Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


32nd Annual Convention; Atlanta, GA; 2006

Event Details

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Symposium #418
Addressing Reading Failure in Urban At-Risk Students: Effective Early Reading Intervention
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Ya-yu Lo (University of North Carolina, Charlotte)
Discussant: Gwendolyn Cartledge (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: One principal reason for referral to special education is reading problems. Students reading below grade level at the end of first grade have nearly a 90% chance of remaining poor readers at the end of fourth grade (Bursuck, Munk, Nelson, & Curran, 2002). An obvious implication is the need for sound interventions that are successfully applied in general education classrooms during early years to prevent and address students’ reading difficulties. The purpose of the symposium is to present three studies that used a supplemental early reading intervention to examine its effects on early literacy skills among urban K-1 students. All three studies implemented the Scott Foresman Early Reading Intervention (ERI) program to enhance the existing classroom reading instruction for at-risk K-1 students. The skills targeted for interventions included phonemic awareness and alphabetic principle. Intervention effects were evaluated by examining student performance on the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Literacy Skills (DIBELS) benchmark and progress monitoring assessments, as well as standardized reading tests. Using both single subject and group research designs, the presenters will discuss effects of the supplemental early reading intervention on basic literacy skills of urban at-risk students. Research and practice implications will also be discussed.
Effects of a Supplemental Early Reading Intervention with Urban K-1 Students: A Preventive Approach.
SHOBANA MUSTI-RAO (University of Cincinnati), Gwendolyn Cartledge (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: The study investigated the effects of a supplemental early reading intervention program (Scott Foresman ERI) on the phonemic awareness and alphabetic principle skills of students identified as being at-risk for reading failure. Seven kindergarten students and one first-grade student were selected based on low scores on the beginning- and middle-of-year benchmark assessments as measured by the DIBELS and teacher nominations. A multiple-baseline-across-subjects design was used to analyze the effects of the instruction on the phoneme segmentation fluency (PSF) and nonsense word fluency (NWF) of target students as measured by the DIBELS. Students made moderate to substantial increases in PSF and NWF as a result of the intervention. The end-of-year benchmark assessments revealed that four out of the seven kindergarten students reached “benchmark” and were at grade level, one student needed “strategic” intervention, and two students needed “intensive” intervention at the end of the study. Results are discussed in terms of efficacy of the reading program on the essential reading skills of at-risk learners. Implications for practice and directions for future research are discussed.
Effects of an Early Reading Intervention on the Phonemic Awareness Skills of At-risk Students.
AMANDA L. YURICK (The Ohio State University), Gwendolyn Cartledge (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of a prevention-based early reading intervention program with both an alternate program (ARI) and the regular classroom instruction using a pretest-posttest control group design. The primary independent variable was systematic, explicit, and intensive phonemic awareness instruction using the Scott Foresman ERI curriculum. The primary dependent variables were phonemic awareness skills such as letter-sound correspondence as measured by the phoneme segmentation and nonsense word fluency subtests of the DIBELS, as well as the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement - Revised. Sixty students from 10 different Reading First Initiative elementary schools were selected based on at-risk status and clustered into groups in each school. The 10 schools were randomly assigned to either the treatment or treatment contact control group. Students from the treatment group received approximately 2 hours of supplementary instruction with the ERI per week for 10 weeks. The treatment contact control group received the same amount of supplementary instruction from an alternate curriculum. Both groups maintained participation in the regular whole-class reading program. Data were analyzed using ANCOVA with the pretest as the covariate, effect size calculations, and direct observation measures. Results and implications are discussed.
Supplemental Early Reading Intervention and Parental Involvement for At-risk Kindergarteners.
YA-YU LO (University of North Carolina, Charlotte), Brenda Romanoff (University of North Carolina, Charlotte)
Abstract: This study was designed to quantify the effects of a supplemental, intensive early reading intervention program with parental involvement on the basic reading skills and social behavior of urban kindergarteners at-risk for reading and/or behavioral problems. Fifteen at-risk kindergarteners received daily 30-minute Scott Foresman ERI program in addition to their regular literacy instruction. Students who fell below the trajectory level of the DIBELS benchmark received additional daily 10-mintue review sessions from their parents at home. A multiple-baseline-across-students design was conducted to determine the effects of the interventions on (a) the basic literacy skills as measured by the DIBELS’ phoneme segmentation and nonsense word fluency, and (b) classroom behavior as measured by direct observations. In addition, a Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) for individual growth cruve analysis (Raudenbush & Bryk, 2002) was employed to compare the growth rates of students who were identified as being at Benchmark (without interventions) prior to the study, to the growth rates of students at the Strategic and Intensive Levels (with interventions) based on the DIBELS benchmark score reporting system. Results of this study provided research and practice implications regarding preventative early reading interventions and parental involvement for urban at-risk students.



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