Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Key Shifts in Literacy

Summarise evidence about key shifts in the problem of student learning.
(WFRC Ev #2)

At this point in the school year, we are in the process of collected our end of the year data.  The main ways we do this is through standardised testing (ie PAT Reading Comp, PAT STAR, and Running Records). In addition to the standardised testing, I decided to once again survey my students to see if their opinions about reading have altered during the year.   

One of the easiest ways to collect student voice for evaluation is to conduct a survey. I decided to slightly modify the survey I gave my class at the beginning of the year to see if their opinions of reading have changed during the year.  When looking over the survey I was pleasantly surprised to learn that of the 25 students students overwhelmingly stated that they prefer to read in silence and away from "distractions."

Perhaps the most exciting part of the survey for me was reading the student's written responses. In the beginning of the year, many students stated that they wanted to learn how to understand bigger words better, which made me very happy to have their buy in for our vocabulary acquisition focus.

Hearing student voice once again was exceptionally helpful in determining the growth that many students see in themselves. A few very interesting student responses were:

"I am more confident talking with my group."
"I am able to state the emotions of the characters in the story. For me, the biggest impact (this year) is being able to understand the vocabulary better."
"The biggest impact for me this year is that reading has become my favourite subject."

One student stated, "Reading this year was better because I got more help from my teacher. I can now read between the lines and understand stories much better. One thing that has made the biggest impact in reading this year is that I am more confident to read in front of my friends and my teacher."

When creating the survey, I was curious how the students saw themselves as readers. So I asked the question:


When comparing the two graphs I was so pleased to see that only one student considers him/herself to be a slow reader compared to the 10% from term 1. However, at first glance it appears that the number of students who consider themselves to be fast readers has gone from 21% to 12%. When digging a bit deeper into the survey results, I was able to determine the students who believe themselves to be fast readers in Term 4 are not typically careful readers. It was good to see that the students who believed they were fast during Term 1 were able to reassess their own reading style at a high reading level. 

I have created some graphs to display the Scale Score shifts of my focus group from the STAR Reading and PAT Reading Comprehension tests.  

The STAR graph shows that while my students are still below the Mean Scale Score for a Year 7 student a few have made the average progress as indicated from Table 6 on P. 33 of the STAR Manual.  Students A, B and F have made this average shift and it is important to note that Student A has nearly doubled the indicated average shift.  Students E and G were about 2 points below the average and Students C and D have each shown minimal (0.9 and 1 points) increase. 
The PAT Comprehension graph shows the comparison of Terms 1 and 4 of my focus group.  This graph shows that every student in my focus group has improved their scale score since Term 1. The average year 7 should have an average progress of about 7 points. While Students B and F are still below the Scale Score they have both made progress since Term 1, Student B has increased their scale score by 7 points and Student F has increased by 6 points. While students A and D have both increased their scores by a little more than one point, they are both tracking right around the mean Year 7 scale score. Students C, E and G have made considerable progress on this assessment placing them above the mean year 7 score. 

Another piece of evidential data that I have collected are reading ages based on the results of the PMBenchmark and PROBE Running Records, which at this point in the year will be administered by an outside teacher.  She has done a wonderful job and has provided me with clear successes and next steps for each student as a result of their test. 

This information, along with my anecdotal teaching notes (made during in class small group lessons), will help me formulate the curriculum levels for my students and as a result I will be able to see progress my students have made throughout the school year and determine if the results are due to the interventions put in place through my Inquiry.

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