WWC review of this study

Code-oriented instruction for kindergarten students at risk for reading difficulties: A replication and comparison of instructional grouping.

Vadasy, P. F., & Sanders, E. A. (2008). Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 21(9), 929–963. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ815903

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    86
     Students
    , grade
    K
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: September 2010

Alphabetics outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test Revised Normative Update (WRMT-R/NU): Word Reading Accuracy subtest

Sound Partners vs. business as usual

Dec to May/June

Kindergarten;
86 students

105.02

99.38

Yes

 
 
24
More Outcomes

Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP): Phonological Awareness subtest

Sound Partners vs. business as usual

Dec to May/June

Kindergarten;
86 students

97.82

90.69

Yes

 
 
22

Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE)

Sound Partners vs. business as usual

Dec to May/June

Kindergarten;
86 students

96.14

94.5

No

 
 
11

Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS): Letter Naming Fluency subtest

Sound Partners vs. business as usual

Dec to May/June

Kindergarten;
86 students

25.72

27.72

No

--
Comprehension outcomes—Substantively important positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test Revised (WRMT-R): Passage Comprehension subtest

Sound Partners vs. business as usual

Dec to May/June

Kindergarten;
86 students

96.26

92.38

No

 
 
16
Reading fluency outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Passage Reading Rate

Sound Partners vs. business as usual

Dec to May/June

Kindergarten;
86 students

10.32

6.84

No

 
 
18

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 27% English language learners

  • Female: 51%
    Male: 49%
  • Race
    Asian
    8%
    Black
    23%
    Not specified
    20%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    16%
    Not Hispanic
    84%

  • Urban

Setting

The study took place in 13 urban public elementary schools.

Study sample

Full-day kindergarten teachers in 13 urban public elementary schools were asked to identify students who would benefit from intensive additional reading instruction. Of the referred students with parental consent, 99 met eligibility criteria based on scoring below cutoff scores on DIBELS tests. After dropping one student (who was the only student in one classroom to be eligible), the other 98 students who met eligibility standards were randomly assigned to one of two intervention groups (one in which tutoring occurred one-on-one, and one in which tutoring occurred in pairs) or to the comparison group using an algorithm that compensated for the fact that students in the pair tutoring group needed to be assigned in pairs within the same classroom. Pretests were given in December and posttests at the end of the school year.

Intervention Group

Paraeducators, equipped with 70 scripted lessons with seven to eight activities per lesson, worked with students individually for 30 minutes a day, four days a week, for 18 weeks. Tutoring was conducted during the school day in a quiet nearby school space. Typically, 20 minutes were devoted to phonics and 10 minutes to oral reading practice using Bob Books®, although the tutors were free to adjust this to meet individual student needs. For tutoring in pairs, the same general approach was followed, but two students were tutored at once. If one student was ahead of the other, then the tutor focused on the student who was behind while the other student read silently for part of the time. This review focuses on the combined effect of the two tutoring groups compared to the group that did not receive tutoring. The study does not identify the intervention as Sound Partners, although the developer verified that this study included Sound Partners instruction.

Comparison Group

Control group students received a variety of Title I, ESL, and special education services available to all students in the study schools. The control students did not receive supplemental tutoring.

Outcome descriptions

The study addresses the alphabetics domain using a set of standardized tests (DIBELS, Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing [CTOPP], Woodcock Reading Mastery Test, Test of Word Reading Efficiency [TOWRE]), the reading comprehension domain using a standardized test (Woodcock Reading Mastery Test–Revised/Normative Update [WRMT-R/NU] Passage Comprehension subtest), and the reading fluency domain using an author-developed measure that is similar to standardized tests of reading fluency. The study also includes a spelling assessment, but it is not included in this review because it is outside the scope of the Beginning Reading review protocol. For a more detailed description of the included outcome measures, see Appendices A2.1–A2.3.

Support for implementation

Twenty-one paraeducators were hired by schools on the basis of their interest in working with children, prior tutoring experience, and scheduling flexibility. The paraeducators averaged 3.3 years of prior tutoring experience. They were trained in an initial two-hour session. Follow-up training was provided throughout the intervention, along with coaching for paraeducators with less experience and/or low initial intervention fidelity ratings.

 

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