Level 2: Teaching Reading and Learning Strategies Using 'Flip for Comprehension'

Teacher as Researcher - Action Research Project

OVERVIEW:

Flip for Comprehension and Flip for Non-Fiction Comprehension contain a collection of ready-to-use activities that can be done before, during or after class reading. All activities are tailored to fit textbook, non-fiction or narrative texts. These resources facilitate the development of reading and learning strategies. Flip for Comprehension can be used in a whole class setting as well as with smaller groups of students. Strategies such as making predictions, establishing purpose, finding the main idea and using text feature structures to aid comprehension can be taught using these resources by modeling the strategy use with the students followed by teacher-guided practice.

TARGET GROUP:

Flip for Comprehension was demonstrated at an NBSS in-service as a useful resource to assist teachers in developing their students’ reading and learning skills and strategies. Teachers in a number of schools shared not only the resource but also their experiences of using it with colleagues in various subject departments. Behaviour Support Classroom teachers piloted the resource with 17 of their students who were simultaneously receiving additional literacy and behaviour support. Their quantitative and qualitative findings, as participants in the NBSS Teacher as Researcher - Action Research Project are presented below.

QUANTITATIVE FINDINGS:

The table below illustrates the chronological and pre and post reading ages of the 17 students who were taught reading and learning skills and strategies using Flip for Comprehension. It should be noted that they were also in receipt of additional literacy support as part of a broader Behaviour Support Classroom programme.

Chronological Age Pre Intervention Reading Age Post Intervention Reading Age
15 -9.0 10.8
16 11.7 13.4
15 10.8 11.8
15 10.5 11
13 13.5 13.6
14 10.9 11.7
15 -9.0 10.8
14 12 12.4
14 13.6 13.9
14 10.6 11.7
16 10.6 12.6
15 10.4 11.7
13 9.0 10.1
14 10.1 10.9
15 10.9 11.6
15 14.5 14.8

QUALITATIVE FINDINGS:

The following is drawn from a semi-structured interview conducted with the teachers.

NBSS: What literacy resource have you found the most effective?

TEACHER A:

“Probably for me the most effective one or the one that I suppose I got the most use out of this year would have been the Flip for Comprehension resource…we just got an amazing amount of use out of it…We were able to use it… because it is so broad we were able to use it when we were doing behavioural work, when we were doing dedicated literacy work, any sort of curriculum work. Because you can use it with any text, any book whether it be a textbook or a novel. There is a frame within it to suit basically any situation. We would have modified some of them to fit within novels we were using in the class or short stories. Some of the visuals are very good and we would have scanned it and put it up, using the data projector, on the board if there were three or four or five students in the room. Charting chapters…just little things like that helps the students because what we would find is they maybe spend 15 minutes reading half a chapter or a chapter of a story. And you will stop and say ‘Right what happened to Johnny in that chapter?’ And they will say ‘Who is Johnny?’ There is so much effort because their reading is so weak, there is so much effort that seems to go in to the reading part that it is just words…

… initially maybe we would get them to stop after every paragraph and write a few key words or phrases within that paragraph. And within a few weeks you will be able to read that chapter and get them to write one or two sentences on that chapter. And then it is great for them to have a hold, at the end of reading a book with maybe nine or 12 chapters, to have all of that on a page. You know if they have questions to do they can just look at that one sheet. There is the whole book in their writing, in their language, their words and they understand… It also gives them a sense of achievement as well because you are filling the squares as you go along. And they like seeing a full page at the end. And they are working towards that. It is a visual thing. It catches them in so many ways. So it really is very good.…the thing that is important is that they never have a blank sheet in front of them…It is not as intimidating for them at the start of it.”

Teacher B:

“…It just contributed to better behaviour. Because they found the work more interesting, more stimulating, more achievable, whatever, it was just a better environment within the classroom…

…it is probably one of the least expensive resources out of everything in the room. It cost 30 quid and we have used it to death for a year and I suppose, fair enough we didn’t buy it, you gave it to us...If there was anything that I would bring with me if I was leaving in the morning, it would be that…I would bring it with me.”

NBSS: Do other subject teachers use the strategies in this resource?

TEACHER B:

“ For History, for the people in History…I see that the History teacher, she uses it for the people in History… it teaches you how to structure an English question. If you are writing an essay and you have to learn how to do paragraphs well this shows you. Because it is in six bits or three bits.”

TEACHER A:

“Yes… the History teacher uses it an awful lot. She also uses the graphic organisers from yourself [NBSS] as well. The English Department uses them, and so does Geography and Science. So I think there are probably four or five teachers across the school would use them on a weekly basis…

…And it is brilliant because then at the end of a topic they have the whole topic on one page. And you see them, they have in‐house exams at the moment, and they bring those sheets in at the start of the exam and you will see them sitting up there reading over them before the exam starts. It has really been a success. And we are lucky really because she [the History teacher] is a top of the range teacher. She has grabbed hold of the good stuff and she has been very good in promoting it within the school itself even though she is not a part of our work here.”