The study took place in one elementary school in the Kyrene School District in Tempe, Arizona.
The study involved 94 second-grade students in five classrooms in a single school. The sample
included 48 students who received Read Naturally® and 46 who were in the comparison group.
Students were randomly assigned into intervention and comparison groups using block randomization
procedures. Students completed several initial measures of aptitude and reading
achievement; scores were rank-ordered within each classroom, and then each student was matched with a similarly-performing student. Students were then randomly assigned to either
the intervention group or the comparison group within matched pairs. No information was
reported regarding student ethnicity or gender, but 11% of the students in the school qualified
for free or reduced-price lunch. The study author did not report any attrition of the sample.
In addition to the regular curriculum (including reading instruction), the intervention group
received 25 minutes of supplemental instruction using Read Naturally® materials four times a
week for 11 weeks. In each lesson, the first 5 minutes were spent on oral reading of a selected
passage with a teaching assistant. The reading was timed for 1 minute, and the total number
of words read correctly was recorded on a graph. The last 20 minutes involved repeated oral
reading of curriculum stories either individually or with a cassette tape. Once students practiced
a passage eight times (three times with a cassette and five times individually), they did a timed
reading with the teacher. If the student achieved mastery (100 words read correctly with three
or fewer errors), the student moved on to another passage. Otherwise, the cycle was repeated.
The procedures used in this study excluded Read Naturally®’s pre-reading vocabulary instruction
component and the Read Naturally® placement system to individualize instruction.
In addition to their regular curriculum, comparison group students received supplemental
instruction using the Connecting Math Concepts curriculum (Level B). This program used
worksheets, workbooks, coins, and games to teach basic mathematics skills such as place
value, money counting, time, addition, subtraction, and multiplication.
In the comprehension domain, the author used the PPVT-III, the Word Use Fluency (WUF) test,
and the Curriculum-Based Measurement: Cloze probe. In the reading fluency domain, the
author used the Curriculum-Based Measurement: TORF. The author used initial reading skills,
as measured by the TORF, as a covariate to account for baseline differences between groups.
For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix B.
Support for implementation
Six teaching assistants were trained over 5 days. Teaching assistants were observed modeling
lessons during the training sessions, and then written feedback was provided to them. Teaching
assistants were also observed once a week during the first phase, and at least once every
3 weeks during the second phase, receiving feedback as necessary.