Observing reading instruction provided to elementary students in resource rooms
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A series of syntheses and consensus reports provides converging evidence regarding effective reading instruction (e.g. NICHD, 2000; Snow, Burnes & Griffin, 1998; Swanson & Hoskyn, 1998). However, findings from recent observation studies of reading instruction provided to students with learning disabilities (LD) are disappointing, with few scientifically based reading instructional components observed (e.g. Vaughn, Moody & Schumm, 1998; Moody, Vaughn, Hughes & Fischer, 2000). In addition, since 2001, only one observation study of reading instruction for students with LD has been published (Rieth, Bryant, Kinzer, Colburn, Hur, et al., 2003), and only two such dissertations (Brasnahan, 2001; Kethley, 2005) have been completed, all three of which were conducted in classrooms for students in middle or high school. Thus, no observation study of reading instruction for elementary students with LD has been published in the past seven years. Within this timeframe, however, systematic and wide-spread efforts have been made to bridge the gap between research and practice in the area of reading instruction (see Reading First Teacher Education Network at www.rften.org). The purpose of this study was to document the extent to which effective reading instruction was provided to students with LD served in the resource room setting. The amount of student and teacher text reading, grouping strategies used, and student achievement over the course of one semester was examined as well. Ten special education resource room teachers were observed during the spring academic semester. Information was gathered through direct observation and standardized measurement of student academic outcomes. All observations were conducted during reading instructional time. Results indicated a range of scientifically based reading instruction of average to high average quality. Students made no stastically significant growth on more distal measures of reading achievement. However, statistically significant growth was detected in oral reading fluency using passages one grade level below student assignment.