MS in Literacy Education Project Inquiry

Final Project Inquiry for my Masters in Literacy Education from Shenandoah University: Better Comprehension through Improved Writing Fluency

Excerpts:

Sample Paragraphs From Literature Review:

  1. There is this famous story in which someone asked Annie Dillard if he could be a writer
    and her answer was, I don’t know. Do you like sentences? (Dillard, The Writing Life, 1990)
    Dillard’s story reinforces the idea that sentences are the building blocks to writing. In the past
    couple of years, authors like Jeff Anderson and Don and Jenny Killgallon have reinforced this
    idea in schools. Anderson has been a driving force in sentence modeling through a variety of
    bellringer and mini-lesson activities. The idea of teaching writing as a craft is gaining steam, but
    is it enough steam?

2. I theorize and hope to prove through a project-based inquiry that teaching the craft of
writing through the use of sentence and paragraph composing activities while modeling the
reading strategies in the sentences will not only increase writing competency but also increase
reading comprehension.

3. The ear development and phonaesthetics help students in other areas of reading and
writing. In their longitudinal study by Ludo Verhoeven and Jan Van Leeuwe about the
development of comprehension they state: “The parsing of sentences into constituent
components; the drawing of inferences to make the relations within and between sentences
sufficiently explicit and thereby facilitate the integration of information; and the underlying text
structure, the propositions within a text (micro structure) and the global gist of a text (macro
structure).” (Verhoeven & Leeuwe, 2008, p. 409) Chunking helps students make those relations
and in a way is a modern twist to sentence diagramming. However where sentence diagramming
relies on students understanding where and how to place lines and what parts of the sentence
goes where chunking focuses on the line of the sentence and makes a smoother flow of ideas for
students. The inferences they make about meaning are gradually released in the other levels of
Christensen’s theory

From Action Plan:

  1. In order to check my hypothesis I want to make sure I have norm-referenced results on
    my students’ reading comprehension and written expressions. In order to do this I will pre
    test my students using the Test of Silent Contextual Reading Fluency 2 (TOSCRF2). The test
    “measures the speed with which students can recognize the individual words in a series of
    printed passages….[the test] measures the ability to use syntactic and morphological cues to
    facilitate understanding the meaning of written sentences.” (2014, p. 1)

The following screenshots are taken from my final presentation for my project Inquiry.

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