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Elementary boys riding bikes - comprehension - Kids Read Now

Accelerating Reading Progress with High Effect Size – Part 2: Comprehension Influences

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Racing toward assessments, literacy leaders can strategically accelerate reading — now!

In our previous article, we dipped into the deep well of research studied by John Hattie in his groundbreaking meta-analyses, called Visible Learning.

Today, you’ll dive deeper into one of the most important aspects of successful literacy. In fact, it might be the most important, because the whole purpose of reading and writing is to make meaning and communicate messages.

This group of strategies represents one entire side of Scarborough’s Rope. It’s one of the two factors multiplied in the Simple View of Reading.

Drumroll, please. (Just kidding; you totally know what we mean.)


The complex comprehension conundrum you can’t afford to ignore

As literacy leaders who make decisions for educators, schools, and school districts, you understand the multifaceted nature of language comprehension and reading comprehension. Comprehension is complex and hard to nail down, and approaches vary widely in their scope and efficacy.

True reading comprehension is the goal of literacy instruction in your schools.

It is the result of interconnected factors, both broad and specific, including the reader, the text, the task, and the context. Students learn to understand what they read as they become more strategic with the five language comprehension strands:

  1. Background knowledge
  2. Vocabulary
  3. Language structures
  4. Verbal reasoning
  5. Literacy knowledge

For students at all stages of literacy acquisition, research supports emphasizing strategies over disparate skills. Whether decoding fluently and independently or listening to a read-aloud, all students need these strategies to understand the message of the text:

  • Making connections
  • Asking questions
  • Visualizing events
  • Determining importance
  • Making inferences
  • Synthesizing information to form ideas

Enter John Hattie.

Well, really, it’s more like…

Enter the results of over 2,100 meta-studies of over 300 million students worldwide.

Visible Learning book - comprehension - Kids Read Now

To go deeper, dive into this book by Drs. Hattie, Fisher, and Frey: Visible Learning for Literacy: Implementing the Practices That Work Best to Accelerate Student Learning.

Good, better… BEST! Criteria for choosing influences that accelerate reading

Pop quiz time!

Let’s see if you remember these key terms from Part 1 in our Latest in Literacy blog’s series — Brakes Off After Winter Break: High Effect Scores Accelerate Reading.

(Don’t worry — we won’t report your score. 😉)

Which of the following is true about “effect size?”

a) It measures the strength of the effect a variable has on an outcome.

b) Positive effect sizes represent desired outcomes.

c) Higher effect sizes can mean a higher potential to accelerate achievement.

d) It can help leaders make decisions about what to do and what to stop doing.

e) All of the above

What is the significance of the number 0.40?

a) It represents the average effect size of the influences studied.

b) It represents the average growth per 1 year of schooling for a student.

c) It’s called the hinge point, and sits at the top of the effect size barometer.

d) Influences with effect sizes >0.40 fall in the Zone of Desired Effects.

e) All of the above

The answers, of course? All of the above!

Now, you will use your knowledge of effect size and its hinge point of 0.40 to break down comprehension into multiple influences.

Visible Learning Effect Size Barometer - accelerate - Kids Read Now

Effect Size Barometer | Source: https://www.visiblelearning.com/content/visible-learning-research

“Kids Read Now offers consistent and replicable positive impacts and is a model that can be scaled.”

Dr. Geoffrey D. Borman led research into the effects of Kids Read Now. A leader in education research, Dr. Borman is a policy analyst with a focus on educational outcomes, education policy, and education inequality.

Borman Report - Accelerate Reading - Kids Read Now

Zeroing in on comprehension — You’re going to want to show everyone in your district this revolutionary, time-saving new tool!

Before you go any further, bookmark this tool: Global Research Database

This database includes every single influence from Hattie’s meta-analyses, searchable with the click of a button. Gone are the days of relying on the Visual Learning spreadsheet. Now, new information gleaned from more recent studies is added to the database as it becomes available, ensuring impact data are extremely reliable to help with decision-making.

To begin, we recommend narrowing down the 357 factors that impact education by setting the Effect Size filter minimum to 0.40. This way, you’ll get results that not only positively impact student achievement, but accelerate it.

Visible Learning Global Research Database - reading comprehension - Kids Read Now

See? Your knowledge of effect size is already paying dividends!

Once you get the hang of the online tool, you’ll find it easy to zero in on the high-impact influences you want to focus on.

But we’re focused on comprehension today, so we’ve done this for you in the table below.

Visible Learning Comprehension Influences Table - Kids Read Now

Based on data from the Visible Learning Meta-x Global Research Database: https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/Influences

So, you’re looking at the table above and asking yourself, “What in the world do I do with this information?” While you understand the practical significance of a program’s effect size, evidence-based decision-making requires you to compare programs/solutions with others that target the same outcome as well as with the option of doing nothing new, sticking with the status quo.

So, that’s one useful way to use the tool, and our best advice is to get into it and play around.

Ignite a Reading Revolution In Your Schools

Challenge the status quo.

Zeroing in on comprehension — A solution that works

Using the effect size evidence from Visible Learning, the question is now which influence lever to pull and which tools will you use to pull that lever? Enter Kids Read Now. Kids Read Now’s program is an effective tool to maximize your students’ comprehension.

Envision harnessing the combined power of Visible Learning and the Science of Reading with the evidence-based capabilities of the Kids Read Now program. You’ll be perfectly positioned to catapult reading scores to new heights in the upcoming assessment cycle.

The Kids Read Now program is an evidence-based, award-winning program that addresses the urgent challenge of improving literacy rates among elementary students by directly delivering engaging, personalized books to their homes.

Our program is a game-changer for schools, offering a practical solution to help you boost your students’ reading proficiency scores.

Through our unique approach, students read significantly more books outside of traditional classroom settings. Honoring students’ choice and voice, they select books of interest to them, ensuring they are receiving books they are excited to explore.

Each book includes a Discovery Sheet with comprehension-boosting questions aligned with the Science of Reading principles, providing a seamless connection between enjoyment and educational value.

In addition, our program actively involves parents and caregivers, turning reading into a collaborative, family-oriented routine.

Students in the Kids Read Now program have demonstrated significant improvements in reading comprehension, as evidenced by schools and districts who have reported this data.

Kids Read Now is more than a reading program; we’re an impactful partner in achieving your literacy goals, extending critical learning opportunities to every student’s home.

But what about fluency?

Next time, you’ll use your magnificent new Global Research Database tool to smoothly navigate the waters of another can’t-miss category of high-impact influences: Fluency!

Library of Congress Literacy Award Winner.

Recognized for our implementation of highly successful practices in literacy promotion, including Innovation, Sustainability, Replicability, Measurable Results, and Evidence-Based Practices.

Schools that use the Kids Read Now in-home, independent reading program know why it is so successful at reducing reading gaps, particularly the summer reading slide.

Library of Congress Literacy Award Winner - Kids Read Now
Question: What strategies can be emphasized to improve comprehension for students at different literacy levels?

Answer: Research supports emphasizing comprehension strategies for students at all literacy levels. These strategies include making connections, asking questions, visualizing events, determining importance, making inferences, and synthesizing information. These strategies help students understand the message of the text, whether they are decoding fluently or listening to a read-aloud.

Question: Where can educators access a database of influences from John Hattie’s meta-analyses?

Answer: In Visible Learning, the d = 0.40 hinge point is used as a benchmark to evaluate the effectiveness of various educational strategies. It represents the mean average effect size across all studied influences, suggesting that strategies above this threshold are likely to be more effective in enhancing student achievement.

Question: How can educators narrow down the influences from the Global Research Database to focus on high-impact factors?

Answer: Educators can narrow down the influences in the Global Research Database by setting the Effect Size filter minimum to 0.40. This filters out influences that positively impact student achievement and accelerate it, helping educators make informed decisions.

Question: How can educators measure the effect of comprehension strategies on student learning?

Answer: Effect size is a valuable metric for measuring the impact of comprehension strategies on student learning. It measures the strength of the effect a variable has on an outcome, and higher effect sizes indicate a higher potential to accelerate achievement. Educators can use effect size data to inform their instructional decisions.

Question: Why is evidence-based in-home reading and book delivery program like Kids Read Now beneficial for accelerating reading achievement?

Answer: Evidence-based in-home reading programs like Kids Read Now are beneficial for accelerating reading achievement because they have been reviewed by independent studies and align with ESSA’s Tier II evidence category. These programs provide a structured and effective approach to improving comprehension and literacy rates among K-5 students.

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