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There are no simplistic solutions that can be used in the construction of grade 7th and 8th reading programs. However, if it is believed that it is much significant to initiate such like programs, then it will be good to address the following factors; personnel, time, library as well as library matters. On top of all these, there need to be a redirection of efforts of schools towards reestablishing reading as a significant as well as productive area of grade 7 and 8.
Over the past few years, there have been students in 7th and 8th grade who have not been reading bellow the grade level, hence have not been performing well on there summative evaluations. There have been teachers who have been teaching grade 7 and 8, where they have to prepare students to start expecting what they really want to be in future. The reading skills of students have not yet evolved to point where they could be much successful in high, or even in collages as well as at work place. To teachers, metacognition along with motivation by students for new reading and studying skills are much significant. Teachers should enable grade 8 and 7 students to succeed beyond their junior level by teaching them skills that will transfer to high schools and collages. Students need to take on the duty for their own reading; they should know that, their action is just under their own control. As an effect, students need to be challenged by the aspects of reading and responsibility, through the implementation of school wide program assessment.
The main objective of this research paper is to put a program into place a reading program, which will have an impact of increasing the reading levels of about 400 of the 492 7th and 8th grade students, of which 81% are now reading below grade level.
1. To determine the student performance at the beginning of the grading period.
2. To look at the initiatives that was put in place to increase student achievement.
3. To determine the current areas of concern, by creating a scope and focusing on graphs, other targets, school wide, classroom as well as per individual student.
4. To evaluate the attendance rates at the beginning of the grading period.
5. To evaluate the initiatives were put in place to increase student attendance.
6. To find out the identified focus of parent and family involvement during the last quarter.
7. To evaluate the identified student behavioral goals last grading period.
8. To find out the identified goals for community partnerships last grading period.
There are researchers like Hynd, Nwast & Burrell, (1997), who have promoted the reading skills in classes as being part and parcel of the daily curriculum, other than taking it as a separate lesson reading about the content. The reading skills of "free writing" (Candha, 2006), involves gathering different details about the concept that might be part of the assessment. As a tool of reading, writing is a concept that one writes as a way of reading. This concept can have different and several applications, as to any content, even science included.
If the concept of writing can be used to increase reading along with understanding level, then those students who appear to be in a position of reading and understanding the content aspects due to writing technique, might experience an increase in their feelings of self-efficacy (Simpson, Hynd, Nist & Burrel, 1997). There are high hopes that, when students get to realize that when they write competently about a certain topic, then they will increase their reading level, hence doing well in their assessments. In addition, there have been hopes that grade 7 and 8 students will come to realize that, they all have the capability of being self sufficient reading habits.
According to Tuckman (2003), study skills can be defined as the learning and motivation strategies that enable a student to be successful. On the other hand, researchers like (Chadha, 2006) have revealed that, independent reading is much needed for these grades 7 and 8 students who are going on to high schools, colleges and then to work place environments, which have been changing day and night for the past few decades. In addition, students have to take responsibility as a method of teaching. Independent reading will require students to be involved more during lessons, as a result, students will realize the significance of their efforts for their reading level. The behavior of students taking on responsibility can be modified through training, as (Graham, 1997) indicates.
This provides a suggestion that, teachers might teach students in 7th and 8th grade on how they can be responsible for their reading and learning. In addition, teachers do have the duty of changing the personal beliefs, that most grade 7 and 8 have, concerning their own capability, by insisting that, students have their own control. It has also been pointed out by Tuckman, (2003), that desirable reading levels, do not only depend on IQ, but also on how well the work is performed, as well as how much they have prepared for such papers. As a result, students can learn on how to read as per their grade level. According to Tuckman, (2003), this kind of concept is just a definition of metacognition. Other different researchers like Simpson (1997), have come up with the idea claiming that, learning how to read might be used as a strategy in the creation of reading skills awareness. Having a very successful strategy might also make the student more motivated in the application of the strategy in new fields. As a result, motivation and Metacognition are believed to be mutually supportive.
Once the state and districts have played their duties, it now becomes the responsibility of middle schools to move in and help their students attain the achievement standards necessary for successful readers. For instance, schools need to schedule what out to be revised to include reading classes for all students who have attained 7th and 8th grades. Basically, 7th and 8th grade schools having about 500 students that provide reading classes need to be separated into three reading classes, with every class having its own reading teacher, English teachers also be three, three teachers in mathematics, three in science, and three in social studies as well. These schools eligible to title 1 funds also need to have title one read personnel. Therefore, the state, districts and the middle schools should all take responsibility so that the students can achieve better standards for successful reading.
There is a need for grade 7 and 8 to be broadly assessed. This is based on the fact that, a great many factors contribute to improved test scores (Candha, 2006). The grade 7 and 8 assessment is available with no cost attached to Middle schools. In this assessment that programs proposed, the eight areas mentioned below are usually assessed; the first thing to test is the level of accessing books. In this area, the examiners will be looking at the access to current, highly interesting, most appealing, as well as useful books, along with other materials in schools, classrooms, homes, public as well as school libraries, along with other locations in the community.
Students need to be encouraged for them to value reading. Individuals will be assessing the efforts exerted by schools, for the creation of an environment, which favors, values as well as promoting and encouraging. Another issue is all about time to read. When assessing this factor, the assessment team will be looking at the dedicated time during school days, for the reading classes as well as independent reading (Jack, 2010). The program should also test the skilled reader leaders. The program looks at evaluating the licensed reading teachers, along with school librarian, who have been renewing their skills daily and promotes reading among schools their grade 7 and 8 students. Public library support is another significant element that should be considered. This element in one way or the other examines the efforts to engage their students with public libraries via visiting along and issuing support to programs that that encourage and supports youth adolescence.
By looking at community agency support, the researcher will be measuring the support of community based programs that in one way or the other encourage students in all aspects that pertains to the improvements in their reading level. Another thing is that, families should also provide their support, this element in one way or the other evaluates the efforts, that has been provided by family members that leads to the encouragement of family reading deeds. Last but not least, there is need for reading role models. During readers' role model examination, it will examine the degree to which teachers as well as principals act as role models. As a result, they need to provide guidance to ensure that to students, reading is a priority in students' life, (Rogers, 2006).
School districts need to carry out reading programs evaluation, by the use of combined state reading tests along with circulation statistics. This statistics need to be done on school library books, but never forgetting that, reading entails learning skills and then putting them in practice. Basically, grade 7 and 8 reading classes shave students who are reading below grade levels, while others above their grade levels. As a result, evaluation needs to be carried out to determine which varieties of materials need to be provided for the proper instruction provision. However, the best thing is that, many publishing companies do publish supplementary grade 7 and 8 materials], and most schools do have such collections from different publication companies, (McCawley, 1997).
The course description, as described by states, needs to be followed carefully. Due too the fact that collages and universities are producing teachers for middle schools, there is need to for them to be added school's staffs. After the addition of reading subject, on the school curricula, reading teachers need more and more materials and equipments in the field. Such materials might include textbooks, computers as well as supplementary reading materials. Great emphasis needs to be placed on grade 7 and 8 students, whose reading levels have been placed to low. The early intervention programs in primary grades along with reading standards that are new need to be directed toward this end. However, after looking at past years results, individuals are informed that, it is very difficult to make every student successful readers by the time they reach middle class, regardless of excellent instructions in their primary grades. Title 1 funds need to be used in a manner that it provides reading teachers in grades, with the aim of supporting those students who are learning to read successfully, (Walsh & Beth, 2001).
In addition, title I funds need to provide programs as well as teaching materials for reading teachers. On the other hand, it has been difficult to implement some programs due to the number of students per every teacher. For instance, "reading is fame, is a program by boys town and girls town reading centre" is one of the programs that help students in grade 7 and 8 as well as in high schools. However, the usage of these programs has proved very hard for school districts, as it just need a teacher and an aid for every ten students. Another issue is that, most middle schools do not gain from Title 1 funds that can help afford the personnel, materials as well as reading training deal, (Terrence & Kent, 1999).
Library is one of the most valuable partners for these teachers teaching effective reading. Just as compared to an athlete, though students are supposed to develop skills, - they also need to have continuous practice for the same. Once the state and districts have played their parts, it becomes the responsibility of middle schools to move in and help their students attain the achievement standards necessary for successful readers. For instance, schools need to schedule what out to be revised to include reading classes for all students who have attained 7th and 8th grades. Basically, 7th and 8th grade schools having about 500 students that provide reading classes need to be split into three reading classes, with every class having its own reading teacher, English teachers also be three, three teachers in mathematics.
Most of grade 7 and 8 students do not have an access to books along with other reading material like magazines and newspapers in their homes. This is due to the fact that, some of them are from families that do not make use of libraries due to different beliefs like the Muslims. As a result, the only place one can get books is through school libraries. As a result, districts and the principal need to ensure that all students get access to current materials that provides daily updates for independent reading, (McCawley, 1997). Districts have the responsibility of updating their library collection, and share available results with school boards as a way of helping leverage funds for new reading materials. This is based on the reason that, previous inventories have indicated that, most of the books in the library are useless. As a matter of fact, such outdated books require systematic replacements.
The implementation of school wide program will be used hoping that will improve their reading level. This school wide program assessment strategy will entail helping students to learn how to read. The spot on the classroom wall will be Rogers' Knowledge Wall, where students will be posting information they think they need to know. This strategy will be modified into another one referred to as school wide program, a folder into which student will put all their homework, then place the folder inside a hanging folder in a crate which will be assessed after reading and during assessments. This strategy will encompass study skills of free writing and completion, having many details of class work, (England Comprehensive Center, and Education Development Center, Inc. 2002).
The school wide program will just be used in a 45 five minute short answer assessment. Every student will be required to fill his school wide program with his work before starting the assessment, after which they will place the folder in a crate at my desk in the classroom. During assessment, student will be free to leave their seats to pursue their folders. Students will not copy anything directly from their folders, as the assessment will not be "a copy your notes test." They could read through, memorize then go back to their seats. Students will be having the opportunity to access their folders any time they like, have the responsibility of time management, (McCawley, 1997).
This project will be done in different phases. Phase one will be carried out in August to October. Under this phase, students will be grouped according to RIT scores and will administer SRI test for the establishment of reading levels for SFA reading group. The 2nd phase will be carried out from October to November. In this phase, SRI testing for the first nine weeks, students will be promoted to higher reading levels as scores show grade level reading. This will be done in every nine weeks. Phase three will be carried out in November-December. Under this phase, the SFA placement test will be students who will be new. New novels and journals will be given to students who repeat a session. There will be an update of data to show movement as well as progress. Under phase 3 in addition, all administrators and teachers will take active role in the participation of this process. The last but not least phase will be phase 4, this will be carried out in K=January to May. During this stage, students will be preparing for South Carolina PASS writing test for grade 8 in March and the reading test for both grade 7 and 8 in May.
Quantitative data will be collected from a multiple-choice summative assessment before as well as after the school wide program strategy. In addition, the research will also entail student survey to gain student perspective on their study skills in 2008. Informal observation will also be made by asking students their views concerning school wide program strategy, as well as observation of their behavior in class. On top of all these, parents were also sent letters asking them humbly to release students to participate in research project. The data collected from both SRI and SFA will be a good indicator of where the schools ' student need to fall within the desired target of moving 10% of every grade forward, (Senge, 1990).
For this project to take place students need to be regrouped as per the RIT scores, by the use of SFA reading program, they will be tested after every nine weeks by the use of SIR scores. After this, there are expectations that the project will work. As an effect much is expected that there will be an increase in the level of reading that might rise throughout the school year.
In addition, there will be a school wide team of planning that will be left with the responsibility of processing the development of school wide program. This team will organize and oversee the assessment process needs, and then lead the staff in the development of school wide program. The group will also be left with the responsibility of overseeing the program's evaluation annually. Basically, either the principal or any other instructional leader has to establish this core team of planners. The team might be made of district and school administrators, teachers who might represent different grades as well as content areas, other professionals in school like the guiding and counseling as well as curriculum developers, parents and other community developers. The last group in the team might be the students. The team needs to be made of diversified skills and experience; it needs to be knowledgeable about Title 1 programs as well as their regulatory needs, (West, 1997).
After the principle or any instructional leader has established a core team of planners for his or her school, there are a number of organizational tasks that the team will face; some of them will include identifying member roles as well as identification and involvement of key education stakeholders, when necessary, they will also be charged with the responsibility of recruiting other members. In addition to these, they will also be left with the responsibility of team's work organization as well as preparing the school for the actual change.
The information that will emerge from data analysis will give a description on the progress the school has achieved since the implementation of the program. It will also indicate the areas that need revision or even areas that need more work. Data that will be collected concerning each research specific objective will be addressed separately, as it will yield clear and detailed findings that will tend to indicate whether the main strategy worked or if the actions in that were described in the school wide plan were implemented as scheduled.