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Rachel Bell, Katie Hearl, Mariel Renon, Cherie Caravalho

Dr. Collins
SPED 638
November 29, 2017

Research to Practice Toolkit #5 Comprehension

I. Peer-Reviewed Research Article

Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR) “is a multicomponent reading comprehension

strategy instructional model” (Boardman et al., 2016, p. 411) that has “a focus on explicit

instruction for struggling learners” (Boardman et al., 2016, p. 411). This reading comprehension

strategy gives readers specific strategies to use during the before, during, and after reading stages

of reading in order for students to comprehend text. Throughout the reading process, students

access prior background knowledge, monitor their comprehension, answer comprehension

questions, get the main idea of a text, and provide evidence. Boardman et al. (2016) explore “the

influence of CSR on the reading achievement of students with Learning Disability (LD) who

participated in grade-level reading instruction in their general education classrooms” (p. 410).

Researchers used 1,372 fourth and fifth graders with and without learning disabilities for

this study. 87 students had learning disabilities and received special education services. 14

different elementary schools with diverse populations were used for the setting of this study.

Classroom groups were comprised of a diverse group of learners with varying reading abilities.

Sixty teachers were randomly assigned to either the group to use CSR in the classroom or in the

control group. The teachers who were assigned to this study received training through

professional development on how to implement CSR and resources that were beneficial to them

and their students. Teachers who implemented CSR did so for “two to three sessions each week,
for approximately 50 min per session, while reading predominately expository text” (Boardman

et al., 2016, p. 415). In order to ensure the validity of the intervention, researchers relied on

self-reported teacher logs and used The Implementation Validity Checklist during observations.

Overall, the results of the study were varied. According to Boardman et al. (2016),

“Students without LD in both conditions made gains in a short period of time with no statistical

difference between treatment and comparison groups” (p. 420). Students without LD in both

groups responded to instruction in the classroom, even though it may not have been instruction

using CSR. However, since the main focus of this study was to determine the effectiveness of

CSR instruction for students with LD, researchers found that the students with LD who received

CSR instruction “made significantly greater gains in reading comprehension than students with

LD who did not receive CSR instruction” (Boardman et al., 2016, p. 420). Researchers note that

the teachers in both the treatment and the comparison groups were providing instruction that

taught reading strategies and incorporated learning activities that promoted reading

comprehension. For the students without LD, direct and explicit instruction of reading

comprehension strategies was the element of the study that helped their reading comprehension.

However, for students with LD, CSR was the specific reading comprehension strategy that was


Collaborative Strategic Reading is a reading comprehension strategy that seems feasible

for classroom teachers, pull-out teachers, and specialists to be able to incorporate into the

curriculum and lessons. Because CSR focuses on strategies for before, during, and after reading,

students are constantly using reading strategies to monitor comprehension and are engaged in the

process. This strategy gives students ownership in their own learning because they are constantly
checking their own understanding. Based on the data, this reading comprehension strategy would

be beneficial to teachers working with students with LD. As soon as students are directly and

explicitly taught how to use Collaborative Strategic Reading, teachers are able to adapt the

strategy to any piece of text.

II. Peer-Reviewed Practitioner Article

The article ​Improving Reading and Social Studies Learning for Secondary Students with

Reading Disabilities written by Philip Capin and Sharon Vaughn is a great resource for general

and special education teachers alike. The authors address the question, “Are middle school and

high school too late to improve reading outcomes for students with reading disabilities?” (Capin

and Vaughn, 2017, p. 250). They go on to state that most teachers, specifically social studies

teachers, focus more on the content than actual reading comprehension skills. Capin and Vaughn

outline two evidence-based practices that special educators can teach to cover both content and

reading comprehension, they are Promoting Adolescents’ Comprehension of Text (PACT) and

collaborative strategic reading (CSR). When used in conjunction they can help secondary

students use reading strategies before, during, and after text reading and strategies to improve

understanding (Capin and Vaughn, 2017, p. 250).

Capin and Vaughn (2017) first outline the PACT strategy and how they “developed and

tested the efficacy of PACT for all general education students, including students with

disabilities in general education settings” (p. 250). It is imperative to note that this article is not a

study of both strategies, the authors explain how they tested this particular strategy and provide

the results of their study due to the fact that many teachers are concerned that evidence-based

strategies are not tested on children who are at different stages of learning or school grades
(Capin and Vaughn, 2017). Their study has shown that PACT has had a positive impact on

students with disabilities.

The instructional application of PACT consists of four steps: comprehension canopy,

essential words, content acquisition, and team-based learning (TBL). The implementation of the

four components should be broken up over a period of ten days. The comprehension canopy

“helps students build background knowledge and motivation around the content they are

learning” (Capin and Vaughn, 2017, p.252). The content should be introduced by giving the

student a question or “canopy” to think about while viewing a short video. Other questions that

fall within the canopy should be generated and distributed to students as a reference throughout

the unit. In order to keep building on the background knowledge teachers should introduce

essential words. These are “six to 10 high quality words or concepts” (Capin & Vaughn, 2017, p.

252) that are related to the content. Content acquisition reinforces content knowledge and

increases comprehension by chunking text and engaging students in questioning and discussion.

Team-based learning (TBL) “encourages students to discuss concepts with peers and think

critically about the content, consider multiple perspectives, solve problems, and apply new

content” (Capin and Vaughn, 2017, p. 252). In this part of PACT there are a few key aspects that

teachers need to implement: heterogenous grouping, group and individual accountability, an

evaluation process, and a knowledge application process. While participating in the TBL process

students need to complete a checklist during their activities that consists of comprehension


Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR) is an evidence-based practice that supports

students with comprehending text. According to Capin and Vaughn (2017) “CSR was initially
designed to improve the reading comprehension of students with learning disabilities, but

research findings have demonstrated the efficacy of CSR for average- and high-achieving

students, struggling readers, and English learners” (p. 254). The authors explain that CSR will

benefit both teacher and student because it incorporates multiple strategies within one

interconnected method. Another feature of CSR, that is comparable to PACT, is that it is

comprised of four key elements: preview, click and clunk, get the gist, and wrap-up. Preview is

the introduction of the lesson/ concept. It is where students build background knowledge, makes

connections to self, community and/ or world, and makes predictions. This part of the strategy is

teacher-led by asking questions, showing them a video or pictures, and going over key

vocabulary and concepts. Clicks and clunks helps students with monitoring their comprehension

of the subject. “Implemented during reading, the click-and-clunk strategy helps students to

identify when a word or concept makes sense (click) and when something does not make sense

(clunk)” (Capin and Vaughn, 2017, p. 256). There are four steps that a student can take when

figuring out a clunk: 1) reread for clues, 2) reread for man ideas, 3) look for root words or

affixes, and 4) look for cognates. Get the gist involves chunking the text and identifying the main

idea. At this time teachers should model a think aloud in order for students to know what is

expected. Wrap up helps students to ask and answer questions with their peers and teachers and

reviews previously learned information.

Both PACT and CSR are strategies that incorporate cooperative learning, which is a

“powerful mechanism increasing students’ strategic reading with support” (Capin and Vaughn,

2017, p. 257). When students are put into appropriate learning groups they gain skills like

communication, responsibility, cooperation, and how to give and receive feedback. According to
Capin and Vaughn (2017) students with disabilities need explicit and direct instruction that

includes modeling, guided practice, and independent practice. It is often difficult for general and

special educators to teach to the Common Core State Standards, which requires teaching both

content knowledge and reading comprehension. The authors describes in the article two

evidence-based practices, PACT and CSR, to assist students with both concepts. “Students with

good reading comprehension may instinctively use many of the practices taught in CSR and

PACT when reading; however, students with disabilities need explicit instruction, modeling, and

teacher feedback” (Capin and Vaughn, 2017, p. 260). In order for students with disabilities to

become successful, teachers need to “commit time to introducing and implementing procedures

for structured small group learning” (Capin and Vaughn, 2017, p. 260). Although it will take

some time to teach, when these two strategies are incorporated in the classroom students with

disabilities will benefit tremendously by being responsible and independent in their learning and

in turn being a successful reader!

III. Overview of the Practice

The focus/outcome area of the strategy

The focus of Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR) is to instruct specific

comprehension strategies to the student to use before, during and after the reading. By invoking

prior knowledge, adhering to the strategy instruction and using the strategies appropriately, the

student’s comprehension of the text will increase.

Prerequisite skills students will need

Students need to know the difference between expository and narrative text. In some

cases students will need background knowledge provided if they do not possess prior

background knowledge on the subject. Students will need to be instructed on the method that will
be used to monitor their progress. Students will need to be provided with a template and method

to keep notes on what they are reading. Students need to know the definition of what ‘evidence’

means and shown how information that supports a claim is considered evidence. Students should

be provided with examples and nonexamples before the onset of the activity.


● Writing tools

● text passage

● template for recording beginning/during/after notes

● Worksheet of preview questions

Critical components for implementation

Critical components for student participation include their ability to follow attend to

instruction given by the teacher about strategy use. The students must be able to follow

directions. Students must be able to work in pairs or groups and support their partners / groups

by taking individual responsibility yet work collaboratively. Students need to provide timely and

constructive contribution.

Considerations for implementation

One consideration to take into account is the background knowledge available to students

on the subject of the text may differ among students. The teacher must check prior knowledge

and provide background information if needed. Another consideration is that not all students are

adept at note taking. A template for taking notes should be provided but the teacher must also

instruct students on how to take notes (ie, jot down essential points, not every word, organize

notes etc). Finally, monitoring one’s own progress is also something that some students may
have little or no experience in and the teacher must provide examples and nonexamples of good

progress monitoring and provide practice with the use of a pre-made progress monitoring sheet.

IV. Mini Lesson Plan

Connection to Common Core State Standards

CCSS 5.RL.10 - ​By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories,
dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 4–5 text complexity band independently and

CCSS 5.RI.10 - By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including
history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 4–5 text
complexity band independently and proficiently.

Lesson Objective
Using collaborative strategic reading (CSR), students will learn, practice, and implement
strategies to improve their reading comprehension by using four specific strategies - preview
the text, click and clunk, get the gist, and wrap up.

Description of Instructional Delivery

This lesson is designed for whole or small group instruction with 2-4 students per group, or
individualized one-on-one time with the teacher.

Procedures that Reflect the Cycle of Direct Instruction

Prior to this lesson the teacher will prepare and have all materials needed. This lesson can be
done as a whole group or in smaller groups.

Cycle of Direct The teacher will... The students will...


Anticipatory Set Preview/Introduce the article Preview the article

Teacher will ask the following


“What do you think the article is Look at the pictures in the article.
about?” Share possible answers.

“What do you think the picture

tells us about the article?”

Preview the questions about the Understand what each question is

text before the text is read specifically asking for.

“When a question starts with who, Understand they are looking for a
what are we looking for?” person.

“When a question starts with Understand they are looking for a

when, what are we looking for?” time period of when the event

“When a question starts with Understand they are looking for

where, what are we looking for?” where the important event took

“When a question starts with why, Understand they are looking for
what are we looking for?” the reason why the event
happened. Often times, the
answer will have because in the
article and will tell us why
something has occurred.

Modeling Have students point to title of Students will…

article and will read title as - Point to title with index
students follow along with their finger and follow along as
index finger. teacher reads title
- As teacher reads first
Teacher will remind students to paragraph, students will
look for answers to the questions follow along silently using
that were previewed and read first their index finger.
paragraph of article. - Will listen intently as
- Use the “click and clunk” teacher models what is to
reading strategy be done when reading an
- Will find word that may be informational article
difficult for fifth grader
- Will use context
clues to find
meaning of word
- Will find a phrase that may
be confusing for a fifth
- Will reread phrase
to help get a better
understanding of
what is being said.
- Teacher will ask students if
they are able to answer any
of the questions being

Guided Practice Teacher will now ask for a Students will read the next
volunteer to read the next paragraph intently and use their
paragraph. click and clunk strategies to help
- Will remind students to comprehend what is being read.
stop when they see an - Students will stop when
unfamiliar word they see an unfamiliar
- Stop when they read an word and use fix-up
unfamiliar phrase strategies to help figure out
- Will remind students to word (prefix, suffix, root
look for possible answers word)
to questions - Students will reread
unfamiliar phrase with fix
up strategy with clunk and
see if they can figure out
what the phrase meant.
- Students will remind each
other to look for possible
answers to questions and
answer any questions they
can answer from the

Independent Teacher will now tell students they Using the strategies that were
Practice need to read the rest of the article taught and modeled to them,
by themselves, answer the students will answer
comprehension questions by using comprehension questions by
the strategies that were taught and reading the rest of the article.
modeled to them.

Closure Teacher will use “wrap it up” Students will

- Teacher will ask, “what is a - make a personal connection to
personal connection you the story
can make to the article?”
- Teacher will ask, “What - students will state the main idea
was the main idea of the and be able to give important
article and what are two details to support the meaning
important details in your
Option for Differentiation

● Small group instruction - As students become more familiar with the strategies, smaller

groups can be formed.

● Have students work together during the Guided Practice section of the lesson.

● After gauging where students are at after working with the first two prefixes, students

may need more direct instruction on the other prefixes and suffixes.

● Mini lesson on each prefix and/or suffix found in the article.

● Have the articles printed for the students to write and take notes on.

● Provide students with a pre-made note taking worksheet.

● Provide a highlighter for students to highlight keywords in questions (who, what, where,

when, why) and key sentences in the article.

● Refer to CSR Strategies board conveniently placed in classroom for struggling readers to


○ Or have CSR Strategies made into smaller copies that students can paste in their

reading notebooks to easily refer to.

● The four components of the CSR strategy can be broken up into separate lesson in order

to reinforce knowledge of each specific component.

Boardman, A., Vaughn, S., Buckley, P., Reutebuch, C., Roberts, G., & Klingner, J. (2016).  

Collaborative strategic reading for students with learning disabilities in upper  

elementary classrooms. ​Exceptional Children, 82(4), 409-427. doi:10.1177/001 


Capin, P. & Vaughn, S. (2017). Improving reading and social studies learning for secondary

students with reading disabilities. ​TEACHING Exceptional Children, 49 (4), 249-261.

doi: 10.1177/0040059917691043