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Improving Reading Comprehension For Third Graders (Research Proposal Sample)



Improving Reading Comprehension for Third graders
This capstone project is aimed at examining ways of improving reading comprehension for third grade students by providing training on the collaborative strategic reading (CSR) framework strategy. Additionally, the project seeks to determine whether CSR increases reading comprehension in the third grade students. An evaluation of the CSR strategy will help in determining its efficacy.
The proposed study setting is in a school located in the Southeastern part of the United States. The school serves African Americans, Hispanics, and Caucasians who are considered at-risk groups due to their low levels of reading comprehension.
The problem of low mastery levels in comprehension requires resolution through the adoption of student-centered instructional strategies. The knowledge derived from the proposed study by school or district administrators will be instrumental in formulating student-centered approaches to enhancing reading comprehension.
Table of Contents
TOC \z \o "1-3" \u \hAbstract PAGEREF _Toc431032455 \h 2
Table of Contents PAGEREF _Toc431032456 \h 3
Chapter 1 PAGEREF _Toc431032457 \h 4
Introduction PAGEREF _Toc431032458 \h 4
Statement of the Problem PAGEREF _Toc431032459 \h 5
Background and Justification PAGEREF _Toc431032460 \h 8
Deficiencies in the Evidence PAGEREF _Toc431032461 \h 9
Audience PAGEREF _Toc431032462 \h 10
Proposed Study Setting PAGEREF _Toc431032463 \h 11
Purpose of the Study PAGEREF _Toc431032464 \h 11
Chapter 2: Literature Review PAGEREF _Toc431032465 \h 14
Introduction PAGEREF _Toc431032466 \h 14
Epistemological Beliefs towards Third graders PAGEREF _Toc431032467 \h 15
How Children in the Third Grade Learn PAGEREF _Toc431032468 \h 18
Improving Reading Capabilities among Third Grade Students PAGEREF _Toc431032469 \h 19
Vocabulary Instruction PAGEREF _Toc431032470 \h 20
Development of Conceptual and Content of Knowledge PAGEREF _Toc431032471 \h 21
Strategies for Promoting Comprehension PAGEREF _Toc431032472 \h 21
Reading Away from School PAGEREF _Toc431032473 \h 23
Interventions to be implemented by Schools PAGEREF _Toc431032474 \h 23
Role of Research Based Reading Comprehension Strategy PAGEREF _Toc431032475 \h 25
Teaching Learners about Reading Comprehension on Individual Basis or in Groups PAGEREF _Toc431032476 \h 27
Identifying and Connecting Part of a Narrative Text PAGEREF _Toc431032477 \h 28
Challenges in Improving Third grade Reading PAGEREF _Toc431032478 \h 29
Research Questions PAGEREF _Toc431032479 \h 31
Chapter 3: Research & Methodologies PAGEREF _Toc431032480 \h 32
Introduction PAGEREF _Toc431032481 \h 32
Sampling Technique PAGEREF _Toc431032482 \h 42
Instruments for Data Collection PAGEREF _Toc431032483 \h 44
Questionnaire two. A post-intervention survey was also developed by this researcher (see Appendix B). PAGEREF _Toc431032484 \h 48
Variables PAGEREF _Toc431032485 \h 48
APPENDICES PAGEREF _Toc431032486 \h 68
Chapter 1
Today’s economies are service and information driven, with increasing demand for a competent workforce that is well educated. However, Bolt et al. (2011) note that the proportion of adults classified as experiencing difficulty in comprehending text remains high. The ability to comprehend and read texts has a bearing on students’ academic success and may affect their social well-being and self-esteem (Stahl & Nagy, 2006). Additionally, it is imperative for students to actively participate in the learning process. Students can enhance their fluency in reading and comprehension by continually sourcing and reading printed texts. Therefore, enhancing the students’ level of understanding of various texts is to their overall literacy, which is pertinent to their academic success.
Many authors have researched different methods for helping to improve pupils’ level of reading comprehension. For instance, Wong (2011) evaluated activities that crucial included questioning, summarizing, predicting, clarifying, and summarizing. Such an approach can lead to improvement in the quality of questions asked and the summaries made from texts. Pupils are likely to develop the ability to read and comprehend a text accurately if they are allowed to engage in the four activities, which are part of reciprocal teaching.
Educators need to emphasize that pupils should identify confusing parts of the texts in order to improve their reading comprehension. Additionally, inferences made from reading texts can be used as better methods of monitoring comprehension. If children can be taught how to infer the message decoded from the passage, they can then be in a position to read and comprehend subsequent texts. Bowyer‐Crane and Snowling (2005) examined different ways that texts read by students are used to measure the students’ capacity to comprehend learning content. Their study determined that different tests of reading tapped different skills of inference among students. This study discovered that students who were less skilled in comprehension had difficulty in gaining and applying knowledge that would be applicable in their daily lives.
Strategies to improve reading comprehension of unclear texts (those that are not easily understood or discernable) have also been investigated by different authors. For instance, Riedel (2007) conducted a study to determine how to improve comprehension monitoring. The study asked students to read and answer probing questions regarding their ability to recall read texts. The results showed that most readers were not adept at identifying the confusing parts of texts. The author concluded that it was important for educators to help poor readers identify any confusing parts in a text.
Additionally, Schmitt, Jiang, and Grabe (2011) studied the vocabulary present in a text and comprehension monitoring. The results showed that the number of words in a text affects the reader’s ability to understand and decode the text. The study brings to the fore the importance of summarization when teaching students to understand a text. If a text has much vocabulary, it poses difficulties in understanding for some students. Therefore, teachers should focus on texts with less vocabulary in order to enhance comprehension.
Statement of the Problem
The problem is despite the fact that in present-day service and information related economies; there is a critical demand for proficient workers, not only in spoken word but also in written text. Evidently, the proportion of adults classified as below basic readers remains surprisingly high at present (Bolt et al., 2011). People with strong reading comprehension skills not only experience literature deeply, but also can absorb information about various topics since they tend to enjoy reading more than those with low comprehension (Abbott, Berninger, &Fayol, 2010). Furthermore, academic literacy also entails the ability to read complex texts and to decipher them (Liang & Dole, 2006). The ability to comprehend such sophisticated texts is fast becoming relevant for modern day living and functioning in various occupations. Therefore, as a bare minimum, it is prudent to inculcate in students the ability to read and comprehend texts in order to give them a head start in the workplace and the society.
While most educators have done well in their teaching of children on how to decode texts, they still have a long way to go in order to overcome the third grade decline as far as reading comprehension is concerned. Although most young readers can handle simple texts, most students struggle in third grade when they have to deal with more advanced academic texts (Beck &McKeown, 2006). Whereas in second grade the focus is usually to develop the learners’ abilities to read and understand texts, third grade marks a critical turnaround point. At this stage, the focus shifts to reading to enhance learning as to learning to read (Stahl & Nagy, 2006). Therefore, improving the students’ abilities to learn tends to pose challenges in terms of comprehending difficult texts, particularly as students prepare for fourth grade.
Researchers have been aware of the academic slump in the reading comprehension of third grade children for many decades (Liang & Dole, 2006). However, it is only over the past five years that solid data on the development of early language in children was made available (Collins & Madigan, 2010). According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2010), a majority of students transitioning to fourth grade in most states in the South-eastern part of the US have a below basic level of reading comprehension. According to NCES (2010, p. 5), “Basic denotes partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at each grade.” The NCES ranks students based on four levels namely; below basic, basic, below proficient, and above proficient. As of 2009, the national reading comprehension figures indicated that roughly 32% of fourth graders were in the top tier, with 34% being below basic, which is the lowest tier. The basic criteria of this assessment measure implies the ability to understand (and thus interpret) the meaning of words used in a given context. The problems in the South-eastern states in relation to low literacy levels underscore the importance of enhancing third grader’s comprehension levels prior to their transition into fourth grade.
The ability to read proficiently is a critical skill that would enhance the academic success of any child at school. Whereas teachers in the study setting have continually tried to enhance their student’s learning abilities, most learners tend to lag behind in terms of comprehension. Due to the lack of emphasis on reading strategies...
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