Intervention: Headsprout® Early Reading
Early Intervention in Reading (EIR)® is a program designed to provide
extra instruction to groups of students at risk of failing to learn to read.
The program uses picture books to stress instruction in phonemic
awareness, phonics, and contextual analysis, along with repeated reading
and writing. In grades K, 1, and 2, the program is based on whole-class
instruction, with additional small group instruction provided to struggling
readers. In grades 3 and 4, the program consists of small group instruction
for 20 minutes, four days a week. Teachers are trained for nine months
using workshops and an Internet-based professional development program.
One study of EIR® meets What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence
standards. That study included 12 teachers and 59 students in first grade
from one Midwestern state.3
Based on this one study, the WWC considers the extent of evidence for
EIR® to be small for alphabetics and comprehension. No studies that
meet WWC evidence standards with or without reservations examined
the effectiveness of EIR® in the fluency or general reading achievement
EIR® was found to have potentially positive effects on alphabetics
1 EIR® has been adapted into Houghton Mifflin’s Early Success® program.
Both programs are available for purchase. This report focuses solely on EIR®.
This report has been updated to include reviews of two studies that have been
released since 2005. Of the additional studies, one was not within the scope of
the protocol, and one was within the scope of the protocol but did not meet
evidence standards. A complete list and disposition of all studies reviewed
are provided in the references.
2 The descriptive information for this program was obtained from a publicly
available source: the program’s website (http://www.earlyinterventioninreading.com/,
downloaded October 2008). The WWC requests developers to review the
program description sections for accuracy from their perspective. Further
verification of the accuracy of the descriptive information for this program is
beyond the scope of this review.
3 The evidence presented in this report is based on available research. Findings
and conclusions may change as new research becomes available.
4 These numbers show the average and range of student-level improvement
indices for all findings in the study.
Teachers, Parents and Administrators:
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