Improving Reading Achievement through the Implementation of a Balanced Literacy Approach.Report as inadecuate

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This report describes a program for increasing students' reading fluency and comprehension by giving them a variety of skills and strategies. The targeted population consisted of two elementary schools in a growing, lower to middle class community, located in central Illinois. The problems of lack of reading strategies were documented through data revealing the number of students who performed below average or showed little growth on assessments, checklists, and anecdotal records. Analysis of probable cause data revealed that students reported frustration when reading from teacher assigned materials. Data also revealed students' lack of confidence with reading ability. Faculty reported a lack of engagement and motivation, inability to apply concepts across the curriculum, and failure to see the relevance of material being studied. Review of literature revealed limited approaches in combination with the lack of strategies inhibit student literacy success. Socioeconomic background also plays a large role in their success. A review of solution strategies suggested by knowledgeable others, combined with an analysis of the problem setting, resulted in the selection of two major categories of intervention: increasing reading achievement, and stimulating the desire to read. The action research team explored a defined approach for increasing reading achievement and motivation in the targeted classrooms. The post intervention data indicated that student responded well to a variety of strategies and activities that were presented to them. Reading achievement and motivation towards reading increased through developing a series of reading strategies incorporated through the Four Block Approach to Balanced Literacy, distributing weekly and monthly newsletters, and utilizing Accelerated Reader to motivate students to read more. Appendixes contain a monthly newsletter, a brochure for parents, and activity sheets. (Contains 28 references and 8 tables.) (Author/RS)

Descriptors: Action Research, Elementary Education, Instructional Effectiveness, Reading Achievement, Reading Comprehension, Reading Fluency, Reading Improvement, Reading Instruction, Reading Motivation

Author: Arkebauer, Cynthia; MacDonald, Christine; Palmer, Crystal


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