemic awareness meet all benchmarks to be considered a Level 1 (Well-Established) Evidence-Based Practice with Strong Research Support for children with ADHD based on clinical and special education criteria. Conclusions Our findings collectively indicate that reading interventions should be the first-line treatment for reading difficulties among at-risk readers with ADHD.
... This aspect is even more important when we know that the acquisition of knowledge in other areas of the curriculum presupposes reading domain (McGrath & Hughes, 2018), and that, if nothing is done, these difficulties often persist into adulthood (Wilson et al., 2015). On the other hand, when difficulties are identified early and are the target of a systematic, intensive, individualized or small group intervention, the probability of reversing the trajectories of failure that lead to the impairment of the school trajectory is very high (Hall & Burns, 2018). ...
... This weakness is further confirmed by the fact that the participants in this study scored below the normative data (M = 15.5 items in 60 seconds) (Fernandes et al., 2017). In this sense, and as previously proposed, it is crucial to bet on reading in early stages (Hall & Burns, 2018). Also, we especially need teachers (graduated, with regard to EPE and 1st, 2nd and 3rd cycles, in Education courses) who are motivated, committed and capable, since these professionals will work on the foundation of reading skills with the children. ...
Full-text available
The literature that links career development with reading skills is scarce. This study seeks to fill this gap, for which the reading fluency of college students was analyzed, taking into account the choice of more/less desirable courses. Desirability is based on the classifications for college access. 211 students participated in the study, 132 female, attending four courses: Mechanical Engineering, Health, Psychology, and Education, in three Portuguese Public Universities. The instruments used were the sociodemographic form and the Teste de Idade de Leitura (Reading Age Test - TIL). The results indicated that students attending less desirable courses (i.e., Education and Health) are significantly less fluent and; students who score lower on reading fluency are more likely to belong to the Education course. This study stresses the importance of the distribution of students by the different areas of studies should not reflect reading fluency asymmetries.
... Reading difficulties can have a negative impact on children's learning and development trajectories, such that children who struggle with reading in primary school are more likely to struggle through high school (Roberts et al., 2022), putting them at higher risk of dropping out (Hernandez, 2011). A growing body of research indicates that early interventions are effective in preventing these negative outcomes, emphasizing the importance of developing early intervention programs that systematically promote and assess reading abilities in the classroom (Lyytinen and Erskine, 2016;Hall and Burns, 2018;Raspin et al., 2019). Primary school grades (such as the 2nd and 4th grades) provide a unique developmental window in which children are more sensitive to the effects of reading interventions, particularly when delivered earlier (Al Otaiba et al., 2009;Lovett et al., 2017;Wanzek et al., 2018). ...
Full-text available
The global COVID-19 pandemic disrupted face-to-face teaching, having a significant impact on the teaching-learning process. As a result, many students spent less time reading (and learning to read) than they did during face-to-face instruction, requiring the use of alternative approaches of instruction. A combined online and peer tutoring intervention was designed to improve reading skills such as fluency and accuracy. Following a quasi-experimental design, this study sought to evaluated the impact of implementing an online peer tutoring intervention on the development of reading fluency and accuracy in a sample of 91 2nd and 4th graders (49.6% female). Children were aged 6–10 years old (M = 7.81, SD = 1.10) and were enrolled in five classrooms (A, B, C, D, and E) from three schools in the Portuguese district of Porto, between January and May 2021. A set of 10 texts were chosen from official textbooks to assess reading fluency and accuracy. Classes were evaluated in three moments: initial (pre-intervention), intermediate (after 10 sessions) and final (post-test, after other 10 sessions). In order to examine the effects of the intervention, there was a 8-week lag between the start of the intervention in classes A, B, and C (experimental group) and classes D and E (control group). Moreover, classes D and E started intervention with a gap of 5 weeks between them. Students in the experimental group registered significant higher improvements in reading accuracy and fluency than in the control group. Interaction effects revealed that students with an initial lower performance (i.e., at the frustration level) showed higher increases in reading accuracy. Furthermore, 2nd graders showed higher increases throughout the intervention while the 4th graders stablished their progress after the first 10 sessions of intervention. Despite the study’s limitations, the findings support the positive impact that online peer tutoring can have on promoting students’ reading skills, adding to the ongoing discussion—which has gained a special emphasis with the COVID-19 pandemic—about the development of effective strategies to promote reading abilities in the first years of school.
... Effective interventions for students in kindergarten can significantly reduce the likelihood of being at risk for reading disabilities in later grades (Partanen & Siegel, 2014), and interventions in early grades are more effective in preventing future reading difficulties than those implemented in third grade or higher (Lovett et al., 2017). Reading interventions are more effective if they target individual student needs (Fuchs et al., 2017;Hall & Burns, 2018). This study provides a framework to select interventions for students in early elementary to help improve outcomes and potentially reduce the future likelihood of being identified with a reading disability, but additional research is needed. ...
... Effective interventions for students in kindergarten can significantly reduce the likelihood of being at risk for reading disabilities in later grades (Partanen & Siegel, 2014), and interventions in early grades are more effective in preventing future reading difficulties than those implemented in third grade or higher (Lovett et al., 2017). Reading interventions are more effective if they target individual student needs (Fuchs et al., 2017;Hall & Burns, 2018). This study provides a framework to select interventions for students in early elementary to help improve outcomes and potentially reduce the future likelihood of being identified with a reading disability, but additional research is needed. ...
Full-text available
A skill-by-treatment interaction (STI) isolates skill deficits and manipulates conditions to match them to student needs. Based on the learning hierarchy, preintervention scores can help predict which intervention will be most successful for an individual student. This study compared the efficacy of a modeling and practice-based decoding intervention for 29 kindergarten and first-grade students. Results suggested that grade was not a significant predictor of which intervention was more effective, but preintervention accuracy in nonsense word fluency was a significant predictor of the more effective intervention, accounted for 68% of the variance, and correctly identified the more effective intervention 88% of the time.
... The following terms were used for each database search: phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, intervention, instruction, at-risk, disadvantaged, learning difficulties, reading difficulties, RTI, and/or MTSS. These terms were curated from previous reviews (Ehri et al., 2001;Hall & Burns, 2018;Melby-Lervåg et al., 2012;Wren et al., 2013) to help readers understand how the literature has evolved. All databases were searched for the entirety of their coverage period; no limitation on publication date was included to facilitate comparisons between this study and previous works by Ehri et al. (2001) and Suggate (2016). ...
Purpose The present meta-analysis sought to investigate the effects of phonemic awareness instruction provided to children suspected of having a reading disability. Method Seven databases were systematically searched, and 1,643 unique manuscripts were reviewed for inclusion. Data were extracted from 138 included manuscripts to evaluate the use of phonemic awareness instructions with children suspected of having a reading disability. A random effects model was then used to conduct a meta-analysis of these data with regard to child outcomes. Results Gains in this population associated with phonemic awareness instructions can vary as a function of the outcome being used. On average, phonemic awareness instruction had a medium effect on composite ( g = 0.511) and segmentation ( g = 0.571) outcomes and a small effect on outcomes measuring blending ( g = 0.341), first sound identification ( g = 0.428), and deletion ( g = 0.248). Instruction effects were strongest in kindergarten and first grade, but positive outcomes were also found for older children. There was not a significant relationship between cumulative instruction intensity and child performance. Conclusions The present meta-analysis confirms that phonemic awareness instruction can be effective with children of varying ages and that significant gains can be observed on the key outcome measures of segmentation and blending. Graphemes should be incorporated into phonemic awareness instructions, and future studies need to provide information on dosage beyond just the length and frequency of sessions to clarify which aspects of these instructions are most efficient. Supplemental Material
... Matthew etkisi ile de sık sık ilişkilendirilen bu durum çocukların başlangıçta yaşadıkları güçlüklerin çok büyük olasılıkla devam edeceğini, bu nedenle erken müdahale programları ile desteklenmeleri gerektiğini vurgulamaktadır. Müdahale programlarının birinci sınıfta uygulanabilecek müdahalelerin yanı sıra, okul öncesi dönemde erken okuryazarlık becerileri üzerine yoğunlaşan müdahaleler olabileceği de sıklıkla ifade edilmektedir (Ehri, Dreyer, Flugman ve Gross, 2007;Hall ve Burns, 2018;Piasta ve Wagner, 2010). Okul öncesi dönemde uygulanacak müdahaleler ile problemler ortaya çıkmadan önce risk durumlarının en aza indirilmesi ve çocukların başarı şanslarının artırılması mümkün olabilmektedir. ...
In this article, the authors revisit the common practice of small‐group reading instruction. They challenge the idea of grouping readers based on text levels and instead review supplemental intervention group research that suggests targeted skill practice as a more optimal use of time in small groups. They then present the ABCs—a focus on assessment, basics & books, and clarity in communication—as the central principles that should guide how we instruct reading in small groups.
The current chapter describes the skill-by-treatment interaction (STI) framework for directing academic interventions, which use preintervention data in the skill being intervened to identify skill deficits and select interventions with the highest likelihood of success. Poor academic skills place children and youth at extraordinarily high risk for mental health issues during school and later in life. Strong academic skill interventions may be the strongest possible prevention activity for improving mental health. We summarize relevant research and outline specific guidelines to select interventions for reading and math. The chapter concludes with case studies demonstrating STIs in action.
Full-text available
The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to (a) compare Tier 2 evidence-based intensive reading instruction to business-as-usual instruction for sixth graders with and without learning disabilities who were "far below" or "below" basic level in literacy and (b) explore the development of a response-to-intervention model in middle school. The study took place in a large inner-city urban setting, where 100% of students received free or reduced-price lunch and 90% of the students were considered English learners at some point in their school history. Intervention students received intensive small-group instruction for 30 hours across 10 weeks. Credential candidates in special education provided the small-group instruction in the treatment condition. Results on oral reading fluency, less so for Maze reading comprehension measures, indicated greater improvements for treatment students, and students with learning disabilities benefited as much or more than the other struggling sixth graders. Educational implications and recommendations for future research are discussed.
Full-text available
Two experimental studies at one urban middle school investigated the effects of the combination of Tier I and Tier II evidence-based reading instruction compared to Tier I alone on struggling sixth-grade readers (N = 109). All participants received free or reduced-price lunch, and 95%were considered English learners at some point in their school history. In both studies, Tier II intervention consisted of intensive instruction in word analysis, fluency building, comprehension, and vocabulary for 30 hours across 10 weeks. Results of both studies taken individually and combined indicated significant differences in favor of the intervention groups on oral reading fluency. The second study indicated significantly stronger performances for the intervention group on the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test-Revised (WRMT-R/ NU) passage comprehension subtest. Tier II interventions and Response to Intervention (RTI) for older struggling readers are discussed related to educational implications and future research.
Full-text available
The authors evaluated the effect of listening to stories on children's vocabulary growth. Forty-seven children listened to 2 stories read to them in a small-group setting on 3 occasions, each 1 week apart. Target vocabulary items and items assessing generalization to nontarget words were selected, and pre- and posttest multiple-choice vocabulary measures were designed to measure vocabulary gains. In addition, a reading-retelling task was used to measure the subjects' knowledge of target and generalization words. For 1 story, children listened to the reading and were given explanations of target word meanings; for the other, children were not given explanations. The children acquired new vocabulary from listening to stories, with both frequency of exposure and teacher explanation of the target words enhancing vocabulary learning. However, the interventions were not sufficient to overcome the Matthew effect, as the higher ability children made greater vocabulary gains than lower ability children across all conditions.
Response to intervention (RTI) has received considerable attention from both researchers and practitioners as a schoolwide model for service delivery. However, research is limited on RTI applications in middle and high schools. The purpose of this article is to describe the outcomes of an experimental examination of a secondary (Tier 2) literacy intervention for at-risk fifth- and sixth-grade students in an urban middle school assigned to one of three conditions: Story Structure (SS), Typical Practice delivered by reading specialists (TP), and Sustained Silent Reading (SSR). Results indicated a statistically significant difference between the mean posttest cloze scores of the SSR group and both the SS and TP conditions. Study findings support the growing body of research indicating that at-risk students need intensive and explicit instruction in addition to opportunities to practice reading.
This article reported the concurrent, predictive, and diagnostic accuracy of a computer-adaptive test (CAT) and curriculum-based measurements (CBM; both computation and concepts/application measures) for universal screening in mathematics among students in first through fourth grade. Correlational analyses indicated moderate to strong relationships over time for each measure, with correlations between CAT and CBM measures across the three assessment periods low to moderate, with the strongest relationships between the CAT and CBM concepts/application measure. Relationships to the state assessment for math for third- and fourth-graders was found to be stronger for the CAT measure than for either the CBM computation or concepts/application measures, with the CAT measure the only significant predictor of the state assessment. Diagnostic accuracy indices found all measures to produce acceptable levels of specificity but limited levels of sensitivity. The study offered one of the first direct comparisons of CAT and CBM measures in screening for mathematics. Implications of using CAT and CBM measures in conducting screening in elementary mathematics were discussed.
A synthesis of the extant research on extensive early reading interventions for students with reading difficulties and disabilities is provided. Findings from 18 studies published between 1995 and 2005 revealed positive outcomes for students participating in extensive interventions. Results indicated higher effects for studies providing intervention to students in the smallest group sizes as well as providing intervention early (grades K-1). No differences in overall outcomes were revealed between studies implementing highly standardized interventions or interventions with less standardized implementation. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.