The University of Iowa

Instruction in District-Designed Intensive Summer Reading Programs


This study reports on the instruction provided in district-designed intensive summer reading programs. The Tier 3 intervention was provided to 374 students from 24 school districts who were not meeting the end of third-grade reading benchmarks; students were exiting third grade and entering fourth grade. Observations of the 40 classes were conducted near the beginning, middle, and end of the average 23 days of instruction, and analyzed to capture the proportion of time spent in various instructional groupings (e.g., whole class, small group) and components (e.g., phonological awareness, comprehension). Findings revealed that most time was spent in whole-class instruction, despite the need to offer students a more intensive intervention. Only two thirds of instructional time was spent specifically in reading-related activities. Approximately 30% of literacy instruction was code-focused (e.g., phonics), and 70% was meaning-focused (e.g., comprehension). The discussion addresses the alignment of observations with prior research on effective instruction and implications for designing future district-designed intensive summer reading programs.


Folsom, J. S., Reed, D. K., Aloe, A. M., & Schmitz, S. (in press). Instruction in district-designed intensive summer reading programs. Learning Disability Quarterly. doi:10.1177/0731948718765207

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