Volume 6, Issue 3 (Fall 2012)
Initial Evidence for Using the HELPS Reading Fluency Program With Small Instructional Groups
John C. Begeny, Laura M. Braun, Heather L. Lynch, Ann C. Ramsay, & Janice M. Wendt
ABSTRACT: Given the importance of reading fluency, its common neglect in many classrooms, the benefits of manualized intervention programs, and the need for schools to maximize time and resources, the overall purpose of this study was to conduct an initial evaluation of a manualized small group program that directly targets reading fluency and can be implemented in a relatively brief period of time. Specifically, implementation materials and protocols from the manualized and research-supported Helping Early Literacy With Practice Strategies (HELPS) One-on- One program were adapted so that a new program could be implemented with small groups of approximately three to six children. Effects of the HELPS program for small groups (HELPS-SG) were evaluated in a natural school environment with students experiencing difficulties with reading fluency. Outcomes of this initial evaluation of HELPS-SG showed that nearly all participants appeared to benefit from the program, as evidenced by multiple forms of analysis. Findings, limitations, and implications are discussed in terms of maximizing educators' time and resources, challenges with instructional decision making, and increasing practitioner–researcher collaboration in schools.