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IMPROVE STUDENTS READING COMPREHENSION BY USING GROUP READING

----by Chaoran Yao

1. WHY GROUP READING?

WHY GROUP READING?


Small groups make engaged, interactive learning possible. Small groups allow us to differentiate instruction. Well structured small-group work enhances student achievement.

(Harvey, S., & Daniels, H., 2009)

2. WHO ARE MY STUDENTS?

TARGET STUDENTS
Kindergarteners. 30 minutes daily. Monday-Friday. This is their first year of learning Chinese.

and First graders. 30 minutes daily. Monday-Friday. This is their second year of learning Chinese.

3. WHAT KIND OF READING MATERIALS DID I USE?

READING MATERIALS
Of all the reading materials I used in my classroom, which include story books, culture books and language books, I chose the language book to conduct group reading.

The language books I used contain 80%+ words that they have learned. have structured sentences. have picture hint.

WHY NOT STORY OR CULTURE BOOKS?


Story books and culture books are funnier. But my students are not ready for complicated sentences. We read lots of story in shared read, guided reading and story telling instead of group reading.

4. HOW DID I DIVIDE THE GROUPS?

GROUPS
I used small group, no more than 4 students. The students were grouped in two ways. 1) I assigned the students with different reading level in one group. 2) Students paired themselves with a learning partner. Boys were paired with girls. Girls were paired with boys.

5. WHAT ACTIVITIES DID I USE TO IMPROVE COMPREHENSION IN GROUP READING?

ACTIVITIES I USED:
1.

2.

3.

4. 5.

Activate prior language knowledge Teach the strategies that students can use when encountered with unfamiliar words. Check students comprehension by using I know-I wonder wall. Read aloud. Build vocabulary and language knowledge.

5.1. ACTIVATE PRIOR LANGUAGE KNOWLEDGE.


Before we started a new reading materials, I have them review related vocabulary with posters Ask each other with related questions Watch related videos to familiar them with the language knowledge they have already know.

5.1.1 HOW DOES IT WORK IN GROUPS?


The students Ask each other/ Point at the poster How to say salad? Ask each other simple questions, What do you like to drink? What do you want to eat? Discussed with each other after they watch the video, Where do you think this situation happened? Who are they? Why the guests face is turning red, etc.

5.2. TEACH STRATEGIES THAT STUDENTS CAN USE WHEN ENCOUNTERED WITH UNFAMILIAR WORDS.

The biggest problem for the kindergarteners and first graders are on the vocabulary basis. Its important to give the students the tool to figure out what to do when faced with unfamiliar words, which include the words they forget and the words they never meet.

5.2.1 STRATEGIES FOR UNFAMILIAR WORDS


Use Pinyin to read the words. Look at the picture to guess the meaning. Activate your previous knowledge. Look at the structures of the characters. Refer to your learning partner. Refer to the word bank.

5.2.2 HOW DOES IT WORK IN GROUPS?


Students Discuss what they can do if they come across unfamiliar words. Jot down their ideas and share with our class.

5.3. I KNOW-I WONDER WALL

I know-I wonder is a tool for students to selfreflect. They can use sticky note to write down the content theyve known and the content they are not sure.

5.3.1 HOW DOES IT WORK IN GROUPS?


Students Discuss the meaning of words and sentences. Work together with the strategies for unfamiliar words to figure out the words they come across. Write down the words or sentences they have already known and the ones they still question of.

5.4. READ ALOUD

Reading aloud helps students to focus on reading. Students are likely to comprehend if read a material for several times. It improve students prosody. Prosody connects fluency to comprehension. (Rasinski& Samuels, 2011) Choral or group reading is perhaps the most common assisted reading form for students. (Rasinski, 2010)

5.4.1 HOW DOES IT WORK IN GROUPS?


Students Read aloud together with their reading/ learning partners. Read in roles among themselves. Read in roles with other groups. Take turns to read different parts of the books.

5.5. BUILD VOCABULARY AND LANGUAGE KNOWLEDGE.

Vocabulary and language knowledge is the basis of comprehension. If students cannot speak out a Chinese sentence, it is less likely they can read in written language. Due to the features of Chinese written language, if the students cannot recognize the key characters, its less likely that the students can finish reading a sentence.

5.5.1 HOW DOES IT WORK IN GROUPS?


Students Practice oral speaking with each other, which include Ask each other how to say Take turns to make sentences with the vocabulary. Take turns to ask basic questions. Play word games with cards.

6. ASSESSMENT

ASSESSMENT
Assessment for students comprehension can be carried out in different ways, such as: 1. Ask related question./ Students translate the paragraphs. 2. use the puppet to re-tell the story. 3. Integrate reading and writing.

6.1 ASK RELATED QUESTIONS./ STUDENTS TRANSLATE THE PARAGRAPH.


The most direct approach to assess students comprehension is by asking questions. Considering my reading materials, I only think of the superficial questions that they can easily find in the sentences.

6.1.1 HOW DID IT WORK IN GROUPS?


When the students are reading in groups, no matter reading aloud or silent reading. They can discuss and share idea with reading/ learning partners. I walked by and stopped at a group. I asked some simple questions, such as What is this book about? What do you know about Dad? What does the brother likes to do? The students answered together or one by one. I must make sure that every member get a turn.

6.2 USE PUPPET/ ROLE PLAY TO RE-TELL THE STORY.


Re-tell the story by role play is a typical way to demonstrate comprehension according to Blooms Taxonomy. When students role play, it shows that they comprehend.

6.2.1HOW DOES IT WORK IN GROUPS?


Students Decide their own role in their groups. They practice to play out the reading materials. Take turns to demonstrate their role play in the class stage.

6.3 INTEGRATE READING AND WRITING

Reading and writing mutually reinforce one another and rely on some of the same cognitive processes. (Fitzgerald& Shanahan, 2000; Shanahan, 2006; Tierney& Shanahan, 1996) Students must comprehend the sentences structure before they can imitate to write. In turn that if the students demonstrate correct writing and can read their own works, it shows the students comprehend the reading materials.

6.3.1HOW DOES IT WORK IN GROUPS?


Students make their own reading materials by writing, or cutting and pasting. Students can refer to their learning partners for help. After students finish their writing, they read to each other.

7. SUMMARY

SUMMARY

Before I conducted my focus project, the mostly common used form of reading in my classroom are story-telling, choral reading, shared reading and guided reading. The teacher plays the major role in reading. After introducing group reading to my students, the responsibility of reading shift to the students. They are more engaged and find reading fun. As a teacher for 24 students, I cannot take care of all the students at one time. When they read with their reading partners, they learned faster. Moreover, after I applied group reading, I found reading can be conducted in many different ways. Though they are not capable of complicated Chinese reading materials, they have developed better social skills for further reading activities.

8. REFERENCE

REFERENCE I

Harvey, S., & Daniels, H. (2009). Comprehension and Collaboration: Inquiry Circles in Action. (pp. 19-54) Portsmouth , NH: Heinemann. McKenna, M. C., & Stahl, K. A. (2009). Assessment for Reading Instruction, (2nd ed, pp. 148-185). New York: Guilford Press. Duke, N.K., Pearson,P.D., Strachan, S., & Billman, A. K. (2011). Essential elements of fostering and teaching reading comprehension. In A. Farstrup & S. J. Samuels (Eds), What research has to say about reading instruction (4th ed., pp. 51-93). Newark, DE: International Reading Association Shanahan, T., Callison, K., Carriere, C., Duke, N.K., Person, P.D., Schatschneider, C., & Torgesen, J. (2010). Improve reading comprehension in kindergarten through 3rd grade: a practice guide (NCEE 2010-4038) Rasinski, T.V., & Samuels, S.J. (2011). Reading fluency: What it is and what it is not. In S. J. Samuels & A. E. Farstrup (Eds), What research has to say about reading instruction (4th ed., pp. 94-114). Newark, DE: International Reading Association. Blachowicz, C;L., & Fisher, P. J. (2011). Best practices in vocabulary instruction revisited. In L.M. Morrow & L. B. Gambrell (Eds.), Best practices in literacy instruction (4th ed., pp. 224-249). New York : Guilford Press.

REFERENCE II

Extending Childrens Special Abilities Strategies for primary classrooms http://www.teachers.ash.org.au/researchskills/dalton.htm 30 reading group activities for your students http://www.edgalaxy.com/literacy/2010/9/21/30-reading-group-activitiesfor-your-students.html Reading Comprehension Activities http://specialed.about.com/od/balancedliteracy/a/comp.htm Reading Aloud to Build Comprehension http://www.readingrockets.org/article/343/ Making Reading Comprehension Fun http://jenniferwagaman.suite101.com/making-reading-comprehensionfun-a96960 Small group activities for differentiated reading instruction. http://www.ehow.com/info_7996549_small-activities-differentiatedreading-instruction.html