The study was conducted in two schools in the United States. All students received a prescribed 120-min time block each day of reading instruction. Small groups of students received guided reading instruction for 60 minutes each day and they rotated through learning stations every 20 minutes. During the remaining 60 minutes, children received whole-group instruction.
There is no mention of students being classified as ELL or having an identified learning or other disability.
The two interventions (ScSR and GROR, respectively) focused on: mode of reading (silent v oral), nature of reading (wide v repeated), frequency of feedback and monitoring (daily v weekly), social nature of reading (isolated v collaborative), teacher-assigned texts v student-selected texts from leveled classroom libraries, and level of text difficulty (grade v independent-level texts).
GROR: The daily treatment began with teachers modeling the fluent reading of the grade-level text that had been selected. The teachers then conducted brief discussions with students about what made their reading fluent. After 5 minutes, students read the grade-level, teacher-selected text as a whole class, with some form of choral reading (i.e., unison, echoic, or antiphonal). After the whole-group reading concluded, students read aloud the assigned text with another student selected as a buddy for paired reading. Occasionally, students practiced reading the text aloud using a fluency phone. Once per month, the teacher selected a text that the students were to practice in anticipation of a performance using readers' theater, radio reading, or recitation for other students in classes within the school.
ScSR: The daily treatment of ScSR began with teachers modeling the fluent reading of a text. Teachers then conducted a brief discussion with students about what made the reading fluent. After 5 minutes, the teachers reminded students to select an independent-level book from an appropriate bin/shelf and that they should select a book from one of the genres shown on the genre wheel. Children were instructed to read these books silently. After students finished one book in each genre, they colored in that slice of the genre wheel. During brief reading conferences, teachers asked students to read part of the book aloud, conducted a brief discussion about the reading, and asked the child to set reasonable goals for completing the book. Each random monitoring conference took about 4-5 minutes and the teacher conducted conferences with 4-5 students per day.
Support for implementation
Each teacher had participated in a federally funded Reading Excellence Act (REA) grant. Through this grant, they received, on at least a weekly basis, classroom-based coaching from a school-based reading mentor/literacy coach and weekly follow-up in grade-level study groups. Teachers also received monthly professional development workshops and in-class instruction and demonstrations. Over the summer, the teachers received a stipend to read and discuss the two approaches used in this study and to jointly develop lesson plans. Thus, the four teachers that participated in this study were better prepared than the average teacher in effective variations on fluency practice.
With respect to GROR, teachers had been trained using a variety of methods that help students to repeatedly read texts aloud to develop fluency. These methods included: various types of choral reading for whole-group practice including unison, antiphonal, and echoic; paired, assisted, buddy, or dyad reading with a student-selected partner; and readers' theater, radio reading, and recitation.
With respect to the ScSR fluency treatment, teachers had been trained using Fountas and Pinnell's (1996) A-Z text gradient or leveling scheme, which was used to determine difficulty levels of reading texts. They were also trained to present lessons early in the year and throughout in the ScSR treatment on how to self-select easy, independent-level reading books.
The authors computed gain scores between pre- and post- assessments on different reading passages. Gain scores were calculated using My Parents (post) and Pots (pre) as well as Planting a Garden (post) and The Field Trip (pre). All of the passages came from the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) Test at the third grade level so presumably, the passages are comparable/have the same difficulty level. For the purposes of completing the SRG and making d-n-d adjustments, we have followed the authors' approach (Pots adjustment for My Parents and The Field Trip adjustment for Planting a Garden).