A new way to read : will implementing literacy strategies in the science classroom increase motivation and understanding
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Looking to replace the routine of reading a textbook section and filling out worksheets, I wanted to find a way to get 7th grade science students engaged in the readings and motivated to understand the content. Pulling from various proven literacy strategies, I developed a process called Question, Read, Connect, Reflect (QRCR). During the treatment period of four weeks, students worked cooperatively to read five sections of the science textbook. Students started by previewing the text (question), reading the section one heading at a time (read), and using a concept web as a graphic organizer to identify main ideas (connect). The final portion of the process (reflect) had students constructing summaries of the section using the terms from their webs. Students also took time to think back on their participation, effort, and use of new information throughout the QRCR session. QRCR packets, which contained the concept webs and summaries, were analyzed and interviews were given at the end of the treatment. Students were given pre and post-treatment questionnaires to gain insight on students' use of various literacy and textbook skills. Questionnaires and comments on self- reflection forms were also used to track changing attitudes and thoughts on the QRCR process. Findings showed that the majority of the treatment group enjoyed the new reading process. Effort and motivation increased and gains in identification of main ideas as well as organization on concept webs were shown. Despite this, no gains were shown in summarizing skills nor were improvements in writing demonstrated.