The study was conducted in six schools in four Midwestern school districts. None of the participating
schools had previously used Read Naturally®.
Third-grade students in the participating schools were eligible for the study if they were at or
below the 40th percentile on a measure of oral reading fluency (DIBELS or AIMSweb) in the fall
of third grade, and at or below the 40th percentile on reading comprehension as measured by
the Measures of Academic Progress assessment at the end of second grade. After applying
these criteria and obtaining consent from the parents of eligible students, 109 students were
randomized within their classrooms to either the Read Naturally® group or the comparison
group. Demographics for the randomized sample were as follows: 10% received special education,
23% were English language learners, and 60% received free or reduced-price lunch.
The racial demographics were: 42% White, 28% African American, 23% Hispanic, 6% Asian,
and 1% Native American. The analysis sample included 106 students (53 in the Read Naturally®
group and 53 in the comparison group).
Read Naturally® Software Edition was the version used and involved 10 weeks of instruction
beginning in January 2009. Instruction in Read Naturally® was intended to be daily for 30 minutes
a session. The time of day designated for Read Naturally® instruction varied across teachers,
but was selected so that it would not conflict with existing reading instruction. Instruction
groupings for the intervention consisted of no more than six students, with one teacher supervising.
Analysis of student intervention usage indicated an average of 20 minutes per session
using the Read Naturally® software, as opposed to the targeted 30 minutes per session.
Comparison group students continued to receive their classroom’s normal reading instruction,
with no supplemental fluency instruction. During the class time designated for Read Naturally®
instruction, comparison group students engaged in non-reading related activities.
In the alphabetics domain, the authors used the WRMT-R Word Identification subtest and the
TOWRE. In the reading fluency domain, three outcome measures were included: the GORT-4
Fluency subtest, the GORT-4 Accuracy subtest, and a CBM-R based on three passages from
the DIBELS assessment, selected by the authors. In the comprehension domain, the authors
used the GORT-4 Comprehension subtest and the WRMT-R Passage Comprehension subtest.
Baseline measures were collected approximately two weeks prior to the beginning of the
intervention, and outcomes were collected approximately one week after the conclusion of the
intervention. For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix B.
Support for implementation
Each teacher attended a 6-hour Read Naturally® training session, which included lecture sessions
and software practice. Intervention integrity checklists, produced by the developer for both
students and teachers, were used to assess and evaluate the implementation of the intervention.
Bi-monthly classroom observations were also used to assess implementation fidelity.