ERIC Number: ED452502
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-May
Reading Deficiencies: A Roadblock to Success.
Binotti, Jo Ann; Hamilton-Gunkel, Jo Anne; Sipple, Dorothy
This action research project focused on causes for reading deficiencies of the targeted eighth grade students and how those deficiencies affect students' achievement in language arts, science, and mathematics. The targeted population consisted of 30 eighth grade students in a middle-class community located in a suburban area of a large Midwestern city. The problem of declining reading performance, and its impact on content area subjects, was evidenced by a decline in reading scores on the State Standards Achievement Test, a survey of targeted students, and an interview of students by the teacher researchers. Primary causes were identified as the lack of students' ability to identify and define unfamiliar words and a reading rate that fell short of eighth grade academic demands. Secondary causes were a lack of student practice and poor motivation as it pertains to reading. An intervention strategy was devised. The plan involved the teacher researchers in the subjects of language arts, science, and mathematics. The intervention strategies devised to address the word-recognition issue were as follows: introduce new vocabulary; and to teach strategies which use contextual clues to define the meaning of unfamiliar words. The intervention strategies devised to improve reading rate and comprehension were as follows: (1) provide students with practice; (2) teach strategies for determining and rewording definitions of unfamiliar words in factual readings; (3) administer timed reading quizzes in both science and mathematics; (4) administer follow-up comprehension checks after science and mathematics quizzes; (5) encourage outside reading to improve both vocabulary and reading rate; and (6) model good reading methodology. Post-intervention data indicated that students had learned and were now using strategies to define unknown words in context. This strategy, when practiced, positively impacted student comprehension, particularly in the content areas of mathematics and science. However, because the time frame was short, a measurable increase in the reading rate was not noted. (Contains 46 references, a table, and 20 figures of data. Appendixes contain survey instruments and numerous vocabulary and comprehension tests.) (RS)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master of Arts Action Research Project, Saint Xavier University and IRI/SkyLight Professional Development.