How RAVE-O Supports Significant Growth Among Struggling Readers.
The RAVE-O Approach
The RAVE-O (Reading through Automaticity, Vocabulary, Engagement and Orthography) program is purposefully designed to include near simultaneous instruction on all the POSSuM elements.
The RAVE-O program begins by situating students in RAVE-O Town, a whimsical far-away land, where colorful characters teach students linguistic strategies that improve their fluency and comprehension. Ms. MIM, a wise and amiable spider informs students that just like a spider has many legs, words can have Many Interesting Meanings (i.e. track), and those meanings are connected to each other through her word web. The Ender Bender characters remind students that suffixes attach to the end of the base word and often bend or change its meaning (i.e. track, tracks, tracked, tracker). Our speedy little sports coup, S Car Go is a strategy to remind students about the spelling conventions that govern suffixes. S happens to be an Ender Bender that can easily be added to a base word without adjusting the spelling, you can just add an “S” and go…S Car Go (i.e. jams…jamming, taps…tapping).
Yet the essence of RAVE-O content lives within a set of 96 core words that were purposefully selected for their ability to teach children both common letter patterns and the semantic concept of multiple meaning. Lessons follow a similar sequence that support the consolidation of new knowledge and retrieval during single word and connected text reading and spelling. See Figure 1 for a Sample Lesson Sequence.
Figure 1: RAVE-O Sample Lesson Sequence
Compelling Evidence for RAVE-O
The impact of the POSSuM approach, or a similar multi-componential approach to developing automaticity across all aspects of word knowledge has been evaluated in multiple large-scale longitudinal studies which followed the impact of interventions. In fact, there is mounting evidence to demonstrate that RAVE-O can be more effective than repeated reading, and/or phonics instruction alone in developing fluency and comprehension among students with weaknesses in RAN.
The first longitudinal study found that approximately 300 racially, and socio-economically diverse struggling readers who received 70 hours of a phonics program combined with RAVE-O made more significant gains in reading fluency and comprehension than those who received phonics instruction along (Morris et al., 2011).
The second longitudinal study evaluated the combination of RAVE-O and another multi-componential program Empower (Lovett, Steinbach & Frijters, 2000), thus amplifying the impact on a separate group of diverse elementary-aged struggling readers. These students made gains on GORT Oral Reading Fluency and Reading Comprehension equivalent to a medium effect (d = .76) and large effect (d =.90) respectively (Lovett et al., 2017). This effect is larger than effects procured by interventions that focused on building fluency through repeated reading (National Reading Panel, 2000).
These robust studies support the mounting evidence that instruction on multiple components of the reading circuit is essential to producing substantial effects on fluency and comprehension among students with Naming Speed weaknesses.