Applying Literature Vocabulary to Increase Reading Comprehension, Krystle Williams

The implications of my study for my classroom are very positive, as the pre/post quiz results and student survey results show that teaching students how to apply their literature vocabulary knowledge to questions does help to increase reading comprehension in the honors, regular, and inclusion settings. Not only have students been explicitly taught strategies to apply their literary knowledge to help them problem solve as they read and answer difficult questions, but have also learned to use these same strategies when answering questions in other content areas. As a teacher, seeing students from all levels make connections that help them to increase their comprehension of the reading material has shown me the importance of continuing this instruction with future students.

If I were to do this same action research again I would not give the same pre/post reading comprehension assessment, but instead choose passages that are similar and cover the same reading standards. The reason behind this is that these were longer passages and the students openly discussed with me that they did not feel the need to read them a second time when taking the post-assessment, which I believe negatively affected their scores and the results of this study. Students attempting to recall information that they read several months prior is not the best way to demonstrate their level of reading comprehension.

As for other classrooms and teachers, this study implies that they could easily take the strategies, activities, and instruction modeled here and modify it for their classrooms and content areas. All content areas have vocabulary and reading that is specific to them, and by using the information from this study teachers could further increase the reading comprehension of students by teaching them to apply content specific vocabulary to questions within their content areas, which would also reinforce what is being done in the ELA classroom. As for other ELA teachers, it would be very easy to take the model presented here and apply it to their classrooms on a regular basis to increase reading comprehension.

To further the action research completed during this study I would suggest seeing the effects of this model replicated in another content area. Students viewed learning these strategies in a positive manner and as a way to help them improve their skills, showing that they would also be open to learning similar strategies in other content areas.

As a professional educator this action research project made me much more knowledgeable and aware of my teaching style. I learned the importance of scaffolding by first providing direct instruction, modeling, and ample time for independent practice. Without this experience of collecting and tracking data so closely, I would not have been able to see the full picture and understand the importance of teaching based on this model. This experience will forever serve as a guide for me when determining if new ideas and strategies are effective within my classroom and beneficial to my students.