Effects of literature response groups with literature response journals on reading comprehension
This study investigated the effects of literature response groups with literature response journals on reading comprehension in third grade. The primary research question was; will students who are instructed using real literature, responding to the literature by using their own thinking, and discussing with a small group be successful in comprehending on district mandated assessments? Can teachers use real reading to teach the standards expected to be taught and still be successful on basal reading series assessments? The students were assessed in September with the Integrated Theme Assessment from the Houghton Mifflin textbook company and then again in November with the same assessment as in September. The post-test was given after each student participated in literature response groups while reading authentic children's literature and then responding in literature response journals. To analyze the data, I took notes during the literature discussion groups, collected the literature response journals, analyzed the different types of literature responses, and compared the pre-test scores with the post-test scores. As a class, the students had a 16.5% growth from the pre-test assessment in September to the post-test in November. The results made it clear that each individual student is an individual reader and different methods and strategies facilitate comprehension. The more variety of reading strategies taught and expected to be used, the more opportunities for success.