Some questions sent to me on Facebook: What’s the latest on evidence based curriculum in reading? I am doing a paper on the whole part whole approach to learning reading. Also doing a lot of research about the DIBELS testing and the Reading First part of NCLB. Anything new you learned that I would be shocked to hear?
Well Sarah, I don’t think I have anything to “shock” you with. As a resource teacher, I use Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI). This model comes from Fountas/Pinnell (the writers of what I call the Literacy Bible – “Guiding Readers and Writers”). LLI is similar to Reading Recovery in many ways, but is designed for instruction of up to 3 or 4 students at a time. This makes the program more cost effective to school districts because Reading Recovery was designed for a 1:1 teacher to student ratio. I’ve found that LLI is a very systematic and effective intervention for students struggling in reading.
If the students I see don’t seem to be showing the growth I’d like to see in LLI, then I try the Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program (LiPS). When using LiPS, you talk with students about how sounds feel. What is your tongue doing when you say “t”? You use names like Tip Tappers, Tongue Scrapers, and Lip Poppers to describe the sounds that the letters represent. I personally see this as a more intense intervention to be used sparingly, but I’ve heard of people using it with an entire class.
However, both of these programs are interventions. In the RtI model, they would likely be Tier 2 instruction. This tier of instruction is for students who were not successful when taught with an evidence based core curriculum in the whole class setting. You mention Reading First. I honestly am not very familiar with this program, but know teachers who are a part of Reading First schools. From what I hear, it is research-based and is also a very scripted and supervised program. However, I recently learned that “Evidence-based” doesn’t necessarily mean a packaged program.
This week I was at Indiana’s Response to Intervention Academy for three days in Indianapolis. According to a couple of the presenters, evidence based instruction (at the Tier 1 level/all students) has the following components:
-Teachers use multiple data sources to know the students – Essential skills and strategies are taught – Differentiated instruction is taught based on assessment results – Explicit and systematic instruction with lots of practice (a spiraling curriculum) – Opportunities are provided to apply skills in a meaningful context with teacher support – Student progress is monitored regularly and re-taught as necessary
So, it’s conceivable to have an evidence-based core reading curriculum, without having a packaged program if the criteria above are being met. As you can see, this will require getting some good data and DIBELS may be one of those sources. I’ve never used DIBELS, but I hear it gives some good information. Unfortunately, I also hear that it really doesn’t tell you anything about comprehension. So, a teacher might want to give a Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) in conjuction. I use the Fountas & Pinnell Benchmarking System because it correlates with LLI. Marie Clay’s Observation Survey yields some great information as well. There are also some great software programs out there like NWEA, Success Maker, and Waterford for primary students.
Sorry for the long post! I’ll try to get some links to some of the names I’ve mentioned. Feel free to keep the conversation going by commenting or asking more questions. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but together we can at least become a bit more informed!