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Scaling-Up Interventions for Preventing Reading Problems. Patricia Mathes, Ph.D. Live Chat, December 15, 2008. Presentation Goals. Participants will leave this session with:

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scaling up interventions for preventing reading problems
Scaling-Up Interventions for Preventing Reading Problems

Patricia Mathes, Ph.D.

Live Chat, December 15, 2008

presentation goals
Presentation Goals

Participants will leave this session with:

  • a deeper understanding of the challenges of maintaining and sustaining research proven instructional practices across time.
  • a plan for action to ensure instructional innovations continue into the future.
life cycle of scaling
Life Cycle of Scaling

Implementation (year 1)

Sustaining (year 2)

Maintaining (year 3)

Institutionalization (year 4)

what is being scaled up
Tier 1: Quality Core

Enhanced general education classroom instruction.

Tier 2: Secondary Intervention

Child receives more intense intervention in general education, presumably in small groups.

Tier 3: Tertiary

Intervention increases in intensity and duration. Support typically needed across years.

What is Being Scaled-Up

If progress is inadequate, move to next level.

tier 1 alone
Tier 1 -- Alone

*extrapolated to entire population


5 Year Olds Before Learning To Read





Simos, P.G., FletcherJ.M., Foorman, B.R., Francis, D.J., Castillo, E.M., Davis, R.N., Fitzgerald, M., Mathes, P.G., Denton C. & Papanicolaou, A.C. (2002). Brain activation profiles during the early stages of reading acquisition. Child Neurology.


Good Intervention Normalizes Brain Activation Patterns

Before Intervention







Science Matters!

SBRR vs. nonSBRR intervention

nonSBRR Intervention vs. core only

Data presented as Effect Sizes – anything over .20 is educationally relevant

the real world tier 2
The Real World: Tier 2

a = Early Interventions in Reading

b = Responsive Reading

  • What are barriers and facilitators to research-supported educational practices be implemented wide-scale in schools?
scaling two intervention
Responsive Intervention

(Denton & Hocker, 2005)

Systematic, explicit instruction in synthetic phonics & analogy phonics

Students apply decoding, fluency, & comprehension skills while reading/ writing

Teachers respond to student needs documented through assessment

Leveled text (decodable can be integrated)

Early Interventions in Reading(Mathes & Torgesen, 2005)

Explicit instruction in synthetic phonics, with emphasis on fluency and comprehension strategies.

Decodable text

Carefully constructed scope and sequence designed to prevent possible confusions

Daily Lessons are prescriptive

Lessons are fully Specified

Scaling Two Intervention

**Prepublication title = Proactive Reading.

previous research results
Students in both interventions performed significantly better than at-risk students in the same school who did not receive the interventions in phonological awareness, word reading, and oral reading fluencyPrevious Research Results
the current project 2004 08
The Current Project(2004-08)
  • 78 Schools in the Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin areas across 4 years.
  • Farthest North-Farthest South: 255 Miles
  • Farthest East-Farthest West: 105 Miles
  • Schools had a choice of intervention
  • Large urban, suburban, and very small rural districts
factors that impact outcomes
Factors that Impact Outcomes
  • Quantity of implementation
  • Quality of instruction
  • Quantity has more power than than quality!
  • Both are important!
critical components for high levels of quality and quantity
Critical Components for high levels of Quality and Quantity


Teaching Expertise


Scientifically-Based Curriculum

the real world
The Real World
  • What are the barriers to getting results?
    • Teacher mobility
    • Teacher Support
    • Leadership Support
    • Infrastructure
teacher mobility over is a huge obstacle
Teacher mobility over is a huge obstacle!

2004-05 = 45 teachers

2005-06 = 19 returning teachers (58% loss)

2006-07 = 8 returning teachers (83% total loss)

2007-08 = 4 returning teachers (92% total loss)

teacher support
Teacher Support
  • Staff Development is not enough.
  • High teach mobility results in needs for ongoing support for teachers who are new implementers
  • Even highly expert teachers are faced with challenges.
  • All teachers need ongoing support.
student focused coaching
Student Focused Coaching

classroom observations

Data collection and review

Referencing teacher resources as needed


virtual coaching
Virtual Coaching

Data-Based and Student focused

Classroom Observations


Teacher Resources

Coaches facilitate communication in multiple ways

My coach (one-on-one discussions)

My team (group discussions)

Teleconferencing/videoconferencing (personal coaching)

coaching results
Coaching Results
  • On-site Coaching = to Virtual Coaching on all measures.
  • Both Coaching Models > On-Demand on measures of Phonemic Awareness, Alphabetic Decoding and Word Recognition
  • Teachers in both coaching conditions had higher implementation scores than teachers in the On-Demand Condition.
  • School leadership has to support the instructional model.
    • Protecting time.
    • Building infrastructure
Effective Model

Intervention teacher(s) provides small group in addition to core through-out the day.

Special education, Title1, and general education work together seamlessly.

Ineffective Model

General education teacher provides both core and Tier 2 intervention.

Special services don’t become involved until Tier 3.

life cycle of scaling1
Life Cycle of Scaling

Implementation (year 1)

Sustaining (year 2)

Maintaining (year 3)

Institutionalization (year 4)

life cycle of scaling2
Life cycle of scaling

Implementation (year 1)

Sustaining (year 2)

Maintaining (year 3)

Institutionalization (year 3)

planning for the future
Planning for the Future

How will you ensure that the instructional innovations implemented are sustained?

  • Ongoing Implementation activities?
  • Ongoing teacher support systems?
  • Leadership development and support?
  • Creative funding (Title 1; Special Education – RTI)?
for further information contact

For further information, contact:

Institute for Reading Research