University of Virginia psychologist Daniel Willingham and author of Raising Kids Who Read: What Parents and Teachers Can Do says, “There is no real difference between listening to a book and reading it.” He also states that there is a “high correlations of reading comprehension and listening comprehension.” This information supports my action research that technology can help with reading comprehension. Every year I have students who are not reading at grade level. These students struggle, but with today’s technology they don’t have to be so far behind. If students are able to listen to books or text and the directions or questions, then we have leveled the playing field a little. We have allowed them access to grade level text that they wouldn’t have been successful without the support of technology. This support is also embedded in the CAASPP testing that 3rd graders take. I can't wait to see what my result reveal. It may alter how I teach and support struggling students.
Darling-Hammond has suggestions that would dramatically change education in the United States. After reading her book it has really opened my eyes to what is happening in our country, and what’s going on in other countries. Of the five key elements number fours starts the change. If we have teachers that are trained in 21st century techniques with similar mindset, then together we can push forward and make a difference. Continuing education for teachers is a must. Just looking at myself, my teaching will be forever changed. Had I not chosen this path, who knows how long this information would have taken to reach me. It’s only now that I am financially ready to take on more loans for furthering my education. With our county everything is always about money and for years our schools have been the ones who suffer. If we focus on equitable and adequate resources as well as strong support for teachers, then everything else would fall into place. Education in the US could potentially change in the near future.
John Dewey’s quote, “What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must we want for all children in the community. Any other ideal for our schools is narrow and unlovely; acted upon, it destroys our democracy” still holds true 100 years later. I agree with John 100%. Every student deserves the best education no madder what their background is. As teachers we are the stepping-stones to a bright future that lies ahead.
Reading is the foundation to all life skills. Without knowing how to read, life in the 21st century would be difficult. The goal for third grade students is to master the basics of decoding and reading comprehension of third grade text. Once they are reading at grade level their education shifts from learning to read to reading to learn. This is a huge push from my district as statistics show that “A student who can't read on grade level by 3rd grade is four times less likely to graduate by age 19 than a child who does read proficiently by that time.” As I have attended workshops for the district this is something that I have heard over and over.
At my site we offer daily reading intervention to students who are not reading at grade level. Students are grouped across the grade level based on their reading level. Some groups focus on phonic where other groups work on reading comprehension through structured programs. This is a great intervention, but is doesn’t seem to be working for all students. We are seeing the same kids from year to year in these intervention groups.
Over the past few years I have noticed a growing number of students who lack the basic skills to read and comprehend text when entering 3rd grade. I wonder why these interventions are not working. Why aren’t they making more than a year’s growth to catch up? What else can we do to help these students? I would like to see if technology could perk their interest in reading. This is obviously an area of difficulty and often students don’t want to put the effort forward if they know that they are going to struggle or even fail. The idea behind my action research is to see if technology has a positive impact in their reading comprehension. How does technology impact children’s ability to recall and comprehend text? Hopefully research will help me identify how we can help students succeed in reading, therefore succeed in life.