To improve reading comprehension
Seven children in elementary school who were all prelingually deaf
The ASL summary technique is designed to build background knowledge in the reader, activate old background knowledge, and focus the readers' attention on information in the text before they read the actual text. Step 1: The teacher prepares a signed summary of a fable prior to the prereading lesson. He or she signs the summary to the child. Step 2: The child independently reads the printed text of the fable from a book. If the child comes across a word he or she does not understand, the teacher gives the child the sign equivalent to the word or phrase. Step 3: The child individually retells all he or she can remember about the text. Step 4: The teacher asks the student "What did you learn for yourself about the fable?" This is a test of children's abilities to use inference. Step 5: The teacher and the student discuss the student's retelling of the story and the ability of the child to capture the moral message. Step 6: The teacher fills in the gaps in understanding the child might have aft
The student's improvement is measured by using "pausal units" A pausal unit is a measure of phrase breaks that naturally occur in the sentence where a fluent adult reader normally pauses when reading the text. When a student retells a story accurately, the pausal units will more likely match those found when an adult reads the story aloud. A high pausal unit count reflects high performance on the memory task of retelling the story.
Andrews, J., F., Winograd, P. & Deville, G.(1995). Using sign language summaries during prereading lessons. Teaching Exceptional Children, 30-34.
Christy Fox, ETSU
Improving on-task behavior and reading comprehension
Junior High School students with mental retardation who ask little to no questions during class time
Prior to beginning any reading assignments, the teacher instructed the student to raise his/her hand and ask a question whenever he/she encountered difficulty with the task. Every time the student raised his/her hand either the teacher or an aide promptly approached the student and answered the question. Prompting by the teacher occurred three times a day and slowly decreased until prompting was extinguished (no longer needed).
Record the number of questions asked by the students. Through the observations of an independent classroom observer record the amount of on task performance. Comparisons of improvement can be evaluated by conducting baseline measures before implementing the prompting technique.
Knapczyk, D.R., & Livingston, G. (1974). The effects of prompting question-asking upon on-task behavior and reading comprehension. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis,7, 115-121.
Justine Granski, and Tamara Josaitis,UVA
Increasing critical reading skills
Academically gifted 4th grade students
The Mouse and the Motorcycle and Charlotte's Web were used to demonstrate the whole language approach in a literature unit. During the reading of The Mouse and the Motorcycle, the strategies include the students reading assigned chapters, keep a literature log of new words for discussion in the class, development of questioning techniques, and a focus on the use of other words in the sentence or paragraph (context clues) to determine word meanings. At the end of the story, each student wrote a chapter of the book and the characters had to remain as they were in the original book. Charlotte's Web built on the critical reading skills the students had already developed from The Mouse and the Motorcycle. The strategies used during this reading were the implementation of a students' diary which they must write about the characters reaction to certain situations in the story. The literature log was used and more new words were added to the Word Chain found on the wall. The students keep a log of new characters introduced and the different settings of the story. To broaden the scope of interests, spider research was conducted in cooperative learning groups, a bulletin board was displayed with pig facts, and creative writing skills were utilized as the students evaluated various situations from a pig's point of view and suggested solutions.
Researcher based evaluation on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills Tests taken by the gifted class in the Fall of 1991. A thirteen percent increase in vocabulary and a thirteen percent increase in reading and language by the class was reported when the Iowa Test of Basic Skills Tests was administered again in April, 1992. Compared to other students nationally, the fourth grade gifted class increased their ranking from fifty-fifth to fifty-ninth in vocabulary and from fifty-fifth to sixtieth in reading and language subskills.
Combs, R. (1992). Developing critical reading skills through whole language strategies. Unpublished manuscript, Southern Nazarene University.
Jeanne B. Justice, ETSU
Increasing reading ability
Thirty-seven special education resource teachers and 176 students with mild disabilities
The methods used to improve both reading instruction and ability were peer tutoring, reciprocal teaching, computer-aided instruction, two direct instruction models, and various other effective teaching principles. This research was designed to answer three specific questions: Would any of these approaches lead to better achievement for students with mild disabilities? Would there be one particular approach that proved to be more beneficial than any other? How would these various approaches differ from one another with respect to the interacting behavior of both the teachers and the students? The procedure was conducted by distributing the 176 students so that each technique would be experienced by a variety of grade levels. Then the 31 participating teachers were randomly assigned to one of the six instructional approaches. Peer tutoring training for the teachers was based on supervising and instructing tutoring sessions. For the computer-assisted program the teachers reviewed previous research as well as twelve teacher-controlled software programs. The programs covered material such as decoding, sight word recognition, and comprehension. Teachers had the privilege of controlling time factors and creating their own selection of words and passages. The basic approach of the direct instruction technique with the Science Research Associates Curriculum and the Holt Basal Reading series included choral response, guided and independent practice, corrective feedback, and reinforcement. These teachers were trained using sample lessons, practice teaching sessions, and reviewing lessons on videotape. Other effective teaching methods such as positive feedback and monitoring the pupil progress were demonstrated and reviewed by all the teachers. The reciprocal teaching was a cognitive technique for teaching elementary reading. This approach focused on returning dialogue using four strategies: summarizing, question generating, clarifying, and predicting.
Every week the students read a randomly, appropriately selected passage with regard to difficulty according to the Holt Basal Reading series. The collective number of words correct for each passage was calculated, and the median score for each of the ten weeks was graphically plotted. The instructional ecology was analyzed using two systems. The first system was the Code for Instructional Structure and Student Academic Responding (CISSAR) which regulated the observations of student response to teacher behavior according to eight types of student behavior and twelve teacher behaviors. An abbreviation for each type of behavior was given to both teacher and student in 15 second intervals during the 45 minute period by three observers. The results were then averaged. The Structure of Instruction Rating Scale (SIRS) system was also used by the same three observers at the end of each observation period to rate the teachers on 12 instructional variables. Each student was observed once, while each teacher was observed a total of five times during the project. The results proved that direct instructional approach profited both the teachers and the students more than any other method as well as rated the highest as a favoring strategy and a favoring comparison. Falling into second place was the technique of peer tutoring. The conclusion for less success with peer tutoring was competing behavior that interfered with the lesson quality for those students.
Deno, S.L., Diment, K., Kim, D., Marston, D., & Rogers, D. (1995). Comparison of reading intervention approaches for students with mild disabilities. Exceptional Children, 62, (1), 20-37.
Shannan Lemon, ETSU
Improving reading comprehension
Elementary grade students with average oral reading skills and below average reading comprehension.
The teacher may implement this activity with a pair or small groups of students. Have a student read a brief passage aloud. When he or she finishes, immediately ask him or her questions regarding the paragraph. If the student answers a question correctly, give praise or a small token (i.e. penny) as a reward. If the student answers incorrectly, proceed on to the next question without any comments or pauses. When a student has difficulties pronouncing a word during oral reading, encourage him or her to sound it out. Then during the comprehension questions, the student should be given credit for a correct answer with the mispronounced word.
Percent of comprehension questions answered correctly
Lahey, B. B., McNees, M.P., & Borwn, C. C. (1973). Modification of deficits in reading for comprehension. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 6, 475-480.
Kathryn Linnenberg, Andrew Wiley, and Huong Hua, UVA
improving reading comprehension of textbooks
Eight secondary students with identified deficits in one or more achievement areas
Materials : Each student was provided with two sets of reading materials. The first set included published textbooks at the students' instructional reading level as determined by a recently administered achievement test. The second set of materials consisted of published student materials at the students' current grade level.
Teaching the skill : First, the instructor tested the student to determine the student's current learning habit. After this was determined, the instructor explained the learning strategies to the student. The instructor described the three steps involved in the Multipass reading strategy.
1. Survey Pass - student looks for main ideas and organization of the chapter. Specific skills involved in this step included reading the chapter title, reading the introductory paragraph, perusing the table of contents, reading the major subtitles within the chapter and reading the summary paragraph.
2. Size-Up Pass - determining specific information about the chapter without reading it from beginning to end. Here the student was taught to read the questions at the end of the chapter and go through the text looking for textual cues (e.g. bold type, italics).
3. Sort -Out Pass - student reads and answers the questions at the end of the chapter, with or without consulting the text.
After the Multipass strategy was explained, the teacher modeled the strategy, then it was verbally rehearsed by the student to reach a criterion of 100% correct without prompts. The next five steps involved practice, feedback from the instructor, and testing. Initially, the student used the reading level textbooks. The student practiced using Multipass, was given feedback and was tested. The same procedure was repeated using the grade level textbooks.
Students were evaluated on each step of Multipass as well as with a comprehension test at the end of each completed chapter.
Schumaker, J.B., Deshler, D.D., Alley, G.R. Warner, M.M., & Denton, P.H. (1982). Multipass: A learning strategy for improving reading comprehension. Learning Disablility Quarterly, 5, 295-304
Melissa Markowski, and Rebecca Kettinger, UVA