# Comprehension Strategy Instruction in Core Reading Programs

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13 Table 4. Frequency and Percentage of Instructional Moves While Reading a Selection A B C D E Instructional move f % f % f % f % f % Mention Skill + explain Model Information Question 1, , , Question + model Guided practice Direct explanation Independent practice Discussion Table 5. Number of Instructional Moves for Teaching Narrative Structure in Five Core Reading s Instructional move Direct explanation A B C D E Unit/theme 1 Unit/theme 2 Unit/theme 1 Unit/theme 1 Unit/theme 1 Week Week Week Week Week Modeling Modeling + questioning Skill + explanation Guided practice Discussion Questioning Independent practice Guided Practice and Release of Responsibility We sought to describe the instructional model that underlies skill and strategy instruction in each program. We did so by following three skill/strategies using narrative structure, making inferences, and summarizing across one instructional unit. We studied the unit in which the skill/strategy received the most extensive treatment. We tracked the number and type of teacher moves for each skill/strategy across each weekly lesson. The results are presented in Tables 5, 6, and 7. Each column represents one week of instruction. It is important to note that D has three- and four-week units, whereas s A, B, C, and E have five- or six-week units. The numbers indicate how frequently an instructional move was employed in a given lesson. In this analysis, we ignored whether the instruction took place before reading the selection, during reading the selection, or after reading the selection. 114 Reading Research Quarterly 44(2)

15 in Lesson 2 with considerable guided practice and questioning. During the balance of that unit, students are questioned on the skill/strategy. In D, making inferences is taught in Units 2, 4, and 6 with equal emphasis. In the second week of Unit 2, the teacher s manual provides one direct-explanation lesson for making inferences. This is followed by more explanation, guided practice, and questioning. After that, the student receives no guided practice in the skill. In E, making inferences is taught in Units 1 and 5, with slightly greater emphasis in Unit 5. In the intervening units, the teacher asks inferential questions. The teacher s manual provides direct-explanation lessons for making inferences in Lessons 1, 2, and 3. Each is followed by modeling, teacher questioning, and independent practice but no guided practice. Summarizing The results for summarizing are presented in Table 7. Summarizing is not taught in A until Unit 4, halfway through the school year, and receives its strongest emphasis in Unit 5. Here, the manual provides four direct-explanation lessons spread over four weeks followed by teacher questioning and some independent practice but no guided practice. In B, the primary focus for summarizing is found in Unit 2, but it is reviewed again in Unit 3 and Unit 6. The manual provides direct-explanation lessons in Weeks 4 and 5, negligible guided practice in Week 5, and questioning throughout the unit. In C, summarizing receives almost equal treatment in all units. There is no strong initial instruction of direct explanation, but the strategy is modeled regularly by the teacher while reading the selections and is incorporated into discussions. D provides some exposure to summarizing at the beginning of the school year and some direct explanation in Unit 2. The most extensive instruction is provided in Unit 6. Here, the manual provides for direct explanation in Weeks 1 and 2, modeling in Weeks 1 and 3, and discussion that stresses summarizing throughout the first two weeks of the unit. Although students are asked to summarize in all six units of E, direct explanation and modeling are provided only in Unit 3. Direct explanation is provided in Weeks 1 and 2, with the rest of the teacher moves consisting of discussion and questioning. Looking across these five programs, we noted that direct explanation, discussion, and questioning are more common than modeling, skill explanations, or guided practice. The manuals provide little support for learning these skills and strategies while students are reading. Instructional design is not consistent from one unit to another within the same program. E provides much more support for teaching narrative structure than it does for teaching inference generation and summarizing. Similarly, C provides more focus and support for developing students summariz- Table 7. Instructional Design for Teaching Summarizing in Five Core Reading s Instructional moves Direct explanation A B C D E Unit/theme 5 Unit/theme 2 Unit/theme 1 Unit/theme 6 Unit/theme 3 Week Week Week Week Week Modeling Modeling + questioning Skill + explanation 1 2 Guided practice 1 1 Discussion Questioning Independent practice Reading Research Quarterly 44(2)

17 Table 9. Frequency and Density of Instruction of Narrative Structure in Core Reading s Versus Selected Research Studies Instructional move A B C D E Buss, Ratliff, and Irion (1985) Fitzgerald and Spiegel (1983) Baumann and Bergeron (1993) Instruction Direct explanation, modeling, and skill + explanation hour of instruction daily for 2 weeks Total: 10 Phase 1: SIx minute sessions over 2 weeks Phase 2: Ten minute sessions over 5 weeks Total: 16 Ten 40-minute sessions Total: 10 Guided practice Guided practice and question + modeling Independent practice Assessment Questioning and discussion Table 10. Frequency and Density of Instruction of Summarizing in Core Reading s Versus Selected Research Studies Instructional move A B C D E Taylor and Beach (1984) Hare and Borchardt (1984) Morrow (1984) Armbruster, Anderson, and Ostertag (1987) Rinehart, Stahl, and Erickson (1986) Instruction Direct explanation, modeling, and skill + explanation hour per week for 7 weeks Total: 7 5 sessions, each 2 hours long Total: 5 8 stories were read over 8 sessions Total: 8 11 sessions on consecutive days for 45 minutes per day Total: 11 5 sessions on consecutive days for minutes per day Total: 5 Guided practice Guided practice and question + modeling Independent practice Assessment Questioning and discussion of instruction found in the three original research studies that validated the skill. The data for summarizing are displayed in Table 10. A sample of the original research studies indicates that researchers needed anywhere from 5 to 11 lessons in summarizing within a range of three to seven weeks to achieve significant change in students ability to summarize. Taylor and Beach (1984) provided one hour of instruction per week over seven weeks. Morrow (1984) provided 8 instructional sessions over four weeks, and Armbruster et al. (1987) provided 11 instruction lessons over four weeks. The studies, as was the case for the three other strategies investigated, all provided concentrated instruction in the strategy. The 118 Reading Research Quarterly 44(2)

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