7 Chapters
Medium 9781934009505

Part 2 Interventions for Building Phonemic Awareness

McEwan-Adkins, Elaine K. Solution Tree Press ePub

 

The words phonemic and phonological are often used interchangeably, but technically, phonological awareness is a more encompassing concept that includes all levels of the speech sound system, including words, syllables, rhymes, and phonemes (Moats, 2000). Think of phonological awareness as an umbrella and the various levels of the speech system as its spokes.

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (2000) reviewed multiple experimental and quasiexperimental studies of phonemic awareness instruction in skills such as blending and segmentation, and they reported positive effects on reading, spelling, and phonological development, not only for students at risk but for average learners as well (Ball & Blachman, 1991; Byrne & Fielding-Barnsley, 1989; Cunningham, 1990; Lie, 1991; Lundberg, Frost, & Peterson, 1988; O’Connor, Jenkins, & Slocum, 1993; Torgesen, Wagner, & Rashotte, 1997; Vellutino & Scanlon, 1987).

See All Chapters
Medium 9781934009505

Part 7 Interventions for Teaching Students to Read a Lot

McEwan-Adkins, Elaine K. Solution Tree Press ePub

 

Do students become skilled readers because they read a lot, or do they read a lot because they are skilled readers? Actually, the answer is yes to both questions. Students who begin second grade with strong reading skills read increasingly more books, which results in fluency and increased vocabulary. The combination of fluent reading and knowing the meaning of lots of words leads to increased reading comprehension. When students understand what they are reading, reading is a more rewarding experience. This sense of enjoyment and fulfillment quite naturally leads to a desire to read more. As students’ reading volume increases, their skills become stronger. And so it goes. The good readers soar to the top of the charts. Of course, most of the reading that proficient readers do, except for some oral reading in school at the beginning of second grade, is silent.

In contrast, students who begin second grade with weak reading skills have fewer opportunities to read accessible text and generally spend much less time reading in school than their “reading rich” counterparts (Allington, 1984; Cunningham & Stanovich, 1998; Nagy & Anderson, 1984). Their phonemic decoding skills are often labored, and they have far fewer sight words available in their long-term memories for instant retrieval. Therefore, their fluency is marginal, and they know the meanings of fewer words. This sad state of affairs leads to diminished comprehension. For struggling readers, reading is a frustrating and unrewarding experience to be avoided at all costs. They have almost no motivation to read, so they read less and less. The poor readers are left at the end of the school year with seemingly fewer reading skills than they had at the beginning, and the gap between them and their reading-rich peers grows even wider.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781934009505

Part 3 Interventions for Building Word Identification Skills

McEwan-Adkins, Elaine K. Solution Tree Press ePub

 

Becoming a skilled reader with a large repertoire of sight words (words that have been decoded a sufficient number of times to become words that are recognized in under one second by the reader) requires knowledge of phonemic segmentation, letter-sound correspondences, and spelling patterns (Ehri, 1980, 1995, 1998; Rack, Hulme, Snowling, & Wightman, 1994; Reitsma, 1983; Share, 1999). The belief that children can become fluent readers only if they learn to skip words, sampling the visual information in text to support their hypotheses about its meaning, is erroneous. According to this belief, teachers are supposed to encourage guessing about words to help children become free from their so-called bondage to print. With skilled guessing, students can make it to about fourth grade before their guessing catches up with them.

In fact, the understanding of skilled reading that emerges from the past twenty years of scientific research is, again, just the opposite of the view of skilled readers as word skippers. Two important facts about the way that skilled readers process text are relevant to this new understanding. The first is that skilled readers fixate on, or look directly at, almost every word in the text as they read (Rayner & Pollatsek, 1989). Skilled readers read rapidly, not because they selectively sample words and letters as they construct the meaning of text but because they read the individual words rapidly and with little effort. They have solid visual representations of how words are spelled stored in their long-term memories. Researchers call them orthographic images or mental orthographic images (MOIs) to emphasize the fact that each letter of a word is fixed in the brain. We will use the term mental orthographic image throughout the book to refer to the visualization of correctly spelled words that students have fixed in their long-term memories.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781934009505

Part 1 Interventions for Improving Instruction

McEwan-Adkins, Elaine K. Solution Tree Press ePub

 

In the pages ahead, you will find brief research summaries and a set of intervention strategies for each of the components of a balanced reading program: phonemic awareness, word identification, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and reading a lot. The intervention strategies can be used in several ways:

• As Tier 2 interventions in a response to intervention implementation

• As a supplement or “boost” to students who need extra help to keep up with whole-group reading instruction

• As schoolwide interventions in low-performing, high-poverty schools

However, these research summaries on the various aspects of a balanced reading program do not address the most critical question: What type of instruction is most effective for the struggling readers in your school? By struggling readers, we mean students with suspected as well as documented reading and language disabilities, English language learners, and students who acquire skills and knowledge more slowly than their peers. Three discrete bodies of research tell us what types of instruction are most effective: differentiated, explicit, systematic, and supportive. The evidence for what works to ensure that students at risk learn to read is well documented (figure P.1, page 12). The four interventions presented in Part 1 are equally applicable to all grade levels, but space precludes providing sample lessons or examples for every grade level.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781934009505

Part 4 Interventions for Building Fluency

McEwan-Adkins, Elaine K. Solution Tree Press ePub

 

Since the release of the Report of the National Reading Panel (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2000), fluency has become the new buzzword. Repeated oral reading of text has become the intervention strategy of choice for struggling readers. What the panel’s summary failed to point out, however, was what kind of text students should be repeatedly reading.

Seventy-four percent of the fluency studies reviewed by the National Reading Panel used texts with controlled vocabularies (for example, books with a carefully selected and limited number of words that are frequently repeated in the story so as to give students several practices at reading a word). Four of these studies used literature for repeated reading. Only one of the four literature-based studies reported any improvement in students’ fluency, and in that study, treatment and comparison groups did not differ significantly. What is crucial for practitioners to know is that the effect size for fluency reported by the National Reading Panel came from the studies that used texts with controlled vocabulary (Hiebert & Fisher, 2005). The implication of this research for practitioners is this: if you want to facilitate the development of fluency in your students, provide them with passages and books that contain limited and controlled vocabularies that ensure multiple encounters with words, rather than choosing literature that contains an abundance of rare and multisyllabic words that are only used once in the text.

See All Chapters

See All Chapters