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Literature in the Classroom: What Instructional Practices Foster Improved Reading, Writing, and Critical Thinking Skills?

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The purpose of this study is to determine the types of classroom instructional activities commonly used in teaching literature. Data were collected at ASU Preparatory High School. The study determined that literature-based lessons and activities fall under three categories: reading,

The purpose of this study is to determine the types of classroom instructional activities commonly used in teaching literature. Data were collected at ASU Preparatory High School. The study determined that literature-based lessons and activities fall under three categories: reading, writing, and discussion. Classroom observations revealed that reading, writing, and discursive activities were designed to promote higher-ordering thinking. These activities included silent reading, annotating text, reading aloud, keeping reading response journals, practicing essay writing, and participating in Socratic discussion. The teachers at ASU Prep used the listed activities with the intent to challenge their English students to engage in active learning, to improve reading, writing, and discursive skills, and promote critical thinking skills.

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2015-05

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Accelerated Reader: The Good, the Bad, and the Future of the Program

Description

The Accelerated Reader Program has been a widely used reading program in elementary schools in the United States. However, even with its popularity, there have been controversies on if and how it should be used in the classroom. Arguments in

The Accelerated Reader Program has been a widely used reading program in elementary schools in the United States. However, even with its popularity, there have been controversies on if and how it should be used in the classroom. Arguments in support say the program gets children to read and that it is a helpful tool for teachers to keep track of each students reading abilities. Arguments against suggest that book choice is decreased, book levels are askew, the quizzes do not promote higher level thinking, and the use of incentives may send the wrong signals to students. Schools have started to abandon the program in the recent years, but maybe it will come back bigger and stronger. In the meantime, schools need to make sure that enriching books fill the schools and classrooms to promote reading for their students.

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2013-12

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Bilingual Latino high school boys' reading motivation: seven case studies examining factors that influence motivation to read

Description

This qualitative case study examines seven bilingual Latino boys who were motivated readers. Several theories were examined in relationship to the study: sociocultural theory, reading motivation theories, and gender schema theory. Prior studies involving reading motivation of boys and Latinos

This qualitative case study examines seven bilingual Latino boys who were motivated readers. Several theories were examined in relationship to the study: sociocultural theory, reading motivation theories, and gender schema theory. Prior studies involving reading motivation of boys and Latinos showed a gap between boys and girls in reading achievement, high school completion, and college enrollment. Studies about reading motivation included choice in books, reading amount, social context of reading, habitual reading habits, and out-of-school reading as important factors that influence reading motivation. Additionally, Latino cultural factors such as machismo and familismo were examined as factors that influence motivation to read.

The study participants attended a large, urban school in Arizona and were selected from senior English classes after completing a participant selection survey. On the participant selection survey, boys self-identified their gender, language, and ethnicity; by several questions about attitudes toward reading and reading amount rated on a 10-point Likert scale gauged reading motivation. Each participant participated in an individual interview, completed a 60-question questionnaire/survey, and either attended a group interview or a second individual interview.

Data were triangulated by using data from these three sources and was coded as it was collected using Nvivo qualitative coding software. Coding began with five, basic categories derived from the study questions: motivation, home experiences, school experiences, school performance, and attitude toward reading. As coding continued, the coding categories expanded to include categories such as location of reading materials, access to books, choices in reading, format of texts, and many others. Eventually, there were four distinct categories that stood out in the findings: reading self-perception, purposes, preferences, and practices. The findings have a correlation to previous studies about reading motivation, but also add to the growing field of literature in the area of Latino boys' reading motivation.

Keywords: reading, motivation, self-efficacy, situational interest, Latino, boys, high school, gender, types of reading, reading purposes

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2015