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Coordinating Instructional Supports: Maximizing Learning and Instructional Resources

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  1. Coordinating Instructional Supports: Maximizing Learning and Instructional Resources College of Education, University of Oregon Center on Teaching & Learning Beth Harn (

  2. Objectives • Summarizing recent research findings related to multi-tiered reading instruction • Minimizing the predictiveness of demographic variables • The power of aligning instructional supports • The impact of intervention time in accelerating early reading development • Intensifying instruction in meaningful ways for students needing intensive supports in second grade

  3. The Role of Instruction for At Risk Readers Classroom instruction is the “single best weapon against reading failure”(NRC, 1998, p. 343) • Instruction is comprised of two components: • What is taught • Content of knowledge to be learned • Early reading: phonological awareness, alphabetic principle, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency with connected text(NRP, 2000; Simmons & Kameenui, 1998) • How the content is designed and delivered(Engelmann & Carnine, 1991; Simmons & Kameenui, 1998) • How the content is organized, structured, and sequenced • Time and grouping structures devoted to learning • The explicitness of the instructional language in communicating specific skills and strategies to support, integrate and expand student learning

  4. Prerequisites of Multi-Tiered Approaches to Implement RTI • Promoting a systems approach focused on prevention • Integrating, coordinating, and differentiating academic and behavioral supports • Using screening and progress monitoring measures • Making data-based decisions with a dual focus on both the group and individual student levels • Employing evidence-based teaching practices (Chard, et al. 2008; Kame’enui, Good, & Harn, 2005; Sugai & Horner, 2005)

  5. Examining & Creating Learning Efficiencies at the Systems Level • Goal of Project CIRCUITS was to assist schools in building capacity and sustainability of a three-tier prevention model (schoolwide reading) by: • Using schoolwide assessment data in early literacy skills to identify students at risk for reading difficulties, make instructional decisions, and monitor progress • Implementing research-based interventions at the secondary and tertiary levels to accelerate learning • Providing professional development to school staff to implement interventions effectively

  6. Predicting Reading Success in a Multilevel Schoolwide Reading Model: A Retrospective Analysis Chard, D. J., Stoolmiller, M., Harn, B. A., Wanzek, J., Vaughn, S., Linan-Thompson, S., & Kame'enui, E. K. (2008). Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41(2), 174-188. A collaboration study with University of Texas at Austin

  7. Predicting Later Reading Outcomes • Examining variables related to predicting 3rd Grade performance on the SAT-10 within the context of supportive, tiered instructional support systems • Unalterable Variables/Demographics: Gender, English Language Learner, Ethnicity, Special Education status • Findings: Females performed lower; African American performed lower than Caucasians; no effect of ELL, Sped Status • Student Variables: • Behavior: Social Skills, Problem Behaviors, Academic Competence • Findings: Students with more Problem Behaviors performed lower; Students with higher ratings of Academic Competence performed better; no effect for general Social Skills • Initial Literacy Skills (Scores in First Grade): LNF, PSF, NWF, WRMT; Growth/slope on ORF across grades 1-3; Spring of First Grade ORF • Findings: Fall/Spring PSF; WRMT, Spring 1st Grade ORF; Growth/slope ORF (best predictor)

  8. Predicting Later Reading Outcomes • Overall model including all predictors accounted for: • 71% of variance on SAT10 • 77% of Spring 1st ORF • 11% of Growth on ORF • Growth on ORF is the best predictor of performance on SAT-10; however, with the variables included in this analysis we account for little for how growth occurs. • Something not measured is significantly influencing reading growth, what might this be? • Other demographic variables not measured • Other early student skill variables not measured • The nature of the instructional experiences that occurred across the 3 years and experiences in kindergarten (how to capture or quantify?)

  9. Understanding and Maximizing Instructional Experiences The Importance of Coordinating & Orchestrating Instructional Supports • Aligning Instruction • Within grade, across contexts • General education and Title • Supporting transitions across programs/materials • Across grade • Supporting advanced reading and accelerating struggling readings across grades • Instructional Time • Maximizing the minutes • Intensifying early to reap long-term rewards • Effective Personnel • Importance of regular, target professional development • “Coaching” approach to fine tune support • Delivering programs, using materials, behavior management

  10. Features to Vary in Intervention Implementation Varying the Intensity in Implementation from Easy to Hard • Instructional Delivery: explicit, systematic teacher wording; error correction; prioritized content; scaffolded support; and prioritized content (Foorman & Torgesen, 2001;Harn, Kameenui, & Simmons, 2005) • Programs/materials vary significantly in breadth (range of skills) and depth (explicitness of delivery) • Group Size: Increases opportunities to respond, receive feedback, and enables targeting to student needs • While 1-1 is seen by some as ideal, it isn’t necessarily more effective than groups of 3-5(Elbaum, Vaughn, Tinajero, & Watson-Moody, 2000) • Resource allocation, scheduling, personnel challenges • Time: A common approach is to provide additional time; however, it isn’t necessarily just more time, but how the time is spent • Teaching the same skills, re-teaching—firming learning • Extending skills—accelerating learning • Simmons, et al. (2008) found that the most at risk kindergarteners made significantly more growth when provided 30 rather then 15 minutes of explicit, systematic intervention

  11. Aligning Instructional Supports: Content, time, emphasis, and delivery

  12. Summary of System-Level Features • Year 01 (2002-2003): Examined the features, components, and characteristics of primary, secondary, and tertiary interventions in grades K-1 in 9 elementary schools. Data collected included: • Observations of reading instruction across primary, secondary, and tertiary settings (Winter & Spring) • Student achievement in K & 1 (DIBELS, WRMT-R) • Programmatic/curricular, planning and support, group size, time allocated, etc. • Summary: Even within both districts implementing a systems approach to reading, there were differences • Across Districts: Time spent on different instructional objectives (e.g., vocabulary), many different reading interventions within and across tiers • Within Districts: Great variability in instructional focus and approach within and across tiers(e.g., general and special education and Title) • Time, number of instructional objectives, frequency of opportunity to respond; Number and type of interventions

  13. Examining Instructional Alignment to Promote Generalization • First Grade: Examined the efficiencies of aligning instructional supports across settings (general education and supplemental) compared to prior year (historical control) • Secondary Supports:30-minute small group intervention • What was taught – word reading, phonics, and fluency development • How it was taught – small group (<6); used core reading materials yet skills were strategically chosen (re-teach) and taught using more explicit instructional delivery and opportunities to respond • Tertiary Supports:60 minute small group intervention • What was taught – phonological awareness, word reading, phonics, and fluency development • How it was taught – small group (<5), program was designed to follow similar skills used in core program yet with more explicit instructional delivery, opportunities to practice and review

  14. Effects of Aligning Instructional Supports on Established Systems Word ID Word AT

  15. Effects of Aligning Instructional Supports on Established Systems Total Reading Pass Comp

  16. School B • Variability in School-Level Outcomes for At-Risk Students • When examining the alignment of instructional supports in first grade, two schools who did the “same things” (time, programs, groupings) got very different results both: • across years (compared to themselves) • across sites (compared to each other) • Why might this happen? School A

  17. Intensifying Instruction: Does Additional Instructional Time Make a Difference for the Most At-Risk First Graders? Harn, B. A., Linan-Thompson, S., & Roberts, G. (2008). Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41(2), 115-125. Joint Analyses with University of Texas at Austin

  18. The Effect of Intensifying Instructional Time • 1st grade students most at-risk for reading difficulties (i.e., PSF<11 or NWF<10) • Context: Both Universities were working in schools implementing multi-tiered models of instructional supports • University of Oregon: Implemented tier 3 supports within a prevention framework in first grade (60 minutes of intervention) • University of Texas at Austin: Implemented tier 2 supports within a prevention framework in first grade (30 minutes of intervention)

  19. Nature of Intervention Efforts

  20. Results Across Locations • Students across both locations/intensity levels displayed significant progress on all measures across first grade * = Significant difference across location

  21. Results of Intensity Efforts • Significant mean differences on Spring ORF by location/intensity • Fewer significantly low readers at the end-of-year on ORF • Intensifying early may reap long-term rewards. • Will follow-up on students to see how effect was maintained • Implications on resource allocation • Personnel, time, materials

  22. Intensifying Instructional Supports in Meaningful Ways

  23. Examining Students Within Systems • 2nd Grade: Interventions • Secondary: 45-minute small group (5-8) intervention • What was taught – word reading, phonics, vocabulary and fluency development • Design Feature Examined -- the nature of text type/control/redundancy within a fluency building intervention • Results: no effect for text type in fluency development on a comprehension, word reading and connected text fluency • Tertiary: Two, 45 minute sessions of small group intervention • What was taught – word reading, phonics and fluency development • Design Feature Examined -- implementation of fluency intervention; level of implementation support • Results: wide variability in student response to interventions, yet fluency instruction was important in improving outcomes

  24. Examining Students Within Systems-- 2nd Grade Intensive Students (Tier 3) • Students reading less than 20 ORF at the beginning of second grade • Project Implemented Intervention Students • 17 students across 5 schools • School Implemented Intervention Students • 18 students across 4 schools • Design of Instructional Program Selected to Accelerate Learning • Research-based, explicit, systematic: Reading Mastery/Fast Cycle, and added Read Naturally in February to increase time reading connected text • Delivery of Intervention Efforts • Two 45-minute periods of instruction each day (Nov. 1- May 20) • Small group instruction (i.e., 1-4) • Placement based on instructional needs • Groups modified as data and instructional needs warranted

  25. Year-Long PM on ORF by Sub-Group Sep-Feb 14 Slopes (word per/wk) A = 1.10 B = .94 C = 1.08 Feb 28-Apr 28 Slopes (word per/wk) A= 2.58 B= 2.22 C= 1.92

  26. Variability in Response to Instruction Students Who Made the Most Progress in Response to Intensive Interventions

  27. Variability in Response to Instruction Students Who Made the Least Progress in Response to Intensive Interventions

  28. Trendline: Slope=4 Word/wk Trendline: Slope= .5 Word/wk Trendline: Slope=1.38 Word/wk Trendline: Slope= -1.2 Word/wk Evaluating Response to Intervention & Determining Need for Modifications How is the group responding? Time for a change in instructional focus.. How is the group responding to the change? Are all the same? Time for individual modifications….

  29. Coordinating a Schoolwide Instructional Support Plan: 3-Tier Instructional Support Plan

  30. Attending to Intervention Details • Nature of Instructional Materials • Research-based, explicit, systematic • Matching Instructional Objectives to Student Needs • Homogenous Grouping • Grouped according to skill level • Intensified Grouping Arrangements • Intensified and Prioritized Time for Instruction • Implementation: Responding to Student Performance • Coordination in scheduling of intervention (content, time, personnel, materials) • Professional development • Formal fidelity and on-going coaching • Progress monitoring and instructional modifications when data warrant

  31. The importance of our efforts • “The most expensive burden we place on society is those students we have failed to teach to read well. The silent army of low readers who move through our schools, siphoning off the lion’s share of administrative resources, emerge into society as adults lacking the single prerequisite for managing their lives and acquiring additional training. They are chronically unemployed, underemployed, or unemployable. They form the single largest identifiable group of those whom we incarcerate, and to whom we provide assistance, housing, medical care, and other social services. They perpetuate and enlarge the problem by creating another generation of poor readers.” (Fielding, Kerr, & Rosier, 1998). • Some states are using the percent of non-readers in 3rd grade in determining the number and size of prisons

  32. Conclusions Struggling readers need instruction that is “more intensive, more relentless, more precisely delivered, more highly structured, and direct and more carefully monitored for procedural fidelity and effects” (Kavale, 1988, p. 335) Students at risk for reading difficulties “do not discover” what teachers leave unsaid about the complexities of word learning (Gaskin, Ehri, Cress, Ohara, & Donnelly, 1997, p. 325)”

  33. References Chard, D. & Harn, B. (2008). Project CIRCUITS: Center for Improving Reading Competence Using Intensive Treatments Schoolwide. In C. Greenwood, T. Kratochwill, & M. Clements (Eds.) Schoolwide Prevention Models: Lessons Learned in Elementary Schools (pp. 70-83). New York: Guilford Publications. Chard, D. J., Stoolmiller, M., Harn, B. A., Wanzek, J., Vaughn, S., Linan-Thompson, S., & Kame'enui, E. K. (2008). Predicting reading success in a multilevel schoolwide reading model: A retrospective analysis. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41(2), 174-188. Harn, B. A., Linan-Thompson, S., & Roberts, G. (2008). Intensifying instruction: Does additional instructional time make a difference for the most at-risk first graders? Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41(2), 115-125. Harn, B. A., Stoolmiller, M., & Chard, D. J. (2008). Measuring the dimensions of alphabetic principle on the reading development of first graders: The role of automaticity and unitization. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41(2), 143-157.  Harn, B. A., Kame'enui, E.K., & Simmons, D.C. (2007). Essential features of interventions for kindergarten students most in need of accelerated learning: The nature and role of the third tier in a primary prevention model. In D. Haager, S. Vaughn, & J. Klingner (Eds.) Evidenced-based Reading Practices for Response to Intervention (pp. 161-184). Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing. Simmons, D. S., Coyne, M., Kwok, O., McDonagh, S., Harn, B. A., & Kame'enui, E. J. (2008). Indexing response to intervention: A longitudinal study of reading risk from kindergarten through third grade. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41(2), 158-173. Simmons, D. C., Kame'enui, E. J., Harn, B., Coyne, M. D., Stoolmiller, M., Edwards, L. Smith, S. Thomas-Beck, C., & Kaufman, N. (2007). Attributes of effective and economic kindergarten reading intervention: An examination of instructional time and design specificity. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 40(4), 331-347.