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Researchers have reported on the effectiveness of frequent feedback, tape-assisted reading, partner reading, silent reading, and oral reading. These are all components of the Score 4 Reading intervention for struggling readers.
Score 4 Reading integrates (1) accuracy, (2) fluency, and (3) comprehension as the key elements of intervention. The ultimate goal is to develop successful readers who comfortably read and understand any text as long as they have enough prior knowledge to make sense of it. Rate (words per minute) is addressed during assessments and is not a focus of the intervention itself, although a natural sounding pace is considered during the intervention.
The objective of this program is to help struggling readers become successful, wonderful readers who generate fluent, comfortable reading that is understandable to the reader and to a listener as well. The reader in Score 4 Reading is compelled to generate successful reading (feels comfortable, sounds natural, and makes sense). This is accomplished by a six step process that includes repeated reading, silent reading, partner reading, and listening to a model of wonderful reading on a CD. Our stories are modeled using natural phrasing that sounds like talking.
Score 4 Reading stories have been through readability statistics to assure appropriate grade-leveling and divided into parts. The last part (and sometimes two parts) is not recorded or read to the reader. The reader is required to generate successful reading with all parts, even though he or she has not heard one or more parts. This “cold read” with a guide nearby, allows the reader to safely experiment with newly acquired strategies. A simple guided reading process is used to generate successful reading.
In Score 4 Reading, one guide can work with up to five readers at a time. The guide is responsible for judging the reading according to a stringent scoring guide before readers are allowed to move to another part of the text. Readers are required to score a 4 (the highest standard on the scoring guide) on all parts of a story in accuracy, fluency, and comprehension.
The role of the guide is to guide and encourage the readers as they work through the process of listening to the well-modeled sections of each story. The other principal task for the guide is to assess progress so that the reader moves forward at an appropriate pace. Score 4 Reading provides software and data collection forms and even tapes to record initial and follow-up assessments. Assessments take between four and seven minutes to administer and are recommended after every 20 hours of instruction.
In order to collect accurate data from a running record, it is a good idea to record the assessment. Readers read a passage the guide has chosen from the two sets of assessment stories included in the manual, knowing that at the end of the reading they will be expected to provide a retell of what they read in their own words. The assessor marks errors, self-corrections, and changes that work (accuracy). In addition, the assessor marks pauses, repetitions, and unnatural sounding reading (fluency). Because all of this has been recorded, the assessor can easily recheck the comprehension (the depth of the retell), and the markings for accuracy and fluency. Knowing how fast or slow a reader is reading (rate) is also important information. Recording the assessment allows the assessor to get this information without the reader being aware of being timed and not having to worry about speedy reading. The software that comes with Score 4 Reading will compute the rate for you.