Improving Struggling Readers' Early Literacy Skills Through a Tier 2 Professional Development Program for Rural Classroom Teachers: The Targeted Reading Intervention

Vernon-Feagans, L., Bratsch-Hines, M., Varghese, C., Cutrer, E. A., & Garwood, J. D. (2018)

This article reports the results of a randomized controlled trial that replicated and extended research on the Targeted Reading Intervention (TRI), a professional development program for kindergarten and first-grade teachers in low-wealth rural schools that helps enhance literacy skills of struggling readers. In weekly webcam coaching sessions, literacy coaches delivered real-time feedback to classroom teachers as they worked one-on-one with struggling readers. Teachers worked with 1 child for 15 minutes a day for 6 to 8 weeks before moving to another struggling reader. Hierarchical linear models replicated previous findings that struggling readers in TRI treatment classrooms showed greater gains in early literacy compared with struggling readers in control classrooms. This study extended previous TRI work by examining whether teachers who received a second year of TRI training produced greater gains for their students compared with their first year. Results showed no advantage of teachers’ 2-year TRI participation.

Differential Effects of the Targeted Reading Intervention for Students With Low Phonological Awareness and/or Vocabulary

Bratsch-Hines, M., Vernon-Feagans, L., Pedonti, S., & Varghese, C. (2019)

From the abstract: "Students most at risk for reading-related disabilities frequently struggle with word recognition and oral language, including, in the earliest grades, specific skills related to phonological awareness and vocabulary. Classroom teachers’ delivery of high-quality differentiated supplemental instruction may promote reading acquisition for these students. The current study examined whether the Targeted Reading Intervention, a webcam-coaching literacy professional development program for kindergarten and first grade classroom teachers, was more effective in producing reading gains for students who had the lowest scores on fall measures of phonological awareness and/or vocabulary as compared with students with higher scores. Findings revealed that students who participated in the Targeted Reading Intervention and who scored lowest on the fall vocabulary measure had the highest scores on spring decoding measures."

The Targeted Reading Intervention: Face-to-Face vs. Webcam Literacy Coaching of Classroom Teachers

Vernon-Feagans, L., Bratsch-Hines, M., Varghese, C., Bean, A., & Hedrick, A. (2015)

The targeted reading intervention (TRI) is a professional development program for rural kindergarten and first grade classroom teachers to help them provide effective reading strategies with struggling readers. In two randomized controlled trials, the TRI was delivered two ways: (1) literacy coaches provided support for classroom teachers through face-to-face classroom meetings or (2) coaches provided support to classroom teachers through live webcam technology. Regression results suggested greater benefits with webcam literacy coaching for teacher fidelity and efficacy. Both struggling reader groups made equivalent gains across literacy measures, although there were greater gains on one child literacy measure in the webcam group.