Silver City Elementary – Silver City, GA 

By: Jordan Livermore, Silver City Elementary
Contributors: Lindy Beyea, Jill Short, Silver City Elementary and Lyn House, National Institute for Direct Instruction

Each year, approximately 1,000 students attend Silver City Elementary School (SCES) in rural North Georgia. In 2007, SCES noticed that an increasing number of students were entering third, fourth, and fifth grades reading significantly below grade level. The reading problems negatively affected the students’ progress in all content areas. SCES obtained a small grant of $1,500, which was used to purchase Corrective Reading Decoding, a Direct Instruction (DI) program. Two school counselors and one special education teacher implemented the program with three small groups during the school’s Response to Intervention (“RTI”) block. The three small groups consisted of third through fifth graders, and the students were grouped using placement test data alone—not by grade level. Therefore, students from multiple grade levels participated in each group. The students achieved measureable gains in reading due to this intervention: in one year, some students progressed from non-readers to fluent readers.

Rimes Elementary – Leesburg, FL 

During the 2010-2011 school year, students in grades K-2 at Rimes Elementary were randomly assigned to receive reading instruction in the Direct Instruction program Reading Mastery (RM) Signature Edition, or in the Harcourt Brace (HB) program currently being used by the school. Training and support for the implementation of the RM curriculum were provided by the National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI).

Data routinely collected by the district, including the Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading (FAIR) and the STAR Reading assessment (first and second graders only), were used to assess changes over time in reading skills. Comparisons were made between students’ scores in the fall, shortly after school began to their scores in the spring near the end of school.

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