EZSteps2Reading@aol.com

Easy Steps To Reading

Pilot Progrm Results

Karen Truncellito, M.S.

May 2006

Sts. Philip & James School Classroom

 

 

Easy Steps to Reading is an Effective Classroom Tool Which Can Improve Our Nation’s Literacy

 

  • Program has been successfully applied to kindergarten class with significant student knowledge improvement after only 20 hours of instruction
  • Student reading ability improved 200% with the class scoring 87% on average in reading second grade level words
  • Median reading scores improved 300% to a level of 92%
  • 20% of the students could fluidly read a 5th grade paragraph and 42% were able to sound out at least three out of five 2 to 4 syllable words from the current high school SAT list
  • Program significantly enhanced math abilities by over 150%, and children scored 84% on average on kindergarten, first and second grade level concepts
  • Children were excited about learning and had fun developing their skills
  • Even more dramatic results can be expected from additional hours of program implementation
  • Easy Steps to Reading is listed and recommended along with other programs by the National Right to Read.  (www.nrrf.org)
  • Inquiries can be directed to EZSteps2Reading@aol.com

 

Information about the Reading Pilot Program Entitled

Easy Steps to Reading

 

 

     The method has been proven effective over the last twenty five years in my private tutoring practice.  However, some educators have said that using the method one on one doesn’t mean that it would work in a regular classroom.  This is the first time that it has been proven in a classroom.

 

   While many kindergarten children learn the letter names and their sounds, the children in the pilot learned all the phonetic components of reading including consonants, vowels, blends, digraphs, and diphthongs along with the ability to attack one to three syllable words.  They were sounding out one syllable words within one week, and by the end of the program, many of them were successfully practicing their sounding skills on high school SAT words!  In addition, the children learned to count forward and backward which made it easy to teach them how to add and subtract.  They learned to count by 5’s and 10’s which enabled them to learn to tell time and count money.  All this was accomplished in a total of about twenty hours using games, points, and prizes.  The lesson plans included singing, dancing, and games of bingo, reading baseball, and reading soccer.  The children loved competing in teams and earning points toward prizes.

 

    Working with children this young gave us the opportunity to identify the children who were having problems grasping the reading and/or math and provide them with extra help. All of us, including Mrs. Linda Valdiserri, Mrs. Lisa Zimmerman, and I, worked separately with the children who needed additional help to achieve success. The parents of these children were encouraged to continue working with them over the summer to help them succeed in the first grade.

 

Many schools wait until the end of first or sometimes second grade before identifying and helping children with learning issues.  Often these learning difficulties are obvious at a very early age, and these children can be helped as young as three or four years old with a different method to prevent failure and frustration.

 

     In educationally disadvantages areas, children can be taught Girl Reading

at a very early age through head start, pre-school, or all-day

kindergarten programs, and all could enter first grade with the

ability to read and do math.  Teachers who are teaching

English as a second language could use the program by

repeating the material once in Spanish, for example, and twice

in English.  If parents see learning issues in their own young

children such as a lack of focus, mixing up letters and numbers

difficulties in following directions or retaining information,

they can use the technique to help them.


 

 

     For educators who are turned off by long training seminars, complex teaching manuals, and expensive materials, there is none of that.  The kindergarten children in the pilot were taught by a method that is extremely easy to teach and learn and requires only chalk, a blackboard, and made up games.  All that is needed are educators with open minds and creative imaginations.  A recent article on international test scores based upon a speech by the U.S. Commissioner of Education Statistics pointed out that the United States is ranked far below other countries in our literacy rates and test scores in Math and Science.  The article discusses how many American businesses are looking for talent overseas.  It suggests that educators should not be complacent but “re-tool” education and “adopt books and teaching methods of countries at the top of the ranking.”  Robert J. Stevens, CEO of Lockheed Martin, wrote a commentary for the Wall Street Journal in which he said that a major study ranked the U.S. at “24 out of 29 countries in terms of 15-year-olds’ ability to apply math skills.”  He also said that “science and engineering aren’t just crucial for national security, they’re critical for economic growth.”

 

    For the last thirteen years, I have contacted school districts all over the area.  In addition, I have written to head start programs, nursery schools, day cares, college education programs, as well as presidents, first ladies, and other people in government.  With the exception of Congressman Gerlach, nobody was interested in trying something new.  As a nation, we need to stand up for the rights of the learning disabled and the educationally disadvantaged and give every child the opportunity to be successful.  There won’t be children left behind if they never get behind in the first place.  If all children entered first grade ahead of the game instead of being in a catch up situation, maybe we could focus on catching up with the rest of the world in education.

 

 

Reading Program Results

- after only 20 hours of instruction from 12/05-05/06 -     

 

Before and After Results

 

 

Average Scores increased 197.3% from 29.3 in

December to 87.2 in May

 

Median Reading Score

 

Median Scores increased 300% from 23.1 in

December to 92.3 in May

 

Reading test included paragraphs from

                                                                                                Dibels Benchmark assessments and

skill sets from Easy Steps to Reading

 

 

   Reading Program Individual Student Results

Effectiveness

 

Upon completion, all students showed dramatic improvement

                with the majority reaching the 90th percentile.

Boy with books

Average Score

 

Before

After

% Change

Top 25%

57.9

95.3

64.6%

Middle 50%

23.6

88.7

275.8%

Bottom 25%

12.2

76.1

523.8%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Achievements Beyond a
Kindergarten Level

Reading Above Gread LevelSAT WordsBoy with books

*Based on 2-4 syllable SAT

                                                   Vocabulary words

 

Math Program Results

- after only 20 hours of instruction from 12/05-05/06 -

 

Average Math Score

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Average Scores increased 166.4% from 31.7 in

December to 84.4 in May

 

image064

  Median Scores increased 179.2% from 31.6 in
December to 88.2 in May

 

   Math Program Individual Student Results

Effects of Easyy Steps to Reading Programimage069

image073

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before

After

% Change

Top 25%

50.4

92.5

83.5%

Middle 50%

31.8

88.2

177.4%

Bottom 25%

12.7

68.9

442.5%

 

 

 

 

After the initial pilot program that Karen taught during ’05-’06, the teacher who participated in the pilot, Linda Valdiserri, and her assistant, Lisa Zimmerman, taught the ESR Program on their own during ’06-’07.  The following statistics, based on testing, indicate the students’ knowledge of material before and after the program for the average, top, middle and bottom percentages of the class.

Average % of the Class

 

Before

After

% Chg

Letter & Sound Recognition

87.1%

99.2%

13.9%

Reading & Comprehension

29.3%

87.2%

197.6%

Math

30.2%

84.4%

179.5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 25% of the Class

 

Before

After

% Chg

Letter & Sound Recognition

96.9%

99.7%

2.9%

Reading & Comprehension

57.9%

95.3%

64.6%

Math

50.4%

92.5%

83.5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Middle 50% of the Class

 

Before

After

% Chg

Letter & Sound Recognition

89.2%

99.5%

11.5%

Reading & Comprehension

23.6%

88.7%

275.8%

Math

28.7%

88.2%

207.3%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bottom 25% of the Class

 

Before

After

% Chg

Letter & Sound Recognition

73.2%

98.2%

34.2%

Reading & Comprehension

12.2%

7.0%

523.8%

Math

12.7%

68.9%

442.5%

 

The following statistics are for two kindergarten students who were pretested in October of 2006, then retested in October of 2007 after working independently with their parents, along with once-a-week instruction by Karen Truncellito in her tutoring practice.  The two students did attend regular kindergarten classes during that time, but 75% of the material they were tested on is not covered in regular kindergarten curriculums.  Much of the 25% of the material that is covered, including letter and sound recognition and beginning counting, had already been mastered by both students prior to initial testing as a result of home instruction.  Both students’ first grade performances have been outstanding.

 

Student #1

 

Before

After

% Chg

Letter & Sound Recognition

78.4%

100.0%

27.6%

Reading & Comprehension

12.4%

86.7%

599.2%

Math

23.1%

100.0%

332.9%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Student #2

 

Before

After

% Chg

Letter & Sound Recognition

91.9%

97.3%

5.9%

Reading & Comprehension

11.5%

93.8%

715.7%

Math

26.9%

96.2%

257.6%

 

 

 

 


About the Author

Karen Truncellito earned her B.A. at St. Joseph's College in Brooklyn, New York and her Masters degree at Fordham University in New York City.  She taught in several inner city schools in New York.  Her last class of fifth graders were working on words like "and" and "but."  Her desire to find something that would help these children to have a future remained with her even after she left New York to teach in Pennsylvania.  After teaching fifth grade at Sts. Philip and James from 1975-1981, she began a tutoring practice and has tutored children from a wide variety of schools for the last 25 years.  She developed the program in the early 90s and self-published it in 1993.  Karen has spent the past 15 years trying to convince preschools and elementary schools of the effectiveness of the program.  This is the first time the program has been done with a class of young students.

 

Acknowledgements

The initial pilot project was accomplished with the support of Sts. Philip and James’ principal, Sister Renee Murphy I.H.M., and Linda Valdiserri, M.A., two open-minded educators who gave the green light to the program, and Lisa Zimmerman, who together with Linda, willingly organized games, points and prizes.  Congressman Jim Gerlach has also been extremely supportive and has tried to make other administrators aware of the potential of this program.  Statistics, consultation, and promotional work were done by Sarah Beierle, B.S. and Dr. Nick Truncellito, PhD.

   

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