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·      the intervals between the administration of measures that preclude the study of rate and degree of change over time;

·      how little we learn about concurrent instruction, despite the fact that many interventions are supplementary in nature; and

·      the difficulties inherent in characterizing and examining the effects of nonintervention factors that can influence reading growth, including social, cultural, ethnic, environmental, and ecological factors such as socioeconomic status, parent education, dialect, and first language.

Despite these limitations, important findings can be culled from the intervention literature, especially if we examine how the patterns emerging across these studies can contribute to understanding.

In Chapter 5, we present information on prevention efforts for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers to ensure that children arrive at school with the necessary skills and developmental attainments that will enhance their preparedness for, and receptiveness to, early reading instruction. Excellent reading instruction in the early grades is a major prevention strategy. We therefore examine the major literacy goals for kindergarten and each of the primary grades in Chapter 6.

In some situations, organizational change is needed in a school so that effective reading instruction can take place. In Chapter 7, we address interventions targeted to changes in classrooms and entire schools—for example, reduction in class size or school restructuring—and other initiatives such as the hiring of bilingual teachers in order to be responsive to children whose home language is not English.

There are some children for whom good instructional practices and preschool experiences are not enough; children who require extra instructional time because of persistent reading difficulties are discussed in Chapter 8.

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