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Text-Level Effects of a Word-Level Decoding Accuracy and Automaticity Intervention

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Title:
Text-Level Effects of a Word-Level Decoding Accuracy and Automaticity Intervention
Creator:
BOGAN, BARRY L. ( Author, Primary )
Copyright Date:
2008

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Decryption ( jstor )
Language fluency ( jstor )
Magnetism ( jstor )
Orthographies ( jstor )
Reading ( jstor )
Reading comprehension ( jstor )
Reading fluency ( jstor )
Students ( jstor )
Teachers ( jstor )
Words ( jstor )

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University of Florida
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Copyright Barry L. Bogan. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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8/7/2004
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56813722 ( OCLC )

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Full Text












TEXT-LEVEL EFFECTS OF A WORD-LEVEL
DECODING ACCURACY AND AUTOMATICITY INTERVENTION















By

BARRY L. BOGAN


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2004















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Many people contributed to the development, design, and completion of this study,

and I am most grateful for their efforts. First my dissertation committee stood steadfast

in their commitment to ensure that I finish my doctoral studies. Dr. Cecil Mercer, the

committee chair, was my source of motivation when I would lose purpose. I will never

forget his words, "Barry, it is now time to focus and finish." Dr. Holly Lane is most

treasured for picking up the mantle of leadership and guidance as my co-chair. I have

completed this terminal degree primarily with her overseeing the assignment. Dr. Mary

K. Dykes has my sincere thanks for finding me when I could not find myself. I will

never forget the days she watched over me as if I were her own child. Dr. Martha League

brought a different kind of help to my program by demonstrating her ability to

sympathize with my rollercoaster of emotions, and yet try to direct me to stay conscious

of achieving my goal. Dr. M. David Miller spoke volumes to my spirit man by believing

in me and acknowledging some of the difficult decisions I had to make.

The staff at the University of Florida have aided me in grand fashion. I would like

to thank "the pit" for always stepping in to provide material assets, nutritional help, and

laughter to get through the day. I shall never forget Vicki Tucker, Shaira Otero-Rivas,

and Michell York. Dr. McLeskey has also been there to provide me with some of the

best tutoring and mentoring the department has to offer. Dr. McLesky, I consider your

efforts an investment in education regarding the "big picture." Dr. Penny Cox, I have

really appreciated your help getting the formal aspects of the doctoral program









completed. Special thanks to Brian Boyd, Linda Paine, Hoyeon Kim, and Tarcha Rentz,

my office mate and daily source of inspiration. I appreciate Stephon and Arlette Jones

for providing me with the love and care that a family can give in abundance.

Last, I thank my father for being instrumental in helping me become a young man

of standards. I appreciate the many lessons on life and the spirituality of man. He once

told me to always remember, "as you believe it, so shall it be" as the words of faith to use

as my sword and shield in times of despair. Thanks for giving me the tools to walk

through life with the proper character and frame of mind.

















TABLE OF CONTENTS




A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S .................................................................................................. ii

LIST OF TABLES ...... ......... ...... ..................... ............. vii

ABSTRAC T ............. ............ ............................... viii

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION TO THE PROBLEM ..........................................1

R rationale for the Study .......................................................
Scope of the Study ......................................................... ................3
Delimitations ........................................ ........4
Lim itations.........................................................................................4
Definition of Terms ........................................ ........4
Overview...................................... .................. ..................5

2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................7..... 7

Introduction.............. ................................................... .... ........ 7
Theoretical and Empirical Basis for Reading Fluency Instruction.............................7
Purpose ........................................................ ........8
Learning to Read W ords...................................... ........................... .......9
W hat is Reading Fluency? ...................................... ......................... ...............10
Accuracy.................. ............. ... ...... ........................ ...............11
Automaticity with Word Reading ...................................... .. ..........13
Reading Rate ........................................ .........15
Prosody ............................................... ........ ...............15
Why Is Fluency Important? ............................................... ........16
Relationship With Comprehension..........................................17
Cognitive Resources/Working Memory ...........................................................18
Intervention to Improve Reading Fluency ............................. .....................19
Repeated Reading Studies ................. ............................................ ... ....19
Other Strategies to Increase Reading Fluency.....................................27
Why Focus on Word-Level Skills?................................. ... ...............31
Sum mary................... .................. ........................... ... ..... .. .............. 33










3 METHODS AND PROCEDURES ................................ ...............34

Introduction............................ ....................34
H ypotheses................................................ 34
R research Instrum entation ................................................. ............... 37
Screening M measure .............................. ............................... 37
Reading M measures ................................................... ..............38
Social Validity Measures............... ..... ......... .............41
Experimental Design .............................................. .... ....43
Instructional Procedures .................................................. ............... 43
Instructors ........................ ......................... .........43
Materials ...................... .. ......................... ........44
Treatment Group Intervention................... ................. ..................44
Control Group...........................................46
Fidelity of Treatm ent ................. .... ........... ..... ..................46
Treatment of the Data ............... ..... ............ ........................... 46

4 RESULTS .................................................48

Introduction............................... ....... ............. .........48
Statistical Analyses of Data ................................................49
Phonological Processing................................................50
D ecoding Accuracy ..................... .......... ... ........................52
D ecoding A utom aticity .............................................. ............... 52
Sight W ord Automaticity .................................................53
Passage Reading Fluency ................ ................................54
Procedural Reliability ............................................... .... .....57
Social Validity ............................................. .........58
Instructor Survey Results ................. ................................58
Teacher Surveys .............................................. ..... ... 59
Student Interviews ................... .... .................................. .. .. .......... 60
Summary ............................................. ............................60

5 DISCUSSION ................... .......................... ........63

Summary of the Hypotheses and Results .......................................63
Theoretical Implications of the Research Findings ..............................................66
Limitations to the Present Study................ .... ......... .......................70
Im plications for Future Research................................ ................... 72
Summary ................................ ..................73

APPENDIX

A PARENTAL INFORMED CONSENT DOCUMENT .........................................75

B TEACHER SURVEY ....................... ........... .........76




v









C IN STR U C T O R SU R V E Y ..................................................................................... 78

D PARTICIPANT INTERVIEW .......................................................81

E LESSONS ................... ... .......... ............... 82

F CHECKLIST ............................................. .... ..............123

LIST OF REFERENCES ................................. ............. ..............................125

BIOGRAPH ICAL SKETCH .........................................................................................132
















LIST OF TABLES


Table page

1 Descriptive Inform ation for Schools.................................................. .............36

2 Descriptive Information for Group .............................. ............... 38

3 G roup A ssignm ent by School ........................................................... ..............38

4 Experim mental D design ............................................................................ 43

5 Design for Testing the Null Hypothesis using a Series of Analyses of Covariance
(ANCOVAs) ...................................... ...... ........... .47

6 Summary of ANOVA of Pretest Measures (Between Groups).............................49

7 Summary of ANCOVA for Elision (CTOPP) .........................................................51

8 Summary of ANCOVA for Rapid Digit Naming (CTOPP) ..............................51

9 Summary of ANCOVA for Rapid Letter Naming (CTOPP) .............. ................52

10 Summary of ANCOVA for Word Attack (WDRB) ...............................................53

11 Summary of ANCOVAfor Phonemic Decoding Efficiency (TOWRE) ..................53

12 Summary of ANCOVA for Sight Word Efficiency (TOWRE).............................54

13 Summary of ANCOVA for First Grade DIBELS-Timed Readings........................55

14 Summary of ANCOVA for Second Grade DIBELS-Timed Readings.................55

15 Summary of ANOVA of Posttest Measures (Between Groups) Oral Retell
Fluency ...................................... ................................... ........ 56

16 Sum m ary of Paired Sam ples t-test ................................................................. 57

17 Results of the Intervention Instructor Survey ...................................................58

18 R results of the Teacher Surveys ...................................................................... ...... 60

19 R results of Student Interview s........................................................................ ..........61
















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

TEXT-LEVEL EFFECTS OF A WORD-LEVEL
DECODING ACCURACY AND AUTOMATICITY INTERVENTION

By

Barry L. Bogan

August 2004

Chair: Cecil Mercer
Cochair: Holly Lane
Major Department: Special Education

This study examined the effectiveness of a reading intervention using word work

with manipulative letters. Participants were 98 second-grade students at risk for reading

failure. The four-step intervention model included word work with manipulative letters,

explicit coaching in decoding and encoding, word reading strategies, and applied practice

to develop automaticity and accuracy. Pretest and posttest data were collected on

measures of decoding accuracy, decoding automaticity, sight word automaticity, and

passage reading fluency. Analyses revealed no significant group mean differences on the

reading measures assessed. The study had several substantial limitations, including

dilution of intensity from the planned implementation schedule. Positive social validity

results and results from previous studies indicate that word work with manipulative

letters may be a promising intervention for at-risk second-grade students trying to

develop reading fluency. Further research is warranted.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION TO THE PROBLEM

Reading is one of the most important skills to be mastered in the age of

technological advancement. The importance of learning to read early and well has been

emphasized in recent national initiatives such as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002

and, in particular, its Reading First component. Reading, unlike language, is a skill that

has to be taught; it is not a concept that can be learned by replicating actions of another

being (Lyon, 1998). The cognitive processes required for reading consist of complex

functions that must be initiated by visual, speech, and mental excitation units that are all

interconnected (Adams, 1990). The process of reading requires training and development

of higher order cognitive functions that rely on the input of information that must be

processed for meaning (Lyon, 1998; Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). The ability to read

affords the student the opportunity to become an active participant in school and society;

therefore, the ability to read may influence the very likelihood of an individual's

successes or failures based generally on its acquisition.

In America today, there is a growing concern that children are not achieving

fluency in reading (National Reading Panel, 2000). Numerous studies have demonstrated

that an alarming number of students are not obtaining fluency as established for grade

levels (Manzo & Sack, 1997; Orton Dyslexia Society, 1997). Reading fluency is now

recognized by researchers and teachers as a significant factor in developing skilled

readers (Kuhn & Stahl, 2000). Lyon (1998) emphasized the academic and social value of

helping students become good (fluent) readers where he stated, "If a youngster does not









learn to read in our literacy-driven society, hope for a fulfilling, productive life

diminishes" (p. 14).

The students who are demonstrating problems with fluency are not only students

with learning disabilities. Traditionally, it was believed that students who exhibited

reading problems came from socio-economically disadvantaged homes with few books

and limited parent participation (Adams, 1990). Lack of literacy experiences in the home

contribute to reading difficulties for many students; however, numerous children with

vigorous learning experiences, average or above-average aptitude, and early immersion in

literacy activities may also have difficulties developing fluency in reading (Adams, 1990;

Lyon, 1998). Factors known to contribute to the development of reading fluency include

strong early literacy skills (Chall, 1996; Flowers, Meyer, & Lovato, 2001; Snow et al.,

1998), extended opportunities for reading practice (Kuhn & Stahl, 2000; Samuels, 2000),

and targeted instruction designed to enhance reading fluency (Chard, Vaughn, & Tyler,

2002; Mercer, Campbell, Miller, Mercer, & Lane, 2000; Samuels, 1997; Wolf, Bowers,

& Biddle, 2000).

Adams (1990) presented a theoretical model of the reading process that is based in

a connectionist framework. In this model, the connections, which represent fluency

among the various processes involved in reading, must be well developed in order for the

entire reading process to work properly. Skilled reading as defined in this model includes

highly developed decoding skills as a requirement to achieve reading.

Rationale for the Study

Most reading researchers would likely agree on a definition of reading fluency that

included word reading accuracy, reading rate, and prosody or expression (Hudson,

Mercer, & Lane, 2000; Torgesen, Rashotte, & Alexander, 2001). Intervention studies









designed to improve reading fluency have focused almost entirely on increasing reading

rate (LaBerge & Samuels, 1974; Samuels, 2000).

The inability to decode printed words as required to read can result in poor word

identification processes needed for reading (Van der Leij & Van Daal, 1999). Lyon

(1998) noted that students who have difficulty decoding have problems developing

reading fluency. When decoding skills have not become fast and effortless, the advanced

skill levels of reading suffer due to the stalling of cognitive processes needed for reading

(LaBerge & Samuels, 1974). Researchers also noted that students who are poor decoders

read slowly as they try to match letters to sounds in unrecognizable words, and that may

have a negative effect on contextual memory for reading (Meyer & Felton, 1999). To

develop reading fluency, the ability to recognize words holistically and with speed must

be achieved (Mercer et al., 2000).

Adams (1990) noted that the skills being developed through decoding instruction,

such as segmenting and blending, relate in a causal way to word recognition and

comprehension. In her connectionist model, strong connection between the orthographic

and phonological processors is essential to skilled or fluent reading.

The purpose of this study was to determine whether an intervention designed to

increase word-level accuracy and automaticity can influence text-level fluency.

Specifically, this study examined the effects of word work with manipulative letters on

passage reading fluency.

Scope of the Study

This study was conducted within a limited scope. The delimitations and limitations

of this research are described in the following sections.









Delimitations

This study was delimited by geographical location to one school district in

northeast Florida. The school district is considered to be of medium size in comparison to

other school districts within the state. The subjects were 101 second-grade students in

five schools. The schools selected represent the makeup of the general population of the

district in socioeconomic status, gender, and ethnicity.

Students were selected based on individual screening assessment scores obtained

on the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS). Students who scored

below the benchmarks selected on the DIBELS assessment for second-grade were

identified as possible participants, upon receipt of parental consent and student assent.

Students were randomly assigned to participation groups for the study. No exceptions or

special considerations were given for gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or

inclusion in a special education program.

Limitations

This study was conducted with second-grade students who had not developed

passage (oral) reading fluency. The results of the study, therefore, cannot be generalized

to older or younger students because of the specific selection process. The study was

further limited because the intervention was conducted in a small group instructional

setting and cannot be generalized to a large group instructional setting.

Definition of Terms

An understanding of the terminology is important to the analysis and execution of

this investigation. The following section defines relevant terms as they apply to this

study.


Accuracy refers to the ability to decode or recognize words correctly.









Automaticity refers to quick and effortless identification of words in or out of

context.

Blending is the act of combining a sequence of separate phonemes into a word or

manipulating the phonemes within a word.

Connectionism is a theoretical framework used to understand the cognitive

functions of the mind. It represents the actual creation or strengthening of cognitive

associations that are activated by a stimulus, resulting in indirect or direct understanding

(Adams, 1990).

Decoding refers to the ability to derive a pronunciation for a sequence of phonemes

based on understanding spelling-sound-correspondences (Snow et al., 1998).

Elision is a phonological skill that involves the deletion of sounds within words.

Fluency is accurate reading at a conversational rate with appropriate expression and

inflection and deep understanding (Hudson et al. 2000).

Phonological awareness refers to the conscious awareness of or sensitivity to the

sound structure of language.

Prosody is the extent to which expression, inflection, rhythm, and use of phrase

boundaries are used while reading.

Rate is defined as the speed at which oral or silent reading takes place.

Segmenting is the act of isolating or separating one or more of the phonemes of a

spoken word.

Overview

An investigation of the effects of word work with manipulative letters on passage

reading fluency for developing readers is the focus of this study. Chapter 2 provides a

review and analysis of relevant professional literature in the areas of oral reading fluency,






6


fluency for beginning readers, and empirical research for fluency interventions. Chapter 3

contains the description of the methods and procedures used in this study. The findings

obtained from the study are discussed in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 includes a discussion of the

findings related to previous research, implications for fluency instructions, and

recommendations for future research.














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Introduction

This chapter provides a summary and analysis of the professional literature on the

relationship of developing word reading skills for oral reading fluency, the importance of

reading fluency for beginning readers, and instruction in oral reading fluency. The

literature on phase word reading for beginning readers also is presented.

The chapter is divided into several sections. The theoretical and empirical basis for

including instruction in oral reading fluency as a part of early literacy instruction is

presented in the first section. The ensuing sections provide a summary and analysis of

relevant studies about interventions to improve reading fluency, other strategies to

increase reading fluency, and a detailed focus on the need for word-level skills.

Theoretical and Empirical Basis for Reading Fluency Instruction

The ability to read is a critical function in all areas of society. Learning to read is a

very important goal set forth by parents and administrators for all students who attend

school. The importance of learning to read early and well has been emphasized in recent

national initiatives such as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 and, in particular, its

Reading First component. Reading, in which ideas are conveyed using a grapho-phonic

system, is one of the primary modes of communication in schools. Reading is a

systematic process that combines symbols and sounds to access meaning (Chall, 1996).

The reading process allows the student to recognize and capture the meaning of words.









The acquisition of reading affords the student a chance to become an active participant in

school and society.

Researchers, in an attempt to help readers grasp the reading process, have observed

through inquiry that reading reaches its advanced form when fluency is achieved.

Fluency, according to Samuels (2000), is skilled reading in which the reader reads with

speed, accuracy, expression, and comprehension. Fluent readers are characterized by

high-speed word recognition wherein the reader's cognitive resources are freed so that

attention can be focused on the meaning of the text (Snow et al., 1998). When reading

reaches the advanced skill level of automaticity, an effortless process, the reader is able to

focus on the text without the intrusion of decoding (Chall, 1996; LaBerge & Samuels,

1974; Samuels, 2000). The National Reading Panel (2000) noted that children who do not

develop strong word reading skills will continue to read slowly and with great effort.

Purpose

In this review, the research literature was examined to determine what is known

about the development of word reading skills and reading fluency. This review focuses

on studies of beginning readers from 5 to 13 years old. The subjects in these studies

included students with and without learning disabilities. The literature search was

conducted using on-line databases of ERIC, EBSCO-HOST, and Wilson Text. To ensure

that the information was current, the search was limited to studies published in 1985 or

later, with exceptions for seminal works (e.g., LaBerge & Samuels, 1974). The terms

"word reading automatic/automaticity," "word level automaticity," word recognition,"

"letter naming speed," "passage reading fluency," "reading fluency," "repeated reading,"

"rapid naming," "word reading prosody," and "reading expression" were used in









conducting the search. An ancestral hand search of references in published literature was

performed as databases were found to be incomplete.

Learning to Read Words

Ehri (1991, 1995, 1998) developed a theoretical explanation of the development of

word reading. Her explanation included the following five phases of word reading

development: pre-alphabetic, partial alphabetic, full alphabetic, consolidated alphabetic,

and automatic word reading.

The first phase, the pre-alphabetic phase, is distinguished by little working

knowledge of the alphabetic system. Students do not use alphabetic knowledge to read

words at this level. They do not understand that letters in written words are applied to

sounds in oral language. The students do possess some word reading skills that are

formed on the basis of memory (sight), guessing, and attention to visual cues. An

example of words that children could read at this phase would be words such as

McDonalds, Pepsi, and milk (Ehri & McCormick, 1998). Reading of these words is

based on recognition of logos, packaging, and other irrelevant visual cues not on the

letters in the words. Students could not identify the words without these visual cues and

they misidentified other words when they were paired with these logos.

The second phase, the partial alphabetic phase, is identified by students using letter

cues to begin reading. The student's working knowledge of reading is composed of

partial use of sight words and guessing based on some letter-sound information. In this

phase beginning readers are starting to show working knowledge of the alphabetic

principle by their ability to use letters in words. For example, in remembering how to

read the word block they might link the initial and final letters b and k to sounds /b/ and









/k/ in the pronunciation of the word (Ehri & Wilce, 1987a, 1987b). However, students in

this phase may also read back and book as block.

The third phase is the full-alphabetic phase. Learners in this phase acquire and

associate sounds with the letters they see in words. Readers in this phase use every letter

in every word. A characteristic of the students in the full-alphabetic phase is the use of

decoding skills for reading. Working knowledge of grapheme-phoneme units in English

is a common trait at this level. An example would be a student's ability to read beak by

an analogy to peak. Reaching the full-alphabetic phase is essential to reliable decoding

of text.

The fourth phase is the consolidated-alphabetic phase. This level of word learning

is highlighted by the student's ability to learn chunks of letters that reappear in different

words and their pronunciation (e.g. bladder vs. madder). The benefit of learning chunks

facilitates word decoding and sight word learning. The understanding of conventional

spelling is the focus in this phase to reinforce reading by connections (e.g. ban vs. bane,

little vs. litter, post vs. miuiri).

The last phase is the automatic phase. This is the phase of skilled word reading that

is essential for fluent reading. Students display automaticity and speed in identifying

familiar as well as unfamiliar words. The students' use of multiple strategies for

identifying words enhances automaticity and speed. Students reading at this level read

words effortlessly in or out of context. According to Adams (1990), automatic and fluent

reading is an acquired skill that frees the reader to focus on the task of comprehension.

What is Reading Fluency?

Fluency has a range of definitions based on the perspectives of various researchers.

According to Kame'euni and Simmons (2001), fluency is eonomine; that is, it is a term









so expansive and unsatisfactory in meaning that slight understanding is gained beyond

the use of the term. Hudson et al. (2000) found such disparity in explaining fluency that

they defined the term based on the paradigmatic views of four theoretical perspectives:

(a) cognitive psychology, (b) precision teaching, (c) curriculum-based measurement, and

(d) whole language. They settled on the following definition: "Fluency is accurate

reading at a minimal rate with appropriate prosodic features (expression) and deep

understanding" (p.32).

In their report by the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement

(CIERA), Kuhn and Stahl (2000) surveyed the range of definitions for fluency. They

proposed the following definition: "Fluency is accurate, rapid, and expressive rendering

of text" (p.5).

Torgesen et al. (2001) explained that after reviewing a wide range of definitions, a

researcher can select a definition that has meaning and implication for the area being

examined. For purposes of exposition and research, this review focused on a narrow

definition of fluency: Reading fluency is accuracy, automaticity, reading rate (speed), and

prosody in oral reading. The research on each of these aspects of reading fluency is

reviewed in the following sections.

Accuracy

Accuracy refers to the ability to name words correctly. Beginning readers read

words initially through mastery of the alphabetic principle and working knowledge of

blending and segmenting (Adams, 1990; Gaskins & Ehri, 1997). The ability to use these

skills in a continuous manner that is free from errors constitutes accuracy at its base level.

Accuracy is the development of letter-sound skills to enhance a reader's capacity to









recognize familiar and unfamiliar words by directing his/her attention to component

letters as he/she map sounds (Ehri, 1998; LaBerge & Samuels, 1974).

Decoding is the process of determining the sounds of letters in a word, blending the

sounds together in sequence, identifying the word, and locating a meaning for the word in

one's lexical memory (Chard & Osbom, 1999b). The goal of phonological decoding is to

help students become faster and faster at word reading. Chard and Osborn developed

three steps to facilitate the training of phonological decoding for automaticity with word

reading. The steps are as follows:

1. Let the students connect or blend sounds to resemble spoken language.

2. Allow the students to sound out a word with a fast pronunciation.

3. Transition the students from sounding out words aloud to sounding out words
mentally.

Emergent skills in phonological decoding that consist of letter to sound knowledge and

general phonological awareness provide the basis for accurate orthographic knowledge,

which has the potential to free up cognitive processors to aid automaticity (Chall, 1996;

Samuels, 2000; Torgesen et al., 1997). The study conducted by Foorman, Francis,

Fletcher, Schatsneider, and Mehta (1998) supports phonological decoding for word

reading by demonstrating strong growth in word level reading skills.

Accuracy is a prerequisite skill for automatic word recognition (Samuels, 2000).

Mastery of the prerequisite skill enables the reader to become increasingly familiar with

letters and words (Kuhn & Stahl, 2000). As this skill develops, less and less attention

needs to be directed toward processing text at the orthographic level (Adams, 1990; Kuhn

Stahl, 2000; Samuels, 2000). In theory, with automatic decoding, cognitive resources are

freed up to allow the reader to concentrate on comprehension (LaBerge & Samuels,









1974). Automaticity is reached when decoding takes place at the proper rate for reading

(Manis, Doi, & Bhaktawahr, 2000).

Automaticity with Word Reading

The research has demonstrated that automaticityy" also has many definitions for

oral reading fluency. The terms "word identification speed," "naming speed," and "word

recognition" are examples of different terms that are used synonymously with

automaticityy with word reading" (Levy, Abello, & Lysynchuk, 1997; Manis et al., 2000;

Wolf, Bowers, & Biddle, 2000). To further complicate the understanding of

automaticityy" without its component part "with word reading," there is an overlap in the

use of the terms automaticityy" and "fluency" (Samuels, 2000). Again, researchers are

left to their own devices or perspectives in determining what truly defines the term

automaticityy." The term automaticityy" shall be defined in this study as quick and

effortless identification of words in or out of context (Ehri & McCormick, 1998; Kuhn &

Stahl, 2000; Samuels, 2000).

Automaticity with word reading is important to the skilled reader in the

advancement of oral reading fluency. The key factor in understanding automaticity with

word reading is fluency. Fluency, used in this context, means the speed and accuracy in

which multiple letters of the alphabet can be produced orally (Speece, Mills, Ritchey, &

Hillman, 2003). These researchers cited the correlation of fluency to accuracy and speed,

which influence all levels of processing involved in reading. Therefore, fluency has a

significant effect on the advanced stages of reading automaticity at the word level

(Adams, 1990). Failure to achieve automaticity with word reading breaks down the

reading process for the delivery of oral reading fluency (Levy et al., 1997).









Automaticity with word reading can be attained by developing advanced skills in

phonological awareness and phonetic decoding (Torgesen, Wagner, & Rashotte, 1997a;

Vadasy, Jenkins, & Pool, 2000). Phonological awareness is defined as one's knowledge

of and access to the sound structure of oral language (Foorman, Francis, Novy, &

Liberman, 1991; Torgesen, Wagner, Rashotte, Burgess, & Hecht, 1997b). Students need

to master phonological processing, through which sound processing of oral language is

utilized in decoding written materials (Adams, 1990; Torgesen et al., 1997b). The

development of phonological awareness is enhanced by the understanding of written

material (orthographics) for alphabetic reading that is connected to phonological

processing (Adams, 1990). Reading that is produced at the phonological and word level

may be devoid of context but aids fluency by gaining speed and effortless word

identification (Ehri, 1991; Lyon & Moats, 1997).

Ehri and Wilce (1983) found in their research that phonological decoding can be

supplanted by sight word reading in the advancement of automaticity with word reading.

Words that are practiced often become a part of the lexical memory, and demonstrate an

advanced level of recall parallel to phonological decoding (Ehri & Robbins, 1992; Ehri &

Wilce, 1983; Metsala & Ehri, 1998; Snow et al., 1998). A distinct advantage of using

sight word reading over decoding is the faster processing speed. In their study, Ehri and

Wilce (1983) found students who read sight words faster than simply-spelled nonsense

words. The students who were good readers were able to read sight words as rapidly as

naming single digits. The ability to use sight words for automaticity with word reading

reaches its zenith when sight words can be used to read new words by analogy to known

sight words (Ehri & Robbins, 1992). This evolved level of word reading automaticity is









known in much of the research formally as reading by identifying word families or

reading using common phonograms (Goswami, 2000).

Reading Rate

Reading rate is defined as the speed at which oral or silent reading takes place

(Richards, 2000). Researchers seldom deviate from that simple definition, and the only

aspect added is quantification, or words per minute (Dowhower, 1991). Most studies that

examine reading rate quantify rate as either the number of words read per minute or as

the length of time it takes for a reader to complete a passage.

The studies reviewed reveal that reading rate plays a significant role in reading

fluency. Slow, labored, and unenthusiastic reading is found to have a negative effect on

oral reading fluency and comprehension (Rasinski, 2000). In the classroom, teachers who

misunderstood reading rate and equated it with fluency were found to lack a good grasp

of fluency instruction to compliment oral reading fluency (Richards, 2000).

Mastropieri, Leinart, and Scruggs (1999) observed reading rate in its relationship to

dysfluency by noting several deficiencies that could be attributed to slow speed. For

example, reduced reading rate results in less text being read in the same amount of time

as other students. Furthermore, slow reading rates require too much cognitive effort, and

not enough memory of text is available to be used with other segments of the text for

comprehension.

Prosody

Prosody is a general linguistic term used in much of the research to describe the

rhythmic and tonal features of speech (Dowhower, 1991; Kuhn & Stahl, 2000). The

definition for prosody in relationship to oral reading fluency includes constructs such as

expression, inflection, rhythm, and use of phrase boundaries while reading. The term









"reading with expression" is used synonymously with prosody in much of the research to

describe its working features and characteristics (Cowie, Cowie-Douglas, & Wichman,

2002; Dowhower, 1991; Schreiber, 1991). The indicators that composed prosodic reading

varied based on the particular hypothesis being examined by the individual researcher.

The contribution of prosody to oral reading fluency was found to have some unique

features. Dowhower (1991) discussed prosody as being an organizer that segments the

text into meaningful units that are marked by prosodic cues that demonstrate advanced

reading skills. Prosodic reading, which also comprises the chunking of groups of words

into phrases, is assumed to promote the construction of meaning from text by using the

syntactic structure of language as a guide for developing oral reading fluency (Kuhn &

Stahl, 2000; Schreiber, 1991). Cowie et al. (2002) developed statistical methods for

examining prosody. Their study considered pitch, intonation, speed, pausing, and

frequency of discontinuities as aspects of prosody. They emphasized the importance of

expressiveness as an influence on other aspects of fluency. Expressiveness denotes skills

that may involve semantic relationships with oral reading fluency in regard to

communicative function and topic.

Although prosody is a key component of reading fluency, the focus of this study

was on developing accuracy and decoding automaticity. Prosody was, therefore, not

addressed.

Why Is Fluency Important?

Fluency has begun to garner substantial attention in the research literature because

it is essential to the development of skilled reading (Kuhn & Stahl, 2000). Fluency was

selected by the National Reading Panel (2000) as a major factor for the development of

skilled reading and as a focus of remedial practices. The National Reading Panel (2000)









found research and empirical studies that examined the need to teach fluency as an

effective instructional approach for successful reading development. The acquisition of

fluency can help readers read text with speed, accuracy, and proper expression, whereas

reading is characterized with skill in processing text (Fuchs, Fuchs, Hosp, & Jenkins,

2001).

Relationship With Comprehension

Comprehension is defined as the ability to gain understanding from orthographic

information processed from the text at the letter, word, and sentence level (Adams, 1990).

Researchers have noted that comprehension and oral reading fluency possess a reciprocal

relationship (Vaughn et al., 2000). The correlation between fluent reading and

comprehension is strong (Fuchs et al., 2001; Samuels, 2000; Torgesen et al., 2001).

Schatschneider, Torgesen, Buck, and Powell-Smith (2004) found reading fluency to be

the most important predictor of reading comprehension performance of third-grade

students on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

In the context of explaining the relationship between oral reading fluency and

comprehension, Adams (1990) focused on speed and word recognition. First, Adams

noted that phonemic awareness and word perception significantly accelerates the

acquisition of reading skills. The reader must be able to read a word and combinations of

words in such a manner that it becomes effortless and provokes interpretation of the text.

This action must be done not by attending to individual words but the relations between

them. The reader must perceive print in rapid sequence (speed) to arouse many words at

once. When word identification does not require strategies for recognition, automaticity

in oral reading fluency may take place with comprehension.









The concept of word identification or word recognition appears throughout the

research as a major factor that solidifies the relationship between oral reading fluency and

comprehension. Samuels (2000) observed that, in order for a reader to understand text, a

logical representation of what is being read must exist. The logical representation needed

for comprehension exists at the orthographic level, in which the word must be identified

with understanding (Samuels, 2000). When automatic decoding skills are present, other

resources are freed to help comprehension by the way of fluency (Levy et al., 1997;

Snow et al., 1998). As previously stated, Adams (1990) also demonstrated that word

recognition plays a significant role in comprehension. The relationship between fluency

and comprehension is founded on solid evidence, and researchers generally agree that an

increase in one leads to an increase in the other (Kuhn & Stahl, 2000).

Chall (1996) stated that fluency is important for students with dyslexia because

they have labored reading with many pauses, which results in slow and disconnected oral

reading. This dysfluent reading at the decoding and word level makes comprehension

almost impossible. The reciprocal relationship between fluency and comprehension can

be found in Chall's explanation of the process of reading where the reader is "unglued

from print." This is the stage where the reader has learned letter-sound correspondences,

developed their decoding ability to a level of automaticity, and transitioned from learning

to read to reading to learn (Chall, 1996; Hook & Jones, 2002; Kuhn & Stahl, 2000).

Cognitive Resources/Working Memory

Cognitive resources are the thought processes through which a learner acquires

knowledge by the use of reasoning, intuition, or perception. Through working memory, a

store of words is held in suspense (thought) and is used to read words by memory,

previous experience, orthographics, pronunciation and syntax (Ehri, 1991). This









subsection of the review examined the relationship that cognitive resources and working

memory have with oral reading fluency.

LaBerge and Samuels (1974) proposed that learning to read involved enhancing

word identification speed (e.g., letter-to-sound level), processing these words into chunks

for identification (Zutel & Rasinski, 1991), and connecting the words while reading text.

Efficient use of these cognitive processes results in freeing the reader from the text to use

memory or other resources for understanding. Perfetti (1992) demonstrated how slow

cognitive processing, such as naming speed, could contribute to oral reading failure by

limiting the orthographic representation in long-term memory and stalling cognitive

resources. When the cognitive resources are free and fast moving, they can by directed

toward the higher order skills of comprehension (LaBerge & Samuels, 1974; Samuels,

2000; Snow et al., 1998)

Intervention to Improve Reading Fluency

The National Reading Panel (2000) conducted a meta-analysis of studies

concerning reading fluency and interventions to develop fluency. This section of the

study reviews some of those interventions. Strategies that are found to have merit and the

potential to increase reading fluency also are included.

Repeated Reading Studies

The research in the decade of the 1970s produced the seminal works of Laberge

and Samuels (1974) and Dahl (1979) that fostered the reexamination of interventions to

improve reading fluency. The researchers at the time conducted studies to increase the

reading rate for struggling readers as an intervention for improved reading skills.

LaBerge and Samuels specifically endorsed the hypothesis that text processing or reading

would be improved by forcing the reader to read words by chunking instead of word-by-









word reading. This process would later be part of the automaticityy theory" (O'Shea &

O'Shea, 1988; Samuels, 1979). A simple strategy such as multiple readings of connected

text was found to produce positive results in regard to helping struggling readers develop

higher reading rates and automaticity (LaBerge & Samuels, 1974).

Repeated reading, or multiple readings of connected text, has gained much

empirical support since its early research notoriety during the 1970s. An impressive list

of studies has been generated to review the significance of repeated reading as an

important intervention for improving reading (Blum & Koskinen, 1991; Dowhower,

1994; National Reading Panel, 2000). Repeated reading is an instructional tool for

disabled readers and developing readers (Dowhower, 1987, 1994). This reading strategy

has become a part of general instructional use and the classroom curriculum to improve

reading fluency (National Reading Panel, 2000; Sindelar, Monda, & O'Shea, 1990).

The intervention, repeated reading, that was advocated by Samuels and his

colleagues (LaBerge & Samuels, 1974; Dahl, 1979) involved reading passages for

practice as a means of improving accuracy, automaticity, prosody, and comprehension.

The researchers developed a method in which students would read a 101-word passage

until they were able to read all 101 words in one minute. The passages were adjusted

based on a word-per-minute count to match the ability of the student. The student would

complete a given number of readings on the same passage and then be tested orally. The

correct word-per-minute score would be calculated to yield an accuracy and a reading

rate score. The findings by Samuels and his colleagues demonstrated significant gains in

reading rate and reduced errors in reading.









Following the work of LaBerge and Samuels (1974), Dahl (1979) conducted a

study to examine the different methods for teaching intermediate reading skills. The

methods she experimentally evaluated were hypothesis/test, flashed word, and repeated

reading. This review of Dahl's work focuses on the findings for repeated reading. The

subjects were 32 poor readers selected from the regular reading program in a middle-

class elementary school. She used a 2x2x2 factorial design with random assignment. The

measures used in the study were cloze tests, Gates-MacGinitie, timed oral reading, and

flashed word recognition. The subjects who received the repeated readings training

practiced oral reading with an assistant, in which word-per-minute (wpm) scores were

taken. The level of difficulty for each passage was individually controlled by using wpm

scores and teacher discretion. The subjects participated in daily 20-minute sessions over

an 8-month period. The researcher's findings reported the students receiving the repeated

readings treatment had significant gains in word identification and comprehension over

the control group who received the regular classroom reading program. Dahl concluded

that repeated reading can be an effective training method in which students are afforded

an opportunity to go beyond accuracy without having to focus on component skills. She

reasoned that repeated readings may provide the necessary practice for the development

of fluent reading.

Repeated readings with different texts. The theoretical foundation of multiple

readings as an intervention tool is strengthened by additional empirical support from the

studies of Herman (1985), Dowhower (1987), and Sindelar et al. (1990). These studies

were found to share the basic tenet of one initial reading versus the effect of multiple









readings to increase oral reading fluency. The subjects in the studies ranged from second

grade through the sixth grade.

Herman (1985) experimentally evaluated the effectiveness of repeated readings.

She developed the following hypotheses as a framework to gather information: (a)

validate the method of repeated readings with nonfluent, less able readers and determine

if improvements in fluency could be achieved, (b) identify the aspects of reading and

fluency that change with repeated practice (i.e., reading rate, speech pauses, and word

recognition), and (c) determine if improvements in the aspects listed were limited to well-

practiced material or if, after practice, the improvements could be transferred to new

material. The subjects in the study were eight less-able, nonfluent reading students from

Grades 4, 5, and 6. The students could choose any book from their assigned list and

practice repeated reading until they reached 85 wpm. The average rereading of the stories

consisted of 4 days, in which a daily reading session would last for 10 minutes. The

students would be engaged in five separate stories before the treatment expired. The

measures for the students involved testers taking reading rates, speech pauses (computer),

miscue/error analysis, and combined accuracy using the student score and standard scores

for comparison and analysis. Students averaged a total of 21 treatment days. The findings

from Herman's research indicate that there was continual improvement in rate of reading.

The oral reading was found to be very accurate and faster, indicating a level of

automaticity in word recognition was achieved. The researcher noted that improvement in

speed and combined accuracy transferred between passages. The results of the study

support repeating reading as a study skill technique and procedure to promote

comprehension while enhancing reading fluency.









Dowhower (1987) performed a study to investigate the effect of two repeated

reading procedures on second-grade transitional readers' oral reading performance with

practiced and unpracticed passages. The study was conducted with 17 beginning second-

grade students at two elementary schools in a large urban school district. Students were

screened to identify potential transitional readers who had no particular reading problem

and whose reading performance fit Chall's stage one description: (a) slow, word by word

reading and (b) adequate decoding of words. The measures consisted of a series of

passages that were divided into sections to yield the following: initial test, pre-test, post-

test, transfer test, and a final test. A separate observation was performed to collect data on

the students' rate, accuracy, comprehension, and prosody. The students were required to

read five stories that were halved to demonstrate practice reading for the first section and

transfer reading for the second section. The practice session consisted of assisted or

unassisted repeated reading, and the transfer section was used to assess performance with

an unpracticed but similar passage. The study lasted for 7 weeks. Results of this

investigation showed readers' rate, accuracy, comprehension, and prosodic reading with

practiced and unpracticed passages were improved by repeated reading regardless of the

procedure. The results also revealed that the practice in one story is not as effective as the

combined practice of several stories. Last, the study demonstrated that repeated reading

helped children develop prosodic strategies for organizing text.

Sindelar, Monda, and O'Shea (1990) performed an experimental study to determine

whether the effects of repeated readings are comparable for learning disabled (LD) and

nondisabled readers who are matched on reading ability. The researchers used a 2x2x2

factorial design with two between-group factors and one within-group factor. The









subjects in the design were 50 students (25 LD students and 25 nondisabled students)

from Grades 3 through 5. The measure for the study included third-grade reading

passages in which words per minute and errors per minute could be extracted for

analysis. The procedure required students to read two passages in which the first passage

was read once and the second passage was read three times. The findings from the study

support repeated reading with a significant increase in reading rate from one reading to

three readings. The level of recall for the subjects was found to be significantly greater

after three readings, and the effects of repeated reading were comparable for LD and

nondisabled readers. Last, repeated reading demonstrated a direct effect in the study with

LD students scoring fewer errors during their third reading than their nondisabled

counterparts.

Repeated readings with assistance. The effectiveness of repeated reading with

instructional help also has been researched. An examination of three major studies

provides discrete views on assisted and nonassisted repeated reading practices and their

effectiveness for improving reading fluency.

Young, Bowers, and MacKinnon (1996) devised a study to compare the results of

students in assisted and nonassisted repeated reading practices. The design for the study

was a factorial 2x2, practice versus no practice, modeling versus no modeling of reading.

The subjects for the study were 40 fifth graders identified as poor readers. The students

were assigned to one of the four treatment groups in the experimental design. The

measures were reading rate, reading accuracy, fluency ratings, and story retelling. The

data were collected in a pretest/posttest format. The researchers found those students who

received training in repeated reading showed significant gains on all reading performance









measures over those who did not receive the treatment. The students who received

repeated reading training were able to read the second half of the treatment stories at

approximately the same speed, unlike their counterparts who could not complete the first

half of the treatment stories. Comprehension on the latter half of the stories demonstrated

improvement for each group. In conclusion, the researchers observed that those students

who received practice using the assisted repeated reading method showed improved word

accuracy in reading.

Mercer, Campbell, Miller, Mercer, and Lane (2000) performed a study in

which a fluency intervention was developed and used to supplement reading instruction

of middle school students with learning disabilities (LD). The reading intervention in this

study was designed to provide instructional support for teachers who have students with

reading disabilities and could benefit from one-to-one fluency training (assisted). The

participants in the study were 49 middle-grade students from a large school system in

North Central Florida. The intervention sessions lasted 5 to 6 minutes each school day.

The measures for the study came from a research design with pretest/posttest three-group

design to determine potential changes over time in the measurement of the dependent

variable and reading rate per minute on graded passages. Each group received the

treatment for a different time period. Each day, the students in the treatment group were

required to read aloud a phonics page, a sight word page, and a story page based on their

previous lesson's performance. The data were collected daily, and the participants'

progress was charted. The study was conducted over a 3-year period. The findings from

the study included substantial gains in posttest fluency scores for all three groups. The

researchers noted the process was successful. They observed that posttest fluency scores









were based on more difficult reading material. The study supports the practice of

providing fluency training. The researchers found using repeated reading to build reading

fluency to be an effective reading intervention strategy for improving the reading skills of

students with reading disabilities. The study also provided evidence of reading

improvement for students in 6 to 25 months using the intervention in middle school.

The third study to examine repeated reading with instructional aid was conducted

by Homan, Klesius, and Hite (1993). Their study addressed two questions in evaluating

the effectiveness of repeated readings and assisted nonrepetitive reading methods as a

means of improving fluency (rate and accuracy) and comprehension. The first question

focused on whether repeated reading and assisted nonrepetitive reading are productive

methods for improving fluency and comprehension among sixth-grade Chapter One

readers. The second question examined whether repeated reading is a more effective

method for improving sixth-grade Chapter One students' performance in fluency and

comprehension than assisted nonrepetitive reading methods. The subjects in the study

were 26 below-grade-level readers in a Chapter One program at two sixth-grade centers.

The pretest and posttest measures were six passages selected from (a) commercially

prepared informal reading inventory or (b) a Silver Burdett and Ginn Basal Series-1989

workbook. The students participating in assisted nonrepetitive reading used echo reading,

unison reading, and cloze reading as part of the treatment. The students using repeated

reading for treatment were paired with other students and read with close teacher

supervision. The length of the study was 7 weeks. The findings from the study indicate

that both repeated reading and assisted nonrepetitive reading methods improved

comprehension among the participants in the study. The researchers noted that the









findings support the value of allocating time for students to engage in connected reading.

In conclusion, the study revealed that assisted nonrepetitive strategies facilitate the

development of both accurate and automatic recognition of sight vocabulary. The three

studies reviewed provide experimental evidence to support the intervention of repeated

reading as a viable tool to improve and develop oral reading fluency.

Other repeated readings studies. Levy, Nicholls, and Kohen (1993) examined the

processing benefits that accrue across repeated reading of a text for good and poor

readers. The findings from the research supported the use of repeated reading for both

groups with improvements in reading rate across readings. A simultaneous effect,

improved detection of misspelled spelling words with improved comprehension, was also

observed in the study. Stoddard, Valcante, Sindelar, O'Shea, and Algozzine (1993)

investigated the effects of repeated readings in regard to reading rate and reading

comprehension on fourth and fifth graders reading below grade level. Their findings

demonstrated repeated readings increased reading rate and reading comprehension. The

research also identified subskills that are important in enhancing comprehension, such as

fast and accurate word recognition and fluent word reading.

The research supporting the use of repeated reading is well-founded on empirical

studies. The use of repeated reading has been proven to have a positive effect on reading

fluency for students who are poor readers, learning disabled, and mainstream students

from the general population. The literature demonstrates the intervention of repeated

reading as a skill that can benefit literacy for all.

Other Strategies to Increase Reading Fluency

A variety of other methods have been employed to a lesser extent than repeated

readings to increase reading fluency. These include word work, oral recitals, CBM-









management for instruction, and fluency development lessons. Studies of these methods

show that increasing reading fluency can go beyond using repeated reading as the

primary intervention (National Reading Panel, 2000).

Levy et al. (1997) performed an experimental study that examined the relationship

between sight word identification speed and story reading fluency, as indicated by

accuracy, speed, and comprehension. The study was comprised of two replicated

experiments. A pretest was used to examine predictors of fluency gains with practice to

the second experiment. The first experiment enlisted 28 poor readers from the fourth

grade; the second experiment enlisted 40 poor readers also from the fourth grade. In the

first experiment the data were derived from four adapted stories using the Flesch-Kincaid

formula, comprehensions questions, and the reading of 72 content words from the story.

In the second experiment the collection of data and measures was the same, except for

increasing the content words to 90. In the first experiment each child read two of the four

stories, three times each, one story after having been trained to read rapidly its 72 content

words and one story without prior experience with its content words. The participants in

the second experiment performed the same procedures as the first except for the

following: computer times were shortened by .5 second; the use of 20 training trials was

employed; they used four reading trials instead of three; and they used comprehensions

questions. The data were analyzed using ANOVAs. The study was sequenced to include

5 days for the first experiment and 5 days for the second experiment. The two studies

reported demonstrate that fluency gains observed in context-independent word

recognition skill, through single-word reading practice, generalize to reading those words

in context. The second experiment also showed that faster word recognition can be









coupled with improved story comprehension. In conclusion, the study noted that fluency

gains can enable comprehension by aiding slow word recognition that halts the proper

use of syntactic and semantic processes for reading.

Reutzel and Hollingsworth (1993) performed a study to assess the effects of

developing second-grade students' oral reading fluency using the oral recitation lesson

(ORL) and the effects that fluency training may have upon students' resulting reading

comprehension. The participants in the study were 78 second-grade students from two

elementary schools that reflected the socioeconomic status of the community. The

students were randomly assigned to the control and experimental groups. Pretest and

posttest instruments used for this study consisted of a norm-referenced standardized

achievement test, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, and a researcher-constructed oral reading

fluency test (ORF). The students in the treatment participated in a group in which the

teacher modeled the reading from text, the students practiced assigned parts aloud

together, and individually prepared for a scheduled recitation. Descriptive statistics were

used to analyze the data. The study was conducted over a period of 4 months. The

findings from the study stated that ORL is an effective means of developing oral reading

fluency as measured by errors per minute. Furthermore, students who participated in

ORL had superior performance for comprehension measures and on reading

comprehension. This study also demonstrated the fact that ORL improved the readers'

reading fluency, which confirmed a causal link between improving students' reading

fluency and their reading comprehension.

Hasbrouck and Tindal (1992) examined whether curriculum-based oral reading

fluency (ORF) norms are the proper guidelines for teachers and specialists to make









classroom decisions for the following: (a) eligibility of students for special programs, (b)

setting instructional goals and objectives, (c) placing students in instructional groups, (d)

monitoring academic progress, and (e) making necessary changes in instruction. Grades 2

through 5 were analyzed for this review. The measures came from a 1-minute timed

sampling of students' oral reading. The data were collected from 1981 to 1990 from

7,900 students. The findings from the study revealed that (a) teachers can set ORF goals

because the curriculum-based management (CBM) measures are well normed, (b) CBM

assessment procedures can be used consistently by teachers, (c) ORF can be used to

determine criteria for systematic screening procedures and eligibility, (d) ORF can help

teachers provide more complete information about students to their parents, and (e)

classroom level decisions (i.e., grouping, content of reading instructions, etc.) can be

assisted by the use of curriculum-based ORF norms.

Rasinski, Padak, Linek, and Sturtevant (1994) performed a study designed to test

the efficacy of the fluency development lesson (FDL) as a supplement to the regular

reading curriculum. The participants in the study were 54 second-grade students from

two elementary schools in a large, urban, ethnically diverse school district. The measures

for the study were taken from a reading text consisting of 50-101 words appropriate for

second grade. Treatment was administered daily during the first 15 minutes of each day.

The students in the treatment were required to participate in a teacher-led examination

and reading of the text. The students were paired for partner readings (repeated), partner

discussions, and an evaluation of their partner's reading. The study lasted for 6 months.

The results from this study suggested that instructional approaches for developing

fluency, such as the FDL, have potential for improving fluency in second-grade students.









All students in the study read above 70 wpm on the posttest. In terms of accurate word

recognition per time unit, the posttest score demonstrated automatized reading that was

quick and accurate. The researchers concluded that students given the FDL made

significant gains in fluency, and it may provide students experiencing difficulties in

reading with effective strategies to overcome reading difficulties.

Why Focus on Word-Level Skills?

Most research related to the development of reading fluency has focused on text-

level interventions. That is, to help students read text more fluently, we have given them

practice with reading text. For beginning readers who have not yet developed

automaticity with word reading, it may be unrealistic to expect improvement with text-

level reading. By beginning with word-level skills, teachers can help students acquire the

tools they need for fluent reading.

Pullen (2000) studied the effects of alphabetic word work using manipulative

letters on the reading skills of struggling first-grade students. She used an experimental

pretest-posttest design for the study with three groups: treatment, comparison, and

control. The students in the treatment group participated in a four-step lesson in which

the teacher (a) introduced a book, (b) coached the students through the book, (c) used

manipulative letters to develop decoding and encoding skills, and (d) had the students

reread the book. Students in the comparison group participated in repeated readings with

no manipulative letter practice. Although both the treatment and comparison group out-

performed the control group on the fluency measures, only the treatment group was

significantly higher in decoding skills and sight words. The length of the study was 10

weeks, with 3-4 fifteen-minute sessions per week. The pretest/posttest measures consisted

of the following: verbal ability, phonological awareness, sight word reading, rapid letter









naming, decoding of nonwords, decoding of words, passage fluency, and reading

comprehension. The data were tested for statistical significance by a series of analyses of

covariance (ANCOVA) on each of the dependent variables. The findings for the study

validate the use of manipulative letters to increase word recognition and indicate that

rereading text increases sight word knowledge.

Pullen, Lane, Lloyd, Nowak, and Ryals (2003) performed a study to evaluate the

use of manipulative letters to increase segmenting, blending, sounding out, and spelling

skills to promote decoding of pseudowords (nonwords). The participants were nine first-

grade students who were identified as having incipient reading problems. A multiple

baseline design across groups of children was used to examine the effects of the

intervention. The data for the study were collected daily using 1-minute probes. The

students in the treatment group were introduced to a book by the teacher and read

chorally. Target words were taken from the reading, and the students practiced encoding

and decoding with the instructor providing assistance. After the practice with word work

the students were required to reread the book chorally. The intervention was run for 10

lessons. The findings from the study revealed that decoding skills for each student

improved with instruction using manipulative letters and teachers can use simple

instructional methods to improve early reading skills.

Lane, Pullen, and Hudson (2003) examined the use of a literacy-tutoring model to

determine which components would help struggling beginning readers. The components

of the tutoring model included word work using manipulative letters, written word work,

and a generalization component. The primary component of this study is word work

using manipulative letters. The researchers evaluated the implementation of the 40-









minute tutoring model with 106 struggling beginning readers in first grade. Posttest data

were analyzed using a series of analysis of covariance (ANCOVAS) with protests as

covariates. In their analysis of the effects of various components of the tutoring model,

Lane et al. determined that word work with manipulative letters was a critical step for

developing decoding skills.

By increasing students' automaticity with word reading, perhaps teachers can affect

students' passage reading fluency. This study examines a method for increasing

automaticity with word reading and its effects on passage reading fluency. The purpose

of the intervention in this study was to move developing readers from the full alphabetic

phase to the consolidated alphabetic phase or beyond.

Summary

The research literature demonstrates clearly that reading fluency is and should be a

focus of reading instruction in the elementary grades. To become proficient readers,

children must develop the ability to (a) read words accurately and automatically and (b)

read text automatically and with prosody. Most interventions designed to increase

struggling readers' fluency have focused on increasing reading rate. The most popular

method is repeated reading of connected text. Some children, despite intervention,

continue to struggle to develop reading fluency. Interventions designed to increase word-

level reading skills through the use of manipulative letters have shown positive results.

These studies have emphasized word reading accuracy. Further research is needed to

determine the effects of word work with manipulative letters with an emphasis on both

word reading accuracy and decoding automaticity. Such an intervention holds promise

for developing both word-level skills and text-level skills.














CHAPTER 3
METHODS AND PROCEDURES

Introduction

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of word work with

manipulative letters on reading skills. Specifically, does an intervention designed to

increase word reading accuracy and automaticity influence passage reading fluency? This

chapter includes the research hypotheses, a description of the sampling procedures,

subjects, and intervention site demographics. Succeeding sections of this chapter include

details of the experimental design, instructional procedures, and treatment of the data.

Hypotheses

This study was conducted to answer the following research question: Does

decoding accuracy and automaticity instruction at the word level have an effect on

reading fluency at the text level? More specifically, what are the effects of decoding

accuracy and automaticity practice developed through the use of manipulative letters on

the passage reading fluency of struggling second-grade students? The following null

hypotheses were tested at the .05 level of confidence.

Hi: There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of

phonological processing between subjects who receive word work instruction using

manipulative letters and subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative

letters.









H2: There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of decoding

skill between subjects who receive word work instruction using manipulative letters and

subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative letters.

H3: There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of automaticity

with decoding between subjects who receive word work instruction using manipulative

letters and subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative letters.

H4: There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of sight word

automaticity between subjects who receive word work instruction using manipulative

letters and subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative letters.

H5: There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of passage

reading fluency between subjects who receive word work instruction using manipulative

letters and subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative letters.

Methods

This study was conducted over an 18-week period during the middle of the school

year with struggling second-grade students. A pretest-posttest control group design was

employed. The following sections provide details about the methods that were used to

carry out this study.

Settings and Subjects

The purpose of this section is to describe the instructional settings where the

intervention took place and to provide a description of the subjects. Demographic details

are provided for school sites and intervention groups. In addition, the procedures for

sampling and assigning subjects to groups are provided.









School demographics. Five schools in one north central Florida district were

selected for this study. Schools with high-poverty and high-minority populations were

selected to ensure a sufficient population of students at risk for reading difficulty. The

socioeconomic level of the schools was based on the percentage of students in the school

receiving free or reduced-price lunches. Demographic information about the schools,

including the percentage of students from each school who participate in the free or

reduced-price lunch program, and the racial makeup of each school's student population,

is reported in Table 1.

Table 1. Descriptive Information for Schools
School Total Enrollment % of Minority % of Students that
students receive free or
reduced-price lunch
1 377 90% 88%

2 409 31% 50%

3 417 91% 92%

4 543 34% 60%

5 399 69% 82%


Subject description. One hundred one second-grade students participated in this

study. Students were systematically selected for participation in the study. All second-

grade students in the five schools were screened using the Dynamic Indicators ofBasic

Early Literacy .\il// (DIBELS; Good, Kaminski, & Dill, 2002) Oral Reading Fluency

subtest. Students who scored below the benchmarks identified on the DIBELS

assessment for second grade were identified as potential participants. Students who had

excessive absences were eliminated from the pool. In addition, students who were already

receiving supplemental reading support with magnetic letters were eliminated as potential









participants. All students had undergone vision and hearing screening at their schools,

and any vision or hearing problems had been corrected. As required by the University of

Florida Institutional Review Board, parental informed consent was acquired for the

remaining students. The parental informed consent letter is provided in Appendix A.

The 101 students selected as study participants were randomly assigned to two

groups: treatment and control. The statistical software program, Minitab, was used to

assign students randomly to the two groups. Each of the 101 students was listed

alphabetically and assigned a number. Minitab randomly sorted the numbers and assigned

an equal number of students to each treatment group within the school. The

demographics of each group are provided in Table 2. The number of subjects assigned to

groups from each school is provided in Table 3. During the course of the study, three

participants moved and were, therefore, not included in the analyses. The N for the

analyses was 98.

Research Instrumentation

The assessment instruments selected for use in this study were demonstrated to be

reliable and valid methods for measuring the target skills. The following sections provide

description of each of the measures.

Screening Measure

All second-grade students in participating schools were screened using the DIBELS

oral reading fluency measures. The instrument is administered on an individual basis as

part of the school's progress monitoring efforts. The student performance on DIBELS

oral reading fluency subtests is measured by having the students read a passage aloud for

1 minute. Any words omitted or substituted and any hesitations (3 seconds or longer) are

scored as errors. Words that were self-corrected within 3 seconds were scored as









accurate. The number of correct words per minute from the passage was the oral reading

fluency rate. Students who scored in the "high risk" or "moderate risk" ranges on the

established DIBELS benchmarks were invited to participate in this study.

Table 2. Descriptive Information for Group
Experimental Control Total
Gender
Male 24 27 51
Female 26 21 47
Ethnicity
Caucasian 9 7 16
African 38 39 77
American
Latino 1 1 2
Asian 1 1
Other 1 1 2
Lunch Status
Free 40 44 84
Reduced 3 1 4
Pay
Full Pav 3 7 10


Table 3. Group Assignment by School
School Treatment Group

1 11
2 4
3 14
4 14
5 7
Total 50


Control Group

12
3
14
14
5
48


Reading Measures

The reading measures provided an assessment of the subjects' reading skills before

the intervention began and again after intervention for comparison. A description of the

assessment instruments is outlined in the following section.


Total

23
7
28
28
12
98









Phonological Processing. The Elision subtest of the Comprehensive Test of

Phonological Processing (CTOPP; Wagner, Torgesen, & Rashotte, 1999) was

administered to provide information about the students' awareness of and access to the

sound structure of language. The CTOPP is a norm referenced and standardized

assessment that is individually administered and assesses phonological abilities and their

relationship to early reading. Internal test reliability coefficients for the CTOPP subtests

exceed .80. The magnitude of the coefficients listed for the CTOPP suggests that there is

little test error and that researchers can have confidence in its results.

Decoding accuracy. The Word Attack subtest of the Woodcock Diagnostic Reading

Battery (WDRB; Woodcock, 1997) was administered to assess subjects' skill in decoding

accuracy. The WDRB is a comprehensive set of individually administered tests that

measure important dimensions of reading achievement and closely related abilities. The

WDRB has been normed and standardized for individuals ranging in age from 4 to 95

years. The test is applicable for educational and noneducational measures. The WDRB

can determine and describe the status of an individual's ability and achievement in basic

reading skills (letter-word identification) and reading comprehension (reading vocabulary

and passage comprehension). Internal test reliability scores for the WDRB ranges from

the high .80s to the low .90s for the subtests.

Decoding automaticity and sight word reading automaticity. The Phonemic

Decoding Efficiency subtest of the Test of WordReading Efficiency (TOWRE; Torgesen,

Wagner, & Rashotte, 1999) was used to measure students' automaticity with decoding

skills. The Sight Word Efficiency subtest of the TOWRE was used to measure students'

sight word reading automaticity. These two subtests are timed measures (45 seconds









each) that provide valuable information about the automaticity of basic reading skills.

The TOWRE is a measure of an individual's ability to pronounce printed words with

accuracy and fluency. The test monitors how well an individual accurately sounds out

words quickly and how an individual recognizes familiar words as whole units or sight

words. The TOWRE records specific information in regard to an individual's ability,

which may be used to gain measured results for his/her level of automaticity for oral

reading fluency. The TOWRE has been normed and standardized for individuals ranging

in age from 6 to 24 years. The coefficients for the test of reliability for the TOWRE are at

or above .90.

Passage reading fluency. The Dynamic Indicators ofBasic Early Literacy .kill//

(DIBELS; Good et al.,) are a set of standardized measures of early literacy development.

The measures are individualized and short (1 minute) fluency tests. The test consists of

standardized reading passages that are designed to identify children who may need

additional instructional support and provide for the collection of data on an individual's

progress toward instructional goals. Students read three passages for 1 minute each, and

the score is an average number of words read correctly during these three readings. The

DIBELS is specifically designed to predict later reading proficiency.

Comprehension. The DIBELS has a Retell Fluency subtest to measure

comprehension. This subtest is designed to provide a comprehension check for oral

reading fluency within the DIBELS assessment. The main purpose of the Retell Fluency

test is to identify children who are speed-reading without attaining meaning and to

recognize children who are reading without comprehension. The DIBELS uses the









guidelines that are compatible with the National Reading Panel's guidelines to assess

fluency and comprehension.

Naming speed. The Rapid Digit Naming and Rapid Letter Naming subtests of the

CTOPP were administered to provide information about the students' rapid naming

speed. Rapid naming requires speed and the processing of visual information along with

phonological applications. Young readers' ability to rapidly name digits, retrieve

phonemes associated with letters or letter pairs, and to pronounce common word

segments, whole words, and the efficiency with which these skills are performed is a

strong predictor of reading ability (Wagner et al., 1999; Wolf et al., 2000). Internal test

reliability for the CTOPP exceeds reliability coefficients of .80. The magnitude of the

coefficients listed for the CTOPP strongly suggests that there is little test error and that

researchers can have confidence in its results.

Social Validity Measures

Social validity measures refer to the assessment and evaluation of the acceptability

and feasibility of a programmed intervention (Schwartz & Baer, 1991). Wolf (1978)

viewed the term "social validity from a practical perspective as something of social

importance that would have to be judged by someone as having value to society. Social

validity measures were administered in this study to ensure that the research is validated

from the societal view in which social significance, social appropriateness, and social

importance is assessed (Wolf, 1978; Schwartz & Baer, 1991).

Social validity of program procedures. The intervention used in this study is

specifically designed for classroom use by teachers, paraprofessionals, and volunteer

personnel. The intervention was applied in a small group setting to provide a realistic

view of its use. According to Schwartz and Baer (1991), it is important to assess the









primary participants to gain pertinent data related to the clients (participants) and society

(Fawcett, 1991). For the purpose of this study, three types of social validity data were

gathered: (a) subject questionnaire, (b) instructor questionnaire, and (c) classroom teacher

rating scale and questionnaire. The data received from the instructors and the classroom

teachers were used to identify instructional procedures that work well and procedures that

need to be improved. The forms used to collect social validity data from the classroom

teachers and the instructors are in Appendix B and Appendix C.

The instructors implementing the intervention were primarily graduate students in

teacher education. Classroom teachers might not have been afforded the opportunity to

observe or participate in the intervention so additional procedural validity data were

gathered through the use of videotaped lessons. The lesson videotape was labeled to note

the teacher, class, date and time of treatment. After the intervention was completed,

classroom teachers had the option of observing the intervention for implementation by

watching the video. Classroom teachers were asked to submit their comments on the

feedback form (Appendix B).

Social validity of program outcomes. Schwartz and Baer (1991) stated that social

validity assessments are of little use unless they are conducted prescriptively rather than

remedially. The process of social validation is a strategy to observe the primary consumer

(participant) to help validate the importance of effects and the significance of goals being

met (Fawcett, 1991). To meet those standards, the data gathered from primary

participants (students) were included in the program outcomes. A post-intervention

interview was conducted with each student to gain data related to the use of self-reporting

for social validation (Fawcett, 1991). The interview focused on the students' perception









of the importance and help gained from the use of word work with manipulative letters.

The interview questions are provided in Appendix D.

Experimental Design

An experimental pretest-posttest control group design was employed for this study

with two groups: treatment and control. The treatment group received a four-step

intervention implemented in a small-group setting. The control group served as a no-

treatment control and received no supplemental instruction. All students continued to

receive reading instruction from school personnel. A summary of the experimental design

is provided in Table 4.

Table 4. Experimental Design
Group Procedures

Treatment R 01 X 02

Control R 01 02

R=Random assignment, 0=Pretest, X=Intervention, 02=Posttest

Instructional Procedures

The instructional procedures for the study are described in this section. Instructor

preparation is described for the treatment group. Methods for ensuring treatment fidelity

are also described.

Instructors

The instructors for this study were graduate students in the College of Education

at the University of Florida. Each instructor was required to attend extensive training in

the instructional methodology employed in this study. Each instructor was provided with

a training manual. Before the instructors began the intervention phase, mastery of the

instructional procedures had to be demonstrated in a training class taught by a university









professor. In addition, each instructor had to agree in writing to adhere to the procedural

guidelines described in the training sessions. During the intervention, a minimum of three

observations were conducted on each instructor to ensure procedural reliability.

Procedural reliability was also strengthened by the provision of scripted lessons that the

instructors used for the treatment group. The lessons are provided in Appendix E.

Materials

The lessons for the treatment group required magnetic letters, magnetic boards, and

lesson scripts. To avoid the addition of unrelated variables, the magnetic letters selected

were solid white, simple san-serif letters. The magnetic boards were also solid in color

(copper) and selected for visual contrast with the letters. Each instructor was provided

with enough letters and magnetic boards for each student in the treatment group. The

control group did not use the magnetic letters or letter boards.

Treatment Group Intervention

The treatment group received a four-step intervention that included manipulative

alphabetic word work in a small group setting (i.e., two to four students). The lesson

began with the distribution of materials to each student and progressed with instructions

to develop pseudo and real words using manipulative letters. The same lesson format was

used for all 40 lessons.

The words for each session were previously selected and provided in the lesson

manual. Each lesson included manipulative work with words from developmental word

lists that could be used to build decoding skills. The developmental word lists were

composed of pseudo words and real words. The instructor taught the students to use

magnetic letters to help them understand how letters come together to form words.

Students formed pseudo words and real words using the magnetic letters and then









manipulated the letters to form new pseudo words and real words. Throughout the initial

steps, students focused on changing only the initial phoneme (onset), then progressed to

changing the final phoneme, and finally to changing the medial phonemes. The instructor

guided students in both encoding and decoding words. Each lesson was redesigned to

limit the decisions the instructor would have to make during the session. The redesigned

lessons allowed the instructors to be consistent in their presentation of the intervention.

The time needed to implement the lesson ranged from 10 to 15 minutes.

This section provides a description of the instructional procedures for the treatment

group for all four steps of the lesson. The lesson scripts for all lessons may be found in

Appendix E.

Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. The instructor guided students in spelling

and reading short words accurately. Words with consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC)

letter combinations were practiced. In later sessions, words included CVVC and CVCe

combinations, as well. Each lesson highlighted two rime patterns for encoding and

decoding practice

Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. The instructor guided students in

spelling and reading short words quickly. The emphasis in this step was on developing

automaticity.

Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. The instructor guided students in

spelling and reading long words accurately. The words in this step used the same rime

patterns as in the previous steps, but the onsets of the words included consonant blends

and digraphs.









Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. The instructor guided students

in spelling and reading long words quickly. Again, the words in this step used the same

rime patterns as in the previous steps, but the onsets of the words included consonant

blends and digraphs. The emphasis in this step was on developing automaticity.

Control Group

This group served as a true no-treatment control. The only reading intervention this

group received was the instruction that occurred in their regular classroom or

supplemental work that was provided by school personnel. The control group students

participated in all pretest and posttest measures.

Fidelity of Treatment

Observations were conducted throughout the course of the study to ensure that the

intervention was implemented consistently and followed the procedures outlined in the

design of the study. Each instructor was observed for a minimum of three times

throughout the study. A checklist was used to indicate that all steps in each intervention

were followed. The checklist for the treatment fidelity checks is provided in Appendix F.

The fidelity treatment score was 100% for all instructors.

Treatment of the Data

The data were analyzed to determine if any significant differences existed on

outcome measures between the treatment group (word work with manipulative letters)

and the no-treatment control group. Pretest data were collected on each participant at the

beginning of the study. The group means on all pretest measures were compared to

determine if significant differences between groups existed.

The pretest measures were used as covariates, and a series of analyses of

covariance (ANCOVA) were conducted on each of the dependent variables: (a)









phonological processing, (b) decoding skill, (c) automaticity with decoding, (d) sight

word automaticity, and (e) passage reading fluency (oral). An additional measure, reading

comprehension, was conducted at posttest only. The comparisons that were made for

each hypothesis are illustrated in Table 5.

Table 5. Design for Testing the Null Hypothesis using a Series of Analyses of
Covariance (ANCOVAs)
Dependent Variable Treatment group Control Group
Pretest Posttest Pretest Posttest
Phonological H1: There will be no statistically significant difference between
Processing groups on measures of phonological processing.

Decoding H2: There will be no statistically significant difference between
Accuracy groups on measures of decoding skill.

Decoding H3: There will be no statistically significant difference between
Automaticity groups on measures of automaticity with decoding.

Sight Word H4: There will be no statistically significant difference between
Automaticity groups on measures of sight word automaticity.

Passage Reading H5: There will be no statistically significant difference between
Fluency groups on measures of passage reading fluency (oral).

Passage H6: There will be no statistically significant difference between
Comprehension groups on measures of passage comprehension.














CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

Introduction

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of word work with

manipulative letters on reading skills. Specifically, does an intervention designed to

increase word reading accuracy and automaticity influence passage reading fluency? The

target population in the study was students at risk for reading disability. The experiment

examined the following reading skills for the effects of the intervention: (a) phonological

processing, (b) decoding accuracy, (c) decoding automaticity, (d) sight word

automaticity, (e) passage reading fluency, and (f) reading comprehension. Six hypotheses

from the reading skills were formed and tested.

To answer the principal research question stated above, the data were analyzed to

determine if there were any significant differences on outcome measures between the

treatment group and the control group. The treatment group received explicit and direct

instructions in context with a four-step intervention that included manipulative word

work. The control group only received instruction or supplemental work from classroom

personnel and none from the research team.

This chapter includes the results of the statistical analyses of the data from this

study. In addition to the statistical analyses, data from social validity and procedural

reliability measures are included.









Statistical Analyses of Data

A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine if group

differences existed at pretest. Group means on all pretest measures were calculated.

Analyses of the one-way ANOVA disclosed that no significant differences between

groups existed on any pretest measure. Table 6 provides a summary of the one-way

ANOVA of group means at pretest.

Table 6. Summary of ANOVA of Pretest Measures (Between Groups)
Group N Mean Std. F p
Deviation


PreElision


PreWord
Attack

PreRapid
Digit
Naming

PreRapid
Letter
Naming

PrePhonemic


PreSight


PreORF 1


PreORF2


.00
1.00

.00
1.00

.00
1.00


.00
1.00


.00
1.00

.00
1.00

.00
1.00

.00
1.00


(Ctrl)
(TX)


7.4792
7.4200

98.6667
98.7600

9.0208
8.6600


1.8449
2.9972

11.6589
14.0808

1.9405
2.6234


8.9375 2.6045
8.4600 2.5088


89.7917
88.7143

89.4583
88.0200

67.7708
61.7400

52.5000
45.3000


10.3676
11.2805

13.0383
15.4675

32.2017
36.9085

27.2412
33.3866


A series of analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted on the following

dependent measures: (a) phonological processing, (b) decoding accuracy, (c) decoding


.014


.001


.595



.855



.240


.247


.740


1.362


.972


.442



.358



.626


.621


.392


.246









automaticity, (d) sight word automaticity, and (e) passage reading fluency. The covariate,

pretest, had a corresponding measure for each dependent variable to calculate the

ANCOVAs.

In addition to the analyses of covariance, two subtests of the Dynamic Indicators of

Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) were administered at posttest only. An ANOVA

was conducted for each of the Oral Retell Fluency (ORF) subtests of the DIBELS.

A description of the results for each measure is described in the following sections.

The results are organized according to the hypotheses used in the study: (a) phonological

processing, (b) decoding accuracy, (c) decoding automaticity, (d) sight word

automaticity, (e) passage reading fluency, and (f) reading comprehension.

Phonological Processing

The Elision and Rapid Naming subtests of the CTOPP were administered at pretest

and posttest. A test of significant differences between groups was conducted using an

ANCOVA. Each skill of phonological processing was considered a separate construct,

and as a result, each ANCOVA was treated separately. The summary of the ANCOVAs

for Phonological Processing is provided in Table 7, Table 8, and Table 9. The analysis for

the Elision subtest did not reveal a significant group effect (F=.888, 1, 95, p=.348). The

analysis for Rapid Digit Naming did not reveal a significant group effect (F=.423, 1, 95,

p=.517). Next, the summary for the ANCOVA for Rapid Letter Naming did not reveal a

significant group effect (F=.157, 1, 95, p=.693).









Table 7. Summary of ANCOVA for Elision (CTOPP)
Source Type III df Mean
Sum of Squares Square
Corrected 164.251 2 82.125
Model
Intercept 215.067 1 215.067

PreElision 160.988 1 160.988

Group 3.833 1 3.833

Error 409.882 95 4.315

Total 7757.000 98

Corrected 574.133 97
Total

Table 8. Summary of ANCOVA for Rapid Digit Namin
Source Type III df Mean
Sum of Squares Square
Corrected 335.013 2 167.507
Model
Intercept 26.003 1 26.003

PreRapid 334.599 1 334.599
Digit
Naming
Group .631 1 .631

Error 141.681 95 1.491

Total 8742.000 98

Corrected 476.694 97
Total


F

19.035

49.847

37.313

.888


g (CTOPP)
F

112.317

17.436

224.356


p

.000

.000

.000

.348


p

.000

.000

.000









Table 9. Summary of ANCOVA for Rapid Letter Naming (CTOPP)
Source Type III df Mean F p
Sum of Squares Square
Corrected 277.047 2 138.524 57.857 .000
Model
Intercept 90.676 1 90.676 37.873 .000

PreRapid 276.140 1 276.140 115.335 .000
Letter
Naming
Group .375 1 .375 .157 .693

Error 227.453 95 2.394

Total 8825.000 98

Corrected 504.500 97
Total

Decoding Accuracy

The Word Attack subtest of the WDRB administered at pretest and posttest to

measure decoding skills. A test of significant differences between groups was conducted

using an ANCOVA. The summary of the ANCOVA for Decoding Accuracy is provided

in Table 10. The analysis for the Word Attack Subtest did not reveal a significant group

effect (F=.013, 1, 95, p=.910).

Decoding Automaticity

The Phonemic Decoding Efficiency subtest of the Test of Word Reading

Efficiency was used to measure decoding automaticity. An ANCOVA was conducted to

determine if significant differences between groups existed at posttest. The summary of

the ANCOVA for Phonemic Decoding Efficiency is provided in Table 11. The analysis

did not reveal a significant group effect (F=.537, 1, 94, p=.466).









Table 10. Summary of ANCOVA for Word
Source Type III df
Sum of Squares
Corrected 13518.577 2
Model
Intercept 202.890 1

PreWord 13516.348 1
Attack
Group 1.144 1

Error 8388.689 95

Total 1033762.000 98

Corrected 21907.265 97
Total


Attack (WDRB)
Mean
Square
6759.288

202.890

13516.348

1.144

88.302


Table 11. Summary of ANCOVAfor Phonemic Decoding Efficiency (TOWRE)
Source Type III df Mean F p
Sum of Squares Square
Corrected 6980.736 2 3490.368 59.406 .000
Model
Intercept 819.286 1 819.286 13.944 .000

PrePhonemic 6978.697 1 6978.697 118.778 .000

Group 31.540 1 31.540 .537 .466

Error 5522.893 94 58.754

Total 886789.000 97

Corrected 12503.629 96
Total

Sight Word Automaticity

The Sight Word Efficiency subtest of the TOWRE was used to measure sight

word automaticity. An ANCOVA was conducted to determine if significant differences

between groups existed at posttest. The summary of the ANCOVA for Sight Word


F

76.547

2.298

153.070

.013


p

.000

.133

.000

.910









Efficiency is provided in Table 12. The analysis did not reveal a significant group effect

(F=.265, 1, 95, p=.608).

Table 12. Summary of ANCOVA for Sight Word Efficiency (TOWRE)
Source Type III df Mean F p
Sum of Squares Square
Corrected 19152.248 2 9576.124 334.290 .000
Model
Intercept 107.725 1 107.725 3.761 .055

PreSight 19134.135 1 19134.135 667.948 .000

Group 7.580 1 7.580 .265 .608

Error 2721.385 95 28.646

Total 888930.000 98

Corrected 21873.633 97
Total

Passage Reading Fluency

Two pretest and posttest measures of oral reading fluency were administered. The

measures were timed readings selected from the first and second grade DIBELS reading

measure. A series of ANCOVAs were conducted to determine if significant differences

between groups existed at posttest. Each skill of oral reading fluency is considered to be a

separate construct, as a result, each ANCOVA is treated separately. The summary of the

ANCOVA for First Grade DIBELS is provided in Table 13. The analysis did not reveal a

significant group effect (F=.324, 1, 95, p=.570). In addition, the summary for the

ANCOVA for Second Grade DIBELS is provided in Table 14. The analysis did not

reveal a significant group effect (F=.636, 1, 95, p=.427).









Table 13. Summary of ANCOVA for First Grade DIBELS-Timed Readings
Source Type III df Mean F p
Sum of Squares Square
Corrected 98147.740 2 49073.870 186.565 .000
Model
Intercept 4814.857 1 4814.857 18.305 .000

PreORF1 97337.576 1 97337.576 370.049 .000

Group 84.992 1 84.992 .324 .570

Error 24988.760 95 263.040

Total 664977.000 98

Corrected 123136.500 97
Total


Table 14. Summary of ANCOVA for Second
Source Type III df
Sum of Squares
Corrected 90359.097 2
Model
Intercept 9184.905 1

PreORF2 89852.654 1

Group 171.733 1

Error 25657.679 95

Total 560776.000 98

Corrected 116016.776 97
Total


Grade DIBELS-Timed Readings
Mean F
Square
45179.548 167.282

9184.905 34.008

89852.654 332.688

171.733 .636

270.081


In addition to criterion measures for Passage Reading Fluency, the Oral Retell

subtest of the DIBELS was administered at posttest only. A test of significant differences

was conducted using an ANOVA. The summary of the ANOVAs for Oral Retell Fluency

is provided in Table 15. The analysis did not reveal any significant group effects for First

Grade Oral Retell Fluency and Second Grade Oral Retell Fluency (p=.773; p=.591).


p

.000

.000

.000

.427









Table 15. Summary of ANOVA of Posttest Measures (Between Groups) Oral Retell
Fluency
Group N Mean Std. F p
Deviation
RETELL1 .00 (Ctrl) 48 42.6458 26.1245 .084 .773
1.00 (TX) 50 41.1000 26.8010

RETELL2 .00 48 38.1250 20.9687 .291 .591
1.00 50 35.7600 22.3968


The lack of statistical significance (p>.05 ) for the ANCOVAs computed for the

study prompted the researcher to statistically search for other group variances that might

have been overlooked. In an attempt to control for extraneous variables, paired samples t-

tests were the next step to thoroughly examine the study for statistical significance

between pretest and posttest.

The summary of the paired samples t-test for pretest and posttest differences is

provided in Table 16. The analyses revealed a significant increase from pretest to

posttest for the treatment group on all reading measures (p<.05). Statistical significance

was found for the control group with the exception of Rapid Digit Naming and Rapid

Letter Naming. Although there might be a slight difference for Rapid Digit Naming and

Rapid Letter Naming for the control group, the difference was not significantly different.









Table 16. Summary of Paired Samples t-test
Treatment Group
Reading Measures t df p
Sig. (2-tailed)
PreElision-PostElision -3.330 49 .002*

PreRapidDigitNaming- -2.571 49 .013*
PostRapidDigitNaming

PreRapidLetterNaming- -3.420 49 .001*
PostRapidLetterNaming

PreWordAttack- -2.226 49 .031*
PostWordAttack

PreSight-PostSight -6.624 49 .000*

PrePhonemic- -6.174 48 .000*
PostPhonemic

PreORFl-PostORF1 -4.083 49 .000*

PreORF2-PostORF2 -8.301 49 .000*

*Significant at the p<.05 level


t

-3.31

-1.19w


Control Group
df p
Sig. (2-tailed)
8 47 .002*

9 47 .237


-1.237 47 .222


-2.083 47 .043*


-7.721

-4.009


-4.189

-7.560


.000*

.000*


.000*

.000*


Procedural Reliability

Procedural reliability for each instructor was measured by a trained individual

three times during the course of the intervention. The data were gathered by observations

that measured procedural reliability for the treatment lessons only. Each observation

consisted of a checklist being completed to indicate whether each component of the

treatment lesson was implemented according to the study specifications.

The instructors in the treatment group were observed a total of 15 times. The

standard score for procedural reliability was posted at 100%. The observations

demonstrated that the instructors followed the lesson plans from the manual as prescribed









by the study. Each instructor used manipulative letters with the students in the treatment

condition only.

Social Validity

The data concerning social validity were gathered from instructor feedback

(treatment group) and classroom teacher feedback. Participants, students receiving

treatment, were interviewed to measure outcome validity from the students' perspective.

The results of these surveys are reported in the following sections.

Instructor Survey Results

Instructors completed a survey at the conclusion of the study to report their views

of the instructional procedures. In addition, the instructors provided feedback on each

lesson component in terms of its importance for helping struggling readers with oral

reading fluency. Results of the instructor surveys are reported in Table 17.

Table 17. Results of the Intervention Instructor Survey
How important did you feel each part of the lesson is in supporting the development of
good readers?

Not important Somewhat Important Very important
important
Magnetic Letter 6
Work

How would you rate each component of the lesson in terms of its implementation?

Very difficult Difficult Easy Very Easy

Magnetic Letter 3 3
Work









Table 17. Continued
Lesson procedures and study implementation?
Strongly Disagree Agree Strongly
disagree Agree
It is important to have the 3 3
letters divided in the storage
box
It is important to have the 1 1 4
letters presorted onto the
magnetic boards
It is important to have letters of 3 3
the same color
The personnel at the school 1 1 2 2
were helpful scheduling and
facilitating lesson
implementation
The personnel at the school 1 4
were helpful scheduling and
facilitating assessment
administration
My participation in this project 3 3
should prove to be beneficial to
me in my profession

Teacher Surveys

Eight educators were asked to view a lesson and complete a survey on the

acceptability and usefulness of the programmed intervention. The surveyed personnel

included classroom teachers. The survey focused on procedural acceptability and the

usefulness of the intervention in developing fluent readers. The results of the survey

indicated 100% of the teachers supporting the intervention as helpful in developing good

readers and an acceptable intervention for use in the classroom. In the section for

implementation of the intervention, only one teacher found it to be difficult. The

teacher's answer was based on cost measures for whole class use. The survey

demonstrated that over 50% of the teachers are using an instructional intervention similar

to the study. Overall, the teachers reported that they would be more than willing to use an









intervention like the study as part of their reading instruction. The results of the teacher

surveys are reported in Table 18.

Table 18. Results of the Teacher Surveys
Word Work with Manipulative Letters

Yes No

Do you feel that this lesson is helpful in supporting the 8
development of good readers?
Would you consider this component easy to implement? 7 1

In your reading instruction, do you already use a strategy 5 3
similar to this component of the lesson?
Would you be willing to use a strategy like this as part of 8
your reading instruction?
Overall, do you consider this an acceptable intervention 8
for use in a classroom like yours?

Student Interviews

The students (participants) were interviewed at the conclusion of the study to

gather their perceptions of the intervention with manipulative letters. The interviewer

presented the students with the manipulative letters in the treatment format and asked a

series of four questions. The questions were designed to gather information concerning

the students' knowledge of the treatment, transfer of skill for reading, and reading

fluency. The results of the student interview are provided in Table 19.

Summary

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of word work with

manipulative letters on passage reading fluency of struggling second-grade students. The

reading skills assessed were phonological processing, decoding accuracy, decoding

automaticity, sight word automaticity, and passage reading fluency. Additionally,









procedural reliability and social validity measures were taken to substantiate the

acceptability and usefulness of the program intervention.

The results of the statistical analyses indicated that students who received

instruction (treatment) of word work with manipulative letters on reading skills did not

score significantly higher than those not receiving the treatment. Using a one-way

ANOVA, no significant differences were found between the groups at Pretest. The

reading measures of phonological processing, decoding accuracy, decoding automaticity,

sight word automaticity, and passage reading fluency failed to yield significant effects

when tests of ANCOVAs were run to investigate statistical differences. In addition,

ANOVAs used to search for a variance between Oral Retell Fluency at the first- and

second-grade levels also yielded no significant effects.

Table 19. Results of Student Interviews
Why do you think we were using the magnetic letters?

Student 1 To learn our letters and to see how to sound out words fast and write them.
Student 2 To spell words, to help read words.
Student 3 Spelling.
Student 4 To help us spell words and so that we can learn how to spell.
Student 5 To learn, to teach us something better.
Student 6 To help us spell.
Student 7 To spell words with.
Student 8 To help us spell.
Student 9 We need them.
Student 10 Help us learn and spell.
Student 11 Learn some more words.
Student 12 They help you spell, to you how to learn.
Student 13 Help me to learn.
Student 14 To learn how to spell and read stuff
Student 15 To learn ABCs.
Student 16 To learn to spell things.
Student 17 To learn how to spell.
Student 18 To help understand the words.
Student 19 To make words
Student 20 To help me learn how to take out words and spell words.









Table 19. Continued.
Why do you think we were using the magnetic letters?


Student 21
Student 22
Student 23
Student 24
Student 25


To spell words.
To help people learn to spell.
For words.
To know how to spell.
To read faster.


Do you think the work with magnetic letters helped you Yes No
recognize words? 25

Did the work with the magnetic letters help you read Faster Slower
words... 23 2

Did working with the magnetic letters help you with Yes No
your reading? 25














CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION

This chapter provides a discussion of the findings and implications of the effects of

word work with manipulative letters on the reading skills of second-grade reading

students who are at risk for developing passage reading fluency. First, the hypotheses

and the results of the study are summarized. Next, the theoretical implications of the

findings are described. Last, the limitations and implications from the study are addressed

for future research.

Summary of the Hypotheses and Results

This study was conducted to answer the following research question: Does an

intervention designed to increase word reading accuracy and automaticity influence

passage reading fluency? The following null hypotheses were tested at the .05 level of

confidence.

H1: There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of

phonological processing between subjects who receive word work instruction using

manipulative letters and subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative

letters.

Three measures were used to assess the skills associated with phonological

processing: (a) elision, (b) rapid letter naming, and (c) rapid digit naming. Each reading

measure was treated independently because it measured a different level of decoding

accuracy. Analysis of the data revealed that significant group differences did not exist on









measures of phonological processing. The scores from the ANCOVAs substantiated the

acceptance of the null hypothesis.

H2: There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of decoding

skill between subjects who receive word work instruction using manipulative letters and

subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative letters.

The Word Attack subtest of the Woodcock Diagnostic Reading Battery was used to

assess the skills associated with decoding accuracy. Analysis of the data revealed that

significant group differences did not exist on measures of word attack. The results from

the ANCOVAs substantiated the acceptance of the null hypothesis.

H3: There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of automaticity

with decoding between subjects who receive word work instruction using manipulative

letters and subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative letters.

Analysis of the data (ANCOVA) did not reveal significant differences between

groups on the measure of decoding automaticity, the Phonemic Decoding Efficiency

subtest of the Test of Word Reading Efficiency. However, the pretest means for the

control group was slightly higher on the measure of phonemic decoding efficiency than

those for the treatment group. This effect may have been due to a slight variance in the

scores of the control group. The analysis of treatment by covariate interaction did not

reveal a significant difference between the groups for decoding automaticity, resulting in

the acceptance of the null hypothesis.

H4: There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of sight word

automaticity between subjects who receive word work instruction using manipulative

letters and subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative letters.









The analysis of the data (ANOVA) for between-group differences at pretest did not

reveal any group differences on the measure of sight word automaticity, the Sight Word

Efficiency subtest of the Test of Word Reading Efficiency. The analysis of treatment by

covariate interaction did not reveal a significant difference for sight word automaticity,

which resulted in the acceptance of the null hypothesis.

H5: There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of passage

reading fluency between subjects who receive word work instruction using manipulative

letters and subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative letters.

Initial analysis of the data (ANOVA) did not reveal significant differences between

groups on the measures of oral passage reading fluency. However, the pretest means for

the control group were higher than the treatment group on the measures of oral reading

fluency of both first grade and second grade passages. This effect may have been due to a

larger variance in the scores of the control group. The analysis of treatment by covariate

interaction did not reveal a significant difference between the groups for passage reading

fluency, which resulted in the acceptance of the null hypothesis.

H6: There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of passage

reading comprehension between subjects who receive word work instruction using

manipulative letters and subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative

letters.

Comprehension was measure using the Oral Retell portion of the Oral Reading

Fluency measure from the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills. Analysis

of variance revealed no group differences on the comprehension measure. The null

hypothesis could not be rejected.









The lack of statistically significant differences between the treatment and control

groups was an unexpected finding. Given the consistently positive results from previous

studies of manipulative letter interventions (e.g., Lane et al., 2003; Pullen, 2000; Pullen et

al., 2003), the absence of statistically significant differences in this study was puzzling.

This chapter will explore some of the possible explanations for the conflicting findings.

Theoretical Implications of the Research Findings

This study was based on a Connectionist theory of reading. Adams's connectionist

model of the reading process demonstrates the connections that should be developed in

the reading system. Adams's model includes four cognitive processors as the units that

need to be strengthened by connections to provide skilled reading: orthographic

processing, meaning processing, phonological processing, and context processing. The

intervention in this study focused on improving the skills of accuracy and automaticity, in

an attempt to strengthen the connections between processing units for at risk readers.

The orthographic processor is the first component of the reading process in the

Adams model. This is where letters and letter patterns are processed for reading. The

reader views the letter or string of letters for identification. During the identification and

confirmation process, the letter recognition unit passes on information to the meaning

processor and phonological processor to help with confirmation. The basic process of

letter identification evolves with general usage and familiarity that develops strong

connections between the orthographic processor, meaning processor, and the

phonological processor in the form of automaticity. The ability to decipher the print

accurately through the orthographic processor enhances operating capacity of the other

processing units and further strengthens the cognitive connections (Hook & Jones, 2002).









The orthographic processor in the Adams model aids the reader with interletter

associations and understanding. This processor allows the reader to distinguish between a

letter and multiple letters that are grouped for interpretation. Without this strategy, word

recognition, spelling, and the simultaneous effect of identifying successive letters in a

word stimulating visual recognition will not work properly. Visually encoding a letter or

groups of letters is of little use when it is processed as a random letter or unrelated group

of letters. Through the repeated use of the information acquired through orthographic

processing, information in the form of a letter or strings of letters activates meaning units

that run back and forth from the initiator orthographicc processor) to the meaning

processor to access and confirm meaning. The travel between the two processors is the

connection that enhances reading.

The meaning processor in the reading model operates similar to the orthographic

processor. Its processing units do not immediately interpret whole, familiar words. In an

example, spellings of familiar words are represented in the orthographic processor as

interassociated sets of letters. The meaning processor's "meanings" of familiar words are

represented in the meaning processor too, as interassociated sets of meaning elements.

The meaning processor generates information for a word or letters by combining all of

the knowledge and processing the reader has applied to the text. The meaning processor

enhances orthographic and phonological operations by maximizing the knowledge, skill,

and interpretive control the reader will use in the reading process (Adams, 1990).

According to Adams (1990), the context processor is the unit responsible for

constructing coherent ongoing interpretation of the text. It sends information to the

meaning processor in an effort to help with speed automaticityy) and interpretation. The









context processor can respond to orthographic processing while connecting to the

meaning processor in a simultaneous manner. This response can be aided by the meaning

of letters, words, or sentences in context to help the meaning processor and orthographic

processor with recognition and understanding. The connections between the processors

help the reader by linking operational units that become stronger with the connection to

process words for reading (Wolf & Katzir-Cohen, 2001).

The phonological processor is the final factor in Adams's reading theory. The

phonological processor aids in the production of speech from text based on the

coordination of the orthographic and meaning processor. The phonological processor

takes letters or letter patterns as input from the orthographic processor. A response is

generated from any and all pronunciations that are related to that letter or spelling pattern.

The connection from the phonological processor to the orthographic processor relies on

the quality of orthographic information it receives, the number of different responses

elicited by the orthographic processor, and the familiarity of the responses. The speed and

strength of the responses is associated with connection of the orthographic, phonological,

and meaning processor working together. These three processors are working on the

same thing at the same time to produce reading. Furthermore, each processor will guide

and facilitate the efforts of the other. The direct connections between the orthographic

and phonological processors aid in making phonological activation automatic and

immediate. This response is directly related to the engagement of visual word

processing. The connections between the meaning and phonological processor

demonstrate the same effect by activating the meaning of a word as quickly as it is

spoken. The phonological processor provides an alphabetic backup system to enhance









speed automaticityy) and accuracy for reading through its connections with all the units in

the reading system.

The intervention in this study was developed to strengthen the connections between

the orthographic and phonological processing units so that second-grade, at-risk readers

could develop passage reading fluency and skilled reading as described by Adams

(1990). The intervention for the experimental group included instructional methods that

were based on empirical evidence. The intervention included explicit instructions,

practice in decoding and encoding words, and practice to develop automaticity and

accuracy. The manipulative letters, the multisensory component, were only used with the

treatment group for the word work. According to Pullen (2000), the use of manipulative

letters helps make the abstract concept of phoneme-grapheme relationship concrete,

while strengthening the connections among the orthographic, phonological, and meaning

processors.

The use of manipulative materials in reading is supported by researchers as a

worthwhile strategy to help develop reading skills (Mercer & Mercer, 2001; Orton, 1937;

Pinnel & Fountas, 1998; Pullen, 2000). In addition, the Pullen (2000) study provided

empirical evidence in support of manipulative letters as effective in strengthening the

connections between the orthographic, phonological, and meaning processors to help

improve reading. This study isolated the word work with manipulative letters as an

independent variable to determine the effects of its use on the passage reading fluency of

second-grade, at-risk readers.

The results of the statistical analyses did not validate the hypotheses regarding the

use of word work with manipulative letters as effective in improving reading skills. The









ability of the intervention to strengthen the connections among the orthographic

processor, phonological processor, and the meaning processor was not evident from the

results. At the onset of the study, the treatment and the control groups did not show any

significant group differences. That finding indicated that the groups were starting at

approximately the same level. The after treatment statistical analyses did not reveal any

differences between the treatment and the control groups. The data confirmed the

acceptance of the null hypotheses stated earlier, because the statistical analysis did not

demonstrate an effect of treatment. The control group's performance on the reading

measures was in the same range as those of the treatment group, despite the intervention.

The results of the between-group differences (ANCOVAs) were particularly interesting

because they were in contrast to the results from the Pullen (2000) study. In addition,

oral retell was tested to gain information on the comprehension growth of the participants

in the study. The results from the analysis did not demonstrate any significant effects.

This study did produce statistical significance for the treatment group when the

means were compared. The pretest-posttest differences for the intervention using a paired

sample t-test were statistically significant (p<.05). The analysis revealed a significant

increase from pretest to posttest. The results provide evidence that learning was taking

place, but given the lack of statistically significant difference between the treatment and

control groups, these gains could not be attributed to the manipulative letter intervention.

Limitations to the Present Study

This study had several substantial limitations. The first limitation to the study

was the possible dilution of effects due to too much time between sessions. The schedule

for the study was designed to run for 10 weeks. Due to the myriad scheduling and

staffing difficulties, students in the treatment group did not receive a consistent schedule









of 4 lessons per week. Given the problems with implementation, it is impossible to

conclude whether the lack of statistically significant differences was due to weaknesses in

the intervention itself or to weaknesses in the implementation. The study timeline

exceeded the schedule design by the researcher and ended up lasting 18 weeks; therefore,

students received on average of only 2.2 lessons per week. The reduction in intensity of

the treatment very likely weakened the effects of the intervention for students who are

struggling to learn to read, as the most effective interventions are usually the most

intensive (Foorman & Torgesen, 2001).

A second limitation to the study was that the intervention employed was designed

to strengthen connections between the orthographic and phonological processors. The

design of the intervention used isolated skill practice to accomplish this goal. Other

studies with significant effects engaged the meaning processor by connecting the isolated

skill practice to meaningful context. Adams (1990) describes the importance of the

circular connectivity among the orthographic, phonological, and meaning processors and

the development of automaticity of these connections. The lack of engagement of the

meaning processor in this intervention may have contributed to the lack of statistically

significance differences between the groups.

A third limitation to the study was the effect of history and concurrent instruction

(Dooley, 2001; Lyon & Moats, 1997). During the timeframe for the intervention the

schools were preparing for the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test (FCAT). The

teachers were observed teaching word recognition skills to the students in an attempt to

equip them with the skills to improve their exam scores. This effect must be addressed

because the same skills (decoding and encoding) were being reinforced for the control









group through classroom efforts. The effect has the potential to undermine the scores

needed to separate the treatment group from the control group for levels of statistical

significance (Dooley, 2001).

A fourth limitation to the study was the effect of the setting and small group

instruction (Dooley, 2001; Lyon & Moats, 1997). The small group instruction (3-4 per

group) was provided outside of the classroom in a highly controlled environment, unlike

the general setting of a regular classroom. The transfer of effect could have been

diminished, because the skills were taught and reinforced in different settings. In

addition, the results of this study were limited to small group interventions because the

element of large group interventions were not observed.

A fifth limitation to the study was the participation of second-grade students only.

The results cannot be generalized to younger or older students. Early literacy is known to

be very important for reading development with children before second grade (Adams,

1990; Snow et al., 1998; Stein, Johnson, & Gutlohn, 1999) and critical for older students

beyond second grade (Lyon, 1998; Mercer et al., 2000). The results from this study

cannot be generalized to other groups in the population because of its grade restriction.

Implications for Future Research

The results and limitations of this study provide implications for future research.

The use of word work with manipulative letters on reading skills has a mixed review.

Conclusive evidence was not found to suggest this intervention be used to help second-

grade at-risk readers develop the skills needed to improve passage reading fluency. In

contrast, the Pullen (2000) study found effects that supported the use of developing

reading skills with the aid of manipulatives to be quite supportive. The Pullen study also

taught the skills in context with the reading of connected text. Her study demonstrated the









statistical significance needed to validate the use of manipulative letters to teach decoding

skills, so perhaps giving students an opportunity to apply their skills as they learn them is

an essential element of manipulative letter work. Perhaps her inclusion of practice in a

meaningful context promoted both acquisition and transfer of skills (Stokes & Baer,

1977). This issue warrants further investigation.

Research has shown beyond a doubt that fluent, accurate decoding is a benchmark

of skilled reading (Adams, 1990; Chard & Osbom, 1999a; Snow et al., 1998). Automatic

word recognition is also a major contributor to skilled reading with help from

phonological awareness to increase the decoding connections (Adams, 1990; Levy et al.,

1997; Torgesen et al., 1999). The study strategically targeted the development of

accuracy and automaticity for skilled reading by developing the skills of decoding and

encoding. The limitations to the study identified the problems that hindered the research.

The study should be replicated and redesigned to address the limitations to clearly

determine its value to the field because word reading skills have been identified as

precursors to reading fluency (Chall, 1996: Kuhn & Stahl, 2000; Speece et al., 2003).

Summary

This study was conducted to examine the effects of word work with manipulative

letters on the reading skills of second-grade at-risk readers. The ANOVA results

indicated that the control and treatments groups did not have existing differences at

pretest. That is a positive factor to add power to the study. Using ANCOVA, the

treatment group was not found to have statistically significant differences from the

control group on the posttest reading measures. However, statistical significance was

found in the computations of paired samples t-test to measure the academic learning

growth from the pretest to the posttest for the treatment group. The t-tests showed









significant growth for the control group on all of its measures except Rapid Digit Naming

and Rapid letter Naming. This finding was important because it confirmed that the

students were learning during the intervention period.

Questions measuring the value of the study to society had very positive responses

from the instructors, teachers, and participants. The instructors gave an overwhelming

response of support regarding the importance of the intervention lessons for the

development of good readers. The teachers' responses to the study gave overall support

for the use of the treatment as a viable intervention and strategy to develop reading

fluency. The participants from the research recognized the treatment as a tool to help

them with reading and an isolated strategy for the development of decoding and

encoding. All of the responses for social validity were positive and generated much

enthusiasm toward the use of the intervention for reading fluency. The intervention, word

work with manipulative letters, has the potential of becoming an important tool for the

development of reading fluency and the social popularity to be accepted by all.

Additional research should be conducted to further identify the instructional elements that

make this method effective.















APPENDIX A
PARENTAL INFORMED CONSENT DOCUMENT

Dear Parent/Guardian
I am a doctoral student in the Department of Special Education at the University
of Florida. One of my areas of interest is the development of instructional methods in
beginning reading. I will be implementing an intervention project that evaluates the use
of magnetic letters in beginning reading instruction. Participation in this study may
directly help your child in the development of the abilities necessary to become a skilled
reader.
In this project, we will conduct informal assessments that indicate your child's
current reading abilities. Students in the intervention group will participate in small
group instruction that includes working with magnetic letters to form words. Student in
the control group will not receive supplemental instruction. The sessions will be
scheduled during the students' regular reading time and will not interfere with other
regular instruction. Although results of the project will be shared with colleagues in the
field of education (e.g., participants educational conferences, university faculty), for the
purpose of confidentiality, your child's name and identity will be kept confidential.
Participation or nonparticipation in this project will not affect your child's
placement in any programs. You and your child have the right to withdraw consent for
participation at any time without consequence. There are no known risks or
compensation for his/her participation in this project. The project will last this entire
school year. Results of the project will be available upon completion of the school year.
If you have any questions about this project, please contact me at (352) 392-
0701. Questions or concerns about research participants' rights may be directed to the
UFIRB office, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611 (352) 392-
0433.

Sincerely,

Barry L. Bogan, M.Ed.

I have read the procedures described above. I voluntary give my consent for my child,
to participate in Mr. Bogan's reading study. I have
received a copy of this description.


Parent/Guardian Date


2nd Parent/Witness Date















APPENDIX B
TEACHER SURVEY

Thank you for agreeing to evaluate the intervention, word work with magnetic letters.
Your opinions and expertise are essential to improving the lessons and procedures. All of
your responses will remain anonymous. Please feel free to call or send an email if you
have any questions.

Barry L. Bogan
392-0701 (office)
384-3953 (home)
barry bogan@hotmail.com

I give permission for my responses on the following survey to be used in dissemination
materials. I understand that my name will not be used in any publication or
dissemination materials.
Print Name & School:

Signature: Date:

Job Description/Setting
Title 1 ESE Classroom ESE Administrator
Resource Resource Teacher Inclusion

Students in my classroom participated in the study. Yes No

As you watch the videotape, please respond to the following questions about each lesson
component. Feel free to provide any additional comments or responses on the back of
this form (indicate question #). Thank you again for your time.

Word Work with Manipulative Letters
1. Do you feel that this lesson is helpful in supporting the development of good
readers? Why or why not?
Yes No

2. Would you consider this component easy to implement?
Yes No

3. In your reading instruction, do you already use a strategy similar to this
component of the lesson?
Yes No






77


4. Would you be willing to use a strategy like this as part of your reading
instruction? Please explain your answer.
Yes No

Overall, do you consider this an acceptable intervention for use in a classroom like
yours? Please explain your response.
Yes No














APPENDIX C
INSTRUCTOR SURVEY

Just as your participation in the first grade intervention study has been critical to the
success of the project, your feedback is important to the future success of the intervention
and further investigations. Please complete the following survey. Your suggestions will
help in modifying the intervention and study procedures. Again, your contributions to
the study have been invaluable.








I give permission for my responses on the following
survey to be used in dissemination materials. I understand that my name will not be used
in any publication or dissemination materials.




Signature Date










How important did you feel each part of the lesson is in supporting the development of
good readers?
Magnetic Letter Work Not important Somewhat important Important Very important

How would your rate each component of the lesson in terms of its implementation

Magnetic Letter Work Very Difficult Difficult Easy Very Easy

In the section below, please consider the lesson procedures and study implementation.
Circle the response that best describes your feeling about the program.

It is important to have the letters divided into the storage box
Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree

It is important to have the letters presorted onto the magnetic boards.
Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree

It is important to have letters of the same color.
Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree

The personnel at the school were helpful scheduling and facilitating lesson
implementation.
Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree

The personnel at the school were helpful scheduling and facilitating assessment
administration.
Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree

My participation in this project should prove to be beneficial to me in my profession.
Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree









1. Describe any modifications to the lesson that would be helpful in supporting the
needs of the learner.






2. Describe any modifications to the lesson that would be helpful in supporting the
needs of the instructor.






3. Describe what you learned about teaching reading.






4. How will you apply this knowledge in your classroom?






5. Describe what you learned about conducting research.


6. How will you apply this knowledge in your classroom?















APPENDIX D
PARTICIPANT INTERVIEW


Duval Elementary School

Student Name

Assessor








1. Why do you think we were using the magnetic letters?


2. Do you think the work with the magnetic letters helped you recognize words?



3. Did the work with the magnetic letters help you read words faster or slower?



4. Did working with the magnetic letters help you with your reading?















APPENDIX E
LESSONS










Lesson I


Prepare each student a tray with the following magneWtic letters:
a b c dd fg h j m n p r s t z


Step 1: Reading and spelling short words.
Say to students, "Today we are going to start by making some short words. Who can show me
how to spell the word ad? What should you do to ad to make sad? Now, change the s in sad to
an m. What word did you make?"

encode decode encode decode
bad dad fad had mad pad sad tad ab cab dab jab lab nab tab
lad

Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly.
Say to students, "Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First
mix all your letters together. Now, let's see who can be the first to spell the word I say."
encode
ad mad pad sad ab lab nab tab
tad had zab

Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words
and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled.


decode
cab dab jab lab bad dad fad had
nab tab lad mad


Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words.
Say to students, "Now, the words are going to start getting a little harder-are you ready? Let's
see if you can spell the word ."
encode decode encode decode
glad prad clad smad blab crab drab grab scab slab

Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly.
Say to students, "Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your
letters together."
encode
blab crab drab clad prad stad

Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words
and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled:


decode
grab scab slab glad smad spad











Lesson 2


Prepare each student a tray with thefollowing magnWtic letters:
b d e fg hj i m n p rs t


Step 1: Reading and spelling shorter words.
Say to students, "Today we are going to start by making some shorter words."


encode decode encode decode
bed fed led red bred bled fled bet get jet met net pet set

Step 2: Reading and spelling shorter words quickly.
Say to students, "Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First
mix all your letters together. Now, let's see who can be the first to spell the word I say."
encode
bred bled fled Met net pet set

Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words
and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled.


decode
bet get jet bed fed led red
Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words.
Say to students, "Now, the words are going to start getting a little harder-are you ready? Let's
see if you can spell the word ."
encode decode encode decode
bled bred fled sled sped fret bret blet smet
shed

Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly.
Say to students, "Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your
letters together."
encode
sled sp ed I blet smet

Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words
and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled:


decode
bled bred fled fret bret
shed











Lesson 3


Prepare each student a tray with thefollowing magnWtic letters:
b c d f ghij k I n p rs t z


Step 1: Reading and spelling shorter words.
Say to students, "Today we are going to start by making some shorter words."


encode decode encode decode
bin din fin gin pin sin tin dip hip lip nip rip sip tip zip

Step 2: Reading and spelling shorter words quickly.
Say to students, "Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First
mix all your letters together. Now, let's see who can be the first to spell the word I say."
encode
pin sin tin rip sip tip zip

Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words
and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled.


decode
bin din fin gin dip hip lip nip
Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words.
Say to students, "Now, the words are going to start getting a little harder-are you ready? Let's
see if you can spell the word ."
encode decode encode decode
chin grin shin skin spin thin blip chip clip drip flip

Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly.
Say to students, "Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your
letters together."
encode
skin spin thin drip flip

Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words
and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled:


decode
chin grin shin blip chip clip











Lesson 4


Prepare each student a tray with thefollowing magnWtic letters:
bc d fghj I m n op rs t


Step 1: Reading and spelling shorter words.
Say to students, "Today we are going to start by making some shorter words."


encode decode encode decode
cob fob gob job lob rob cod mod nod pod rod sod

Step 2: Reading and spelling shorter words quickly.
Say to students, "Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First
mix all your letters together. Now, let's see who can be the first to spell the word I say."
encode
job lob rob I pod rod sod

Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words
and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled.


decode
cob fob gob cod mod nod
Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words.
Say to students, "Now, the words are going to start getting a little harder-are you ready? Let's
see if you can spell the word ."
encode decode encode decode
blob frob glob slob snob clod plod prod shod trod

Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly.
Say to students, "Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your
letters together."
encode
slob snob I prod shod trod

Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words
and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled:


decode
blob frob glob clod prod











Lesson 5


Prepare each student a tray with thefollowing magneWtic letters:
b c d fghj I pr s tu


Step 1: Reading and spelling shorter words.
Say to students, "Today we are going to start by making some shorter words."


encode decode encode decode
cub dub pub rub sub tub bug dug hug jug lug rug tug

Step 2: Reading and spelling shorter words quickly.
Say to students, "Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First
mix all your letters together. Now, let's see who can be the first to spell the word I say."
encode
rub sub tub jug lug rug tug

Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words
and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled.


decode
cub dub pub bug dug hug


Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words.
Say to students, "Now, the words are going to start getting a little harder-
see if you can spell the word


-are you ready? Let's


encode decode encode decode
club drub flub scrub shrub stub chug drug plug slug
grub

Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly.
Say to students, "Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your
letters together."
encode
scrub shrub stub I plug slug

Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words
and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled:


decode
club drub flub chug drug
grub











Lesson 6


Prepare each student a tray with thefollowing magnWtic letters:
abc fhjlmprs t


Step 1: Reading and spelling short words.
Say to students, "Today we are going to start by making some shorter words.


encode decode encode decode
bar car far jar mar par tar at bat cat fat rat pat mat


Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly.
Say to students, "Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First
mix all your letters together. Now, let's see who can be the first to spell the word I say."
encode
mar par tar rat pat mat


Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words
and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled.


decode
bar car far jar at bat cat fat


Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words.
Say to students, "Now, the words are going to start getting a little harder-are you ready? Let's
see if you can spell the word ."
encode decode encode decode
char scar spar star brat chat flat slat

Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly.
Say to students, "Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your
letters together."
encode
spar star flat slat

Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words
and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled:


Decode
char scar brat chat clat











Lesson 7


Prepare each student a tray with thefollowing magneWtic letters:
bcdefghlmnptyw

Step 1: Reading and spelling short words.
Say to students, "Today we are going to start by making some shorter words.


encode decode encode decode
den hen men pen ten yen dew few hew new pew mew


Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly.
Say to students, "Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First
mix all your letters together. Now, let's see who can be the first to spell the word I say."
encode
pen ten yen new pew mew


Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words
and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled.


decode
den hen men dew few hew


Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words.
Say to students, "Now, the words are going to start getting a little harder-
see if you can spell the word


-are you ready? Let's


encode decode encode decode
glen then flen when blew chew flew whew

Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly.
Say to students, "Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your
letters together."
encode
flen when flew whew

Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words
and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled:


decode
glen then blew chew











Lesson 8


Prepare each student a tray with thefollowing magnWtic letters:
bdfghlklmrst

Step 1: Reading and spelling short words.
Say to students, "Today we are going to start by making some shorter words.


encode decode encode decode
bid hid kid mid rid tid bit fit hit kit rit mit


Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly.
Say to students, "Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First
mix all your letters together. Now, let's see who can be the first to spell the word I say."
encode
mid rid tid kit rit mit


Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words
and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled.


Decode
bid hid kid bit fit hit


Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words.
Say to students, "Now, the words are going to start getting a little harder-are you ready? Let's
see if you can spell the word
encode decode encode decode
grid skid slid flid flit grit skit slit smit

Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly.
Say to students, "Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your
letters together."
encode
slid flid skit slit smit

Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words
and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled:


decode
grid skid flit grit











Lesson 9


Prepare each student a tray with thefollowing magnWtic letters:
bddfh I mopprst

Step 1: Reading and spelling short words.
Say to students, "Today we are going to start by making some shorter words.


encode decode encode decode
bop cop fop pop sop top cot dot fot hot lot mot pot
mop

Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly.
Say to students, "Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First
mix all your letters together. Now, let's see who can be the first to spell the word I say."
encode
pop sop top hot lot mot pot


Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words
and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled.


decode
bop cop fop mop cot dot fot


Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words.
Say to students, "Now, the words are going to start getting a little harder-
see if you can spell the word


-are you ready? Let's


encode decode encode decode
chop crop drop flop shop blot clot plot shot slot

Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly.
Say to students, "Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your
letters together."
encode
drop flop shop I plot shot slot

Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words
and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled:


decode
chop crop I blot clot











Lesson 10


Prepare each student a tray with thefollowing magnetic letters:
bcdghlmnrstu

Step 1: Reading and spelling short words.
Say to students, "Today we are going to start by making some shorter words.


encode decode encode decode
bum gum hum rum sum tum but cut gut hut nut rut mut


Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly.
Say to students, "Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First
mix all your letters together. Now, let's see who can be the first to spell the word I say."
encode
rum sum turn nut mut rut


Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words
and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled.


decode
bum gum hum but cut gut hut


Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words.
Say to students, "Now, the words are going to start getting a little harder-are you ready? Let's
see if you can spell the word

encode decode encode decode
chum drum glum slum glut shut smut clut

Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly.
Say to students, "Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your
letters together."
encode
glum slum smut clut

Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words
and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled:


decode
chum drum I glut shut




Full Text

PAGE 1

TEXT-LEVEL EFFECTS OF A WORD-LEVEL DECODING ACCURACY AND AUTOMATICITY INTERVENTION By BARRY L. BOGAN A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2004

PAGE 2

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Many people contributed to the development, design, and completion of this study, and I am most grateful for their efforts. First my dissertation committee stood steadfast in their commitment to ensure that I finish my doctoral studies. Dr. Cecil Mercer, the committee chair, was my source of motivation when I would lose purpose. I will never forget his words, Barry, it is now time to focus and finish. Dr. Holly Lane is most treasured for picking up the mantle of leadership and guidance as my co-chair. I have completed this terminal degree primarily with her overseeing the assignment. Dr. Mary K. Dykes has my sincere thanks for finding me when I could not find myself. I will never forget the days she watched over me as if I were her own child. Dr. Martha League brought a different kind of help to my program by demonstrating her ability to sympathize with my rollercoaster of emotions, and yet try to direct me to stay conscious of achieving my goal. Dr. M. David Miller spoke volumes to my spirit man by believing in me and acknowledging some of the difficult decisions I had to make. The staff at the University of Florida have aided me in grand fashion. I would like to thank the pit for always stepping in to provide material assets, nutritional help, and laughter to get through the day. I shall never forget Vicki Tucker, Shaira Otero-Rivas, and Michell York. Dr. McLeskey has also been there to provide me with some of the best tutoring and mentoring the department has to offer. Dr. McLesky, I consider your efforts an investment in education regarding the big picture. Dr. Penny Cox, I have really appreciated your help getting the formal aspects of the doctoral program ii

PAGE 3

completed. Special thanks to Brian Boyd, Linda Paine, Hoyeon Kim, and Tarcha Rentz, my office mate and daily source of inspiration. I appreciate Stephon and Arlette Jones for providing me with the love and care that a family can give in abundance. Last, I thank my father for being instrumental in helping me become a young man of standards. I appreciate the many lessons on life and the spirituality of man. He once told me to always remember, as you believe it, so shall it be as the words of faith to use as my sword and shield in times of despair. Thanks for giving me the tools to walk through life with the proper character and frame of mind. iii

PAGE 4

TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ..................................................................................................ii LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................vii ABSTRACT .....................................................................................................................viii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO THE PROBLEM.....................................................................1 Rationale for the Study.................................................................................................2 Scope of the Study........................................................................................................3 Delimitations.........................................................................................................4 Limitations.............................................................................................................4 Definition of Terms......................................................................................................4 Overview.......................................................................................................................5 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.............................................................................................7 Introduction...................................................................................................................7 Theoretical and Empirical Basis for Reading Fluency Instruction...............................7 Purpose.........................................................................................................................8 Learning to Read Words...............................................................................................9 What is Reading Fluency?..........................................................................................10 Accuracy..............................................................................................................11 Automaticity with Word Reading.......................................................................13 Reading Rate.......................................................................................................15 Prosody................................................................................................................15 Why Is Fluency Important?........................................................................................16 Relationship With Comprehension......................................................................17 Cognitive Resources/Working Memory..............................................................18 Intervention to Improve Reading Fluency..................................................................19 Repeated Reading Studies...................................................................................19 Other Strategies to Increase Reading Fluency.....................................................27 Why Focus on Word-Level Skills?.............................................................................31 Summary.....................................................................................................................33 iv

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3 METHODS AND PROCEDURES............................................................................34 Introduction.................................................................................................................34 Hypotheses..................................................................................................................34 Research Instrumentation...........................................................................................37 Screening Measure..............................................................................................37 Reading Measures...............................................................................................38 Social Validity Measures.....................................................................................41 Experimental Design..................................................................................................43 Instructional Procedures.............................................................................................43 Instructors............................................................................................................43 Materials..............................................................................................................44 Treatment Group Intervention.............................................................................44 Control Group......................................................................................................46 Fidelity of Treatment...........................................................................................46 Treatment of the Data.................................................................................................46 4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................48 Introduction.................................................................................................................48 Statistical Analyses of Data........................................................................................49 Phonological Processing......................................................................................50 Decoding Accuracy.............................................................................................52 Decoding Automaticity.......................................................................................52 Sight Word Automaticity....................................................................................53 Passage Reading Fluency....................................................................................54 Procedural Reliability.................................................................................................57 Social Validity............................................................................................................58 Instructor Survey Results....................................................................................58 Teacher Surveys..................................................................................................59 Student Interviews...............................................................................................60 Summary.....................................................................................................................60 5 DISCUSSION.............................................................................................................63 Summary of the Hypotheses and Results...................................................................63 Theoretical Implications of the Research Findings....................................................66 Limitations to the Present Study.................................................................................70 Implications for Future Research................................................................................72 Summary.....................................................................................................................73 APPENDIX A PARENTAL INFORMED CONSENT DOCUMENT..............................................75 B TEACHER SURVEY.................................................................................................76 v

PAGE 6

C INSTRUCTOR SURVEY..........................................................................................78 D PARTICIPANT INTERVIEW...................................................................................81 E LESSONS...................................................................................................................82 F CHECKLIST............................................................................................................123 LIST OF REFERENCES.................................................................................................125 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................132 vi

PAGE 7

LIST OF TABLES Table page 1 Descriptive Information for Schools........................................................................36 2 Descriptive Information for Group..........................................................................38 3 Group Assignment by School..................................................................................38 4 Experimental Design................................................................................................43 5 Design for Testing the Null Hypothesis using a Series of Analyses of Covariance (ANCOVAs).............................................................................................................47 6 Summary of ANOVA of Pretest Measures (Between Groups)................................49 7 Summary of ANCOVA for Elision (CTOPP)..........................................................51 8 Summary of ANCOVA for Rapid Digit Naming (CTOPP)....................................51 9 Summary of ANCOVA for Rapid Letter Naming (CTOPP)...................................52 10 Summary of ANCOVA for Word Attack (WDRB).................................................53 11 Summary of ANCOVAfor Phonemic Decoding Efficiency (TOWRE)..................53 12 Summary of ANCOVA for Sight Word Efficiency (TOWRE)...............................54 13 Summary of ANCOVA for First Grade DIBELS-Timed Readings.........................55 14 Summary of ANCOVA for Second Grade DIBELS-Timed Readings....................55 15 Summary of ANOVA of Posttest Measures (Between Groups) Oral Retell Fluency.....................................................................................................................56 16 Summary of Paired Samples t-test...........................................................................57 17 Results of the Intervention Instructor Survey..........................................................58 18 Results of the Teacher Surveys................................................................................60 19 Results of Student Interviews...................................................................................61 vii

PAGE 8

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy TEXT-LEVEL EFFECTS OF A WORD-LEVEL DECODING ACCURACY AND AUTOMATICITY INTERVENTION By Barry L. Bogan August 2004 Chair: Cecil Mercer Cochair: Holly Lane Major Department: Special Education This study examined the effectiveness of a reading intervention using word work with manipulative letters. Participants were 98 second-grade students at risk for reading failure. The four-step intervention model included word work with manipulative letters, explicit coaching in decoding and encoding, word reading strategies, and applied practice to develop automaticity and accuracy. Pretest and posttest data were collected on measures of decoding accuracy, decoding automaticity, sight word automaticity, and passage reading fluency. Analyses revealed no significant group mean differences on the reading measures assessed. The study had several substantial limitations, including dilution of intensity from the planned implementation schedule. Positive social validity results and results from previous studies indicate that word work with manipulative letters may be a promising intervention for at-risk second-grade students trying to develop reading fluency. Further research is warranted. viii

PAGE 9

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO THE PROBLEM Reading is one of the most important skills to be mastered in the age of technological advancement. The importance of learning to read early and well has been emphasized in recent national initiatives such as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 and, in particular, its Reading First component. Reading, unlike language, is a skill that has to be taught; it is not a concept that can be learned by replicating actions of another being (Lyon, 1998). The cognitive processes required for reading consist of complex functions that must be initiated by visual, speech, and mental excitation units that are all interconnected (Adams, 1990). The process of reading requires training and development of higher order cognitive functions that rely on the input of information that must be processed for meaning (Lyon, 1998; Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). The ability to read affords the student the opportunity to become an active participant in school and society; therefore, the ability to read may influence the very likelihood of an individuals successes or failures based generally on its acquisition. In America today, there is a growing concern that children are not achieving fluency in reading (National Reading Panel, 2000). Numerous studies have demonstrated that an alarming number of students are not obtaining fluency as established for grade levels (Manzo & Sack, 1997; Orton Dyslexia Society, 1997). Reading fluency is now recognized by researchers and teachers as a significant factor in developing skilled readers (Kuhn & Stahl, 2000). Lyon (1998) emphasized the academic and social value of helping students become good (fluent) readers where he stated, If a youngster does not 1

PAGE 10

2 learn to read in our literacy-driven society, hope for a fulfilling, productive life diminishes (p. 14). The students who are demonstrating problems with fluency are not only students with learning disabilities. Traditionally, it was believed that students who exhibited reading problems came from socio-economically disadvantaged homes with few books and limited parent participation (Adams, 1990). Lack of literacy experiences in the home contribute to reading difficulties for many students; however, numerous children with vigorous learning experiences, average or above-average aptitude, and early immersion in literacy activities may also have difficulties developing fluency in reading (Adams, 1990; Lyon, 1998). Factors known to contribute to the development of reading fluency include strong early literacy skills (Chall, 1996; Flowers, Meyer, & Lovato, 2001; Snow et al., 1998), extended opportunities for reading practice (Kuhn & Stahl, 2000; Samuels, 2000), and targeted instruction designed to enhance reading fluency (Chard, Vaughn, & Tyler, 2002; Mercer, Campbell, Miller, Mercer, & Lane, 2000; Samuels, 1997; Wolf, Bowers, & Biddle, 2000). Adams (1990) presented a theoretical model of the reading process that is based in a connectionist framework. In this model, the connections, which represent fluency among the various processes involved in reading, must be well developed in order for the entire reading process to work properly. Skilled reading as defined in this model includes highly developed decoding skills as a requirement to achieve reading. Rationale for the Study Most reading researchers would likely agree on a definition of reading fluency that included word reading accuracy, reading rate, and prosody or expression (Hudson, Mercer, & Lane, 2000; Torgesen, Rashotte, & Alexander, 2001). Intervention studies

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3 designed to improve reading fluency have focused almost entirely on increasing reading rate (LaBerge & Samuels, 1974; Samuels, 2000). The inability to decode printed words as required to read can result in poor word identification processes needed for reading (Van der Leij & Van Daal, 1999). Lyon (1998) noted that students who have difficulty decoding have problems developing reading fluency. When decoding skills have not become fast and effortless, the advanced skill levels of reading suffer due to the stalling of cognitive processes needed for reading (LaBerge & Samuels, 1974). Researchers also noted that students who are poor decoders read slowly as they try to match letters to sounds in unrecognizable words, and that may have a negative effect on contextual memory for reading (Meyer & Felton, 1999). To develop reading fluency, the ability to recognize words holistically and with speed must be achieved (Mercer et al., 2000). Adams (1990) noted that the skills being developed through decoding instruction, such as segmenting and blending, relate in a causal way to word recognition and comprehension. In her connectionist model, strong connection between the orthographic and phonological processors is essential to skilled or fluent reading. The purpose of this study was to determine whether an intervention designed to increase word-level accuracy and automaticity can influence text-level fluency. Specifically, this study examined the effects of word work with manipulative letters on passage reading fluency. Scope of the Study This study was conducted within a limited scope. The delimitations and limitations of this research are described in the following sections.

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4 Delimitations This study was delimited by geographical location to one school district in northeast Florida. The school district is considered to be of medium size in comparison to other school districts within the state. The subjects were 101 second-grade students in five schools. The schools selected represent the makeup of the general population of the district in socioeconomic status, gender, and ethnicity. Students were selected based on individual screening assessment scores obtained on the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS). Students who scored below the benchmarks selected on the DIBELS assessment for second-grade were identified as possible participants, upon receipt of parental consent and student assent. Students were randomly assigned to participation groups for the study. No exceptions or special considerations were given for gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or inclusion in a special education program. Limitations This study was conducted with second-grade students who had not developed passage (oral) reading fluency. The results of the study, therefore, cannot be generalized to older or younger students because of the specific selection process. The study was further limited because the intervention was conducted in a small group instructional setting and cannot be generalized to a large group instructional setting. Definition of Terms An understanding of the terminology is important to the analysis and execution of this investigation. The following section defines relevant terms as they apply to this study. Accuracy refers to the ability to decode or recognize words correctly.

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5 Automaticity refers to quick and effortless identification of words in or out of context. Blending is the act of combining a sequence of separate phonemes into a word or manipulating the phonemes within a word. Connectionism is a theoretical framework used to understand the cognitive functions of the mind. It represents the actual creation or strengthening of cognitive associations that are activated by a stimulus, resulting in indirect or direct understanding (Adams, 1990). Decoding refers to the ability to derive a pronunciation for a sequence of phonemes based on understanding spelling-sound-correspondences (Snow et al., 1998). Elision is a phonological skill that involves the deletion of sounds within words. Fluency is accurate reading at a conversational rate with appropriate expression and inflection and deep understanding (Hudson et al. 2000). Phonological awareness refers to the conscious awareness of or sensitivity to the sound structure of language. Prosody is the extent to which expression, inflection, rhythm, and use of phrase boundaries are used while reading. Rate is defined as the speed at which oral or silent reading takes place. Segmenting is the act of isolating or separating one or more of the phonemes of a spoken word. Overview An investigation of the effects of word work with manipulative letters on passage reading fluency for developing readers is the focus of this study. Chapter 2 provides a review and analysis of relevant professional literature in the areas of oral reading fluency,

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6 fluency for beginning readers, and empirical research for fluency interventions. Chapter 3 contains the description of the methods and procedures used in this study. The findings obtained from the study are discussed in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 includes a discussion of the findings related to previous research, implications for fluency instructions, and recommendations for future research.

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CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction This chapter provides a summary and analysis of the professional literature on the relationship of developing word reading skills for oral reading fluency, the importance of reading fluency for beginning readers, and instruction in oral reading fluency. The literature on phase word reading for beginning readers also is presented. The chapter is divided into several sections. The theoretical and empirical basis for including instruction in oral reading fluency as a part of early literacy instruction is presented in the first section. The ensuing sections provide a summary and analysis of relevant studies about interventions to improve reading fluency, other strategies to increase reading fluency, and a detailed focus on the need for word-level skills. Theoretical and Empirical Basis for Reading Fluency Instruction The ability to read is a critical function in all areas of society. Learning to read is a very important goal set forth by parents and administrators for all students who attend school. The importance of learning to read early and well has been emphasized in recent national initiatives such as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 and, in particular, its Reading First component. Reading, in which ideas are conveyed using a grapho-phonic system, is one of the primary modes of communication in schools. Reading is a systematic process that combines symbols and sounds to access meaning (Chall, 1996). The reading process allows the student to recognize and capture the meaning of words. 7

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8 The acquisition of reading affords the student a chance to become an active participant in school and society. Researchers, in an attempt to help readers grasp the reading process, have observed through inquiry that reading reaches its advanced form when fluency is achieved. Fluency, according to Samuels (2000), is skilled reading in which the reader reads with speed, accuracy, expression, and comprehension. Fluent readers are characterized by high-speed word recognition wherein the readers cognitive resources are freed so that attention can be focused on the meaning of the text (Snow et al., 1998). When reading reaches the advanced skill level of automaticity, an effortless process, the reader is able to focus on the text without the intrusion of decoding (Chall, 1996; LaBerge & Samuels, 1974; Samuels, 2000). The National Reading Panel (2000) noted that children who do not develop strong word reading skills will continue to read slowly and with great effort. Purpose In this review, the research literature was examined to determine what is known about the development of word reading skills and reading fluency. This review focuses on studies of beginning readers from 5 to 13 years old. The subjects in these studies included students with and without learning disabilities. The literature search was conducted using on-line databases of ERIC, EBSCO-HOST, and Wilson Text. To ensure that the information was current, the search was limited to studies published in 1985 or later, with exceptions for seminal works (e.g., LaBerge & Samuels, 1974). The terms word reading automatic/automaticity, word level automaticity, word recognition, letter naming speed, passage reading fluency, reading fluency, repeated reading, rapid naming, word reading prosody, and reading expression were used in

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9 conducting the search. An ancestral hand search of references in published literature was performed as databases were found to be incomplete. Learning to Read Words Ehri (1991, 1995, 1998) developed a theoretical explanation of the development of word reading. Her explanation included the following five phases of word reading development: pre-alphabetic, partial alphabetic, full alphabetic, consolidated alphabetic, and automatic word reading. The first phase, the pre-alphabetic phase, is distinguished by little working knowledge of the alphabetic system. Students do not use alphabetic knowledge to read words at this level. They do not understand that letters in written words are applied to sounds in oral language. The students do possess some word reading skills that are formed on the basis of memory (sight), guessing, and attention to visual cues. An example of words that children could read at this phase would be words such as McDonalds, Pepsi, and milk (Ehri & McCormick, 1998). Reading of these words is based on recognition of logos, packaging, and other irrelevant visual cues not on the letters in the words. Students could not identify the words without these visual cues and they misidentified other words when they were paired with these logos. The second phase, the partial alphabetic phase, is identified by students using letter cues to begin reading. The students working knowledge of reading is composed of partial use of sight words and guessing based on some letter-sound information. In this phase beginning readers are starting to show working knowledge of the alphabetic principle by their ability to use letters in words. For example, in remembering how to read the word block they might link the initial and final letters b and k to sounds /b/ and

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10 /k/ in the pronunciation of the word (Ehri & Wilce, 1987a, 1987b). However, students in this phase may also read back and book as block. The third phase is the full-alphabetic phase. Learners in this phase acquire and associate sounds with the letters they see in words. Readers in this phase use every letter in every word. A characteristic of the students in the full-alphabetic phase is the use of decoding skills for reading. Working knowledge of grapheme-phoneme units in English is a common trait at this level. An example would be a students ability to read beak by an analogy to peak. Reaching the full-alphabetic phase is essential to reliable decoding of text. The fourth phase is the consolidated-alphabetic phase. This level of word learning is highlighted by the students ability to learn chunks of letters that reappear in different words and their pronunciation (e.g. bladder vs. madder). The benefit of learning chunks facilitates word decoding and sight word learning. The understanding of conventional spelling is the focus in this phase to reinforce reading by connections (e.g. ban vs. bane, little vs. litter, post vs. most). The last phase is the automatic phase. This is the phase of skilled word reading that is essential for fluent reading. Students display automaticity and speed in identifying familiar as well as unfamiliar words. The students use of multiple strategies for identifying words enhances automaticity and speed. Students reading at this level read words effortlessly in or out of context. According to Adams (1990), automatic and fluent reading is an acquired skill that frees the reader to focus on the task of comprehension. What is Reading Fluency? Fluency has a range of definitions based on the perspectives of various researchers. According to Kameeuni and Simmons (2001), fluency is eonomine; that is, it is a term

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11 so expansive and unsatisfactory in meaning that slight understanding is gained beyond the use of the term. Hudson et al. (2000) found such disparity in explaining fluency that they defined the term based on the paradigmatic views of four theoretical perspectives: (a) cognitive psychology, (b) precision teaching, (c) curriculum-based measurement, and (d) whole language. They settled on the following definition: Fluency is accurate reading at a minimal rate with appropriate prosodic features (expression) and deep understanding (p.32). In their report by the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA), Kuhn and Stahl (2000) surveyed the range of definitions for fluency. They proposed the following definition: Fluency is accurate, rapid, and expressive rendering of text (p.5). Torgesen et al. (2001) explained that after reviewing a wide range of definitions, a researcher can select a definition that has meaning and implication for the area being examined. For purposes of exposition and research, this review focused on a narrow definition of fluency: Reading fluency is accuracy, automaticity, reading rate (speed), and prosody in oral reading. The research on each of these aspects of reading fluency is reviewed in the following sections. Accuracy Accuracy refers to the ability to name words correctly. Beginning readers read words initially through mastery of the alphabetic principle and working knowledge of blending and segmenting (Adams, 1990; Gaskins & Ehri, 1997). The ability to use these skills in a continuous manner that is free from errors constitutes accuracy at its base level. Accuracy is the development of letter-sound skills to enhance a readers capacity to

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12 recognize familiar and unfamiliar words by directing his/her attention to component letters as he/she map sounds (Ehri, 1998; LaBerge & Samuels, 1974). Decoding is the process of determining the sounds of letters in a word, blending the sounds together in sequence, identifying the word, and locating a meaning for the word in ones lexical memory (Chard & Osborn, 1999b). The goal of phonological decoding is to help students become faster and faster at word reading. Chard and Osborn developed three steps to facilitate the training of phonological decoding for automaticity with word reading. The steps are as follows: 1. Let the students connect or blend sounds to resemble spoken language. 2. Allow the students to sound out a word with a fast pronunciation. 3. Transition the students from sounding out words aloud to sounding out words mentally. Emergent skills in phonological decoding that consist of letter to sound knowledge and general phonological awareness provide the basis for accurate orthographic knowledge, which has the potential to free up cognitive processors to aid automaticity (Chall, 1996; Samuels, 2000; Torgesen et al., 1997). The study conducted by Foorman, Francis, Fletcher, Schatsneider, and Mehta (1998) supports phonological decoding for word reading by demonstrating strong growth in word level reading skills. Accuracy is a prerequisite skill for automatic word recognition (Samuels, 2000). Mastery of the prerequisite skill enables the reader to become increasingly familiar with letters and words (Kuhn & Stahl, 2000). As this skill develops, less and less attention needs to be directed toward processing text at the orthographic level (Adams, 1990; Kuhn Stahl, 2000; Samuels, 2000). In theory, with automatic decoding, cognitive resources are freed up to allow the reader to concentrate on comprehension (LaBerge & Samuels,

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13 1974). Automaticity is reached when decoding takes place at the proper rate for reading (Manis, Doi, & Bhaktawahr, 2000). Automaticity with Word Reading The research has demonstrated that automaticity also has many definitions for oral reading fluency. The terms word identification speed, naming speed, and word recognition are examples of different terms that are used synonymously with automaticity with word reading (Levy, Abello, & Lysynchuk, 1997; Manis et al., 2000; Wolf, Bowers, & Biddle, 2000). To further complicate the understanding of automaticity without its component part with word reading, there is an overlap in the use of the terms automaticity and fluency (Samuels, 2000). Again, researchers are left to their own devices or perspectives in determining what truly defines the term automaticity. The term automaticity shall be defined in this study as quick and effortless identification of words in or out of context (Ehri & McCormick, 1998; Kuhn & Stahl, 2000; Samuels, 2000). Automaticity with word reading is important to the skilled reader in the advancement of oral reading fluency. The key factor in understanding automaticity with word reading is fluency. Fluency, used in this context, means the speed and accuracy in which multiple letters of the alphabet can be produced orally (Speece, Mills, Ritchey, & Hillman, 2003). These researchers cited the correlation of fluency to accuracy and speed, which influence all levels of processing involved in reading. Therefore, fluency has a significant effect on the advanced stages of reading automaticity at the word level (Adams, 1990). Failure to achieve automaticity with word reading breaks down the reading process for the delivery of oral reading fluency (Levy et al., 1997).

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14 Automaticity with word reading can be attained by developing advanced skills in phonological awareness and phonetic decoding (Torgesen, Wagner, & Rashotte, 1997a; Vadasy, Jenkins, & Pool, 2000). Phonological awareness is defined as ones knowledge of and access to the sound structure of oral language (Foorman, Francis, Novy, & Liberman, 1991; Torgesen, Wagner, Rashotte, Burgess, & Hecht, 1997b). Students need to master phonological processing, through which sound processing of oral language is utilized in decoding written materials (Adams, 1990; Torgesen et al., 1997b). The development of phonological awareness is enhanced by the understanding of written material (orthographics) for alphabetic reading that is connected to phonological processing (Adams, 1990). Reading that is produced at the phonological and word level may be devoid of context but aids fluency by gaining speed and effortless word identification (Ehri, 1991; Lyon & Moats, 1997). Ehri and Wilce (1983) found in their research that phonological decoding can be supplanted by sight word reading in the advancement of automaticity with word reading. Words that are practiced often become a part of the lexical memory, and demonstrate an advanced level of recall parallel to phonological decoding (Ehri & Robbins, 1992; Ehri & Wilce, 1983; Metsala & Ehri, 1998; Snow et al., 1998). A distinct advantage of using sight word reading over decoding is the faster processing speed. In their study, Ehri and Wilce (1983) found students who read sight words faster than simply-spelled nonsense words. The students who were good readers were able to read sight words as rapidly as naming single digits. The ability to use sight words for automaticity with word reading reaches its zenith when sight words can be used to read new words by analogy to known sight words (Ehri & Robbins, 1992). This evolved level of word reading automaticity is

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15 known in much of the research formally as reading by identifying word families or reading using common phonograms (Goswami, 2000). Reading Rate Reading rate is defined as the speed at which oral or silent reading takes place (Richards, 2000). Researchers seldom deviate from that simple definition, and the only aspect added is quantification, or words per minute (Dowhower, 1991). Most studies that examine reading rate quantify rate as either the number of words read per minute or as the length of time it takes for a reader to complete a passage. The studies reviewed reveal that reading rate plays a significant role in reading fluency. Slow, labored, and unenthusiastic reading is found to have a negative effect on oral reading fluency and comprehension (Rasinski, 2000). In the classroom, teachers who misunderstood reading rate and equated it with fluency were found to lack a good grasp of fluency instruction to compliment oral reading fluency (Richards, 2000). Mastropieri, Leinart, and Scruggs (1999) observed reading rate in its relationship to dysfluency by noting several deficiencies that could be attributed to slow speed. For example, reduced reading rate results in less text being read in the same amount of time as other students. Furthermore, slow reading rates require too much cognitive effort, and not enough memory of text is available to be used with other segments of the text for comprehension. Prosody Prosody is a general linguistic term used in much of the research to describe the rhythmic and tonal features of speech (Dowhower, 1991; Kuhn & Stahl, 2000). The definition for prosody in relationship to oral reading fluency includes constructs such as expression, inflection, rhythm, and use of phrase boundaries while reading. The term

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16 reading with expression is used synonymously with prosody in much of the research to describe its working features and characteristics (Cowie, Cowie-Douglas, & Wichman, 2002; Dowhower, 1991; Schreiber, 1991). The indicators that composed prosodic reading varied based on the particular hypothesis being examined by the individual researcher. The contribution of prosody to oral reading fluency was found to have some unique features. Dowhower (1991) discussed prosody as being an organizer that segments the text into meaningful units that are marked by prosodic cues that demonstrate advanced reading skills. Prosodic reading, which also comprises the chunking of groups of words into phrases, is assumed to promote the construction of meaning from text by using the syntactic structure of language as a guide for developing oral reading fluency (Kuhn & Stahl, 2000; Schreiber, 1991). Cowie et al. (2002) developed statistical methods for examining prosody. Their study considered pitch, intonation, speed, pausing, and frequency of discontinuities as aspects of prosody. They emphasized the importance of expressiveness as an influence on other aspects of fluency. Expressiveness denotes skills that may involve semantic relationships with oral reading fluency in regard to communicative function and topic. Although prosody is a key component of reading fluency, the focus of this study was on developing accuracy and decoding automaticity. Prosody was, therefore, not addressed. Why Is Fluency Important? Fluency has begun to garner substantial attention in the research literature because it is essential to the development of skilled reading (Kuhn & Stahl, 2000). Fluency was selected by the National Reading Panel (2000) as a major factor for the development of skilled reading and as a focus of remedial practices. The National Reading Panel (2000)

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17 found research and empirical studies that examined the need to teach fluency as an effective instructional approach for successful reading development. The acquisition of fluency can help readers read text with speed, accuracy, and proper expression, whereas reading is characterized with skill in processing text (Fuchs, Fuchs, Hosp, & Jenkins, 2001). Relationship With Comprehension Comprehension is defined as the ability to gain understanding from orthographic information processed from the text at the letter, word, and sentence level (Adams, 1990). Researchers have noted that comprehension and oral reading fluency possess a reciprocal relationship (Vaughn et al., 2000). The correlation between fluent reading and comprehension is strong (Fuchs et al., 2001; Samuels, 2000; Torgesen et al., 2001). Schatschneider, Torgesen, Buck, and Powell-Smith (2004) found reading fluency to be the most important predictor of reading comprehension performance of third-grade students on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. In the context of explaining the relationship between oral reading fluency and comprehension, Adams (1990) focused on speed and word recognition. First, Adams noted that phonemic awareness and word perception significantly accelerates the acquisition of reading skills. The reader must be able to read a word and combinations of words in such a manner that it becomes effortless and provokes interpretation of the text. This action must be done not by attending to individual words but the relations between them. The reader must perceive print in rapid sequence (speed) to arouse many words at once. When word identification does not require strategies for recognition, automaticity in oral reading fluency may take place with comprehension.

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18 The concept of word identification or word recognition appears throughout the research as a major factor that solidifies the relationship between oral reading fluency and comprehension. Samuels (2000) observed that, in order for a reader to understand text, a logical representation of what is being read must exist. The logical representation needed for comprehension exists at the orthographic level, in which the word must be identified with understanding (Samuels, 2000). When automatic decoding skills are present, other resources are freed to help comprehension by the way of fluency (Levy et al., 1997; Snow et al., 1998). As previously stated, Adams (1990) also demonstrated that word recognition plays a significant role in comprehension. The relationship between fluency and comprehension is founded on solid evidence, and researchers generally agree that an increase in one leads to an increase in the other (Kuhn & Stahl, 2000). Chall (1996) stated that fluency is important for students with dyslexia because they have labored reading with many pauses, which results in slow and disconnected oral reading. This dysfluent reading at the decoding and word level makes comprehension almost impossible. The reciprocal relationship between fluency and comprehension can be found in Challs explanation of the process of reading where the reader is unglued from print. This is the stage where the reader has learned letter-sound correspondences, developed their decoding ability to a level of automaticity, and transitioned from learning to read to reading to learn (Chall, 1996; Hook & Jones, 2002; Kuhn & Stahl, 2000). Cognitive Resources/Working Memory Cognitive resources are the thought processes through which a learner acquires knowledge by the use of reasoning, intuition, or perception. Through working memory, a store of words is held in suspense (thought) and is used to read words by memory, previous experience, orthographics, pronunciation and syntax (Ehri, 1991). This

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19 subsection of the review examined the relationship that cognitive resources and working memory have with oral reading fluency. LaBerge and Samuels (1974) proposed that learning to read involved enhancing word identification speed (e.g., letter-to-sound level), processing these words into chunks for identification (Zutel & Rasinski, 1991), and connecting the words while reading text. Efficient use of these cognitive processes results in freeing the reader from the text to use memory or other resources for understanding. Perfetti (1992) demonstrated how slow cognitive processing, such as naming speed, could contribute to oral reading failure by limiting the orthographic representation in long-term memory and stalling cognitive resources. When the cognitive resources are free and fast moving, they can by directed toward the higher order skills of comprehension (LaBerge & Samuels, 1974; Samuels, 2000; Snow et al., 1998) Intervention to Improve Reading Fluency The National Reading Panel (2000) conducted a meta-analysis of studies concerning reading fluency and interventions to develop fluency. This section of the study reviews some of those interventions. Strategies that are found to have merit and the potential to increase reading fluency also are included. Repeated Reading Studies The research in the decade of the 1970s produced the seminal works of Laberge and Samuels (1974) and Dahl (1979) that fostered the reexamination of interventions to improve reading fluency. The researchers at the time conducted studies to increase the reading rate for struggling readers as an intervention for improved reading skills. LaBerge and Samuels specifically endorsed the hypothesis that text processing or reading would be improved by forcing the reader to read words by chunking instead of word-by

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20 word reading. This process would later be part of the automaticity theory (OShea & OShea, 1988; Samuels, 1979). A simple strategy such as multiple readings of connected text was found to produce positive results in regard to helping struggling readers develop higher reading rates and automaticity (LaBerge & Samuels, 1974). Repeated reading, or multiple readings of connected text, has gained much empirical support since its early research notoriety during the 1970s. An impressive list of studies has been generated to review the significance of repeated reading as an important intervention for improving reading (Blum & Koskinen, 1991; Dowhower, 1994; National Reading Panel, 2000). Repeated reading is an instructional tool for disabled readers and developing readers (Dowhower, 1987, 1994). This reading strategy has become a part of general instructional use and the classroom curriculum to improve reading fluency (National Reading Panel, 2000; Sindelar, Monda, & OShea, 1990). The intervention, repeated reading, that was advocated by Samuels and his colleagues (LaBerge & Samuels, 1974; Dahl, 1979) involved reading passages for practice as a means of improving accuracy, automaticity, prosody, and comprehension. The researchers developed a method in which students would read a 101-word passage until they were able to read all 101 words in one minute. The passages were adjusted based on a word-per-minute count to match the ability of the student. The student would complete a given number of readings on the same passage and then be tested orally. The correct word-per-minute score would be calculated to yield an accuracy and a reading rate score. The findings by Samuels and his colleagues demonstrated significant gains in reading rate and reduced errors in reading.

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21 Following the work of LaBerge and Samuels (1974), Dahl (1979) conducted a study to examine the different methods for teaching intermediate reading skills. The methods she experimentally evaluated were hypothesis/test, flashed word, and repeated reading. This review of Dahls work focuses on the findings for repeated reading. The subjects were 32 poor readers selected from the regular reading program in a middle-class elementary school. She used a 2x2x2 factorial design with random assignment. The measures used in the study were cloze tests, Gates-MacGinitie, timed oral reading, and flashed word recognition. The subjects who received the repeated readings training practiced oral reading with an assistant, in which word-per-minute (wpm) scores were taken. The level of difficulty for each passage was individually controlled by using wpm scores and teacher discretion. The subjects participated in daily 20-minute sessions over an 8-month period. The researchers findings reported the students receiving the repeated readings treatment had significant gains in word identification and comprehension over the control group who received the regular classroom reading program. Dahl concluded that repeated reading can be an effective training method in which students are afforded an opportunity to go beyond accuracy without having to focus on component skills. She reasoned that repeated readings may provide the necessary practice for the development of fluent reading. Repeated readings with different texts. The theoretical foundation of multiple readings as an intervention tool is strengthened by additional empirical support from the studies of Herman (1985), Dowhower (1987), and Sindelar et al. (1990). These studies were found to share the basic tenet of one initial reading versus the effect of multiple

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22 readings to increase oral reading fluency. The subjects in the studies ranged from second grade through the sixth grade. Herman (1985) experimentally evaluated the effectiveness of repeated readings. She developed the following hypotheses as a framework to gather information: (a) validate the method of repeated readings with nonfluent, less able readers and determine if improvements in fluency could be achieved, (b) identify the aspects of reading and fluency that change with repeated practice (i.e., reading rate, speech pauses, and word recognition), and (c) determine if improvements in the aspects listed were limited to well-practiced material or if, after practice, the improvements could be transferred to new material. The subjects in the study were eight less-able, nonfluent reading students from Grades 4, 5, and 6. The students could choose any book from their assigned list and practice repeated reading until they reached 85 wpm. The average rereading of the stories consisted of 4 days, in which a daily reading session would last for 10 minutes. The students would be engaged in five separate stories before the treatment expired. The measures for the students involved testers taking reading rates, speech pauses (computer), miscue/error analysis, and combined accuracy using the student score and standard scores for comparison and analysis. Students averaged a total of 21 treatment days. The findings from Hermans research indicate that there was continual improvement in rate of reading. The oral reading was found to be very accurate and faster, indicating a level of automaticity in word recognition was achieved. The researcher noted that improvement in speed and combined accuracy transferred between passages. The results of the study support repeating reading as a study skill technique and procedure to promote comprehension while enhancing reading fluency.

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23 Dowhower (1987) performed a study to investigate the effect of two repeated reading procedures on second-grade transitional readers oral reading performance with practiced and unpracticed passages. The study was conducted with 17 beginning second-grade students at two elementary schools in a large urban school district. Students were screened to identify potential transitional readers who had no particular reading problem and whose reading performance fit Challs stage one description: (a) slow, word by word reading and (b) adequate decoding of words. The measures consisted of a series of passages that were divided into sections to yield the following: initial test, pre-test, post-test, transfer test, and a final test. A separate observation was performed to collect data on the students rate, accuracy, comprehension, and prosody. The students were required to read five stories that were halved to demonstrate practice reading for the first section and transfer reading for the second section. The practice session consisted of assisted or unassisted repeated reading, and the transfer section was used to assess performance with an unpracticed but similar passage. The study lasted for 7 weeks. Results of this investigation showed readers rate, accuracy, comprehension, and prosodic reading with practiced and unpracticed passages were improved by repeated reading regardless of the procedure. The results also revealed that the practice in one story is not as effective as the combined practice of several stories. Last, the study demonstrated that repeated reading helped children develop prosodic strategies for organizing text. Sindelar, Monda, and OShea (1990) performed an experimental study to determine whether the effects of repeated readings are comparable for learning disabled (LD) and nondisabled readers who are matched on reading ability. The researchers used a 2x2x2 factorial design with two between-group factors and one within-group factor. The

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24 subjects in the design were 50 students (25 LD students and 25 nondisabled students) from Grades 3 through 5. The measure for the study included third-grade reading passages in which words per minute and errors per minute could be extracted for analysis. The procedure required students to read two passages in which the first passage was read once and the second passage was read three times. The findings from the study support repeated reading with a significant increase in reading rate from one reading to three readings. The level of recall for the subjects was found to be significantly greater after three readings, and the effects of repeated reading were comparable for LD and nondisabled readers. Last, repeated reading demonstrated a direct effect in the study with LD students scoring fewer errors during their third reading than their nondisabled counterparts. Repeated readings with assistance. The effectiveness of repeated reading with instructional help also has been researched. An examination of three major studies provides discrete views on assisted and nonassisted repeated reading practices and their effectiveness for improving reading fluency. Young, Bowers, and MacKinnon (1996) devised a study to compare the results of students in assisted and nonassisted repeated reading practices. The design for the study was a factorial 2x2, practice versus no practice, modeling versus no modeling of reading. The subjects for the study were 40 fifth graders identified as poor readers. The students were assigned to one of the four treatment groups in the experimental design. The measures were reading rate, reading accuracy, fluency ratings, and story retelling. The data were collected in a pretest/posttest format. The researchers found those students who received training in repeated reading showed significant gains on all reading performance

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25 measures over those who did not receive the treatment. The students who received repeated reading training were able to read the second half of the treatment stories at approximately the same speed, unlike their counterparts who could not complete the first half of the treatment stories. Comprehension on the latter half of the stories demonstrated improvement for each group. In conclusion, the researchers observed that those students who received practice using the assisted repeated reading method showed improved word accuracy in reading. Mercer, Campbell, Miller, Mercer, and Lane (2000) performed a study in which a fluency intervention was developed and used to supplement reading instruction of middle school students with learning disabilities (LD). The reading intervention in this study was designed to provide instructional support for teachers who have students with reading disabilities and could benefit from one-to-one fluency training (assisted). The participants in the study were 49 middle-grade students from a large school system in North Central Florida. The intervention sessions lasted 5 to 6 minutes each school day. The measures for the study came from a research design with pretest/posttest three-group design to determine potential changes over time in the measurement of the dependent variable and reading rate per minute on graded passages. Each group received the treatment for a different time period. Each day, the students in the treatment group were required to read aloud a phonics page, a sight word page, and a story page based on their previous lessons performance. The data were collected daily, and the participants progress was charted. The study was conducted over a 3-year period. The findings from the study included substantial gains in posttest fluency scores for all three groups. The researchers noted the process was successful. They observed that posttest fluency scores

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26 were based on more difficult reading material. The study supports the practice of providing fluency training. The researchers found using repeated reading to build reading fluency to be an effective reading intervention strategy for improving the reading skills of students with reading disabilities. The study also provided evidence of reading improvement for students in 6 to 25 months using the intervention in middle school. The third study to examine repeated reading with instructional aid was conducted by Homan, Klesius, and Hite (1993). Their study addressed two questions in evaluating the effectiveness of repeated readings and assisted nonrepetitive reading methods as a means of improving fluency (rate and accuracy) and comprehension. The first question focused on whether repeated reading and assisted nonrepetitive reading are productive methods for improving fluency and comprehension among sixth-grade Chapter One readers. The second question examined whether repeated reading is a more effective method for improving sixth-grade Chapter One students performance in fluency and comprehension than assisted nonrepetitive reading methods. The subjects in the study were 26 below-grade-level readers in a Chapter One program at two sixth-grade centers. The pretest and posttest measures were six passages selected from (a) commercially prepared informal reading inventory or (b) a Silver Burdett and Ginn Basal Series-1989 workbook. The students participating in assisted nonrepetitive reading used echo reading, unison reading, and cloze reading as part of the treatment. The students using repeated reading for treatment were paired with other students and read with close teacher supervision. The length of the study was 7 weeks. The findings from the study indicate that both repeated reading and assisted nonrepetitive reading methods improved comprehension among the participants in the study. The researchers noted that the

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27 findings support the value of allocating time for students to engage in connected reading. In conclusion, the study revealed that assisted nonrepetitive strategies facilitate the development of both accurate and automatic recognition of sight vocabulary. The three studies reviewed provide experimental evidence to support the intervention of repeated reading as a viable tool to improve and develop oral reading fluency. Other repeated readings studies. Levy, Nicholls, and Kohen (1993) examined the processing benefits that accrue across repeated reading of a text for good and poor readers. The findings from the research supported the use of repeated reading for both groups with improvements in reading rate across readings. A simultaneous effect, improved detection of misspelled spelling words with improved comprehension, was also observed in the study. Stoddard, Valcante, Sindelar, OShea, and Algozzine (1993) investigated the effects of repeated readings in regard to reading rate and reading comprehension on fourth and fifth graders reading below grade level. Their findings demonstrated repeated readings increased reading rate and reading comprehension. The research also identified subskills that are important in enhancing comprehension, such as fast and accurate word recognition and fluent word reading. The research supporting the use of repeated reading is well-founded on empirical studies. The use of repeated reading has been proven to have a positive effect on reading fluency for students who are poor readers, learning disabled, and mainstream students from the general population. The literature demonstrates the intervention of repeated reading as a skill that can benefit literacy for all. Other Strategies to Increase Reading Fluency A variety of other methods have been employed to a lesser extent than repeated readings to increase reading fluency. These include word work, oral recitals, CBM

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28 management for instruction, and fluency development lessons. Studies of these methods show that increasing reading fluency can go beyond using repeated reading as the primary intervention (National Reading Panel, 2000). Levy et al. (1997) performed an experimental study that examined the relationship between sight word identification speed and story reading fluency, as indicated by accuracy, speed, and comprehension. The study was comprised of two replicated experiments. A pretest was used to examine predictors of fluency gains with practice to the second experiment. The first experiment enlisted 28 poor readers from the fourth grade; the second experiment enlisted 40 poor readers also from the fourth grade. In the first experiment the data were derived from four adapted stories using the Flesch-Kincaid formula, comprehensions questions, and the reading of 72 content words from the story. In the second experiment the collection of data and measures was the same, except for increasing the content words to 90. In the first experiment each child read two of the four stories, three times each, one story after having been trained to read rapidly its 72 content words and one story without prior experience with its content words. The participants in the second experiment performed the same procedures as the first except for the following: computer times were shortened by .5 second; the use of 20 training trials was employed; they used four reading trials instead of three; and they used comprehensions questions. The data were analyzed using ANOVAs. The study was sequenced to include 5 days for the first experiment and 5 days for the second experiment. The two studies reported demonstrate that fluency gains observed in context-independent word recognition skill, through single-word reading practice, generalize to reading those words in context. The second experiment also showed that faster word recognition can be

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29 coupled with improved story comprehension. In conclusion, the study noted that fluency gains can enable comprehension by aiding slow word recognition that halts the proper use of syntactic and semantic processes for reading. Reutzel and Hollingsworth (1993) performed a study to assess the effects of developing second-grade students oral reading fluency using the oral recitation lesson (ORL) and the effects that fluency training may have upon students resulting reading comprehension. The participants in the study were 78 second-grade students from two elementary schools that reflected the socioeconomic status of the community. The students were randomly assigned to the control and experimental groups. Pretest and posttest instruments used for this study consisted of a norm-referenced standardized achievement test, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, and a researcher-constructed oral reading fluency test (ORF). The students in the treatment participated in a group in which the teacher modeled the reading from text, the students practiced assigned parts aloud together, and individually prepared for a scheduled recitation. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. The study was conducted over a period of 4 months. The findings from the study stated that ORL is an effective means of developing oral reading fluency as measured by errors per minute. Furthermore, students who participated in ORL had superior performance for comprehension measures and on reading comprehension. This study also demonstrated the fact that ORL improved the readers reading fluency, which confirmed a causal link between improving students reading fluency and their reading comprehension. Hasbrouck and Tindal (1992) examined whether curriculum-based oral reading fluency (ORF) norms are the proper guidelines for teachers and specialists to make

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30 classroom decisions for the following: (a) eligibility of students for special programs, (b) setting instructional goals and objectives, (c) placing students in instructional groups, (d) monitoring academic progress, and (e) making necessary changes in instruction. Grades 2 through 5 were analyzed for this review. The measures came from a 1-minute timed sampling of students oral reading. The data were collected from 1981 to 1990 from 7,900 students. The findings from the study revealed that (a) teachers can set ORF goals because the curriculum-based management (CBM) measures are well normed, (b) CBM assessment procedures can be used consistently by teachers, (c) ORF can be used to determine criteria for systematic screening procedures and eligibility, (d) ORF can help teachers provide more complete information about students to their parents, and (e) classroom level decisions (i.e., grouping, content of reading instructions, etc.) can be assisted by the use of curriculum-based ORF norms. Rasinski, Padak, Linek, and Sturtevant (1994) performed a study designed to test the efficacy of the fluency development lesson (FDL) as a supplement to the regular reading curriculum. The participants in the study were 54 second-grade students from two elementary schools in a large, urban, ethnically diverse school district. The measures for the study were taken from a reading text consisting of 50-101 words appropriate for second grade. Treatment was administered daily during the first 15 minutes of each day. The students in the treatment were required to participate in a teacher-led examination and reading of the text. The students were paired for partner readings (repeated), partner discussions, and an evaluation of their partners reading. The study lasted for 6 months. The results from this study suggested that instructional approaches for developing fluency, such as the FDL, have potential for improving fluency in second-grade students.

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31 All students in the study read above 70 wpm on the posttest. In terms of accurate word recognition per time unit, the posttest score demonstrated automatized reading that was quick and accurate. The researchers concluded that students given the FDL made significant gains in fluency, and it may provide students experiencing difficulties in reading with effective strategies to overcome reading difficulties. Why Focus on Word-Level Skills? Most research related to the development of reading fluency has focused on text-level interventions. That is, to help students read text more fluently, we have given them practice with reading text. For beginning readers who have not yet developed automaticity with word reading, it may be unrealistic to expect improvement with text-level reading. By beginning with word-level skills, teachers can help students acquire the tools they need for fluent reading. Pullen (2000) studied the effects of alphabetic word work using manipulative letters on the reading skills of struggling first-grade students. She used an experimental pretest-posttest design for the study with three groups: treatment, comparison, and control. The students in the treatment group participated in a four-step lesson in which the teacher (a) introduced a book, (b) coached the students through the book, (c) used manipulative letters to develop decoding and encoding skills, and (d) had the students reread the book. Students in the comparison group participated in repeated readings with no manipulative letter practice. Although both the treatment and comparison group out-performed the control group on the fluency measures, only the treatment group was significantly higher in decoding skills and sight words. The length of the study was 10 weeks, with 3-4 fifteen-minute sessions per week. The pretest/posttest measures consisted of the following: verbal ability, phonological awareness, sight word reading, rapid letter

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32 naming, decoding of nonwords, decoding of words, passage fluency, and reading comprehension. The data were tested for statistical significance by a series of analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) on each of the dependent variables. The findings for the study validate the use of manipulative letters to increase word recognition and indicate that rereading text increases sight word knowledge. Pullen, Lane, Lloyd, Nowak, and Ryals (2003) performed a study to evaluate the use of manipulative letters to increase segmenting, blending, sounding out, and spelling skills to promote decoding of pseudowords (nonwords). The participants were nine first-grade students who were identified as having incipient reading problems. A multiple baseline design across groups of children was used to examine the effects of the intervention. The data for the study were collected daily using 1-minute probes. The students in the treatment group were introduced to a book by the teacher and read chorally. Target words were taken from the reading, and the students practiced encoding and decoding with the instructor providing assistance. After the practice with word work the students were required to reread the book chorally. The intervention was run for 10 lessons. The findings from the study revealed that decoding skills for each student improved with instruction using manipulative letters and teachers can use simple instructional methods to improve early reading skills. Lane, Pullen, and Hudson (2003) examined the use of a literacy-tutoring model to determine which components would help struggling beginning readers. The components of the tutoring model included word work using manipulative letters, written word work, and a generalization component. The primary component of this study is word work using manipulative letters. The researchers evaluated the implementation of the 40

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33 minute tutoring model with 106 struggling beginning readers in first grade. Posttest data were analyzed using a series of analysis of covariance (ANCOVAS) with pretests as covariates. In their analysis of the effects of various components of the tutoring model, Lane et al. determined that word work with manipulative letters was a critical step for developing decoding skills. By increasing students automaticity with word reading, perhaps teachers can affect students passage reading fluency. This study examines a method for increasing automaticity with word reading and its effects on passage reading fluency. The purpose of the intervention in this study was to move developing readers from the full alphabetic phase to the consolidated alphabetic phase or beyond. Summary The research literature demonstrates clearly that reading fluency is and should be a focus of reading instruction in the elementary grades. To become proficient readers, children must develop the ability to (a) read words accurately and automatically and (b) read text automatically and with prosody. Most interventions designed to increase struggling readers fluency have focused on increasing reading rate. The most popular method is repeated reading of connected text. Some children, despite intervention, continue to struggle to develop reading fluency. Interventions designed to increase word-level reading skills through the use of manipulative letters have shown positive results. These studies have emphasized word reading accuracy. Further research is needed to determine the effects of word work with manipulative letters with an emphasis on both word reading accuracy and decoding automaticity. Such an intervention holds promise for developing both word-level skills and text-level skills.

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CHAPTER 3 METHODS AND PROCEDURES Introduction The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of word work with manipulative letters on reading skills. Specifically, does an intervention designed to increase word reading accuracy and automaticity influence passage reading fluency? This chapter includes the research hypotheses, a description of the sampling procedures, subjects, and intervention site demographics. Succeeding sections of this chapter include details of the experimental design, instructional procedures, and treatment of the data. Hypotheses This study was conducted to answer the following research question: Does decoding accuracy and automaticity instruction at the word level have an effect on reading fluency at the text level? More specifically, what are the effects of decoding accuracy and automaticity practice developed through the use of manipulative letters on the passage reading fluency of struggling second-grade students? The following null hypotheses were tested at the .05 level of confidence. H 1 : There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of phonological processing between subjects who receive word work instruction using manipulative letters and subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative letters. 34

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35 H 2 : There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of decoding skill between subjects who receive word work instruction using manipulative letters and subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative letters. H 3 : There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of automaticity with decoding between subjects who receive word work instruction using manipulative letters and subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative letters. H 4 : There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of sight word automaticity between subjects who receive word work instruction using manipulative letters and subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative letters. H 5 : There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of passage reading fluency between subjects who receive word work instruction using manipulative letters and subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative letters. Methods This study was conducted over an 18-week period during the middle of the school year with struggling second-grade students. A pretest-posttest control group design was employed. The following sections provide details about the methods that were used to carry out this study. Settings and Subjects The purpose of this section is to describe the instructional settings where the intervention took place and to provide a description of the subjects. Demographic details are provided for school sites and intervention groups. In addition, the procedures for sampling and assigning subjects to groups are provided.

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36 School demographics Five schools in one north central Florida district were selected for this study. Schools with high-poverty and high-minority populations were selected to ensure a sufficient population of students at risk for reading difficulty. The socioeconomic level of the schools was based on the percentage of students in the school receiving free or reduced-price lunches. Demographic information about the schools, including the percentage of students from each school who participate in the free or reduced-price lunch program, and the racial makeup of each schools student population, is reported in Table 1. Table 1. Descriptive Information for Schools School Total Enrollment % of Minority students % of Students that receive free or reduced-price lunch 1 377 90% 88% 2 409 31% 50% 3 417 91% 92% 4 543 34% 60% 5 399 69% 82% Subject description One hundred one second-grade students participated in this study. Students were systematically selected for participation in the study. All second-grade students in the five schools were screened using the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS; Good, Kaminski, & Dill, 2002) Oral Reading Fluency subtest. Students who scored below the benchmarks identified on the DIBELS assessment for second grade were identified as potential participants. Students who had excessive absences were eliminated from the pool. In addition, students who were already receiving supplemental reading support with magnetic letters were eliminated as potential

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37 participants. All students had undergone vision and hearing screening at their schools, and any vision or hearing problems had been corrected. As required by the University of Florida Institutional Review Board, parental informed consent was acquired for the remaining students. The parental informed consent letter is provided in Appendix A. The 101 students selected as study participants were randomly assigned to two groups: treatment and control. The statistical software program, Minitab, was used to assign students randomly to the two groups. Each of the 101 students was listed alphabetically and assigned a number. Minitab randomly sorted the numbers and assigned an equal number of students to each treatment group within the school. The demographics of each group are provided in Table 2. The number of subjects assigned to groups from each school is provided in Table 3. During the course of the study, three participants moved and were, therefore, not included in the analyses. The N for the analyses was 98. Research Instrumentation The assessment instruments selected for use in this study were demonstrated to be reliable and valid methods for measuring the target skills. The following sections provide description of each of the measures. Screening Measure All second-grade students in participating schools were screened using the DIBELS oral reading fluency measures. The instrument is administered on an individual basis as part of the schools progress monitoring efforts. The student performance on DIBELS oral reading fluency subtests is measured by having the students read a passage aloud for 1 minute. Any words omitted or substituted and any hesitations (3 seconds or longer) are scored as errors. Words that were self-corrected within 3 seconds were scored as

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38 accurate. The number of correct words per minute from the passage was the oral reading fluency rate. Students who scored in the high risk or moderate risk ranges on the established DIBELS benchmarks were invited to participate in this study. Table 2. Descriptive Information for Group Experimental Control Total Gender Male 24 27 51 Female 26 21 47 Ethnicity Caucasian 9 7 16 African American 38 39 77 Latino 1 1 2 Asian 1 1 Other 1 1 2 Lunch Status Free 40 44 84 Reduced Pay 3 1 4 Full Pay 3 7 10 Table 3. Group Assignment by School School Treatment Group Control Group Total 1 11 12 23 2 4 3 7 3 14 14 28 4 14 14 28 5 7 5 12 Total 50 48 98 Reading Measures The reading measures provided an assessment of the subjects reading skills before the intervention began and again after intervention for comparison. A description of the assessment instruments is outlined in the following section.

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39 Phonological Processing. The Elision subtest of the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP; Wagner, Torgesen, & Rashotte, 1999) was administered to provide information about the students awareness of and access to the sound structure of language. The CTOPP is a norm referenced and standardized assessment that is individually administered and assesses phonological abilities and their relationship to early reading. Internal test reliability coefficients for the CTOPP subtests exceed .80. The magnitude of the coefficients listed for the CTOPP suggests that there is little test error and that researchers can have confidence in its results. Decoding accuracy The Word Attack subtest of the Woodcock Diagnostic Reading Battery (WDRB; Woodcock, 1997) was administered to assess subjects skill in decoding accuracy. The WDRB is a comprehensive set of individually administered tests that measure important dimensions of reading achievement and closely related abilities. The WDRB has been normed and standardized for individuals ranging in age from 4 to 95 years. The test is applicable for educational and noneducational measures. The WDRB can determine and describe the status of an individuals ability and achievement in basic reading skills (letter-word identification) and reading comprehension (reading vocabulary and passage comprehension). Internal test reliability scores for the WDRB ranges from the high .80s to the low .90s for the subtests. Decoding automaticity and sight word reading automaticity. The Phonemic Decoding Efficiency subtest of the Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE; Torgesen, Wagner, & Rashotte, 1999) was used to measure students automaticity with decoding skills. The Sight Word Efficiency subtest of the TOWRE was used to measure students sight word reading automaticity. These two subtests are timed measures (45 seconds

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40 each) that provide valuable information about the automaticity of basic reading skills. The TOWRE is a measure of an individuals ability to pronounce printed words with accuracy and fluency. The test monitors how well an individual accurately sounds out words quickly and how an individual recognizes familiar words as whole units or sight words. The TOWRE records specific information in regard to an individuals ability, which may be used to gain measured results for his/her level of automaticity for oral reading fluency. The TOWRE has been normed and standardized for individuals ranging in age from 6 to 24 years. The coefficients for the test of reliability for the TOWRE are at or above .90. Passage reading fluency The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS; Good et al.,) are a set of standardized measures of early literacy development. The measures are individualized and short (1 minute) fluency tests. The test consists of standardized reading passages that are designed to identify children who may need additional instructional support and provide for the collection of data on an individuals progress toward instructional goals. Students read three passages for 1 minute each, and the score is an average number of words read correctly during these three readings. The DIBELS is specifically designed to predict later reading proficiency. Comprehension The DIBELS has a Retell Fluency subtest to measure comprehension. This subtest is designed to provide a comprehension check for oral reading fluency within the DIBELS assessment. The main purpose of the Retell Fluency test is to identify children who are speed-reading without attaining meaning and to recognize children who are reading without comprehension. The DIBELS uses the

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41 guidelines that are compatible with the National Reading Panels guidelines to assess fluency and comprehension. Naming speed The Rapid Digit Naming and Rapid Letter Naming subtests of the CTOPP were administered to provide information about the students rapid naming speed. Rapid naming requires speed and the processing of visual information along with phonological applications. Young readers ability to rapidly name digits, retrieve phonemes associated with letters or letter pairs, and to pronounce common word segments, whole words, and the efficiency with which these skills are performed is a strong predictor of reading ability (Wagner et al., 1999; Wolf et al., 2000). Internal test reliability for the CTOPP exceeds reliability coefficients of .80. The magnitude of the coefficients listed for the CTOPP strongly suggests that there is little test error and that researchers can have confidence in its results. Social Validity Measures Social validity measures refer to the assessment and evaluation of the acceptability and feasibility of a programmed intervention (Schwartz & Baer, 1991). Wolf (1978) viewed the term social validity from a practical perspective as something of social importance that would have to be judged by someone as having value to society. Social validity measures were administered in this study to ensure that the research is validated from the societal view in which social significance, social appropriateness, and social importance is assessed (Wolf, 1978; Schwartz & Baer, 1991). Social validity of program procedures The intervention used in this study is specifically designed for classroom use by teachers, paraprofessionals, and volunteer personnel. The intervention was applied in a small group setting to provide a realistic view of its use. According to Schwartz and Baer (1991), it is important to assess the

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42 primary participants to gain pertinent data related to the clients (participants) and society (Fawcett, 1991). For the purpose of this study, three types of social validity data were gathered: (a) subject questionnaire, (b) instructor questionnaire, and (c) classroom teacher rating scale and questionnaire. The data received from the instructors and the classroom teachers were used to identify instructional procedures that work well and procedures that need to be improved. The forms used to collect social validity data from the classroom teachers and the instructors are in Appendix B and Appendix C. The instructors implementing the intervention were primarily graduate students in teacher education. Classroom teachers might not have been afforded the opportunity to observe or participate in the intervention so additional procedural validity data were gathered through the use of videotaped lessons. The lesson videotape was labeled to note the teacher, class, date and time of treatment. After the intervention was completed, classroom teachers had the option of observing the intervention for implementation by watching the video. Classroom teachers were asked to submit their comments on the feedback form (Appendix B). Social validity of program outcomes Schwartz and Baer (1991) stated that social validity assessments are of little use unless they are conducted prescriptively rather than remedially. The process of social validation is a strategy to observe the primary consumer (participant) to help validate the importance of effects and the significance of goals being met (Fawcett, 1991). To meet those standards, the data gathered from primary participants (students) were included in the program outcomes. A post-intervention interview was conducted with each student to gain data related to the use of self-reporting for social validation (Fawcett, 1991). The interview focused on the students perception

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43 of the importance and help gained from the use of word work with manipulative letters. The interview questions are provided in Appendix D. Experimental Design An experimental pretest-posttest control group design was employed for this study with two groups: treatment and control. The treatment group received a four-step intervention implemented in a small-group setting. The control group served as a no-treatment control and received no supplemental instruction. All students continued to receive reading instruction from school personnel. A summary of the experimental design is provided in Table 4. Table 4. Experimental Design Group Procedures Treatment R O 1 X O 2 Control R O 1 O 2 R=Random assignment, O=Pretest, X=Intervention, O 2 =Posttest Instructional Procedures The instructional procedures for the study are described in this section. Instructor preparation is described for the treatment group. Methods for ensuring treatment fidelity are also described. Instructors The instructors for this study were graduate students in the College of Education at the University of Florida. Each instructor was required to attend extensive training in the instructional methodology employed in this study. Each instructor was provided with a training manual. Before the instructors began the intervention phase, mastery of the instructional procedures had to be demonstrated in a training class taught by a university

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44 professor. In addition, each instructor had to agree in writing to adhere to the procedural guidelines described in the training sessions. During the intervention, a minimum of three observations were conducted on each instructor to ensure procedural reliability. Procedural reliability was also strengthened by the provision of scripted lessons that the instructors used for the treatment group. The lessons are provided in Appendix E. Materials The lessons for the treatment group required magnetic letters, magnetic boards, and lesson scripts. To avoid the addition of unrelated variables, the magnetic letters selected were solid white, simple san-serif letters. The magnetic boards were also solid in color (copper) and selected for visual contrast with the letters. Each instructor was provided with enough letters and magnetic boards for each student in the treatment group. The control group did not use the magnetic letters or letter boards. Treatment Group Intervention The treatment group received a four-step intervention that included manipulative alphabetic word work in a small group setting (i.e., two to four students). The lesson began with the distribution of materials to each student and progressed with instructions to develop pseudo and real words using manipulative letters. The same lesson format was used for all 40 lessons. The words for each session were previously selected and provided in the lesson manual. Each lesson included manipulative work with words from developmental word lists that could be used to build decoding skills. The developmental word lists were composed of pseudo words and real words. The instructor taught the students to use magnetic letters to help them understand how letters come together to form words. Students formed pseudo words and real words using the magnetic letters and then

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45 manipulated the letters to form new pseudo words and real words. Throughout the initial steps, students focused on changing only the initial phoneme (onset), then progressed to changing the final phoneme, and finally to changing the medial phonemes. The instructor guided students in both encoding and decoding words. Each lesson was predesigned to limit the decisions the instructor would have to make during the session. The predesigned lessons allowed the instructors to be consistent in their presentation of the intervention. The time needed to implement the lesson ranged from 10 to 15 minutes. This section provides a description of the instructional procedures for the treatment group for all four steps of the lesson. The lesson scripts for all lessons may be found in Appendix E. Step 1: Reading and spelling short words The instructor guided students in spelling and reading short words accurately. Words with consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) letter combinations were practiced. In later sessions, words included CVVC and CVCe combinations, as well. Each lesson highlighted two rime patterns for encoding and decoding practice Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly The instructor guided students in spelling and reading short words quickly. The emphasis in this step was on developing automaticity. Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words The instructor guided students in spelling and reading long words accurately. The words in this step used the same rime patterns as in the previous steps, but the onsets of the words included consonant blends and digraphs.

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46 Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly The instructor guided students in spelling and reading long words quickly. Again, the words in this step used the same rime patterns as in the previous steps, but the onsets of the words included consonant blends and digraphs. The emphasis in this step was on developing automaticity. Control Group This group served as a true no-treatment control. The only reading intervention this group received was the instruction that occurred in their regular classroom or supplemental work that was provided by school personnel. The control group students participated in all pretest and posttest measures. Fidelity of Treatment Observations were conducted throughout the course of the study to ensure that the intervention was implemented consistently and followed the procedures outlined in the design of the study. Each instructor was observed for a minimum of three times throughout the study. A checklist was used to indicate that all steps in each intervention were followed. The checklist for the treatment fidelity checks is provided in Appendix F. The fidelity treatment score was 100% for all instructors. Treatment of the Data The data were analyzed to determine if any significant differences existed on outcome measures between the treatment group (word work with manipulative letters) and the no-treatment control group. Pretest data were collected on each participant at the beginning of the study. The group means on all pretest measures were compared to determine if significant differences between groups existed. The pretest measures were used as covariates, and a series of analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) were conducted on each of the dependent variables: (a)

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47 phonological processing, (b) decoding skill, (c) automaticity with decoding, (d) sight word automaticity, and (e) passage reading fluency (oral). An additional measure, reading comprehension, was conducted at posttest only. The comparisons that were made for each hypothesis are illustrated in Table 5. Table 5. Design for Testing the Null Hypothesis using a Series of Analyses of Covariance (ANCOVAs) Dependent Variable Treatment group Pretest Posttest Control Group Pretest Posttest Phonological Processing H 1 : There will be no statistically significant difference between groups on measures of phonological processing. Decoding Accuracy H 2 : There will be no statistically significant difference between groups on measures of decoding skill. Decoding Automaticity H 3 : There will be no statistically significant difference between groups on measures of automaticity with decoding. Sight Word Automaticity H 4 : There will be no statistically significant difference between groups on measures of sight word automaticity. Passage Reading Fluency H 5 : There will be no statistically significant difference between groups on measures of passage reading fluency (oral). Passage Comprehension H 6 : There will be no statistically significant difference between groups on measures of passage comprehension.

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Introduction The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of word work with manipulative letters on reading skills. Specifically, does an intervention designed to increase word reading accuracy and automaticity influence passage reading fluency? The target population in the study was students at risk for reading disability. The experiment examined the following reading skills for the effects of the intervention: (a) phonological processing, (b) decoding accuracy, (c) decoding automaticity, (d) sight word automaticity, (e) passage reading fluency, and (f) reading comprehension. Six hypotheses from the reading skills were formed and tested. To answer the principal research question stated above, the data were analyzed to determine if there were any significant differences on outcome measures between the treatment group and the control group. The treatment group received explicit and direct instructions in context with a four-step intervention that included manipulative word work. The control group only received instruction or supplemental work from classroom personnel and none from the research team. This chapter includes the results of the statistical analyses of the data from this study. In addition to the statistical analyses, data from social validity and procedural reliability measures are included. 48

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49 Statistical Analyses of Data A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine if group differences existed at pretest. Group means on all pretest measures were calculated. Analyses of the one-way ANOVA disclosed that no significant differences between groups existed on any pretest measure. Table 6 provides a summary of the one-way ANOVA of group means at pretest. Table 6. Summary of ANOVA of Pretest Measures (Between Groups) Group N Mean Std. Deviation F p PreElision .00 (Ctrl) 1.00 (TX) 48 50 7.4792 7.4200 1.8449 2.9972 .014 .907 PreWord Attack .00 1.00 48 50 98.6667 98.7600 11.6589 14.0808 .001 .972 PreRapid Digit Naming .00 1.00 48 50 9.0208 8.6600 1.9405 2.6234 .595 .442 PreRapid Letter Naming .00 1.00 48 50 8.9375 8.4600 2.6045 2.5088 .855 .358 PrePhonemic .00 1.00 47 50 89.7917 88.7143 10.3676 11.2805 .240 .626 PreSight .00 1.00 48 50 89.4583 88.0200 13.0383 15.4675 .247 .621 PreORF1 .00 1.00 48 50 67.7708 61.7400 32.2017 36.9085 .740 .392 PreORF2 .00 1.00 48 50 52.5000 45.3000 27.2412 33.3866 1.362 .246 A series of analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted on the following dependent measures: (a) phonological processing, (b) decoding accuracy, (c) decoding

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50 automaticity, (d) sight word automaticity, and (e) passage reading fluency. The covariate, pretest, had a corresponding measure for each dependent variable to calculate the ANCOVAs. In addition to the analyses of covariance, two subtests of the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) were administered at posttest only. An ANOVA was conducted for each of the Oral Retell Fluency (ORF) subtests of the DIBELS. A description of the results for each measure is described in the following sections. The results are organized according to the hypotheses used in the study: (a) phonological processing, (b) decoding accuracy, (c) decoding automaticity, (d) sight word automaticity, (e) passage reading fluency, and (f) reading comprehension. Phonological Processing The Elision and Rapid Naming subtests of the CTOPP were administered at pretest and posttest. A test of significant differences between groups was conducted using an ANCOVA. Each skill of phonological processing was considered a separate construct, and as a result, each ANCOVA was treated separately. The summary of the ANCOVAs for Phonological Processing is provided in Table 7, Table 8, and Table 9. The analysis for the Elision subtest did not reveal a significant group effect (F=.888, 1, 95, p=.348). The analysis for Rapid Digit Naming did not reveal a significant group effect (F=.423, 1, 95, p=.517). Next, the summary for the ANCOVA for Rapid Letter Naming did not reveal a significant group effect (F=.157, 1, 95, p=.693).

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51 Table 7. Summary of ANCOVA for Elision (CTOPP) Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Square F p Corrected Model 164.251 2 82.125 19.035 .000 Intercept 215.067 1 215.067 49.847 .000 PreElision 160.988 1 160.988 37.313 .000 Group 3.833 1 3.833 .888 .348 Error 409.882 95 4.315 Total 7757.000 98 Corrected Total 574.133 97 Table 8. Summary of ANCOVA for Rapid Digit Naming (CTOPP) Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Square F p Corrected Model 335.013 2 167.507 112.317 .000 Intercept 26.003 1 26.003 17.436 .000 PreRapid Digit Naming 334.599 1 334.599 224.356 .000 Group .631 1 .631 .423 .517 Error 141.681 95 1.491 Total 8742.000 98 Corrected Total 476.694 97

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52 Table 9. Summary of ANCOVA for Rapid Letter Naming (CTOPP) Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Square F p Corrected Model 277.047 2 138.524 57.857 .000 Intercept 90.676 1 90.676 37.873 .000 PreRapid Letter Naming 276.140 1 276.140 115.335 .000 Group .375 1 .375 .157 .693 Error 227.453 95 2.394 Total 8825.000 98 Corrected Total 504.500 97 Decoding Accuracy The Word Attack subtest of the WDRB administered at pretest and posttest to measure decoding skills. A test of significant differences between groups was conducted using an ANCOVA. The summary of the ANCOVA for Decoding Accuracy is provided in Table 10. The analysis for the Word Attack Subtest did not reveal a significant group effect (F=.013, 1, 95, p=.910). Decoding Automaticity The Phonemic Decoding Efficiency subtest of the Test of Word Reading Efficiency was used to measure decoding automaticity. An ANCOVA was conducted to determine if significant differences between groups existed at posttest. The summary of the ANCOVA for Phonemic Decoding Efficiency is provided in Table 11. The analysis did not reveal a significant group effect (F=.537, 1, 94, p=.466).

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53 Table 10. Summary of ANCOVA for Word Attack (WDRB) Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Square F p Corrected Model 13518.577 2 6759.288 76.547 .000 Intercept 202.890 1 202.890 2.298 .133 PreWord Attack 13516.348 1 13516.348 153.070 .000 Group 1.144 1 1.144 .013 .910 Error 8388.689 95 88.302 Total 1033762.000 98 Corrected Total 21907.265 97 Table 11. Summary of ANCOVAfor Phonemic Decoding Efficiency (TOWRE) Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Square F p Corrected Model 6980.736 2 3490.368 59.406 .000 Intercept 819.286 1 819.286 13.944 .000 PrePhonemic 6978.697 1 6978.697 118.778 .000 Group 31.540 1 31.540 .537 .466 Error 5522.893 94 58.754 Total 886789.000 97 Corrected Total 12503.629 96 Sight Word Automaticity The Sight Word Efficiency subtest of the TOWRE was used to measure sight word automaticity. An ANCOVA was conducted to determine if significant differences between groups existed at posttest. The summary of the ANCOVA for Sight Word

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54 Efficiency is provided in Table 12. The analysis did not reveal a significant group effect (F=.265, 1, 95, p=.608). Table 12. Summary of ANCOVA for Sight Word Efficiency (TOWRE) Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Square F p Corrected Model 19152.248 2 9576.124 334.290 .000 Intercept 107.725 1 107.725 3.761 .055 PreSight 19134.135 1 19134.135 667.948 .000 Group 7.580 1 7.580 .265 .608 Error 2721.385 95 28.646 Total 888930.000 98 Corrected Total 21873.633 97 Passage Reading Fluency Two pretest and posttest measures of oral reading fluency were administered. The measures were timed readings selected from the first and second grade DIBELS reading measure. A series of ANCOVAs were conducted to determine if significant differences between groups existed at posttest. Each skill of oral reading fluency is considered to be a separate construct, as a result, each ANCOVA is treated separately. The summary of the ANCOVA for First Grade DIBELS is provided in Table 13. The analysis did not reveal a significant group effect (F=.324, 1, 95, p=.570). In addition, the summary for the ANCOVA for Second Grade DIBELS is provided in Table 14. The analysis did not reveal a significant group effect (F=.636, 1, 95, p=.427).

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55 Table 13. Summary of ANCOVA for First Grade DIBELS-Timed Readings Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Square F p Corrected Model 98147.740 2 49073.870 186.565 .000 Intercept 4814.857 1 4814.857 18.305 .000 PreORF1 97337.576 1 97337.576 370.049 .000 Group 84.992 1 84.992 .324 .570 Error 24988.760 95 263.040 Total 664977.000 98 Corrected Total 123136.500 97 Table 14. Summary of ANCOVA for Second Grade DIBELS-Timed Readings Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Square F p Corrected Model 90359.097 2 45179.548 167.282 .000 Intercept 9184.905 1 9184.905 34.008 .000 PreORF2 89852.654 1 89852.654 332.688 .000 Group 171.733 1 171.733 .636 .427 Error 25657.679 95 270.081 Total 560776.000 98 Corrected Total 116016.776 97 In addition to criterion measures for Passage Reading Fluency, the Oral Retell subtest of the DIBELS was administered at posttest only. A test of significant differences was conducted using an ANOVA. The summary of the ANOVAs for Oral Retell Fluency is provided in Table 15. The analysis did not reveal any significant group effects for First Grade Oral Retell Fluency and Second Grade Oral Retell Fluency (p=.773; p=.591).

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56 Table 15. Summary of ANOVA of Posttest Measures (Between Groups) Oral Retell Fluency Group N Mean Std. Deviation F p RETELL1 .00 (Ctrl) 1.00 (TX) 48 50 42.6458 41.1000 26.1245 26.8010 .084 .773 RETELL2 .00 1.00 48 50 38.1250 35.7600 20.9687 22.3968 .291 .591 The lack of statistical significance (p>.05 ) for the ANCOVAs computed for the study prompted the researcher to statistically search for other group variances that might have been overlooked. In an attempt to control for extraneous variables, paired samples t-tests were the next step to thoroughly examine the study for statistical significance between pretest and posttest. The summary of the paired samples t-test for pretest and posttest differences is provided in Table 16. The analyses revealed a significant increase from pretest to posttest for the treatment group on all reading measures (p<.05). Statistical significance was found for the control group with the exception of Rapid Digit Naming and Rapid Letter Naming. Although there might be a slight difference for Rapid Digit Naming and Rapid Letter Naming for the control group, the difference was not significantly different.

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57 Table 16. Summary of Paired Samples t-test Treatment Group Control Group Reading Measures t df p Sig.(2-tailed) t df p Sig.(2-tailed) PreElision-PostElision -3.330 49 .002* -3.318 47 .002* PreRapidDigitNamingPostRapidDigitNaming -2.571 49 .013* -1.199 47 .237 PreRapidLetterNamingPostRapidLetterNaming -3.420 49 .001* -1.237 47 .222 PreWordAttackPostWordAttack -2.226 49 .031* -2.083 47 .043* PreSight-PostSight -6.624 49 .000* -7.721 47 .000* PrePhonemicPostPhonemic -6.174 48 .000* -4.009 47 .000* PreORF1-PostORF1 -4.083 49 .000* -4.189 47 .000* PreORF2-PostORF2 -8.301 49 .000* -7.560 47 .000* *Significant at the p<.05 level Procedural Reliability Procedural reliability for each instructor was measured by a trained individual three times during the course of the intervention. The data were gathered by observations that measured procedural reliability for the treatment lessons only. Each observation consisted of a checklist being completed to indicate whether each component of the treatment lesson was implemented according to the study specifications. The instructors in the treatment group were observed a total of 15 times. The standard score for procedural reliability was posted at 100%. The observations demonstrated that the instructors followed the lesson plans from the manual as prescribed

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58 by the study. Each instructor used manipulative letters with the students in the treatment condition only. Social Validity The data concerning social validity were gathered from instructor feedback (treatment group) and classroom teacher feedback. Participants, students receiving treatment, were interviewed to measure outcome validity from the students perspective. The results of these surveys are reported in the following sections. Instructor Survey Results Instructors completed a survey at the conclusion of the study to report their views of the instructional procedures. In addition, the instructors provided feedback on each lesson component in terms of its importance for helping struggling readers with oral reading fluency. Results of the instructor surveys are reported in Table 17. Table 17. Results of the Intervention Instructor Survey How important did you feel each part of the lesson is in supporting the development of good readers? Not important Somewhat important Important Very important Magnetic Letter Work 6 How would you rate each component of the lesson in terms of its implementation? Very difficult Difficult Easy Very Easy Magnetic Letter Work 3 3

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59 Table 17. Continued Lesson procedures and study implementation? Strongly disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree It is important to have the letters divided in the storage box 3 3 It is important to have the letters presorted onto the magnetic boards 1 1 4 It is important to have letters of the same color 3 3 The personnel at the school were helpful scheduling and facilitating lesson implementation 1 1 2 2 The personnel at the school were helpful scheduling and facilitating assessment administration 1 4 My participation in this project should prove to be beneficial to me in my profession 3 3 Teacher Surveys Eight educators were asked to view a lesson and complete a survey on the acceptability and usefulness of the programmed intervention. The surveyed personnel included classroom teachers. The survey focused on procedural acceptability and the usefulness of the intervention in developing fluent readers. The results of the survey indicated 100% of the teachers supporting the intervention as helpful in developing good readers and an acceptable intervention for use in the classroom. In the section for implementation of the intervention, only one teacher found it to be difficult. The teachers answer was based on cost measures for whole class use. The survey demonstrated that over 50% of the teachers are using an instructional intervention similar to the study. Overall, the teachers reported that they would be more than willing to use an

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60 intervention like the study as part of their reading instruction. The results of the teacher surveys are reported in Table 18. Table 18. Results of the Teacher Surveys Word Work with Manipulative Letters Yes No Do you feel that this lesson is helpful in supporting the development of good readers? 8 Would you consider this component easy to implement? 7 1 In your reading instruction, do you already use a strategy similar to this component of the lesson? 5 3 Would you be willing to use a strategy like this as part of your reading instruction? 8 Overall, do you consider this an acceptable intervention for use in a classroom like yours? 8 Student Interviews The students (participants) were interviewed at the conclusion of the study to gather their perceptions of the intervention with manipulative letters. The interviewer presented the students with the manipulative letters in the treatment format and asked a series of four questions. The questions were designed to gather information concerning the students knowledge of the treatment, transfer of skill for reading, and reading fluency. The results of the student interview are provided in Table 19. Summary The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of word work with manipulative letters on passage reading fluency of struggling second-grade students. The reading skills assessed were phonological processing, decoding accuracy, decoding automaticity, sight word automaticity, and passage reading fluency. Additionally,

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61 procedural reliability and social validity measures were taken to substantiate the acceptability and usefulness of the program intervention. The results of the statistical analyses indicated that students who received instruction (treatment) of word work with manipulative letters on reading skills did not score significantly higher than those not receiving the treatment. Using a one-way ANOVA, no significant differences were found between the groups at Pretest. The reading measures of phonological processing, decoding accuracy, decoding automaticity, sight word automaticity, and passage reading fluency failed to yield significant effects when tests of ANCOVAs were run to investigate statistical differences. In addition, ANOVAs used to search for a variance between Oral Retell Fluency at the firstand second-grade levels also yielded no significant effects. Table 19. Results of Student Interviews Why do you think we were using the magnetic letters? Student 1 To learn our letters and to see how to sound out words fast and write them. Student 2 To spell words, to help read words. Student 3 Spelling. Student 4 To help us spell words and so that we can learn how to spell. Student 5 To learn, to teach us something better. Student 6 To help us spell. Student 7 To spell words with. Student 8 To help us spell. Student 9 We need them. Student 10 Help us learn and spell. Student 11 Learn some more words. Student 12 They help you spell, to you how to learn. Student 13 Help me to learn. Student 14 To learn how to spell and read stuff. Student 15 To learn ABCs. Student 16 To learn to spell things. Student 17 To learn how to spell. Student 18 To help understand the words. Student 19 To make words Student 20 To help me learn how to take out words and spell words.

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62 Table 19. Continued. Why do you think we were using the magnetic letters? Student 21 To spell words. Student 22 To help people learn to spell. Student 23 For words. Student 24 To know how to spell. Student 25 To read faster. Do you think the work with magnetic letters helped you recognize words? Yes 25 No Did the work with the magnetic letters help you read words Faster 23 Slower 2 Did working with the magnetic letters help you with your reading? Yes 25 No

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION This chapter provides a discussion of the findings and implications of the effects of word work with manipulative letters on the reading skills of second-grade reading students who are at risk for developing passage reading fluency. First, the hypotheses and the results of the study are summarized. Next, the theoretical implications of the findings are described. Last, the limitations and implications from the study are addressed for future research. Summary of the Hypotheses and Results This study was conducted to answer the following research question: Does an intervention designed to increase word reading accuracy and automaticity influence passage reading fluency? The following null hypotheses were tested at the .05 level of confidence. H 1 : There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of phonological processing between subjects who receive word work instruction using manipulative letters and subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative letters. Three measures were used to assess the skills associated with phonological processing: (a) elision, (b) rapid letter naming, and (c) rapid digit naming. Each reading measure was treated independently because it measured a different level of decoding accuracy. Analysis of the data revealed that significant group differences did not exist on 63

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64 measures of phonological processing. The scores from the ANCOVAs substantiated the acceptance of the null hypothesis. H 2 : There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of decoding skill between subjects who receive word work instruction using manipulative letters and subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative letters. The Word Attack subtest of the Woodcock Diagnostic Reading Battery was used to assess the skills associated with decoding accuracy. Analysis of the data revealed that significant group differences did not exist on measures of word attack. The results from the ANCOVAs substantiated the acceptance of the null hypothesis. H 3 : There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of automaticity with decoding between subjects who receive word work instruction using manipulative letters and subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative letters. Analysis of the data (ANCOVA) did not reveal significant differences between groups on the measure of decoding automaticity, the Phonemic Decoding Efficiency subtest of the Test of Word Reading Efficiency. However, the pretest means for the control group was slightly higher on the measure of phonemic decoding efficiency than those for the treatment group. This effect may have been due to a slight variance in the scores of the control group. The analysis of treatment by covariate interaction did not reveal a significant difference between the groups for decoding automaticity, resulting in the acceptance of the null hypothesis. H 4 : There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of sight word automaticity between subjects who receive word work instruction using manipulative letters and subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative letters.

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65 The analysis of the data (ANOVA) for between-group differences at pretest did not reveal any group differences on the measure of sight word automaticity, the Sight Word Efficiency subtest of the Test of Word Reading Efficiency. The analysis of treatment by covariate interaction did not reveal a significant difference for sight word automaticity, which resulted in the acceptance of the null hypothesis. H 5 : There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of passage reading fluency between subjects who receive word work instruction using manipulative letters and subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative letters. Initial analysis of the data (ANOVA) did not reveal significant differences between groups on the measures of oral passage reading fluency. However, the pretest means for the control group were higher than the treatment group on the measures of oral reading fluency of both first grade and second grade passages. This effect may have been due to a larger variance in the scores of the control group. The analysis of treatment by covariate interaction did not reveal a significant difference between the groups for passage reading fluency, which resulted in the acceptance of the null hypothesis. H 6 : There will be no statistically significant difference on measures of passage reading comprehension between subjects who receive word work instruction using manipulative letters and subjects who do not receive word work using manipulative letters. Comprehension was measure using the Oral Retell portion of the Oral Reading Fluency measure from the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills. Analysis of variance revealed no group differences on the comprehension measure. The null hypothesis could not be rejected.

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66 The lack of statistically significant differences between the treatment and control groups was an unexpected finding. Given the consistently positive results from previous studies of manipulative letter interventions (e.g., Lane et al., 2003; Pullen, 2000; Pullen et al., 2003), the absence of statistically significant differences in this study was puzzling. This chapter will explore some of the possible explanations for the conflicting findings. Theoretical Implications of the Research Findings This study was based on a Connectionist theory of reading. Adamss connectionist model of the reading process demonstrates the connections that should be developed in the reading system. Adamss model includes four cognitive processors as the units that need to be strengthened by connections to provide skilled reading: orthographic processing, meaning processing, phonological processing, and context processing. The intervention in this study focused on improving the skills of accuracy and automaticity, in an attempt to strengthen the connections between processing units for at risk readers. The orthographic processor is the first component of the reading process in the Adams model. This is where letters and letter patterns are processed for reading. The reader views the letter or string of letters for identification. During the identification and confirmation process, the letter recognition unit passes on information to the meaning processor and phonological processor to help with confirmation. The basic process of letter identification evolves with general usage and familiarity that develops strong connections between the orthographic processor, meaning processor, and the phonological processor in the form of automaticity. The ability to decipher the print accurately through the orthographic processor enhances operating capacity of the other processing units and further strengthens the cognitive connections (Hook & Jones, 2002).

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67 The orthographic processor in the Adams model aids the reader with interletter associations and understanding. This processor allows the reader to distinguish between a letter and multiple letters that are grouped for interpretation. Without this strategy, word recognition, spelling, and the simultaneous effect of identifying successive letters in a word stimulating visual recognition will not work properly. Visually encoding a letter or groups of letters is of little use when it is processed as a random letter or unrelated group of letters. Through the repeated use of the information acquired through orthographic processing, information in the form of a letter or strings of letters activates meaning units that run back and forth from the initiator (orthographic processor) to the meaning processor to access and confirm meaning. The travel between the two processors is the connection that enhances reading. The meaning processor in the reading model operates similar to the orthographic processor. Its processing units do not immediately interpret whole, familiar words. In an example, spellings of familiar words are represented in the orthographic processor as interassociated sets of letters. The meaning processors meanings of familiar words are represented in the meaning processor too, as interassociated sets of meaning elements. The meaning processor generates information for a word or letters by combining all of the knowledge and processing the reader has applied to the text. The meaning processor enhances orthographic and phonological operations by maximizing the knowledge, skill, and interpretive control the reader will use in the reading process (Adams, 1990). According to Adams (1990), the context processor is the unit responsible for constructing coherent ongoing interpretation of the text. It sends information to the meaning processor in an effort to help with speed (automaticity) and interpretation. The

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68 context processor can respond to orthographic processing while connecting to the meaning processor in a simultaneous manner. This response can be aided by the meaning of letters, words, or sentences in context to help the meaning processor and orthographic processor with recognition and understanding. The connections between the processors help the reader by linking operational units that become stronger with the connection to process words for reading (Wolf & Katzir-Cohen, 2001). The phonological processor is the final factor in Adamss reading theory. The phonological processor aids in the production of speech from text based on the coordination of the orthographic and meaning processor. The phonological processor takes letters or letter patterns as input from the orthographic processor. A response is generated from any and all pronunciations that are related to that letter or spelling pattern. The connection from the phonological processor to the orthographic processor relies on the quality of orthographic information it receives, the number of different responses elicited by the orthographic processor, and the familiarity of the responses. The speed and strength of the responses is associated with connection of the orthographic, phonological, and meaning processor working together. These three processors are working on the same thing at the same time to produce reading. Furthermore, each processor will guide and facilitate the efforts of the other. The direct connections between the orthographic and phonological processors aid in making phonological activation automatic and immediate. This response is directly related to the engagement of visual word processing. The connections between the meaning and phonological processor demonstrate the same effect by activating the meaning of a word as quickly as it is spoken. The phonological processor provides an alphabetic backup system to enhance

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69 speed (automaticity) and accuracy for reading through its connections with all the units in the reading system. The intervention in this study was developed to strengthen the connections between the orthographic and phonological processing units so that second-grade, at-risk readers could develop passage reading fluency and skilled reading as described by Adams (1990). The intervention for the experimental group included instructional methods that were based on empirical evidence. The intervention included explicit instructions, practice in decoding and encoding words, and practice to develop automaticity and accuracy. The manipulative letters, the multisensory component, were only used with the treatment group for the word work. According to Pullen (2000), the use of manipulative letters helps make the abstract concept of phoneme-grapheme relationship concrete, while strengthening the connections among the orthographic, phonological, and meaning processors. The use of manipulative materials in reading is supported by researchers as a worthwhile strategy to help develop reading skills (Mercer & Mercer, 2001; Orton, 1937; Pinnel & Fountas, 1998; Pullen, 2000). In addition, the Pullen (2000) study provided empirical evidence in support of manipulative letters as effective in strengthening the connections between the orthographic, phonological, and meaning processors to help improve reading. This study isolated the word work with manipulative letters as an independent variable to determine the effects of its use on the passage reading fluency of second-grade, at-risk readers. The results of the statistical analyses did not validate the hypotheses regarding the use of word work with manipulative letters as effective in improving reading skills. The

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70 ability of the intervention to strengthen the connections among the orthographic processor, phonological processor, and the meaning processor was not evident from the results. At the onset of the study, the treatment and the control groups did not show any significant group differences. That finding indicated that the groups were starting at approximately the same level. The after treatment statistical analyses did not reveal any differences between the treatment and the control groups. The data confirmed the acceptance of the null hypotheses stated earlier, because the statistical analysis did not demonstrate an effect of treatment. The control groups performance on the reading measures was in the same range as those of the treatment group, despite the intervention. The results of the between-group differences (ANCOVAs) were particularly interesting because they were in contrast to the results from the Pullen (2000) study. In addition, oral retell was tested to gain information on the comprehension growth of the participants in the study. The results from the analysis did not demonstrate any significant effects. This study did produce statistical significance for the treatment group when the means were compared. The pretest-posttest differences for the intervention using a paired sample t-test were statistically significant (p<.05). The analysis revealed a significant increase from pretest to posttest. The results provide evidence that learning was taking place, but given the lack of statistically significant difference between the treatment and control groups, these gains could not be attributed to the manipulative letter intervention. Limitations to the Present Study This study had several substantial limitations. The first limitation to the study was the possible dilution of effects due to too much time between sessions. The schedule for the study was designed to run for 10 weeks. Due to the myriad scheduling and staffing difficulties, students in the treatment group did not receive a consistent schedule

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71 of 4 lessons per week. Given the problems with implementation, it is impossible to conclude whether the lack of statistically significant differences was due to weaknesses in the intervention itself or to weaknesses in the implementation. The study timeline exceeded the schedule design by the researcher and ended up lasting 18 weeks; therefore, students received on average of only 2.2 lessons per week. The reduction in intensity of the treatment very likely weakened the effects of the intervention for students who are struggling to learn to read, as the most effective interventions are usually the most intensive (Foorman & Torgesen, 2001). A second limitation to the study was that the intervention employed was designed to strengthen connections between the orthographic and phonological processors. The design of the intervention used isolated skill practice to accomplish this goal. Other studies with significant effects engaged the meaning processor by connecting the isolated skill practice to meaningful context. Adams (1990) describes the importance of the circular connectivity among the orthographic, phonological, and meaning processors and the development of automaticity of these connections. The lack of engagement of the meaning processor in this intervention may have contributed to the lack of statistically significance differences between the groups. A third limitation to the study was the effect of history and concurrent instruction (Dooley, 2001; Lyon & Moats, 1997). During the timeframe for the intervention the schools were preparing for the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test (FCAT). The teachers were observed teaching word recognition skills to the students in an attempt to equip them with the skills to improve their exam scores. This effect must be addressed because the same skills (decoding and encoding) were being reinforced for the control

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72 group through classroom efforts. The effect has the potential to undermine the scores needed to separate the treatment group from the control group for levels of statistical significance (Dooley, 2001). A fourth limitation to the study was the effect of the setting and small group instruction (Dooley, 2001; Lyon & Moats, 1997). The small group instruction (3-4 per group) was provided outside of the classroom in a highly controlled environment, unlike the general setting of a regular classroom. The transfer of effect could have been diminished, because the skills were taught and reinforced in different settings. In addition, the results of this study were limited to small group interventions because the element of large group interventions were not observed. A fifth limitation to the study was the participation of second-grade students only. The results cannot be generalized to younger or older students. Early literacy is known to be very important for reading development with children before second grade (Adams, 1990; Snow et al., 1998; Stein, Johnson, & Gutlohn, 1999) and critical for older students beyond second grade (Lyon, 1998; Mercer et al., 2000). The results from this study cannot be generalized to other groups in the population because of its grade restriction. Implications for Future Research The results and limitations of this study provide implications for future research. The use of word work with manipulative letters on reading skills has a mixed review. Conclusive evidence was not found to suggest this intervention be used to help second-grade at-risk readers develop the skills needed to improve passage reading fluency. In contrast, the Pullen (2000) study found effects that supported the use of developing reading skills with the aid of manipulatives to be quite supportive. The Pullen study also taught the skills in context with the reading of connected text. Her study demonstrated the

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73 statistical significance needed to validate the use of manipulative letters to teach decoding skills, so perhaps giving students an opportunity to apply their skills as they learn them is an essential element of manipulative letter work. Perhaps her inclusion of practice in a meaningful context promoted both acquisition and transfer of skills (Stokes & Baer, 1977). This issue warrants further investigation. Research has shown beyond a doubt that fluent, accurate decoding is a benchmark of skilled reading (Adams, 1990; Chard & Osborn, 1999a; Snow et al., 1998). Automatic word recognition is also a major contributor to skilled reading with help from phonological awareness to increase the decoding connections (Adams, 1990; Levy et al., 1997; Torgesen et al., 1999). The study strategically targeted the development of accuracy and automaticity for skilled reading by developing the skills of decoding and encoding. The limitations to the study identified the problems that hindered the research. The study should be replicated and redesigned to address the limitations to clearly determine its value to the field because word reading skills have been identified as precursors to reading fluency (Chall, 1996: Kuhn & Stahl, 2000; Speece et al., 2003). Summary This study was conducted to examine the effects of word work with manipulative letters on the reading skills of second-grade at-risk readers. The ANOVA results indicated that the control and treatments groups did not have existing differences at pretest. That is a positive factor to add power to the study. Using ANCOVA, the treatment group was not found to have statistically significant differences from the control group on the posttest reading measures. However, statistical significance was found in the computations of paired samples t-test to measure the academic learning growth from the pretest to the posttest for the treatment group. The t-tests showed

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74 significant growth for the control group on all of its measures except Rapid Digit Naming and Rapid letter Naming. This finding was important because it confirmed that the students were learning during the intervention period. Questions measuring the value of the study to society had very positive responses from the instructors, teachers, and participants. The instructors gave an overwhelming response of support regarding the importance of the intervention lessons for the development of good readers. The teachers responses to the study gave overall support for the use of the treatment as a viable intervention and strategy to develop reading fluency. The participants from the research recognized the treatment as a tool to help them with reading and an isolated strategy for the development of decoding and encoding. All of the responses for social validity were positive and generated much enthusiasm toward the use of the intervention for reading fluency. The intervention, word work with manipulative letters, has the potential of becoming an important tool for the development of reading fluency and the social popularity to be accepted by all. Additional research should be conducted to further identify the instructional elements that make this method effective.

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APPENDIX A PARENTAL INFORMED CONSENT DOCUMENT Dear Parent/Guardian I am a doctoral student in the Department of Special Education at the University of Florida. One of my areas of interest is the development of instructional methods in beginning reading. I will be implementing an intervention project that evaluates the use of magnetic letters in beginning reading instruction. Participation in this study may directly help your child in the development of the abilities necessary to become a skilled reader. In this project, we will conduct informal assessments that indicate your childs current reading abilities. Students in the intervention group will participate in small group instruction that includes working with magnetic letters to form words. Student in the control group will not receive supplemental instruction. The sessions will be scheduled during the students regular reading time and will not interfere with other regular instruction. Although results of the project will be shared with colleagues in the field of education (e.g., participants educational conferences, university faculty), for the purpose of confidentiality, your childs name and identity will be kept confidential. Participation or nonparticipation in this project will not affect your childs placement in any programs. You and your child have the right to withdraw consent for participation at any time without consequence. There are no known risks or compensation for his/her participation in this project. The project will last this entire school year. Results of the project will be available upon completion of the school year. If you have any questions about this project, please contact me at (352) 392-0701. Questions or concerns about research participants rights may be directed to the UFIRB office, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611 (352) 392-0433. Sincerely, Barry L. Bogan, M.Ed. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I have read the procedures described above. I voluntary give my consent for my child, ____________________________, to participate in Mr. Bogans reading study. I have received a copy of this description. ___________________________________ ________________________ Parent/Guardian Date ___________________________________ ________________________ 2 nd Parent/Witness Date 75

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APPENDIX B TEACHER SURVEY Thank you for agreeing to evaluate the intervention, word work with magnetic letters. Your opinions and expertise are essential to improving the lessons and procedures. All of your responses will remain anonymous. Please feel free to call or send an email if you have any questions. Barry L. Bogan 392-0701 (office) 384-3953 (home) barry_bogan@hotmail.com I give permission for my responses on the following survey to be used in dissemination materials. I understand that my name will not be used in any publication or dissemination materials. Print Name & School: ____________________________________________________ Signature: ________________________________ Date: __________________ Job Description/Setting Title 1 ESE Classroom ESE Administrator Resource Resource Teacher Inclusion Students in my classroom participated in the study. Yes No As you watch the videotape, please respond to the following questions about each lesson component. Feel free to provide any additional comments or responses on the back of this form (indicate question #). Thank you again for your time. Word Work with Manipulative Letters 1. Do you feel that this lesson is helpful in supporting the development of good readers? Why or why not? Yes No 2. Would you consider this component easy to implement? Yes No 3. In your reading instruction, do you already use a strategy similar to this component of the lesson? Yes No 76

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77 4. Would you be willing to use a strategy like this as part of your reading instruction? Please explain your answer. Yes No Overall, do you consider this an acceptable intervention for use in a classroom like yours? Please explain your response. Yes No

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APPENDIX C INSTRUCTOR SURVEY Just as your participation in the first grade intervention study has been critical to the success of the project, your feedback is important to the future success of the intervention and further investigations. Please complete the following survey. Your suggestions will help in modifying the intervention and study procedures. Again, your contributions to the study have been invaluable. I______________________________ give permission for my responses on the following survey to be used in dissemination materials. I understand that my name will not be used in any publication or dissemination materials. _______________________________ _______________________ Signature Date 78

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79 How important did you feel each part of the lesson is in supporting the development of good readers? Magnetic Letter Work Not important Somewhat important Important Very important How would your rate each component of the lesson in terms of its implementation Magnetic Letter Work Very Difficult Difficult Easy Very Easy In the section below, please consider the lesson procedures and study implementation. Circle the response that best describes your feeling about the program. It is important to have the letters divided into the storage box Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree It is important to have the letters presorted onto the magnetic boards. Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree It is important to have letters of the same color. Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree The personnel at the school were helpful scheduling and facilitating lesson implementation. Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree The personnel at the school were helpful scheduling and facilitating assessment administration. Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree My participation in this project should prove to be beneficial to me in my profession. Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree

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80 1. Describe any modifications to the lesson that would be helpful in supporting the needs of the learner. 2. Describe any modifications to the lesson that would be helpful in supporting the needs of the instructor. 3. Describe what you learned about teaching reading. 4. How will you apply this knowledge in your classroom? 5. Describe what you learned about conducting research. 6. How will you apply this knowledge in your classroom?

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APPENDIX D PARTICIPANT INTERVIEW Duval Elementary School Student Name___________________ Assessor_______________________ 1. Why do you think we were using the magnetic letters? 2. Do you think the work with the magnetic letters helped you recognize words? 3. Did the work with the magnetic letters help you read words faster or slower? 4. Did working with the magnetic letters help you with your reading? 81

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APPENDIX E LESSONS

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Lesson 1 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: a b c d d f g h j l m n p r s t z Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some short words. Who can show me how to spell the word ad? What should you do to ad to make sad? Now, change the s in sad to an m. What word did you make? encode decode encode decode bad dad fad had lad mad pad sad tad ab cab dab jab lab nab tab Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode ad mad pad sad tad had ab lab nab tab zab Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode cab dab jab lab nab tab bad dad fad had lad mad Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode glad prad clad smad blab crab drab grab scab slab Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode blab crab drab clad prad stad Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode grab scab slab glad smad spad 83

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84 Lesson 2 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b d e f g h j l m n p r s t Step 1: Reading and spelling shorter words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some shorter words. encode decode encode decode bed fed led red bred bled fled bet get jet met net pet set Step 2: Reading and spelling shorter words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode bred bled fled Met net pet set Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode bet get jet bed fed led red Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode bled bred fled shed sled sped fret bret blet smet Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode sled sped blet smet Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode bled bred fled shed fret bret

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85 Lesson 3 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b c d f g h i j k l n p r s t z Step 1: Reading and spelling shorter words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some shorter words. encode decode encode decode bin din fin gin pin sin tin dip hip lip nip rip sip tip zip Step 2: Reading and spelling shorter words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode pin sin tin rip sip tip zip Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode bin din fin gin dip hip lip nip Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode chin grin shin skin spin thin blip chip clip drip flip Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode skin spin thin drip flip Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode chin grin shin blip chip clip

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86 Lesson 4 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b c d f g h j l m n o p r s t Step 1: Reading and spelling shorter words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some shorter words. encode decode encode decode cob fob gob job lob rob cod mod nod pod rod sod Step 2: Reading and spelling shorter words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode job lob rob pod rod sod Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode cob fob gob cod mod nod Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode blob frob glob slob snob clod plod prod shod trod Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode slob snob prod shod trod Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode blob frob glob clod prod

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87 Lesson 5 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b c d f g h j l p r s t u Step 1: Reading and spelling shorter words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some shorter words. encode decode encode decode cub dub pub rub sub tub bug dug hug jug lug rug tug Step 2: Reading and spelling shorter words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode rub sub tub jug lug rug tug Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode cub dub pub bug dug hug Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode club drub flub grub scrub shrub stub chug drug plug slug Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode scrub shrub stub plug slug Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode club drub flub grub chug drug

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88 Lesson 6 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: a b c f h j l m p r s t Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some shorter words. encode decode encode decode bar car far jar mar par tar at bat cat fat rat pat mat Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode mar par tar rat pat mat Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode bar car far jar at bat cat fat Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____. encode decode encode decode char scar spar star brat chat flat slat Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode spar star flat slat Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: Decode char scar brat chat clat

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89 Lesson 7 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b c d e f g h l m n p t y w Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some shorter words. encode decode encode decode den hen men pen ten yen dew few hew new pew mew Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode pen ten yen new pew mew Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode den hen men dew few hew Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____. encode decode encode decode glen then flen when blew chew flew whew Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode flen when flew whew Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode glen then blew chew

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90 Lesson 8 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b d f g h I k l m r s t Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some shorter words. encode decode encode decode bid hid kid mid rid tid bit fit hit kit rit mit Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode mid rid tid kit rit mit Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. Decode bid hid kid bit fit hit Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____. encode decode encode decode grid skid slid flid flit grit skit slit smit Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode slid flid skit slit smit Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode grid skid flit grit

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91 Lesson 9 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b d d f h l m o p p r s t Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some shorter words. encode decode encode decode bop cop fop mop pop sop top cot dot fot hot lot mot pot Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode pop sop top hot lot mot pot Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode bop cop fop mop cot dot fot Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____. encode decode encode decode chop crop drop flop shop blot clot plot shot slot Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode drop flop shop plot shot slot Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode chop crop blot clot

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92 Lesson 10 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b c d g h l m n r s t u Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some shorter words. encode decode encode decode bum gum hum rum sum tum but cut gut hut nut rut mut Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode rum sum tum nut mut rut Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode bum gum hum but cut gut hut Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____. encode decode encode decode chum drum glum slum glut shut smut clut Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode glum slum smut clut Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode chum drum glut shut

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93 Lesson 11 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: a b c d h k l n p r s Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some shorter words. encode decode encode decode back hack lack pack rack sack bank dank hank lank rank sank Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode pack rack sack lank rank sank Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode back hack lack bank dank hank Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____. encode decode encode decode black clack slack shack blank clank crank drank Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode slack shack clank drank Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode black clack blank clank

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94 Lesson 12 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b c d e f h j k l l m n p s t w z Step 1: Reading and spelling shorter words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some shorter words. encode decode encode decode deck heck weck neck peck zeck bell dell well fell jell sell tell Step 2: Reading and spelling shorter words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode neck peck zeck fell jell sell tell Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode bell dell well deck heck weck Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode fleck check theck speck pleck shell smell spell swell Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode speck pleck spell swell Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode fleck check theck shell smell

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95 Lesson 13 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b c d h i k l l m p r s t Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some shorter words. encode decode encode decode lick pick sick tick bick mick bill hill ill kill mill pill Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode tick bick mick kill mill pill Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode lick pick sick bill hill ill Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____. encode decode encode decode brick slick stick trick chill drill skill spill still Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode stick trick skill spill still Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode brick slick chill drill

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96 Lesson 14 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b c c d g h k l m n o r s t w Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some shorter words. encode decode encode decode dock hock lock mock rock sock bong dong long song tong Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode mock rock sock long song tong Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode dock hock lock bong dong Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____. encode decode encode decode block clock shock smock kong strong thong wong Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode shock smock thong wong Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode block clock kong strong

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97 Lesson 15 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b c d g h k l m n p r s t u Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some shorter words. encode decode encode decode buck duck luck muck puck suck hung lung rung sung Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode muck puck suck rung sung Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode buck duck luck hung lung Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____. encode decode encode decode pluck shuck stuck truck clung slung sprung stung strung Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode stuck truck sprung stung strung Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode pluck shuck clung slung

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98 Lesson 16 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: a b c d h l m n p r s t v Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some shorter words. encode decode encode decode camp damp lamp ramp tamp vamp and band hand land sand Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode ramp tamp vamp land sand Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode camp damp lamp and band hand Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____. encode decode encode decode champ clamp cramp scamp stamp bland brand stand strand Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode cramp scamp stamp stand strand Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode champ clamp bland brand

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99 Lesson 17 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b c d e f h j l m n p r s t v Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some shorter words. encode decode encode decode bend end fend lend mend rend best jest lest nest pest rest Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode lend mend rend nest pest rest Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode bend end fend best jest lest Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____. encode decode encode decode blend spend prend trend blest chest crest vest best Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode prend trend crest vest best Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode blend spend blest chest

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100 Lesson 18 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b c d f g i k l m n p r s t Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some shorter words. encode decode encode decode bing ding king ping ring sing link mink pink rink sink tink Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode ping ring sing rink sink tink Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode bing ding king link mink pink Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____. encode decode encode decode bling bring cling fling sling spring blink brink clink drink slink stink Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode fling sling spring drink slink stink Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode bling bring cling blink brink clink

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101 Lesson 19 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b c d d f g h j l m o p s t v Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some shorter words. encode decode encode decode bold cold fold gold hold mold bolt colt jolt molt volt Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode gold hold mold jolt molt volt Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode bold cold fold bolt colt Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____. encode decode encode decode old sold told scold dole hole mole stole pole Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode told scold mole stole pole Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode old sold dole hole

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102 Lesson 20 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b c f f g h l n p r s t u Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some shorter words. encode decode encode decode buff cuff huff puff ruff bunt hunt punt runt Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode puff ruff punt runt Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode buff cuff huff bunt hunt Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____. encode decode encode decode bluff gruff scuff stuff snuff blunt flunt grunt shunt Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode scuff stuff snuff grunt shunt Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode bluff gruff blunt flunt

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103 Lesson 21 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: a b c d e f g h j l m p r s t w Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some short words. encode decode encode decode bade fade jade made wade age cage page rage sage Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode made wade rage sage Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode bade fade jade age cage page Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode blade glade grade shade spade wage stage mage tage Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode shade spade mage tage Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode blade glade grade wage stage

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104 Lesson 22 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b f g e e h k l n p r s t w Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some short words. encode decode encode decode bee fee lee see tee wee feel heel keel peel reel Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode see tee wee peel reel Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode bee fee lee feel heel keel Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode flee free glee tree knee kneel creel steel wheel Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode glee tree knee steel wheel Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode flee free knee creel

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105 Lesson 23 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b c d e g h i l m n p r s t w Step 1: Reading and spelling shorter words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some shorter words. encode decode encode decode ice dice lice mice nice rice ide ride hide side tide wide Step 2: Reading and spelling shorter words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode mice nice rice side tide wide Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode ice dice lice ide ride hide Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode price slice spice splice twice thice pride slide glide snide stride bride Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode splice twice thice snide stride bride Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode price slice spice pride slide glide

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106 Lesson 24 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b c d e g h j k l m n o p r s t w y Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some short words. encode decode encode decode lobe robe globe probe joke poke woke yoke toke Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode globe probe yoke toke Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode lobe robe joke poke woke Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode code mode node rode strode prode broke choke smoke spoke stoke stroke Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode rode strode prode spoke stoke stroke Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode code mode node broke choke smoke

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107 Lesson 25 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b c d d f e h j l m n p r t u Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some short words. encode decode encode decode dude nude rude crude prude bump dump hump jump lump Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode crude prude jump lump Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode dude nude rude bump dump hump Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode cue due hue blue clue true blump chump clump frump Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode blue clue true clump frump Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode cue due hue blump chump

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108 Lesson 26 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: a b c d e e f h k l m n p r s t w y Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some short words. encode decode encode decode by my cry dry fry fly dye nye eye lye Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode dry fry fly eye lye Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode by my cry dye nye Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode ply pry shy sky sly spy try why eye rye Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode sky sly spy eye rye Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode ply pry shy try why

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109 Lesson 27 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: a b c d f g e h k l m n r s t Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some short words. encode decode encode decode bake cake fake lake make rake came dame fame game lame name Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode lake make rake game lame name Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode bake cake fake came dame fame Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode brake drake flake shake snake stake blame flame frame shame Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode shake snake stake frame shame Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode brake drake flake blame flame

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110 Lesson 28 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: a b c d f e g h l m n p r s t t w z Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some short words. encode decode encode decode beam ream seam team zeam beat feat heat meat neat seat Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode team zeam meat neat seat Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode beam ream seam beat feat heat Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode cream dream gleam scream steam stream bleat cheat cleat treat wheat Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode scream steam stream treat wheat Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode cream dream gleam bleat cheat cleat

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111 Lesson 29 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b d f g e h i l m n p p r s t w Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some short words. encode decode encode decode dine fine line mine pine tine ripe wipe sipe fipe pipe Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode mine pine tine sipe fipe pipe Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode dine fine line ripe wipe Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode brine shine shrine spine swine whine gripe snipe stripe swipe tripe Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode spine swine whine swipe tripe Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode brine shine shrine gripe snipe stripe

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112 Lesson 30 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b c d e g h l n o p r s t z Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some short words. encode decode encode decode bone cone hone lone tone zone bore core gore pore sore tore Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode lone tone zone pore sore tore Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode bone cone hone bore core gore Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode clone crone drone phone prone stone chore score shore snore spore store Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode phone prone stone snore spore store Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode clone crone drone chore score shore

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113 Lesson 31 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: a b f g i l l m n p q r s t u Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some short words. encode decode encode decode ail bail fail mail nail sail gain lain main pain rain train Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode ail bail fail gain lain main Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode mail nail sail pain rain train Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode flail frail snail trail brail quail brain grain plain slain stain strain Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode trail brail quail slain stain strain Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode flail frail snail brain grain plain

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114 Lesson 32 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: a b c d e f h k l m n p r s t w Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some short words. encode decode encode decode beak leak peak teak weak bleak deal heal meal peal real seal Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode teak weak bleak peal real seal Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode beak leak peak deal heal meal Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode creak freak sneak speak streak tweak freal spreal smeal steal Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode speak streak tweak smeal steal Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode creak freak sneak freal spreal

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115 Lesson 33 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b c d e f g h i k l p r s t v Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some short words. encode decode encode decode die fie lie pie tie vie brief chief grief thief Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode pie tie vie grief thief Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode die fie lie brief chief Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode cries dries flies fries skies tries field riled shield vield Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode fries skies tries shield vield Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode cries dries flies field rield

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116 Lesson 34 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: a b c d f g h i k l m o p r s t Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some short words. encode decode encode decode goad load road toad oak soak boil coil foil oil soil toil Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode toad oak soak oil soil toil Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode goad load road boil coil foil Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode cloak croak coal foal goal shoal spoil broil oist foist hoist moist Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode foal goal shoal foist hoist moist Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode cloak croak coal spoil broil oist

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117 Lesson 35 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b d e f g h j l m n o u p r s t Step 1: Reading and spelling shorter words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some shorter words. encode decode encode decode house mouse douse louse budge fudge judge nudge Step 2: Reading and spelling shorter words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode douse louse judge nudge Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode house mouse budge fudge Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode blouse grouse spouse trouse grudge sludge smudge trudge Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode spouse trouse smudge trudge Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode blouse grouse grudge sludge

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118 Lesson 36 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: a b c e f g l m n p r s t z Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some short words. encode decode encode decode face lace mace pace race zace bane cane lane mane pane sane Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode pace race zace mane pane sane Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode face lace mace bane cane lane Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode brace grace place space trace blane flane zane crane plane Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode space trace crane plane Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode brace grace place blane flane zane

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119 Lesson 37 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: a b c d e f g h l n p r s t Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some short words. encode decode encode decode sea tea flea breach each leach dear ear fear gear hear near Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode beach each leach gear hear near Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode sea tea flea dear ear fear Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode peach reach teach bleach breach preach sear tear clear shear smear spear Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode bleach breach preach shear smear spear Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode peach reach teach sear tear clear

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120 Lesson 38 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b c d f g h i l k p r s t w Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some short words. encode decode encode decode sir stir whir bird gird third dish fish wish swish disk wisk Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode bird gird third swish disk risk Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode sir stir whir dish fish wish Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode dirt flirt shirt skirt birth girth brisk frisk whisk lisp wisp crisp Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode skirt birth girth lisp wisp crisp Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode dirt flirt shirt brisk frisk whisk

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121 Lesson 39 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: a b c d f g l m n o o p r s t Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some short words. encode decode encode decode foam loam roam loan moan groan boo coo goo moo food mood brood Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode loan moan groan food mood brood Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode foam loam roam boo coo goo moo Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode oast boast coast roast toast goof roof proof spoof boom doom Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode roast toast spoof boom doom Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode oast boast coast goof roof proof

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122 Lesson 40 Prepare each student a tray with the following magnetic letters: b c d f e h j k l m n p r s t u y Step 1: Reading and spelling short words. Say to students, Today we are going to start by making some short words. encode decode encode decode duke nuke fluke mule rule yule bunk dunk funk hunk junk punk Step 2: Reading and spelling short words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can read and spell some short words. First mix all your letters together. Now, lets see who can be the first to spell the word I say. encode mule rule yule hunk junk punk Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled. decode duke nuke fluke bunk dunk funk Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Say to students, Now, the words are going to start getting a little harderare you ready? Lets see if you can spell the word _____ . encode decode encode decode June tune prune dune crune yune chunk flunk plunk shrunk spunk Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Say to students, Now I want to see how quickly you can spell longer words. First mix all your letters together. encode dune crune yune shrunk spunk trunk Collect trays so students will attend to your letters. Using your letters, spell the following words and ask one student at a time to quickly read the word you spelled: decode June tune prune chunk flunk plunk

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APPENDIX F CHECKLIST Manipulative Letter Study: Treatment Fidelity Checklist Instructor: Group: Date: Observer: School: Lesson start time: End time: Session Length: Step 1: Reading and spelling shorter words. Yes N o The instructor guided students in reading and spelling shorter words. Instructor guided students in encoding words. Instructor guided students in decoding words. Instructor used all words from lesson list. Focus of this step was on accuracy. Step 2: Reading and spelling shorter words quickly. Yes N o The instructor guided students in reading and spelling shorter words quickly. Instructor guided students in encoding words quickly. Instructor guided students in decoding words quickly. Instructor used all words from lesson list. Focus of this step was on automaticity. Step 3: Reading and spelling longer words. Yes N o The instructor guided students in reading and spelling longer words. Instructor guided students in encoding words. Instructor guided students in decoding words. Instructor used all words from lesson list. Focus of this step was on accuracy. 123

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124 Step 4: Reading and spelling longer words quickly. Yes N o The instructor guided students in reading and spelling longer words quickly. Instructor guided students in encoding words quickly. Instructor guided students in decoding words quickly. Instructor used all words from lesson list. Focus of this step was on automaticity. Observation notes:

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LIST OF REFERENCES Adams, M. J. (1990). Beginning to read: Thinking and learning about print. Cambridge, MA: Academic Press. Blum, I. H., & Koskinen, P. S. (1991). Repeated reading: A strategy for enhancing fluency and fostering expertise. Theory Into Practice, 30(3), 195-200. Cowie, R., Cowie-Douglas, E., & Wichman, A. (2002). Language and Speech, 45, 47-83. Chall, J. (1996). Learning to read: The great debate (3 rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. Chard, D. J., & Osborn, J. (1999a). Phonics and word recognition in early reading programs: Guidelines for accessibility. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 14(2), 107-118. Chard, D. J., & Osborn, J. (1999b). Word recognition instruction: Paving the road to successful reading. Intervention in School and Clinic, 34(5), 271-277. Chard, D. J., Vaughn, S, & Tyler, B. (2002). A synthesis of research on effective interventions for building reading fluency with elementary students with learning disabilities. Journal of Leaning Disabilities, 35(5), 386-406. Dahl, P. R. (1979). An experimental program for teaching high speed word recognition and comprehension skills. In J.E. Button, T. Lovitt, & T. Rowland (Eds.), Communications research in learning disabilities and mental retardation (pp. 33-65). Baltimore, MD: University Park Press. Dooley, D. (2001). Social research methods (4 th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Dowhower. S. L. (1987). Effects of repeated reading on second-grade transitional readers fluency and comprehension. Reading Research Quarterly, 22(4), 389-406. Dowhower, S. L. (1991). Speaking of prosody: Fluencys unattended bedfellow. Theory Into Practice, 30, 166-175. Dowhower, S. L. (1994). Repeated reading revisited: Research into practice. Reading & Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties, 10, 343-358. 125

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126 Ehri, L. C. (1991). Development of the ability to read words. In P. B. Mosenthal (Eds.), Handbook of reading research (pp. 383-417), White Plains, NY: Longman Publishing. Ehri, L. C. (1995). Phases of development in learning to read words by sight. Journal of Research in Reading, 18(2), 116-125. Ehri, L. C. (1998). Grapheme-phoneme knowledge is essential for learning to read words in English. In J. L. Metsala & L. C. Ehri (Eds.), Word recognition in beginning literacy (pp. 3-40), Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Ehri, L. C., & McCormick, S. (1998). Phases of word learning: Implications for instruction with delayed and disabled readers. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 14, 135-163. Ehri, L. C., & Robbins, C. (1992). Beginners need some decoding skill to read words by analogy. Reading Research Quarterly, 27, 12-26. Ehri, L. C., & Wilce, L. S. (1987a). Cipher versus cue reading: An experiment in decoding acquisition. Journal of Educational Psychology, 79, 3-13. Ehri, L. C., & Wilce, L. S. (1987b). Does learning to spell help beginners learn to read words? Reading Research Quarterly, 22, 47-65. Ehri, L. C., & Wilce, L. S. (1983). Development of word identification speed in skilled and less skilled beginning readers. Journal of Education Psychology, 75(1), 3-18. Fawcett, S. B. (1991). Social validity: A not on methodology. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 24, 235-239. Flowers, L., Meyer, M. S., & Lovato, J. (2001). Does third grade discrepancy status predict the course of reading development? Annals of Dyslexia, 51, 49-71. Foorman, B. R., & Torgesen, J. (2001). Critical elements of classroom and small-group instruction promote reading success in all children. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 16(4), 203-212. Foorman, B. R., Francis, D. J., Fletcher, J. M., Schatschneider, C., & Mehta, P. (1998). The role of instruction in learning to read: Preventing reading failure in at-risk children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90, 37-55. Foorman, B. R., Francis, D. J., Novy, D. M., & Liberman, D. (1991). How letter-sound instruction mediates progress in first-grade reading and spelling. Journal of Education Psychology, 83(4), 456-468. Fuchs, L. S., Fuchs, D., Hosp, M. K., & Jenkins, J. R. (2001). Oral reading fluency as Indicator of reading competence: A theoretical, empirical, and historical analysis. Scientific Studies of Reading, 5(3), 239-256.

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127 Gaskins, I. W., & Ehri, L. C. (1997). Procedures for word learning: Making discoveries about words. Reading Teacher, 50(4), 1-16. Good, R. H., Kaminski, R. A., & Dill, S. (2002). DIBELS Oral reading fluency. In R. H. Good & R. A. Kaminski (Eds.), Dynamic indicators of basic early literacy skills (6 th ed.). Eugene, OR: Institute for the Development of Educational Achievement. Goswami, U. (2000). Phonological and lexical processes. In R. Barr, M. L. Kamil, P. B. Mosenthal, & P. D. Pearson (Eds.), Handbook of reading research (Vol. 3, pp. 251-267). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Hasbrouck, J. E., & Tindal, G. (1992). Curriculum-based oral reading fluency norms for students in grades 2 through 5. Teaching Exceptional Children, 41-44. Herman, P. A. (1985). The effect of repeated readings on reading rate, speech pauses, and word recognition accuracy. Reading Research Quarterly, 20, 553-565. Homan, S. P., Klesius, J. P., & Hite, C. (1993). Effects of repeated readings and non-repetitive strategies on students fluency and comprehension. Journal of Educational Research, 87(2), 94-99. Hook, P. E., & Jones, S. D. (2002). The importance of automaticity and fluency for efficient reading comprehension. International Dyslexia Association, 28(1), 9-1. Hudson, R., Mercer, C. D., & Lane, H. (2000). Exploring reading fluency: A paradigmatic overview. Unpublished manuscript, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Kuhn, M., & Stahl, S. A. (2000). Fluency: A review of developmental and remedial practices (pp. 1-47). Washington, DC: Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA), Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED). LaBerge, D., & Samuels, S. J. (1974). Toward a theory of automatic information processing in reading. Cognitive Psychology, 6, 293-323. Lane, H. B., Pullen, P. C., & Hudson, R. F. (2003). Identifying essential instructional components of literacy tutoring. Unpublished Manuscript. University of Florida. Levy, B. A., Abello, B., & Lysynchuk, L. (1997). Transfer from word training to read in context: Gains in reading fluency and comprehension. Learning Disability Quarterly, 20, 173-188. Levy, B. A., Nicholls, A., & Kohen, D. (1993). Repeated readings: Process benefits for good and poor readers. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 56, 303-327. Lyon, R. G. (1998). Why reading is not a natural process. Educational Leadership,55 (6), 1-7.

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128 Lyon, R. G., & Moats. L. C. (1997). Critical conceptual and methodological considerations in reading intervention research. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 30(6), 578. Manis, F. R., Doi, L. M., & Bhaktawahr, B. (2000). Naming speed, phonological awareness, and orthographic knowledge in second graders. Journal of Leaning Disabilities, 33(4), 325-347. Manzo, K. K., & Sack, J. L. (1997). Effectiveness of Clinton reading plan question. Education Week, 1, 28-30. Mastropieri, M. A., Leinart, A., & Scruggs, T. E. (1999). Strategies to increase reading fluency. Intervention in School and Clinic, 34(5), 278-283, 292. Mathes, P. G., Howard, J. K., Allen, S. H., & Fuchs, D. (1998). Peer-assisted learning strategies for first-grade readers: Responding to the needs of diverse learners. Reading Research Quarterly, 33(1), 62-90. Mercer, C. D., Campbell, K. U., Miller, M. D., Mercer, K. D., & Lane, H. B. (2000). Effects of a reading fluency intervention for middle schoolers with specific learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 15(4), 179-189. Mercer, C. D., & Mercer, A. R. (2001). Teaching students with learning problems (6 th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall. Metsala, J. L., & Ehri, L. C. (1998). Word recognition in beginning literacy. Mahwah, NJ: Earlbaum. Meyer, M. S., & Felton, R. H. (1999). Repeated reading to enhance fluency: Old approaches and new directions. Annals of Dyslexia, 49, 283-306. National Reading Panel. (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instructions. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and human Services, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH Pub. No. 00-4753. Orton Dyslexia Society. (1997). Informed instruction for reading success: Foundations for teacher preparation (a position paper of the Orton Dyslexia Society). Baltimore: Author. Orton, S. T. (1937). Reading, writing, and speech problems in children. New York: W. W. Norton. OShea, L. J., & OShea, D. J. (1988). Using repeated reading. Teaching Exceptional Children, 26-29.

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129 Perfetti, C. A. (1992). The representation problem in reading acquisition. In P. B. Gough, L. C. Ehri, & R. Treiman (Eds.), Reading acquisition (pp. 145-147). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Pinnell, G. S., & Fountas, I. C. (1998). Word matters: Teaching phonics and spelling in the reading/writing classroom. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Pullen, P. (2000). The effects of alphabetic word work with manipulative letters on the reading acquisition of struggling first-grade students (Doctoral dissertation, University of Florida, 1990). Dissertation Abstracts International, 61(8), 3108A. Pullen, P., Lane, H., Lloyd, J., Nowak, R., & Ryals, J. (2003). Explicit decoding instructions. Unpublished manuscript. Rashotte, C. A., & Torgesen, J. K. (1985). Repeated reading and reading fluency in learning disabled children. Reading Research Quarterly, 20, 180-188. Rasinski, T. V. (2000). Speed does matter in reading. The Reading Teacher, 54(2), 146-151. Rasinski, T. V., Padak, N., Linek, W., & Sturtevant, E. (1994). Effects of development on urban second-grade readers. Journal of Education Research, 87(3), 158-165. Reutzel, D. R., & Hollingsworth, P. M. (1993). Effects of fluency training on second graders reading comprehension. Journal of Education Research, 86(64), 325-331. Richards, M. (2000). Be a good detective: Solve the case of oral reading fluency. Reading Teacher, 53(7), 534-539. Samuels, J. (2000). Building reading fluency: Theory and application. Unpublished manuscript, University of Minnesota. Samuels, S. J. (1979). The method of repeated readings. The Reading Teacher, 32(4), 403-408. Samuels, S. J. (1997). The method of repeated readings. Reading Teacher, 50(5), 376-382. Schreiber, P. A. (1991). Understanding prosodys role in reading acquisition. Theory Into Practice, 30(3), 160-164. Schatschneider, C., Torgesen, J. K., Buck, J., & Powell-Smith, K. (2004). A multivariate study of factors that contribute to individual differences in performance on the Florida Comprehensive Reading Assessment Test. Technical Report #5, Florida Center for Reading Research, Tallahassee, FL.

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130 Schwartz, I. S., & Baer, D. M. (1991). Social validity assessments: Is current practice state of the art? Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 24, 189-204. Shinn, M. R., & Good, R. H. (1992). Curriculum-based measurement of oral reading fluency: A confirmatory analysis of its relation to reading. School Psychology Review, 21(3), 459. Sindelar, P. T., Monda, L. E., & OShea, L. J. (1990). Effects of repeated readings on instructional and mastery level readers. Journal of Educational Research, 83(4), 220-226. Snow, C. E., Burns, M. S., & Griffin, P. (1998). Preventing reading difficulties in young children. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Speece, D. L., Mills, C., Ritchey, K. D., & Hillman, E. (2003). Initial evidence that letter fluency tasks are valid indicators of early reading skill. The Journal of Special Education, 36(4), 223-233. Stanovich, K. E., Cunningham, A., & Feeman, D. J. (1984). Relation between early reading acquisition and word decoding with and without context: A longitudinal study of first grade children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 76(4), 668-677. Stein, M., Johnson, B., & Gutlohn, L. (1999). Analyzing beginning reading programs: The relationship between decoding instruction and text. Remedial and Special Education, 20(5), 275-287. Stoddard, K., Valcante, G., Sindelar, P., OShea, L., & Algozzine, B. (1993). Increasing reading rate and comprehension: The effects of repeated readings, sentence segmentation, and intonation training. Reading Research and Instruction, 4, 53-65. Stokes, T. F., & Baer, D. M. (1977). An implicit technology of generalization. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 10, 349-367. Storch, S. A., & Grover, J. W. (2002). Oral language and code-related precursors to reading evidence from a longitudinal structural model. Developmental Psychology, 38(6), 934-947. Torgesen, J. K., Rashotte, C. A., & Alexander, A. W. (2001). Dyslexia, fluency, and the brain. Parkton, MD: New York Press. Torgesen, J. K., Wagner, R. K., & Rashotte, C. A. (1997a). Prevention and remediation of severe reading disabilities: Keeping the end in mind. Scientific Studies of Reading, 1(3), 217-234. Torgesen, J. K., Wagner, R. K., & Rashotte, C. A. (1999). Test of word reading efficiency. Austin: TX, Pro-ed.

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131 Torgesen, J. K., Wagner, R. K., Rashotte, C. A., Burgess, S., & Hecht, S. (1997b). Contributions of phonological awareness and rapid automatic naming ability to the growth of word-reading skills in second-to fifth-grade. Scientific Studies of Reading, 1(2), 161-185. Torgesen, J. K., Wagner, R. K., Rashotte, C. A., Rose, E., Lindamood, P., Conway, T., & Garvan, C. (1999). Preventing reading failure in young children with phonological processing disabilities group and individual responses to instruction. Journal of Education Psychology, 91(4), 579-593. Vadasy, P. F., Jenkins, J. R., & Pool, K. (2000). Effects of tutoring in phonological and early reading skills on students at risk for reading disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 33, 6. Van der Leij, A., & Van Daal, V. H. (1999). Automatization aspects of dyslexia: Speed limitations in word identification, sensitivity to increasing task demands, and orthorgraphic compensation. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 32(5), 417. Vaughn, S., Chard, D. J., Bryant, D. P., Coleman, M., Tyler, B., Linan-Thompson, S., & Kouzekanani, K. (2000). Fluency and comprehension interventions for third-grade students. Remedial and Special Education, 21(6), 325. Wagner, R. K., Torgesen, J. K., & Rashotte, C. A. (1999). Comprehensive test of phonological processing. Austin: TX, Pro-ed. Wolf, M. M. (1978). Social validity: The case for subjective measurement or how Applied behavior analysis is finding its heart. Journal of Applied Behavior, 11, 203-214. Wolf, M., Bowers, P. G., & Biddle, K. (2000). Naming-speed processes, timing, and reading: A conceptual review. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 33(4), 387-431. Wolf, M., & Katzir-Cohen, T. (2001). Reading fluency and its intervention. Scientific Studies of Reading, 5(3), 211-239. Woodcock, R. W. (1997). Woodcock diagnostic reading battery. Itasca: IL, Riverside Publishing Young, A., & Bowers, P. (1995). Individual difference and text difficulty determinants of reading fluency and expressiveness. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 60, 428-454. Young, A. R., Bowers, P. G., & MacKinnon, G. E. (1996). Effects of prosodic modeling and repeated reading on poor readers fluency and comprehension. Applied Pscholinguistics,17, 59-84. Zutell, J., & Rasinski, T. V. (1991). Training teachers to attend to their students oral reading fluency. Theory Into Practice, 30, 211-217

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH An accurate account of my life must begin with my grandparents who raised me as a child. My grandfather, Rev. Ben Bogan, is a retired steel worker and minister at St. John Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. His wife, the late Bernice Bogan (my grandmother), was a devout caregiver for the nurses guild and the elderly. They were given custody of me from infancy due to my fathers commitment to the U.S. Army (Vietnam) and my mothers desire to accompany him. In my parents absence my grandparents provided a loving and caring environment that yielded the stability I needed as a child. The family that I grew up in had strong religious convictions, sturdy work ethics, and the belief that social skills should be promoted by athletics. Participation in bible study was required 3 days out of the week. My weekends were spent learning the family trade of farming, otherwise known as discing and plowing. Since we lived in a metropolitan city, the concept of farming became obsolete for an industrialized area. By the age of 12, I had become an accomplished student and a respected athlete in three sports. During my senior year, I was elected class president and maintained an academic standing near the top of my graduating class. I lettered in varsity football and soccer. My primary focus was completing high school. After graduation in 1983, it occurred to me that I had only two career options to choose fromeither join the military or take a job in the steel mill. I had received numerous athletic inquiries regarding football and several 132

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133 academic scholarships. I was unable to take advantage of the offers because I received poor guidance from the school counselor and lacked understanding for college admission procedures. The stage was set for an interesting turn of events. The summer after graduation, I worked as a contractor with my grandfather and spent many days discussing my bleak career options. We decided that the steel mill would not be a good choice. He asked me to visit my uncle who was an orthodontist (Thomas L. Alexander) to find out how to get into college. My uncle explained the process of admissions and contacted the necessary people to enable me to start college that fall. My grandfather once again had given me the best advice available. I enrolled at Talladega College, which is a historically black college (HBC) located near the famous Talladega racetrack. The first year at Talladega College was a nightmare, for I had little knowledge of the type of school that I was attending. Talladega College is a private institution and one of the oldest black colleges in the United States. The school had open enrollment, but their tuition costs were very expensive. I considered leaving school, but I remembered my uncle telling me, Talladega is the type of school that will hold your hand and grow you up in this new America; the culture that the school offers will help you reach your potential as a man. Those were inspiring words coming from a graduate of Tuskegee Institute, another HBC. The decision to stay in school was quickly reached, and I joined the military (U.S. Army) to make college affordable. This decision also gave me an opportunity to expand my knowledge of the world around me. Later in life, Talladegas attention to character development would prepare me for many obstacles.

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134 After college I continued to serve in the military, as it afforded me an opportunity to use my education and training to develop a career. After 18 months of service on my second tour, the Army accepted me for Officer Candidate School (OCS). Six months later, I graduated from OCS on May 1, 1989. During my tour as an officer, training periods were spent all over the United States and extensively in the Middle East. The theatre of combat, Operation Desert Storm, was my longest tour of overseas duty. The experience of a combat tour can place a mental strain on all soldiers that can have a positive or negative impact on the rest of their lives. Military life affected me positively and enriched my understanding of the value of life. One morning in a small village near El Sha-ra (Middle East), I remembered an old pledge to my father and God, stating, Always remember to give back to God and his people; God will save the faithful. That quote stayed in my thoughts, along with a desire to honor such a pledge. During my return flight from Saudi-Arabia, it occurred to me that I could fulfill my pledge by helping children. I served in the U.S. Army for 9.5 years. The contract that bound me to the military expired on December 7, 1992. That spring I enrolled at Jacksonville State University to begin my studies in education. The commitment to become a teacher is how I declared I would fulfill my pledge to God. The decision to work with very young children (early childhood) was the level I chose for study because I felt that was where the greatest impact could be made in a childs life. I graduated from Jacksonville State University in December of 1994. The first teaching job offered to me was in Atlanta. The school assigned to me had numerous internal problems and a bad climate for a beginning teacher. Luckily, within days the

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135 Birmingham Board of Education recruited me, and I accepted their offer. I was assigned to Powell Elementary School (urban) where the job required both teaching and administrative duties compatible with my previous career. I spent 5 years working with students and gained valuable insights on education as a career. The experience and knowledge helped me realize that a career in education could be more than just the repayment of a pledge: it could be my lifes fulfillment. I now envision that I can reach more people through a career in higher education and pass on my legacy to help children.