The majority of students at Reading Connections are tested on a regular interval – typically every 8-12 weeks. They are tested for word fluency, comprehension and spelling. All tests are on a grade level scale and easily relate to their age/grade.
Our statistics are also based on the grade level that is measured. For each test given we calculate the rate of gain that resulted between tests. For example, if a student gains 12 weeks in word fluency during their 12 weeks of reading instruction they experience a rate of gain of 1.0 (12 weeks gain/12 weeks of work = 1.0). Likewise when a student gains 48 weeks in word fluency during their 12 week of instruction, they experienced a rate of gain of 4.0 (48 weeks of gain/12 weeks of work = 4.0). In the first example the student only gained as much as they aged and did not catch up on their reading deficit. In the second example they are gaining on their problem at a rate that can be expressed as 4 weeks gain per week of instruction, 4 months gain per month of instruction or 4 years gain per year of instruction. These rates of gain are recorded for each interval and the average rates of gain are measured for each group of students Reading Connections is involved in their learning experience.
Results For Students at Reading Connections Inc
Over 3000 students have been worked with at the Reading Connections offices over the last 20+ years. Typically they are worked with for a maximum of two ½ hour sessions per week with a variable amount of at home practice. Their gains have been tracked for word fluency, spelling and comprehension with the following average gains:
Word Fluency – 5.2 months gain per month of instruction
Spelling – 4.9 months gain per month of instruction
Comprehension – 2.6 months gain per month of instruction
The above results demonstrate that there is a lag between the word fluency/spelling gains and the comprehension gains. This once again demonstrates that similar reading comprehension gains cannot occur until word fluency is mastered.
We also need to remember that the typical Reading Connections student comes to us for assistance after demonstrating rates of gain in the 0.3 to 0.5 months gain per month of instruction. They were on track to finish their 13 year school experience with a 4th to 6th grade reading level.
Results from a 7 Month Instructional Video Experience in a 2nd Grade Private School Classroom:
This PDF file 2nd Grade Test Results shows the rates of gain for word fluency at 4.8, spelling at 4.1 and comprehension at 4.0.
At the beginning of this experience, 3 of these 17 students had word fluency scores that were below grade level (student 7, 13 and 14) and 7 had comprehension scores that were below grade level (students 1, 5, 7, 13,14,16 and 17). It is important to note that all of the students that were below grade level in word fluency were also below grade level in comprehension.
At the end of this 7 month experience no students were testing below grade level and their average scores had nearly doubled in all three test categories (word fluency, spelling and comprehension).
The bottom line in this experience demonstrates that this word fluency/spelling emphasis approach to instruction significantly impacts not only the struggling reader but also significantly improves the reading levels for the non-struggling readers. When this approach is strictly applied to those that are struggling with reading, those that are not struggling miss out on very significant improvements.
Also note – this experience was completed without creating the conventional reading groups that define who are the good readers, not so good readers and the “really bad readers”. These students missed out on the damage caused by that grouping process.
Results from a 4+ Year Instructional Program at the Brown County Juvenile Detention Center:
The Juvenile Detention Center inmates represented the oldest group of students Reading Connections worked with. They also represented the greatest need. This group also produced by far the greatest number of practice sheets. They also worked with the Reading Connections instructor 5 days a week. These situations all contributed to the greatest rate of gain numbers Reading Connections has ever experienced.
This spreadsheetJDC Results shows the details surrounding these results. The bottom line is that the rate of gain for these students was 36.0. These results demonstrate that by maximizing the amount of instruction and practice with a very needy “captive audience” during prime time daylight hours – the results are outstanding!