Reading Plus
Study: Reutzel et al. (2012)

Summary

The Reading Plus® System serves all students to increase vocabulary, comprehension, endurance, memory, silent reading fluency and provides the ability to systematically master higher levels of text. Reading Plus® is a guided, silent reading supplementary intervention. Students participate in a series of online, computer-based sessions that included a specific sequence of daily activities. As struggling students participate in Reading Plus®, the difficulty level of the reading material adjusts as a function of a student’s progress based upon reading comprehension and reading rate analyses. Students begin the intervention by completing a reading assessment (Reading Placement Appraisal, RPA) to establish the initial placement level within the program. This 20-minute placement test assesses independent reading level, rate, comprehension, and vocabulary to determine the most appropriate practice starting level. The RPA consisted of three parts. Part I presents students with several 100-word selections followed by a set of literal recall questions. Content difficulty is adjusted according to a student’s comprehension performance and reading rate mastery to ascertain a student’s tentative independent reading level. Part II with its 300-word selections and diverse comprehension questions serves to confirm the independent reading level. Part III assesses a student’s vocabulary level. From the three-part RPA assessment, an instructional reading level is established for individual students and they are then placed at appropriate levels of reading challenge within each instructional component of Reading Plus®. Students continue to be assessed on similar tasks throughout the intervention period with appropriate adjustments made to the level of reading selections as a result of their performances on these formative assessments. As students participate in this supplementary silent reading fluency intervention, they are provided reading lessons and continuous feedback about their silent reading in an individual computer-based, online environment Each lesson begins with a perceptual accuracy and visual efficiency (PAVE) warm-up. This activity consists of two parts, Scan and Flash. In the Scan activity, students scan the computer screen to count the number of times a target letter or number appears on the screen. The target and other letters or numbers are flashed in a left-to-right presentation. The presentation speed increases in accordance with the student’s proficiency. In the second activity, Flash, a series of letters or numbers ranging in length from 2 to 12 depending on the students’ placement level are flashed (1/6 of a second per flash, which does not permit moving of the eyes and thus provides single fixation training). The amount of numbers or letters increases in response to the students’ ability to correctly recreate the sequence. This warm-up activity aims to increase students’ visual perception, attention, and automaticity in the discrimination and recognition of print. The next instructional component provides students with extensive structured silent reading practice to build fluency within an authentic reading experience where students read for meaning. During guided silent reading sessions, involving timed, guided, left-to-right reading practice, students read selections from a diverse collection of narrative and expository texts at each student’s independent instructional reading level. The work of O’Connor and colleagues (2002), as reported by Allington (2006), showed that providing daily intervention lessons using grade-level texts was not nearly as successful as providing daily lessons using texts matched to the instructional reading levels of struggling readers. O’Connor and colleagues argued that selecting texts of appropriate challenge should be a first step in the design of effective supplementary reading instruction and intervention. Lesson text selections are matched to struggling readers’ independent reading levels using Spache, Dale-Chall, and Fry readability formulas. Reading Plus® is designed to continuously and dynamically monitor student performance using both reading rate measures and responses to comprehension questions, adjusting the reading content level to match each student’s progress. In addition, Reading Plus® uses a mix of instructional formats and scaffolds to further match individualized needs and rates of progress. These include variation in the presentation of text, the length of reading segments, the location and number of comprehension questions, and the use of repeated readings. Thus, students are able to progress through levels of reading challenge based on several factors. Students must be able to read passages at their current levels with grade-appropriate rates and good comprehension before they advance to subsequent levels. The program provides approximately 600 reading selections ranging from pre-primer to adult-level texts, including high interest/low readability selections for older struggling students. Selections represent narrative, expository, and informational texts in a wide array of genres. Lesson texts are presented within both a guided silent reading format (a moving window guides students’ eyes across lines of print from left-to right) and an independent reading format without any left-to-right guidance. Regardless of the nature of the lesson or activity, text is presented within a controlled format and rate parameter for each student. Dynamically controlled by individual student performance, comprehension questions are either interspersed between individual reading segments or followed at the conclusion of the story. All comprehension questions are electronically coded by the system to continuously track student performance with 25 comprehension skills based on Bloom’s Taxonomy, including literal understanding, interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and appreciation. The format (wide vs. repeated readings) and rate at which text is presented on screen is then incrementally increased as a function of students’ performance on these comprehension questions and reading rate performances during the reading events. As students progress through the levels, the texts read became progressively longer and more challenging. The intent of the guided silent reading lesson is to provide students with authentic reading experiences that build comprehension, fluency and stamina at a level of difficulty that will provide them the maximum acceleration of progress. Additionally, given that the difficulty of texts was established using the Spache (for primary-level texts) and Dale-Chall (middle grade-level texts), both of which rely on high-frequency word lists, students have considerable opportunity to develop fluency with a core group of high frequency words reading these texts. This guided silent reading component is followed by a cloze-structured vocabulary component. This vocabulary component uses structured contextual analysis activities to assist struggling students develop comprehension competency. These cloze-structured exercises are intended to encourage students to use context clues to complete the meaning of sentences as well as longer passages. Students also practice deriving the meaning of difficult or unfamiliar word meanings by analyzing the surrounding context presented in each activity, potentially enhancing wide reading vocabulary learning strategies and skills. Performance scores within each practice module, the interconnectedness of the various practice modules, integrated formative assessments following each lesson, and a highly sophisticated operating system inform just-in-time instructional decisions that are sensitive to student characteristics such as age, reading level, performance, progress, and instructional trajectory. The system not only dynamically adjusts each student’s differentiated lesson format within each practice module but also provides unique adjustments for daily practice sessions. The integration of these modules allows for the system to provide each student with a practice environment that uniquely addresses his or her individual silent reading development needs at any moment in time during the intervention period.

Target Grades:
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Target Populations:
  • Students with learning disabilities
  • English language learners
  • Any student at risk for academic failure
Area(s) of Focus:
  • Comprehension
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
Where to Obtain:
Taylor Associates
110 West Canal Street, Suite 301 Winooski, VT 05454
1-800-732-3758
www.readingplus.com
Initial Cost:
$23.00 per student
Replacement Cost:
Contact vendor for pricing details.

Reading Plus® Delivery Formats and Costs Reading Plus® costs are based on a Concurrent User (CU) model. CU seats have two component costs: license and web hosting. A Reading Plus® CU license is a permanent purchase and has a one-time fee. Web-hosting fees, which are paid annually, provide 24/7 access to CU seats from anywhere with Internet access and include unlimited technical support. In addition, web-hosting fees include seamless delivery of all Reading Plus® updates and upgrades. Professional development, which includes initial and follow up training, as well as ongoing implementation support, is calculated at $135 per CU. Cost per student based on CU seats The number of CU seats purchased determines the maximum number of students who can access the system simultaneously. By scheduling multiple students for each CU seat, a Reading Plus® site can significantly lower the per student cost of the installation. If a school uses a rotation model that allows five students to share each CU seat, the cost for the first three years is approximately $23 per student (based on 25 CU seats). Total Cost of 3-Year Initial Purchase CU Seats License Hosting 10 $7,500 $1,800 25 $13,000 $4,000 50 $20,000 $7,500 100 $32,500 $14,000

Staff Qualified to Administer Include:
  • Special Education Teacher
  • General Education Teacher
  • Reading Specialist
  • Math Specialist
  • EL Specialist
  • Interventionist
  • Student Support Services Personnel (e.g., counselor, social worker, school psychologist, etc.)
  • Paraprofessional
  • Other:
Training Requirements:
4-8 hours of training

Instructors receive two-part training that takes place via either face-to-face or live webinar. Instructors receive Initial Training before they get started with Reading Plus® and Follow-Up Training once students have completed at least eight sessions in the program. The Initial Training covers content in five areas: 1) Why Reading Plus®?: Instructors learn how and why Reading Plus® leverages technology to provide students with effective scaffolded silent reading practice (which incorporates the essential elements of scaffolding, structure, motivation, and accountability) as well as development in foundational visual perceptual skills that are essential for efficient and effective silent reading. 2) Student Experience: Instructors learn about the component programs of Reading Plus® and what their students will experience from the first time they log in. During the face-to-face training, participants engage in a hands-on mock student session. 3) Getting Started: Instructors learn about their Reading Plus® teacher management interface. They learn how to navigate through the interface, how to read the student data. Teachers are taught what they can do to assist students who are not achieving ongoing success with the program. During the face-to-face training, participants get hands-on experience with the teacher management interface. 4) Motivation: Instructors learn about the motivation tools built into the Reading Plus® system and what they can do to create a fun and engaging classroom environment for Reading Plus®. 5) Accessing Help: Instructors are told how to access live support via phone, email, or live webinar throughout their Reading Plus implementation. In addition, they receive a tour of the comprehensive Reading Plus® Help Site and all of the resources it provides. The Follow-Up Training enables participants to analyze detailed data and introduces them to the class-level and student-level reports that help them gauge the growth students are making within Reading Plus®. They learn about the best report(s) to access for varied purposes, including the best student reports to pull as they look for specific information regarding a student’s response to the intervention. Instructors also learn how to analyze the data to determine how they can adjust the program to best serve specific student needs.


Reading Plus® delivers training materials in print and online formats. The basic principles of product function and usage are captured in printed materials. In 2008, Reading Plus® revised its Research & Reports Binder training materials to align with the release of v3.6 of the product. The training materials included new and revised information for administrators, lead teachers, and individual instructors on the use and functionality of the product. Following extensive in-house review of these training materials, a small-scale live beta test of training materials binders was conducted in June 2008 by Computer Generation in Arizona schools. A second beta was conducted in June-August 2008 by Educational Learning Systems in schools in northern Florida. In August 2008, a full-scale live test of training materials was conducted by Educational Endeavors in a wide range of Miami-Dade County Schools. In addition, Reading Plus® delivers extensive online training and support to instructors and students available on demand. Online materials include a library of resources, training movies, and webinars (live and recorded) to provide instruction and assistance that ensure optimal results with the program. Online resources are monitored constantly and evolve to meet the continually changing needs of 21st century educators. Reading Plus® has learned what structure and sequence of training materials works best by listening to the feedback and suggestions of the tens of thousands of teachers who have tested these materials in classrooms and reading labs across the country. Both print and online materials are supported by a team of implementation and training specialists who ensure that Reading Plus® resources are optimized for ease-of-use, vetted for accuracy and relevance, and modified, as needed, to accommodate changing needs of professional development.

Access to Technical Support:
We provide ongoing support to Reading Plus® instructors. A Reading Plus® staff member is dedicated to each Reading Plus® site; this person serves to provide individualized support to the site for the duration of their implementation. Support includes checking in via email or phone between one to four times per month to provide relevant and timely tips and to remind users that Reading Plus® staff are available to answer questions, engage in data chats, or provide additional training.
Recommended Administration Formats Include:
  • Individual students
Minimum Number of Minutes Per Session:
45
Minimum Number of Sessions Per Week:
4
Minimum Number of Weeks:
16
Detailed Implementation Manual or Instructions Available:
Yes
Is Technology Required?

Program Information

Descriptive Information

Please provide a description of program, including intended use:

The Reading Plus® System serves all students to increase vocabulary, comprehension, endurance, memory, silent reading fluency and provides the ability to systematically master higher levels of text. Reading Plus® is a guided, silent reading supplementary intervention. Students participate in a series of online, computer-based sessions that included a specific sequence of daily activities. As struggling students participate in Reading Plus®, the difficulty level of the reading material adjusts as a function of a student’s progress based upon reading comprehension and reading rate analyses. Students begin the intervention by completing a reading assessment (Reading Placement Appraisal, RPA) to establish the initial placement level within the program. This 20-minute placement test assesses independent reading level, rate, comprehension, and vocabulary to determine the most appropriate practice starting level. The RPA consisted of three parts. Part I presents students with several 100-word selections followed by a set of literal recall questions. Content difficulty is adjusted according to a student’s comprehension performance and reading rate mastery to ascertain a student’s tentative independent reading level. Part II with its 300-word selections and diverse comprehension questions serves to confirm the independent reading level. Part III assesses a student’s vocabulary level. From the three-part RPA assessment, an instructional reading level is established for individual students and they are then placed at appropriate levels of reading challenge within each instructional component of Reading Plus®. Students continue to be assessed on similar tasks throughout the intervention period with appropriate adjustments made to the level of reading selections as a result of their performances on these formative assessments. As students participate in this supplementary silent reading fluency intervention, they are provided reading lessons and continuous feedback about their silent reading in an individual computer-based, online environment Each lesson begins with a perceptual accuracy and visual efficiency (PAVE) warm-up. This activity consists of two parts, Scan and Flash. In the Scan activity, students scan the computer screen to count the number of times a target letter or number appears on the screen. The target and other letters or numbers are flashed in a left-to-right presentation. The presentation speed increases in accordance with the student’s proficiency. In the second activity, Flash, a series of letters or numbers ranging in length from 2 to 12 depending on the students’ placement level are flashed (1/6 of a second per flash, which does not permit moving of the eyes and thus provides single fixation training). The amount of numbers or letters increases in response to the students’ ability to correctly recreate the sequence. This warm-up activity aims to increase students’ visual perception, attention, and automaticity in the discrimination and recognition of print. The next instructional component provides students with extensive structured silent reading practice to build fluency within an authentic reading experience where students read for meaning. During guided silent reading sessions, involving timed, guided, left-to-right reading practice, students read selections from a diverse collection of narrative and expository texts at each student’s independent instructional reading level. The work of O’Connor and colleagues (2002), as reported by Allington (2006), showed that providing daily intervention lessons using grade-level texts was not nearly as successful as providing daily lessons using texts matched to the instructional reading levels of struggling readers. O’Connor and colleagues argued that selecting texts of appropriate challenge should be a first step in the design of effective supplementary reading instruction and intervention. Lesson text selections are matched to struggling readers’ independent reading levels using Spache, Dale-Chall, and Fry readability formulas. Reading Plus® is designed to continuously and dynamically monitor student performance using both reading rate measures and responses to comprehension questions, adjusting the reading content level to match each student’s progress. In addition, Reading Plus® uses a mix of instructional formats and scaffolds to further match individualized needs and rates of progress. These include variation in the presentation of text, the length of reading segments, the location and number of comprehension questions, and the use of repeated readings. Thus, students are able to progress through levels of reading challenge based on several factors. Students must be able to read passages at their current levels with grade-appropriate rates and good comprehension before they advance to subsequent levels. The program provides approximately 600 reading selections ranging from pre-primer to adult-level texts, including high interest/low readability selections for older struggling students. Selections represent narrative, expository, and informational texts in a wide array of genres. Lesson texts are presented within both a guided silent reading format (a moving window guides students’ eyes across lines of print from left-to right) and an independent reading format without any left-to-right guidance. Regardless of the nature of the lesson or activity, text is presented within a controlled format and rate parameter for each student. Dynamically controlled by individual student performance, comprehension questions are either interspersed between individual reading segments or followed at the conclusion of the story. All comprehension questions are electronically coded by the system to continuously track student performance with 25 comprehension skills based on Bloom’s Taxonomy, including literal understanding, interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and appreciation. The format (wide vs. repeated readings) and rate at which text is presented on screen is then incrementally increased as a function of students’ performance on these comprehension questions and reading rate performances during the reading events. As students progress through the levels, the texts read became progressively longer and more challenging. The intent of the guided silent reading lesson is to provide students with authentic reading experiences that build comprehension, fluency and stamina at a level of difficulty that will provide them the maximum acceleration of progress. Additionally, given that the difficulty of texts was established using the Spache (for primary-level texts) and Dale-Chall (middle grade-level texts), both of which rely on high-frequency word lists, students have considerable opportunity to develop fluency with a core group of high frequency words reading these texts. This guided silent reading component is followed by a cloze-structured vocabulary component. This vocabulary component uses structured contextual analysis activities to assist struggling students develop comprehension competency. These cloze-structured exercises are intended to encourage students to use context clues to complete the meaning of sentences as well as longer passages. Students also practice deriving the meaning of difficult or unfamiliar word meanings by analyzing the surrounding context presented in each activity, potentially enhancing wide reading vocabulary learning strategies and skills. Performance scores within each practice module, the interconnectedness of the various practice modules, integrated formative assessments following each lesson, and a highly sophisticated operating system inform just-in-time instructional decisions that are sensitive to student characteristics such as age, reading level, performance, progress, and instructional trajectory. The system not only dynamically adjusts each student’s differentiated lesson format within each practice module but also provides unique adjustments for daily practice sessions. The integration of these modules allows for the system to provide each student with a practice environment that uniquely addresses his or her individual silent reading development needs at any moment in time during the intervention period.

The program is intended for use in the following age(s) and/or grade(s).

not selected Age 0-3
not selected Age 3-5
not selected Kindergarten
not selected First grade
not selected Second grade
selected Third grade
selected Fourth grade
selected Fifth grade
selected Sixth grade
selected Seventh grade
selected Eighth grade
selected Ninth grade
selected Tenth grade
selected Eleventh grade
selected Twelth grade


The program is intended for use with the following groups.

not selected Students with disabilities only
selected Students with learning disabilities
not selected Students with intellectual disabilities
not selected Students with emotional or behavioral disabilities
selected English language learners
selected Any student at risk for academic failure
not selected Any student at risk for emotional and/or behavioral difficulties
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

ACADEMIC INTERVENTION: Please indicate the academic area of focus.

Early Literacy

not selected Print knowledge/awareness
not selected Alphabet knowledge
not selected Phonological awareness
not selected Phonological awarenessEarly writing
not selected Early decoding abilities
not selected Other

If other, please describe:

Language

not selected Expressive and receptive vocabulary
not selected Grammar
not selected Syntax
not selected Listening comprehension
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Reading

not selected Phonological awareness
not selected Phonics/word study
selected Comprehension
selected Fluency
selected Vocabulary
not selected Spelling
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Mathematics

not selected Computation
not selected Concepts and/or word problems
not selected Whole number arithmetic
not selected Comprehensive: Includes computation/procedures, problem solving, and mathematical concepts
not selected Algebra
not selected Fractions, decimals (rational number)
not selected Geometry and measurement
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Writing

not selected Handwriting
not selected Spelling
not selected Sentence construction
not selected Planning and revising
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION: Please indicate the behavior area of focus.

Externalizing Behavior

not selected Physical Aggression
not selected Verbal Threats
not selected Property Destruction
not selected Noncompliance
not selected High Levels of Disengagement
not selected Disruptive Behavior
not selected Social Behavior (e.g., Peer interactions, Adult interactions)
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Internalizing Behavior

not selected Depression
not selected Anxiety
not selected Social Difficulties (e.g., withdrawal)
not selected School Phobia
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Acquisition and cost information

Where to obtain:

Address
110 West Canal Street, Suite 301 Winooski, VT 05454
Phone Number
1-800-732-3758
Website
www.readingplus.com

Initial cost for implementing program:

Cost
$23.00
Unit of cost
student

Replacement cost per unit for subsequent use:

Cost
Unit of cost
Duration of license

Additional cost information:

Describe basic pricing plan and structure of the program. Also, provide information on what is included in the published program, as well as what is not included but required for implementation (e.g., computer and/or internet access)

Reading Plus® Delivery Formats and Costs Reading Plus® costs are based on a Concurrent User (CU) model. CU seats have two component costs: license and web hosting. A Reading Plus® CU license is a permanent purchase and has a one-time fee. Web-hosting fees, which are paid annually, provide 24/7 access to CU seats from anywhere with Internet access and include unlimited technical support. In addition, web-hosting fees include seamless delivery of all Reading Plus® updates and upgrades. Professional development, which includes initial and follow up training, as well as ongoing implementation support, is calculated at $135 per CU. Cost per student based on CU seats The number of CU seats purchased determines the maximum number of students who can access the system simultaneously. By scheduling multiple students for each CU seat, a Reading Plus® site can significantly lower the per student cost of the installation. If a school uses a rotation model that allows five students to share each CU seat, the cost for the first three years is approximately $23 per student (based on 25 CU seats). Total Cost of 3-Year Initial Purchase CU Seats License Hosting 10 $7,500 $1,800 25 $13,000 $4,000 50 $20,000 $7,500 100 $32,500 $14,000

Program Specifications

Setting for which the program is designed.

selected Individual students
not selected Small group of students
not selected BI ONLY: A classroom of students

If group-delivered, how many students compose a small group?

  

Program administration time

Minimum number of minutes per session
45
Minimum number of sessions per week
4
Minimum number of weeks
16
not selected N/A (implemented until effective)

If intervention program is intended to occur over less frequently than 60 minutes a week for approximately 8 weeks, justify the level of intensity:

Does the program include highly specified teacher manuals or step by step instructions for implementation?
Yes

BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION: Is the program affiliated with a broad school- or class-wide management program?

If yes, please identify and describe the broader school- or class-wide management program:

Does the program require technology?
Yes

If yes, what technology is required to implement your program?
not selected Computer or tablet
not selected Internet connection
not selected Other technology (please specify)

If your program requires additional technology not listed above, please describe the required technology and the extent to which it is combined with teacher small-group instruction/intervention:
Reading Plus® is delivered online and works with both Macintosh and Windows operating systems. The minimum technical requirements are: o Operating System − Windows XP/Vista/7 or Mac OS v.10.39 o Browser − Windows: Internet Explorer 7+ or Firefox 3+ Mac: Safari 1.2+ o Hardware − 1 GB RAM, 1 GHz CPU o Bandwidth − Student: 0.04 (cached) - 0.4 Mbps (uncached) Teacher: ~0.4 Mbps (30 students require a minimum of 1.2 Mbps) o Java − Windows: Java Plug-in 1.6.0_20+ Mac: Java Plug-in 1.5.0_10+ o Flash − Flash Plug-in 11+ Further, specific technology requirements can be found online at http://www.readingplus.com/support

Training

How many people are needed to implement the program ?

Is training for the instructor or interventionist required?
Yes
If yes, is the necessary training free or at-cost?

Describe the time required for instructor or interventionist training:
4-8 hours of training

Describe the format and content of the instructor or interventionist training:
Instructors receive two-part training that takes place via either face-to-face or live webinar. Instructors receive Initial Training before they get started with Reading Plus® and Follow-Up Training once students have completed at least eight sessions in the program. The Initial Training covers content in five areas: 1) Why Reading Plus®?: Instructors learn how and why Reading Plus® leverages technology to provide students with effective scaffolded silent reading practice (which incorporates the essential elements of scaffolding, structure, motivation, and accountability) as well as development in foundational visual perceptual skills that are essential for efficient and effective silent reading. 2) Student Experience: Instructors learn about the component programs of Reading Plus® and what their students will experience from the first time they log in. During the face-to-face training, participants engage in a hands-on mock student session. 3) Getting Started: Instructors learn about their Reading Plus® teacher management interface. They learn how to navigate through the interface, how to read the student data. Teachers are taught what they can do to assist students who are not achieving ongoing success with the program. During the face-to-face training, participants get hands-on experience with the teacher management interface. 4) Motivation: Instructors learn about the motivation tools built into the Reading Plus® system and what they can do to create a fun and engaging classroom environment for Reading Plus®. 5) Accessing Help: Instructors are told how to access live support via phone, email, or live webinar throughout their Reading Plus implementation. In addition, they receive a tour of the comprehensive Reading Plus® Help Site and all of the resources it provides. The Follow-Up Training enables participants to analyze detailed data and introduces them to the class-level and student-level reports that help them gauge the growth students are making within Reading Plus®. They learn about the best report(s) to access for varied purposes, including the best student reports to pull as they look for specific information regarding a student’s response to the intervention. Instructors also learn how to analyze the data to determine how they can adjust the program to best serve specific student needs.

What types or professionals are qualified to administer your program?

selected Special Education Teacher
selected General Education Teacher
selected Reading Specialist
selected Math Specialist
selected EL Specialist
selected Interventionist
selected Student Support Services Personnel (e.g., counselor, social worker, school psychologist, etc.)
not selected Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapist or Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
selected Paraprofessional
not selected Other

If other, please describe:

Does the program assume that the instructor or interventionist has expertise in a given area?
No   

If yes, please describe: 


Are training manuals and materials available?
Yes

Describe how the training manuals or materials were field-tested with the target population of instructors or interventionist and students:
Reading Plus® delivers training materials in print and online formats. The basic principles of product function and usage are captured in printed materials. In 2008, Reading Plus® revised its Research & Reports Binder training materials to align with the release of v3.6 of the product. The training materials included new and revised information for administrators, lead teachers, and individual instructors on the use and functionality of the product. Following extensive in-house review of these training materials, a small-scale live beta test of training materials binders was conducted in June 2008 by Computer Generation in Arizona schools. A second beta was conducted in June-August 2008 by Educational Learning Systems in schools in northern Florida. In August 2008, a full-scale live test of training materials was conducted by Educational Endeavors in a wide range of Miami-Dade County Schools. In addition, Reading Plus® delivers extensive online training and support to instructors and students available on demand. Online materials include a library of resources, training movies, and webinars (live and recorded) to provide instruction and assistance that ensure optimal results with the program. Online resources are monitored constantly and evolve to meet the continually changing needs of 21st century educators. Reading Plus® has learned what structure and sequence of training materials works best by listening to the feedback and suggestions of the tens of thousands of teachers who have tested these materials in classrooms and reading labs across the country. Both print and online materials are supported by a team of implementation and training specialists who ensure that Reading Plus® resources are optimized for ease-of-use, vetted for accuracy and relevance, and modified, as needed, to accommodate changing needs of professional development.

Do you provide fidelity of implementation guidance such as a checklist for implementation in your manual?

Can practitioners obtain ongoing professional and technical support?
Yes

If yes, please specify where/how practitioners can obtain support:

We provide ongoing support to Reading Plus® instructors. A Reading Plus® staff member is dedicated to each Reading Plus® site; this person serves to provide individualized support to the site for the duration of their implementation. Support includes checking in via email or phone between one to four times per month to provide relevant and timely tips and to remind users that Reading Plus® staff are available to answer questions, engage in data chats, or provide additional training.

Summary of Evidence Base

Please identify, to the best of your knowledge, all the research studies that have been conducted to date supporting the efficacy of your program, including studies currently or previously submitted to NCII for review. Please provide citations only (in APA format); do not include any descriptive information on these studies. NCII staff will also conduct a search to confirm that the list you provide is accurate.

Study Information

Study Citations

Reutzel, D. R., Petscher, Y. & Spichtig, A. N. (2012). Exploring the value added of a guided, silent reading intervention: Effects on struggling third-grade readers’ achievement. The Journal of Educational Research, 105(6) 404-415.

Participants Full Bobble

Describe how students were selected to participate in the study:
Students who met the following criteria were selected for the control and treatment group samples: 1) students were age 9 or older; 2) students who were identified as being at risk by scores from their end-of-year high-stakes tests; and 3) students retained to repeat 3rd grade based on FCAT and SAT10 test scores

Describe how students were identified as being at risk for academic failure (AI) or as having emotional or behavioral difficulties (BI):
Students were identified as at risk for academic failure based on scores from 3rd grade end-of-year high-stakes assessments.

ACADEMIC INTERVENTION: What percentage of participants were at risk, as measured by one or more of the following criteria:
  • below the 30th percentile on local or national norm, or
  • identified disability related to the focus of the intervention?
%

BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION: What percentage of participants were at risk, as measured by one or more of the following criteria:
  • emotional disability label,
  • placed in an alternative school/classroom,
  • non-responsive to Tiers 1 and 2, or
  • designation of severe problem behaviors on a validated scale or through observation?
%

Specify which condition is the submitted intervention:
Reading Plus® is the submitted program

Specify which condition is the control condition:
The control group used any of the following curriculum-approved interventions in a business as usual condition: Soar to Success, Essential Elements of Reading: Vocabulary, Voyager Passport, and Earobics

If you have a third, competing condition, in addition to your control and intervention condition, identify what the competing condition is (data from this competing condition will not be used):

Using the tables that follow, provide data demonstrating comparability of the program group and control group in terms of demographics.

Grade Level

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
Age less than 1
Age 1
Age 2
Age 3
Age 4
Age 5
Kindergarten
Grade 1
Grade 2
Grade 3 40 40 0.00
Grade 4
Grade 5
Grade 6
Grade 7
Grade 8
Grade 9
Grade 10
Grade 11
Grade 12

Race–Ethnicity

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
African American 26 23 0.18
American Indian
Asian/Pacific Islander
Hispanic 14 14 0.00
White 0 3 2.71
Other

Socioeconomic Status

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
Subsidized Lunch
No Subsidized Lunch

Disability Status

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
Speech-Language Impairments
Learning Disabilities 2 10 1.12
Behavior Disorders
Emotional Disturbance
Intellectual Disabilities
Other
Not Identified With a Disability 38 30 1.12

ELL Status

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
English Language Learner 6 5 0.10
Not English Language Learner 34 35 0.16

Gender

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
Female
Male

Mean Effect Size

0.67

For any substantively (e.g., effect size ≥ 0.25 for pretest or demographic differences) or statistically significant (e.g., p < 0.05) pretest differences between groups in the descriptions below, please describe the extent to which these differences are related to the impact of the treatment. For example, if analyses were conducted to determine that outcomes from this study are due to the intervention and not demographic characteristics, please describe the results of those analyses here.

Design Empty Bobble

What method was used to determine students' placement in treatment/control groups?
Systematic
Please describe the assignment method or the process for defining treatment/comparison groups.
This study used a matched, quasi-experimental research design. The study’s quasi-experimental control and treatment groups were constructed by the use of a propensity score sampling and matching process.

What was the unit of assignment?
If other, please specify:

Please describe the unit of assignment:

What unit(s) were used for primary data analysis?
not selected Schools
not selected Teachers
selected Students
not selected Classes
not selected Other
If other, please specify:

Please describe the unit(s) used for primary data analysis:

Fidelity of Implementation Empty Bobble

How was the program delivered?
selected Individually
not selected Small Group
not selected Classroom

If small group, answer the following:

Average group size
Minimum group size
Maximum group size

What was the duration of the intervention (If duration differed across participants, settings, or behaviors, describe for each.)?

Weeks
20.00
Sessions per week
3.00
Duration of sessions in minutes
30.00
What were the background, experience, training, and ongoing support of the instructors or interventionists?
Teachers had diverse backgrounds and varying levels of teaching experience, but all teachers using the treatment program received an initial hands-on 4-hour professional development course, which covered the pedagogy of the program, and basic functionality of the program and teacher management system. The initial professional development also allowed for teachers and administrators to design implementation and motivation plans specific for their school. A follow up 3-hour professional development course was provided approximately 4 weeks later. This time period allowed the teachers to gain experience and allowed the students to accumulate usage data. The follow up professional development was then able to answer specific teacher usage questions and delve deeper into the progress monitoring and reporting features of the program. All teachers and administrators using the program received on-going support via site visits, email, and phone communications to address any questions or concerns that arose during the implementation period.

Describe when and how fidelity of treatment information was obtained.
Reading Plus is a web-based intervention system delivered via the internet. The imbedded teacher management system provides a scheduling tool which allows the teacher or administrator to set schedule goals for students within the program in terms of number of sessions per week, length of sessions and length of intervention period. Teachers and administrators are given real-time feedback that assists them in creating an acceptable schedule that fall within the parameters given by the publisher. Detailed logs maintained within the system recorded each students’ time on task and performance on the various program components. We compared the students’ actual usage with the schedule set by the teacher and/or administrator and with this information we were able to explicitly assess each students’ level of fidelity

What were the results on the fidelity-of-treatment implementation measure?
100% of the students in the treatment group completed at least the minimum number of lessons suggested by the publisher. The students in the treatment group (n=40), completed an average of 71 lessons with a range of 40 lessons to 119 lessons. All work, including lesson completion dates, lesson format, reading rates, comprehension performance, and time on task are tracked within the Reading Plus management system. The Reading Plus® intervention was scheduled for 20 weeks, 3 sessions per week, and 30 minutes per session. Prior to students beginning the implementation key administrators, lead teachers/reading coaches, and classroom teachers were trained on how to use the Reading Plus® management system. The management system is a key component of a successful intervention as it provides built-in school, class, and student reports that enforce effective schedule guidelines, support monitoring of progress, and help ensure program fidelity. The second step to guarantee program fidelity was to ensure that all 40 students completed the required Reading Placement Appraisal™ (RPA™). This 20-minute placement test assesses independent reading level, rate, comprehension, and vocabulary level and establishes each student’s initial placement level within the program. Teachers physically monitored the administration of this assessment and reviewed the results using the Reading Plus® management system to be certain students had been accurately placed. After the RPA™ was completed Reading Plus® sessions began according to the aforementioned schedule. Each session began with the perceptual accuracy and visual efficiency (PAVE™) warm-up activity. Each student was required to complete the PAVE™ warm-up before the program would allow them to continue to the next instructional component. Teachers received a detailed student summary report via the Reading Plus® management system, which provided monitoring feedback on PAVE™ that included total time spent in the activity, scan rate improvement, and accuracy with flash characters. After completing PAVE™ students continued to the Structured Silent Reading (Guided Reading™ – GR™) lesson – the heart of the intervention. Students build fluency in GR™ by reading narrative, expository, and informational texts that are presented in both a guided silent reading format (a moving window guides students’ eyes across lines of print from left to right) and an independent reading format that dynamically changes the length of text segments and frequency of comprehension questions. Students must be able to read appropriately leveled passages at the current content difficulty levels with research-based grade-appropriate rates and good comprehension before they advance to subsequent levels (Taylor, Frackenpohl, & Pettee, 1960). The Reading Plus® system requires 70% correct responses on comprehension questions for a student to be considered successful. Usual Aural/Oral Range: The Reading Plus® system constantly reviews each student’s progress and evaluates reading, content level, comprehension, and lesson consistency with a complex algorithm of logic that assures students interact with the program as intended and do not simply “click their mouse”. As students engage in Structured Silent Reading lessons the system monitors progress and will notify teachers if students are struggling. In some cases the system may even “suspend” a student until the teacher had a chance to meet with him or her. The system will alert teachers if students are demonstrating excessive reading rates and/or prolonged, inconsistent performance. If students are suspended, the student cannot continue in the program until the teacher “unsuspends” the student. Typically, the teacher would conference with the student to help determine the issue or directly observe the student completing a lesson to gain insight into the student’s struggles. In a previous study, the publisher learned that students who engaged in at least 40 treatment lessons achieved significantly higher gains than students who did not (Rasinski, Samuels, Hiebert, Petscher, & Feller, 2009). Therefore, the number of GR™ lessons was the variable used in this study. However, the staff training, management system reports, and “suspension” logic all provide evidence to confirm that students were doing what Reading Plus® program developers intended during the time they were logged into the system on the computer. Prior to students beginning the study, key administrators, lead teachers/reading coaches, and classroom teachers were trained by Reading Plus® Implementation Specialists. The training focused on effective Reading Plus® implementation, which included a detailed overview of the instructional components students were going to engage in for the duration of the study, scheduling and weekly assignments, as well as an in-depth overview of the teacher management system. The management system plays a key role in a successful Reading Plus® implementation as it provides built-in school, class, and student reports. These reports enforce effective schedule guidelines, support monitoring of progress, and ensure program fidelity by providing weekly benchmarks and milestone-related benchmarks for program use and performance status and improvements (e.g., content level increases, comprehension performance, and comprehension-based reading rate changes). Each teacher also had access to a management “dashboard” for their class that provided a quick overview as to whether their students were achieving weekly assignment and comprehension goals. Implementation Specialists continued to support school staff during the study. After a month of treatment each study site completed a follow-up training that continued to assist teachers in using the reports and progress reviews. For the duration of the entire study period Implementation Specialists were on call to provide on demand off-site and on-site progress monitoring support. So, in conclusion, the system logic, management system reports, notification system, staff training, and implementation team support, all provide evidence to confirm that students were doing what Reading Plus® program developers intended during the time they were logged into the system on their computers.

Was the fidelity measure also used in control classrooms?

Measures and Results

Measures Targeted : Dash
Measures Broader : Full Bobble

Study measures are classified as targeted, broader, or administrative data according to the following definitions:

  • Targeted measures
    Assess outcomes, such as competencies or skills that the program was directly targeted to improve.
    • In the academic domain, targeted measures typically are not the very items taught but rather novel items structured similarly to the content addressed in the program. For example, if a program taught word-attack skills, a targeted measure would be decoding of pseudo words. If a program taught comprehension of cause-effect passages, a targeted measure would be answering questions about cause-effect passages structured similarly to those used during intervention, but not including the very passages used for intervention.
    • In the behavioral domain, targeted measures evaluate aspects of external or internal behavior the program was directly targeted to improve and are operationally defined.
  • Broader measures
    Assess outcomes that are related to the competencies or skills targeted by the program but not directly taught in the program.
    • In the academic domain, if a program taught word-level reading skill, a broader measure would be answering questions about passages the student reads. If a program taught calculation skill, a broader measure would be solving word problems that require the same kinds of calculation skill taught in the program.
    • In the behavioral domain, if a program taught a specific skill like on-task behavior in one classroom, a broader measure would be academic performance in that setting or on-task behavior in another setting.
  • Administrative data measures apply only to behavioral intervention tools and are measures such as office discipline referrals (ODRs) and graduation rates which do not have psychometric properties as do other, more traditional targeted or broader measures.

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What populations are you submitting outcome data for?
not selected Full sample
not selected Students at or below the 20th percentile
not selected English language learners
not selected Racial/ethnic subgroups
not selected Economically disadvantaged students (low socioeconomic status)
Targeted Measure Reverse Coded? Reliability Relevance Exposure
Broader Measure Reverse Coded? Reliability Relevance Exposure
Administrative Data Measure Reverse Coded? Relevance

Posttest Data

Targeted Measures (Full Sample)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Broader Measures (Full Sample)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Administrative Measures (Full Sample)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Targeted Measures (Subgroups)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Broader Measures (Subgroups)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Administrative Measures (Subgroups)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P
For any substantively (e.g., effect size ≥ 0.25 for pretest or demographic differences) or statistically significant (e.g., p < 0.05) pretest differences, please describe the extent to which these differences are related to the impact of the treatment. For example, if analyses were conducted to determine that outcomes from this study are due to the intervention and not pretest characteristics, please describe the results of those analyses here.
Please explain any missing data or instances of measures with incomplete pre- or post-test data.
If you have excluded a variable or data that are reported in the study being submitted, explain the rationale for exclusion:
Describe the analyses used to determine whether the intervention produced changes in student outcomes:
A propensity score analysis was used to match the 40 students who did not receive the supplementary silent reading fluency intervention to a group of 40 students who were similar with regard to demographics, prior FCAT achievement, and performance on the Stanford Achievement Test (SAT-10) in this study. At the end of the intervention, the resulting student scores were analyzed using a one-way ANOVA with a linear step-up to control for the false-discovery rate. As the data indicate, the two groups were reasonably matched from the propensity analysis. Because students who participated in the program were from different classes and schools, the analysis was based on available, archival data, the ratio of students to classes was small, precluding a mixed effects modeling of the data to account for clustering at the classroom and school levels.

Additional Research

Is the program reviewed by WWC or E-ESSA?
WWC & E-ESSA
Summary of WWC / E-ESSA Findings :

What Works Clearinghouse Review

Adolescent Literacy Protocol

Effectiveness: Reading Plus® was found to have potentially positive effects on comprehension for adolescent learners.

Studies Reviewed: 1 study meets standards out of 5 studies total

Full Report

 

Evidence for ESSA

Program Outcomes: Reading Plus was evaluated in a randomized study that involved six elementary schools in an urban district in the northeastern United States. The study found that students who engaged in Reading Plus showed significantly greater improvements in reading proficiency than did control students who received other types of targeted reading instruction. Specifically, Reading Plus students made significantly larger improvements in reading achievement (effect size = +0.11), as measured by the Group Reading Assessment Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE). These results qualify Reading Plus for the ESSA “Strong” category.

Number of Studies: 1

Mean Effect Size: 0.11

Full Report
How many additional research studies are potentially eligible for NCII review?
1
Citations for Additional Research Studies :
Reading Plus. (2008). Reading improvement report: Miami-Dade regions II and III. Huntington Station, NY: Taylor Associates/Communications, Inc.

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