Seeing Stars

Study: Bell, Worthington, Hungerford, Fitler, & Flowers (Tech. Rep)

Bell, N, Worthington, P, Hungerford, D, Fitler,R, Flowers, DL. Effect of Symbol Imagery Instruction in an RtI Model for Reading Remediation

Descriptive Information


Acquisition and Cost

Program Specifications and Requirements


Lindamood-Bell collaborates with schools/districts using a Professional Learning Community model to customize an RTI design to meet the aggregate learning needs of all students. We accomplish this within the mandates of IDEA, state, and local education policies. Each partnership is unique depending on existent school/district variables. Lindamood-Bell’s partnership and Professional Learning Community (PLC) philosophy is built around two main RTI concepts necessary to transform schools academically.

First, instructional methodologies are based on a theory of cognition. The process-based cognitive approach stimulates specific brain-based skills such as symbol imagery, concept imagery, and phonemic awareness. These underlying cognitive processes must be developed (Tier I) and/or remediated (Tier II & III) for all students to maximize their learning potential and benefit from standards-based instruction, strategies, materials, and curricula. Thus Lindamood-Bell adheres to and promotes a paradigm shift in how to best meet the cognitive and language processing needs of students, integrating both process and content/standards-based instruction. The skills addressed are foundational to all curricula and they cut across all standards.

Second, while Lindamood-Bell’s instructional practices are necessary, they are insufficient without simultaneously controlling for certain components or practices within the school system and/or culture in which they are to be implemented. To achieve large scale and sustainable success, Lindamood-Bell collaborates with all levels of leadership, including the school board, district administration, and site-level leaders in evidence based practices. Lindamood-Bell’s approach is to work in a collaborative effort to address and improve the existing school framework, personnel, and practices all as applied to an RTI framework. Specifically, the main district and school leadership support components include sustained and embedded professional development, data analyses and accountability, differentiated instruction, leadership institutes, parent/community outreach, and a certification process for teachers. This model mirrors the conceptual framework of Response to Intervention (RTI). By incorporating a collaborative, problem-solving framework to increase student achievement, Lindamood-Bell’s Professional Learning Community model has been shown to meet the needs of all students and sustain results over time.

The program is intended for use in kindergarten through high school. The program is intended for use with students with disabilities (specifically learning disabilities), English language learners, and any student at risk of academic failure. The academic area of focus is reading (including phonological awareness, phonics/word study, comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, spelling, and oral and written language expansion) and writing (including spelling, sentence construction, and planning and revising).

Since 1993-94, Lindamood-Bell has partnered with 99 districts in 27 states, and 3 countries to implement its programs and RTI framework. Over 7,000 teachers have received professional development in the program.

Where to Obtain:
Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes
416 Higuera Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Phone #: (800) 233-1819

Cost: Below is the Lindamood-Bell summary of services and fees. The costs are the average itemized breakdown of full contracts.

Lindamood-Bell Professional Development Workshops:

  • $35,000/year, up to 3 schools
  • Provides the following Lindamood-Bell Professional Development workshops for district staff: One 2-day Seeing Stars workshop; One 2-day Visualizing & Verbalizing workshop; and One 1-day Introduction to Lindamood-Bell School Partnerships workshop, which includes the initial RtI PD.

Consulting, Coaching, and Program Management:

  • $125,000/year, up to 3 schools
  • Provides direct, full-time, on-site coaching, mentoring, and program management for all instructional staff.
  • A key component is to establish an organizational infrastructure that provides research-based intervention, body-of-evidence services.

Lindamood-Bell Instructional Leader Certification Program:

  • $15,000/year, up to 3 schools
  • A professional development plan designed to prepare instructional leaders to provide instruction and maintain a high quality, integrated, accountability-driven program for schools, all within an RtI framework.
  • Provides ongoing mentoring for candidates and advanced workshops and professional development activities.
  • Certification must be renewed annually

Leadership Institute:

  • $3,000/year, up to 3 schools
  • Leaders learn all aspects of Lindamood-Bell’s Response to Intervention framework and how to effectively manage this framework school wide.
  • Provides a 2-day in-service for district leaders prior to the start of the partnership.
  • Emphasis of learning is placed on principals as instructional leaders with specific responsibilities in monitoring program quality and fidelity.

INFORMS for Schools Orientation/Web-based data management:

  • $3,000/year, up to 3 schools
  • Teachers and administrators receive instruction and access to Lindamood-Bell’s web-based data management system. System includes an automated test-scoring module to generate student reports, progress monitoring data, and track attendance.
  • This web-base system does not require the school/district to purchase any additional software or hardware.

Test Administration Orientation and Support:

  • $3,000/year, up to 3 schools
  • Lindamood-Bell staff trains school personnel in test administration for assessing student skill level in reading and comprehension. Staff shadow and coach school personnel over the year to manage the various stages of assessment, scoring, and entering of data.

Quality Control Visits and Meetings:

  • $5,000/year, up to 3 schools
  • Corporate director visits occur at least 3 times per year to provide regular program mentoring, support, and review of key indicators.

Data Analysis and Reporting:

  • $9,000/year, up to 3 schools
  • Provides reports to site principals and to district administration on a monthly basis regarding the status and fidelity of the implementation.
  • Throughout the year the district administration and school board are provided with 4 reports: Needs Assessment Report (Fall); Mid-Year Report (Winter); End-of-Year Report (Summer); and State Achievement Test Report (Fall of following year).

Tips for Home/Community Outreach:

  • $1,000/year, up to 3 schools
  • Provides mutually agreed upon events for the families of students each semester to increase community awareness and involvement in the targeted schools.

Total Sample Fees:

  • $199,000/year, up to 3 schools
  • Include all components and services listed, including salaries, benefits, operational expenses, and workshop fees.
  • The above cost estimate serves as the 3-year budget for the school. Sample fees are based on 3-year partnership plan and may vary based on goals and objectives met each year.

Additional Sample Fees for Materials:

  • $55,000 minimum year 1; $15,000 minimum years 2 and 3
  • Instructional and testing materials must be purchased and received separately by the school. A list of publishers will be provided for the school’s convenience.

The program is designed for use with individual students and small groups of 2-6 students.

The program administration time is 55-90 minutes per session with 5-20 sessions per week for 8 or more weeks.

The program includes highly specified teacher manuals.

The program requires technology. Teachers and administrators receive instruction and access to Lindamood-Bell’s web-based data management system, including an automated test-scoring module that generates individualized real time student reports, progress monitoring data, and attendance tracking.

Training is required for the instructor. One week of training is needed initially, then mentoring throughout the program.

Our plan for professional development is job-embedded, evidence-based, and tailored to meet the desired goals of a particular school or school system. The backbone of this approach is the implementation of an RTI-based Professional Learning Community (PLC), in which educators can collaborate around a particular methodology or approach, review and discuss student data, share and problem solve issues related to classroom practice, and learn collectively from their own research and experience. A core component of this work is to review teacher and school-wide efforts to improve student learning, including sheltered instruction, specific interventions, and student support systems.
Through the use of our pedagogy and programs, teachers learn to ‘speak the same language’ when comparing progress of students within or across curricula or content areas. Ultimately, this process informs the delivery of standards-based instructional strategies and content-based instruction as well as the overall school or district plan for ongoing professional development.

The minimum qualifications of the instructor are that they are a paraprofessional. The program does not assume the instructor has expertise in a given area.

Training manuals and materials are available.

Schools using the program utilize a system-wide protocol for measuring student growth, teaching quality and relevance, and overall fidelity of the school improvement process. The process is guided by site leaders and decision makers who will review key indicators, and adjust the goals and benchmarks necessary to support students, teachers, and administrators in meeting annual yearly progress (AYP) and school improvement goals.

Ongoing professional and technical support is mandatory for practitioners.


Participants: Convincing Evidence

Sample size: 168 students (103 program, 65 control)

Risk Status: Individual screening by AIMsweb indentified at risk Grade 2 students; Star testing or state standards testing from the previous year identified at-risk grade 3-6 students.


  Program Control p of chi square
Number Percentage Number Percentage
Grade level
  Kindergarten 0 0% 0 0% N/A
  Grade 1 0 0% 2 3% 0.17
  Grade 2 13 22% 17 26% 0.59
  Grade 3 13 22% 11 17% 0.47
  Grade 4 7 12% 8 12% 0.94
  Grade 5 13 22% 18 28% 0.47
  Grade 6 12 20% 9 14% 0.34
  Grade 7 0 0% 0 0% N/A
  Grade 8 0 0% 0 0% N/A
  Grade 9 0 0% 0 0% N/A
  Grade 10 0 0% 0 0% N/A
  Grade 11 0 0% 0 0% N/A
  Grade 12 0 0% 0 0% N/A
Mean Age          
  African-American 0 0% 6 9% 0.02
  American Indian 0 0% 0 0% N/A
  Asian/Pacific Islander 0 0% 0 0% N/A
  Hispanic 0 0% 0 0% N/A
  White 59 100% 59 91% 0.07
  Other 0 0% 0 0% N/A
Socioeconomic status
  Subsidized lunch 53 90% 55 85% 0.39
  No subsidized lunch 6 10% 10 15% 0.39
Disability status
  Speech-language impairments N/P N/P N/P N/P N/P
  Learning disabilities N/P N/P N/P N/P N/P
  Behavior disorders N/P N/P N/P N/P N/P
  Intellectual disabilities N/P N/P N/P N/P N/P
  Other N/P N/P N/P N/P N/P
  Not identified with a disability N/P N/P N/P N/P N/P
ELL status
  English language learner 0 0% 1 2% 0.34
  Not English language learner 59 100% 64 98% 0.34
  Female 27 46% 33 51% 0.58
  Male 32 54% 32 49% 0.58

Training of Instructors: Tier 3 resource teachers implementing the program were certified teachers in their state; two were certified in special education. At the beginning of the study, teachers and teaching assistants at each school were asked to complete a survey. At the program school, 26 surveys were completed; at the control school, 13 surveys were completed. Of those responding, 77% of the program school teachers had a bachelor’s degree and 31% had earned a master’s; 92% found teaching an effective and rewarding profession and 96% said they use data to improve instruction. At the control school, 77% of respondents had a bachelor’s degree and 38.5% had earned a master’s; 85% found teaching an effective and rewarding profession and 92% said they use data to improve instruction.

Prior to the beginning of the project, professional development workshops were held for classroom teachers, reading resource teachers, and educational assistants. The six reading resource teachers who taught small groups and all 13 K-3 grade teachers attended four days of workshops, two days in Seeing Stars® for building decoding and two days for another Lindamood-Bell program (Visualizing and Verbalizing® for building comprehension). The resource teachers also attended a day of additional training in test interpretation, student grouping and progress monitoring, instructional pacing, and lesson planning.

Teachers who have not lead students through a semester or more of instruction require an expert consultant’s assistance for pacing and devising lesson plans that efficiently address the needs of the students. This assistance, with observation and modeling, was provided in the program by a Lindamood-Bell® consultant who was in the building daily.

Design: Unconvincing Evidence

Did the study use random assignment?: No.

If not, was it a tenable quasi-experiment?: No.

If the study used random assignment, at pretreatment, were the program and control groups not statistically significantly different and had a mean standardized difference that fell within 0.25 SD on measures used as covariates or on pretest measures also used as outcomes?: Not applicable.

If not, at pretreatment, were the program and control groups not statistically significantly different and had a mean standardized difference that fell within 0.25 SD on measures central to the study (i.e., pretest measures also used as outcomes), and outcomes were analyzed to adjust for pretreatment differences? No.

Were the program and control groups demographically comparable at pretreatment?: Yes.

Was there attrition bias1? No.

Did the unit of analysis match the unit for random assignment (for randomized studies) or the assignment strategy (for quasi-experiments)?: No.

1 NCII follows guidance from the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) in determining attrition bias. The WWC model for determining bias based on a combination of differential and overall attrition rates can be found on pages 13-14 of this document:


Fidelity of Implementation: Partially Convincing Evidence

Describe when and how fidelity of treatment information was obtained: In addition to regular observation and modeling, the consultant completed a standard fidelity-monitoring checklist during formal observation sessions for each Tier 3 teacher in December and March, scoring compliance on 61 points during Seeing Stars instruction and 64 points during Visualizing and Verbalizing instruction. Each item received a score from 0 (not observed) to 3 (consistently observed) for each item of standardized, sequential instruction specific to the instruction (e.g., introducing the task, demonstrating the procedure, use of multisensory exercises, using questioning, and integrating steps).

Provide documentation (i.e., in terms of numbers) of fidelity of treatment implementation: In December, the six reading resource teachers achieved an average of 102 points (range 84-125) out of the 156 points required for independent competence in Seeing Stars. In March, the same teachers achieved an average of 140.1 points (range 128-157) in Seeing Stars.

Fidelity monitoring was quantified by scoring the resource teachers on each instructional step within these categories: introducing the task, demonstrating the procedure, use of multisensory exercises, using questioning, and integrating steps. Scoring on each item ranged from 0 (not observed) to 3 (consistently observed). The total number of cumulative points required for independent competence in Seeing Stars is 156. However, the teachers were additionally monitored and coached daily by the on-site Lindamood-Bell consultant who oversaw lesson plans for every Tier III student. In consequence, these teachers were substantially supported daily by an expert on-site practitioner. 

Measures Targeted: Convincing Evidence

Measures Broader: Convincing Evidence

Targeted Measure Score type and range of measure Reliability statistics Relevance to program instructional content
Woodcock Reading Mastery -R (NU): Word Attack Age-referenced Standard Scores; 10-175 Split-half coefficient = 0.87 Seeing Stars is designed to develop decoding skills such as word attack.
Wide Range Achievement Test-4 Word Reading and Spelling Age-referenced Standard Scores; 55-145 Median coefficient of forms combined = 0.91 Seeing Stars is designed to develop decoding skills such as word reading and spelling.
Lindamood Auditory Conceptualization (LAC-3) Test Age-referenced Standard Scores; 55-145 Averaged coefficient alpha across ages = 0.83 Seeing Stars is designed to develop phonological awareness.
Symbol Imagery Test (SIT) Age-referenced Standard Scores; 45-145 Averaged coefficient alpha across ages = 0.83 Seeing Stars is designed to develop orthographic awareness.


Broader Measure Score type and range of measure Reliability statistics Relevance to program instructional content
Gray Oral Reading Test-4: Paragraph reading Rate, Accuracy, Fluency, and Comprehension Age-referenced Scaled Scores; 0-20 Average coefficient alpha across ages: Rate = 0.92 (Form A), 0.93 (Form B);
Accuracy = 0.91 (Form A), 0.92 (Form B); Fluency = 0.93 (Form A), .93 (Form B);  Comprehension = 0.97 (Form A), 0.97 (Form B)
Word level skills, if sufficiently developed, may generalize to context reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension.
Detroit Test of Learning Aptitude-2: Following Oral Directions Age-referenced Scaled Scores; 0-20 Averaged coefficient alpha across ages = 0.83 Increased exposure to and success with text may extend from written to listening comprehension.
Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-4 Age-referenced Standard Scores; 52-148 Average coefficient across ages = 0.97 (Form A), 0.96 (Form B) Increased exposure to and success with text may extend from written to listening comprehension.



Number of Outcome Measures: 10 Reading, 1 Writing

Mean ES - Targeted: 0.54*

Mean ES - Broader: 0.03*

Effect Size:

Targeted Measures

Construct Measure Effect Size
Reading WRMT-R Word Attack 0.60**
Reading WRMT-4 Reading 0.52**
Reading LAC-3 0.55**
Reading SIT (raw score) 0.86***
Writing WRMT-4 Spelling 0.16

 Broader Measures

Construct Measure Effect Size
Reading GORT-4 Rate -0.23**
Reading GORT-4 Accuracy 0.15
Reading GORT-4 Fluency -0.01
Reading GORT-4 Comprehension 0.17
Reading DTLA-2 Oral Direction 0.13*
Reading PPVT-4 -0.01


*      p ≤ 0.05
**    p ≤ 0.01
***  p ≤ 0.001
–      Developer was unable to provide necessary data for NCII to calculate effect sizes
u      Effect size is based on unadjusted means
†      Effect size based on unadjusted means not reported due to lack of pretest group equivalency, and effect size based on adjusted means is not available


Visual Analysis (Single Subject Design): N/A

Disaggregated Data for Demographic Subgroups: No

Disaggregated Data for <20th Percentile: No

Administration Group Size: Small Group, (n=2-5)

Duration of Intervention: 90 minutes, 5 times a week, 26-30 weeks

Minimum Interventionist Requirements: Paraprofessional, 1 week initially, then mentoring

Reviewed by WWC or E-ESSA: E-ESSA

What Works Clearinghouse Review

This program was not reviewed by What Works Clearinghouse.


Evidence for ESSA

This program was not reviewed by Evidence for ESSA.


Other Research: Potentially Eligible for NCII Review: 0 studies