Nineteen full-day kindergarten teachers in nine elementary schools were asked to identify students who would benefit from intensive additional reading instruction (p.510).
The intervention group included 36 participants (26 males and 10 females), 92 percent were members of racial and/or ethnic minority groups, 33 percent were eligible for Title I services, 25 percent were English-as-a-second-language (ESL) students, and 22 percent were special education students.
The comparison group included 31 participants (13 males and 18 females), 81 percent were members of racial and/or ethnic minority groups, 32 percent were eligible for Title I services, 26 percent were ESL students, and 3 percent were special education students.
The intervention focused on supporting students in the development of receptive language, alphabetic knowledge, phonological awareness, reading accuracy, reading efficiency, oral reading fluency, developmental spelling, and reading comprehension. Students received one-on one tutoring 4 days per week, 30 minutes per day, for 18 weeks. A total of 62 scripted lessons were provided to the paraeducators. The mean number of instructional sessions was 55 and the mean number of lessons completed was 47. (Although the lessons were designed to be completed in 30 minutes, the instructors adjusted the pacing of each lesson to accommodate individual students; the instructors’ adjustments account for the disparity between the number of instructional sessions and the number of completed lessons.)
In the comparison condition, students received business-as-usual instruction, which included instruction in reading, primarily emphasizing phonics and structural analysis.
Support for implementation
Paraeducators who implemented the instruction received an initial 4-hour training provided by two of the researchers. Trainers described the lessons and modeled paraeducator–student behaviors, interactions, errors, and error-corrections strategies. Trainees then practiced in pairs while the researchers observed and provided feedback. Paraeducators also received a handbook for reference, and were given follow-up training throughout the intervention. Paraeducators with limited experience or low fidelity scores at the outset received additional training from the researchers.