Funding Agency: Institute of Education Sciences
Total Project Cost: $1,999,912
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Students with or at risk for reading disabilities in Grades 6-8 need both literacy intervention and support for learning in the text-based content areas of science and social studies. However, middle schools struggle to offer intervention time during the day, especially in multiple domains, and typically expose students to less complex text than is expected for achieving grade-level performance. Therefore, this project has two aims. The first is to create a semester-long Tier 2 intervention, Varied Practice Reading (VPR), based on statistical learning principles that will provide students multiple exposures to critical science and social studies language and information while building students’ reading fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension as well as writing skills. The second aim is to test VPR’s promise for improving students’ literacy, science, and social studies performance.
The research team will iteratively develop one grade level of VPR at a time in each of the first 3 years of the project. When all of the materials for Grades 6-8 have been created and refined, a pilot test of the complete intervention package will be conducted in all grades during the fall semester of Year 4. In each year, the feasibility and utility of the intervention will be assessed. During the pilot, the research team also will analyze implementation costs and student outcomes by comparing VPR treatment groups to the school partners’ typical Tier 2 intervention groups.