Testing the Efficacy of Reading RULES: A Tier 1 and Tier 2 Intervention for First-Grade Children with Decoding and Comprehension Difficulties


This study is funded under the Reading, Writing, and Language Development Program via the National Center for Special Education Research within the Institute of Education Sciences.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to evaluate the efficacy of Reading RULES for first-grade students who are at risk for serious reading difficulties and disabilities in both word reading and comprehension. Students who do not learn to read adequately in the early grades typically have persistent reading difficulties. Potential persistent reading problems may be prevented or their severity reduced if they are addressed aggressively and early. Reading RULES combines whole-class and intensive small-group intervention designed to improve word reading, fluency, listening, and reading comprehension.

Project Activities: Approximately 96 first-grade classrooms will participate in this research project. The study will focus on five first-grade students from each classroom at risk for reading difficulties in both word reading and comprehension. Reading RULES combines whole-class and small-group intervention with carefully-sequenced instruction in word reading, fluency, listening, and reading comprehension. A randomized controlled trial, with teachers randomly assigned to either a treatment or business-as-usual control group, will be used to study the efficacy of the intervention. Students will be assessed before, during, and after intervention and in second grade to determine whether students who receive Reading RULES have better reading outcomes than those in the control group.