The inquiry focused on the following research questions:
- What problems do pupils experience when identifying relevant information in a piece of text?
- Do pupils find it difficult to construct meaning from texts?
- How can we support pupils in identifying relevant information from text and how can we help them to find meaning from the text?
The underachievement in Reading Comprehension amongst the learners in my classroom was becoming increasingly problematic and so my intervention was established to help answer the above questions.
The intervention focused on group of Year 8 pupils who were underachieving in Reading. To help inform my action research I began collecting quantitative and qualitative data I felt relevant to my inquiry. The methods of data collection I used included: Learner and Staff Questionnaire’s, Semi-Structured Pupil Interviews, Interviews with the Literacy Co-coordinator, Data Statistics, Pupil work examples and Journal notes. The latter provided rich insights throughout my project. It is worth noting that this data was collected prior to and after the intervention, for example, the semi-structured interview was constructed after the intervention to assess the successes of my intervention.
The intervention consisted of a toolkit that can be used when helping teach comprehension skills. The toolkit encourages pupils to use the 8 key words, Predict, Visualise, Question, Comparisons/Connections, Clarifying, Reflection, Summarising and Responding when analysing a text and provides them with example sentence starters to prompt responses. The toolkit ‘deepens thinking’ by scaffolding and encouraging learners to consider what is happening at each stage of the text.
Analyses of data proved an effective way of assessing the effectiveness of my intervention, however, I do feel undertaking the intervention over a longer period of time will provide more insightful data. Within my analysis I identified three key themes that highlighted the success of my intervention. These were: use of pictures, use of chunking and working collaboratively with peers. In addition to this statistical data shows an improved performance in reading comprehension amongst the pupils in my focus group. It is not appropriate to suggest this is solely due to the intervention of the toolkit, however, on reflection of my classroom practice since I have began using the toolkit I can say there has been an improvement in performance.
© Sarah Lloyd