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Live webcam coaching helps struggling readers make rapid gains

Posted on September 12, 2013

A new literacy webcam coaching strategy, developed by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been shown to help struggling kindergarten and first-grade readers in rural classrooms keep pace with their peers. The strategy, known as “Targeted Reading Intervention” (TRI) webcam coaching, not only helps reduce the gap between readers who struggle and those who do not, but does so at low cost by eliminating geographic barriers and reducing the need for special education.

Unlike many other strategies designed to improve reading skills, the TRI webcams make use of classroom teachers already in place to deliver enriched instruction. Literacy coaches, who can be located far off-site, provide state-of-the-art coaching to teachers in classrooms as they work in 15-minute one-on-one sessions with struggling readers.

Teachers use laptops with webcams so that they can see and hear the off-site coaches’ real-time feedback and the coaches can see and hear the teachers as they work with children. These sessions focus on reading for fluency, guided oral reading and a variety of strategies for helping students manipulate, say and write words.

“Teachers need to see results with their students or they won’t stick with it,” said Lynne Vernon-Feagans, the UNC researcher behind the TRI webcam strategy. “When their readers make rapid gains, teachers have those ‘A-ha!’ moments.”

Sixteen schools from five low-wealth rural counties in Texas, New Mexico, Nebraska and North Carolina participated in the research, with about one-half the children coming from minority backgrounds.

Read more at: Phys.org

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