Effect of student sharing on reading comprehension
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One of the elements of effective literacy instruction is to provide the opportunity for every child to talk with peers about reading (Allington & Gabriel 2012). Book clubs and literature circles have become very popular for students as well as adults. The sharing of literature offers social opportunities that many readers enjoy. Third grade readers are typically transitioning in their reading from early reading, which involves implementing decoding skills, to reading with fluency and a confidence in understanding how text works. They are reading with automaticity and at a good pace, while developing strategies to figure out most words. The increase in the ability to read with fluency allows transitional readers to move toward comprehending increasingly more difficult text. As a third grade teacher I questioned how an increase in the amount of time spent sharing about what students are reading would affect reading comprehension in third grade readers. This study explores the effect of a structured time for transitioning third grade readers to share about what they have read on the growth in their reading comprehension skills. The targeted students in this study are those in my third grade classroom who are performing at the benchmark reading level, as defined by the Lead 21 curriculum. At the conclusion of the eight-week period, which incorporated daily reading and having book talks as part of the language arts block, the results showed that the targeted benchmark readers had a combined growth in reading scores of 11.3%. At the conclusion of the study I believe that the time third grade benchmark reading students spent sharing about what they are reading was valid use of instructional time that helped improve reading comprehension.