The study was conducted with students from the fifth, sixth, and seventh grades from a small, rural
middle school in the southeastern United States with a predominantly Black student population.
Resource teachers identified 68 students classified as learning disabled with a minimum
15-point standard score discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability. The stu
dents were screened to determine their decoding speed and accuracy and their skills at iden
tifying main ideas when reading. From this initial list of 68 students, the authors then identified
47 students who could read third-grade material at 100 words per minute with 97% accuracy
and who scored 60% or lower on comprehension tasks. Finally, the authors then selected 32
students who were randomly assigned to one of four groups: repeated reading, paraphrasing,
repeated reading combined with paraphrasing, and comparison. The authors did not report
how the 32 students were selected from the 47 identified students, and there was no attrition
of students from the final study sample. This report focuses on findings for 16 students who
were assigned to the repeated reading group (eight students) and the comparison group (eight
students). Findings for the comparison between the repeated reading combined with para
phrasing group and the comparison group (reported in Appendix D) are not included in the
evidence rating but are presented in this WWC report for completeness.
During two 4-day training sessions, students were taught how to use a repeated reading tech
nique to find main ideas in reading. During the first 4 days of training, students were given a
brief definition of main ideas. The repeated reading technique for finding main ideas was modeled
by the teacher. Students practiced by first reading a story at a comfortable rate and then
rereading the story several times, increasing speed with each reading. Main ideas were then
selected from multiple-choice items. During the second 4 days of training, students used the
same repeated reading approach but were asked to generate main ideas instead of selecting
main ideas from multiple-choice items. In all cases, students were allowed 12 minutes to read
the story and use the repeated reading procedure.
Comparison students were given a brief definition of a story’s main idea. During the first 4
days, students read a story and answered main idea multiple-choice questions. During the
second 4 days, students read a story and then generated main ideas.
The study authors assessed reading comprehension by analyzing raw scores on a series of
10-item multiple-choice Main Idea Tests taken from Reading for Concepts, Book C. These are
tests of the student’s ability to identify main ideas. Students were tested three times: after the
first 4 days of the intervention (midtest), after the next 4 days of the intervention (posttest),
and 14 days after completion of the intervention (follow-up). This review includes analysis of
the Main Idea posttest and the follow-up test. The immediate posttest is used to determine
the evidence rating, and the follow-up (reported in Appendix D) is not. The midtest was not
reviewed by the WWC since it was administered half-way through the intervention. For a more
detailed description of this outcome measure, see Appendix B.
Support for implementation
There was no information provided on support for implementation.