Title

Identifying and Supporting Beginning Readers Identified at-Risk in Kindergarten

First Presenter's Institution

Winthrop University

Second Presenter's Institution

na

Third Presenter's Institution

na

Fourth Presenter's Institution

na

Fifth Presenter's Institution

na

Location

Harborside East & West

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

“HEAD”: Academic Achievement & Leadership

This proposal focuses on developing the reading skills of children identified at-risk - which speaks directly to this strand "Closing achievement gaps and promoting learning for all children and youth."

Brief Program Description

In this session results of a study comparing progress of kindergartners who received small-group reading intervention across the full school-year with those beginning the same intervention midyear will be shared. Because of concerns about starting a structured intervention for students transitioning to kindergarten, suggestions for addressing readiness skills while providing early intervention will be provided.

Summary

We conducted a study to determine the differential effects of providing supplemental phonemic awareness and phonics instruction to kindergarten students from the beginning of the year compared to a midyear start. Specifically, our purpose was to determine if students can benefit from readiness skills and academic instruction addressed concurrently, starting at the beginning of the school year, rather than starting with readiness skills and delaying academic intervention until midyear.

The procedure involved implementing supplementary reading instruction (and readiness skills) in a three-tier model using subtests of phoneme segmentation fluency (PSF) and nonsense word fluency (NWF) from the DIBELS (2002) as the measure of reading growth. These particular measures were selected because young students’ phonemic awareness and phonics skills best predict reading achievement in later grades (Jenkins & O’Connor, 2001), suggesting early attention should be given to these skills in kindergarten.

All kindergarten students received core (i.e., Tier 1) reading instruction across the school year for approximately 90 minutes per day in Open Court Reading (Bereiter et al., 2002). Paraprofessionals and school designated reading tutors provided supplemental small-group Tier 2 and Tier 3 instruction in pull-out groups of three to six students. We used a standard treatment protocol, assigning students to programs designated for instruction corresponding to their level of risk for failure.

Two separate univariate repeated measures of analysis of variance were used to test the differences between early start and midyear start on PSF and NWF, aggregated by risk level (i.e., strategic or intensive). Results indicated a statistically significant within and between subject effects for PSF and NWF. All students made gains across the school year, but participants in the early start condition made significantly higher overall gains than participants in the midyear start condition. In addition, starting early allowed participants at greater risk (intensive, or tier III) to progress to the same level of participants initially identified at lower risk (strategic, or tier II) by the end of the school year.

Results suggest that explicit, systematic reading instruction provided early in the kindergarten year is more beneficial to students identified as at risk for reading failure than delaying reading intervention until midyear. Because of the concerns about starting a structured and intensive intervention for students who are transitioning to kindergarten, suggestions for helping to address some important readiness skills while providing early reading intervention will be provided.

Evidence

Substantial research supports the need for early intervention efforts for students at risk for failure. Despite the empirically documented importance of early, explicit reading intervention for students who enter school without critical prereading skills, many kindergarten programs delay intensive reading instruction until later in the year. Instead, during the 1st months of kindergarten the emphasis is on teaching readiness skills.

As a result of this session, participants will be able to (1) explain the importance of early intervention in reading, (b) describe one model for delivering a tiered reading approach, and (c) implement strategies for addressing readiness skills while also providing reading intervention.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Shawnna Helf, PhD is an associate professor of literacy education at Winthrop University. Her research interests include early reading intervention, instructional design, and teaching efficiency.

Keyword Descriptors

beginning reading, explicit instruction, readiness skills

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-7-2017 4:00 PM

End Date

3-7-2017 5:30 PM

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Mar 7th, 4:00 PM Mar 7th, 5:30 PM

Identifying and Supporting Beginning Readers Identified at-Risk in Kindergarten

Harborside East & West

In this session results of a study comparing progress of kindergartners who received small-group reading intervention across the full school-year with those beginning the same intervention midyear will be shared. Because of concerns about starting a structured intervention for students transitioning to kindergarten, suggestions for addressing readiness skills while providing early intervention will be provided.