Angelia Back

Single-Sentence Summaries

Reading comprehension is the ability to read text, process it, and understand its meaning. It involves connecting words and ideas and drawing conclusions and inferences. Reading comprehension is required in all classes to help students learn and become successful. This school year, Perry County Central High School added a reading class for our 9th and 10th-grade students. After spending time in those classrooms and through observations, I noticed students would not participate and struggled to answer questions the teacher would ask. I decided to dig deeper and look at previous KSA scores in reading. These students were also given a Pre-test, during which we analyzed the data and looked at PRoPL scores. One thing I noticed in the past was that students would score proficient and distinguished in middle school, and when they took the reading test in high school, I noticed novice and apprentice scores from the same students.      My action research aims to use the single-sentence summary tool and see if it will increase reading comprehension skills, improve assessment scores, and develop proficient readers. I decided to pick a group of students and focus on helping them improve their reading comprehension skills. After collaborating with the teacher, we surveyed the students to see how they prefer reading and what barriers they may have to understanding what they read. Our goal was to use the book Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works and pick a tool/strategy that may help improve reading comprehension for our 9th-grade students. Then, we decided to use the tool single-sentence summaries. In collaboration with the classroom teacher, we implemented this tool during several of their reading assignments and then provided the students with reading comprehension questions to answer. We also decided to use the other 9th-grade class, taught by a different teacher, as our control group. This group of students did not use single-sentence summaries but completed the same reading assignments. During the action research, we allowed students to complete the reading assignment without using the single-sentence summary tool. The next day, the students completed the same reading assignment using the tool. We compared the results of both days and compared the results with those of our control group. Single-sentence summaries are a user-friendly tool that can be used in all classes to help students understand what they read. We did find that the tool improved scores on their assignments. I am always looking for strategies and tools to help our students succeed. This is a tool I will share with other teachers and continue to use more from the book Tools for Classroom Instruction that Works.

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