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«Title of dissertation: THE EFFECTS OF A STRUCTURED PARENT TUTORING PROGRAM ON STUDENTS’ READING FLUENCY Michele Lynn Loving, Doctor of Philosophy, ...»

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ABSTRACT

Title of dissertation: THE EFFECTS OF A STRUCTURED PARENT

TUTORING PROGRAM ON STUDENTS’

READING FLUENCY

Michele Lynn Loving, Doctor of Philosophy, 2010

Dissertation directed by: Professor, Sylvia Rosenfield

Department of Counseling and Personnel Services This study examined the effectiveness of a brief parent tutoring intervention on the reading fluency of four second-grade students. The students were all below grade level readers, participating in a structured reading intervention with the school’s reading specialist. A structured home program was developed to complement the school-based

intervention, using the same classroom reading materials. The home program included:

modeling and feedback, repeated readings, error correction, and praise and incentives.

Parents were trained to use the strategies with their children, and implemented the procedures in their homes for three to four weeks. Parents taped all tutoring sessions. A review of the audiotapes, tutoring logs and checklists, as well as weekly telephone and/or e-mail contact with parents, served to monitor program implementation. The dependent variable was oral reading fluency, as measured by words read correctly per minute and an overall score on a 12-point fluency rating scale. A multiple baseline across participants design was used and results were analyzed using visual inspection and percentage of non-overlapping data points. Although some students showed improvement in reading fluency from baseline to intervention, results could not be attributed to the parent tutoring due to variability in baseline and intervention performance. Generalization to untutored passages at school and in peer-expected books was assessed, and a follow-up measure was completed with each participant approximately six to eight weeks after the intervention period. A measure of treatment integrity indicated high implementation of the program components by all parents. Exit interviews were completed with each student and parent participant, as well as the classroom teachers. Data collected from parent ratings and exit interviews indicated high acceptability of the intervention. Results of this study were discussed in terms of the feasibility of parents implementing a home tutoring intervention for reading, recommended modifications to the program, implications for generalization to classroom performance, and future research considerations. Limitations to the study included ethnicity and number of participants, training of raters for reliability, and the time of the school year the tutoring program was implemented.

THE EFFECTS OF A STRUCTURED PARENT TUTORING PROGRAM ON

STUDENTS’READING FLUENCY

–  –  –

First and foremost, I dedicate this dissertation to Mike, Jackson and Jayden...my wonderfully supportive, patient, and understanding family, whose numerous sacrifices made this accomplishment possible.

I dedicate this dissertation to my family, friends, and colleagues who have provided so

much support and assistance on this long journey, especially:

My parents, for your constant love and support Sylvia and Bill, for believing that I could do this and helping me find my way Colleen, Karen, Nicki, Lauren, Kelly, Kathy, Mary, Charlotte, Dawne, and Darrell for their professional, personal, and technical support And the many others who have encouraged and assisted me along the way I would like to say a special thank you to the parents and children who participated in this study.

–  –  –

List of Tables

List of Figures

Chapter I: The Effects of a Structured Parent Tutoring Program on Students’ Reading Fluency

Research Base for Parent Tutoring

Framework for Parent Tutoring

Purpose of Study

Research Questions

Definition of Terms

Chapter II: Review of the Literature

Background Theory and Research on Children’s Reading Development.............8 Early literacy and family involvement: An overview

Reading engagement

Metacognitive strategies

Reading practice

Repeated reading

Reading fluency

Fluency and comprehension

Measurement of fluency

The Role of Parents

Home-School Collaboration Studies

Parent involvement studies

Parent tutoring

Socioeconomic status

Parent Reading-Tutoring Studies

Informal practices

Formal practices

Structured program components

Evidence-Based Parental Instructional Strategies in Reading

Involving parents in a reading intervention

Time spent in reading

Interactive reading behaviors

Chapter III: Method

–  –  –

Instruments

Curriculum-based measurement

Fluency probes

Oral reading rate

Fluency rating scale

Intervention component checklist

Acceptability ratings

Reading Intervention: Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI)

Program Evaluation

Parent Home-Based Tutoring Intervention





Implementation

Skills selected for training

Repeated reading

Metacognitive strategy

Materials

Tutoring program materials

Procedures

Parent training

Acceptability of the intervention

Post-training communication

Conducting the Parent Home-Based Tutoring Intervention

Starting parent tutoring

Selection of home-tutoring materials

Independent reading level

Data Collection

Ruling out performance deficits

Baseline performance

Follow-up

Inter-rater agreement

Treatment integrity

Experimental Design

Chapter IV: Results

Treatment Integrity

Acceptability Ratings

Parent Communication and Feedback

Parent-Child Interaction

Reading Fluency

Intervention Data Results

Baseline and intervention results for home tutoring

Effect of parent tutoring on reading fluency of individual students.........93 Effect of parent tutoring on untutored material

Baseline and intervention results for LLI books

Baseline and intervention results for peer-expected books

Follow-up

v Teacher Feedback

Chapter V: Discussion

Discussion of Results

Parent tutoring program outcomes

Teacher outcomes

Explanation of Results

Parent Feedback

Student Feedback

Parent-Child Interactions

Parent Implementation Differences

Suggestions for Improving the Tutoring Program

Shorter passages/fewer books

Training on prosody

Schedule for feedback

Lessons Learned/Practical Implications

Implications for Future Research

Limitations

Conclusion

Appendices

Appendix A. Study participation request form

Appendix B. County reading benchmark levels

Appendix C. Fluency rating scale

Appendix D. Checklist of essential program components

Appendix E. Tutoring log

Appendix F. Tutoring star chart

Appendix G. Curriculum-based measurement (CBM) procedure

Appendix H. Directions for parent tutoring

Appendix I. Repeated reading procedure

Appendix J. Reading bookmark

Appendix K. Parent intervention survey (pre)

Appendix L. Parent intervention survey (post)

–  –  –

4. Fluency Ratings in LLI Books for Progress Monitoring by Participant 97

5. WCPM in Second-Grade Books for Generalization by Participant 99

–  –  –

Collaboration between home and school can enhance the efforts of both in developing children’s reading abilities and their attitudes toward reading (Ollila & Mayfield, 1992). Topping and Wolfendale (1985) identified parent involvement as one characteristic of a successful school reading program. Reading with children at home, either reading aloud to them or listening to them read, is the literacy activity most frequently recommended to parents by classroom teachers (Epstein & Dauber, 1991).

Research supports that most parents provide help at home with or without explicit direction from teachers; however, they may wonder if they are doing the right things and desire more information about specific skills needed for their child’s academic success (Epstein, 1987). In terms of reading skill development, parents may need more guidance from teachers about what, how much, and how long to read at home, what to do when their child makes a mistake, how to discuss the material, and how to create a positive reading experience (Smith, 1988). With specific knowledge and support, parents may be better prepared to help their child read at home.

The current study considered how to connect and extend research-based strategies for reading into the home setting and, conversely, how to best involve parents in a reading intervention provided at school. The purpose of the study was to determine whether implementing a structured tutoring program at home, that supported the schoolbased reading program, would lead to improved reading fluency for a group of second grade students reading below grade level. The tutoring program, to be implemented daily by parents, was designed to accompany the instruction and use the same materials from the student’s daily reading intervention with the reading specialist. I thought that a structured reading program with explicit materials, training, and follow-up provided, that was relatively easy for parents to implement in a short period of time, would lead to improved reading performance on tutored materials and school-based measures.

Research Base for Parent Tutoring Several studies have indicated success with parents learning to tutor their children at home, particularly focused on a specific academic behavior or skill (Leach & Siddall, 1990; Rasinski & Stevenson, 2005). Research suggests that parent tutoring is a way to increase the amount of time that children are engaged in an academic task. Increasing their opportunity to respond and engage in a particular academic task at home is thought to enhance skill development and achievement, providing support for success at school (Duvall, Delquadri, Elliott, & Hall, 1992). However, without involvement from school staff and specific procedures to follow, parents may feel frustrated or inadequate in helping their children at home (Thurston & Dasta, 1990).

More formal parent tutoring programs involve opportunities for guided practice with feedback and direct instruction of specific skills, with parents being trained to implement the procedures and supported during the tutoring period at home (Duvall et al., 1992; Leach & Siddall, 1990). In terms of home-based tutoring interventions, research indicates that programs incorporating specific objectives, structured materials, explicit training of parents with practice and immediate feedback provided, use of positive reinforcement, and progress monitoring of both implementation and student performance, have been most effective (Leach & Siddall, 1990; Neidermeyer, 1970;

Rasinski & Stevenson, 2005).

Framework for Parent Tutoring Leichter’s (1984) three-part model of home influences on children’s literacy development provided a framework for the necessary elements to consider and include in developing a parent tutoring program for reading. The physical resources needed to insure learning opportunities should be provided to parents and children (i.e.

implementation guides and scripts, tutoring materials and logs). Teachers can provide parents with specific strategies to use, so that time spent reading at home can be most effective (Learning First Alliance, 1998). In terms of interactions with others, children reading daily with a parent, engaging in repeated readings, and thinking and talking about what they have read can lead to positive interactions. Through joint book-reading, sharing personal reactions to text, and relating concepts to personal experiences, parents can foster positive attitudes toward reading, and perhaps assist children in reading more often and becoming better readers (Morrow, 1990). Reading interventions that provide opportunities for skill development and extra practice can possibly change the outcome of poor reading achievement for struggling readers (Rasinski & Stevenson, 2005).

The emotional climate at home was presumed to positively support the child’s literacy development through daily one-to-one attention, increased interest in the child’s reading performance, and frequent opportunities for praise and encouragement. Parents can promote positive attitudes by modeling appropriate reading behaviors and showing enthusiasm when reading. Parents can stress the importance of reading, set clear expectations and routines, and reinforce progress toward reading goals (Ollila & Mayfield, 1992). Using incentives such as a sticker chart, prize box, and/or linking home reading to a meaningful reward at school, could foster a positive emotional climate and help to increase the child’s motivation during a parent tutoring intervention. In summary, children’s literacy development could be enhanced by educating parents about components and effective strategies that could improve literacy practices in the home, and assisting them in applying such strategies in an effort to improve reading outcomes at school.



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