Instructional Research Project : Teaching Reading Comprehension Skills to Third Grade Students

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Purpose of Project

The goal of this project was to test a unit of instruction designed to teach 3rd grade students comprehension strategies to help them become better readers. The formative evaluation investigated whether the unit was effective at teaching ten comprehension related objectives and identified areas for improvement in the unit.

Evaluation Methodology

Subject Matter Expert (SME) Phase. The subject matter expert read and evaluated the unit using a checklist of characteristics, and then shared her thoughts with the researcher in a questionnaire using the checklist to help guide her.

One-to-One Phase. Three diverse students were presented with the unit in a one-to-one format, observed during the lessons using a checklist, and given a questionnaire after the unit to gin their impressions. They were given a post test for the unit that included questions about the ten objectives.

Small Group Phase. A group of six diverse students were presented the unit. They were given a post test after they were taught the unit and asked for their impressions of the lessons that taught each objective using a questionnaire after the post test.

Evaluation Results

The SME found that more than one book needed to be added to each lesson, but thought that they general approach of the unit would enhance students learning, provided there was enough instructor support. Since the SME is well-versed in reading, her support indicates that the unit is pedagogically sound.

All students in both the one-to-one and small group phases scored on average an 80% on the post test. Students on average mastered the objectives taught in the unit. This quantitative measure of mastery indicates that the ...

... middle of paper ... tips can be found from professional journals, which also supplies the research to back up their claims.

I have also gained the confidence to do research. Inspired by the formative evaluation for this project, I can see myself doing more formative evaluations. I enjoy trying to find the best way to teach students each objective or topic. If I can not only find new ways of teaching, but also document the success of those teaching methods through research, I will be able to impact more students than those in my classroom.

In short, I finally feel like a real teacher. I not only know what is effective but why it is effective and the research that proves it is effective. I am more confident to try new things and share my findings with others. I look forward to continuing to sharpen my skills and be a part of the teaching community in the years to come.
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