School Psychology Forum

Reading Interventions
Volume 6, Issue 3 (Fall 2012 )

Editor: Steven R. Shaw

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  • 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

    pp. 50-63

    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.

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  • Using Interest and Interspersing Novel Tasks to Facilitate Reading Engagement Outcomes

    David C. Parker & Matthew K. Burns

    pp. 64-76

    ABSTRACT: An important consideration for reading interventions is the way students engage with reading tasks. The effects of interest and the interspersal technique have been studied with some reading outcomes, but applied research is necessary to clarify the use of these approaches in classrooms. In addition, little is known as to whether interaction effects exist when levels of interest are combined with levels of interspersal. The current study examined the individual and combined effects of interest and interspersal on two indicators of task engagement: on-task behavior and comprehension efficiency. A single-subject, multielement design showed no evidence for interaction effects on comprehension efficiency, but there was evidence suggesting potential unique effects. No effects were apparent for on-task behavior, potentially due to generally high on-task behavior across conditions. Limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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  • Reading Intervention and Assessment Acceptability: A Literature Review

    Sarah Stebbe Rowe

    pp. 77-88

    ABSTRACT: Educators and school psychologists are expected to use evidence-based interventions and assessment tools in their daily practice. A 2008 position statement by the National Association of School Psychologists indicates that school psychologists should consider the attitudes of students, teachers, and communities toward interventions prior to implementation. These attitudes include perspectives on treatment acceptability, which means that an intervention is appropriate to the problem, fair, reasonable, and nonintrusive (Kazdin, 1980). Much of the research on acceptability continues to investigate behavioral interventions, and less is known about the acceptability of academic interventions and assessment measures. The purpose of this literature review is to document acceptability measurement methods for reading interventions and assessments, to report the reliability and validity of the measures, and to provide information on the acceptability of several reading interventions and assessment tools. Implications for how school psychologists can measure reading intervention and assessment acceptability will be discussed.

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