Strategiesto Increase Student Performance
Strategiesto Increase Student Performance
Adiagnosis of the 5th-gradestudent performances revealing a sheer lack of reading skills asmanifested in 50% of the students failing STARR reading testsrequires a pedagogical approach complete with assessment mechanismsto ascertain the progress of learning objectives. The followingmechanisms will be critical to improving the reading skills of thestudents in the next nine months by enabling them to read in afocused and selective manner.
Implementing a Regular Integrative Class Practice: Reading is an exercise that requires practice and individual assessments. For this reason, there is need to set aside an hour each day so that the students can take turns to read passages in groups under the teacher’s supervision. This will be critical in building confidence in the student and enabling the teacher to assess the specific areas in which the students have challenges.
Identification of Reading Goals: Helping students identify reading goals can help improve their reading efficiency by aiding them in selecting and prioritizing information depending on the task they are confronted with (University of Leicester, 2015, n.p). This class exercise will be conducted with the help of different teaching aids and different passages to evaluate students’ identification skills.
Skimming practices to identify the main idea: Given that speed and accuracy are two important factors that determine performance in reading and comprehension tasks (Perfetti & Adlof, 2012, p. 3-20), there is need to train the students daily on skimming to identify the main idea in a reading test, which can be express or implied (GPC, 2011, p. 1). This class exercise will be taught in groups and assessed individually, and if the students gain required competencies, skimming techniques will be particularly important for the students to refresh their understanding of texts when tackling comprehensive questions.
Classroom Readings to Identify Relationships in Texts: This exercise will appeal to cognitivism as a theory of learning since it engages the cognitive abilities of students in drawing relationships between words and concepts and the ultimate objectives of a text. This approach will be important in not only preparing the students for the reading test but also increasing their achievement in other subjects since cognitive approaches lead to the achievement of developmental learning skills such as goal-setting, planning and organization (Van Merriënboer & Sweller, 2010, p. 85-93).
Vocabulary in Context Exercises: This is expected to be a fundamental exercise in preparation for any reading test and will entail administration of passages with strategically positioned vocabularies. More specifically, learning activities will involve using clues in surrounding words, paragraphs, plot or sentences to make an informed guess of a words contextual meaning. By the end of a learning session, a student should be able to use draw contrast of a vocabulary with a similar word, provide an example to a vocabulary or define the term all the same. The aim of this exercise is to equip the learners with the necessary skills of comprehending difficult words in a text and thereby facilitating the entire reading comprehension.
Administering Exercises involving Detailed Reading and Note-Taking: Developing these reading techniques come after the learners have gained some basic knowledge and skills from the first five classroom exercises. This exercise builds on the identification of key points in a text, the intention of a piece of writing and most importantly, helps to establish a relationship between concepts in a text. Assessment of learning progress at this stage of preparing students for reading tests involves four activities. First, it is important to give individual tests and ask students to underline and highlight the key points that matter. Second, ask learners to single out the key words in a sentence or paragraph and third, students should write down the questions they ask themselves as they read through a section. Finally, it is critical that learners write down summaries to put down the main points in a text.
Reading Speed Tests: The final exercise that should be administered to the 5h grade students after about eight months of intensive reading skills development is to administer timed tests to assess and improve their reading skills. To ensure that the students are well prepared for the reading tests, they should be able to read over 300 words per minute since the average reading speed is about 240-300 words per minute (University of Leicester, 2015, n.p). For a fifth grade student, this is bound to be an intensive exercise and a situation that calls for a delicate balance between applying the learned qualitative concepts for accuracy and ensuring time consciousness. My role as a teacher at this stage is to help students keep this balance, and I plan to this by allowing them to underline key concepts while reading and as the lesson progresses, the task will become more natural for the students.
Essentially,the strategies discussed above build on the speed, accuracy,coherence and mental processes that are required for an ideal reader.It is important to note at this point that since cognitivism isinvolved largely in such endeavors, it will be important to undertakeindividual assessment for most students. Additionally, as a teacherresponsible for all subjects, I can develop a pedagogy that involvesan appeal to other disciplines in which a specific learner is gifted.Nevertheless, regular and consistent practice will produce thedesired outcomes.
GPC.,(2011)., Strategiesfor Passing the Compass Reading Test.,Learning and Tutoring Center, Retrieved on November 8, 2015,from<http://depts.gpc.edu/~gpcltc/handouts/communications/passingcompassreading.pdf>
Perfetti,C. A., & Adlof, S. M. (2012). Reading comprehension: A conceptualframework from word meaning to text meaning. Measuringup: Advances in how to assess reading ability,3-20.
Retrievedon November 8, 2015,from<https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=TIERzGrrjQoC&oi=fnd&pg=PA3&dq=Speed+and+accuracy+in+reading+tests&ots=B4rBbQGWpc&sig=R2grYy_izL1np0xYgkUwkAiFrDo&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false>
Universityof Leicester (2015)., Improving Your Reading Skills., Retrieved onNovember 8, 2015,from<http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ld/resources/study/reading>
VanMerriënboer, J. J., & Sweller, J. (2010). Cognitive load theoryin health professional education: design principles and strategies.MedicalEducation,44(1),85-93.Retrieved on November 8, 2015,from<http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2923.2009.03498.x/pdf