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The Reading to Read (RTR) intervention program is an educational/learning procedure that involves daily academic engagement and adult guidance to improve oral reading fluency and literal reading comprehension skills. With this in mind the primary scope of service delivery offered by Fluency Plus involves (a) providing initial and follow up training to identified staff members on the procedures for effectively implementing the Reading to Read intervention program; (b)identifying and assessing youth who may be at risk for reading failure;(c) frequently monitoring and evaluating treatment compliance and integrity in each participating building; and (d)evaluating educational outcomes of all participants.

Materials – Instructional (Intervention) Passages

Instructional materials used in the RTR intervention program consist of a series of 100-word reading passages that are derived from the student’s reading curriculum and include a vocabulary building component. Instructional passages are sequenced in equal intervals throughout the district-adopted reading texts beginning with the first reader in grade one. There are approximately 149 instructional passages for grades one - six.

Progress Outcome Materials

A series of 100-word curriculum-based passages and the DIBELS systems are utilized as pretest and posttest measures to evaluate student progress on grade level using the RTR intervention program.

Staff Training

All RTR training sessions are conducted by trained employees of Fluency Plus. The training consists of a lecture and video overview of RTR procedures including (a) instructional level assessment (b) repeated reading procedures (c) mastery criteria for intervention progression, (d) timing during intervention passages, (e) immediate corrective feedback, (f) recording of student errors (g) informing students of CWPM and student self-charting, (h)administration of grade-level progress probes, (j) recording of student data, and (k) issues related to treatment integrity and treatment compliance.

Mastery of RTR Procedures

During the training sessions, each participant will observe several vignettes depicting complete RTR intervention sessions. Each participant observes each video presentation of RTR sessions and uses practice materials to record student performance during each trial for Correct Words Per Minute (CWPM), Errors Per Minute (EPM), and correct comprehension accuracy. After each video presentation, all participants’ materials are checked for accuracy by the trainer. Each participant is required to demonstrate 95 percent accuracy for CWPM and EPM on three consecutive practice trials before being allowed to conduct intervention sessions.

In addition to reviewing, modeling, and practicing RTR procedures with a video presentation, participants are also paired with a peer to practice implementing RTR procedures. Mastery assessments are conducted by the trainer while observing each intervention session using a Treatment Integrity Checklist specifically developed for the RTR. All participants are required to meet a minimum level of 90 percent overall treatment integrity before being allowed to begin intervention with students.

Critical Items and Retraining

Specific intervention procedures relevant to treatment integrity have been identified as being critical for each RTR session and require retraining in RTR procedures if not demonstrated. These items included (a) accuracy in timing all reading probes (e.g., 60 seconds) using a plus or minus three second window (b) accuracy in marking and recording the student’s CWPM using a plus or minus one error window, (c) administration of the grade level passage, when appropriate. All other errors (e.g., failing to preview instructional passage, informing student of CWPM, or instructing student to complete self-monitoring chart) are reviewed without a retraining procedure.

Instructional Level Curriculum-Based Assessments (CBA)

Once a pool of potential students are identified (e.g., teacher nomination, performance on state assessments) as being at-risk for reading failure, CBA's using instructional passages are conducted by employees of Fluency Plus. To determine each student's beginning instructional level before intervention, the examiner begins testing in a downward fashion by starting with the intervention passage which corresponds to the student's classroom instructional level (e.g., 6M1 = middle second-grade). The examiner then administers passages in a descending order using passages derived from the middle third of each reading book (e.g., 7M, 6M, 5M...) until an instructional level of 90% word recognition is achieved. Once the instructional level mastery criterion is achieved using middle passages, the examiner proceeds testing upward until the student fails to meet the 90% word recognition criteria. The highest instructional passage where the 90% or greater word recognition accuracy is achieved represents the student's beginning instructional level during intervention (See Fluency Plus for a list of RTR passages derived from curriculum materials for grades 1, 2, and 3).

Pre - Post Test Assessments

Prior to intervention all participants are administered a 100-word passage pretest assessment derived from the students reading curriculum and DIBELS. Similarly, this passage also serves as a posttest evaluation after intervention. In addition, the student will then be asked five literal comprehension questions derived from the passage previously read. The examiner will record the total CWPM and total percentage of comprehension accuracy for each student. No feedback or correction is given during pretest/posttest assessments.

RTR Intervention Procedures

RTR sessions are typically conducted daily by teacher assistants trained in RTR procedures. Each intervention session consists of up to 10 one-minute reading trials. Intervention beginning with the passage for each student that was previously identified as his or her instructional level. Each passage will be read repeatedly until a 97 or greater CWPM (i.e., no errors) and 80 percent accuracy on comprehension questions are achieved. This CWPM criteria is consistent with other research investigating normative expectations for 100-word timed reading probes.

The passage designated as each student's assessed instructional level is used to begin intervention sessions. All RTR sessions begin with a listening/previewing session. This involves the teacher assistant reading the 100-word passage aloud and modeling correct pronunciation and fluency (Frederick, 1995; Tinstone et. al., 1995). Students are instructed to follow along with the teacher assistant until the passage has been completed. Next vocabulary words, indentified in each passage, and definitions are reviewed with the student. The teacher assistant then informs the student of the mastery criterion and instructs the student to "Read the story as quickly as you can. Do your best making as few errors as possible. If you have trouble with a word, I will help you. You should then repeat the word and continue reading until I tell you to stop."

As students read, the teacher assistant follows along on a separate copy of the passage while timing the reading and marking any errors made. During intervention passages, errors will be defined as any word mispronounced or omitted. Any hesitation for more than 5 seconds results in the examiner telling the student the correct pronunciation and encouraging the student to continue reading. Further, multiple errors on the same word are only be counted as a single error.

After each 60-second reading trial, the teacher assistant records the student's CWPM. Each reading trial concludes with the teacher assistant informing the student of his/her CWPM and the student recording his or her progress on a chart. This procedure is employed in the RTR intervention package to visually display and reinforce gradual improvements in performance. In addition to self-charting of performance, students also receive verbal praise and encouragement after the completion of each reading trial and throughout the intervention.

Comprehension is addressed by asking the student to retell, in thier own words, the theme of the passage once they reach mastery or complete 10 trials. Following the retell, the student is asked a series of five literal comprehension questions based on the passages content.

In the event that mastery criteria is met before the intervention session is completed, students will begin reading the next intervention passage in the curriculum sequence. If mastery criteria is met on the last reading passage of the RTR session, students begin the next highest passage at the beginning of the next RTR session.

Grade-Level Assessments

In an effort to monitor ongoing progress at grade-level each participant will be assessed bimonthly using a series of grade-level passages. Data is recorded for CWPM and comprehension accuracy and records this information on a progress monitoring chart.

Post Testing

As noted previously, as each participant completes the RTR intervention program, he/she is administered the same 100-word grade-level curriculum passage and DIBELS passage used as a pretest evaluation. Gains in CWPM and comprehension accuracy are used to evaluate student outcomes.

Treatment Integrity and Compliance

To obtain a measure of appropriate treatment implementation and compliance, intervention sessions are evaluated on a weekly basis using a Treatment Integrity Checklist and a Weekly Report of Progress. The total percentage of observed treatment integrity and compliance is monitored for each teacher assistant and reviewed with the school principal on a regular basis. All treatment compliance and integrity checks are conducted by trained employees of Fluency Plus.