Improving letter recognition
Transitional first-grade students with special needs
Three students were selected as at-risk for poor reading. These students were selected by teachers to be the most in need of letter-sound intervention. The dependent measure in this study was the number of correct responses made by students on the letter-sound association test where they were presented with individual cards containing one lowercase consonant per card. Student performance on letter recognition was also observed and recorded but was not considered as part of the mastery criteria. The independent variable was a mnemonic strategy that presented each lowercase consonant letter fully integrated into a picture of a common item that began with the initial sound of the consonant letter. An example is the letter "k" as a prominent element of a kite. Cards containing the integrated mnemonic illustrations were presented individually to the subject according to a brief script, which required the researcher to state the letter name and letter sound and to name the illustrated item beginning with each letter sound. The student was asked to look at the mnemonic and repeat the information. Prompts were provided, if needed, to facilitate a student response. The experimenter repeated what the student had said and went on to the next mnemonic. Each of 20 mnemonic pictures was presented in each 20 minute intervention session.
The effectiveness of the intervention was evaluated by counting the number of correct responses across phases. Mastery criteria was defined as 90% accuracy of phonetic sound responses in four out of five consecutive assessment sessions.
Two out of three students reached mastery, and the third displayed a pattern of success in spite of an extended school vacation.
Fulk, B. M., Lohman, D., & Belfiore, P. J. (1997). Effects of integrated picture mnemonics on the letter recognition and letter-sound acquisition of transitional first-grade students with special needs. Learning Disability Quarterly, 20, 33-41.
Chrystel Bowman, E.T.S.U.
segment, blend, and identify words
Preschoolers attending language classes.
The teacher implemented the first 90 lessons from the 3rd revision of the Reading Mastery I program. These lessons were detailed scripts that the teacher followed closely. Each word was taught using a model, lead, test format. First, the teacher modeled the segmentation task ("My turn to sound out this word"). Next, the teacher lead the task ("Sound out this word with me"). Lastly, the teacher asked the group or an individual to perform the task. As the teacher segmented each word, she touched the ball to the left of the word and then looped from letter to letter, saying the sounds for each letter without pausing between each sound. When the teacher blended a word, she touched the ball and slashed under the entire word, saying the word at its spoken rate.
Ask students to say the most common sounds of letters and letter combinations, segment familiar words without stopping between sounds, and blend segmented sounds to make words.
Weisburg, P., & Savard, C. F. (1993). Teaching preschoolers to read: Don't stop between the sounds when segmenting words. Education and Treatment of Children, 16, 1-18.
Mary Boylin, UVA
develop phonological awareness and reading and spelling knowledge
Students between the ages of 11 and 17 with weak language test scores.
The Lindamood program uses a multisensory approach. First, students identify and classify speech sounds and associate these sounds with their orthographic symbols. During this instruction, auditory, visual, and articulatory feedback are implemented for the classification and labeling of the consonant and vowel sounds. Next, the students track and represent sequences of sounds with colored blocks. After they master this skill, students learn to color encode isolated sounds and sounds in syllables with the blocks. They also learn to manipulate and change sounds within a sequence. Next, students learn how to integrate their auditory-tracking skill with the sound-symbol associations they have learned. In addition, they learn to transfer sequences of speech sounds into sequences of letter symbols. Finally, students translate sequences of syllable patterns into spoken text.
Students can be assessed using Informal Reading Inventories, spelling tests, and psuedoword reading and writing tasks.
Kennedy, K. M., & Backman, J. (1993). Effectiveness of the lindamood auditory discrimination in depth program with students with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Practice, 8, 253-259.
Mary Boylin, UVA
Helping students' to discover phonic generalizations that can be applied to a large number of words
Elementary age students who have been labled as having learning disabilities
The students were taught nine five-letter irregular words and eight regular words with four letters each. The regular words contained a consonant, medial vowel combination or pattern, and a final consonant. The spelling patterns were (ea, ai, oa, ar). The instuction for phonemically regular words focused on the specific pattern in each word through visual cues (ie color) as well as instructional cues that emphasized the symbol-sound associations. In the teaching of irregular words, worksheets were designed to focus on each individual letter in a word with letter fill in practice that required children to gradually supply all the missing letters in a word. Students were also given practice which included word games such as crossword puzzles, word searches, and bingo. Students were also encouraged to study the words independently, to write the words from memory 1 to 5 times, and to make up their own sentences using the words.
The number to teaching words out of 17, spelled correctly and the number of transfer words out of 12, spelled correctly were measured using a pretest and a posttest. Also, daily criterion-referenced tests were given after each unit and retention measures for the previous day's words were given at the start of each lesson.
Gettinger, M., Bryant, N. D., & Fayne, H. R. (1982). Designing spelling instruction for learning disabled children: An emphasis on unit size, distributed practice, and training for transfer. The Journal Special Education, 16, 439-448.
Kathy Miner and Melissa Markowski, UVA
Improving handwriting and letter recognition skills
A six-year-old boy with handwriting and letter recognition problems
The procedure required two sets of index cards containing letters of the student's name. The letters were upper case for the student's first and second initial and lower case for the remaining letters. One set was pink with black lettering and the other yellow with letters made from orange yarn which were glued onto the index cards.
In phase 1, the student was instructed to verbally identify the letters on the pink cue cards; then he was instructed to print on a sheet of paper the model letters shown on the cue cards; last, he was instructed to print his name on a sheet of paper without using model letters. In phase 2, the student was instructed to verbally identify the letters in the yellow set of cue cards. If the student responded correctly, he was given a piece of candy as a reinforcer; if the student responded incorrectly, he was instructed to outline the shape of the letter on the cue card using his fingertip. Next, worksheets were used to improve handwriting skills and self-evaluation took place by laying transparancies over the letters previously completed by the student. Last, the student was required to print his name on a sheet of paper without using model letters. Verbal prompts were used to encourage self-evaluation. No reinforcers were used in phases 3 and 4. Phase 3 was the same as phase 1; phase 4 was the same as phase 2.
Record the percentage of correct verbal labelings of response letters; the percentage of correct written responses with model letters, and; the percentage of correct written responses without model letters.
Fauke, J., Burnett, J., Powers, M.A., & Sulzer-Azaroff, B. (1973). Improvement of handwriting and letter recognition skills: A behavior modification procedure. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 6, 25-29.
Kathy Miner, and Gregory Wolf, UVA