Have you ever felt like this at the end of your day because you ran out of time and you still had tons of kids to test?
Well that's exactly how I felt my first year as a fourth grade teacher at a dual language immersion school. In search for an answer, I turned to my colleges and as they suggested I had my students read quietly while I tried to get the task done. I tried that a few times with no success. It just didn't feel like I was making good use of the time, for my students were not fully engaged in their task and I was concerned time was not being used towards improving their current academic situation. I decided to look up some computer activities since using technology during math made the time interactive and fun. While researching, I came across a video I recalled watching before, during my credential program. The video was about collaboration in the 21st century by Sir Ken Robinson. I felt inspired after I hear him say, "If you are interested in innovation you have to cultivate your imagination." Shortly after that day I read an email about pursuing a Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Innovative Learning, a coincidence, I think not.
The following are excerpts from my research paper:
Studies indicate that technology may have a positive impact on student engagement, however continued study of online engagement strategies has potential to add value to student learning. This study measured student engagement with TumbleBooks, an online reading website, to encourage students to actively participate during Sustained Silent Reading (SSR). The study explored the effects of an online component (TumbleBooks) on independent reading daily and active participation during whole group instruction. The study measured their engagement through their daily reading journal responses. The data showed that higher scores overall in the posttest and writing samples suggest reading engagement although no increase in quantity was achieved. The researcher observed 100% engagement on the the TumbleBook platform by the end of the observation period.
Keywords: TumbleBooks, Sustained Silent Reading, Engagement , Technology
To further answer the question: How does online reading impact students’ journal responses? The teacher looked for evidence of higher level thinking skills in their responses. The following is an example of a journal response which demonstrated higher level thinking in regard to the character in his story. This student made insightful comparisons about the character in the book and himself.
“In the text it talked about the world’s worst mariachi in the world to the best mariachi in the world. I can relate to the best mariachi in the world because in my sister’s quinceañera I thought I was going to be the worst dancer, but I tried to dance and practiced to be the best dancer there. Because I practiced I was one of the best. I remember when I first went to an assembly as a student council member, I was so nervous to talk up there like Gustavo from “The Best Mariachi in the World” was nervous to pick up his dad’s guitar. I am similar to Gustavo because I had to dance in front of a huge crowd like Gustavo had to sing in front of many people, we both had to face our fears and sing or dance…”
To read my action research paper in its entirety click here.