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Reciprocal Peer Tutoring with Parent Involvement (RPT_PI)

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Reciprocal Peer Tutoring with Parent Involvement (RPT_PI)

A Targeted Tier 2 Intervention for Students “At Risk” for Math Difficulties

Heller & Fantuzzo (1993)

See RPT-PI Handout 1

Summary of RPT-PI

- Students identified as “at-risk” for math difficulties working at school in peer tutoring sessions achieve greater outcomes in building math skill when parents are involved.
- When parents of “at risk” students meet together and are asked about preferred strategies for their involvement, they generate options that fit their family culture, schedules, and comfort level.
- When academic intervention incorporates preferred parent involvement methods, parent involvement is more likely to occur and be successful.
- Parents’ reinforcement of skills taught at school have a direct effect on children’s achievement.

- Evidence based targeted group intervention (Tier 2)
- Targeted group in study:
- 4th & 5th grade public elementary students
- African American; 50% male/50% female
- 85% eligible for free/reduced lunch
- “At Risk” for math problems:
- below 50th percentile on a standardized math achievement test AND
- Poor performance in math as rated by classroom teachers.

Implementation of RPT-PI

See RPT-PI Handout 2

for list of Implementation Procedures

- Screen all students in upper elementary grades for students “at risk” for math calculation difficulties.
- Administer CBM calculation math probes, class-wide administrations for each grade level
- Teachers verify “at risk” status
- All students at or below 50th percentile at grade level CBM are given additional tutoring via Reciprocal Peer Tutoring (RPT) groups.

- Use additional Curriculum Based Computation Test (CBM) to:
- Identify 3-4 skill levels from 2nd to 6th grade math.
- Students placed at instructional level identified via CBM
- Level criteria >40th and <75th percentile of level

- Develop CBM computation tests for each skill level.
- Tests 20 minute duration
- Accurate computation per minute (accuracy x speed)

- Identify 3-4 skill levels from 2nd to 6th grade math.
- Form student pairs at each instructional level

- Invite parents of “at risk” students to a Parent Involvement meeting(See RPT_PI Handout 3)
- Parent Meeting Goal: to promote enhanced student achievement and adjustment by including parents in their child’s RPT math intervention.
- Parent Meeting Agenda:
- Parent Critique: parentsasked to critique and offer possible explanations about why parents may or may not want to be involved in their child’s math intervention
- School Acknowledgement: parents sometimes are unable to participate due to work commitments or other responsibilities, not due to lack of interest in child’s education.

- Parent Involvement meeting (continued):
- Parents as a group generate a list of activities that support the intervention, for example:
- Parents provide home rewards for math performance in RPT
- Parents attend classroom sessions to observe children in RPT
- Parents serve as “assistants”, providing aid in the project classroom and contacting other parents.

- Parents are asked to be involved at whatever level fits their schedule and comfort level.
- Parents select the activity(s) they will participate in.

- Parents as a group generate a list of activities that support the intervention, for example:

- Inclusion of parents unable to attend planning meeting by written communication:
- Report “parent critique” results
- Acknowledge parent participation is evaluated by family schedule, comfort level; not lack of interest.
- Parent Involvement activity(s) selection:
- List of parent generated activities
- Ask parent to select activity(s) they want to commit to using
- Schedule time to meet with parent to explain activity(s)

- Parent Issues Home Rewards:
- Parents are telephoned by the school when child wins a home reward for meeting math performance goals
- Parents sign their child’s “award certificate” for meeting the math goal in RPT.
- Parents fill in what reward is issued to their child on the “award certificate” and the student returns the certificate to school.

- Parent Assists during RPT Session:
- Parent trained on RPT procedures; “teacher” and “student”
- Parent assists RPT pairs during sessions (e.g. answers questions, helps with timing, etc.)

- Parent Observes during RPT Session

- Prior to starting intervention, students receive two 45-minute trainings about:
- intervention procedures
- concepts about “partnering” and “goal setting” in instructional pairs.

- RPT Sessions are conducted:
- twice per week
- for approximately 30 minutes
- over 8 months.

- RPT Sessions take place outside the regular classroom, in an “intervention” room.
- Students work in same-sex pairs within a group team of no more than 7 pairs.
- Teacher aides and/or parents work in pairs with intervention group teams that are working in pairs.

- Student “teams” comprised of no more than 7 pairs of students.
- Only one group team meets for RPT at one time.
- Student teams set weekly math achievement goal
- Estimate the number of drill sheet problems the team will answer correctly
- Teacher aides help students select team goal from a restricted range with very small differences in problem difficulty.

- Student teams chose group school reward options (e.g. cleaning blackboards) to be earned as a result of meeting the team goal and to be rewarded in the regular classroom.

- Pairs work together for 20 minutes
- One student in pair designated as “teacher”, the other is designated as “student” for first 10 minutes.
- Reverse “teacher/student” roles for next 10 minutes

- “Teacher” in pair presents a flash card with problem (solution and problem computation steps shown on back of flash card)
- “Student” in pair computes answer on a worksheet divided into 4 sections: “try 1”, “try 2”, “help”, and “try 3”. (See RPT-PI Handout 4)
- If “try 1” correct, “teacher” praises “student” and then moves to next problem.

- If “try 1” incorrect,
- “teacher” gives “student” personal coaching suggestions and prompts.
- “Student” computes problem in “try 2” section. If correct, “teacher” praises “student” and then moves on to next problem.

- If “try 2” is incorrect,
- “teacher” helps by computing problem in the box marked “help” and explains what is being done at each step and answers “student” questions.
- Teacher aides or parents available to help “teacher” if cannot answer questions.

- “Student” calculates problem again in “try 3” section, copying the “help” section.

- “Student” and “teacher” switch roles after 10 minutes and repeat procedures.
- At end of 20 minutes, Drill Sheet Administration:
- All students complete drill sheets containing 16 problems individualized at child’s math proficiency level
- administered for a maximum of 7 minutes.
- Students grade partners’ work using prepared answer sheets.

- Students work together to calculate the total team score to determine if the goal was met. If met, then session is designated as a “win”
- After 3 “wins”:
- each member of the team is permitted to select a reward from a previously generated reward list.
- parents are notified with an “award certificate” and issue a home reward for the win, which is noted on the “award certificate” and returned to school to be posted.

- Periodically progress monitor math skill acquisition via CBM
- Student graphs progress
- Students share graphs with parents

- Flexible dyads and “teams” based on progress monitor results; dyads and teams matched by skill levels; EXIT students who reach grade level proficiency.
- Periodically contact parents to obtain comments about home components
- Reward parents for coming to RPT sessions to assist or observe
- “Team”-made reward for parents
- School recognition of service to students

- Measure student outcome with standardized measure (e.g. WJ-III, math calculation subtest)
- Conduct Treatment Integrity Check during intervention – See RPT-PI Handout 8
- Administer post-intervention (end of year) acceptability and outcome surveys:
- Student Survey – see RPT-PI Handout 6
- Parent Survey – See RPT-PI Handout 7

- “Wrap up” Parent Involvement Meeting at end of year to celebrate successes!
- See RPT-PI Activity 1 for Practice opportunities

About the RPT-PI Study

Heller & Fantuzzo, 1991

- Parent involvement in classroom intervention added significantly to the effectiveness of reciprocal peer tutoring for students identified as at risk for math problems.
- Sample of 80 4th & 5th grade students attending urban public elementary school
- African American; 50% male/50% female
- 85% eligible for free/reduced lunch
- “At Risk” for math problems:
- below 50th percentile on a standardized math achievement test AND
- Poor performance in math as rated by classroom teachers.

- “At risk” students were randomly assigned to one of three conditions:
- Reciprocal Peer Tutoring only (RPT)
- Reciprocal Peer Tutoring plus Parent Involvement (participation in intervention; RPT_PI)
- Control Group (no treatment; CG)

- No pre-treatment differences between groups based on demographics or math achievement levels.

All study measures were administered pre and post intervention, except the social validity measures that were used only at post intervention.

1.Curriculum Based Computation Test (CBM):

- Identified 3 skill levels from 2nd to 5th grade math.
- Students placed at instructional level identified via CBM
- Level criteria >40th and <75th percentile of level

- CBM computation tests developed for each skill level.
- Tests 20 minute duration
- Accurate computation per minute (accuracy x speed)
- High alpha reliability pre and post administration (.93)

2. Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test, 3rd Ed. (SDMT) (Beatty, Madden, Gardner, & Karlsen, 1986) Used computation subtest only.

3. Teacher-Child Rating Scale (T-CRS) (Hightower, Spinell & Lotyczewski, 1989a)

Teachers rated 38 items to measure student school problem behaviors and competencies.

(A) School problems, 3 domains: (a) acting out, (b) shy anxious, and (c) learning skills

(B) Competence, 4 domains: (a) frustration-tolerance to limitations, (b) assertive social skills related to self-confidence, (c) task orientation, and (d) peer social skills related to popularity among peers.

4. Child Rating Scale (CRS) (Hightower, Spinell & Lotyczewski, 1989a)

Students rated 24 items to measure student adjustment across 4 domains measuring self perceptions about : (a) school conduct related to rule compliance and acting out, (b) anxiety/withdrawal due to distress (c) confidence with interpersonal functioning, and (d) interest in academic activities.

5.Treatment Integrity

- Observation and checklists to determine adherence to treatment conditions.
- Random checks of 50% of sessions to assess implementation accuracy.
- Students answered surveyed through questionnaire to determine procedural understanding of the RPT intervention.
- Parents telephoned to check on adherence to agreed upon home strategies and rewards.
6.Social Validity

a. Student satisfaction –

evaluate overall participation, math progress, working with a partner, earning rewards.

b. Teacher satisfaction –

evaluate acceptability of methods, collateral effects of improved achievement on behavior, desire to continue intervention, etc.

c. Parent satisfaction –

evaluate overall satisfaction with project, effect of project on child’s math perfromance, impression of incentive system, feelings regarding frequent telephone communication, and impressions of methods to increase parent involvement

Question: Was the intervention implemented as planned?

- Yes, observation checks showed student and staff adherence to experimental conditions at 94%.
- Student adherence in RPT only = 83%
- Student adherence in RPT_PI = 86%
- Parent adherence in PI-
- Rewards at home condition (26 parents) =100%
- Parents observe in classroom (1/2 agreed, but only 8 did) = 62%
- Parents assist in classroom (4 agreed, but only 1 did) = 25%

- Question: Did student math achievement improve, as demonstrated by CBM?
- Yes, improvement across all groups

- Question: Were there differences between group conditions related to increases in math achievement?
- The percentage of students whose accurate computation rate increased by 50% or more were different among groups:
- RPT+PI = 85% (22/26) – greatest gains
- RPT only = 71% (20/28)
- Control Group = 42% (11/26)

- None of the RPT only or RPT_PI students increased accuracy by less than 10%. However, 19% (5/26) of the students in the Control Group only improved by 10% or less during the 8 month period.

- The percentage of students whose accurate computation rate increased by 50% or more were different among groups:

- Question: Did student math achievement improve, as demonstrated by the SDMT?
- Yes, improvement across all groups

- Question: Were there differences between group conditions related to increases in math achievement?
- The percentage of students whose SDMT score increased by 10% or more were different among groups:
- RPT+PI = 54% (14/26) – greatest gains
- RPT only = 43% (12/28)
- Control Group = 27% (7/26)

- The percentage of students whose SDMT score increased by 10% or more were different among groups:

- Did students improve in school adjustment domains by the end of the intervention?
- Yes, students in the RPT-PI group demonstrated significantly fewer learning skill problems than students in either the RPT Only and the Control Group.
- Yes, students in the RPT-PI group demonstrated a greater degree of confidence in interpersonal skills, assertive social skills, and task orientation than either the RPT Only and the Control Group.

- Question: Did students self-reported social adjustment improve?
- At the end of the 8 month intervention period:
- Both RPT_PI and RPT Only students reported to be significantly more confident in interpersonal functioning than did Control Group students.
- No significant differences between any of the groups on other measures of student adjustment.

- Questions: Did students find the methods and outcomes acceptable?-
- Both the RPT Only and RPT_PI students rated the intervention with high satisfaction (likert scale of 1 to 3, 3 being the highest satisfaction):
- Intervention helped with math (mn=2.81)
- Liked working with a partner (mn=2.50)
- Liked earning rewards in school (mn=2.93.
- A good idea to have family members help children in the intervention (RPT_PI students = mn=2.69; RPT Only = mn=2.32)

- Questions: Did teachers find the methods and outcomes acceptable?
- Yes, overall the average teacher satisfaction rating for the intervention was 3.50 (likert scale of 1-4, with 4 the highest satisfaction)
- Students benefits exceeded costs of teacher aide time (4.0)
- Students improved math performance (3.6)
- Improved classroom conduct (2.0)
- Teachers expressed strong interest in continuing with involvement with intervention (4.0)

- Question: Did parents find the methods and outcomes acceptable?
- Parents were interviewed after the intervention period
- 89% judged substantial improvement in child’s math skills
- 61% noticed positive changes in child’s attitudes towards school
- 90% of parents interviewed reported high overall levels of satisfaction with the project and intervention.
- Parents indicated an interest in participating again in the following school year.

- RPT-PI students as compared to either RPT Only or Control Group students
- Greatest gains in math achievement over the 8 month period.
- Fewer learning skill problems
- Greatest increase in positive prosocial skills

- Satisfaction:
- Students very satisfied and like idea of family members helping out with intervention.
- Teachers very satisfied with outcomes and rated students as having improved math skills but no affect on classroom conduct
- Parents very satisfied with outcomes and rated their children as having improved math skills and better attitudes about school.

- The primary parent involvement activity was issuing a home reward for meeting the team goal in the math intervention. Parents adhered to the home rewards plan 100% during the intervention period!