Everything You Wanted to Know about Repeated Reading

  • 23 July, 2017

Blast from the Past: This entry first posted July 23, 2017 and re-posted February 27, 2021. This blog posting seemed timely. Many teachers have cut back on the amount of reading instruction due to COVID-19, online teaching, and social distancing. That does not mean that teachers have proportionally trimmed their lessons, just covering less ground with each component of literacy. No, they have tended to drop whole sections of their lessons – and fluency seems to be one that was easy for many to leave behind. I think that repeated reading and similar approaches can continue to work even in our current teaching conditions.

Teacher question: 

Any link to how the 'Repeated Reading' strategy works? How long text can be repeated, how long can text be, depends on accuracy? 

Shanahan response:

I received this note while in Ireland, and it is such a basic question that I was gobsmacked by it. These are just the kinds of queries that I love to respond to on this site: Topics that many teachers assume they know about, but that often turn out to be full of surprises.

The idea of repeated reading emerged in the late 1970s… as a result of the writings of S. Jay Samuels (1979) and Carol Chomsky (1978). They found, in separate studies, that engaging kids in repeatedly reading texts aloud improved reading ability. It was kind of a no-brainer that such approaches were beneficial by the time the National Reading Panel (NICHD, 2000) concluded that they were (that portion of the report was written by Jay Samuels and me—and even he was a bit taken aback by how that work had proceeded since when he’d first written about it).

Multitasking is essential to good reading.

Scientific studies (e.g., LaBerge & Samuels, 1976) revealed the importance of “automaticity” to reading. Readers have to be able to decode without thinking about decoding. We only have so much thinking space available. The more cognitive space devoted to figuring out words, the less available to grasp the text's meaning.  

Samuel’s idea of repeated reading was that it could help readers to gain automaticity. He thought it would help readers to master the art of reading words accurately and with sufficient speed.

When children are learning to read, they initially struggle to read words accurately. That is very common in Grade 1. These students then often gain mastery over accuracy at the expense of speed—such accurate but slow reading tends to emerge in Grade 2 (Morris, 1999). Samuels’ goal was to build accuracy and speed to a point where comprehension would be possible. The more efficient the reading of the words, the more that readers' attention could be turned to meaning.

Carol Chomsky (1978) had a similar notion of the problem. She thought there was a subgroup of poor readers who “knew” phonics—that is, they knew the letters and sounds and could decode words reasonably well. However, these strugglers couldn't apply these skills fluently during the reading of a text.

Chomsky believed that this special group of readers might benefit from reading texts aloud repeatedly since it would give them essential practice in applying those known skills.

Samuels and Chomsky both reported research studies that had positive results, as have many other researchers since that time. 

What specifically is “Repeated Reading?”

Repeated Reading is a particular method proposed by S. Jay Samuels to develop decoding automaticity with struggling readers. In this approach, students are asked to read aloud short text passages (50-200 words) until they reach a criterion level of success (particular speed and accuracy goals).

However, research shows there are many ways that teachers can successfully exploit the idea repeated oral reading, so I’ll talk about “repeated reading” here (rather than Repeated Reading).

What are some of those other ways of doing repeated reading?

In Chomsky’s scheme, the kids listened to audiotapes of a text and then worked on making their own tapes—trying to match the quality of the originals. Reading while listening or echo reading works too, as does Radio Reading (in which kids work with scripts—making the oral reading purposeful), and Neurological Impress (don’t ask).

All of these schemes include oral reading. They also all include reading the texts multiple times (either to a particular quality criterion, such as a particular number of words correct per minute—or a set number of repetitions, usually 3).

What's the goal of such instruction, to get kids to read fast?

No, the goal is to get students to read the author’s words accurately, to read texts at about the speed of oral language, and to make this reading sound like language (pausing in the right places so that ithe text makes sense).

What is the outcome of such practice?

Repeated reading usually leads to better reading performance. The biggest payoffs tend to be with word reading, but it also has been found to improve oral reading fluency and reading comprehension (the most frequently reported area of improvement). This comprehension finding surprised Jay Samuels. Remember the comprehension impact should be indirect--through word reading improvement. He was shocked that so many researchers failed to include word reading measures in their studies, even though they always tested reading comprehension. There was a very good chance that such studies would have found no differences in comprehension and would have, therefore, concluded that repeated reading didn’t work. Fortunately, the comprehension payoffs were large enough and consistent enough that it didn't turn out to be a problem.

Were there special kids who needed repeated reading?

The research suggests that part of Chomsky's theory was wrong. Studies of repeated reading sometimes aimed at these special "average phonics skills but low reading" kids, and other times they just focused on all readers in regular classrooms. The results were exactly the same: repeated reading improved reading ability across the board.

How many re-readings should kids be doing?

The research suggests that three readings should be sufficient so I would limit it to that. Three readings and it is time to move on to another text. 

How long should the passages be?

Samuels used passages of 50-200 words; with the shorter texts used with the students with the lowest reading abilities. That makes sense to me. In classroom reading practice, that would be like a page or two in a primary grade reader. It is important to keep the texts brief for this work so that when students reread, memory becomes a useful scaffold. The longer the text, the harder to carry over what was figured out on the first reading. (Joe Torgesen has emphasized the importance of using texts that share a lot of vocabulary. That way, when a student improves with one text, it is certain to immediately carry over to the next.)

How challenging should the texts be?

The texts used for fluency practice should be at students’ so-called “frustration levels.” If students don’t make many mistakes with a text (say 10 or more per hundred words), then the repetition is unlikely to improve their reading very much.

What about integrating comprehension work into this kind of fluency practice?

Some of the repeated reading routines have included a comprehension component, such as asking students a different question at the conclusion of each reading or having the student complete some kind of comprehension task each time. Other approaches do not do this. The research says that repeated reading pays off, whether there is a comprehension step or not. I'd include one under the well-n=known scientific precept: “It couldn’t hurt.”

How can a teacher listen to a whole classroom full of kids?

I recommend paired reading. Have one youngster read to another. Then they switch. While this practice is going on, the teacher circulates among the students listening to several one-at-a-time and giving feedback.

What about silent reading?

Silent reading should also take place regularly—I try to provide both an oral reading fluency period and a reading comprehension period daily. In the latter, except with beginners, the reading is silent. There are also a couple of studies in which kids read silently while a computer monitored their reading that has led to fluency improvement (Rasinski, Samuels, Hiebert, Petcher, & Feller, 2011).

What about round robin reading? We do “popcorn” in my class?

Schemes in which one child reads aloud and the rest of the students wait their turn are lousy. They don’t allow much oral reading; simply not enough practice to foster improvement. This is because only one child reads at a time. Second, repeated reading is very rare in round robin, making learning unlikely. Third, you may get pushback; kids who read poorly may refuse to read—something that never occurs when everyone is doing the reading.


See what others have to say about this topic.

Karen Burrows Jul 25, 2017 07:16 PM

I'm switching from teaching 5th graders to middle schoolers (6th, 7th, and 8th grades) this coming year. I used repeated reading with my 5th graders regularly. Is this still a good practice with older readers? Thanks!

Karen Burrows Jul 25, 2017 08:17 PM

I'm switching from teaching 5th graders to middle schoolers (6th, 7th, and 8th grades) this coming year. I used repeated reading with my 5th graders regularly. Is this still a good practice with older readers? Thanks!

Timothy Shanahan Jul 27, 2017 12:10 AM

Yes, indeed. At that grade fluency is still explaining 25 percent of the variance in comprehension and studies show repeated reading helps high school kids even. Go for it and enjoy the change

London Summerville Sep 12, 2017 04:03 PM

I am a 7th and 8th grade reading specialist, and I've found RR helpful for a variety of my students. Many of my kids have no fluency issues, and we only focus on comprehension and vocab. However, I'm currently working with an ELL student who has "passed out" of any services based on her English language learning. Her fluency and vocabulary are not at grade level, however. The RR has helped her fluency but also exposed her to new vocabulary. I take short passages from New York Times Upfront or a Scholastic magazine. Almost daily, she asks about words she's unfamiliar with. RR kills multiple birds, in my experience.

Melissa Dingus Apr 01, 2018 03:50 PM

I am a teacher in a self-contained classroom at the middle school level. The students in my class have varying degrees of intellectual disabilities. Only about one-third of my students (3), are able to read. These students read between a first and second-grade level. Our county mandates the use of Unique Learning System (ULS) curriculum for all content areas in the self-contained environment. In ULS, readings are presented at multiple levels to meet the needs of the students who have varying reading and comprehension abilities.
Texts presented in the ULS are oftentimes too difficult and lengthy for my students to read and maintain any level of comprehension. Therefore, I supplement our reading curriculum by utilizing Reading Milestones.
One of my students is an English language learner and it has been difficult to determine his true reading ability. We started by using sight word drills which he has picked up on quite well. We have now moved on to short, e.g. less than 50 words, passage readings and continue to focus on that passage until the student has mastered all the words within the reading.
Although, this student’s reading accuracy is improving, it appears that there is a significant lack in the comprehension of the material. With this being said, I would love to have your input on strategies that you think should be implemented in order to help this struggling reader with fluency and comprehension.
I so enjoyed reading this post and the information presented within.
Thanks for challenging me!

Patty Larsen Mar 24, 2020 09:32 PM

I work with Kindergarten students. The reading levels range from A-G (Fountus and Pinnell). Is this a good strategy for these students?

Timothy Rasinski Feb 27, 2021 06:22 PM

Excellent summary, Tim! My own take on repeated reading is to try to make it as authentic and purposeful as possible. Performing a poem, song, readers theater script, speech, etc. in the classroom necessitates rehearsal - another name for repeated reading. The added benefit of this approach to repeated readings is that the rehearsal is aimed at producing an appropriately expressive and meaningful reading performance -- thus prosody, that other component of fluency, also is developed in students. Research by Chase Young, Lorraine Griffith, myself, and others into this type of repeated readings have shown very positive and promising results.

Thanks for reminding us of this powerful instrutional tool appropriate for nearly all students.

Griffith, L. W., & Rasinski, T. V. (2004). A focus on fluency: How one teacher incorporated fluency with her reading curriculum. The Reading Teacher, 58, 126- 137.

Rasinski, T. V. (2007). Teaching reading fluency artfully: A professional and personal journey. In R. Fink and S. J. Samuels (eds.), Inspiring Reading Success: Interest and Motivation in an Age of High-Stakes Testing (pp. 117-140). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Rasinski, T. V. (2010). The fluent reader: Oral and silent reading strategies for building word recognition, fluency, and comprehension (2nd edition). New York: Scholastic.

Rasinski, T., & Cheesman Smith, M. (2018). The Megabook of Fluency. New York: Scholastic

Rasinski, T., & Stevenson, B. (2005). The Effects of Fast Start Reading, A Fluency Based Home Involvement Reading Program, On the Reading Achievement of Beginning Readers. Reading Psychology: An International Quarterly, 26, 109-125.

Young, C., & Rasinski, T. (2009). Implementing readers theatre as an approach to classroom fluency instruction. The Reading Teacher, 63(1), 4–13.

Young, C., & Rasinski, T. (2018). Readers Theatre: effects on word recognition automaticity and reading prosody. Journal of Research in Reading, 41, 475-485.

Young, C., Durham, P., Miller, M., Rasinski, T., & Lane, F. (2019). Improving reading ccomprehension with readers theater. Journal of Educational Research, 112:5, 615-626, DOI: 10.1080/00220671.2019.1649240

Holly Crantz Feb 27, 2021 06:42 PM

When you say that round robin reading is lousy, do you mean in a whole class setting? I use this for my small group reading groups as a reading specialist. Both my 3rd and 4th grader groups have read through longer chapter books together. I set my watch timer to vibrate every minute, so that all students get the same time to read aloud. In a group fo six students, typically we make it around the circle twice, so each child gets to read aloud for two minutes. It would be hard for me to move away from this process if I couldn't insure that students were staying with the reading and comprehending the story. Not enough guidance!

However, I love the idea of paired reading! My 2nd graders are working through various series independently. I bounce around and listen to each child read their book for one minute, but the process hasn't felt totally robust and effective. I plan on ordering two copies of each title and begin the paired reading asap. This will add a new layer to our series reading by building in accountability to oral reading and fun.

Thank you!

Jen Skinner Feb 27, 2021 08:18 PM

Thank you for re-stating the value of “repeat reading” in literacy instruction. In my formative years as a primary grade teacher late90’s, I was fortunate to be part of excellent PD highlighting songs & poetry(McCracken). Over the last 2 decades I have experienced, over and over, when text is presented in the form of a poem, song, readers theatre and paired with melody, actions, and cadence of the text, reluctant and often disengaged readers join in the choral energetic experience. This multi sensory approach to text over multiple days (usually a week ), leads developing readers from actions, to word matching, to fluency , to independent text reading to a partner.

Repeat reading certainly supports striving readers through memorization and text scaffolding — while enjoying the collective experience. In addition wonderful vocabulary exposure often happen too.

Thank you so much for the reminder of the necessity of repeated readings in everyday instruction .

T Feb 27, 2021 09:34 PM

Please find another analogy other than killing multiple birds, the stoning needs to go too.

Timothy Shanahan Feb 27, 2021 09:44 PM


During round robin, the only child who is learning is the one who is reading -- that's a lot of down time... if you had the students doing paired reading (which you could do whole class), the kids get a lot more reading practice and less lost time. For the type of work you are having the kids do focus on silent reading for that... it will get you further.


Gabrielle Miller Feb 27, 2021 09:52 PM

Hi Dr. Shanahan,

My experience with severely dyslexic readers is that repeated reading tends to be demoralizing for them. The emphasis on the speed aspect of the fluency criterion is especially detrimental. I like the idea of poetry and reader’s theater etc. as the emphasis shifts away from any timing aspect.

Jeannette Feb 27, 2021 11:14 PM

I’m a AIS reading specialist. It’s so important to allow opportunities for kids to reread text because often all mental energy goes towards word recognition during the first reading. I explicitly tell kids exactly what is going on when he/she has to slow down for new words. It’s okay to reread. Their goal is to sound like natural speech then understanding if will come. Leaning about fluency through Tim Rasinski was a game changer for me. Shanahan too!

Karen Pina Feb 27, 2021 11:47 PM

Somewhere I gathered the impression that repeated reading is a strategy that supported fluency and comprehension on a text in isolation and wouldn’t lead to generalized improvement on unfamiliar texts. Is that accurate? Obviously, in the intervention setting, kids need to read a lot. For struggling readers, in the intervention setting, is it more beneficial to repeatedly read each text or read a lot of new text?

Mat Feb 27, 2021 11:51 PM

Tim, thanks for this excellent summary of repeated reading. Would this only apply to typical readers or also to those poor at orthographic mapping?

David Kilpatrick (2015, p.214) notes there is plenty of research showing that repeated reading techniques improve the speed of and accuracy of practiced passages but generalization to unpracticed passages is very limited (Chard, Ketterlin-Geller, Baker, Doabler, & Apichatabutra, 2009).

Also, in those repeated reading studies, Kilpatrick reminds us that there are only modest improvement of about 3-5 standard score points in word identification, nonsense word reading and reading comprehension (O'Connor, White, & Swanson, 2007). Kilpatrick says this finding makes sense as there is little reason to assume that the words in these practiced passages are being added to a student's sight vocabulary. Kilpatrick goes on to say that the repeated readings approach does not appear to derive from an empirically based theory on how words are remembered, aside from the simple exposure and practice, which presumes memory based upon paired-associate learning.

Kilpatrick continues by saying if students have had adequate instruction and reading opportunities, then students with limited sight vocabularies are students who are not skilled in orthographic mapping. Students who are not skilled in orthographic mapping are not likely to efficiently turn unfamiliar words into familiar words via that repeated reading approach. When reading predictable passages, it is not necessary to attend to the detailed orthographic sequence and note how that sequence maps onto the phonemic sequence stored in long-term memory. Words read correctly in practiced passages that are not mapped to permanent memory will not likely be instantly recognized when encountered in an unpracticed passage. It is true that simple exposure to words and reading practice boosts the sight vocabularies of typical readers. But that is because they are skilled at orthographic mapping. However simple exposure to words is not a sufficient means to build the sight vocabularies of students who are poor at orthographic mapping.

So, when you are you referring to the use of repeated reading, are you thinking of typical readers only or would this include students who are poor at orthographic mapping?

What are your thoughts on Kilpatrick's interpretation of the research findings?

Tim Shanahan Feb 28, 2021 01:37 AM


No, the research shows quite consistently that the results do generalize to other texts.


Tim Shanahan Feb 28, 2021 01:40 AM


In think those conclusions are at odds with the data and with specific studies by experts like Joe Torgesen. Overall the effect sizes are comparable to those obtained for decoding instruction and they are highly similar for average and dyslexic readers. Being able to read lists of words fluently is not as closely related to reading comprehension as being able to read text fluently.


Sara Feb 28, 2021 02:46 AM

I am working with a group of struggling third grader readers. Admittedly, we have been doing more "round robin" reading than I would like in the virtual environment. I can't wait to try "repeated reading" with them next week and hope that is proves to be more successful. Thank you.

Jake Downs Feb 28, 2021 04:58 AM

Just had a conversation with a teacher yesterday about repeated reading. This will be great to send her way! I might add that rereading a shorter portion of a longer text 'couldn't hurt,' and may be in some ways easier to integrate with other forms of reading instruction.

Thanks for this timely piece.

Randa Breuer Feb 28, 2021 11:37 AM

Kids love games. Timing them or timing each other (for older pairs) would turn this into a game like activity and may (hopefully ) result in less push back. Also: when it is a routine, kids push back less. They know it is coming.

Kaye Twomey Feb 28, 2021 12:04 PM

Should the repeated readings be at the one sitting or on three separate days?

Lori Josephson Feb 28, 2021 01:00 PM

Hello Dr. Shanahan,

Thank you for your thoughtful and informative summary of the history and research on the practice of repeated readings.

In my work with teachers and students alike, I lean on Jan Hasbrouck's take on fluency development. As you are likely aware, fluency develops most rapidly in grades 1-3. This is most evident as one looks at the Hasbrouck and Tindal Fluency Norms Chart-2017 (https://www.readnaturally.com/knowledgebase/how-to/9/59)--check out the column of Average Weekly Improvement.

As students get older, the Average Weekly Improvement declines dismally. Dr. Hasbrouck recommends 'wide reading' rather than repeated reading once students are in the upper elementary grades and beyond. I have found this to be a more successful. That said, engaging students in echo reading (teacher models fluency, prosody and explicitly teaches the notion of 'meaningful units' combined with the role of punctuation) and choral reading has a meaningful role as well.

I have found that when remediating students who have dyslexia, oral reading fluency is the "hardest nut to crack". We can get students reading accurately and at grade level once they successfully complete a structured language scope and sequence; however, it is the fluency which lags. Hence the notion of providing these students with time extensions when engaged in standardized (or not) tests.

Sam Bommarito Feb 28, 2021 07:42 PM

This was a great choice for a repost. Dr. Rasinski just finished a series of four webinars for out Missouri ILA group. He has an actual format now for repeated readings lessons. Tracks pretty well with what you described. As you are well aware he also has considerable research around the efficacy of this approach. I still do some work with kids through Zoom push-ins and these methods work really well. On a different topic I'm now using decodables, predictable text and trade books with the kids- that is an idea I got from one of your blogs. Thanks!

Tim Shanahan Mar 01, 2021 03:51 AM

We do it every day.


Beata Beigman Klebanov Mar 01, 2021 08:49 PM

The Relay Reader app (https://relayreader.org/) allows extended fluency practice while reading a book, while also supporting repeated reading (the reader can record themselves multiple times, listen to their own recordings, and listen to a skilled adult read their piece) and comprehension checks (the reader is asked questions after every other reading turn). All this while reading a good story!

Mary Mar 09, 2021 05:25 PM

The Iowa Reading Research Center has a repeated reading program that uses multiple texts with overlapping vocabulary. It is a paired reading model for whole classroom use. Check it out!

Sally Nov 04, 2023 06:34 PM

Hi Dr. Shanahan,

Can you help make sense of Dr. Elizabeth Norton’s take on Repeated Readings? It seems like RR is a practice that is widely accepted as an effective use of instructional time to increase students’ ORF, but she calls that into question. Here are her comments from The Reading League website (https://il.thereadingleague.org/chapter-resources/webinar-recordings/):

“ Thoughts on Repeated Reading from Dr. Elizabeth Norton
My read of the research data is that repeated reading (RR) in itself is not effective as a way to improve fluency and comprehension for new/untrained texts (that is, text that wasn’t trained/read repeatedly).

The studies that provide strong levels of evidence, that is, randomized-control studies and meta-analyses (i.e., studies of studies) find that RR doesn’t improve children’s oral reading fluency (ORF) or comprehension of new text, as compared to other instruction approaches of similar dosage.

This is not to say that RR will be completely ineffective for any given student, but overall, the data don’t support RR as an evidence-based practice as compared to similar amounts of time invested on processes that target that child’s underlying areas of difficulty. The data also indicate that that students don’t particularly enjoy RR, which is important.

The Chard and colleagues systematic review looks at the number of high-quality single-subject and experimental studies that find evidence for RR in students with learning disabilities; in both types of studies, there were insufficient numbers of rigorous studies that meet existing criteria for suggesting RR as an evidence-based practice. This paper gives a good summary of reading fluency, as well.

The Hammerschmidt-Snidarich (2019) paper uses a randomized-control design with about 40 diverse 2nd and 3rd graders who were reading below grade-level benchmarks. The authors made sure that children assigned to RR or a continuous reading (CR, reading each passage once) condition read the same amount of words. The groups didn’t differ in their general ORF or comprehension before training, nor after training! The RR group who got to read the same passages each 3 times did better (large, significant effect size of 0.99) at answering questions about that passage than the children who read three separate passages and had just one exposure from which to answer questions, which is understandable! Importantly, the children in the CR rated their enjoyment of the intervention MUCH higher; those in the CR intervention “were over eight times more likely to rate their intervention positively than were students in the RR intervention.”

What does this mean? The authors sum it up well: “RR resulted in greater passage?specific comprehension, which might better support students who are reading to understand a difficult concept. Reading a passage multiple times could support their comprehension of difficult material and acquisition of vocabulary. On the contrary, CR provides more exposure to a wider range of vocabulary and concepts because a greater volume of unique text is being read. Students also preferred CR, and their enjoyment of the intervention might serve to build their motivation for reading, even beyond the scope of the intervention (Cox & Guthrie, 2001).” Another caveat is that various doses (number and time of sessions) weren’t studied here, but there isn’t strong reason to think that dosage would change this.

Note that a meta-analysis from Therrien (2004) suggests that RR leads to gains in comprehension and fluency on average, but doesn’t calculate statistical significance and doesn’t compare RR to another intervention.

From my experience working 1:1 with high school-age students, occasional RR does let the student experience what it means to be a fluent comprehending reader; I see RR as a tool for occasional use that doesn’t remediate reading difficulties itself, but helps students “get the feeling” of reading relatively more difficult texts with confidence. Overall, using evidence-based practices to work on foundational skills is the most important, and then bringing in texts that the student finds interesting and engaging to read (perhaps using RR when these are above their level) is an occasional support to this. To reiterate, I have no financial or other investment in this or any approach, just in implementing best practices.


Hammerschmidt?Snidarich, S. M., Maki, K. E., & Adams, S. R. (2019). Evaluating the effects of repeated reading and continuous reading using a standardized dosage of words read. Psychology in the Schools, 56(5), 635-651.


Chard, D. J., Ketterlin-Geller, L. R., Baker, S. K., Doabler, C., & Apichatabutra, C. (2009). Repeated reading interventions for students with learning disabilities: Status of the evidence. Exceptional Children, 75(3), 263-281.


I appreciate your time and insights!

Timothy Shanahan Nov 04, 2023 09:10 PM


There have been a number of independent meta-analytic reviews that have found repeated reading and other oral reading fluency approaches to be effective at improving word reading, text reading fluency, and comprehension (NICHD, 2000; Chard et al, 2002; Therrien, 2004; Swanson, et al., 2011; Lee & Yoon, 2017). This write up seems to ignore most of those analyses. Despite much of what these quotes claim, these analyses did consider the impact of the procedures on the reading of non-training texts and/or to performance on standardized measures. As O'Keefe, et al., 2012 point out, it is possible to set "quality of study standards" in such meta-analyses in ways that allow you disqualify most research. That's why, meta-analysts typically do not simply disqualify studies on the basis of such criteria, but analyze their impact on outcome variation.

The What Works Clearinghouse has very high standards for evaluating research and their research quality standards consistently (which are much more widely accepted in the research community than the ones used in the Chard, et al., 2009 review). The WWC concluded that commercial programs that use this RR approach are effective. WWC doesn't require meta-analysis to determine whether something works, just one especially high quality study that clearly demonstrates such outcome is sufficient for their scientific panels.

Most of the evidence indicates that these procedures are beneficial in terms of making students better readers, and that includes some of the highest quality studies that have been done. The notion that there is a specific amount of such research that must exist before one can conclude that this a useful procedure is a subjective judgment and one that has been rejected by major research organizations (including NICHD, IES, and the National Academy of Education). Nothing wrong with having such a standard, but then it is important that it be applied consistently. Which raises the question as to what Dr. Norton conclude is a "best practice" in terms of instructional approaches that have been supported by a sufficient amount of the highest quality research? I would love to see her analyses of the research on various approaches and methodologies using the same Gersten quality criteria used here and used in the same way. I suspect many of the approaches that she supports will have be rejected (in fact, there are such analyses on topics such as phonics instruction and vocabulary instruction -- rejecting these as lacking sufficient high quality evidence).

Basically, we are using different standards to evaluate research findings in this case. I believe the way I am doing it is more in line with what the major research journals (e.g., Psych Bulletin, Review of Educ Research) and the major research institutions require in such cases. Dr. Norton is clearly correct that these research studies have flaws, but we seem to disagree on how one deals with those flaws and whether you need to use the same approach with all instructional research.

Hope that helps.


Sally Nov 06, 2023 12:31 AM

Thanks for your thorough response, Tim! I was especially curious about her claim that RR doesn’t lead to improved ORF on new texts because that’s my main goal for using the practice with my struggling readers. Thanks for clearing that up. Take care.

Timothy Shanahan Nov 06, 2023 02:49 AM

Yes, it works well for that. When I was director of reading for the Chicago Public Schools we did this with literally hundreds of thousands of students. I was a bit surprised to read what you posted saying that kids don't like it -- we didn't see that.


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Everything You Wanted to Know about Repeated Reading


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