Additional Studies

Treatment Group/Matched Control Group

The effects of Read Naturally on fluency and reading comprehension: A supplemental service intervention

Heistad, D. (2004)

Two-School Study, Minneapolis, MN

A study of students in two Minneapolis schools showed that students using Read Naturally had greater reading gains than comparable students who did not use Read Naturally. The study was based on data collected in Spring 2003 through Spring 2004. Throughout the 2003–2004 school year, one group of students used Read Naturally’s Masters Edition and Software Edition, while one group did not.

A total of 102 students from two Minneapolis schools were included in the study. Each Read Naturally student was matched with a student who was not in a Read Naturally program but had comparable baseline test scores and demographics. The demographic criteria were grade, English language learner status, special education status, free or reduced price lunch status, racial/ethnic category, home language, and gender.

Students who received Read Naturally instruction had improved performance on state-wide tests at statistically significant levels, and a larger proportion of those students met proficiency standards for No Child Left Behind (NCLB) compared to the matched students in the control group. That is, 43% of the Read Naturally students scored at Level 3 or above on the state test (that is, met NCLB standards) compared to 27% of the students in the control group.

The students were evaluated using three assessments—the Northwest Achievement Levels Test (NALT), the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA), and Read Naturally’s Reading Fluency Monitor. The test results are shown in the table, graphs, and chart below.

Average Scores on Three Reading Assessments
Control Group
Read Naturally
Northwest Achievement Levels Test
Baseline (Spring 2003)
Final (Spring 2004)
Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments
Reading Fluency Monitor Assessments
Fall 2003
Winter 2004
Spring 2004
NALT Scores

A comparison of the students’ NALT pre-test scores in Spring 2003 with their test scores in Spring 2004 showed that, on average, the Read Naturally students had gains of 8.5 points compared to gains of only 6.2 by students not in a Read Naturally program (see the following graph). This represents approximately one-third of a year of additional reading growth for the Read Naturally students.

Average Scores on the Northwest Achievement Levels Test

Average Scores on the Northwest Achievement Levels Test

MCA Scores

A comparison of 44 matched pairs of students with MCA scores in grades 3 and 5 showed that students in the Read Naturally program scored significantly higher than the control group. Specifically, the average score for the Read Naturally students was 1380.9 compared to an average score of 1327.6 for the control group (see the following chart).

Average Scores on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments

Average Scores on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments

RFM Scores

A comparison of the Reading Fluency Monitor scores for 48 matched pairs of students from both schools (grades 3, 4, and 5) showed that the Read Naturally students increased their scores on benchmark passages by an average of 32.3 points compared to an average increase of 19.7 points for the control group.

Average Reading Fluency Monitor Scores

Average Reading Fluency Monitor Scores

For More Information

pointer Read the complete results of this study


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