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A Diagnostic Teaching Intervention for Classroom Teachers: Helping Struggling Readers in Early Elementary School


Requests for reprints should be sent to Lynne Vernon-Feagans, The William C. Friday Distinguished Professor, 301K Peabody Hall #3500, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC27599. Electronic enquiries should be sent to


With the advent of “Response to Intervention” there has been emphasis on preventing reading disabilities. This study examined the effectiveness of a classroom teacher Tier II intervention for struggling readers in kindergarten and first grade called the Targeted Reading Intervention. Three rural schools were randomly assigned to experimental and control conditions, with 8 experimental and 12 control classrooms. Five struggling and five non-struggling readers were randomly selected from each classroom. With the support of biweekly coaching, experimental teachers instructed struggling readers in one-on-one sessions in the classroom. Intent-to-treat analyses revealed significant kindergarten gains for initial word identification but no significant gains in first grade. Discussion focuses on the use of classroom teachers to prevent reading disabilities.