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How will the implementation of a reading workshop model affect students’ MAP reading scores? Emily Moncion Oakland University

In partial fulfillment of the requirements for an Education Specialist degree in Educational Leadership. Major Advisor: Dr. Johnson

READING WORKSHOP REDEFINED ABSTRACT This action research (AR) study examined twenty-four, novice third grade, African-American students to find what effect the implementation of a reading workshop model would have on urban third grade students who are below grade level according to their fall 2013 reading


Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test scores. According to the MAP class progress report, not one student was performing on third grade level. Curricular material was selected and staff (two paraprofessionals joined the classroom teacher) was added to the classroom to offer a new way of teaching students through a workshop model, where students were engaged in learning through small group instruction for the duration of their two and one-half hour reading block for 3.5 months. Students received instruction from three main curricular tools: Open Court Reading, Wordly Wise and Shurley Grammar. When students took the reading MAP test in winter 2014, six students experienced growth that made them proficient (on grade level) third grade students.

READING WORKSHOP REDEFINED Table of Contents Chapter one : Introduction Purpose for the study Questions and sub-uestions Review of Related Literature Definitions Chapter two: Methods Setting Subjects Materials Procedures Data analysis Chapter 3: Results-The Story of my AR project Outcomes Discussion Limitations Implications Summary References Appendix




Envision an area that looks like a scene from a scary movie: every third home on the surrounding blocks is blackened and has broken windows, debris lines the streets, graffiti claims every abandoned building that once thrived, and in the core of this—a school that sits all alone. The school possesses the entire rectangular block on which it sits. This building stands tall and looks refreshed inside and out with new signage, well-kept lawn, new paint, new carpet, and a whole new look. It is a rebirthing of Detroit Enterprise Academy in appearance. What has been done physically must now be replicated on the inside with academic performance. Over the course of a few months, Detroit Enterprise Academy (DEA), a National Heritage Academies (NHA) school, had a principal resignation, a security situation which narrowly escaped the negative press news stations wanted to bring, a newspaper article stating the school was a failure, declining MEAP scores, and MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) scores that did not impress the company. In essence, the school was broken by the end of the 2012-2013 school year. This school year has been a challenge as we, for the first time in ten years, closed four classrooms and experienced a loss of nearly 180 students. With the help of a new principal, new Director of School Quality, DSQ, (similar to the role of a superintendent) and our management company, NHA, the staff of DEA is determined to make a difference and increase our academic performance as our school depends on it to survive and move out of high intervention status. This sense of urgency requires different thinking and design of staff and students. This action research project will examine one third grade novice classroom and the implementation and effects of a reading workshop model on the students’ reading MAP scores. This workshop design



was created and continues to evolve as the school year continues by our DSQ, classroom teacher, paraprofessionals, and me. In my tenth year at the school, my role is third-fifth grade level dean of students which entails supporting my teachers and students through instructional coaching, guidance, and supervision. More than ever, I want the school to succeed and have high expectations of my eight classrooms; united in failure, we have something to prove about our students, staff, and school. As one of a few who has remained at the school through three principals and numerous changes, I want our students to do well. I want others to view our school as a school that ―beat the odds‖. Our students are the children others read about and become inspired to do something themselves. But in order to get somewhere, students must become readers. And as educators, it is our responsibility. Findings from a study conducted by Hernadez (2011) show ―…that those who don’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers,‖ (p.3). My students will not become part of this negative statistic. In this novice, or below grade level, third grade room, students started the beginning of the year with a reading MAP class median score of 176; a score comparable to that of a proficient first grader in spring, and not one of 24 students were proficient. This classroom needed intervention quickly and that is why I selected it for my action research project. We started the year thinking most of our students would be one grade level behind in reading. Once we saw the data, we realized we were mistaken. Twelve out of twenty students at that time were at the second grade level. The other eighteen were performing at the first grade level or lower! The design of the room and contents were modified within the first month of school. An additional paraprofessional joined the classroom with first grade level Open Court for reading and



responding (red band) and third grade level of Open Court for phonics instruction (green band ), Wordly Wise, and Shurley Grammar. Bi-weekly fluency checks were conducted and words per minute continued to increase among most students. Moreover, the school purchased Accelerated Reader for all students. The students moved through a small group workshop model for their entire morning every day. It took over a month to refine the model to make it work for the students and to ensure every child was getting the educational foundation needed to make them readers.

Figure 1: Graphic Representation of the Problem

READING WORKSHOP REDEFINED Here’s a typical day in the classroom: The teacher began the day with whole group


instruction with grade level Open Court material. From there, the students were divided into two groups, a low and a high group. Each group of students worked from the second grade level of Open Court, but one group was further along than the other. We decided to move at a three day pace versus five because the students had to cover twice as much material to make gains. While the teacher worked with one group, the other group was split into two and focused on either Shurley Grammar, an intervention program designed to improve English grammar or Wordly Wise, a vocabulary program. As expected, with intense and intentional small group reading intervention and instruction, we have witnessed growth and plan to see more as the model, once again, evolves to meet the needs of our learners from winter to spring MAP testing. While we have experienced success, our median rate of growth is at 65%; we missed our goal by 35%. With the changes and new system, it is my hope that the students will adjust and the process will continue to improve the students reading abilities. I am, once again, uncomfortable and unsure. This study has taught me what can become uncomfortable for adults, is not necessarily so for the students. Our adult conversations and discussions were immersed in this task of moving students to reading proficiency and developed many emotions, but they we were always refocused to concentrate on the students and their academic needs as readers. Now, we are moving a paraprofessional out of the classroom and an academic specialist (a certified teacher who is paid with grant funds) into the classroom, which once again, can be seen as something uncomfortable for the adults, as routines and relationships change to better support the needs of our student learners. It is this underlying uneasiness that continues to challenge our teachers and ultimately our students to reach reading proficiency.



This action research project will provide schools within our company an example of how intentional and intensive intervention in conjunction with the proper implementation of differentiated grade level curriculum and determined teachers, can transform students who are two grade levels or more behind into readers. It is my belief that students will continue to grow and at least 75% of the class will reach proficiency by the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

Definitions DEA: Detroit Enterprise Academy NHA: National Heritage Academies, a management company serving 76 schools in 9 states MAP: Measures of Academic Progress assessment developed by the Northwest Evaluation Association. This online adaptive test is taken by students in grades 2-8 in all NHA schools. MEAP: Michigan Educational Assessment Program taken by students in the state of Michigan annually in grades 3-8 DSQ: Director of School Quality; supports schools serving in a role similar to a school superintendent Open Court Reading: a comprehensive reading program that incorporates phonics, reading and responding, and language arts Wordly Wise: a program designed to introduce vocabulary words to students Shurley Grammar: an intervention grammar program that focuses on grammar fundamentals and basic sentence composition Whole group instruction: the entire classroom participates in the lesson Small group instruction/ intervention: a portion of the class participates in the lesson

READING WORKSHOP REDEFINED Reading proficiency: when a student reaches the 50th percentile according to the MAP reading assessment Reading workshop program: a program designed for students in one particular third grade classroom, where three instructors used three different curriculums to support student learning.


Review of Related Literature My students are African-American, living within an impoverished neighborhood and poverty complete with a struggling high intervention school which totals disaster. Further, the third grade classroom in which I completed this project showed that more than half of the students were performing below grade level. Hernadez’s (2012) report shows that given the statistics mentioned our students are 35 percent less likely to graduate than children with proficient reading scores (p. 4). Murnane, Sawhill, and Snow (2012) stated, ―Low literacy levels among children from less advantaged families dramatically reduce the potential for upward mobility.‖ (p. 6). Schools all over the country are moving to the Response to Intervention model to address the needs of their low level learners. This model support varying levels of intervention based on student need. In this third-grade classroom some aspects of the RTI model are present, but begin in a different way. Torgensen (2002), found, ―…the identification of children at risk for reading failure coupled with the provision of systematic, comprehensive, and evidence-based reading interventions can reduce the number of students reading below basic level to less than 6 percent,‖ (as cited in Lyon & Chhabra, 2004). Ability Grouping Versus Flexible Grouping Our school supports ability grouping, which uses student data to place students into a classroom. Given there are only two classrooms at the third grade level in our school, one class



is for the lower learners and one for the high. Students who perform well on the NWEA reading test may be permitted to move up to another classroom or move down depending on their new score. Many researchers, such as Gentry and Owens (1999) and Hughes (1999) give ability grouping a negative connotation finding, ―Whereas the research on abilit y grouping showed detrimental effects for low-achieving students, the results on flexible grouping indicate positive effects for all students,‖ (as cited in Castle, Baker Deniz & Tortora, 2005). The preference is to use flexible grouping of students, which begins like ability grouping, but then allows for students to change groups based on student need. Castle, Baker Deniz & Tortora (2005) found, ―…positive increases in student learning occurred during the period in which the use of flexible grouping was increasing.‖ (p. 148). In our third grade novice classroom, the teachers also provide the students with needs based instruction either through one-on-one learning or small group instruction. ―Many professionals have argued that teachers must decentralize some of their instruction if they are going to appropriately meet the needs of the increasing number of students with reading difficulties.‖ (Vaughn, Hughes, Moody & Elbaum, 2001, p. 133). Small group intervention Another method of intervening to support lower level readers is to employ small group intervention or instruction. Researchers support the use of small group intervention and instruction as a method to teach the reading deficiencies experienced by learners (Vaughn, Hughes, Moody & Elbaum, 2001; Yadegari & Ryan, 2002; Fisher & Fray, 2007; Slavin, Lake, Davis, & Madden, 2010; Rose & Magnotta, 2012). ―There is a significant body of evidence suggesting that whole-class reading instruction is insufficient and that students need to participate in small, needs-based groups,‖ (Fisher & Fray, 2007, p.35). While small group instruction and intervention is an incredible component, the implementation of one-to-one



intervention can bring about superior results. In a study conducted by Yadegari & Ryan (2002), homogenous third grade classrooms which used small group intervention and flexible grouping showed two years grade level growth in reading by the end of the school year (p. 34). One-on-one intervention ―One-to-one instruction from certified teachers and reading specialists is the gold standard among intervention for struggling readers,‖ (Slavin, Lake, Davis & Madden, 2010, p. 6). While one-on-one tutoring is a preferred method of providing students with intervention it is often a struggle and not a realistic method given the demands of the instructional day. Vaughn, Hughes, Moody & Elbaum (2001) disagree, finding, “One-to-one interventions place severe practical limits on the number of students that can receive supplemental instruction. Despite the popular belief that one-to-one instruction is more effective than instruction delivered to larger numbers of students, there is actually little systematic evidence to support this belief.‖ (p. 606). Becoming a School That Beats the Odds Unlike much of the research I found, we use multiple components presented here in our third grade classroom, but during the school day. Intervention takes place all day long every day not just for 30-45 minutes. We employ one-on-one instruction with our paraprofessional and small group instruction at a completely different grade level in small group with an additional certified teacher. While this happens, grade level instruction occurs for those students who performing at grade level. The team that works with this third grade classroom is committed to the growth of their students and will continue to do whatever is necessary to help the students achieve their goals. Denton, Foorman, and Mathes (2003) found there are six common threads to create a school that beats the odds: a sense of urgency and commitment to learning, strong instructional leadership and accountability, professional development and coaching, regular assessment and monitoring of student progress, targeted instruction and intervention, and a ―no

READING WORKSHOP REDEFINED excuses‖ approach. By having many of these components, I believe our school is on its way to beating the odds. Clarifying my action research project


Recent research has shown that small group intervention in the classroom is necessary to support learners who are at risk for poor learning outcomes ( If a student continues to experience learning difficulties once intervention has taken place, he could have a learning disability. The response to intervention process is essential to ensure that students are not being labeled with a disability when there is a deficit. This action research project focused on one novice third grade classroom of African American students at Detroit Enterprise Academy, who were at risk due to reading deficiencies. In this novice classroom, all twenty-four students performed below grade level on their NWEA reading MAP test in the fall of 2013. As a result, the classroom was redesigned to accommodate the learners. In October, the students were serviced by three instructors: one teacher and two paraprofessionals. Additionally, there was one learning disabled reading student who received services from a special education provider who also pushed into the classroom. First and second grade Open Court reading materials, second grade Shurley Grammar, and second grade Wordly Wise, were added to the third grade Open Court reading materials as curricular tools. All instruction was delivered to students in small groups through a rotational reading workshop model. Thus, this study sought to answer: What effect will the implementation of the reading workshop model have on urban third grade students who are below grade level in reading? To determine the answer, I compared the students’ winter NWEA reading MAP test results to their fall results in reading, compared students’ bi–weekly fluency progress, conducted surveys with the teaching team and students from this classroom, held regular meetings with the

READING WORKSHOP REDEFINED teaching team to determine our direction, analyzed the teacher’s gradebook for progress, and took observational notes while in the classroom from October through February. The study was important because our school is in a state of emergency as we have been


classified by our company as a high intervention school. Failure is not an option for our students or staff. If this model proved successful, something similar could be implemented in other high intervention schools and would work to move our school out of high intervention status. One limitation that could be further expounded upon was that the study was conducted in one urban 3rd grade classroom of African American students. Another limitation was as a dean of eight-eleven classrooms over the course of this study (my responsibilities changed twice), my time for observations became limited.



My study answered the question, ―What effect will the implementation of the reading workshop model have on urban third grade students who are below grade level in reading? ‖ We implemented a reading workshop program for one novice third grade classroom to determine what effect it would have on the students’ reading proficiency.

Setting & Participants The setting of this action research is a novice, or below grade level, third grade classroom in an urban K-8 grade charter school, Detroit Enterprise Academy. The school has been open for ten years and has approximately 530 students. The 2013-2014 school year had shown a decrease in student population from nearly 700 students to 530 students due to leadership changes and other factors. In addition, poor data made the school a high intervention school within National Heritage Academies, or NHA. The third grade novice classroom is comprised of 24 students. Of this number, 15 are male and 9 are female ranging in age from 8-10 years old. The students are performing at a lower level of learning than their peers, according to the Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP, test developed by the Northwest Evaluation Association, or NWEA. All 24 students are African-American and one student receives special education services. Three educators, one certified teacher and two paraprofessionals taught the students.

Procedures My first step in researching my question was meeting with our Director of School Quality, or DSQ, to examine the data from our Fall NWEA reading MAP assessment. We used the NWEA website, selected the ―grade by subject report‖, and sorted the data by Rausch Unit ,



or RIT, score to determine which students should be in the novice classroom and which students should be in the proficient classroom. We then sent out a movement letter to the parents informing them of the changes (see Appendix A). Once we determined which students would be in the novice classroom, we had to determine what curriculum we were going to use. Based on the previous year’s data with the original class of students, our DSQ decided on the following literacy curricular tools: Open Court reading second grade, Shurley Grammar second grade, and Wordly Wise second grade. Given the students data (see Appendix B) we decided we would also need to include first grade Open Court reading materials. We also decided that students should receive instruction from some third grade level material. The entire school adopted the Accelerated Reader (AR), and therefore, this was another independent literacy program that was used in the classroom. In order to teach all of these materials to all of the students, we had to make sure the classroom was equipped with enough staff members. The third grade classroom already had a certified classroom teacher and one paraprofessional. In order to teach the Shurley Grammar component, we added another paraprofessional. After we determined who was teaching each program, we had to make sure that everyone knew how to properly implement the curriculum. In the summer the entire staff was trained with Open Court. Over the other two planning days, the team learned about program implementation of Shurley Grammar and Wordly Wise with our DSQ and planned out their lessons. We took a total of three days to create the structure that would become the reading workshop. First, we had to determine who would be responsible for each part of the curriculum. All of the students would receive instruction from all three educators. Open Court reading is broken into three sections: green band (word knowledge and phonics and fluency), red band

READING WORKSHOP REDEFINED (comprehension and inquiry), and blue band (language usage, spelling, vocabulary, writing


conventions, and handwriting). The program suggests three-five day pacing to teach each story and skills. We determined that the teacher, Mrs. H. would begin whole group instruction with third grade green band. While she taught whole group, students were removed from whole group instruction individually for a maximum of five minutes by the paraprofessionals to complete a bi-weekly fluency check (these started in November), review sound spelling cards (part of the Open Court curriculum, which uses picture cards to assist students with the naming of sounds to letters), or read their decodable book (another component of Open Court which focused on certain sounds or high frequency words). After the green band was completed, the students were broken into two groups: a high and a low. The high group of students would remain with Mrs. H who completed the red and blue band instruction in a middle unit of Open Court second grade on a three day pacing schedule. When Mrs. H. completed instruction, students would work independently. Students visited one of two listening centers to listen to the third grade stories and completed a comprehension worksheet for the story. Students also read AR books independently and take quizzes on the computer. While Mrs. H. had the high group of students, the low group of students became even more defined. Some of the lower students went to Mrs. W. for Shurley Grammar instruction. Shurley Grammar is a program that is an intervention program which focuses on a foundation in grammar and sentence structure. The remaining low students went to Ms. W. for first grade Open Court instruction. (When the low group of students who received Open Court first grade showed consistent improvement with the bi-weekly fluency checks, we implemented the Wordly Wise program.) After forty-five minutes the high group and the low group would switch.

READING WORKSHOP REDEFINED When Mrs. H. had the low group of students they started at the beginning of the year second grade Open Court unit on a three day pacing schedule. Mrs. H. completed the red and blue bands with the students. When instruction was completed, the students completed


independent work and went to the listening centers. There, they listened to the third grade stories and completed comprehension checks. Students also read AR books independently and take quizzes on the computer. The high students were also split into two groups when visiting the paraprofessionals. One group would receive Shurley Grammar instruction for one week, while the other group received Wordly Wise instruction. Wordly Wise is a program designed to enhance student vocabulary through writing, reading and critical thinking skills. Each week, the groups would switch programs. In January, the high group of students had completed the second grade Open Court material. The students in the high group started using all of the third grade Open Court materials. This reading workshop occurred daily during the students’ three hour reading block, for a total of thirteen weeks. After the thirteen weeks, the students took their reading MAP test again.

Data Analysis Data sources for this paper included surveys from the teachers (see Appendix C) and students (see Appendix D), observational notes, student grades from first quarter to second quarter bi-weely fluency checks, and MAP testing. First, I utilized the pre-test student surveys to draw conclusions about student reactions to the workshop model and some of the curricular tools. I looked for common comments among the students for each question and developed



conclusions from this. I did not conduct post-test surveys as data collected did not delve into any new ideas or findings. Next, I analyzed the teacher responses collected from the pre-test survey I created through The teacher responses were better than the students and I organized their thoughts to determine how the reading workshop model affected their thoughts and beliefs about teaching in a different way. I gathered the grades from quarter 1 and quarter 2 from the teacher’s gradebook. I used an excel spreadsheet to place each students’ grades for the two quarters side-by-side for an analysis. Then, I collected bi-weekly fluency check words per minute (wpm) information from one of the paraprofessionals. I placed each students wpm scores into an excel spreadsheet to find the mean score for each testing date. A comparison was made between wpm mean scores overall. Finally, I gathered reading MAP testing data from our school’s website to analyze the students MAP class progress report. I used this information to make comparisons about student growth, proficiency and progress towards our school goals. From the research, I believed that all data analysis measures would show that students were becoming more successful in reading. With assistance and support from three instructors in a reading workshop model which focused on student learning goals and needs there was little doubt in my mind that the data would show otherwise.



Twenty-four, novice third grade, African American students participated in this action research study to find what effect the implementation of a reading workshop model would have on urban third grade students who are below grade level in reading. My belief that the students would experience gains in academic growth and academic proficiency on the reading MAP test was true, but surprisingly, not all of the data provided evidence that this would occur. Discussion of the results will show student and teacher beliefs about the workshop model, progress and testing, an analysis of the gradebook from the first to second quarter, bi-weekly fluency check comparison and reading MAP test score comparison from fall to winter. Student and teacher surveys and observational notes were taken to determine ―How will students and teachers react to the workshop model?‖ I intended on giving the students a pre-test and post-test survey to compare student beliefs about the workshop model, AR levels, their beliefs about themselves as readers, and how they felt they would do on their MAP reading test. The survey (see Appendix C) did not go as well as I had anticipated. Out of the 21 students who completed the survey, 12 students liked having three teachers in the classroom. Many of them mentioned something like this student, ―I like that I have 3 different because they help me get smart faster.‖ Of the other 9 who responded, suggestions were made about having their seats changed, switching writing time with math, and changing the rules in the classroom, even though the question asked specifically about ELA workshop. The second question which asked about the students AR books and levels developed many random responses. Eleven students responded that AR helps them to become better readers. Other students simply put their AR level down. The third question which asked about individual reading improvement received 19 responses

READING WORKSHOP REDEFINED which stated their reading has gotten better. Students really did not answer the follow up


question of ―How do you know?‖ One student responded that she thought her reading had gotten worse and did not state why. All of the students stated for the last question that they thought they would improve on the MAP reading test. Once again, the students did not indicate why they thought they would improve. Since the collection of responses was so vague, I decided not to follow up with an additional survey. When I observed the students after the test, the majority were elated with the progress they had made. I used to develop a survey for the teaching team (see Appendix D). From this, I found that every member of the team believed in the workshop model and preferred it to whole group instruction all day. All three of the members believed that the students would show growth even though they were nervous in the beginning. One team member responded, ―In the beginning of the year, I was overwhelmed! It seemed that there was so much going on in the room at the same time,‖ (―Workshop pre-Winter MAP testing survey‖, 2014). While I felt that the information gained from this survey was insightful, I felt I could gain similar information from our weekly one-on-one (O3) meeting without the survey and I did. I observed the classroom at least once a week and met with the teaching team weekly as well at our O3a thirty minute meeting with the teacher and team. It took about one month for the teaching team to feel comfortable and get the rotational flow moving smoothly. The observations indicated that students were making progress. Students were becoming more confident when reading and speaking about the stories they were reading as the participation levels of students increased over the course of the study. High demands for an increase of knowledge and application were being placed on students. For example, on December 2, 2013, students were required to determine the genre of a story and apply proof when speaking.



The teachers shared after a few weeks they no longer needed to use the first grade Open Court materials. When we moved the first student from the low group to the high group, it was celebrated. When the high group of students was moving into the third grade curricular material, it was all the students and teachers could think about. The energy and motivation to teach more and work harder was evident qualitatively. The students’ grades from quarter one and quarter two were collected and analyzed to find the effect the reading workshop model had on the students (see Figure 2). The grades did not give any indication of progress with the exception of two students. Three other students kept the same grade. The other 19 students declined in overall grades. In my experience, I believe this to be typical as students usually perform better in the first quarter because they are still excited about school and work hard to have a great start. With time, that energy wears off and students have to work harder to keep their good grades. While energy may diminish, student expectations continued to rise, as students were expected to do more independently to show their growth. Figure 2: Gradebook comparison

READING WORKSHOP REDEFINED In addition, bi-weekly fluency checks were completed with each student (see Figure 3).


The fluency passages were selected from the Open Court Diagnostic Assessment Book grades K3. I included fluency checks from November-January because at the beginning of the year the fluency passages selected for the students were not the same. Each student’s words per minute were calculated and are displayed. Then an average of words per minute by date was calculated. There is a steady increase of words per minute from November-December. Unfortunately, that is when winter recess arrived. Additionally, we did not return to school until January 9th due to several snow days. Then the students took their reading fluency assessment. The results were saddening. To see how far the students had come until December was incredible. It was unfortunate that our testing started right when we returned from break. In the weeks after break, the averages continually increased although the average never returned to the highest average shown in December. Figure 3: Bi-weekly Fluency Checks (words per minute)

READING WORKSHOP REDEFINED Finally, fall and winter MAP reading testing data were compared. In the fall, not one of the twenty-four students was performing on third grade level. As you can see from Figure 4, students had scores comparable to a Kindergarten in winter through a second grader in winter. The data screamed intervention. The class median in the fall was a RIT score of 176, which is representative of the 18th%ile. In the winter, the median RIT score was 188, reflective of the 32nd%ile. This was incredible especially since winter break made a negative impact on student learning. Now, there are five students who are on grade level (scoring about the 50th%ile or


higher). There were also two more students who scored just below grade level in the 48th%ile. In order for us to meet our school goal, we wanted 75% of our students to meet growth goals of 100% or more. While we fell short of this goal, I am hoping that 75% of our students will show growth of 200% by the end of the year. What these data indicate is that reading workshop as an intervention does have a positive impact on student reading growth as indicated in the fluency assessments and reading MAP scores. While not as many students grew to grade level as I would have liked, the student who was the most behind grew 21 RITs and 162%. This is incredible as he couldn’t even write a paragraph when he first started. Yet, even with all of the growth, there were still two students who regressed from the fall. This is especially alarming since so much has been done to progressively move students forward. The regression may be due to too much time away from curricular lessons, inactivity with literacy over the break, poor test taking skills, or disinterest in the test altogether. Whatever the factors may be, the teachers are taking it seriously by focusing on these particular students and monitoring their progress. I am a little reluctant for students to take the spring test because once again, the test occurs after a break: spring break. While we can

READING WORKSHOP REDEFINED work with our students and push them towards success at home, I believe learning must occur everywhere in order for a student to truly be successful. Figure 4: MAP Class reading data


READING WORKSHOP REDEFINED This project taught me that sometimes it is important to think outside the box to move students forward. Doing the same thing and changing the length of time does not mean it’s


different and it’s best for kids. Was this process challenging? Were there obstacles? Yes, but it made these teachers better than they were in the past. This reading workshop process challenged teachers and students to give learning their best.

READING WORKSHOP REDEFINED CHAPTER FOUR: FURTHER REFLECTION This action research journey has been informative, useful, and yet, challenging. As an


educator for ten years, it is always refreshing to learn new ideas and techniques to implement in classrooms. My challenges mainly lied within the fact that I have eight classrooms I am responsible for rather than one. I was not the main source of the change I wanted to create within this novice third grade classroom. Rather, I was part of a team who was invested in making changes to boost our reading growth and proficiency of our students. We, the teachers, paraprofessionals, the principal, the Director of School Quality, and I determined how we would move our students. The change did not happen instantly. Everything we did from the placement of the teaching staff to the curricular tools used was done with the students in mind. Often, teachers are not open to trying new things or teaching more than one curriculum because it is uncomfortable and challenging. Having another adult in your room can be helpful when direction is given and adults hold one another accountable. Due to the efforts of the team and their willingness to be uncomfortable for the sake of learning, growth was achieved and six third grade students who were once below grade level are now on grade level. The reading workshop model is a small group instructional model that is used in our school for more than just the subject of reading. It is going to be used in more of our schools next year because it is effective, differentiated, and helps to grow students, whether they are proficient or not. This will be interesting to witness how effective the model is for other schools, especially when we have some schools whose majority is proficient students. When implementing a workshop model for students the possibilities for academic excellence are endless.

READING WORKSHOP REDEFINED REFERENCES Castle, S., Baker Deniz, C., & Tortora, M. (2005). Flexible grouping and student learning in a high-needs school. Education and Urban Society, 37 (2), 139-150. Denton, C., Foorman, B., & Mathes, P. (2003). Perspective: schools that ―beat the odds‖: implications for reading instruction. Remedial and Special Education, 24 (5), 258-261.


Elbaum, B., Vaughn, S., Hughes, M. & Moody, S. (2000). How effective are one-to-one tutoring programs in reading for elementary students at risk for reading failure? A meta-analysis of the intervention research. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92 (4), 605-619. Elbaum, B., Vaughn, S., Hughes, M. & Moody, S. (2001) Instructional grouping for students with LD: implications for practice. Intervention in School and Clinic, 36 (3), 131-137. Fisher, D. & Frey, N. (2007). Implementing a schoolwide literacy framework: improving achievement in an urban elementary school. The Reading Teacher, 61 (1), 32-43. Lyon, G. & Chhabra, V. (2004). The science of reading research. Educational Leadership, 61 (6), 12-17. Murnane, R., Sawhill, I., & Snow, C. (2012). Literacy challenges for the twenty-first century: introducing the issue. The Future of Children, 22 (2), 3-15. National Center on Response to Intervention. (2010, April). Essential Components of RTI—A Closer Look at RTI. Retrieved from Rose, D. & Magnotta, M. (2012). Succeeding with high-risk K–3 populations using arts-based reading instruction: a longitudinal study. The Journal of Educational Research, 105, 416430. Slavin, R., Lake, C., Davis, S., & Madden, N. (2011). Effective programs for struggling readers: A best evidence synthesis. Educational Research Review, 6 (1), 1-26.



The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2012). Double jeopardy: how third grade skills and reading poverty influence high school graduation. Baltimore, MD: Donald Hernandez. Yadegari, S. & Ryan, D. (2002). Intensive reading and writing for struggling readers. Principal, 31-34.



Dear Parent of ___________________________________,

Detroit Enterprise Academy has made a commitment to educate your child. It is important that we place your child in the appropriate classroom to bring them forward to meet their grade level goals or beyond. We have assessed your child using MAP (measures of academic progress) test scores, grades and teacher input to determine which classroom is the most appropriate for your child’s learning needs. Classrooms may use supplemental materials or have additional support staff to move students to proficiency. We will be moving your student on ________________-2014 to _____________________ third grade classroom.

If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Moncion at 313.823.5799.


The Third Grade team







Workshop Model survey

Student name: ________________________

Date: ____________

Answer each question honestly and completely. 1. Your classroom uses a workshop model to teach your lessons. What do you like about having 3 different teachers for ELA (reading, writing, phonics)? What do you wish you could change?

2. What level AR book are you reading? Do you think you will be able to read at a higher level? How does AR help you as a reader?

3. Do you think your reading has improved (gotten better) or declined (gotten worse) since the beginning of school? How do you know?

4. How do you think you will do on your MAP reading test this week? Why do you think this?