First-grade reading gains following enrichment: phonics plus decodable texts compared to authentic literature read aloud.
Purpose: Phonics instruction with decodable texts reading practice was compared to alternate reading enrichments.
Method: Thirty-two first-graders participated. One group practiced reading decodable texts after phonics instruction. Another group heard authentic literature read aloud, and the third group participated in phonics combined with authentic literature. Additionally an untreated classroom was compared to a treated classroom for a school-based reading measure, DIBELS.
Results: Significant gains on DIBELS were found for the treated classroom compared to an untreated classroom following the semester of the enrichment. All treatment groups showed measurable reading gains, but the effect of the treatment text varied by reading level. Below-average readers demonstrated greater comprehension increases than average readers given phonics plus decodable texts, but average readers had greater improvements following authentic literature read aloud.
Conclusions: Explicit phonics instruction and reading practice with decodable texts can be a prerequisite to successful comprehension for beginning readers; however, as readers advance, they are more likely to benefit from challenging and meaningful literature.
Key Words: beginning reading, decodable texts, authentic literature, phonics, struggling readers
Two chief classroom influences on first-grade reading ability are the methods of reading instruction and the texts used for word recognition practice. While systematic phonics instruction is considered an essential reading component, particularly for beginning and struggling readers (Adams, 1990: Briggs & Clark, 1997; National Reading Panel, 2000), the best type of text for beginning and struggling readers continues to be debated (Hiebert, 1999; Hoffman, Sailors, & Patterson, 2002; National Reading Panel, 2000). A broad range of options--including decodable texts, basals, easy readers, authentic children's literature, and nonfiction--have been championed (see for example, Brown, 1999/2000).
Decodable texts often accompany programs of systematic phonics instruction to assist children in applying phonetic knowledge (Brown, 1999/2000; Jenkins, Peyton, Sanders, & Vadasy, 2004; Juel & Roper/Schneider, 1985; Mesmer, 1999; National Reading Panel, 2000). Decodability, however, is a matter of degree (Beck & Juel, 1995). No text is entirely decodable because high frequency function words (e.g., is, are, the) and phonetically irregular content words (e.g., said, mountain) are included. Other types of decodable texts emphasize a lesson-to-text match, or the use of letter-sound correspondences that have been presented in prior reading lessons (Jenkins et al., 2004). In general, decodable texts are characterized by controlled text emphasizing letter-sound correspondences, spelling patterns, and high frequency irregular sight words embedded in simple sentences, basic storylines, and limited information per page (Brown 1999/2000).
Endorsement of decodable texts spans the past 20 years (Anderson, Hiebert, Scott, & Wilkinson, 1985; Beck & Juel, 1995; Jenkins, Vadasy, Peyton, & Sanders, 2003; Mesmer, 1999; Stahl, Duffy-Hester, & Stahl, 1998) with recent advocacy by state policy makers (e.g, California Department of Education, 2000; Denton, 1997). Foorman, Fletcher, and Francis (1997) have taken one of the strongest positions in favor of decodable texts stating that, "To immerse children in a print environment without instruction in letter-sound correspondences and practice in decodable text is to doom a large percentage of children to reading failure" (p. 16). Supporters posit that regular reading practice using decodable texts reinforces students' alphabetic knowledge, resulting in increased word identification, phonemic awareness, spelling proficiency, and reading fluency.
Despite these claims, a lack of research regarding the usefulness of decodable texts in teaching reading was reported by the National Reading Panel (2000). Research supporting systematic phonics approaches often includes decodable texts as one factor (Jenkins et al., 2003; National Reading Panel, 2000; Pullen, Lane, Lloyd, Nowak, & Ryals, 2005); however, few studies have attempted to isolate the effect of decodability. Juel and Roper/Schneider (1985) found that readers who used basal preprimers containing shorter, phonetically regular words, more word repetitions, and words built on word families were more likely to attempt to decode novel words based on letter-sound correspondences compared to readers who used preprimers with longer and more irregular words. Authors concluded that, "emphasis on a phonics method seems to make little sense if children are given initial texts to read where the words do not follow regular letter-sound correspondence generalizations" (p. 151). Similarly, Menon and Hiebert (2005) reported a significant reading increase by two first-grade classes given "little books" for reading practice. They gained 2.8 text levels compared to two first-grade classes using school-selected literature-based basal readers who gained 1.8 text levels, leading authors to conclude that these beginning readers benefited from phonetically regular words, fewer total words, more words repeated, and increased picture support.
In contrast, Jenkins and colleagues (2004) found no differences in word attack, word identification, or reading efficiency between at-risk first graders tutored using highly decodable texts and those tutored with less decodable texts. It appears, however, that there were minimal differences between the decodability of the texts for the two groups, which may have limited findings. More importantly, tutors mediated children's reading practice in both groups. Authors concluded that supplemental phonics instruction with mediated reading practice, regardless of text decodability, supported at-risk first graders' reading achievements.
The purpose of this study was to investigate reading improvements by first graders using decodable texts within enrichment sessions. Specifically, differences in accuracy for word recognition, oral reading fluency, and reading comprehension were examined. First graders who received systematic phonics instruction with reading practice using decodable texts (labeled the Texts group) were compared to first graders who received phonics instruction without reading practice (the Phonics group) and first graders who were read aloud to from authentic literature (the Literature group). The Texts group was the primary experimental group. The Phonics group was included to separate effects of phonics instruction with and without decodable texts, and the Literature group was considered a treated control group. It was hypothesized that both the Texts and Phonics groups would outperform the Literature group in reading accuracy and fluency. If the Texts group showed greater gains than Phonics, then there would be evidence for the differential benefit of decodable texts. Reading comprehension, although not a targeted skill, was assessed because children in the experimental groups might demonstrate comprehension improvements secondary to improved reading accuracy.
Thirty-two children (M age = 6 years; 9 mos., range = 6;2-7;7) from two first-grade classrooms in a southern public school participated. There were 14 girls and 18 boys: 15 participants were African American, and 17 were white. Fourteen participants, 11 boys and 3 girls, were considered by investigators to have backgrounds at-risk for reading difficulty based on a case history questionnaire completed by parents. At-risk factors included repeating a grade, being identified as speech-language or reading impaired, having late speech onset and immediate family members who were speech-language impaired, or having a significant birth history. The majority of participants, 26, were from two-parent households with at least one parent (i.e., 22 fathers and 25 mothers) who had progressed beyond high school educationally.
Because of the relatively small group sizes, several factors that can affect early reading success were considered during group assignment. Participants whose histories were significant for speech, language, or reading concerns were quasi-randomly distributed across the three groups with attention to gender and ethnicity. Consequently, each group had 6 girls, 5 African Americans, and 6 participants whose histories were unremarkable for speech, language, or reading concerns. Statistics confirmed that there were no significant differences between groups for performance on the reading pretests or for chronological age, p values > .05. Family status among groups was judged similar based on visual inspection of parent education data sorted by group.
The Gray Oral Reading Test, 4th Ed. (GORT-4; Weiderholt & Bryant, 2001) and a benchmark reading assessment associated with Preventing Academic Failure (PAF; Bertin & Perlman, 1998) were used for pre- and posttesting. Participants were assessed individually at the end of January. Examiners were blind to group assignments at pretesting. For reliability purposes, sessions were audio recorded using a digital voice recorder and downloaded to digital computer files.
For the GORT-4, participants were randomly assigned to either Form A or Form B, and, as specified in standardized procedures for administration, participants were directed to read individual stories aloud smoothly and quickly and to prepare to respond to content questions. Each story was timed, and the number of miscues was counted. Interval scores (0-5) were assigned and summed across stories to compute the Rate and Accuracy scores. These were added to get a Fluency score. The Comprehension score was the number correct out of five possible questions per story. All participants began with the first story and progressed until they reached the designated Fluency and Comprehension ceilings. Statistical analyses for Rate, Accuracy, Fluency, and Comprehension were based on summed scores. The Oral Reading Quotient (ORQ), a scaled score based on overall Fluency and Comprehension performance, was also included.
The PAF benchmark consisted of 14 sections of 20 words grouped by word structure (e.g., CVC words with short vowels, words with R-Controlled Vowels, and regularly phonetic multisyllabic words). Testing was discontinued in each section when there was only one correct pronunciation for five words attempted. Scoring consisted of correct or incorrect yielding a Total Correct Words Read out of 280 possible.
Treatment was 16 sessions--eight weeks of twice-weekly, 30-minute enrichment sessions. The Texts and Phonics groups received 10 minutes of multi-sensory, systematic phonics instruction using materials associated with PAF (see Appendix). PAF was selected because it is a systematic phonics approach with key words for letter-sound correspondences, published workbooks, and a set of decodable texts, the Merrill Readers, Levels A-F, 5th Ed. (Bertin, Perlman, Mercer, Rudolph, & Wilson, 1999) that fit PAF's scope and sequence. For the remaining 20 minutes, the Texts group practiced reading from the Merrill Readers, but the Phonics group joined the Literature group. The Literature group was read aloud to for the entire session using books selected from the Yonkers Public School System Summer 2004 Reading Lists, K-2. Examples included The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter and Arthur's Valentine by Marc Brown. Books with a phonological emphasis, including poetry, alphabet books, and other books with rhyme or alliteration, were removed to prevent additional phonological exposure. During each session, approximately three books, varied somewhat for grade level, length, topic, and genre, were read aloud by a teacher, who paused periodically to pose prediction questions.
The two classes participated separately, and treatment order for the classes alternated. Thirteen of the 16 treatment sessions were digitally audio-recorded for treatment integrity purposes. Actual treatment time averaged 26 minutes. Posttesting was completed in three weeks during April. The PAF benchmark and the alternating form of the GORT-4 were administered to each participant. Reading measures were rescored for reliability purposes and 100% agreement was found for scoring Rate and Comprehension on the GORT-4. Reliability for Accuracy on the GORT-4 and the PAF was over 90%.
Difference scores--posttesting scores minus pretesting scores--depict change on the GORT-4 subtests--Rate, Accuracy, Fluency, and Comprehension (see Figure 1). Both the Texts and Literature groups showed similar patterns for Rate, Accuracy, and Fluency. The Phonics group showed little to no increase for Accuracy. For Comprehension, the Literature group's gains appeared largest (M = 4.7), while Texts' mean difference was -0.6. Variation was high. As shown in Figure 2, the Literature group had the largest gain for the GORT-4 ORQ, approximately 8 points, and Phonics showed a small increase. The mean ORQ for the Texts group was unchanged, largely due to poor Comprehension results. Figure 3 depicts pre- to posttesting increases in Total Correct Words Read from the PAF benchmark assessment. All three groups had average increases of approximately 35 words.
Group statistical measures were employed to test for significant differences. The dependent variables were scores from the six reading measures: GORT-4 Rate summed score, GORT-4 Accuracy summed score, GORT-4 Fluency summed score, GORT-4 Comprehension summed score, GORT-4 ORQ, and the Total Correct Words Read from the PAF benchmark. The alpha level to determine statistical significance was set at 0.05. A mixed-model (6 Reading Measures X 2 Times X 3 Groups) analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted with Group as the between-subjects factor and two within-subjects factors, Reading Measure and Time, pre- and posttesting. Significant main effects of Reading Measure (p < .001) and Time (p < .001) and a significant interaction between Reading Measure and Time (p < .001) were found. The between-subjects factor of Group was not significant (p = .388), and no interactions between Reading Measure or Time with Group were significant (p values > .05).
Six paired-samples t tests were conducted to examine the Reading Measure X Time interaction. A one-time Bonferroni correction resulted in alpha equals .008. Statistically significant increases were found for: GORT-4 Rate, Accuracy, and Fluency, and the PAF benchmark Total Correct Words Read. Pre- to posttest increases for GORT-4 Comprehension and ORQ were nonsignificant.
Additionally, four paired-samples t tests for pre- and posttesting scores for Fluency, Comprehension, ORQ, and PAF were conducted for each participant group. Holm's sequential Bonferroni was used to control for false positive research findings. The Texts group showed significant differences for the PAF benchmark (p = .001) and GORT-4 Fluency (p < .001). The Literature group made the most gains, showing significant differences on all measures: PAF (p < .001), GORT-4 Fluency (p < .001), GORT-4 Comprehension (p = .008), and GORT-4 ORQ (p = .005). The Phonics group had a significant increase on the PAF (p = .009).
Gains were revealed for all groups regardless of treatment. For this reason, authors pursued comparison of treated participants to untreated participants using data from a school-based reading measure, Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS; Good & Kaminski, 2002). DIBELS consists of three subtests: Phoneme Segmentation Fluency (PS), Nonsense Word Fluency (NW), and Oral Reading Fluency (OR). Each subtest score is the number of items completed correctly in one minute. DIBELS data were administered by the reading resource teacher at the start of the school year, midyear, and end-of-year. DIBELS data from one treated class (n = 19) were compared to DIBELS data from an untreated class (n = 18). Because all identifying information was removed from DIBELS data prior to analysis, no additional description of children in the untreated class was available. Gain scores for the first half and the second half of the school year are shown in Table 1. When classes were compared for gain scores on the three DIBELS subtests for the first half of the year, no significant difference was found, indicating no differences between classes prior to the reading enrichment sessions. At the second half of the year, however, the treated class had gain scores that were significantly greater on the DIBELS subtests compared to the untreated class (F = 4.52, p = .041). Note that the effect size for this difference was moderate (d = .46).
Treatment effects for the Texts group versus the Phonics or Literature groups may have been difficult to measure in this investigation, because of participant differences in reading ability; therefore, results were re-examined by reading level. Pretreatment GORT-4 ORQs were used to classify participants by reading ability: "average" was an ORQ > 85, "below average" ORQ of 84-77, and "significantly below average" 76 or less, 1.5 SDs below the test mean. Using these criteria, 18 of 32 participants were in the average range, 6 were below average, and 8 were significantly below average. The number of children at each reading level differed somewhat in the three groups. That is, the Texts group had a large number of participants (5 of 11) who were significantly below average. Figure 4 depicts box plots of GORT-4 Comprehension difference scores by reading level within groups. All reading levels in the Literature group showed Comprehension gains, but gains were smallest for significantly below average readers. Increased Comprehension in the Phonics group also was represented in large part by average readers. In contrast, all below average and significantly below average readers in the Texts group had increases in Comprehension, but few average readers showed gains. Statistical analysis revealed nonsignificant differences between average and below average readers; however, a significant difference (p = .017) was indicated for the Texts group. That is, gains pre- to posttesting were significantly greater for below average readers than the gains for average readers in the Texts group.
[FIGURE 4 OMITTED]
Findings revealed significant reading gains by first graders following 16 reading enrichment sessions during the second half of the school year. All groups, regardless of the type of text for reading practice, showed significant improvements for decoding phonetically regular words of increasing complexity and significant improvements for reading fluency. This may be because children typically demonstrate substantial reading achievements during the second half of first grade. However, one classroom receiving our investigation enrichment demonstrated significantly greater increases on a school-based reading measure, DIBELS, when compared to an untreated classroom. That is, approximately 30 minutes of reading enrichment activities provided twice weekly for eight weeks resulted in statistically significant reading outcomes.
The original purpose of this study, however, was not to consider reading enrichment in general. Rather, we were interested in the role of phonics instruction plus decodable texts. Inclusion of a treated control group, Literature, was meant to facilitate isolation of treatment effects. This study, like many other intervention studies, resulted in positive outcomes for the treated control group. The original hypothesis was that the Texts group, who received phonics instruction plus reading practice with decodable texts, would show the greatest improvements in accuracy and fluency. Although gains were observed, similar results occurred for the Literature group. Thus, a differential effect of decodable texts cannot be concluded. Other researchers (e.g., Compton et al., 2005) have lamented the challenges of detecting group effects in the transfer of decoding skills following intervention. Gains in reading comprehension were not observed for the Texts group, but this was not surprising because reading accuracy and fluency, not comprehension, were the focal points of the experimental treatment. Not hypothesized were increases in word recognition by the Literature group, who also showed gains in comprehension.
The Phonics group received the same phonics instruction with the Texts group but without reading practice from decodable texts. Instead, they were read aloud to with the Literature group. In this manner, isolation of the effect of decodable texts from systematic phonics instruction was attempted. In fact, the Phonics group showed the smallest reading gains overall. Gains for the Phonics group were most notable on the PAF benchmark, the measure specifically designed to assess the phonics skills in this curriculum. One difference for the Phonics group was the treatment group size. Texts and Literature groups both received some small-group time (i.e., group size of 6 or 7), but the Phonics group was always paired with either Literature or Texts, resulting in larger treatment groups (12-14). It is interesting to consider whether or not group size could be a factor. The National Reading Panel (2000) reported no differences in the effectiveness of direct phonics reading instruction for small group versus whole classroom investigations.
Another barrier to interpreting differences between the Texts and Phonics groups comes from the significant increases displayed by the Literature group. In fact, the Literature group made significant gains on all measures of fluency and was the only group to show a significant comprehension gain. Although not hypothesized, this finding is not necessarily surprising. The benefits of reading aloud to children are well known, especially for vocabulary development (Elley, 1989; Robbins & Ehri, 1994; Scarborough & Dobrich, 1994; Snow, 1983). These established outcomes have made reading aloud to children, both at home and school, the most frequently recommended activity for encouraging language and literacy (e.g., Adams, 1990; Anderson et al., 1985). Authentic literature in beginning reading programs defined a shift in basal reading textbooks away from skill-based to quality literature that occurred in the early 1990s (e.g., California Department of Education, 2000; Denton, 1997; Hoffman et al., 2002). For that reason, many basal readers in classrooms continue to contain a large amount of classic and currently recognized children's literature (Hoffman et al., 2002; Reutzel & Larsen, 1995). Unlike decodable texts, authentic literature is not limited for word choices or sentence structure by phonetic aspects. Consequently, authentic literature is characterized by rich vocabulary, complex sentence structures, and varied literary styles (Beck & McKeown, 2001; Brown 1999/2000), and children benefit from hearing this challenging content. Feitelson, Kita, and Goldstein (1986) reported that disadvantaged children in Israel showed decoding increases, in addition to comprehension and oral language improvements, when teachers read aloud.
This investigation did not attempt to control for participants' reading ability. Instead, reading ability varied substantially, consistent with the wide variation present in first-grade classrooms, and findings suggest that this was a factor. Below average readers in the Texts group showed comprehension gains while average readers did not. This indirectly supports the investigators' original premise that explicit phonics instruction and reading practice with decodable texts are prerequisites to successful comprehension for beginning readers. These struggling readers improved in comprehension, a skill not taught during the Texts treatment, highlighting the important relationship between decoding and comprehension. On the other hand, participation in the Texts group appeared detrimental to average readers' comprehension. According to Beck and McKeown (2001), text needs to be conceptually challenging, requiring readers to mentally manipulate and construct ideas and to engage actively in meaning construction. Unlike authentic literature, which includes rich details and carefully crafted story elements, meaning construction with decodable texts was not supported by either the texts or the investigator. Children in the Texts group repeatedly questioned the investigator regarding word and text meanings, but their questions were avoided in order to maintain the experimental focus.
A current philosophy is the recognition of the value of different texts for individual readers at specific ages and stages in their reading development (Brown, 1999/2000; Jenkins et al., 2003; Mesmer, 1999). Within this framework, decodable texts represent only one of several types of literature promoting reading acquisition (Hiebert, 1999), and decodability is only one aspect of "text leveling" (Compton, Appleton, & Hosp, 2004). Decodable texts may persuade beginning or struggling readers of the importance of phonics in reading (Jenkins et al., 2003) or serve as a transition to less controlled, more varied authentic stories (Mesmer, 1999). Decodable texts also can assist beginning readers to achieve automaticity for newly learned letter-sound correspondences and structural analysis strategies. Decodable texts, however, may not be requisite for these achievements. Other beginning reader texts can serve similar purposes. Moreover, overuse of decodable texts for average readers, beyond the preprimer level, may actually inhibit reading growth. As texts increase in decodability, predictability and engagingness tend to decrease (Hoffman et al., 2002). These are important considerations. Predictability within text impacts children's reading fluency, and engagingness of texts affects children's reading motivation.
Reading is a complex interaction that cannot be easily broken into a few components. Instead, a balanced literacy program--consisting of an effective combination of skills instruction with meaning-making authentic reading experiences in a highly engaging environment --is recommended (see Pressley, 2002). Successful teachers provide balanced literacy skills instruction by teaching word recognition and comprehension explicitly while fostering children's self-monitoring (Pressley et al., 2001). Highly effective teachers provide skills instruction in reaction to children's needs, prodding students to new heights.
Appendix Overview of the Phonics Instruction and Decodable Texts Practice Week Letter-Sound Correspondences (1) 1 16 Consonants: b, c (as in cat), d, f, g (as in girl), h, j, 1, m, n, p, r, s, t, v, y 3 Short Vowels: apple a, igloo i, umbrella u 2 4 Consonants: x, w, k, z 2 Short Vowels: octopus o, elephant e 3 Digraphs: thin th, check ch, book 00 3 3 Digraphs: sh, qu, and ng 1 Blend: nk 4 5 12 Blends: pl, gl, fl, sl, cl, bl, st, sp, sk, sm, sn, sw 6 5 R-Controlled Vowels: fern er, bird ir, purple ur, corn or, star ar 6 Long Vowels: y (as in fly), snake a-e, nine i-e, bone o-e, flute u-e, these e-e 7 2 Digraphs: ph, wh Week Sight Words (2) Structural Analysis Concepts 1 a, is, on, the, not, Syllable concept look, he, to, in, see, her, his, she, and, I, it 2 Open and Closed Syllables Digraph concept 3 said, for, do, was, Suffix concept you, your, are, have, with, my 4 Syllabication concept VC/CV Rule 5 why, all, there, Blend concept want, one, what, where, some 6 R-Controlled Syllable Silent e Syllable words including open, closed and R- Controlled Syllables Contrasted Closed and Silent-e Syllables 7 V/CV Syllabication Rule Silent-e Syllables Week Application (3) Decodable Texts 1 Short a word families MR (4) Levels A & B Word Families: an, at, ad, it, in, un, up 2 Open and Closed MR Level C Syllables Word Families: at, an, op, ot, et, en, ick, in 3 Derivatives with -s, MR Level D -ing, -ed Short vowels and ng, nk Words with ng, nk 4 VC/CV words MR Level D Short vowels, blends in initial and final positions (e.g., sk, ft, lk, mp), VC/CV words, suffixes 5 Open and Closed MR Level E Syllables Added blends: pl, bl, sp, st, sk 6 R-Controlled MR Level E syllables R blend families, short vowels, sight words, VC/CV7 7 VC/CV and V/CV MR Levels E & F words including short vowels, sight open, closed and R-Controlled words, VC/CV, and a-e Syllables Contrasted Closed word families (ape, ame, and Silent-e Syllables ate, ane) VC/CV words with MR Level F Closed and Silent-e i-e, o-e, u-e, ai, ee Syllables V/CV and VC/V with Open, Closed, and Silent-e Syllables Note. Treatment was designed and scheduled to occur twice weekly for eight weeks, so the Week column represents two treatment sessions. The Texts group participated in all components described above, but the Phonics group did not practice reading with the decodable texts. (1) Letter-Sound Correspondences were introduced and drilled using the Alphabet Picture Cards and Key Word Picture Cards associated with Preventing Academic Failure (Berlin & Penman, 1998). (2) Sight words were selected from Merrill Readers, 5th Ed., Levels A-F (Berlin, Penman, Mercer, Rudolph, & Wilson, 1999). (3) Application activities were created by the first author using materials modified from the Stepping Up in Reading, Books 1, 2, 3 (Berlin & Penman, 2002). (4) MR = Merrill Readers
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BRENDA L. BEVERLY
Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology
University of South Alabama
REBECCA M. GILES
Department of Leadership and Teacher Education
University of South Alabama
KERI L. Buck
Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology
University of South Alabama
Table 1. DIBELS Gain Scores for the First and Second Half of First Grade for One Treated Class and One Untreated Class DIBELS Gain Aug-Dec DIBELS Gain Dec-April PS NW OR PS NW OR Treated Class 2.53 36.68 10.21 7.63 22.37 29.21 (n= 19) (16.71) (30.62) (19.47) (12.91) (20.60) -20.86 Untreated Class 9.78 22.28 12.17 4.78 6.11 22.94 (n= 18) (13.03) (11.58) (25.23) (13.52) (14.77) -31.08 Note. Group means (standard deviations) for three subtests-PS = Phoneme Segmentation Fluency, NW = Nonsense Word Reading Fluency, and OR = Oral Reading Fluency--on Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS; Good & Kaminski, 2002). Figure 1. Groups' mean difference scores based on pretesting and posttesting summed scores for Rate, Accuracy, Fluency, and Comprehension from the Gray Oral Reading Test, 4th Ed. (Weinderholt & Bryant, 2001). Texts Phonics Literature Rate 5.9 3.5 4.8 Accuracy 3.8 1 3.5 Fluency 9.1 4.8 8.1 Comprehension -0.6 1.8 4.7 Note: Table made from bar graph. Figure 2. Groups' prestesting and posttesting mean Oral Reading Quotients (ORQ) from the Gray Oral Reading Test, 4th Ed. (Weiderholt & Bryant, 2001). Texts Phonics Literature PreORQ 89.1 95.8 87.5 PostORQ 89.1 100.6 95.4 Note: Table made from bar graph. Figure 3. Prestesting and posttesting Total Correct Words Read on the benchmark associated with Preventing Academic Failure (Bertin & Perlman, 1998) Texts Phonics Literature PrePAF 74.1 102.9 66.3 PostPAF 110.7 137.7 99.1 Note: Table made from bar graph.