The Performance of Third Grade Students in Reading, Essay Example
Description of the Community
The community that will be the focal point of this research project is located in a southern state which has a population of approximately 33,203 that is 98% urban and 2% rural according to census data. (City-data.com, 2015). The population of the area is demographically dispersed with 26,849 Black or African American citizens, 6,963 Whites, 293 Hispanic or Latinos, 251 Asians, and 186 that are of two or more races (City-data.com, 2015).
The overall median income in 2009 was $27,717 with the median income for the state being $36,646 and the median household income for African-Americans in 2009 being $21,931 while Whites had a median household income of $46,936 (City-data.com, 2015). Within this population, there are about 3,582 youth under five years of age and 3,766 youth aged 5-9 years (City-data.com, 2015).
For the state, the population of children under age 6 potentially needing childcare services was recorded at 155,507 as of 2014 (Child Care Aware, 2014). The average annual cost of childcare for an infant is $5,496, $4,800 for a four?year?old child, and $3,840 to secure before?/after?school care for a school-aged child in a center while annual costs for an infant in family childcare is $4,560, $4,320 for a four?year?old child, and $3,180 for before?/after?school care for a school?age child (Child Care Aware, 2014).
Writer’s Work Setting
The elementary school is located in the community which has an impoverished area with high unemployment, decreasing population and drastic change in the family structure. It is a public school that serves 274 students in grades K-5, including two special education classes. During the last three academic years, the elementary school made strides in the areas of academics, extra-curricular activities, and community involvement. The most notable achievement reflects the continued commitment to excellence in educating the minds of the students.
I am veteran third grade teacher with 17 years of experience. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a Master’s Degree in Exceptional Student Education. My secondary role as a writer within the community is based on the development of a partnership with the parents of the children attending the facility, which entails establishing trusting relationships that facilitates a cohesive partnership with them in hopes that they trust advice given. This enables me to make recommendations and suggest programs or counseling that would help the families.
The problem to be solved in this research project is that the performance of the third grade students in Reading is inadequate. Reading is taught in a variety of ways by various teachers. However, some strategies seem to be more effective than others for some students. Many research based strategies have been tried and dismissed. In the past 17 years, I have seen various strategies being implemented. However, great educators know that strategies have to be used to reach the child, not to satisfy the research question. . During the early years, the whole method was used to teach reading. Students were expected to memorize words, so they could identify them in reading. This method was widely accepted and used for year. Later on, the phonic approach was introduced. Later, the phonics approach was adopted. Next, the look and say method was adopted, which was just an extension of memorization. In more recent years, the silent reading method was used. Many teachers praised it for being the most effective method. However, it was later challenged because it was found that many students were not reading, but just sitting quietly. With all of these trial and error methods being tested, teachers are left to decide which to use. Likewise, combinations of approaches are best to meet the needs of students.
The writer’s goal is to improve the inadequate performance of the third grade students in reading through implementation of several strategies. The teacher will partner with all third grade teachers to implement a “stop and read” campaign. Each teacher will agree to have students stop and read for 10 minutes before class starts or towards the end. Parents will also help to enforce reading at home. Each child will receive a reading log that requires a parent signature each day signifying that the child has read to the parent that day. Also, computerized reading programs will be utilized for each student. Those students who are reading at least grade levels below will start out using the computer program that will read aloud to them. Next, they will begin reading aloud to the program. Eventually, they will be responsible for reading to themselves without assistance. Students must be able to accept and utilize guidance from their teachers in order to learn how to read at a third grade level and to improve their overall academic performance in this manner. Students who are introduced to reading at this level must accomplish a number of objectives that will impact their reading performance and their overall understanding of the dynamics of reading and what it provides in order to fulfill their lives in different ways.
According to Renaissance Learning (2014), the STAR Early Literacy assessment item bank consists of more than 2,300 items appropriate for students from pre-kindergarten through grade 3. STAR Early Literacy Assessment Score Scaled scores (SS) are calculated based on the difficulty of items and the number of correct responses. Because the same range is used for all students, scaled scores are useful for comparing student performance across grade levels. STAR Early Literacy scaled scores range from 300 to 900 and relate directly to the literacy classifications. Literacy classifications are the stages of literacy development measured in STAR Early Literacy and associated with scaled scores: emergent reader (300–674), transitional reader (675–774), and probable reader (775–900). These stages are an easy way to monitor student progress:
- Early Emergent Reader (300-487) the student is beginning to understand that printed text has meaning. The student is learning that reading involves printed words and sentences, and that print flows from left to right and from the top to the bottom of the page. The student is also beginning to identify colors, shapes, numbers, and letters.
- Late Emergent Reader (488-674) the student is identifying most of the letters of the alphabet and can match most of the letters to the sounds and read picture books and familiar words around his/her home. Through repeated reading of favorite books with adults, students at this stage are building their vocabularies, listening skills and understandings of print.
- Transitional Reader (675–774): The student is mastering the alphabet skills and letter- sound relationships and can identify many beginning and ending consonant sounds and long and short vowel sounds. The student is probably able to blend sounds and word parts to read simple words and is likely using a variety of strategies to figure out words, such as pictures, story patterns, and phonics.
- Probable Reader (775–900): Student is becoming proficient at recognizing many words, both in and out of context and spending less time identifying and sounding out words and more time understanding what he/she has read. A probable reader is blending sounds and word parts to read words and sentences more quickly, smoothly, and independently than students in the other stages of development.
Literacy domain score is a criterion-referenced score that represents the STAR Reading is designed to complement existing standardized tests by providing formative as well as summative information—that is, information to monitor progress and guide instruction throughout the school year, Evidence of this problem is derived from the STAR Reading Assessment Test. The following data were obtained.
Of a population of 17 students:
- 4 students scored Emergent Reader (300–487)
- 6 students scored Late Emergent Readers (488-674)
- 7 students scored Transitional Reader (675–774)
The primary goal of this research project is to increase the performance of the third grade students on the STAR Reading Test. As this situation is improved, the work setting should appear more relaxed and less stressful with the interventions and to improve reading for the students… The teachers and parents will collaborate on the creation of an individualized learning plan for each third-grader who needs help with reading a plan that might involve specialized instruction, tutoring or summer school. Most important the teachers will plan and take action and not assuming that reading problems will work themselves out. The role of the writer face many challenges daily in accepting the responsibility of educating the students and preparing them to become college and career ready.
The primary role of the writer is to use the support and intervention to help the 3rd grade students overcome the many barriers to learning how to read and comprehend and becoming successful and productive citizens. Many teachers today are encouraged to adapt and adopt new practices that acknowledge that all students do not learn in the same manner.
The most important role of the teacher is to get to know each student as an individual in order to comprehend his or her unique needs, teaching styles, social and cultural background, and interests, all of which affect each child’s learning experience. Of a population of 17 students:
- The 4 students who scored as Emergent Readers will become Late Emergent Readers who will read picture books and familiar words around their home through repeated reading of favorite books with an adult. Also these students will improve their vocabularies, listening skills, and understandings of print.
- The 6 students who scored Late Emergent Reader will become Transitional Readers who will blend sounds and word parts to read simple words. Also, the students will likely use a variety of strategies to figure out words, such as pictures, story patterns, and phonics.
- The 7 students who scored Transitional Reader will become Probable Readers who will recognize many words, both in and out of context, identify and sound words. Also, the students will blend sounds and word parts to read words and sentences more quickly, smoothly, and independently than students in the other stages of development.
Outcomes will be measured through use of the STAR Assessment Reading Test through which the baseline data were obtained. Such a procedure should ensure validity of posttest data.
Chapter 2: Research and Solutions
There are a variety of reading methods that have been successful in improving the reading skills of children (Stenson, 2006). A majority of these techniques include the use of scaffolded teaching methods. Even if students are underperforming, they can reasonably be primed in a manner that promotes testing success (Meyer et al., 1971). Using graphic organizers and other study tools are useful in developing the reading and writing abilities of students. In order to effectively promote these skills, it is important for educators to gain a comprehensive understanding of core competencies (Haager et al., 2013). This involves incorporation of standards on a variety of levels.
The STAR Reading Assessments are designed by Renaissance Learning. Tests are computer based and adaptive to provide a reflective assessment of skills (Renaissance Learning, n.d.). In light of the recent demand for high stakes testing, it is necessary to refine an understanding of what constitutes effective testing for third grade students (Good et al., 2009). Thus, the STAR Reading Assessments can be used as a diagnostic to indicate teaching methods that will best help student learning.
This chapter seeks to review literature related to the performance of third-grade students in reading. According to Machi & McEvoy, the background information of a study should be based upon the theoretical framework and empirical analysis in under to convey a thorough understanding (Machi & McEvoy, 2009). Therefore, several aspects of the factors that affect student’s performance based on their reading ability will be reviewed. This will culminate with the developments of the conceptual framework that will guide the research. Student’s class excellence begins with writing and reading fluency (Armbruster et al, 2009).
The literature review is aimed at facilitating and setting the platform for the study as it observes what other researchers have researched concerning primary factors that other researchers have found influencing third-grade students reading performance. Student’s ability to read forms the basis of their performance in class (Afflerbach, 2011). It was found to be caused by teacher’s inadequate qualifications, chronic mental illness, limited exposure to bedtime and naptime reading, parents illiteracy, and inadequate reading materials. Reading is an ongoing process that usually involves the developments and leveraging of child’s intelligence for the sole reason of building a sustaining study process (Baker et al, 2012).
Learning how to read and write to young students’ calls for a healthy relationship between teachers, parents, and the student (Tighe et al, 2014). Some of the solutions may involve organizing for remedial classes, explicit guidelines for the development of necessary spelling, reading and phoneme awareness, teaching of foundational skills and integration into textual reading styles for language fluency and automaticity. Young students are future leaders of education (Reutzel, 2012).
In our tech savvy world, students are reluctant to read to locate information or for pleasure. They use the Internet for those purposes. As a result of constant use of technology, students lack ability in reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. The target group of students is primarily members of low socio-economic groups and who have parents that have limited reading abilities. Consequently, the parents neither are unable to assist the children, nor did they provide environments that were text rich. Many of these students have limited site identification of words, which make reading difficult. Because they are unable to comprehend what they read, students are reluctant to read.
The performance of third-grade students in reading is extensively caused by various factors as discussed in the causative analysis section. Previous research has shown that students’ ability to perform well in reading is closely linked to teachers’ closeness to the students for support. The findings imply that remedial classes should be established as they form an imperative part in developing students’ reading abilities (Knight-Teague, 2015). Remedial classes are closely related to teachers’ skills efficiency and resource availability (Hill & Lemons, 2013).
It has been empirically proven that the capacity to read, write and understand clearly is based on the teachers’ perception of the students’ ability (Hwang et al, 2014). Teachers must pay close attention to students and encourage them on excelling academically. Parents who assume that the ability of their children academic performance is entirely on teachers are truly mistaken. The parent should put reading first, helping your child learns to read.
Various authors have recommended fundamental solutions to the performance of grade three students in reading, some of the simple recommendations parents could follow include:
- Ensure that your child has ample time for remedial reading and attends extra reading classes (Nevills & Wolfe, 2009).
- Reading parenting manuals and articles that provide the parent with understanding of what exactly his/her child requires to teach better (Gage, 2014).
- Parents should continually and methodically assess their children’s performance(Bell et al, 2015)
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