Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

First Advisor

Diane L. Smallwood, Psy.D., Chairperson

Second Advisor

Lori Lennon, Psy.D.

Third Advisor

George McCloskey, Ph.D.


This study examined archival data from an assisted self-graphing intervention for improving early literacy skills in first grade students from one elementary school. The purpose of the investigation is to examine the use of a self-graphing supplemental intervention that occurred outside of the class-wide first grade reading instruction. The participants included first grade students from three classroom settings in one predominately middle class, suburban school district in southeastern Pennsylvania. The participants formed three groups: (1) 8 students in a DIBELS Progress Monitoring and Self-Graphing Intervention group (PM + SG group); (2) 9 students in a DIBELS Progress Monitoring-only group (PM group), and (3) 49 students in a Non-intervention & Non-progress Monitoring group (NI group). Two subgroups from the NI group were identified for the purposes of a PSF comparison group and a NWF comparison group (12 students NI group for PSF and 11 students in NI groups for NWF). The PSF and NWF comparison group performances were compared with performances of participants in the PM + SG group and the PM group on the PSF and NWF measures. The students in the PM + SG and PM groups were identified as “at risk” readers in the skill areas either of Phoneme Segmentation Fluency, Nonsense Word Fluency or both Phoneme Segmentation Fluency and Nonsense Word Fluency based on the Dynamic Indicators of Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) assessment. The students in the PM + SG group self-graphed their Phoneme Segmentation and/or Nonsense Word Fluency scores immediately following the DIBELS assessment. This group of participants was selected, based upon the higher number of students who were identified as “at risk” from this classroom setting when compared with the other two classroom settings. The participants in the PM groups were provided only with the bi-weekly progress monitoring during the intervention period as a means for continued formative evaluation as well as for intervention evaluation. All participants were provided with pre-and post-assessment DIBELS measures. At the end of the intervention period, the students and teacher involved in the self-graphing intervention were surveyed regarding the effectiveness of the intervention. Findings indicated that reading fluency production increased for all the students in the participant groups (PM + SG, PM, and NI subgroups for PSF and NWF). The students that participated in the self-graphing intervention did demonstrate higher levels of growth along with higher reading fluency scores than the other participant groups. These findings lend support to the literature in the field of self-monitoring and self-graphing as a method for improving student performance.