Improving Reading Comprehension and Critical Thinking Skills in Middle School Students

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At the school that I work at reading classes are only required in sixth grade. In seventh and eighth grade reading classes can be taken as an elective class. I strongly feel that all students in middle school still need guidance and continuous practice with reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. Students who are beyond a sixth grade reading class are not getting these reading skills that can be applied in all other academic classes. As a teacher I can not change the fact that the school principal has decided that students in seventh and eighth grade are not required to take a reading class. However I can find other ways to make sure that all students know the reasons and benefits for understanding the source that they are reading, whether it is the sports section of the paper or a chapter in the history text book. It is also important that students know how to critically think before, during, and after reading.

From a media specialist point of view I can see the importance of collaborating with teachers in order to provide lessons where reading comprehension and critical thinking skills are emphasized in the lesson. I also see a benefit of the media specialist to co-teach in lessons that incorporate the support of reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. “We can be instrumental in helping students and teachers see the connection between the process of reading comprehension and the information literacy process.” (Moreillon, Judi, 2008)

My research question may be: How and why should media specialist and teachers collaborate to improve reading comprehension and critical thinking reading skills?

Review the literature

Going through the SHSU...

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...standing of critical thinking skills and reading comprehension. The student survey will be used to get feedback on how the students feel that they are lacking reading skills since they are no longer taking a reading class. The observation, parent questionnaire, and the student survey will help in determine the validity and reliability.

Works Cited

Anderson, Cynthia. (2009). The five pillars of reading. Library Media Connection, 28(2). (Anderson, Cynthia, 2009)

Hudak, Tina. (2008). Are Librarians reading teachers, too? Library Media Connection, 26(5). (Hudak, Tina, 2008)

Kell, Tracey. (2009). Using fan fiction to teach critical reading and writing skills. Teacher Librarian, 37(1). (Kell, Tracey, 2009)

Moreillon, Judi. (2008). Position yourself at the center: co-teaching reading comprehension strategies. Teacher Librarian, 35(5). (Moreillon, Judi, 2008)
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