Getting Gains; What my readers think caused their success

 Today I interviewed my target learners to get their thoughts about why they made such great improvements in reading. I also followed the same interview structure as I used before the intervention to see if their overall attitudes or thoughts about reading had changed. Due to some transience, my original target group have changed, so I am not comparing all of the same group which is a shame. However, I had enough of a group to identify some trends.

Attitude to reading has improved!

In the first round of surveys, 3/4 of the students reported that they didn't enjoy reading. In this round, the worst response was 'its okay', with three pointing out things that they liked about reading. Two students said that reading is a calming activity. I also noticed a slight increase in students reading for fun at home. Interestingly this is because more of them have discovered manga and comic books.

Reading Independently

Several of the students discussed our independent time as helping them learn. They expressed that they would rarely finish a book if they weren't given independent/ silent reading time in class. Two mentioned that they would even get distracted if they read with the teacher first and would often not finish the book before/after the guided reading lesson. The vast majority also mentioned the fact that they were reading so much more often in class - because of our novel study or the number of books we covered each week.

This aligns with my focus on mileage - I felt that these students needed a lot more eyes on text to catch up.

Challenging Texts

Alongside the fact that our mileage had increased, many students discussed the fact that they were also reading more challenging texts, like our novel or articles in class. They liked the idea of reading at their level and got a boost from this. 

I actually think this has been a large factor in increasing the students attitude towards reading - one of my most challenging students shared that he was "super good at reading" because he could read tricky books and actually understand what they were about.

Metacognition

The answers I got overall from the students were far more detailed than they had been at the start of the year! When I asked what they found challenging, two mentioned inferencing/reading behind the lines and one mentioned the overall message behind the story. They also discussed some of the strategies that they had learned which had helped them throughout the year and four discussed having an understanding of the level that they are at/ what their next steps would be. This tells me that they have actually made sense of the conversations we had in class regarding metacognition and can think about their own understanding in reading.

Vocabulary!

This was something that was mentioned by the vast majority of students as something that they were getting better at/ still needed to work on. I am not surprised by this as I also see this as an area of need for my students and something I only gave enough attention to at the end of my intervention. This will be a starting point for me next year for sure, as it would be a continued focus of my intervention if I was not going on maternity leave.


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