A Precision Teaching Case Study – Teaching Basic Literacy Skills to a Developmentally Delayed Student

The Student was a twelve year old boy diagnosed as being developmentally delayed. He lives in the U.S., although his first language is not English. He was enrolled in an academic tutorial program to prepare him for school entry. His program includes language, reading (decoding), reading comprehension, math, spelling, cursive and creative writing. In the beginning, attention was focused on developing fluent language skills, basic decoding skills and counting skills as a starting point for arithmetic.

The Tutor(s) This student had two tutors. His first tutor was a beginning primary elementary school teacher just about to start her first job. She taught him through June, July and part of August. His second tutor was a homeschooling mother who had successfully  homeschooled her four children. Both tutors were trained in the Maloney Method by me using Skype, email and fax. I never did to meet face to face with the tutors, the student or the parents involved.

The Results From the beginning of May and while being tutored for 12 hours per week during a period of a year, this student completed:

·   All 450 lessons of the Distar Language programs

·   All 50 lessons of the Counting Skills program.

·   All 120 lessons of the Toolbox Series for Literacy.

·   130 lessons of the Addition and Subtraction modules of Corrective Mathematics

He then continued to be tutored in

·   The Multiplication module of Corrective Mathematics

·   The Level A Corrective Reading Comprehension program.

·   The Level 3 Teach Your Children to Read Well program.

To move to the next fluency check, the student must correctly identify 25-30 sounds or sound combinations in 30 seconds while making 2 or fewer errors. The chart below provides the scores for each attempt and the total number of days for the student to complete the 60 lesson program with fluent performances on all sounds and sound combinations.

The Measurement Targets At the end of each lesson, the student does a series of timed measurements. Four of these measurements relate to his decoding skills, These fluency checks test the student’s fluency with:

  • Sounds and sound combinations up to and including that lesson.
  • Word lists of words taught to that point in the program.
  • Story reading of a story constructed completely of words taught in the program to this point.
  • Vocabulary meanings of words already learned.

The Program included:

  • All three levels of the Direct Instruction Language program created by Engelmann and Osborne. (450 lessons @ approximately 20 min./lesson)
  •  Both levels of the ToolBox Series for Literacy and the final 2 levels of Teach Your Children To Read Well series created by Maloney, Brearley & Preece. (240 lessons @ 30 min/lesson)
  • Counting Skills created by Michael Maloney (50 lessons @ 15-20 min/day)
  • All 8 modules of the Corrective Mathematics program created by Engelmann and Silbert (500 lessons @ 30 minutes /lesson)
  • Corrective Spelling through Morphographs created by Engelmann and Dixon (140 lessons @ 30 min./lesson)
  • All 4 levels of the Corrective Reading (Comprehension) Series created by Engelmann and (335 lessons @ 30 minutes /lesson)
  • Quickwrite by Michael Maloney for creating a creative story draft in 8 minutes (daily lessons).

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