The Influence of Supplemental Instructional Approaches Upon The Comprehension, Metacognitive Awareness, and Motivation of Struggling Third- and Fourth-Grade Readers
O'Hara, Janice Dotterer
Dreher, Mariam J.
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Schools are challenged with the responsibility of providing the quality of instruction necessary for all students to meet the achievement standards of "No Child Left Behind" legislation. Supplementary instruction has been used extensively to accelerate struggling readers' progress; however, schools need to consider methods that have been examined for their effectiveness. This quasi-experimental study explored the effect of two supplementary instructional approaches, CORI-STAR and Guided Reading, on accelerating struggling readers' growth in reading comprehension, reading motivation, and metacognitive awareness, as well as their transference of strategies to their classroom reading groups, their application of reading strategies, and their metacognitive knowledge of reading strategies. Struggling third- and fourth-grade students were invited to participate in an 8-week supplementary instructional reading group. Fifty students with parental consent were then randomly assigned by classrooms to either the CORI-STAR or Guided Reading approach. CORI-STAR combined (a) the engaging and motivational elements of Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction (CORI) developed by John Guthrie, and (b) a metacognitive component, Strategic Thinking Applied to Reading (STAR), consisting of explicit instruction on metacognitive awareness, modeling, think-alouds, and reflective thinking. The Guided Reading approach was implemented according to Fountas and Pinnell's recommendations. The results revealed statistically significant time (pretest, posttest) by treatment interactions with large effect sizes favoring the CORI-STAR group on (a) three comprehension measures: WRMT-PC, QRI-4 questions, and QRI-4 retelling and (b) three metacognitive awareness measures to assess students' awareness of strategies, their application of strategies, and their metacognitive awareness of the declarative, procedural, and conditional knowledge of regulating their use of reading strategies. Performance on the Motivations for Reading Questionnaire did not show a statistically significant interaction for time by treatment. However, on another measure of motivation, choosing to take home books for reading, CORI-STAR students outperformed those in the Guided Reading group. Both groups were perceived by their teachers to transfer strategies to classroom use. Thus, students in the CORI-STAR group improved more than Guided Reading students on reading comprehension, metacognitive awareness, and their knowledge and use of reading strategies as a result of the intervention. Further, CORI-STAR students were more motivated to choose books for home reading.