ERIC Number: ED478829
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-May
Increasing Reading Ability among First and Third Grade Students.
Commare, Colleen C.; Sedlack, Sarah E.
The purpose of this study was designed to increase the reading abilities of students in the targeted first and third grade classes in two elementary schools located in the Midwest. The study involved an action research project highlighting the overall growth of the students' academic achievement through increased reading growth. The study was conducted from September through December 2002 and included 94 participants (47 students and 47 parents), all residents of a small suburban neighborhood. Among factors influencing students' low reading abilities are: the absence of strategies (Chard, 2000), low parental involvement (Anderson, 2000), low motivation and self-esteem (McCray, Vaughn, Neal, 2001), high student-teacher ratio (Elliot, Arthurs, Williams, 2000), and time restraints (Vaughn 2001). According to Chard (2000) students who are suffering from a lack of reading strategies may not be engaged in independent or one on one reading time viewed as essential in meeting their needs. Davies (1999) also related students' reading abilities to low test scores and self-esteem. To document students' progress in reading, the following methods of assessment were used: a behavioral checklist, anecdotal records, and surveys of parents and students. Checklists involved analyzing students' reading strategies for possible improvement. Similarly, running records of students' knowledge of words, letter-sound patterns, and comprehension was maintained using anecdotal notes of student behavior. Lastly, two surveys were used to: understand how students feel about reading and measure the frequency of in-home parental support. Post intervention data indicated that there was a marked improvement throughout the study. The series of learning activities that addressed comprehension strategies appeared to help the students feel more confident when answering questions about their reading. The students were able to find unknown words and to use the strategies they learned to find pronunciation and meaning of the unknown words. The extended and interactive read-aloud times increased the students' confidence about answering comprehension questions. The Listen, Sketch, and Write (LSW) and role-playing helped in the achievement of raising the students' reading abilities. Increasing the Language Arts time to 90 minutes from 60 minutes was a positive solution strategy. The results of all these interventions showed a remarkable increase of the students' reading levels and abilities. Appendixes contain parent and student surveys, a reading strategy checklist, and a blank running record form. (Contains 30 references, 5 tables, and 2 figures.) (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master of Arts Action Research Project, Saint Xavier University and SkyLight Professional Development Field-Based Master's Program.