The problem stated in the Action Research Project was that 66% of third grade students lack the ability to draw conclusions and make inferences to answer comprehension questions correctly. This was evident by the state reading test scores, specifically the inference test given by their teacher. This indicated a need for increased student achievement in making inferences and drawing conclusions. Third grade students were not proficient at making inferences to gain a deeper understanding of the texts read and thus answer open ended questions correctly.
Therefore, they did not get all the inference based comprehension questions correct based on the end of grade test scores that these third grade students are required to take. This indicated a need for additional support making inferences through direct instruction, peer discussion and independent practice in the classroom setting. Students had previously been taught how to make inferences through discussion and worksheets. B) Review of main strategies The basic strategies used in this project included interactive read aloud, a reading response journal, and making inferences with photographs.
An important component used in the implementation plan was the integration of the read alouds with the reading response journal as well as a great deal of modeling. The teacher gave the students time before, after, and during reading to write responses in their journals. They were encouraged to make predictions, connections, share reactions, opinions, visualizations, ask questions and make inferences. By having the students use those various strategies, they were learning how to really think about what they were reading in order to get a deeper understanding of their texts.
Using these various strategies would ultimately increase their understanding and thus improve their ability to make inferences about what they read. The students were given time before reading to make predictions about what they thought might happen and any reactions or opinions from the previous reading. While the teacher was reading, the students were encouraged to make connections and inferences. They also began a section of vocabulary words they found challenging or interesting.
This list of words was ongoing and the students had to find the definition that went along with their word. The teacher also listed those words on chart paper during the reading time. Once the teacher had ended the read aloud time, the students had time to reflect on what they read. They might make inferences based on what they had learned or share how they visualized the scene taking place. The teacher also modeled what she was thinking as she came to different parts of the story. C) Description of post implementation data collection tools Post implementation, the teacher used a variety of tools to test the effectiveness of the ARP.
Students took a teacher created “Inference Assessment” (Appendix A, p. 7) that consisted of two reading passages and ten short answer questions. The students had to read each short story and then answer five questions based on each story. The questions to the answers had to be inferring from the short passages. Students needed to get eight of the ten questions correct to receive a passing score. The assessment was scored by hand and scores were recorded as a percentage. The class completed a “Charles Assessment” (Appendix B, p.8) Students had to read a short story by Shirley Jackson entitled “Charles,” and answer several questions and write a short essay based on their interpretation of the story.
Their interpretation of what they read showed how well they were able to infer what the story was about. Students had to complete the various questions and tasks to the best of their ability based on their interpretation of the story. Students’ answers were scored based on their vocabulary answers, ability to create an appropriate book cover, set of classroom rules, a comic strip, or to follow the RAFT format in creating a short essay.
Students’ work was scored based on their ability to follow the directions and their ability to infer what had happened in the story. The students used the Inferencing Rubric (Appendix C, p. 12) to guide them as they write a narrative. The rubric was had five columns and each column had the criteria to earn one to four points, totaling twenty points. This rubric was used to show the students what the expectations were before they began writing their paper. The rubric was also used by the teacher to score their final paper.
Scores were tallied up and fifteen through twenty points would be passing scores. The students were required to take an Inferencing Post Test (Appendix D, p. 13) after they had been taught the lessons in the action research project. This is the same test they took before the implementation. It was administered during consists of several reading passages and multiple choice answers. There were fiction, non-fiction, and poetry selections the students read and then answered questions based on inferences created from the passages. Students answered the circled questions.
These results were compared to the scores gathered prior to the implementation. The End of Grade Test (Appendix E, p. 21) was administered to all third grade students in Wake County are required to take at the end of each year. This is a multiple choice test that is given at the end of each school year. This assessment is given in a secure setting over three days. The first day is reading comprehension; the next two are for math calculator active and calculator inactive. The students record their responses by bubbling on an answer sheet that is electronically scored.
These results were compared with the pretest scores to see how much progress the students made throughout the year. D) Results for each objective The first objective was for the students to be able to accurately identify and analyze inferences in context with a minimum of 80% accuracy as measured by the teacher created Inference Assessment (Appendix A, p. 7). After the students had been taught how to make inferences through various classroom activities, they took the assessment and the entire class met or exceeded the passing score.
Two students scored 70%, four students scored 80%, five students scored 90%, and ten scored 100%. The scores show a vast improvement in the students’ ability to make inferences. The second objective was for seventeen of twenty one students to improve their ability to interpret inferences and comprehend reading passages by achieving a score of 80% or better on the Charles Assessment (Appendix B p. 8). Only thirteen students met that goal. Four students scored 60%, five scored 70%, nine scored 80%, two scored 90%, and one scored 100%. Although the students did
not all meet the desired goal, they showed improvement based on their earlier assessments and the individual scores were higher. The third objective stated that the students would be able to accurately incorporate two or more inferences into their personal narrative writing pieces as measured by a teacher created Inferencing Rubric (Appendix C p. 12). The entire class was able to incorporate at least two inferences into their narrative based on the rubric. Before the implementation, most students could not interpret an inference, so being able to create two or more shows a vast improvement.
The fourth objective stated that the students would increase their ability to identify and interpret inferences to increase their reading comprehension to 80% as measured by the teacher created Inferencing Pre/Post Test (Appendix D, p. 13). All but three students met the specified goal. Of the twelve questions posed, three students correctly answered nine questions, three answered ten, nine answered eleven, and six answered all twelve correctly. Based on the previous scores on this test, students’ scores greatly increased.
The lowest score went from four questions correct up to nine, and all students grew, except for the one student who scored perfect on the pretest. Scores identify that the students were able to increase their comprehension and infer what they had read. The last objective was that the students would increase their ability to identify and create inferences to increase their reading comprehension to 52% as measured by the North Carolina End of Grade Test (Appendix E, p. 21). Eighteen of twenty one students met or exceeded that goal as opposed to only seven who passed the pretest.
Three students scored a level one (3-20 percent), one scored a level two (31 percent), ten scored a level three (52-74 percent), and seven students scored a level four (87-99 percent). This shows a tremendous growth based on previous scores that showed many more students at the bottom range. Ten students scored a level one (11-35 percent), four scored a level two (48-69 percent), five scored a level three (74-89 percent), and two scored a level four (92-97 percent). E) Summary Based on the data collected from all the assessment tools, the teacher’s implementation plan was successful.
Most goals were met and her students proved to be successful in their final assessments. Even though not all the students reached the set goal, each student showed improvement through the various assessment tools, especially in the state test . Appendix A Name/Number: Date: Inference assessment Read the passage carefully and then answer the questions that follow. One gloomy morning, Bailey woke up and stretched out in her bed. She jumped out of bed, walked to the kitchen and had a long drink of water. As she was drinking, Waleed came in the kitchen and gave her some breakfast.
She quickly gobbled up her food and noticed that it was grey and dreary outside. There was a white blanket draped across the backyard. Waleed noticed the weather too, so he crawled back into his warm bed. Bailey followed him back in the bedroom and jumped up into bed so they could snuggle. She licked his face as she curled up at his feet. Her tail wagged until she peacefully fell back to sleep. 1. Who is Bailey? 2. What was the weather outside? 3. Did Bailey drink her water from a glass? 4. What did Bailey have for breakfast? 5. Who is Waleed? Sarah and Renee were enjoying the hot day at home.
They were splashing around and having fun since they didn’t have to go to school. They had been outside all day and Renee’s skin was turning bright pink. All of a sudden, there was a roll of thunder and the sun was blocked by several clouds. The sky turned dark and the sun was no longer shining. Sarah and Renee quickly packed up their towels and beach balls and ran inside just as the sky opened up. 6. What season is it? 7. Where are Sarah and Renee? 8. What happened to Renee’s skin? 9. What time of day is it? 10. Why did Sarah and Renee have to run inside? Appendix B Charles Assessment [pic] [pic] [pic][pic] Appendix C.
| |Inferences |Focus |Topic and conclusion|Elaboration |Spelling/grammar | | | | |sentences | | | |4 |Paper contains more|Paper maintains a |Paper has a strong |Paper has specific |Paper contains virtually no | | |than two detailed |specific focus |topic and |details that |spelling or grammar mistakes | | |inferences |throughout |conclusion sentence |elaborate on the | | | | | | |topic | | |3 |Paper contains two |Paper is focused on|Paper has a weak |Paper has vague |Paper contains fewer than 5 | | |detailed inferences|one event, but may |topic and conclusion|details that |spelling and/or grammar | | | |have minor lapses |sentence |elaborate on the |mistakes | | | | | |topic | | |2 |.
Paper only contains|Paper may be |Paper may have a |Paper does not have |Paper contains more than 10 | | |one detailed |focused on one or |weak topic or |details that support |spelling and/or grammar | | |inference or two |more events, but |conclusion sentence |the topic |mistakes | | |that are not |has major lapses |that does not follow| | | | |detailed | |the topic | | | |1 |Paper does not have|Paper is not |Paper does not have |Paper has no |Paper contains more than 15 | | |any inferences in |focused and has |a topic or |supporting details |spelling and/or grammar | | |it |major lapses in |conclusion sentence | |mistakes | | | |time | | | | | | | | | | | |Total scores: | | | | | |
Writing and Inferencing Rubric Student Name and Number:_____________________________________ Date:________________________________________________________ Appendix D [pic] [pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic] Appendix E Since this assessment was administered to every third grade student in North Carolina in a secure setting, there are no available copies of the test. The Inferencing Pre/Post Test in Appendix D used sample End of Grade test questions that were posted by the North Carolina Department of Instruction. These sample articles have a very similar format to the passages and questions the students saw when they took the End of Grade Test.