"I can read accurately but can't understand the text read" : the effects of using a reading intervention on fifth-grade students' "word callers" reading comprehension achievement

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Grant, Christina E.
Martin, Linda E.
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Thesis (Ph. D.)
Department of Elementary Education
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The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of an intervention of five researched reading strategies on fifth-grade students’ “word callers” reading achievement. Twenty-one fifth-grade students attending elementary schools in midwestern United States participated in this study. Students were randomly assigned to either the experimental group or the control group. The students in the experimental group received 50 minutes of small-group intervention, twice weekly, after-school, for 12 weeks focusing on the use of five research-based reading comprehension strategies. The control group received 50 minutes of small-group intervention, twice weekly after-school for 12 weeks, focusing on Common Core reading curriculum. Triangulation of data sources was achieved through analysis of the running records including comprehension retelling and answering of questions, a metacognition survey, an oral fluency rater scale, observational notes, and a reflective interview protocol on students’ strategy use. General findings included statistically significant changes in reading comprehension levels in all students (control and experimental) who participated in the after-school reading intervention. Importantly, statistically significant changes began to take place in “word callers” in the 12-week study. This was seen in their overall reading comprehension levels, and ability to report comprehension strategies and apply them to their reading. In summary, an after-school intervention explicitly using the Reciprocal Teaching model plus visualizing appears to play a large role in helping “word callers” improve their reading comprehension ability.