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Florida Center for Reading Research – High Marks for Earobics

As a vital resource for Florida districts and schools, the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) regularly reviews reading programs to help teachers, principals and district administrators make informed choices on effective instruction.

In a review of over 60 programs, FCRR investigated the various reading programs available on the market, how they are used, and the extent to which the content, organization, and instructional strategies are consistent with scientifically based research in reading. While FCRR refrains from endorsing programs, it ranks capabilities in all of the core areas of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Earobics was among a select few in the supplemental, intervention or technology-based programs to score highest in all five reading areas, and was recognized for addressing “all aspects” of the reading component taught and/or practiced. Many of the other programs addressed only “some” aspects of one or several of the reading components, but not all. Earobics was also credited for providing explicit, systematic instruction, student materials aligned with the instructional experience, and “ample” practice opportunities.

The FCRR Report’s summary of Earobics included the following key advantages:
Earobics includes motivating and engaging activities that are explicit and based on the five components of reading.
•  Software activities in phonological awareness follow a developmental hierarchy. Data collection during software activities allows the teacher to view student and group progress, and provides the ability to adapt instruction based on performance.
Strong professional development that is customized for each school is provided.
Research that employs the uses of control groups has been conducted and reported.
Teachers learn useful strategies that can be applied to any core reading curriculum.
Learning objectives are clearly stated for every activity.
Research for Earobics shows outcomes for a variety of students in urban as well as rural districts, at-risk students, students in general and special education, and ESOL districts.
FCRR’s review also factored in the significant research data that has measured the effectiveness of Earobics, and which supports the advancement and improvement of early literacy skills.
In the Polk County School District in Florida, the Stanford Achievement Test Series (9th Edition) was used to measure reading comprehension gains of first graders in 41 Title 1 elementary schools, five of which used Earobics as a supplement to their primary literacy basal. Control classrooms used the same basal without using Earobics as a supplement. The Stanford Achievement Test was given to students in March of the school year. Students using Earobics gained 10 points on the mean scale score on reading comprehension, whereas students not using Earobics had mean scale scores that dropped more than five points. The difference in scores was found to be statistically significant. Independent researchers concluded that the use of Earobics significantly improved students’ reading comprehension.
•  A similar design was employed in seven elementary schools in the District of Columbia Public Schools of Washington, DC. The Test of Phonological Awareness-Early Elementary was administered as a pre- and post-test for students in first, second and third grade. Students who received instruction using the core reading curriculum plus Earobics were compared to those students who only received instruction from the core reading program. The results showed that, at all three grade levels, students in Earobics classrooms scored significantly higher on the TOPA-EE than did those students who were in non-Earobics classrooms.
There are numerous other studies that illustrate a broad range of Earobic’s literacy skill development, from phonological awareness to comprehension. FCRR reported that the research base for Earobics is strong and employs the use of control groups and standardized measures of reading in its analysis. FCRR also includes a listing of the counties and schools in Florida which had implemented Earobics at the time of review. They include Alachua, Bay, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Collier, Duval, Escambia, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Marion, Okaloosa, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, Seminole, St. Lucie, Volusia, and Walton. The FCRR report is recognized as one of the most foremost resources on reading, and regularly used by teachers and administrators nationwide.