What Is the Initial Efficacy of Secondary Intervention for 1st Graders Over a 3-5 Month Period?
DIBELS measures were collected for the first grade students in the fall 2002 (serving as both baseline and screening), winter 2003, and again in spring 2003. Intervention began in schools during the November to January months, thus outcomes reflect initial improvements. Results are reported in terms of simple mean, descriptive statistics as well as growth curves. Reported are two sets of findings, the first for all first grade students in the experimental and control groups, and the second for the students designated as at risk in the fall and experiencing secondary intervention.
Nonsense Word Fluency: All students. Growth in all students' scores was observed for both experimental and control group students. The percentage of students with reading risk in small group instruction that met benchmark after a relatively short time was 50%, 42%, 24%, and 22%, respectively across intervention schools, compared to 4%, 6%, 11%, and 36% for the control group (see Table 3). In the experimental schools, students grew from 29.02, 47.33, and 59.79, respectively over fall, winter, and spring assessments (a mean gain of 30), compared to control school students' growth at 21.42, 34.13, and 43.52 (a mean gain of 22). The benchmark score for the winter Nonsense Word Fluency assessment for first grade is 50 per minute. Figure 4 (bottom panel) reflects the values for modeled growth curves for all first grade students that include future forecasted values based on this rate of progress over the next 3 data points. Forecasted outcomes suggest mean gains of 77 for the experimental group compared to only 54 for the control group.
|Experimental Schools||All First Graders||At Risk First Graders||Intervention Curricula -- Mean % Time in Small Group Instruction|
n = 41
n = 26
|Proactive Reading/Read Well 21%|
n = 65
n = 24
|Reading Mastery 35%|
n = 37
n = 25
|Programmed Reading 31%|
n = 49
n = 23
|Proactive Reading 42%|
|Control Schools||All First Graders||At Risk First Graders||Intervention Curricula -- Mean % Time in Small Group Instruction|
n = 42
n = 26
n = 61
n = 47
n = 57
n = 27
|Literature -- Guided Reading 20%|
n = 48
n = 14
|Open Court - Reading Mastery 35%|
* DIBELS fall nonsense word fluency scores < 25 indicates risk; winter oral reading fluency < 20 indicates risk
Nonsense Word Fluency: At-Risk Students. Progress for the students at risk for reading problems (top panel) also showed improvement over time at 12.99, 31.57, and 41.79 for the experimental group (a gain of 29), versus 9.62, 23.90, and 32.84 (mean gain of 23) for the control group. Forecasted growth (modeled growth curves), into the next year again showed larger gains for the experimental group with a mean at time 1 of 14 to a mean of 87 at time 6 (mean gain of 72), compared to the control group at time 1, 11 to time 6 at 68 (mean gain of 58). These trends favored the experimental group.
Oral reading fluency: All students. Changes for oral reading, correct words per minute, showed less difference for the experimental group, however these data reflect an emerging skill in first grade with the benchmark for the end of first grade at 40 words per minute for the DIBELS assessment. Means for all first graders in the experimental group were 27.9 and 41.9 for winter and spring, and 23.1 and 34.8 for the control group students (see bottom panel, Figure 5).
Oral reading fluency: At-risk students. Means for the high risk first graders in the experimental group were 11.1 and 23.2, respectively, and 9.5 and 17.5 in the winter and spring for the control group students (see top panel, Figure 5).
Progress of Individual Students - Case Studies
Data presented thus far represent progress of groups of students across experimental and control conditions. Examination of individual student progress data indicated a range of effects both large and small. Individual cases in both experimental (Figure 6) and control schools (Figure 7) showing a range of progress are presented. Characteristics of students who did not make adequate progress included combined risk (i.e., reading and behavior), English language learners, and students with cognitive disability.