New Probes for Early Literacy Skills

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Title: New Probes for Early Literacy Skills
Author: Groce, Mary Kristina
Advisors: Ann C. Schulte, Committee Chair
John Begeny, Committee Member
William Erchul, Committee Member
Susan Osborne, Committee Member
Abstract: As educators alter their instructional decision making practices to align with a response to intervention (RTI) framework, it becomes crucial that appropriate tools for (a) identifying students at risk of reading failure and (b) monitoring students’ responsiveness to intervention are utilized. The assessments currently used for these purposes, such as Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM; Deno, 1986) and the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS; Good & Kaminski, 2002) can be time-consuming to administer to large groups of students. The present studies describe the initial evaluation of innovative, group-based progress monitoring measures. In Study 1, the three experimental measures (Reading Fluency, Maze Sentences, and Dolch Word Recognition) were administered to 73 first grade students four times during the academic year and the measures’ reliability, validity, and ability to demonstrate students’ growth over time were compared to those of two criterion measures, Word Identification Fluency (WIF; Fuchs, Fuchs, & Compton, 2004) and DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency (ORF). In Study 2, Reading Fluency, Maze Sentences, WIF, and ORF were administered weekly to four first grade students who were at risk for reading failure. In the multiple baseline design, the students received an intensive phonics intervention while their progress was monitored with the experimental and criterion measures. Results provide evidence that the Reading Fluency and Maze Sentences tasks are as reliable and valid as other measures in current use for screening, but suggest that they are not sensitive to students’ growth over time. Of the experimental and criterion measures, WIF was the only measure to demonstrate adequate ability to model students’ growth. Thus, results suggest that the Reading Fluency and Maze Sentences tasks are promising benchmark/screening assessments within an RTI framework.
Date: 2009-03-23
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Psychology

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