Reading Rescue is a tutoring program for students struggling to read in first grade. The program is implemented in one-to-one sessions, 30 minutes per day, by teaching assistants trained to deliver the program. Lessons include fluency building, daily assessments, phonics instruction, sentence writing, and vocabulary development.
A version of Reading Rescue to be delivered to groups of three students was developed through a collaboration between researchers and practitioners to make the program more cost effective and to be able to help more students. The study investigated which version, one-to-one or small group, was more effective in enhancing students’ early literacy skills. First graders in two cohorts were randomly assigned to receive Reading Rescue either one-to-one (n=63) or in a small-group (n=96), or to a control group (n=91) who continued with teacher regular practice. Both one-to-one and small groups received a total of 50 sessions five times a week.
Early literacy skills were measured using Acadience/DIBELS Next Assessments: Phoneme Segmentation Fluency, Nonword Fluency, letter-sound identification, whole word reading, oral reading fluency words correct, and oral reading fluency accuracy. Results showed that both Reading Rescue cohorts performed better at post-test than the control group. Specifically, one-to-one tutoring had higher improvements compared to the control group, with effect sizes ranging between +0.41 and +0.85. The small-group delivery mode also had higher effects than the control group, with effect sizes between +0.38 and +0.96. No differences were found between the two delivery types, suggesting that both were effective. Only in the Segmentation Fluency measure did the students in the small-group cohort have significantly better results than students in the one-to-one delivery mode.
Source: Miles, K. P., McFadden, K. E., Colenbrander, D., & Ehri, L. C. (2022). Maximizing access to reading intervention: Comparing small group and one-to-one protocols of Reading Rescue. Journal of Research in Reading, 45(3), 299–323. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9817.12383