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Exploring Multiple Pathways to Reading: A Teacher Inquiry

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Julia Bissonnette
Sarai Marquez

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Tampa

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Jolyn Blank

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The National Council of Teachers of English (2019) recommends teachers use multiple instructional formats to teach reading (e.g., shared reading, guided reading, explicit skills instruction, individualized instruction). Their position statement on teaching reading highlights the need for teachers to reflect upon the teaching strategies they utilize in their efforts to improve children's reading fluency and comprehension. As early childhood educators working in two neighboring first-grade classrooms, we were curious how our students responded to the various reading strategies we employed. The purpose of this study was to understand how these strategies affected student growth in reading fluency and comprehension. To examine how our students were learning to read, we documented small group reading instruction in our classrooms. Data were collected over a period of six weeks. Data sources included audio-recordings of dialogue during small group reading lessons, reading assessments such as running records, student work samples, and teacher journals. We expect to find our close observations of students' engagement in a variety of forms of reading instruction will provide insights into the ways students respond to various strategies, and inform our instructional responses in ways that build upon their strengths as readers. Describing students' responses to various strategies and illustrating the ways we engaged in multiple forms of instruction will provide insight into the complexity of teaching reading. Children's early experiences with reading instruction are crucial to not only help them build foundational skills but also strengthen their disposition to see themselves as life-long readers.

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Exploring Multiple Pathways to Reading: A Teacher Inquiry

The National Council of Teachers of English (2019) recommends teachers use multiple instructional formats to teach reading (e.g., shared reading, guided reading, explicit skills instruction, individualized instruction). Their position statement on teaching reading highlights the need for teachers to reflect upon the teaching strategies they utilize in their efforts to improve children's reading fluency and comprehension. As early childhood educators working in two neighboring first-grade classrooms, we were curious how our students responded to the various reading strategies we employed. The purpose of this study was to understand how these strategies affected student growth in reading fluency and comprehension. To examine how our students were learning to read, we documented small group reading instruction in our classrooms. Data were collected over a period of six weeks. Data sources included audio-recordings of dialogue during small group reading lessons, reading assessments such as running records, student work samples, and teacher journals. We expect to find our close observations of students' engagement in a variety of forms of reading instruction will provide insights into the ways students respond to various strategies, and inform our instructional responses in ways that build upon their strengths as readers. Describing students' responses to various strategies and illustrating the ways we engaged in multiple forms of instruction will provide insight into the complexity of teaching reading. Children's early experiences with reading instruction are crucial to not only help them build foundational skills but also strengthen their disposition to see themselves as life-long readers.