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ERIC Number: ED498928
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec
Pages: 114
Abstractor: Author
Increasing Reading Comprehension in First and Second Graders Through Cooperative Learning
Hollingsworth, Amanda; Sherman, Jennifer; Zaugra, Cynthia
Online Submission
The purpose of this action research project report was to increase reading comprehension by using cooperative learning. Reading comprehension was a concern for the three teacher researchers at both research sites. There were 51 first and second grade students, 28 elementary teachers, and 51 families of the first and second grade students involved for a total of 184 participants. This action research project was implemented during the dates of January 29, 2007 and May 11, 2007. Low test scores, poor decoding skills, and the lack of ability to answer comprehension questions appropriately characterized the contributing factors to the problem of low reading comprehension. Evidence was collected and documented through the use of a student survey, a parent survey, a teacher survey, running records, a comprehension checklist for a narrative text, and a comprehension checklist for an expository text. The purpose of the student survey was to gain insight on the students' perceptions of the importance of reading and how well they understood what they read. The problem did not seem to be in what the children think about reading. The purpose of the parent survey was to gain insight on the parents' perceptions of their family's reading habits at home. The parent survey showed that the parents felt they were appropriately helping their children with reading at home. The purpose of the teacher survey was to gain insight regarding other teachers' perceptions of reading comprehension, problems they encountered, and solutions they implemented in their classrooms. Most teachers felt that reading comprehension was a problem in their classrooms to some degree. The purpose of the running records was to find each student's instructional reading level so that comprehension activities could be implemented for every student with a text that could be easily read by them. Over one-fourth of the students were reading and comprehending below grade level. The purpose of the comprehension checklist was to gain a baseline assessment of what comprehension strategies had been mastered and are used regularly by the students. There was a wide range of ability levels when it came to the knowledge of comprehension strategies. The teacher researchers chose three interventions to implement. Cooperative learning, guided reading, and reader's theater are all ways that students can work together to better comprehend what they are reading. Cooperative learning is a way to have students work together to reach a goal (O'Donnell, & O'Kelly, 1994). Guided reading is a program where there is a coherent plan of skills development, assessment, and rich children's literature used with groups of students at the same ability level (Galloway-Bell, 2003). Reader's Theater is the use of drama or re-enacting a piece of literature which then leads to a better understanding of characters, plot, and meaning (Annarella, 1999). Cooperative learning as a method of teaching turned out to be a valuable tool to help students learn comprehension strategies while encouraging positive interactions among peers. The students achieved academic success by increasing their reading levels and knowledge of comprehension skills, and there was also an increase in enthusiasm and motivation towards reading. (Contains 6 tables and 31 figures. The following are appended: (1) Student Survey about Reading and Comprehension; (2) Parent Survey about Reading and Comprehension; (3) Teacher Survey about Comprehension; (4) Running Record Form; (5) Comprehension Checklists (Narrative and Expository); (6) Making Predictions Graphic Organizer; (7) Identifying Main Idea and Details Graphic Organizer; (8) Identifying Characters Graphic Organizer; (9) Identifying Problems and Solutions Graphic Organizer; (10) Summarizing Graphic Organizer; (11) Making Connections Graphic Organize; (12) Comprehension Strategies Review Graphic Organizer; and (13) Page from a Reader's Theater Script.) [Masters Thesis, Saint Xavier University.]
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Grade 2
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A