Reading Achievement with SharpReading
We have collected a considerable amount of quantitative and anecdotal data from the schools who have used SharpReading as their instructional reading programme. Many classes reported an average reading age increase of two years after less than a year of instruction - note that that is an average increase across the whole class!!!
In 2010 we set out to to verify this for ourselves. We tested all the children in the Year 3 and 4 classes in one of our SharpReading schools (124 in total) in March and again in November. This is what we found out.
click here to see how invidiuals from one class progressed during the year.
Donna Jenkins - Literacy Co-ordinator, Perth Primary School, Tasmania, Australia
I discovered SharpReading (Comprehension Strategy Instruction) when our primary school had been searching for information on ways to improve our students’ reading comprehension. Hilton Ayrey responded to a query I had for further information regarding the process of ‘Reciprocal Reading’ which had many well-researched techniques/ specific strategies to enhance comprehension. When I looked into this further I found reciprocal reading to be very complex and confusing. Many teachers would have difficulty with this process, let alone the students!
I found that SharpReading had broken down these processes into manageable units which were also student-friendly. I began to think it would be workable. Although the ‘I think that means . . .’ strategy appears very simplistic at first, it works brilliantly and the kids love it. The remaining stages were all achievable. And you can use it to any stage depending on the abilities and experience of your students.
Having the information also available to you online makes it all very accessible. The real classroom examples where teaching is modelled with the whole class or a group is fantastic in showing you what it all looks like.
I certainly have not found anything nearly as practical and well explained as SharpReading to help students better comprehend what they are reading.
Shane Frost - Learning Support Leader, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia|
I visited Perth Primary School last week to meet with Donna Jenkins and find out about their online professional learning journey with SharpReading.
The SharpReaing ONLiNE package is an amazing resource. I particularly like the use of video to model the strategies, the notion of give it a try and then come back for some more in-depth learning.
I also agree with you when you say “The issue I have with the delivery of these strategies (what I have seen for many years and continue to see in classrooms) is they are presented as a smorgasbord which the teacher dips into in a haphazard manner. As a result the students are not provided with a systematic framework within which they can apply them and develop fluency with their use, and the focus for practise is often on after reading activities rather than during reading.” Many of our school are currently using a smorgasbord approach to teaching comprehension but what SharpReading offers is a clear mental framework for students to make sense of a text before, during and after reading.
I have just written an article for a Learning Services North Newsletter that highlights SharpReading at Perth Primary and a link to your website. I will be encouraging more schools to consider this excellent online option for professional learning.
Joy Williams - Team Leader & SharpReading Co-ordinator, Burwood School, CHRISTCHURCH
I want to share with you the success of SharpReading in my reading programme having used the ONLiNE tutorials and videos for just 10 weeks...what is different about my students?
Through an intense focus on the delivery of the SharpReading strategy “I think that means . . . “ the students have become actively engaged with text – taking ownership and control of their reading. Being able to tune into their processing of text has allowed me to see the level at which they are operating, then work out what is necessary to take them to the next level.
How rewarding it is to see the enthusiasm and pleasure gained from reading with students asking for more opportunities for group reading . . . and a group so motivated they have set up a lunchtime ITTM reading club!
I look forward to guiding them further in the reading process by digging deeper with “The DEEP FIVE” strategies, and analysing text structure.