Taking Middle School Kids Back to the Adventurous World of Literature

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Taking Middle School kids back to the adventurous world of literature

by Dara K. Cepeda

Project Three: Literature Synthesis

EDCI 6300.62 Foundations of Research in Education

The University of Texas at Brownsville, College of Education Department of Teaching Learning and Innovation

Dr. A. J. Herrera May 6, 2012

TAKING KIDS BACK TO THE WORLD OF LITERATURE

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The problem is that middle school students in Texas do not practice leisure reading creating a deficit in their reading skills as measured by the National Center for Education Statistics. Texas students showed an upsetting lack of improvement in reading on the Nation’s Report Card. In 2011, the average score of eighth-grade students in Texas was 261. This was lower than the average score of 264 for public school students in the nation (National Center for Education Statistics, 2011). The purpose of this review of literature was to examine reading interventions to promote positive attitudes towards leisure reading. The need is to improve reading skills as reflected reading scores on the Nation’s Report Card. Students who do not take time to read tend to have poor reading skills and sadly many students in middle school choose not to read. The transition from elementary to middle school makes an impact to the student’s interests and pastimes. Middle school students read less due to time spent with peers, participation in sports activities and other after-school activities, and to a growing lack of interest in textual materials (Johnson, Mckenzie, Miranda & Williams-Rossi, 2011). Once the students stop practicing leisure reading, they start struggling with reading. Studies confirm a decline in reading scores on standardized tests, a decline in attitudes towards reading and a growing number of students who have good reading abilities, but choose not to read (Rodriguez & Lira, 1998). When students stop practicing leisure reading they stop exercising their vocabulary affecting their reading comprehension. “The goal of comprehending text is not easily attainable for many adolescents, who demonstrate consistent and persistent difficulties with reading for understanding.” (Vaughn, Klingner, Swanson, Boardman, Roberts, Mohammed, & Stillman Spisak, 2011). According to rate and accuracy scores, middle school students have shown a tendency in declining grades. One of the reasons might be because decoding to reading comprehension drops in adolescence and older students have more highly developed strategies that reduce their confidence on word identification skills (Reed, 2010). Middle school students in Texas struggle with their reading skills because most of them do not practice leisure reading. Both qualitative and quantitative studies demonstrate a connection between success in school and the amount of leisure reading students do (Allington & McGill-Franzen, 2003; Krashen, 1993, as cited in Hughes-

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Hassell & Pradnya Rodge, 2007). The purpose of this literature review is to recognize the problem of students who choose not to read and find a possible solution to motivate them in devoting leisure reading time. There are a numerous of experimental, quantitative, qualitative, descriptive, correlational, and causal-comparative research studies done in the State of Texas and outside of Texas that have identified this problem and gathered data, important information, and suggested interventions to create possible solutions. According to Knulst & Kraaykamp (1998), leisure reading is the reading students choose to do for pleasure; is the reading done for a hubby or fun, it is a non-school recreational activity. Students in elementary schools do practice leisure reading, but once students get to middle school this practice declines. For some reason many students who are good readers simply choose not to read (Beers, 1998).

Students Do Not Comprehend What They Read One of the reasons students choose not to read it...
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