Date of Award


Document Type

Graduate Field Experience

Degree Name

Master Of Arts In Urban Special Education

Colleges & School

College Of Education And Leadership

First Advisor

Ilene Ehr

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Reading; Mathematics--Study and teaching; Learning disabilities; Qualitative Reading Inventory


This case study investigated the effects of a repeated intervention, aimed at improving a third-grade student’s ability to make inferences while reading. The participant was a 7 year old, black male from an urban, Midwest city who qualifies for special education services in the category of Specific Learning Disability (SLD) for mathematics. Making inferences was chosen as the focus of the intervention because this skill is critical not only to reading comprehension, but also to the comprehension of story problems in math, which is the student’s area of need. The strategy “background knowledge + textual clues = inference” was used to infer missing words in cloze sentences and infer obscured sentences in passages, as well as answer implicit questions regarding instructional level texts. The results indicate that the participant improved in the three main intervention activities included in the daily procedures, as well as in an informal inference assessment using pictures. However, the participant’s scores for implicit questions on the QRI-5, a reading assessment, did not improve. The participant’s progress was complicated by struggles to attend tasks. Although the results suggest that the participant gained some of the foundational skills necessary for making inferences, it is evident that the skills have not yet transferred to making inferences for longer, more challenging passages, such as those found in the QRI-5.


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