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Mastering the Code: An Evaluation of an Early Reading Intervention

Klousnitzer, Lindsay Erin (2022) Mastering the Code: An Evaluation of an Early Reading Intervention. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Knowing that each student’s academic success relies on his/her reading proficiency, schools must implement effective instructional reading models so that students can move from learning to read to reading to learn in the early years of development. The purpose of this inquiry was to evaluate the effectiveness of a kindergarten and first grade “reading room” Tier 2 intervention pilot program and to make recommendations for ongoing improvement. The reading room intervention was created due to a lack of pre-kindergarten experience and student exposure to text. Students were entering kindergarten behind, and, as those students progressed through the primary grades, the district noticed an increase in remediation needs. Based on the National Reading Panel’s research and collaboration with reading experts in the area, the district created a reading room Tier 2 environment consisting of smaller teacher-to-student ratios, highly trained reading teachers, and an intensive instructional delivery model of the current phonics program. Findings from this study indicated that progress was made with students in the reading room environment and the general education classroom; however, due to the small sample size, more investigation may be needed. The study showed that the instructional elements of the intervention model were in place and have shown positive results. Teachers agreed that the reduced class sizes with intensive and explicit instruction guided by continuous progress monitoring were effective. The study also indicated that those involved in the intervention believe in the model and understand the urgency related to literacy acquisition in the primary years. However, recommendations to strengthen the model included clearly defined programming expectations and goals to improve the fidelity of implementation. In addition, protocols are needed to identify each layer of the tiered support structure as well as collaboration expectations for general education teachers, special educators, and reading specialists. The results of this study could be useful to school-level administrators and teachers who are implementing intensive primary reading interventions.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Klousnitzer, Lindsay Erinlek111@pitt.eduLEK111
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKirk,
Committee MemberKucan,
Committee MemberReljac,
Date: 10 January 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 23 July 2021
Approval Date: 10 January 2022
Submission Date: 7 December 2021
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 96
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Reading Intervention
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2022 18:17
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2022 18:17


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