This particular program is designed for grades K-8 and is both a reading and a language arts program. This reading program has as a foundation "literacy instruction that stimulates, teaches, and extends the communication and thinking skills that will allow students to become effective readers, writers, communicators, and lifelong learners." The program also uses themes to instruct students.
In addition to programs that addressed the needs of beginning students, there are reading programs that are specifically designed to assist middle school and high school students. According to an article published in Reading Research Quarterly, many students in Middle School and High School have poor literacy skills. When high school students have poor literary skills, the possibility of going on to college is extremely limited. In fact the article reports that 49% of high school students that took the ACT in 2004 were not ready for college based on their reading comprehension scores. The article explains further that Students who read at low levels often have difficulty understanding the increasingly complex narrative and expository texts that they encounter in high school and beyond. For example, one of the major hurdles in acquiring science literacy is the conceptual density of math and science materials (Barton, Heidema, & Jordan, 2002). Students' performance on these more difficult texts, which include context-dependent vocabulary, concept development, and graphical information, provides the strongest indication as to whether or not they are pre-pared to succeed in college and the workplace (ACT, Inc., 2006; Slavin et al. 2008)."
For this reason, educators have introduced reading programs at the middle school and high school level. These programs are designed to improve the reading skills of older students utilizing four different approaches. These approaches include
Instructional-process programs (Slavin et al., 2008)
According to the findings of Slavin et al., (2008), the most effective reading programs involve cooperative learning. More specifically the most effective programs are composed of students working together in small groups and the students assist one another in mastering various reading skills (Slavin et al., 2008). In addition other studies have found that many successful programs use hybrid reading programs which may combine cooperative programs with silent reading programs.
Indeed, in addition to the aforementioned approaches to reading programs, silent reading programs are also popular as an alternative to other approaches. Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) Programs have long been utilized to assists students as it pertains to improving reading comprehension and other reading skills. According to an article entitled "The Benefits of Sustained Silent Reading: Scientific Research and Common Sense Converge"
Data analysis found that more time spent reading had a significant effect on achievement compared to a control condition where less time was allocated for independent reading. In addition, results found that poor readers showed significantly greater gains in word recognition and vocabulary than good readers. Third grade showed greater gains in comprehension than fifth grade. Furthermore, the results also showed that poor readers tended to have greater gains in vocabulary with 15 minutes of reading, but they had better gains on reading comprehension with 40 minutes of reading (Garan, 2008 p. 340)."
Schools throughout the world use Sustained Silent Reading as a way to improve students desire for leisure reading (Chua, 2008). According to the article, ensuring that children read for pleasure from an early age. The article explains that reading for pleasure ensures that children will read even when they are not in a classroom setting. This increase in reading leads to more efficient reading skills and higher levels of academic achievement (Chua, 2008).
Sustained Silent Reading is not a new concept. In fact the use of SSR as a reading program dates back to the 1960's. SSR encompasses several different approaches including, uninterrupted sustained silent reading (USSR)drop everything and read (DEAR), free voluntary reading (FVR), and daily independent reading time (DIRT) (Chua, 2008).
Although these approaches are slightly different they all encourage students to read books for pleasure.
Change Management Plan
Change is a process that most organizations have to go through. It can be a difficult process and the manner in which organizations manage change can determine the effectiveness of the change. There are three primary domains associated with most change management plans. These domains include structure, culture and strategies.
As it pertains to structure, change management plans must take into account the structure of an organization. For instance the type of change management plan applied to a non-profit organization may be different than the change management plan of a for profit organization. The structure also refers to the hierarchy within the organization. As it pertains to the implementation of a plan geared toward a reading program for a school in a country with specific religious and social beliefs, the proper protocols must be followed to ensure
The structure is also associated with culture. Whenever a change management plan is implemented special attention must given to the culture of the organization and the country in which the organization resides. The change management plan must not ignore the customs, rules and traditions of the culture. Giving special credence to cultural norms will ensure that change occurs in a manner that is smooth and effective.
The process of implementing change also necessitates the development of strategies. In choosing which strategies to implement, the organization must conduct the proper research to determine the strategy that will be the most beneficial to the organization.
Proposed program Plan
Now that we have established why reading is important and presented some examples of successful reading programs, the focus of the discussion will turn to the proposed reading program. The proposed program will be geared toward all students and not just those with reading problems. The proposed plan will entail a Sustained Silent Reading Program.
This particular type of reading program was chosen because it is inexpensive and relatively easy to implement into the existing curriculum. According to a book entitled "Building Student Literacy through sustained silent reading" Sustained Silent Reading is a time during which a class, or in some cases an entire school, reads quietly together. Students are allowed to choose their own reading materials and read independently during class time. Most programs encourage students to continue reading outside of class and permit students to change books if they lose interest. Most important, SSR allows an adult to model the habits, choices, comments, and attitudes good readers develop. Although most programs do not require traditional book reports, some do offer opportunities for students to talk or write about their readings. Although SSR programs share certain characteristics, teachers have adjusted the general concept to meet the specific needs of their students and schools (Gardiner, 2005, 15).
The proposed SSR program will involve an approach known as free voluntary reading (FVR). The FVR program is voluntary. That is students can decide whether or not they want to participate. FVR is characterized by time set aside during which students are allowed to read at their leisure (Gardiner, 2005).
In addition, the FVR program does not require the completion of academic work associated with reading. For the purposes of this program all materials students read for the program will first be approved by school officials. This ensures that the books read by students are consistent with the standards associated with the school. This is a slight adjustment to the traditional Free Voluntary Reading in which students are allowed to choose any book they want. This adjustment must be made because of cultural differences that are present with this particular organization.
Implementation of the Program
Now that we have garnered a greater understanding of the types of programs that work, let us discuss the implementation and establishment of such a program. Such an undertaking involves many different individuals and requires commitment from all involved as it pertains to the proper management of such a program. The stakeholders include administrators, students, parents and teachers. In addition, there are certain problems that can arise during the implementation of such a program. Administrators and instructors should be aware of these problems and ensure that the proper precautions have been taken to avoid them. There must also be a concerted effort to monitor the program to ensure it is efficient and accomplishing the goal of improving reading skills.
Gaining the approval of Administrators and getting materials
The first step in the implementation of the program is to gain approval for the program from school administrators. Those responsible for developing the program should present facts about the program and explain why it is needed and the benefits that can be gained from such a program. The administrators should be presented with statistics concerning the effectiveness of the program and a budget should also be presented to administrators. Ideally the administrators should be presented with the facts concerning the program prior to the beginning of the school year so that there is a sense of continuity and materials can be purchased.
In addition, every effort must be made to ensure administrators that they…[continue]
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