ERIC Number: ED479203
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-May
Increasing Reading Achievement of Primary and Middle School Students through Differentiated Instruction.
Baumgartner, Traci; Lipowski, Mary Beth; Rush, Christy
This study describes a program designed to improve reading achievement. The targeted population consisted of primary and middle school students in two communities in northern Illinois. Both communities were suburbs of a major metropolitan area and the status of family incomes ranged from low to middle levels. Evidence for the existence of the problem included San Diego Quick Assessment, Nonsense Word Test, a reading strategy checklist, and a student survey. Analysis of probable cause data revealed that students lacked basic phonemic awareness and comprehension skills. Many students had difficulty choosing appropriate books and were not interested in reading. One of the causes of low interest could be the limited access to a variety of reading materials. Unsuccessful attempts in previous years caused some students to avoid the task of reading. These earlier struggles may have resulted from inadequate time to practice reading at their own level. A review of solution strategies suggested by the professional literature, combined with an analysis of the setting of the problem, resulted in the selection of differentiated instructional strategies to improve reading achievement. Strategies included flexible grouping, student choice on a variety of tasks, increased self-selected reading time, and access to a variety of reading materials. Based on the presentation and analysis of the data on student reading achievement and attitudes towards reading, the targeted students showed improvement. There was a rise in the instructional reading levels of students in all three targeted classrooms. The number of comprehension strategies used by students increased. Students demonstrated greater mastery of phonemic and decoding skills after the implementation process was complete. Student attitudes towards reading improved along with student perceptions about their own reading abilities. Appendixes contain a reading strategies form, a reading strategies checklist, and a reading survey. (Contains 25 references and 6 tables of data.) (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master of Arts Research Project, Saint Xavier University and SkyLight Professional Development Field-Based Master's Program.