University of Iowa

Predicting First Grade Reading Performance from Kindergarten Response to Instruction


Many schools are beginning to implement multi-tier response to intervention (RTI) models for the prevention of reading difficulties and to assist in the identification of students with learning disabilities (LD). The present study was part of our larger ongoing longitudinal RTI investigation within the Florida Learning Disabilities Center grant. This study used a longitudinal correlational design, conducted in 7 ethnically and socio-economically diverse schools. We observed reading instruction in 20 classrooms, examined response rates to kindergarten Tier 1 instruction, and predicted students' first grade reading performance based upon kindergarten growth and end of year reading performance (n = 203). Teachers followed an explicit core reading program and overall, classroom instruction was rated as effective. Results indicate that controlling for students' end of kindergarten reading, their growth across kindergarten on a variety of language and literacy measures suppressed predictions of first grade performance. Specifically, the steeper the students' trajectory to a satisfactory outcome, the less likely they were to demonstrate good performance in first grade. Implications for future research and RTI implementation are discussed.


Al Otaiba, S., Folsom, J. S., Schatschneider, C., Wanzek, J., Greulich, L., Meadows, J., & Li, Z. (2011). Predicting first grade reading performance from kindergarten response to instruction. Exceptional Children, 77 (4), 453-470.

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