The Effectiveness of a Short-Term Implementation of ERI in Improving Phonics Skills in Kindergartners
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The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of a supplemental phonics curriculum (Early Reading Intervention, ERI) on reading scores of a small group of kindergarten students. Participants were selected from two different kindergarten classrooms based on their similar DIBELS Next pre-assessment scores. All students received phonics instruction from the Treasures reading program. However, students in the researcher’s classroom were assigned to the treatment group and also received instruction using the ERI curriculum. The treatment group participated in a total of twelve thirty-minute ERI sessions. These took place three times per week, for a total of four weeks. Results indicated that the ERI group improved on all five DIBELS Next subtests, but the control group actually decreased on three. Five of ten null hypotheses which posited that the ERI and control groups would not make significant gains were rejected as the mean gain scores were significantly larger than zero on the LNF, PSF, FSF, and CLS subtests for the ERI group and on the FSF subtest for the control group. When gain scores were compared across treatment and control groups, results of T-tests for independent samples indicated that the ERI group made significantly larger gains on the LNF and PSF subtests than the control group, so the hypotheses that the two groups’ gains would be equivalent gains on those tests were also rejected. Participants’ responses to brief survey questions about the ERI intervention suggested they found the ERI activities fairly easy, enjoyable and useful in helping them become better readers. Overall, the results of this study suggested supplementing the Treasures program with ERI yielded gains in phonics skills and was well received by students.