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Center for Research on Learning

Fusion Reading

Fusion Reading description and research (December 2007).

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"Fusion" is defined as "...the merging, blending or resulting blend of two or more things". This simple definition exemplifies the instructional and curricular development of the Fusion Reading Program. This program is designed to focus on the integration and application of multiple reading and motivational strategies necessary to improve the reading comprehension of "struggling urban adolescent readers."

The development of the Fusion Reading Program was supported by an Institute for Educational Sciences grant titled Improving Adolescent Reading Comprehension: a Multi-Strategy Intervention. Ninth- and 10th-grade students involved in this program represent 'urban struggling readers' or those students who are below proficiency on state-administered reading measures and fall two or more years below grade level in reading comprehension. Two urban high schools in Kansas City, Kansas have partnered with KU-CRL to deliver the two-year Fusion Reading Program.

The Fusion Reading Program consists of newly developed reading interventions. These interventions have been organized into three components: (1) The Motivation Program, (2) The Bridging Intervention Program, and (3) The Comprehension Intervention Program. The Motivation Program, Possible Selves, a validated motivation intervention, is used in this program to focus students' attention on the importance of becoming an expert reader and how the benefits of being an expert reader help students reach their hopes and dreams. The program plays the role of the "pillar" for which all other instruction is supported. The Bridging Intervention Program has three core components: decoding/phonics skills, reading fluency, and vocabulary. Bridging is designed to address the needs of students who struggle with word-level reading skills. The Comprehension Reading Program consists of two key strategies. The prediction strategy designed for making and confirming predictions is taught during the ninth-grade year. The second year of the program, summarization strategy is taught to increase recognition of text structures, application of paraphrasing, and summarizing. In addition to these three intervention components, two additional components were developed to increase the amount of time students spend with their "eyes on the page." Guided reading is an instructional process teachers use to demonstrate expert reading behaviors and to forecast strategy application. Highly engaging reading materials are used during guided reading. The book study component is designed for extension and application of learned strategies and is completed outside the classroom. Students select books of their choice and liking to complete the book study assignments.

Visit the KU-CRL Media Archives to hear KU-CRL Associate Director Mike Hock describe the Xtreme Reading study and make comparisons to the Fusion Reading program.