Citation
Teacher-Student Discourse during Read-Alouds of Informational Texts in High-Poverty Schools

Material Information

Title:
Teacher-Student Discourse during Read-Alouds of Informational Texts in High-Poverty Schools
Creator:
Duggins, Shaunte Shamar
Place of Publication:
[Gainesville, Fla.]
Florida
Publisher:
University of Florida
Publication Date:
Language:
english
Physical Description:
1 online resource (180 p.)

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Special Education
Special Education, School Psychology and Early Childhood Studies
Committee Chair:
LANE,HOLLY BARNES
Committee Co-Chair:
JONES,HAZEL
Committee Members:
CONROY,MAUREEN ALMAZ
GAGE,NICHOLAS A
ROSS,DORENE D
Graduation Date:
8/8/2015

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Classrooms ( jstor )
Discourse ( jstor )
Language teachers ( jstor )
Learning ( jstor )
Literacy ( jstor )
Observational research ( jstor )
Poverty ( jstor )
Schools ( jstor )
Students ( jstor )
Teachers ( jstor )
Special Education, School Psychology and Early Childhood Studies -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
books -- high-poverty -- informational -- observational -- read-alouds
City of Indian Rocks Beach ( local )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
born-digital ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Special Education thesis, Ph.D.

Notes

Abstract:
Many children fail to develop as proficient readers. Students reading profiles are influenced by factors including oral language, vocabulary, and inferential abilities. Reading aloud an area of young childrens literacy experience that has received increased attention because of its potential to support language and literacy. However, simply reading aloud to students is no panacea. Researchers have posited that the teacher and text play an integral role in creating rich teacher-student discourse. However, the field would benefit from observational studies that explore teacher and student discourse using informational text, specifically in the context of high-poverty schools. The purpose of this descriptive observational, mixed method study was to explore the literal and inferential talk of teachers and students without any professional development. The study was conducted in seven elementary schools in one district. Schools were selected based on the percentage of students who qualify to participate in the free and reduced price lunch (FRPL) program, which serves as an indicator of the poverty level of the school. Teacher participants included nine kindergarten teachers, 10 first grade teachers, and 98 students. To address the purpose, this study utilized behavioral observational research methods as well as a survey of teacher reported practices. The researcher coded video observations of each teacher reading aloud three researcher selected informational texts. In all, 57 videos were coded for analysis. Observational findings indicate that teachers and students engage in talk at all levels of linguistic abstraction. Overall, teachers engaged in higher rates of talk compared to students. Data show that both teachers and students engage in higher rates of talk at the inferential level than literal level. Differences were also found in the rates of occurrence for both teachers and students. Survey findings suggest that teachers should be provided with support in order to overcome barriers they identified that limit them from reading aloud to their students. Further research should be conducted that utilize sequential analysis to explore the relationship between teacher talk and student talk. Additionally, research should incorporate features of effective professional development to support teachers in integrating informational texts for read-alouds in meaningful ways. ( en )
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2015.
Local:
Adviser: LANE,HOLLY BARNES.
Local:
Co-adviser: JONES,HAZEL.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Shaunte Shamar Duggins.

Record Information

Source Institution:
UFRGP
Rights Management:
Copyright Duggins, Shaunte Shamar. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Classification:
LD1780 2015 ( lcc )

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TEACHER STUDENT DISCOURSE DURING READALOUDS OF INFORMATIONAL TEXT S IN HIGH POVERTY SCHOOLS By SHAUNT S . DUGGINS A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2015 1

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2015 Shaunt S . Duggins 2

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To serving others: “Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4 3

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS As I reflect on this process, I am eternally thankful to God for His blessings and for giving me this tremendous opportunity. Furthermore, I would like to thank several people for their support. This journey would not be possible without continuous reassur ance from my husband, Randell Duggins, and the blessing of our children Hanna and Samuel who bring laughter and excitement to our home. I am forever thankful for my parents, Clarence and Charmaine Elliott, for inculcating in me the importance of education and a love for learning. I would also like to recognize the pillars of my family, Joyce Jackson Elliott and Mercella Lowe Becca. I am also thankful for the prayers, love, and support from my brothers Shomari and Shaheed, my “sister” Aisha, aunts, uncles, c ousins, Cynthia Duggins, Ludlow Brown, and the rest of my extended family. I am grateful to the teachers and students who participated willingly in my study and my research assistant, JaNay, whose dedication and care I truly appreciate. My committee members, Hazel Jones, Maureen Conroy, Nicolas Gage, and Dorene Ross I thank you for your guidance. A special thank you to the chair of my doctoral committee, Holly Lane, I could not ask for a better academic supporter. Special thanks to Jann MacInnes, Nancy Cor bett, Sungur, Lourdes, and Pam for their help. I also want to acknowledge Shaira, Elizabeth, Michell, Lynette, and Vicki for their kindness and support throughout my doctoral studies. I sincerely appreciate my cohort mates, Vivian, Sharon, Kristi, and Jul ie, who have been there to support each other in good times and bad. I am especially appreciative of Dr. Melanie Acosta, Dr. Erica McCray, Bridgette, and Michelle for their reassurance and positive attitude. I am also grateful for my church family near and far for their encouragement and fervent prayers. In particular I am thankful for Dhana, Kathy, Amanda, Amy, Camala, and Philisher. 4

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Lastly, I would like to thank wonderful educators I have had the privilege to learn from. Ms. Washington and Ms. Alexander , my outstanding Kindergarten and 5th grade teachers greatly influenced my desire to become an educator and lifelong learner. Dr. Traore and Dr. Bruno, wonderful teacher educators supported my interest in research as an undergraduate student. I am truly gr ateful for all the support from each person in helping me complete this tremendous accomplishment. 5

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES ...........................................................................................................................9 LIST OF FIGURES .......................................................................................................................11 ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................................12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................................14 Challenges of High Poverty Schools ......................................................................................14 School Funding ................................................................................................................14 Limited Access to Learning Opportunities ......................................................................15 Reading Instruction .........................................................................................................17 Effects of Teacher Quality ...............................................................................................18 National Policies .....................................................................................................................19 Language D evelopment and Read Alouds .............................................................................22 Significance of the Study ........................................................................................................24 Theoretical Framework ...........................................................................................................25 Conceptual Framework ...........................................................................................................27 The Role of Interactions .........................................................................................................27 Purpose of the Study ...............................................................................................................29 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ........................................................................................30 Adult Child Discourse ............................................................................................................30 Relati onship Between Adult child Interaction and Student Achievement ......................31 Adult Practices That Encourage Student Discourse ........................................................33 Summary on Adult Child Discourse ...............................................................................39 Read Alouds as a Context to Encourage Discourse ...............................................................41 Outcome of Read aloud Intervention Research ..............................................................43 Summary of Read aloud Interventions ............................................................................48 Text Considerations ................................................................................................................49 Benefits of Informational (Expository) Texts .................................................................50 Key Impact of Text Features on Students .......................................................................51 Guidelines/Recommendations for Text Selection ...........................................................53 Summary of Text Considerations ....................................................................................55 Discussion ...............................................................................................................................56 6

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3 METHODOLOGY .................................................................................................................59 Settings and Participants .........................................................................................................59 Settings ............................................................................................................................60 Participants ......................................................................................................................61 Data Collection .......................................................................................................................63 Materials ..........................................................................................................................64 Observation Procedures ...................................................................................................68 Data Analysis ..........................................................................................................................73 Observational Data ..........................................................................................................74 Interobserver Agreement .................................................................................................74 Survey Procedures ...........................................................................................................78 4 RESULTS ...............................................................................................................................80 Overview of Study Procedures ...............................................................................................80 Classroom Literacy Environment ...........................................................................................81 Observations of Readaloud Sessions .....................................................................................82 General Observations ......................................................................................................82 Teacher Utterances ..........................................................................................................85 Student Ut terances ...........................................................................................................92 Survey Reported Practices .............................................................................................108 Summary of Findings ...........................................................................................................112 5 DISCUSSION .......................................................................................................................114 Summary of Methods ...........................................................................................................114 Discussi on of Findings .........................................................................................................115 Limitations ............................................................................................................................120 Directions for Future Research .............................................................................................121 Implications for Policy and Practice .....................................................................................125 Poverty and Policy .........................................................................................................125 Teacher Learning ...........................................................................................................127 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................133 APPENDIX A IRB DOCUMENTATION ....................................................................................................135 B LITERACY ENVIRONMENT CHECKLIST .....................................................................137 C POWER ANALYSIS ............................................................................................................138 D BOOK TITLES AND SEQUENCE OF INTROD UCTION ................................................139 E SURVEY ITEMS .................................................................................................................140 7

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F CODING MANUAL ............................................................................................................145 Introducti on ...........................................................................................................................146 Research Questions ...............................................................................................................146 Coding System: Codes and Definitions ................................................................................146 Teacher Codes ......................................................................................................................147 Student Codes .......................................................................................................................152 Other Behavior s ....................................................................................................................155 Noldus The Observer XT Guidelines & Procedures ............................................................157 To Start a NEW Coding Scheme ...................................................................................157 Specifying the Project Setup .........................................................................................157 Creating a Coding Scheme ............................................................................................157 Coding Using an Existing Coding Scheme ..........................................................................159 Saving the Project ..........................................................................................................159 Carrying out an Observation .........................................................................................159 Backing up a Project (Complete daily) .........................................................................159 Reliability Analysis .......................................................................................................160 Instructions for Coding Observations ...................................................................................161 Description of Context ..................................................................................................161 Description of Length of Observations .........................................................................161 Segmenting and Decision Rules ....................................................................................161 Obtaining Reliability and Interobserver Agreement .............................................................163 Procedures for Training Observers ................................................................................163 Procedures for Obtaining and Calculating IOA ............................................................163 Paper Coding Sheet ...............................................................................................................164 REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................165 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................................179 8

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 31 Summary of School Demographic Information .................................................................60 32 Summary of Teacher Participants Demographic Information ...........................................62 33 Summary of Student Participants Demographic Information ............................................63 34 Level of Abstraction and Descr iption for Teacher Codes .................................................72 35 Level of Abstraction and Description for Student Codes ..................................................73 36 Other Codes for Teachers and Students .............................................................................73 37 IOA for Each Teacher Code ..............................................................................................76 38 IOA for Each Student: Group Code ...................................................................................77 39 IOA for Each Student: Individual Code .............................................................................78 41 Length of time Reading in Minutes ...................................................................................83 42 Overall Frequency by Literal and Inferential Levels .........................................................84 43 Book 1 Literal Utterances: Teachers ..................................................................................85 44 Book 1 Inferential Utterances: Teachers ............................................................................86 45 Book 2 Literal Utterances: Teachers ..................................................................................87 46 Book 2 Inferential Utterances: Teachers ............................................................................88 47 Book 3 Literal Utterances: Teachers ..................................................................................89 48 Book 3 Inferential Utterances: Teachers ............................................................................90 49 Literal Utterances Across Books: Teachers .......................................................................91 410 Inferential Utterances Across Books: Teachers .................................................................92 411 Book 1 Literal Utterances: Student: Group .......................................................................93 412 Book 1 Literal Utterances: Student: Individual .................................................................94 413 Book 1 Inferential Utterances: Student: Group .................................................................95 414 Book 1 Inferential Utterances: Student: Individual ...........................................................96 9

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415 Book 2 Literal Utterances: Student: Group .......................................................................97 416 Book 2 Literal Utterances: Student: Individual .................................................................98 417 Book 2 Inferential Utterances: Student: Group .................................................................99 418 Book 2 Inferential Utterances: Student: Individual .........................................................100 419 Book 3 Literal Utterances: Student: Group .....................................................................101 420 Book 3 Literal Utterances: Student: Individual ...............................................................102 421 Book 2 Inferential Utterances: Student: Group ...............................................................103 422 Book 3 Inferential Utterances: Student: Individual .........................................................104 423 Literal Utterances Across Books: Student Group ............................................................105 424 Literal Utterances Across Books: Student Individual ......................................................106 425 Inferential Utterances Across Books: St udent Group ......................................................107 426 Literal Utterances Across Books: Student Individual ......................................................108 427 Discussions During Read Alouds ....................................................................................110 428 Length of Time Reading During Read Alouds ................................................................111 429 Number of Times Teachers Typically Read Aloud .........................................................111 430 Summary of Ratings for Each Text .................................................................................112 10

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LIST OF FIGURES F igure page 11 Impact of Environmental Systems on Teacher Student Interactions ................................29 31 Screen Shot of Observer XT. ...........................................................................................71 41 Summary of Classroom Language And Literacy Environment Observation ...................82 C 1 Paired Samples Power Chart ...........................................................................................138 11

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Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy TEACHER STUDENT DISCOURSE DURING READALOUDS OF INFORMATIONAL TEXT S IN HIGH POVERTY SCHOOLS By Shaunt S . Duggins August 2015 Chair: Holly B. Lane Major: Special Education Many children fail to develop as proficient readers. Stude nts ’ reading profiles are influenced by factors including oral language, vocabulary, and inferential abilities. Reading aloud an area of young children’s literacy experience that has received increased attention because of its potential to support language and literacy. However, simply reading aloud to students is no panacea. Researchers have posited that the teacher and text play an integral role in creating rich teacher student discourse. However, the field would benefit from observational studies that ex plore teacher and student discourse using informational text, specifically in the context of highpoverty schools. The purpose of this descriptive observational, mixed method study was to explore the literal and inferential talk of teachers and students w ithout any professional development. The study was conducted in seven elementary schools in one district. Schools were selected based on the percentage of students who qualify to participate in the free and reduced price lunch (FRPL) program, which serves as an indicator of the poverty level of the school. Teacher participants included nine kindergarten teachers, 10 first grade teachers, and 98 students. T o address the purpose, t his study utilized behavioral observational research methods as well as a surve y of 12

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teacher reported practices . The researcher coded video observations of each teacher reading aloud three researcher selected informational texts. In all, 57 videos were coded for analysis. Observational f indings indicate that teachers and students engage in talk at all levels of linguistic abstraction. Overall, teachers engaged in higher rates of talk compared to students. Data show that both teachers and students engage in higher rates of talk at the inf erential level than literal level. Differences were also found in the rates of occurrence for both teachers and students. Survey findings suggest that teachers should be provided with support in order to overcome barriers they identified that limit them fr om reading aloud to their students. Further research should be conducted that utilize sequential analysis to explore the relationship between teacher talk and student talk. Additionally, research should incorporate features of effective professional development to support teacher s in integrating informational texts for read alouds in meaningful ways. 13

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Challenges of High Poverty Schools There are many factors that contribute to patterns of low achievement for various groups of children. The impact of such factors is far reaching. One such challenge that students face is being placed in high poverty schools. The condition of poverty is com plex, and the effects of poverty are numerous, and intensified when children in poverty are clustered in the same schools. It has been noted that concentration of poverty in school affects student achievement, independent of the socioeconomic status of the child (Darling Hammond, 2010). Regardless of level of achievement, students in highpoverty school have lower achievement compared to students in lower poverty schools . Additionally, the children whose achievement is the most suppressed in high poverty school s are high achieving students (Burney & Bei l ke, 2008). In the United States, child poverty percentages are the highest of industrialized countries (Darling Hammond, 2010 p.31). This leaves numerous children in schools where the majority of students are clustered in poverty. High concentration of poverty is linked to limited access to learning opportunities and low achievement for numerous American children. Though many factors impact low achievement of children living in poverty. This link can be exp lained by examining one such factor, school funding. School Funding In the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling, desegregation efforts were intended to secure equal funding and resources for all students, but in many instances changes were not actualized (Spring, 2013). Schools still received unequal distribution of funding which directly affected student achievement. Years later, in another landmark case the federal district court ruled in Rodriguez v. San Antonio Independent School District (1971) that school finance is a 14

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constitutional issue; the Supreme Court overturned the decision. This act demonstrated a lack of commitment to equal funding for schools (Spring, 2013). Still today, many schools that are under funded serve children who are marginalize d as a result of their socioeconomic status, and/or race. The politicaleconomic structure theory of poverty suggests that systematic ba rriers are in place that thwarts the poor from access in a variety of institutions . This includes education (Bradshaw, 2006). School funding is an example of a systematic barrier for many high poverty schools. The issue of school funding has been a long debated topic. On the one ha n d, the argument is that money does not make a difference for student achievement. That statem ent has an element of truth because money that is misallocated will not make a difference. However, unequal distribution of funding negatively affects a child’s ability to access needed resources in the school setting (Kozol, 1992). Such resources include access to high quality effective teachers, access to advanced comprehensive curriculum, and environmental conditions needed to support teaching and learning (Darling Hamm ond, 2010). Funding that targets specific areas such as investments in teacher quality and school resources make a difference. In essence, money can matter and it does when it is allocated to targeted areas. To underscore the fact that money does matter a study showed that when funding was increased for districts that were traditionally low spending, student achievement improved and improved more for students classified as low achieving (Darling Hammond, 2010, p.114). Another study of distribution of school spending and distribution of student test scores found that equalization of spending across districts led to a narrowing of disparities in test score outcomes for students across various socioeconomic backgrounds (Chard & Payne, 2002). Limited Access to Learning Opportunities High concentration of poverty is often equated with limited acc ess to learning opportunities . This begins early when young children have limited access to high quality early 15

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learning opportunities (DarlingHammond, 2010) even though children in poverty gain more as a result of high quality early education (Barnett & M asse, 2007). Children in poverty who do not have access to high quality early learning opportunities are often evaluated as “not ready” for school because they have not been exposed to the experiences that are valued in formal school setting s and the wealt h of experiences that they do have are not valued (Delpit, 2006). The result of a high concentration of poverty is clusters of low graduation rates in large urban districts. Throughout the country, urban districts are dropout “epicenters.” A few districts collectively produce 1/5 of all dropouts in the na tion (Graduation by the numbers , 2010). Many children who drop out of high schools where the majority of children live in poverty attended elementary and junior high schools that mirrored similar realities. Since children in poverty do not get educational preparation needed in the early years, they are not prepared for college (Burney & Bei l ke, 2008). Furthermore, students in poverty also have limited access to challenging curriculum and teaching. Many class rooms lack challenging curriculum and opportunities for students to participate in advanced courses. As such, students are often not provided with access to necessary skills like critical thinking, problems solving, collaboration, and oral and written comm unication. Environmental conditions also differ in high poverty schools where teachers often struggle with how to connect with students and how to make learning meaningful for students (Darling Hammond, 2010). Furthermore, students have limited access to r esources such as technology (Chapman, Maters & Pedulla, 2010) and even strong school libraries (Pribesh, Gavigan & Dickinson, 2011). In addition, researchers have noted during the summer months that low income students tend to los e ground academically and as students matriculate through school the negative effects increase. Comparatively, middle class students appeared to gain 16

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during summer months (Cooper, Nye, Charlton, Lindsay & Greathouse, 1996) . High concentration of poverty is a link to limited access to learning opportunities and low achievement for numerous American children. Reading Instruction Many children fail to develop as proficient readers (Snow, Burns & Griffin, 1998). In 1991, the publication of Ready to Learn: A Mandate for the Nation stat ed that “over one third of U.S Children enter public schools with such low levels of the skills and motivation needed as starting points in our current educational system that they are at substantial risk for early academic difficulties” (as ci ted in Storc h & Whitehurst, 2002, p.53). More recently, NAEP scores revealed that the average fourth grade reading score in 2011 remained the same from 2007, and only four points higher than 1992 (National Center for Education Statistics, 2011), despite a push to impr ove literacy rates, especially for children in poverty. More specifically, a recent national assessment of large urban districts in America reported that only 57% of low income fourth graders read at or above the basic level in 2013 compared to 47% in 2003. Though there have been improvements in students’ reading achievement, a large percentage of students are still below the basic level in reading (National Center for Education Statistics, 2013). The significance of teaching all students to read is widely accepted. Learning to read or not learning to read has many implications for students. Teaching beginning reading effectively has received increased attention because if young children fail to develop basic reading skills during the first few years of scho ol this can lead to not only academic, but also economic, and social emotional difficulties (Wharton McDonald, Pressley, & Hampston, 1998). Researchers have found that students who are identified as poor readers by the end of their first grade year rarely obtain average level reading abilities (Adams, 1990). This is better know as the “Matthew Effect” since it describes the phenomena that good readers get “richer” and non proficient 17

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readers get “poorer” (Stanovich, 1986) if they are not provided with effect ive instruction and intervention. This could be because schools label kids as proficient or not by the end of first grade so this is a self fulfilling prophecy. Young children come to see themselves as poor readers and they stay that way. Further, testing has made this worse because it provides “objective” evidence of deficiency. Effective reading instruction and intervention are imperative for young readers so that they are proficient (Foorman & Moats, 2004; Fuchs & Fuchs, 2006; Torgesen, 2002). Effects of Teacher Quality H aving an effective teacher can make a difference in student achievement and this is particularly true for students in high poverty settings who are less likely to have high quality instruction . According to DarlingHammond (2010), if low income minority students were consistently given highqualified teachers, the achievement gap would be greatly reduced. Teachers are the most disproportionately allocated school resource in the United States (Darling Hammond, 2010, p. 40). In part this is explained because w ealthier majority white districts receive more funding (Books, 2007, p.12; DarlingHammond, 2010, p.22). Additionally, both novice and experienced teachers are less likely to remain in high poverty contexts where the instructional challenges are great, supports are insufficient, and teachers are often blamed for poor performance of students. Districts that serve students in poverty are more likely to have teachers who are not certified and are novice (Darling Hammond & Bransford, 2005, p.238). Novice teachers have an adverse impact on student achievement because it takes several years for teachers to foster maximum achievement from students . In a study including schools with the highest proportions of novice teachers, researchers found that even after controlling for student characteristics, student achievement decreased more that 20 percent (Darling Hammond, 2010, p. 108). Furthermore, there is a high turnover rate for teachers who enter the field without 18

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complete preparation. A study by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found that 49% of teachers without certification left the field within five years (as cited in Darling Hammond, 2010). This creates a revolving door. On average, high poverty schools lose one fifth of the ir faculty each year (Ingersoll, 2004). Extant research has found that such factors negatively affect students in poverty regardless of student socioeconomic status (Clorfelter, Ladd, & Vigdor, 2007; The Education Trust , 2006). National Policies Consider ing the plethora of challenges that students and teachers face in highpoverty schools, national mandates have emerged to address concerns about student achievement. More specifically, in response to the ongoing crisis in literacy achievement rates among the nation’s economically venerable population of children, policymakers have implemented initiatives to improve literacy achievement. Three recent policy initiatives are the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Rac e to the Top of 2009, and the Common Core State Standards initiative of 2010. Each initiative will be briefly explained along with a few ramifications. The first policy is the No Child Left Behind Act (No Child Left Behind [NCLB], 2002) . The goals of the law are to “ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to attain high quality education and reach, at a minimum, proficiency on challenging state academic achievement standards and state academic assessments” (U.S. Congress, 2 001). NCLB highlighted the importance of effective reading instruction, with its companion program, Reading First. One of the ramifications of the No Child Left Behind Act has been increased attention on the role that teachers play to ensure the success of all students (NCLB, 2002) . This law requires that states provide “highly qualified” teachers to all students, including students in high poverty settings. Criteria include that teachers have at least a bachelor’s degree, full state certification (this inc ludes alternate certification) or passing scores on the state licensing exam, 19

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and competence in the subjects they teach. Scholars have highlighted that despite good intensions the policy actually penalizes low income schools (Novak & Fuller, 2003), and make s it less appealing for well qualified and experienced teachers to work at schools label ed “failing” (Cochran Smith, 2005). Another policy initiative, Race to the Top (2009), was created to advance reforms around four specific areas (1) adapting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy, (2) building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instructio n, (3) recruit ing , developing , reward, and retainining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most, and (4) turn ing around the lowest achieving schools ( Department of Education, 2009). The criteria that had the most weight for st ate applications for funding were improving teacher and principal effectiveness based on performance. Consequently, there has been increased attention on measuring teacher effectiveness. One method that has been used more in recent years in the value add ed model (VAM). In this method, student data are used to estimate the value or effect of a teacher. There are several limitations of VAM as a way to measure teacher effect, especially for primary teachers in the early grades. Numerous scholars acknowledge the limitations of VA M and caution that more than on e source of data should be used to determine teacher effectiveness (Strong, Gargani, & Hacifazlioglu, 2011; Stronge, Ward, & Grant, 2011). Relying on one source of data such as VAM for high stakes purpose s is “woefully inadequate” (Stronge, Ward, & Grant, 2011, p.351). Scholars note that there is not enough evidence to support the use of VAM for high stakes decisions about specific schools or teachers (McCaffrey, Koretz. Lockwook, & 20

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Hamilton, 2004). Despit e the cautions of researchers and scholars, many school districts use VAM to measure teacher effectiveness. More recently, forty five states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity have adopted the Comm on Core State Standards ( National Governors Association, 2010) . The new standards differ from previous standards and both teachers and students are challenged respectively. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS; National Governors Association, 2010) for En glish Language Arts are a set of new standards of what students should know and be able to do, kindergarten through grade 12. The purpose is to ensure that all students are college and career ready and are able to compete on a global scale (Neuman & Gambrell, 2013). One essential difference in the standards is the shift from skills alone to skills implemented in the context of complex texts (Shahahan & Duffett, 2013). There is a call for increased opportunities for students to be engaged with a range of com plex and informational text. For example, through grade 4, the new standards include a recommended distribution of literary (50%) and informational text (50%) and as children matriculate through school the distribution of information text sh ould increase t o 70% and literar y text 30% by 12th grade. Additionally, the standards call for teachers to expose students to texts that provide language complexity appropriate to the grade level. In 2012, shortly after voluntary adoption of the standards, a survey study of 1,154 fourth through tenth grade public school teachers of English, language arts, reading was conducted. Overall findings suggest that teachers have an optimistic view but may be misjudging the kinds of changes that will need to take place. More speci fically, elementary teachers mostly assign text based on students’ reading levels, which may not provide the language complexity required. Additionally, many teachers 21

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(73% of elementary teachers) reported that their lessons are still dominated by skills an d not on using text to teach skills (Shahahan & Duffett, 2013). These three initiatives demonstrate that steps are being taken to ensure that reforms are being implemented with the goal of ensuring all students are provided with effective teachers and eff ective instruction. However, despite good intentions, there have been negative consequences. Teachers are under increased pressure to perform and this is especially true of teachers in high poverty schools (Assaf, 2006; ByrdBlake, Afolayan, Hunt, Fabunmi, Pryor, & Leander, 2010). Concerning the most recent reform, the Common Core State Standards, little research has been conduced post CCSS to ascertain specific teacher practices nec essary to achieve the standards, nor the kinds of professional development and instructional support necessary for teachers to learn and use these practices (McLaughlin & Overturf, 2012; Neuman & Gambrell, 2013). Language Development and Read Alouds In th e classroom environment, learning is accomplished primarily though interaction (Hall & Walsh, 2002). However, in many early childhood settings (i.e., pre kindergarten) , classroom conversations are not stimulating (Massey, 2004). This is especially true in today’s educational climate. In light of high stakes tests, schools face increased burdens to cover tested content. This reduces the opportunities for oral language in classrooms (Kirkland & Patterson, 2005). Research tells us that oral language is import ant for ‘learning to learn’ (Hill & Launder, 2010). Children who have strong oral language skills are more likely to develop strong reading and writing skills, as they get older. On the other hand, children who have oral language difficulties have a greater chance of having reading and writing difficulties (Catts, Fey, Tomblin, Zhang, 2002; Scarborough, 2001). Oral language is related to literacy in that literacy is claimed to both influence and be influenced by oral language (Watson, 2001). Furthermore, or al language 22

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is important because it bolsters the development of phonological awareness and reading comprehension (Bowyer Crane, Snowling, Duff, Hulme , 2011). Extant research supports the notion that comprehension is affected by a child’s verbal ability and oral language skills which plays a role in reading achievement in the early years (Storch & Whitehurst, 2002; Whitehurst, 1997). Of particular importance is the finding that early focus on meaning skills, such as oral language and vocabulary, can help low income children attain literacy success (Hemphill & Tivnan, 2008). One particular instructional practice in primary classrooms that can afford children the opportunity to engage in language and support oral language development is reading aloud. Researchers have proposed that the characteristics of oral language associated with higher levels of literacy can be orally transmitted. For example, oral language can be passed on to children from their caregivers through every day discourse or book reading (Hoff, 2006; Watson, 2001). A meta analysis conducted by Mol, Bus, and de Jong (2009) examined 31 experiments of interactive book reading in pre kindergarten and kindergarten and reported that reading aloud interactively can improve children’s oral language and print related skills. Furthermore, the study highlighted the fact that both quality of book reading and frequency are important and that whole group interactive reading sessions are effective at improving children’s oral language and print related skills. Researchers suggested more studies be conducted that can provide information about the most promising implementation strategies. A more recent meta analysis of read aloud interventions for preschool though third graders at risk of reading difficulties was conducted by Swanson, et al. (2011). Analysis of the 29 studies supports the contention that young children who are at risk for reading difficulties (based on at least one category: low achievement in phonemic awareness, vocabulary, or letter 23

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identification; few preschool or home literacy experiences; low socioeconomic status; family history of reading disability; or attended a school with historically low reading achievement) benefit from read aloud interventions. Meta analysis showed significant and posi tive effects on young children’s language, phonological awareness, print concepts, vocabulary, and comprehension. These scholars also note d that more research should be conducted to understand specific features of read alouds that are most valuable for chi ldren’s literacy outcomes. Significance of the Study Effectively reading aloud to children can support language development. However, the field would benefit from observational studies exploring the existing practices of primary teachers in high poverty schools. There has been extensive research on discourse practices (Cabell, et al. , 2011; Justice, Weber, Ezell, & Bakerman, 2002; Mashburn, Pianta, Hamre, Downer, Barbarin, Bryant, Burchinal, Early, & Howes et al. , 2008; Zucker, Justice, Piasta, & Kaderav ek, 2010), the impact of text features on discourse (Dynia, Justice, Pentimonti, Piasta, & Kaderavek 2013; Pellegrini, Perlmutter,Galda, & Brody, 1990; Pentimonti, Zucker, Justice, & Kaderavek, 2010; Price, van Kleeck, & Huberty, 2009; Torr,& Clugston, 1999), and benefits of read alouds (Justice, McGinty, Piasta, Kaderavek, & Fan, 2010; Silverman, Crandell, & Carlis, 2013; van Kleeck, Woude, & Hammett, 2006; Zucker, Cabell, Justice, Pentimonti, & Kaderavek, 2013). However, these studies have been conducted only in the pre kindergarten settings. Further research is warranted that explores read aloud practices in the early primary grades, kindergarten and first grade, specifically in the context of high poverty schools. Given the challenges and needs of students in poverty, little is known about how teachers use readalouds to support students’ oral language, especially in light of the newly adopted Common Core State Standards which require s teachers to introduce students to more informational texts , beginning in earlier grades . The study will also inform future readaloud intervention studies. Findings can be used to 24

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shape teacher learning in the context of preservice teacher education as well as in service teacher development by integrating what is learned about effective teacher practices that encourage student discourse in high poverty schools . Theoretical Framework This study was guided by Bronfenbrenner’s ecological framework of human development as well as the social interactionist theory of Vygotsky. Each theory will be briefly explained as well as how they have informed the study. Additionally, a conceptual framework will be presented that combines these theories to illustrate the connection between the various environmental systems and social interac tions on young children’s discourse practices. The Ecological Systems theory supports the idea that various types of environmental systems influence development. At the center, and nested within systems is the child. The first level is the microsystem, which comprises the immediate setting containing the child. This includes the home and school. Next is the mesosystem, which includes the interrelations among the major setting s of the child at a specific point in life. For a young child this may include how family experiences relate to school experiences. The exosystem is an extension of the mesosystem but includes formal and informal social structures where the child does not have an active role. This includes media and governmental agencies. The macrosystem is the outermost system and encompasses culture and socio economic status (Bronfenbrenner, 1977). This theory helps to explain how several systems collectively impact a child. The literature is clear that both home and school systems impact children’s literacy learning. Existing literature highlights the fact that caregiver’s language in the home environment impact young children’s language and literacy development beyond the early years (Hart & Risley, 1995; Hood, Conlon, & Andrews, 2008; Rodriquez, et al ., 2009). In fact, studies on book reading in the home show that teachers can prove to be extremely beneficial to families of young children as they can support parents in 25

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creating environments for children to engage in language and literacy activities (S nchal & Young, 2008). Researchers also caution teachers to seriously consider the importance of the home and family as constructors of literacy development. McTavish (2007) notes that teachers should not characterize all children living in disadvantaged a reas as coming to school with little experience with print as that type of thinking will be detrimental to the expectations that they hold for certain students. This study focuses on the microsystem and how classroom teacher s and their students e ngage in l iteral and inferential talk during read alouds using informational texts. The interactionist or socialinteractionist theory rests on the belief that social interaction plays a key role in the development of cognition. According to Vygotsky, children lear n as a result of their social interactions with others. Vygotsky (1978) noted that, “every function in the child’s cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level” (p.57). Another facet of the theory is the notion that children can do more with the help of someone who is more knowledgeable compared to what they are able to do on their own. Vygotsky coined the term zone of proximal development (ZPD) to explain the level that the child can achieve success wit h appropriate support or scaffolding. As such, students will benefit from the scaffolding of teachers as they engage in early literacy activities such as reading aloud. The teacher can introduce texts and concepts beyond the child’s actual developmental le vel, and provide the child with the guidance nedessary to be successful. Recent scholars have applied this theory to adult child interaction and have found that positive interactions that occur regularly support language acquisition (Chapman, 2000). This s tudy will highlight that practices of teachers are embedded in social interaction since it impacts the development of literacy knowledge and literacy learning. 26

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Conceptual Framework In their seminal study, Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experiences of Young American Children, Hart and Risley (1995) suggest that children who are provided with opportunities to engage in rich language experiences such as conversation with caregivers will hear on average 2,150 words per hour compared to only 620 words pe r hour for children who are engaged in fewer occasions for language. The authors recommend that parents involve their children in a variety of language opportunities. The recommendations provided are certainly reasonable, but the study is approached from a deficit perspective about what children bring to school. Since children spend a considerable number of waking hours in school, teachers should also involve young students in opportunities that foster language development. Valds, Bunch, Snow, Lee and Mat os (2005) recognize that every child brings some type of literacy knowledge to the classroom, and state that it is the responsibility of the school system to ensure that all children leave with a complete set of literacy skills. Fur thermore, Delpit (2006) explained that oftentimes the knowledge that children who are not from middle class families bring to school is not always viewed as an asset, even though such children come with creative and critical t hinking. Delpit further suggested that teachers in urb an schools should demand their students build on and engage in critical thinking. Additionally, teachers should teach strategies and conventions that students might not have, within contexts that provide meaning. The Role of Interactions Haberman (1991) a sserted that there are certain core functions of typical teachers of children in poverty, which constitute the pedagogy of poverty. Assumptions are impacted by societal expectations of teachers, but are antagonistic to what good teaching should be in high poverty schools. For example, many teachers in high poverty schools focus on discipline and 27

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control as a perquisite condition of learning. Because of this , students are rewarded for being quiet. In sharp contrast, effective teachers of children in poverty view discipline and control as a consequence of their teaching. Among several descriptions, Haberman noted that good teaching occurs when students are involved in discussing real issues such as differences and justice, when they have a real choice in what they will learn, and when they are actively involved. Furthermore, good teaching is the “process of drawing out rather than stuffing in” (p.294). He argued that it is important to understand the intricacies of teacher student interactions in high poverty schools. As depicted in the conceptual framework below (Figure 1 1 ), several environmental systems impact s tudent learning. More specifically, practices of teachers are embedded in the concentric circle closest to the child where social interactions impact the development of literacy knowledge and literacy learning. Reading books aloud to children is a promising way to engage in conversation and ask children questions. They will have opportunities to listen to and use language. Read alouds in classrooms can be examined by looking at several factors such as book area, time for adult child book reading, curricular integration, connections between the home and classroom, and nature of the book reading event (Dickinson, McCabe & Anastasopoulos, 2003). However, there is a critical need to conduct research on the nature of the bookreading event specifically in the con text of the primary classroom utilizing informational texts , highlightin g practices of teachers in high poverty schools. Such practices include teacher talk , which includes opportunities for st udents to engage in discussion as well as student talk. The pre sent study will explore teacher and student literal and inferential utterances in high poverty kindergarten and first grade classroom s . 28

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Figure 1 1. Impact of Environmental Systems on Teacher Student Interactions Purpose of the Study The purpose of this observational descriptive study is to examine the occurrence of teacher and student literal and inferential utterances during read alouds of informational texts in kindergarten and first grade classrooms in high poverty schools. Descriptive and inferentia l statistics were used to analyze the data collected. The following research questions guided the present study in the context of readalouds of informational books in high poverty elementary schools: 1. What is the rate of teacher literal and inferential utterances during read alouds in kindergarten and first grade classrooms in high poverty schools ? 2. What is the rate of student literal and inferential utterances during read alouds in kindergarten and first grade classrooms in high poverty schools ? 3. What are the read aloud practices self reported by teacher s working in kindergarten and first grade classrooms in high poverty schools ? 29

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CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Reading aloud is one area of young children’s literacy experience that has received increased attention. Researchers have reported benefits of read alouds but have questioned the typical approach to conducting them. Of importance is the role of the teacher and text in creating rich teacher student discourse. Such interactions have positive effects on young children’s language development. Scholars have noted that the role of an effective teacher is particularly important for children in poverty. The purpose of this review was to explore the literature related to (a) adult student discourse ; (b) outcomes of read aloud interventions; and (c) text considerations for read alouds. Adult Child Discourse The following questions guided this review (1) what is the relationship between adult student discourse and student achievement? and (2) What spe cific adult practices encourage student discourse? Studies were obtained by using EBSCOhost and the databases of Academic Search Premier, PsycInfo and Professional Development Collection for scholarly peer reviewed academic articles using a combination of the following key terms: “discourse patterns,” “literacy,” “teacher student discourse,” and “oral language interactions” within the time of 19992012. Additionally an ancestral hand search was conducted as not to exclude studies before 1999 that met the cr iteria for inclusion. Inclusion criteria were as follows: studies that focused on adult child discourse, prekindergarten through elementary school age children , focused on literacy, and studies whose participants were not only second language learners. The e ight studies that met the criteria are included. In many classroom settings teachers tend to direct the conversation (Bitter, O’Day, Gubbins & Socias, 2009) and conversations may not necessarily be stimulating (Justice, 30

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Mashburn Hamre & Pianta, 2008; Ma ssey, 2004). Traditional discourse practices may contribute to creating inequalities in opportunities students have to cultivate complex language skills and knowledge (Hall & Walsh, 2002). Scholars have found that there are several benefits to engaging in research around teacher student discourse. Studies on discourse analysis have shown how schools are able to craft opportunities for students who have been historically marginalized to engage in classroom discourse (Rex, et al. , 2010). According to Rex et al. (2010), discourse is defined as “instances of communication through language” (p. 95). Myhill (2006) maintains that the term interaction is very broad and can be misleading in the literature since it is all encompassing and can include teacher dominated talk. However, in the literature, both discourse and interactions are often used interchangeably. This section of the literature review focuses on the relationship between adult child discourse and student achievement and specific teacher behaviors that encourage discourse. Studies around adult child discourse are beneficial to researchers and classroom teachers as educators consciously seek to make educational achievement equitable for all students. Relationship Between Adult child Interaction and Stude nt Achievement Scholars have found that there are several benefits to engaging in research around adult child discourse. Such studies show a link between teacher child interactions and achievement. Two studies from the search addressed this topic. In a la rge scale study Mashburn et al. (2008) examined students’ academic, language, and social development in pre K in relation to three methods for assessing program quality, including teacher interactions with students. The CLASS (Pianta, La Paro, & Hamre, 2007), which is an observational instrument used to assess classroom interactions , was used to measure the quality of teacher child interaction in this study . I nstructional support was a composite score of concept development and quality of feedback. Concept development is the approach teachers 31

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use to foster higher order thinking skills and creativity in students through use of instructional discussions and problem solving. Additionally, quality of feedback entails the verbal evaluation that teachers give stud ents in reference to their thoughts. Participants included 2,439 students, in 671 pre K classrooms in 11 states. Programs were sampled because they were in operation for numerous years and served a large number of students. Results suggest that quality of instructional interactions is positively associated with the five measures of academic and language development that included receptive and expressive language, rhyming, applied problem solving, and letter naming. Moreover, the measure of pre kindergarten quality that was most constant and strongly associated with children’s development was the teacher child interactions (Mashburn et al., 2008). There are four limitations of this study. First, the study did not measure two indicators of quality included in the National Institute for Early Education Research ( NIEER ) checklist : professional development and program monitoring . This is important since researchers were not able to test whether these indicators impacted the developmental outcomes for children. Sec ond, the programs selected may differ from other programs since they are largescale programs that generally receive publ ic funding, which, impacts the generalizability of finding to different types of programs. The third limitation is that children who pa rticipated in the study may be different from those who did not consent to participate. This can result in an underestimation of the effects for children in prekindergarten. The last limitation is that there were relatively small effects possibly because o f the large sample and they should be interpreted with caution. In a another study, Cabell, et al., (2011) provided professional development to teachers based on the Learning Language and Loving It program. These scholars explored the extent that teachers ’ participation in responsivity education (used to increase teachers ability to be 32

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responsive conversational partners with children) impact ed the language and literacy skills of their students. Participants included 49 teachers from Head Start programs (27) and state funded prekindergarten programs in public elementary schools (11) and 330 students from low socioeconomic backgrounds or those who “exhibited specific risk factors” such as low parent education, homelessness, or health/developmental problems. C enters were randomly assigned to the intervention that focused on extending interactions and promoting engagement. One finding was that teachers who received the professional development used a greater rate of responsivity strategies compared to teachers i n the control group. Students in the intervention group showed significantly higher levels of print concept knowledge skills. Furthermore, students’ vocabulary growth was associated with teachers’ use of responsivity strategies regardless of whether the te acher was in the treatment or control group. Cabell and colleagues maintained that when students actively participate in conversations, they were propelled to attain higher levels of verbal productivity . The reverse was also true; students who were ‘less c onversationally skilled’ tend to have more teacher dominated directive interactions. Such students need increased opportunities to be active participants in meaningful conversations. Li mitations of the study are: the reduced intensity approach to professional development impacted the variability within and between tr eatment and control groups, dialectical dif ferences were not examined, and the study did not explore the impact of the intervention on social skills or peer interactions. The authors note that f urther research in this area is warranted. Adult Practices That Encourage Student Discourse Hall and Walsh (2002) reviewed the literature on teacher student interaction and language learning and investigated specific methods used in teacher student intera ction that promote language learning. The authors conclude that there are at least two versions of the triadic dialogue (also known as Initiation Response EvaluationIRE) used in teacher student 33

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interaction for whole group settings. They noted that the typical discourse patterns in classrooms comprise the teacher led threepart sequence of Initiation Response Evaluation (IRE). In this pattern, the teacher initiates the interaction by asking a question (to which usually the answer is known to the teacher), r eceives a response from one student and then evaluates the response with a brief affirmation or disavowal. The authors note d that this IRE type of interaction negatively impacts students in that they may be less willing to try and voice ideas, and often us e less complex language. This is evident in early childhood settings through university level (Hall & Walsh, 2002) . The second version of dialogue differs is in the last part, the follow up. Analyses of the literature suggest that w hen the teachers’ follow up expands on the students’ response, they allow the student to become involved. Teacher student interactions not only impact what students learn, but how willing a student is to participate in later educational events (Hall & Wals h, 2002). Teachers play an integral role in classroom interactions. They set the tone for what types of discourse occur. Six studies reported adult practices that encourage student discourse. Molinari, Mameli and Gnisci (2012) investigated the characteris tics of classroom discourse and identified and explored the different interactive sequences that can be captured with sequential statistical analysis. First grade teachers were asked to volunteer from three primary schools in Italy. The teachers did not re ceive any training and there were no student outcome measurements. Authors found that there are different forms and meanings associated with the IRF pattern (Initiation Response Feedback). Four types of sequences were identified: focused question/correct a nswer/ simple follow up, focused question/incorrect answer/refusal, focused question/ incorrect answer/scaffold, and question/correct or incorrect response/ elaboration the last sequence is recommended to encourage discourse. After coding teacher and student talk, two kinds of analyses were conducted. Frist, authors described basic characteristics 34

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of discourse using frequencies and percentages. Second, sequential analysis was used. Findings revealed that teachers controlled most transactions since question s had a focused objective. They report that teacher follow ups were most often simple, 59.5%. Only 11.5% of follow ups were coded as elaboration. This is noteworthy since elaborations provide children with more opportunities to elaborate, clarify or deepen their response, and that occurred less frequently in this study. Limitations of the study include the fact that observations took place in a few classrooms of similar context and in a variety of content areas. Additionally, the authors were unable to draw conclusions as to the effectiveness of the sequences of interactions. In a participant action research in primary and middle schools on how teachers use talk in whole class setting to scaffold learning and develop understanding, Myhill (2006) analyzed vi deo recordings of interactions along with teacher reflections and student interviews. Specifically, teachers’ questioning, differential participation in interactions, and use of prior knowledge to scaffold learning were examined by analyzing video recordin gs and teacher and student interviews. Questions that teachers asked were categorized by form and function. Findings revealed that overall, teacher discourse in whole class teaching afforded few opportunities for student learning. Whole class teaching was teacher dominated revealing traditional discourse patterns of teacher student teacher, which is oriented more towards coverage, and students rarely initiate talk. Most questions asked by teachers were factual and required a closed response. Due to the na ture of these questions, factual questions are not likely to be followed by students’ responses to be extended. The average length of a student response in the literacy whole class teaching was four words. There is a strong relationship between the length of students’ response and the type of question used by the teacher. Scholars recommend that teachers use questions that do not have predetermined answers to encourage student 35

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discourse. Limitations of the study include the fact that the selection criteria for participants were not identified nor were a description of the participants and settings. According to Delpit (2006), teachers should be sensitive to the fact that students come to school with different kinds of knowledge and acknowledge and use prior knowledge from out of school contexts as well as school experiences to scaffold learning for students. However, Myhill noted that most teachers (and students) had a limited definition of what prior knowledge entailed. Most did not take into account prior knowledge from personal out of school experiences, though they mentioned school based curriculum prior knowledge. Teachers’ actual use of student’s prior knowledge was minimal, comprising a mere 3% of statements (Myhill, 2006). The authors note that use of out of school prior knowledge might scaffold interactions and ultimately the achievement of students who traditionally underachieve by school standards. The study conducted by Myhill (2006) did not provide demographic information regarding the school or cl assroom contexts. No information is provided regarding the characteristics of teachers or students included. The methodology is also unclear. Another limitation is that the study focused only on whole class discourse in the content areas of reading and mat h. In another study, Justice, Weber, Ezell, and Bakerman (2002) explored the extent to which preschool children were responsive to adults’ references to print during readaloud interactions. In the study, 15 parents and their preschool children (4 years , 2 months to 5 years, 1 month) participated. Parents received training in the use of print referencing strategies. The reading sessions of dyads were video recorded using one picture book. Researchers used descriptive and sequential analysis to analyze th e data. Results indicated that when parents used directives and questions, children’s participation in interactions increased. This study has several limitations. One limitation is that researchers analyzed only one shared reading session using a 36

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picture b ook. This does not allow for comparison of discourse with other genres. Another limitation is that par ents received limited training that may have impacted their ability to use print referencing strategies effectively. The final limitation is that the stud y did not examine the relationship between the skill level of the child and their performance during the shared reading session or the effects of children’s responses to print references on later literacy development. The field would benefit from knowing how adult training impacts child achievement. The authors call for additional studies that explore the relationship between prompts and questions/requests and subsequent child responses. In a qualitative study, Gillies (2011) collected audiotapes of lessons and samples of student’s language to analyze the types of questions teachers use to promote problem solving, and reasoning in their students, and how students use discourse in small groups to problem solve. In this study, three teachers were randomly selected (from a group of teachers who participated in a larger study) who taught year 5 or 6 students in Australia. Teachers were identified as “competent teachers” by principals and peers. Participants received a two day workshop that introduced them to elem ents of cooperative learning, how to use exploratory talk, and ways to promote student interaction. Analysis one randomly selected audiotape from each teacher revealed that teachers in the study used varied questioning strategies, but higher level question s led to dialogic exchanges. Findings suggest that when students engage in reciprocal dialogues, their responses depended on the questions they were asked which shaped future questions. Students’ response suggests that they modeled the types of questions t eachers used. Limitations of this study include the fact that only one lesson per classroom was analyzed. More observations would be beneficial, as it would allow for a more representative estimate of teacher practice. 37

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Gillies recommend an emphasis on unde rstanding how to guide and promote higher level thinking in students. In a collaborative action research pertaining to questions teachers use, Nassaji and Wells (2000) looked at the relationship between the two types of initiating questions and the kind of follow up to see how occurrences of evaluation would vary depending on the type of initiating question during whole class interaction in different content areas . In all, nine elementary and middle school teachers participated. What they found was that the structure of triadic dialogue varies depending on the purpose of the activity, which impacts the follow up moves utilized. Results indicate that negotiatory questions (the ‘answer’ is reached through openended discussion between teacher and students toge ther) were evaluated more frequently. When students are asked negotiatory questions, they provide longer and more complex responses, and the opposite is true when they are asked known information questions. Teachers who asked more questions were more likel y to offer different follow ups such as clarifications, or explanations. The more teachers provide an evaluative response, the more likely students are to give shorter and less complex responses. Furthermore, evaluations differed depending on the type of question. For example, evaluative follow ups in response to known information questions evaluated if the response was correct or incorrect. On the other hand, evaluative follow ups in response to negotiatory questions included praise for participating or included elaboration. The authors believe that the purpose of an activity needs to be considered for the discourse to be fully interpreted. This seems to suggest that practices that support constructivist learning are the strategies that should be used. A later study explored whether features of the text being read were related to teachers’ questions and how these questions were related to children’s responses and vocabulary 38

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development during the pre school year (Zucker, Justice, Piasta, and Kaderavek, 2010). Twenty five preschool teachers of 159 students experiencing developmental risks, largely due to poverty were included in the study. Twenty two classrooms were classified as urban, and three classified as rural classrooms were included in the study. T eachers were provided with two 2.5 hours of training workshops where they were presented with general information. The researchers wanted to observe discourse practices under typical conditions with minimal professional development. Descriptive statistics and sequential analytical methods were used to analyze coded interactions. Researchers found that the type of text used influences teacher child interactions because informational narrative text allows for more inferential questions. Also, teachers’ quest ions were significantly related to the level of children’s responses. Surprisingly, teachers’ inferential questioning was not related to vocabulary growth of children. Authors propose measurement issues. There was a significant correlation between the fall class average on expressive vocabulary and teachers’ total inferential question use which suggest that teachers’ level of questions may be connected to higher levels of child competence. This study did not address teacher follow up to students’ response. Another aspect that was not addressed in this study was the role of various genre of text on teachers’ level of abstraction and students’ response. Even though the researchers wanted to observe teachers with minimal professional development, sharing ideas about making reading aloud interactive does interfere with “business as usual” so it may have influenced typical shared reading practices. Additionally, further research is warranted to include a more diverse sample of students. Summary on Adult Child Dis course Overall, findings from the studies on adult child discourse indicate that there is a relationship between adult child discourse and student achievement. Moreover, researchers have documented specific adult practices that encourage discourse. Though limited, the studies 39

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included in this section provide an explanation of the relationship between adult child interaction and achievement. Such interactions can positively impact vocabulary development and literacy skills. Scholars recommend that in an eff ort to improve instruction to young children, there should be a focus on ways to directly improve adult child interactions that occur in the classroom (Mashburn et al., 2008). Cabell and colleagues (2011) called for examination of the extent to which teach ers need to employ specific strategies to accelerate student’s language skills, and identify effective and efficient ways to promote teachers’ conversational responsivity. In summary, extant research has demonstrated that specific adult practices encourage student discourse. Such practices include use of open questions also referred to as higher level questions, inferential questions and negotiatory questions (Gillies, 2011; Justice et al., 2002; Molinari et al., 2012; Myhill, 2006; Nassaji & Wells, 2000; Z ucker et al., 2010); expanding on students’ response during follow up instead of evaluating (Hall & Walsh, 2002; Molinari et al., 2012; Nassaji & Wells, 2000); using prior knowledge to scaffold learning (Myhill, 2006); and including text s that allow for mo re inferential questions (Zucker et al., 2010). However, given the limitation of the current studies, additional research is needed to explore adult child discourse. Based on the studies included in this review, limitations include few classrooms, limited observations, whole class observations across various content areas, unclear methodology, and training or professional development. More specifically researchers should explore teacher utterances in the classroom context without training or professional development as well as student utterances during multiple observations of small group readaloud sessions of informational text. Additionally, it is necessary for researchers to observe teacher and student discourse on more than one occasion, as this will c ontribute to the literature. 40

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The following section will explore readalouds as a context to encourage discourse during the school day. Read Alouds as a Context to Encourage Discourse The following question guided this search (1) what are the outcomes from read aloud studies for children in prekindergarten through elementary school ? Studies were obtained by using EBSCOhost for scholarly peer reviewed academic articles using a combination of the key terms: benefits of read alouds, book reading, inferential la nguage, read aloud, and intervention. Inclusion criteria for empirical studies were that studies include a read aloud, students in pre kindergarten through 5th grade, and students who were not only English language learners. Studies were not included if a language other than English was used or if students conducted the read aloud. In all, eight studies were included that matched the criteria set forth. Teacher student interactions occur throughout the school day, but the readaloud session is a unique context that provides opportunities for teachers to engage in meaningful interactions with students. Several scholars recommend readalouds as a context that can provide for cognitively challenging conversations (Beauchat, Blamey & Walpole, 2009; Diehl & Vaug hn, 2010; Kirkland & Patterson, 2005; Massey, 2004). Noted as a major seminal literacy policy document issued by the National Academy of Education’s Commission on Reading, the National Institute of Education, and the Center for the Study of Reading, Becomi ng a Nation of Readers (1985) is often cited for the bold statement that, “the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children” (p.23). Furthermore, Trelease (2006) assert that reading aloud to children helps to create lifetime readers. So, if young children are not read to, they are less likely to read for pleasure, as they get older. In a study conducted by The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) (2007), In To Read or Not t o Read: A Question of National Consequence, findings revealed that Americans are 41

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reading less compared to previous years, and reading comprehension skills are on a decline. Not only are children reading less, reading achievement has been stagnant (National Center for Education Statistics, 2011). If children are read to when they are young, they are more likely to read for pleasure, which is positively linked to several literacy related benefits including achievement in reading (Clark & Rumbold, 2006).There are several methods of reading aloud. Some of the most common researchbased methods of read alouds include text talk, dialogic reading, and print referencing (Lane & Wright, 2007). Text talk is one approach to reading aloud developed by Beck and her colle agues. The key components are selection of texts, initial questions, follow up questions, pictures, background knowledge, and vocabulary. In this approach, the goal is not only to foster comprehension, but also to promote language development by asking ope n ended questions and incorporating explicit teaching of sophisticated vocabulary. The role of the teacher is to help students use their background knowledge in ways that aid in comprehension of the text. Additionally, in some instance s , the pictures from the text are shown to students after discussion so students are forced to attend to linguistic content and not just pictures (Beck & McKeown, 2001). A different approach to read alouds is dialogic reading developed by Whitehurst and his colleagues. In dia logic r eading, the role of the student and adult is reversed. The student becomes the storyteller , and the adult listens actively, asks questions, adds information, prompts the students, and provides praise and encouragement. During the interactions, the a dult scaffolds the types of question prompts, avoiding asking simple questions that would warrant a yes/no answer from students. The emphasis initially is on “what questions,” and eventually open ended questions (Whitehurst, Arnold, Epstein, & Angell, 1994). 42

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Another method for read alouds, developed by Justice and her colleagues, is print referencing. Print referencing is a method that has been touted to be successful for children who are at risk for early literacy learning delays as a result of developmen tal disabilities or children with little prior experiences with text. In this method, the adult uses both verbal and nonverbal cues to direct the students to the features, forms, and various functions of written language. Nonverbal references include point ing to print, and tracking print. Verbal references include questions about print, comments about print, and requests about print. Cues are intended to emphasize concepts that the student has not yet mastered (Justice & Ezell, 2004). It is important for r esearchers to have a common understanding. For the purposes of the current discussion, the following definition will be used for readalouds: occasions when an adult reads to a group of students and stops to engage students in discussion about the text (adapted from Beauchat et al., 2009). This definition reflects the role of both teacher and student, but it is not leading because teachers are not told what types of discussions should take place during the interaction. Outcome of Read aloud Intervention Res earch This section of the literature review focuses on the outcomes of eight read aloud intervention research studies . All studies included some measurement of student outcome and explored the effects of read aloud interventions on various student outcomes . Many studies examined the impact of a read aloud intervention on more than one area including vocabulary/language, comprehension, and preference/motivation/engagement. Impact of read alouds on vocabulary/language. Six studies explored the impact of a read aloud intervention on students’ vocabulary or language outcome. In order to examine the effects of a repeated one onone book sharing intervention on the literal and inferential language development of pre school children with language impairments, van Kleeck and colleagues 43

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(2006) randomly assigned low SES pre school children to a treatment or control group. Trained graduate and undergraduate research assistants read aloud two storybooks with embedded scripts to st udents. Based on results from the Preschool Language Assessment Instrument (PLAI) and The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test III (PPVT III) there were significant group differences for literal and inferential language skills as students in the intervention ha d higher scores. Limitations of the study include the fact that there was a small sample size, some research assistants who administered posttest wer e not blind to group assignment. Further, only short term benefits of the book sharing intervention were me asured. It is important to ascertain whether the impact of read aloud interventions are lasting. The authors recommend that more should be done to provide preventative interventions for young children with comprehension difficulty. In a later study, Justi ce and colleagues (2010) examined the effectiveness of teachers’ use of a print referencing style during whole class read alouds. Fifty nine preschool teachers in a variety of setting participated in the study. Researchers analyzed 120 read aloud sessions using researcher selected storybooks and found that children in the experimental group (print referencing style) had significantly higher print knowledge scores, regardless of potential child or instructional quality moderators. However, there was no signi ficant difference in children’s language outcomes as measured by the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals Preschool: 2. The authors note that several limitations warrant discussion. The first is that the current study did not measure student outcom e beyond the intervention year. Exploring the impact of intervention on long term student achievement is vital. Second, teacher participants volunteered t o participate in the study. Third, the study did not include young children who are English Language L earners. Participants who are not reflective of the entire population limits generalizability. 44

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In another study in the preschool context, Zucker and colleagues (2013) noted the need for longitudinal studies to explore the relations between frequency and fe atures of reading experiences in pre kindergarten to students’ language and literacy outcomes in kindergarten and first grade. Researchers analyzed videotaped of six whole class reading sessions of teachers incorporating researcher selected narrative and i nformational texts. Results indicate that in pre kindergarten, frequency of classroom shared reading was positively related to students’ receptive vocabulary growth, and teachers’ use of extratextual conversation was related to children’s vocabulary develo pment. Findings were not moderated by initial vocabulary skill level. Longitudinal outcomes reveal that features of shared reading during preschool were significantly associated with students’ vocabulary outcomes in kindergarten, but not first grade. One l imitation of this study is the design. Since it is a correlational study, causal claims can not be made regarding how sharedreading affect student outcomes over time. Additionally, since teacher participants were involved in a larger study that included t wo professional development workshops it may have impacted teacher’s reading behaviors. Lastly, because the study may not have had sufficient power to detect meaningful interactions, results indicated that children’s language and literacy development was n ot related to their initial skill level. Silverman and colleagues (2013) compared the effect of a read aloud plus extension activities intervention to a read aloud only intervention on preschool students vocabulary. Results indicate that children in both r ead aloud and readaloud plus showed improvement on the target vocabulary assessment compared to control condition. Additionally, the read aloud plus extension activities condition had an effect (significant, but minimal) on students’ target word learning and overall effects were stronger for children with higher general vocabulary knowledge. Limitations include the fact that the sample was not balanced across conditions on 45

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demographic and pretest variables. Even though random assignment was used, this coul d influence comparisons made among conditions. Studies by Baker et al., (2013) and Santoro et al., (2008) also found positive effects of a readaloud intervention of students’ vocabulary. Taken together, extant literature on the effects of read aloud inte rventions on students’ vocabulary/language outcomes reveal varying results. Most studies report positive effects for students overall, but two studies in particular report nonsignificant effects or no lasting effect. Justice and colleagues (2010) note tha t there was no significant difference for children’s language outcomes and Zucker and colleagues (2013) report that the intervention in pre kindergarten did not have a lasting effect on vocabulary in first grade. Additionally, studies report mixed findings on the influence of students’ initial level. For example, findings from two studies were not moderated by student initial vocabulary s kill level (Justice et al., 2010, Zucker et al., 2013) but in the study by Silverman and colleagues (2 013) the read aloud plus extension intervention effects were stronger for children with higher general vocabulary knowledge. The next section reports the impact of read aloud studies on comprehension. Impact of read alouds on comprehension. Four studies explored the impact of read alouds on comprehension. In an earlier study, Santoro et al. (2008) used readalouds in first grade classrooms to teach vocabulary and comprehension skills not addressed in core reading curriculum. Authors conclude that improving readalouds with a focus on comprehension strategies and text based discussions resulted positively for student performance as they had longer retellings. Furthermore, the scholars note that read alouds lends itself to building comprehension for children, especially those w ho may not be fluent readers, by using text based discussions, oral language activities, and listening comprehension. 46

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In a similar study involving first grade teachers and students, Baker et al., (2013) explored the impact of a whole class read aloud intervention on student comprehension and vocabulary knowledge especially for students at risk for language or literacy difficulties. Two hundred and twenty five students were screened before the intervention for language risk only; literacy risk only, combine d risk, or low risk. Findings show that students in the readaloud intervention had higher narrative retell scores though students at risk had lower scores when compared to low risk students. Two other studies also reported benefits r elated to retelling (W ood & Salvetti , 2001) and listening comprehension (Kraemar et al., 2012). For the studies included that measured the impact of read alouds on comprehension, three of the four studies reported gains in the length of retellings (Baker et al., 2013; Santoro e t al. , 2008; Wood & Salvetti , 2001) and only one study reported improvement in listening comprehension (Kraemar et al., 2012). The next section reports the impact of read aloud studies on other areas. Impact of read aloud s on motivation/preference/engagem ent. Two studies explored the impac t of read aloud interventions on other factors. The purpose of Project Story Boost was to provide early literacy experiences for children who may not have had opportunities (Wood& Salvetti, 2001). Kindergarten students who were “at risk” were identified by their teachers to take part in the study. Taped pre and post story retellings were transcribed and analyzed for length and complexity. After the one onone intervention, not only did students increase in the length of re telling, but the intervention group had higher ratings in appropriate book choice, motivation to read, engagement in reading activities, and reading competency. Even three years after the intervention students in the intervention group still rated higher i n all areas. 47

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In the last study, Kraemer et al., (2012) investigated the effects of listening to expository texts on first grade students’ independent reading. In addition to an increase in listening comprehension for students in the experimental group, analyzing pre and posttest show that both treatment and control students significantly preferred expository/informational text. Seventy five percent of students in both groups preferred expository/informational text. A dearth of studies examined the impact of read aloud interventions on students’ engagement, preference or motivation. Though limited, findings are encouraging and support that reading aloud to young children impacts preference, motivation, and engagement in addition to academic outcomes. Summar y of Read aloud Interventions It is no surprise that reading aloud to children has many benefits including vocabulary/language, comprehension, and motivation/preference/engagement. However, researchers have found differential effects for students. Studies report mixed findings on the influence of students’ initial level. For example, findings from two studies were not moderated by student initial vocabulary skill level (Justice et al., 2010, Zucker et al., 2013) but in the study by Silverman and colleagues (2013) the read aloud plus extension intervention effects were stronger for children with higher general vocabulary knowledge. Of the eight studies included in this section of the review four were conducted in the context of preschool (Justice, et al. 2010; Silverman, Crandell, & Carlis, 2013; van Kleeck, et al., 2006; Zucker, et al., 2013). Several studies have been limited to the context of preschool and have included some form of training or professional development. With regards to the type of text used in the intervention, four studies explored the use of both narrative and informational text (Baker et al., 2013; Santoro et al., 2008; Silverman et al., 2013; Zucker et al., 2013), three included just storybooks or narratives (Wood & Salvetti, 2001; van Kleeck et al., 2006; Justice et 48

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al., 2010), and one included only expository/informational text (Kraemer et al., 2012) for the intervention. Scholars note that additional research is warranted to understand what occurs during readalouds. This includes how teachers and students engage in talk at different levels of linguistic abstraction using informational texts in the high poverty schools. Not only do teachers play an integral role in integrating effective components of read alouds, re cent research has explored the role of specific types of text and features to consider that will promote rich teacher student discourse. Text Considerations This section reviews literature related to features of text that encourage discourse during read alouds. The following question guided this review:(1) what do teachers need to know in order to make good text selection that will encourage discourse? Studies were obtained using EBSCOhost for scholarly peer reviewed academic articles using a combination of the following key terms: text selection, read aloud, informational text, narrative text, and features of text. Inclusion criteria were as follows: the age range preschool to elementary, text features were an important consideration, and the context was read aloud. Beyond the narrow scope of the initial search, an ancestral hand search was conducted and additional articles were included if they met the inclusion criteria. In all, twelve articles are included in the review: nine studies and three theoretic al articles. In many early childhood classrooms the text used most often is narrative text. Ac cording to Yopp and Yopp (2006, 2012) the purpose of a narrative text is to share an experience or entertain. This classification contains historical fiction, pe rsonal narratives, fairy tales, fables, true stories, and mysteries. Text structure associated with narrative books focus on the characters, plot, and sequence. However, there has been a push for integration of informational or expository text during readalouds, especially for younger students (Duke, 2000; Saul & 49

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Dieckman, 2005). Duke notes, “learners must have experience with the particular genres in question in order to fully develop the ability to read and write in those genres” (Duke, 2000, p. 206). Ac cording to Duke and Bennett Armistead (2003) informational text is subgroup of nonfiction text, but informational texts vary in the purpose, features, and format. The definition of informational text is, “text whose primary purpose is to convey information about the natural and social world, text that typically has characteristic features such as addressing whole classes of things in a timeless way, and text that comes in many different formats” (p.17). Based on the studies included in this section, resear chers defined information or expository text in various ways. Four articles used the term informational to describe the selection of books they used. Pentimonti and colleagues (2010) based their definitions of genre on the structural aspects of the text. T hey define informational genre as two types of text: expository texts (nonnarrative informational or nonfiction) and mixed texts (hybrids that encompass features associated with narrative and expository genres). Yopp and Yopp (2006; 2012) used a framework created by Duke and Bennett Armistead (2003) to guide their definition of informational texts as nonfiction books designed to communicate information about the social or natural world with specific features such as technical vocabulary and headings. Santoro et al. (2008) did not include an explanation of how the term informational text was used but used the term interchangeably with expository text and focused on text structure such as the patterns in the book. The following sections will report on finding s that detail the benefits of informational texts, how text impact students, and guidelines/recommendations for text selection. Benefits of Informational (Expository) Texts Teachers and researchers should be aware of the numerous benefits to including info rmational books during readalouds. Five studies specifically identify benefits of informational text. Scholars suggest that certain features of the text can have an impact on the 50

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kinds of questions that teachers ask students during readalouds. More speci fically, informational books lend themselves to increased extratextual talk (talk that goes beyond reading the book) (Zucker et al., 2010). Pentimonti and colleagues (2010) note that benefits of information texts include the fact that such texts can be used to address standards in math and science, increase students language skills and vocabulary, provide knowledge about informational text structures, provide content area knowledge, and increase reading interest and engagement with particular topics. Addi tionally, compared to storybooks, expository text can foster increased print referencing (an emergent literacy strategy to improve literacy skills by use of verbal and nonverbal cues for students to notice and interact with print) (Price et al., 2009). Inf ormational texts also build background knowledge that aid in comprehension and introduce young students to different text structures that they will encounter in later years (Yopp & Yopp, 2006; 2012). Given the push for the use of more informational texts, there is evidence that informational texts have immediate as well as long term benefits to young children. Key Impact of Text Features on Students Of the nine studies, five explored the impact of text features for students. Text influences the questions students are asked, and the level of talk. Text influences questions. Zucker, Justice, Piasta, and Kaderavek (2010) explored whether features of the text being read were related to teachers’ questions and how the questions were related to children’s vocabu lary development and responses during the pre school year. Researchers found that the type of text used influences teacher child interactions because informational narrative texts allows for more inferential questions. The authors maintain that teachers ar e likely to ask more inferential questions (important to listening and reading comprehension) as they read informational books since informational texts include abstract 51

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concepts which is significantly related to the child’s response. In other words, when teachers asked more advanced questions it was followed by a child response at the same level (Zucker et al., 2010). A similar study analyzed discourse (type and frequency of questions) of teachers and parents while reading informational and narrative picture books to preschool children (Torr & Clungston, 1999). Findings showed that when mothers read informational picture books there was more discourse as indicated by greater percentage of messages. Also, both teachers and parents asked more questions that r equired the child to explain (causes children to reason) while reading informational texts. Text influences level of talk. In another study, Prince et al. (2009) compared the discussion parents and their preschool children engage in while reading two genre s of books storybooks and expository books. Findings indicate that parents read expository books significantly longer to their young children. Both parents and children used more extratextual utterances with expository books. In the area of feedback, chil dren engaged in more advanced levels of cognitive demand level 3 (infer) and level 4 (reasoning about perception) while being read expository books. In general, rates of child extratextual utterances were higher in all levels of cognitive demand in the ex pository condition. This means that children engaged in higher levels of talk when they were read expository books. Pellegrini et al. (1990) investigated the extent to which reading strategies by mothers were related to genre (narrative or expository) and text format (familiar or traditional) and examined the teaching strategies (use of low, medium, or high mental demands) used among mothers of preschool children. Researchers noted differences in genre, not text format. Both 52

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formats of expository texts (tr aditional and familiar) produced additional teaching strategies. Children participated more with expository texts. Taken together, findings from studies assert that features of text impact students. Informational texts impacts the types of questions teach ers (or parents) ask which in turn influences students more advanced response (Pellegrini et al., 1990; Prince et al., 2009; Torr & Clungston, 1999; Zucker et al., 2010). Improving readalouds by focusing on comprehension results increased vocabulary and comprehension knowledge for students (Santoro et al., 2008). The following section will explore guidelines for selecting texts for read alouds. Guidelines/Recommendations for Text Selection All the articles in the review included several guidelines or reco mmendations for selecting texts for read alouds in classrooms or as a part of an intervention study. Both teachers and researchers should be purposeful about the texts they select, books should not be an afterthought (Dynia et al., 2013). Guidelines will be categorized by genre considerations, visual features, language in text, student considerations, and other general recommendations. Genre. Several authors encouraged the use of more informational text for readalouds (Pentimonti et al., 2010; Saul & Diec kman, 2005; Zucker et al, 2010). Other scholars note the importance of incorporating various genres for a “balanced diet” (Pentimonti et al., 2010; Santoro et al., 2008; Torr & Clugston, 1999; Yopp & Yopp, 2006), which will expose students to different tex t structures (Santoro et al., 2008; Smolkin & Donovan, 2003). Even within the same genre, there should be variation. Yopp and Yopp (2012) examined the selection of informational books that are read aloud to young children preschool through third grade and found that science read alouds were more prevalent than other content areas (accounting for 85%). When the texts were further coded, 75% were of the life science domain. They suggest that if science non 53

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fiction books are being used, the domain should be a ltered as to include life science as well as other domains like physical science (Yopp & Yopp, 2012). Visual features. When selecting texts teachers and researchers should also consider texts that contain visual design features like diagrams to display inf ormation (Zucker et al., 2010). Other visual features include picture glossaries, graphs, maps, and tables (Price et al., 2009). Print salience (specifically font changes) has also been found to increase print referencing and should be considered when sele cting text (Dynia et al., 2013). Language in text . Students should be exposed to technical vocabulary and abstract concepts during read alouds (Pentimonti et al., 2010; Smolkin & Donovan, 2003; Stahl, 2012; Zucker et al., 2010). Text should also include in ferential language (explanations, definitions, inferences) (Zucker et al, 2010), and greater amounts of print in the pictures (Price et al., 2009). Another factor is linguistic richness such as total words (more words related to higher levels of print refe rencing). Dynia and colleagues (2013) explored to what extend does the linguistic richness and print salience of children’s storybooks relate to teachers’ use of print referencing. Results indicated that total words in text (a measure of linguistic richnes s) were significantly and positively related to teachers’ use of print referencing. On the other hand, Mean length of sentence (MLS) another measure of linguistic richness was significantly and negatively related to teachers’ use of print referencing (Dyni a et al., 2013). Student considerations. The text selected should be of interest to young students. It should be age appropriate in regards to subject matter and length (Pentimonti et al., 2010; Santoro et al., 2008; Saul & Dieckman, 2005; Torr & Clugston, 1999). The texts should motivate and encourage students (Saul & Dieckman, 2005) while giving them an opportunity to expand world knowledge (Smolkin & Donovan, 2003). Another recommendation is to use texts that are 54

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familiar to students (such as comics and newspaper toy advertisements) (Pellegrini,et al., 1990) that include a common topic or series in a content area that children are interested in (Torr & Clugston, 1999; Yopp & Yopp, 2012). The characters in the texts need to be diverse and allow students to make connections (Santoro et al., 2008). Scholars also emphasized the fact that books read aloud need not be on students instructional reading level. Complex texts can and should be incorporated to meet the needs of struggling/emergent readers (Saul, & Di eckman, 2005; Stahl, 2012). Other general recommendations. It is imperative to include high quality literature. As a guide, associations and agencies that honor or distinguish high quality children’s texts in a variety of context should be used ( Stahl, 2012; Yopp & Yopp, 2012). Teachers and researchers should be selective about authors and book titles by considering using several books by the same author so students can make text to text connections (Santoro et al., 2008; Yopp & Yopp, 2012). The book should be free of bias (Yopp & Yopp, 2012). A final and essential consideration is that texts selected should address state/national standards in content areas such as social studies and science (Pentimonti et al., 2010; Santoro et al., 2008; Saul, & Di eckman, 2005). Summary of Text Considerations Of the nine studies, six were conduced with only preschool aged children (Dynia,et al., 2013; Pellegrini,et al., 1990; Pentimonti et al., 2010; Price et al., 2009; Torr & Clugston, 1999; Zucker et al., 2010) t wo were conduced with children enrolled in preschool 3rd grade (Yopp & Yopp, 2006, 2012), and one study included only 1st grade students (Santoro et al., 2008). Additional research is warranted in the early elementary grades , kindergarten and first grade , since reading aloud is still common. Text selection for use in primary classrooms or as a part of literacy intervention should consider numerous factors. These factors include genre, visual features, language in text, student 55

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considerations, high quality literature free of bias, and books that address standa rds in several core subject areas . The type of texts selected impact how teachers interact with students. Engaging in observational research exploring teacher and student discourse with research selected texts using the criteria for text selection would be beneficial to the field. Discussion Overall, findings from the studies on adult child discourse indicate that there is a relationship between adult child discourse and positive student outcomes. Effec tive discourse can positively impact areas such as language, vocabulary, comprehension, motivation, preference, and engagement . Moreover, researchers have documented specific adult instructional practices that encourage discourse; including using highorde r questions and using purposefully selected text. Various designs and analysis have been used to investigate teacher student discourse. Furthermore, the context of read alouds is prevalent in elementary classrooms and advantageous for teachers to engage s tudents in meaningful interactions. In a study conducted by Baumann, Hoffman, Durry Hester and Ro (2000) to gauge reading practices in U.S elementary schools, findings revealed that reading aloud was a specific task that teachers rated as spending moderate to considerable amount of time on for reading instruction. Even though read alouds is a particular setting that can lend itself to interactions, Teale (2013) states, “we should not merely think that a readaloud is a read aloud is a read aloud” (p.135). Note worthy is the fact that research has demonstrated that teachers vary on how they engage students in conversation as they read including the types of questions asked (Dickinson, McCabe, & Anastasopoulos, 2003). Furthermore, a study conducted by Meyer, W ardrop, Stahl, and Linn (1994) reported that the amount of time first grade teachers spent reading to their 56

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students was unrelated to their reading achievement. These researchers suggested that what matters is the quality of interactions that take place du ring reading. There are particular considerations that teachers should deliberate before engaging students in readalouds. To articulate effective components of read alouds, Fisher, Flodd, Lapp, and Frey (2004) observed and interviewed teachers. In the first phase of the study, researchers asked district administrators to identify 25 ‘expert’ teachers. Expert was defined as “someone who the administrator would select as a model for other teacher to emulate, a teacher who regularly presented his or her instructional strategies in professional development forums, or one who was generally recognized for excellence in teaching” (p.9). In phase 2 of the study, research included 120 randomly selected teachers from a pool of teachers who previously served as coo perating teachers. Researchers then developed a rubric which was used to identify seven components of an effective interactive read aloud. Components include: text selection, previewed and practiced, clear purpose established, fluent reading modeled, anima tion and expression, discussing the text, and independent reading and writing. Discussion of the text included teachers stopping periodically and thoughtfully to question students. It is important that teacher’s stop to engage students in discourse, but in this study, discussion was only addressed on the surface. The authors do not include specific aspects of effective teacher student discourse around readalouds such as how teacher questions influence student response. Reading aloud to students, is a comm on practice and the field would benefit from knowing the discourse teachers are engaged in that promote and sca ffold discourse and how teachers and student s engage in talk. As such, a descriptive study is necessary to address gaps in the current literature by exploring the readaloud practi ces of primary teachers in high poverty schools, specifically how teacher and students engage in literal and inferential discourse using 57

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informational texts. In the current study, teachers were provided with three purpose fully selected informational texts to read aloud to a small group of mixed ability students. Several studies included in this review reported findings after teachers were involved in some form of training, workshop, or professional development. This study add s to the growing body of research by observing the discourse practices of kindergarten and first grade teachers and their students without any professional development for teachers. Effective read alouds can have a positive impact of students’ language and literacy development. This is critical in an era of reforms that aim to target struggling students in order to close the achievement gap. Findings from this observational study use s descriptive analysis to highlight literal and inferential utterances o f teachers and students during readalouds of three informational text occurring in a small group setting within the classroom environment. 58

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CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY This mixed methods descriptive study explored teachers and students talk during readalouds of informational texts in high poverty schools. Specifically, the study focused on the occurrence of teacher and student literal and inferential utterances. Prior studies investigating teacher and student interactions during read alouds have included some form of teacher professional development. This study is significant in that it highlights the levels of linguistic abstraction of teachers in a naturalistic environment without the provision of explicit professional development in the area of read alouds . This study was designed to address the following research questions in the context of readalouds using informational books in high poverty elementary schools: 1. What is the rate of teacher literal and inferential utterances during read alouds in kindergarten and first grade classrooms in high poverty schools ? 2. What is the rate of student literal and inferential utterances during read alouds in kindergarten and first grade classrooms in high poverty schools ? 3. What are the read aloud practices self rep orted by teacher s working in kindergarten and first grade classrooms in high poverty schools ? The purpose of this chapter is to provide a detailed description of the methods that were used in the investigation. The following se ctions describe the (a) sett ing s and participants , (b) data collection , and (c) data analysis. Setting s and Participants The study was conducted in seven elementary schools in one northcentral Florida school district. Per the requirements of the University of Florida Institutional Review Board (IRB), the researcher obtained a letter of consent from each teacher and student participant in the study. Furthermore, the researcher secured approval to conduct research in the selected school district. Copies of the IRB approval s are provid ed in Appendix A . The following section details the settings and participants. 59

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Setting s District . During the 20132014 school year (the most recent data available) the racial/ethnic comp osition of the district was 45.4% white, 35.6% Black or African A merican, 8.4% Hispanic/Latino, 4.5% Asian, .01% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, 0.2% American Indian or Ala ska Native, and 5.7 % of students of two or more races. Additionally, 52.8% of students were identified as economically disadvantaged, and 13.3% of the student population is identified as disabled (FLDOE, 2014). Schools . Schools were selected based on the percentage of students who participate d in the free and reduced price lunch (FRPL) program, which serves as an indicator of the poverty lev el of the school. This study included six schools that are identified as high poverty (i.e., more than 75% of students are eligible for FRPL ) , and one that was identified as mid high poverty (i.e., 50.1 to 75 percent of students are eligible for FRPL ) . According to the National Center for Education Statistics, students enrolled in mid high and high poverty schools are increasing. In the 19992000 school year 16 percent of students were in a midhigh poverty school compared to 25 percent in the 2011 2012 school year. In high poverty schools the percentages increased from 12 to 16 during the same period (National Center for Education Statistics, 2014). Table 3 1 provides a summary of school demographic information for the 20132014 school year. Table 3 1. Summary of School Demographic Information School Grade % F/R Price lunch % White % Black/AA % Hispanic /Latino % Asian % Multiracial 1 F 91.9 * 92.9 * * 2 F 94.6 7.3 86.7 * 5.0 3 C 94.4 6.3 86.4 * * 4.0 4 C 81.8 22.0 53.4 11.9 5.1 7.3 5 F 96.3 3.6 87.9 3.4 * 4.9 6 C 72.2 15.0 70.3 2.1 7.4 4.4 7 F 82.9 52.6 37.6 8.2 * Note . Public schools in Florida receive a school letter grade of A, B, C, D or F each year based on student achievement data. An asterisk (*) indicates a subgroup population fewer than ten. A blank cell indicates zero students in the subgroup. 60

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Classrooms. Observations took place in 19 general education c lassrooms, nine kindergarten and 10 first grade. Each classroom was assigned one teacher. Some classrooms had a classroom voluntee r, such as a parent or grandparent. Other classrooms had University education student teachers or interns. C lassroom s in the study were arranged in a similar manner with an area for whole group instruction, small group instruction, and tables or desks for students . Classrooms differed in the layout and arrangement of furniture, and materials. For example, some classrooms had a large rug and rocking chair, while others did not. Classrooms also differed regarding the environment. More information about the literacy environment of each classroom is detailed in subsequent sections. Participants Teachers . A power analysis was done to estimate an adequate number of teachers required for an effect size between .5 and .8. It was determi ned that an effect size of .7 would require 18 teachers (Appendix C) . In all, t here were nine kindergarten teacher s and 10 first grade teachers from seven elementary schools in northcentral Florida that participated in the study . Principals at local eleme ntary schools were contacted and asked if they were interested in having teachers and students from their schools participate in this study. The researcher asked each principal to invite kindergarten and first grade classroom teachers to participate who di d not have students with severe behavioral management issues. Next, the researcher meet with kindergarten and first grade teachers at the participating schools to explain the study, including the goals of the study, teacher commitment, timeline, and benefits of the study. Teachers who voluntarily decided to participate were asked to sign a consent letter. Demographic information of each teacher was collected as a part of the brief survey. Table 3 2 provides demographic information based on each teacher’s self reported background information. 61

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Table 3 2. Summary of Teacher Participants Demographic Information Current Grade Level Kindergarten 9 (47%) First Grade 10 (53%) Years at Current Grade Level First year 4 (21%) 1 3 years 7 (37%) 4 7 years 4 21%) 8 11 years 2 (11%) 12 or more years 2 (11%) Total Years Teaching First year 3 (16%) 1 3 years 4 (21%) 4 7 years 2 (11%) 8 11 years 2 (11%) 12 or more years 8 (42%) Certification Areas Prekindergarten/Primary Education 5 (26%) Elementary Education 16 (84%) ESOL 2 (11%) Reading Exceptional Student Education 1 (5%) Other 2 (11%) Highest Degree Bachelor’s Degree 9 (47%) Master’s Degree 10 (53%) Doctorate Degree Race Black 5 (26%) White 14 (74%) Hispanic 0 Asian 0 Pacific Islander 0 Other 0 Gender Female 19 (100%) Male 0 Students . Each teacher was asked to select six students of varying reading abilities (two students below grade level, two students on grade level, and two students above grade level) to participant in the study and to solicit informed consent letters from these st udents’ parents. However, group size in each classroom varied from three to seven students during a given 62

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observation session based on the number of informed consent forms returned and because of student absences. In all 98 students participated in the st udy. Table 33 provides a summary of student demographic information as reported by teachers. Table 3 3. Summary of Student Participants Demographic Information Category Count (Percentage) Gender Female 51 (52.04%) Male 47 (47.95%) Race Black 62 (63.26%) White 24 (24.48%) Hispanic 4 (4.08%) Asian 0 Mixed 8 (8.16%) Reading Ability Low/Below 25 (25.51%) Low Medium 6 (6.12%) On/Average/Medium 28 (28.57%) High Medium 5 (5.10%) Above/High 34 (34.69%) Exceptionality Speech Impediment 2 (2.04%) Developmental Delay 1 (1.02%) SLD and Autism 1 (1.02%) Autism 1 (1.02%) SLD 2 (2.04%) ADD 1 (1.02%) Data Collection This study primarily utilized behavioral observational research methods for data collection and survey methodology. Behavioral observational research encompasses objectively observing and coding a phenomena without manipulating the environment or behavior. Though the results of descriptive studies are not intended to provide causation between variables it is a valuable method that allows for systematic observation of key behaviors with methodological rigor and outlines procedures and processes that can be used to substantiate research findings and allow for replication (Yoder & Symons, 2010). Furthermore, Bakeman and Quera (2011) assert 63

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that methods used for observational research should be systematic. Employing behavioral observation systems to examine areas of literacy instruction and intervention is a relatively new approach. This study employed a systematic coding system to record and analyze teacher and student literal and inferential utterances, during read aloud sessions. This section outlines the materials, observation procedures , and survey procedures used in the study. Material s The materials for this study included the Literacy Environment Checklist, three researcher selected books , video equipment, the coding software Noldus O bserver XT, and the teacher survey . Each of these is described in this section. Literacy environment c hecklist . Descriptive information about each classroom in the study was collected using a researcher designed checklist that was adapted from a subsection of the Early Language and Literacy Classroom Observation Toolkit (ELLCO; Smith & Dickinson, 2002). The Lite racy Environment Checklist ( Appendix B) was used to provide a quick inventory of literacy related items in each classroom. The checklist comprises 15 items, which address several categories including the arrangement of the classroom’s book area, th e variety of books in the classroom, the placement and accessibility of books, and items that address evidence of writing activities displayed in the classroom. The Literacy Environment Checklist was used when children were not present in the classroom. This allowed the researcher to observe freely and not distract students. Target b ooks . The researcher provided each teacher with three texts. Books were selected that were identified as informational and that met various guidelines for text selection from existing literature. Duke and Bennett Armistead (2003) identifies informational text as a type of nonfiction but suggest that it differs in purpose , features, and format. They go on to explain that the purpose is “to convey information about the natural or social world, typically 64

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from someone presumed to know that information to someone presumed not to, with particular linguistic features such as headings and technical vocabulary to help accomplish that purpose” (p.16). Additionally, “informational texts typically has characteristic features such as addressing whole classes of things in a timeless way” and “text that comes in many different formats in cluding books, magazines, handouts” (p.17). Saul and Dieckman (2005) note that selecting informational books involves more than coming to a consensus on a definition, but should also include evaluating texts. They go on to highlight three concerns worthy of attention when selecting texts; content, writing, and design since they are all related and impact the quality of the book. Subsequently, texts were considered for inclusion in the present study if they met the definition of an informational text, appropriate in subject, length, and attractiveness to kindergarten and first grade students. First, the researcher searched for texts through a variety of resources including the Common Core State Standards exemplars, Scholastic Common Core book lists, recomme nded texts in the literature (for example, Pentimonti et al., 2010; Santoro et al., 2008), library resources (Children's Literature Comprehensive Database Company , n.d. ), numerous informational award winners, and perusing the shelves of several local books stores and libraries. Then, the researcher selected and read aloud all the texts that were about animals taking note of how long it took to read each text and the text features that were included. Texts that took less than four minutes to read and longer than ten minutes were excluded. Next, the researcher verified which texts were still in print and available for purchase. After the initial process, the researcher ranked each book and solicited the advice of a primary teacher and literacy expert for final selection. Ultimately, the three texts selected exposed students to different text structures (Santoro et al., 2008; Smolkin & Donovan, 2003) and had a range of characteristics. Teachers 65

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were given each text in sequence and asked to read it aloud to a sma ll group of mixed ability students. The book titles and sequence of introduction are listed in Appendix D. Text 1, What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? (Jenkins & Page, 2003), is a Caldecott Honor book, Common Core State Standards exemplar readaloud informational text, and recommended non fiction animal book on the Children's Literature Comprehensive Database Company. It uses colorful collage to share how various animals use their noses, ears, tails, eyes, mouths, and feet in different ways. It is 30 page s in length and takes approximately four minutes to read the book straight through from page 1 through 26, the main text. The first two pages encourage readers to guess which animal each part belongs to and to find more information at the end of the book a bout particular animals. Pages 426 follow the same pattern of posing a question about a specific animal body part along with illustrations of the isolated body part of various animals and on the following page the full animal is shown along with a sentenc e describing how that animal uses that body part. Pages 27 30 provide a short paragraph of additional information about each animal in the book, arranged by body part as presented in the book. Text 2, Sharks (Clarke, 2005) is a Lift the Flap book that desc ribes general characteristics of sharks and various species in an interactive way. It is 15 pages in total and takes approximately seven minutes to read the book straight through. The double page spreads contain the headings “About Sharks,” “Hungry Hunters ,” “Baby Sharks,” “Whale Sharks,” “Hammerheads,” “Speedy Sharks,” and “Strange Sharks.” The book does not have realistic illustrations or photographs. In general the book uses timeless verb constructions (i.e., “Sharks live in water” rather than past tense verbs) and generic nouns (referring to a group or class of things rather than individuals i.e., “prairie dogs” rather than “Pete the prairie dog”), but the text 66

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also includes features that are not typical of informational text (i.e., talk bubbles “Oh no, I’m stuck”). Text 3, Let's Look at Prairie Dogs (Zuchora Walske, 2010) provides information about prairie dog characteristics, habitat, and behaviors with the use of attractive colors and detailed photographs. It is 32 pages in total and takes approximate ly five minutes to read the book straight through from page 4 through 27. Page 28 contains the range map, page 29 the prairie dog diagram, page 30 the glossary, page 31 further reading, and page 32 the index. Of the three text, Let's Look at Prairie Dogs c ontains the most features that are typical of informational texts. Such features include a table of contents, map, diagram, glossary, further reading, index, captions, page numbers, label s, headings, and photographs. Video equipment . Each read aloud sessi on by the classroom teacher was videotaped using a Canon VIXIA HF R500 camcorder that was placed on a tripod. Teachers were asked to wear a Polsen transmitter microphone. The purpose of the video and audio recording was to provide the researcher and resear ch assistant the ability to accurately code teacher and student literal and inferential utterances. Coding software . Each videotaped reading session using the target books was coded in the laboratory using the Noldus Observer XT version 11.5 (Noldus Inform ation Technology, 2014). Observer XT is a software package that allows for the collection and analysis of observational data from prerecorded video. Teacher survey . In addition to observing teachers reading aloud the three books, teachers completed a brief online survey with questions to address various issues related to their read aloud practices: (a) reasons for engaging in read alouds, (b) barriers/supports for conducting 67

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read alouds, (c) role of genre during read alouds, (d) preparation for readalouds, (e) discussions during readalouds, (f) the read aloud observations , and (g) other general practices. Observation Procedures Scholars suggest that in order to capture a representative snapshot, observations should occur in the middle of the school year (Conner et al., 2009). For this study, observations took place in January and early February. Further, repeated observations minimize random variability (Pelligrini, 1996). For this study, each teacher was observed three times. The researcher and teachers identified mutually agreeable dates and times for the observations. During the first classroom visit, the researcher created Literacy Environment Checklist was used to collect descriptive information on the literacy environment of each classroom. At that time, the researcher provided teachers with the informational text for the first read aloud. Teachers were asked to read aloud to their small group as they usually would keeping read alouds no more than 1520 minutes. During the first observation, which took place about a week later, teachers were observed reading the first informational text and they were given the second informational book. During the second observation, teachers were observed reading the second informational text and given the third and final informational book. During the third observation, teachers were observed reading the third informational text and reminded to take the survey. Teachers were asked to conduct a read aloud as they would normally using the researcher selected books with a small mixed ability group of students in one area of the classroom. In order for the classroom teachers to focus on the read aloud with the selected group of students , the remaining students in the class were either taken to another part of the classroo m or taken outside the classroom and a graduate student in the College of Education read aloud a different book to them . 68

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For the purpose of this study, t he following definition was used for read alouds: occasions when an adult reads to a group of students and stops to engage students in discussion about the text (adapted from Beauchat et al., 2009). This definition reflects the role of both teacher and student, but it is not leading because teachers were not told what types of discussions should take place during the interaction. Coding guidelines . An observational coding system (adapted from work by Blank, Rose, & Berlin, 1978) was used to code teacher and student literal and inferential utterances during read alouds of informational texts. Coders consisted of the researcher and trained research assistant. C ontinuous event sampling was used to code the occurrence of teacher and student utterances. Using this sampling method the occurrence of each behavior was coded throughout the entire observation session (Yoder & Symons, 2010). Coders began the observation session once the teacher began to talk about the book. This talk could be (a) starting to read the text (i.e., “this book is called Sharks . About Shar ks. Sharks a re”) or (b) engaging in discussion about the text or related to the text (i.e., “have you ever seen a shark before?”). The coders were able code in either of two ways: (a) pause and select the behavior at the end of each utterance , or (b) select the subje ct and then select the behavior . If coders needed to rewind, they paused the video, clicked on the last time stamp, and scrolled the bar in the playback control box as needed. Then they selected play, listened, and then coded. Before an utterance was coded not audible, that segment was rewound and the coders listened again to ensure that the utterance was truly not audible. Each session was coded in its entirety. The primary purpose of the coding scheme was to code teacher and student literal and inferentia l utterances. Three subjects were included in the coding scheme: teacher, student: group, and student: individual. The researcher and research assistant selected teacher as the 69

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subject when the teacher utterance fit one of the behaviors of the coding schem e. If only one student spoke and the utterance fit a behavior in the coding scheme, student: individual was selected as the subject. If more than one student spoke at the same time (i.e., turn and talk to partner) and the utterance fit a behavior in the c oding scheme, the subject was coded student: group. After selecting the appropriate subject, the coder selected the appropriate behavior(s). If a subject asked a series of questions or made a series of comments, each question or comment was coded. For exa mple, “Oh, look at this.” ( Notice ), “What is this? ( Label ) If a single utterance fit more than one behavior, coders coded both in sequence. For example, “I can infer that they do not like to come out in the ___ (teacher intentionally pauses)” ( Sentence com pletion and predict/infer ). Additionally, if the teacher asked the same question to several students, or asked a question after a student responded those questions were coded. For example, Teacher: “what do you think that is Hanna?” ( Predict/Infer) Hanna: “I think it’s a whale.” ( Predict/Infer ) Teacher: (refereeing to the same illustration) “What do you think that is Samuel?” Samuel: “I think it’s a shark!” ( Predict/Infer ). Coders did not code reading of the text by teacher or student, even if the text contained a question (i.e., the text states, “Can you guess what kind of animal it is?”). Additionally, coders did not code teacher follow up, what teachers say in response to a student utterance. This included instances when the teacher (a) repeats the stud ent utterance (i.e., “that’s a hammerhead shark” after student says the same thing) or (b) says yes or no in response to a student utterance (i.e., “no” after a student responded incorrectly to a question). Coding continued until (a) the teacher stopped re ading the book or (b) the teacher stopped engaging in discussion about the text, or (c) the video ends, whichever occurs first. The following figure provides a screenshot from 70

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Observer XT, which shows the tools used for the project and the window that vide os were coded in (Figure 3 1). Figure 3 1. Screen Shot of Observer XT. Coding system . The current coding system was adapted (Blank, Rose & Berlin, 1978; van Kleeck 2003) to capt ure teacher and student literal and inferential utterances during read alouds of informational texts. Researchers have made a distinction between literal and inferential language skills based on the level of cognitive demand the linguistic interaction places on the student or teacher . According to Zucker, Justice, Piasta, and Kaderavek (2010), “literal language requires children to discuss, describe, and/or respond to information they can readily perceive, as occurs when a teachers asks a child to label an object” (p.66). On the other hand, “inferential language requires child ren to use their language skills to infer or abstract information by inferencing or analyzing, as occurs when a teacher asks a child to predict what a book might be about” (p.66). When students are provided with opportunities to respond (OTR), “verbal prom pts or questions with the intent of evoking an academic response” (Cavanaugh, 2013, p.114), it 71

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increases engagement, decreases behavior problems, and ultimately improve student achievement. All utterances that fit into two categories (1) level of abstraction (thirteen codes) and (2) other behaviors (three codes). There are four levels of linguistic abstraction. Literal level 1; matching perception, incudes four categories; label , locate, notice , and count . Literal level 2; selective analysis of perception, includes three categories; describe characteristics, describe/notice scene, and sentence completion . Inferential level 3; reorder perception includes four categories; recall information, judgment/evaluation, and identify similarities and differences . Infe rential level 4; reasoning about perception, includes three categories; predict/infer, definition , and explain/factual knowledge . Other behaviors included no level of abstraction, no response , and not audible . The levels of abstraction and descriptions for teachers are listed in Table 3 4. This compares to Table 3 5, which shows the levels of abstraction and the ensuing descriptions for student code s . Table 3 6 includes the other behaviors that were previously mentioned. Table 3 4. Level of Abstraction and Description for Teacher Codes Level of Abstraction Description Literal, Level 1: Matching perception Teacher names, or asks or tells students to label , locate, notice or count objects, items or characters. Literal, Level 2: Selective analysis of perception Teacher describes, or asks, or tells students to describe characteristics, describe/notice scenes, or complete a sentence. Inferential, Level 3: Reorder perception Teacher states, or asks or tells students to recall information, make judgments/ evaluations or identify similarities/differences. Inferential, Level 4: Reasoning about perception Teacher states, or asks, or tells students to predict/infer, provide definitions, or explain/provide factual knowledge. 72

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Table 3 5. Level of Abstraction and Description for Student Codes Student Codes Description Level of abstraction for text related utterances Literal, Level 1: Matching perception Students ask or label s, locates, notices or counts objects, items or characters. Literal, Level 2: Selective analysis of perception Students ask or describe characteristics, scenes, or complete sentences. [Inferential, Level 3: Reorder perception Students ask or recall information, make judgments/evaluations or identify similarities/differences. Inferential, Level 4: Reasoning about perception Students ask or predict/infer, provide definitions, or explain/provide factual knowledge. Table 3 6. Other Codes for Teachers and Students Other Behaviors Description No level of abstraction Student or teacher responds to an utterance with “yes” or “no.” No Response Following a teacher utterance, individual student or group of students that the teacher made the utterance to does not respond, or following a student utterance, teacher does not respond. Not Audible Student or teacher talk is not audible. Appendix F provides the detailed coding manual that was used in training the research assistant. The manual includes several examples and nonexamples for each code in addition to directions for coding using Noldus Observer XT. Data Analysis This section outlines the procedures used to analyze coded data and survey data. The interobserver agreement section explains the steps taken to certify the reliability of the coded data. Data analysis for this stu dy addressed the two main sources of data: behavioral observation and survey responses. The following is a description of the methods of analysis for each data source. 73

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Observational Data In order to analyze observational data, descriptive statistics were utilized. The presentation of the results includes a summary of descriptive findings to address the first and second research questions. This includes the rate for each behavior of interest for each subject. Rate was calculated by taking the number of occurrences of the behavior divided by the total duration of the session in minutes. The length of each recording determined the total duration for each session. Each teacher was told to begin the lesson and that is when the recording began. The recording ende d when the teacher finished the lesson. Reporting rates is useful for this study since it provides a more precise and clear idea of how often each behavior occurred (Yoder & Symons, 2010). This is important in this study since teachers varied in the length of time it took them to read aloud each text. Interobserver Agreement Interobserver agreement (IOA) is integral in behavior observation research as it provides a measure that observations are objective and reliable. It is important that two observers agr ee that the behavior occurred within a given time window (5 seconds). IOA was calculated on 26% of videot aped read aloud sessions ( n=15). Researchers recommend the collection of IOA data for at least 25% of observations (Kazdin, 1982). IOA was calculated b y using occurrence percentage agreement, which was calculated for each code by dividing the number of agreements by the number of agreements plus the number of disagreements, then multiplying by 100 (Yoder & Symons, 2010). Sessions were randomly selected and independently coded by a trained research assistant. Training . The research assistant was a graduate student in the College of Education who was trained extensively before coding videotapes for the study using the following pro cedures. 74

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First, the researcher explain ed the coding manual (Appendix F) with coding definitions and examples and provide d demonstrations. Together both the research and the research assistant discuss ed the coding manual, asked clarifying questions, and mem orize d the codes. Afterwards, the research assistant had an opportunity to practice coding four read aloud sessions. During the first video, the researcher coded the entire video with the research assistant using paper and pencil stopping as frequently as needed. The researcher discussed each coding decision with the research assistants and discussed any issues or questions that arose referring to the master codes. The researcher introduced the research assistant to the computer program, Noldus Observer XT version 11.5 to code. The research assistant and primary researcher practiced coding the video until the research assistant was comfortable with the program. For the second video, the primary researcher and research assistant coded the entire video using O bserver XT. At the end of the video the researcher discussed each coding decision and any issues or questions that arose. For subsequent sessions the primary researcher and research assistant coded independently using Observer XT and point by point agreeme nt was used. Point by point agreement is “the extent to which two people categorize the same occurrence of a key behavior in the same category” (Yoder & Symons, 2010, p.141). Occurrence percentage agreement was calculated for each code by dividing the number of agreements by the number of agreements plus the number of disagreements, then multiplying by 100 (Yoder & Symons, 2010). A time window of 5 seconds was used. Prior to coding independently, the researcher and research assistant reached at least 80% ag reement on each code. IOA results . Observations were grouped in sets of four or five. One observation from each set was randomly selected and across all observations 15 (26% of all sessions) were 75

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randomly selected and independently coded by the trained res earch assistant. The researcher coded all 57 videotaped readaloud sessions. IOA for ea ch code is detailed in Table 3 7 for teachers, Table 3 8 for stude nt: group, and Table 39 student: individual. Table 3 7. IOA for Each Teacher Code Code Agreement Disagreement % IOA Literal Label 174 17 91.09 Locate 9 2 81.81 Notice 33 5 86.84 Count 2 0 100.00 Describe Characteristics 56 4 93.33 Describe/notice scene 91 12 88.34 Sentence completion 31 3 91.17 Overall Literal 396 43 90.20 Inferential Recall information 193 19 91.03 Judgment/Evaluation 68 6 91.89 Identify similarities/differences 74 6 92.50 Predict/Infer 177 16 91.70 Definition 31 5 86.11 Explain/Factual knowledge 114 17 87.02 Overall Inferential 657 69 90.49 Other Behaviors No level of abstraction 3 1 75.00 No Response Not Audible 76

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Table 3 8. IOA for Each Student: Group Code Code Agreement Disagreement % IOA Literal Label 23 2 92.00 Locate Notice Count 1 0 100.00 Describe Characteristics 6 1 85.71 Describe/notice scene 3 0 100.00 Sentence completion 15 1 93.75 Overall Literal 48 4 92.30 Inferential Recall information 7 0 100.00 Judgment/Evaluation Identify similarities/differences 2 0 100.00 Predict/Infer 18 1 94.73 Definition 2 0 100.00 Explain/Factual knowledge 7 1 87.50 Overall Inferential 36 2 94.73 Other Behaviors No level of abstraction 77 9 89.53 No Response 13 1 92.85 Not Audible 77

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Table 3 9. IOA for Each Student: Individual Code Code Agreement Disagreement % IOA Literal Label 211 10 95.47 Locate 5 2 71.42 Notice 12 1 92.30 Count Describe Characteristics 55 6 90.16 Describe/notice scene 46 8 85.18 Sentence completion 14 1 93.33 Overall Literal 343 28 92.45 Inferential Recall information 90 10 90.00 Judgment/Evaluation 56 3 94.91 Identify similarities/differences 33 4 89.18 Predict/Infer 224 21 91.42 Definition 13 2 86.66 Explain/Factual knowledge 111 18 86.04 Overall Inferential 527 58 90.08 Other Behaviors No level of abstraction 72 17 80.89 No Response 18 3 85.71 Not Audible 43 6 87.75 Survey Procedures After the observations were conducted , teachers were asked to complete a brief online survey about their general read aloud practices ( Appendix E for survey items ) . The purpose of the survey was to gather additional information of teacher practices during readalouds to provide a more complete picture. There are several steps to take when develop ing surveys. The five general stages in the development and completion of a survey are: survey design and preliminary planning, pretesting, final survey design and planning, data collection, and data coding, data file construction, analysis, and final report (Czaja & Blair, 2005). Each stage was followed in sequence. Specifically, researchers conducted a focus group with a small group of 78

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primary teachers from a representative sample. Afterwards, researchers asked three literacy experts to take part in cogni tive interviews. The topics for the cognitive interviews included the role of genre selection for read alouds and barriers to reading aloud. Additionally, two primary teachers also took part in cognitive interviews. Participants were asked to reflect on the content and structure of questions. The survey went through several revisions by editing the format, dropping items, and adding items. The survey was piloted at six local elementary schools, with 78 participants. In the current study, teachers were asked to report on reasons for engaging in readalouds, barriers to reading aloud, the role of genre, how they prepare for readalouds, discourse during read alouds, feedback on the three observation sessions and other general practices. Survey items included both closedended and openended formats. Openended questions generally follow closed ended questions and required respondents to explain their selection. Because the survey includes both qualitative and quantitative data, different methods were used to a nalyze results. Descriptive and qualitative data analyses are reported based on survey results. Closed questions were analyzed by reporting percentages based on teacher responses. In order to analyze open ended items, an inductive approach was used. The inductive approach is a systematic technique for analyzing qualitative data that is guided by a need to allow researchers to uncover significant themes in raw data (Hatch, 2002). 79

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The purpose of this study was to examine the discourse between teachers and students during readalouds of informational texts in small group settings in high poverty schools. Specifically , the study focused on the types and frequency of teacher and student literal and inferential uttera nces and general teacher reported read aloud practices in high poverty schools. Reading aloud is one area of young children’s literacy experience that has received increased attention in recent years . Researchers have reported benefits of read alouds but have questioned the typi cal approach to conducting them. Of particular importance is the role of the text in creating rich teacher student discourse during read alouds. Such interactions have positive effects on young children’s language and academic development. To examine these interactions , a mixed methods study was used, including descriptive statistics and analysis of openended teacher reported responses. The following research questions were investigated: 1. What is the rate of teacher literal and inferential utterances durin g read alouds in kindergarten and first grade classrooms in high poverty schools ? 2. What is the rate of student literal and inferential utterances during read alouds in kindergarten and first grade classrooms in high poverty schools ? 3. What are the read alou d practices self reported by teacher s working in kindergarten and first grade classrooms in high poverty schools ? Overview of Study Procedures In order to answer the research questions, 19 teachers and 98 students participated in this study. All teachers volunteered to participate in the study. Each teacher selected a small group of three to seven students that represented varying reading ability levels. Teachers conducted three smallgroup read alouds with the identified students, using researcher selected informational texts and each session was videotaped. Using the software Noldus Observer XT , t he researcher reviewed each video and coded for the following 16 behaviors: label , locate, notice, count, 80

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describe characteristics, describe/notice scene, sentence completion, recall information, judgment/evaluation, identify similarities/differences, predict/infer, definition, explain/factual knowledge , no level of abstraction, no response , and not audible . Teachers also completed a brief survey about their read aloud practices. The survey addressed various issues, such as reasons for engaging in readalouds, barriers/supports for conducting read alouds , role of genre during readalouds, preparation for readalouds, discussions during readalouds, and other general practices. The purpose of this chapter is to present findings from this study. The first section provides findings from the observation of the literacy environment of each classroom. Subsequent f indings are reported by research question. The chapter conclude s with a summary of the research results. Classroom Literacy Environment The Literacy Environment Checklist (Appendix B) was used to provide a quick inventory of literacy related items in each classroom and to provide a context for interpreting the findings . Figure 3 1 displays a description of each item for the all classrooms. Finding from the Literacy Environmental Checklist revealed that a ll classrooms had a designated area for small group and whole group instruction. In most classrooms, student work was visible. All classrooms had the a lphabet visible and all but two classrooms had a word wall that was visible. Additionally, 14 out of 19 c lassrooms did not have leveled books available for students to access in the classroom library. Another finding is that in 10 classrooms, there was no evidence that books were available in different centers. Further, nine classrooms did not have recorded books for students to listen to. 81

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Figure 4 1. Summary of Classroom Language And Literacy Environment Observation Observations of Read aloud Sessions General Observations The researcher videotaped each teacher reading aloud three informational texts to a small group of students. Teachers read aloud in various locations of the classroom. Some teacher participants decided to read at a kidney shaped “teacher table” as the students sat around her, while other teachers read aloud while sitting in a chair in fro nt of the students as they sat on a rug , and few sat on the floor with students . To allow for the teacher to devote full attention to the small group, a graduate student who was enrolled in the Early C hildhood Literature course read aloud to the other students in the classroom either in a separate location in the classroom or outside of the classroom. On average, teachers read aloud for approximately 16 minutes (range 17.92) . The average length of time teachers read each text in sho wn in Table 41. A few teachers did not read the 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Book area is well-organized/ accessible. Soft materials in book area. Books available in different centers. Recorded books avaliable. Designated area for whole group. Designated area for small group. There are a variety of books. Leveled books are available. Informational books are available in various Books reflect diversity. The alphabet is visible. Word Wall displayed. There is a designated writing center. Different media available for writing. Student work/words from lessons visible. No Yes 82

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entire book. In particular, across all three sessions, teacher 13 did not read the entire book. On average, teacher 16 spent the most time reading and teacher 7 spent the least amount of time reading. Some t eachers pointed out that the book is an informational text ( i.e., “this book is an informational text,” “this is the kind of book that will tell us real facts”). Some discussed the purpose of informational texts ( i.e., “you can use this book if you want to research,” “what’s the purpose? To teach or entertain?”). Many teachers pointed out and or discussed text features present in each text such as the table of contents, captions, colored texts, maps , glossary, diagram, and index. Table 4 1. Length of time R eading in Minutes Book 1 Book 2 Book 3 Average T1 17.85 15.54 10.39 14.59 T2 15.54 21.05 16.65 17.75 T3 14.44 14.86 10.91 13.40 T4 16.80 15.62 10.91 14.44 T5 16.84 12.27 13.73 14.28 T6 11.37 13.59 14.78 13.25 T7 8.97 8.98 10.93 9.63 T8 13.07 17.45 14.93 15.15 T9 16.04 16.59 12.22 14.95 T10 20.75 13.88 16.22 16.95 T11 17.04 * 13.02 15.38 15.15 T12 15.64 12.53 14.74 14.30 T13 * 26.09 * 18.02 * 19.19 21.10 T14 26.89 17.73 * 17.03 20.55 T15 19.86 24.23 18.36 20.82 T16 23.49 25.65 17.05 22.06 T17 20.65 13.77 14.47 16.30 T18 22.05 19.22 19.78 20.35 T19 15.80 20.45 16.71 17.65 Average 17.85 16.55 14.97 16.46 Note : An asterisk (*) indicates that the teacher did not read the entire book. 83

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Out of 57 observations 11 teachers mispronounced a word in the text (i.e., coterie and remoras) and a few others purposefully omitted reading particular words all together. In some sessions either the teacher or student pointed out sight words, spelling words, or spelling patterns. Many teachers and students made connections to other texts, television shows, or experiences they have had. However, because the focus of the study was to explore teacher and student literal and inferential talk during the read aloud using three researcher selected informational texts, the remainder of this chapter will present descriptive statistics related to these variables. Table 42 details the overall frequency by literal and inferential levels. Given 57 observations, a grand total of 7,397 literal and inferential utterances were coded for both teachers and students . Combined, the researcher coded a total of 4,132 teacher utterances and 3,265 student utterances. So, more teacher talk was coded compared to student talk. Overall, more inferential utterances were coded compared to literal uttera nces for both teachers and students. Data reveal that more student talk at the individual level was observed and coded compared to student talk coded student group. However, results in Table 42 are reported by frequency and could be confounded by the time spent reading , since the length of each read aloud session varied . The remainder of findings is reported using rate, a more precise estimate, and will detail how teachers and students engaged i n literal and inferential utterances across read aloud sessions. Table 42. Overall Frequency by Literal and Inferential Levels Literal Inferential Total Teacher 1,458 2,674 4,132 Student: Group 167 149 316 Student: Individual 984 1,965 2,949 Total 2,609 4,788 7,397 84

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Teacher Utterances The first research question is, what is the rate of occurrence of teacher literal and inferential utterances ? Teacher findings are reported by book and literal or inferential level of linguistic abstraction. Book 1. Table 4 3 displays teachers’ literal utterances for book one. On average, teachers used label the most (.51 utterances per minute). The behavior that teachers used the least was locate (.08). At the teacher level, teacher 10 engaged in talk at the literal level the most (.58) , followed by teacher 6 (.51). Teacher 4 was engaged in the least amount of talk at the literal level ( on average .10 utterances per minute ). The total average acro ss literal behaviors was .23. Table 4 3. Book 1 Literal Utterances: Teachers Literal Utterances Label Locate Notice Count Describe Charac. Desc ribe / N otice S cene Sen tence Com p. Mean (SD) T1 0.11 0.17 0.50 0.28 0.27 (.17) T2 0.06 0.06 0.26 0.06 0.11 (.10) T3 0.28 0.07 0.21 0.18 ( . 11) T4 0.06 0.06 0.18 0.10 (.07) T5 0.30 0.12 0.12 0.18 0.06 0.15 (.09) T6 1.05 0.09 0.53 0.44 0.26 0.70 0.51 (.34) T7 0.67 0.67 0.11 0.33 0.45 (.27) T8 0.31 0.23 0.46 0.08 0.27 (.16) T9 0.31 0.12 0.06 0.17 (.13) T10 1.88 0.10 0.10 0.39 0.43 0.58 (.74) T11 1.82 0.06 0.06 0.18 0.23 0.23 0.43 (.68) T12 0.19 0.06 0.32 0.32 0.19 0.22 (.11) T13 0.61 0.11 0.15 0.08 0.15 0.19 0.11 0.20 (.18) T14 0.33 0.07 0.37 0.04 0.07 0.15 0.11 0.16 (.13) T15 0.60 0.05 0.15 0.15 0.10 0.21 (.22) T16 0.47 0.17 0.64 0.26 0.04 0.31 (.24) T17 0.15 0.05 0.34 0.19 0.15 0.17 (.11) T18 0.14 0.09 0.05 0.27 0.14 (.10) T19 0.38 0.06 0.32 0.13 0.06 0.19 (.15) Average .51 0.08 0.21 0.18 0.24 0.21 0.19 0.23 85

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Table 4 4 displays the inferential utterances for book one. On average, teachers used predict/infer behavior the most at over once per minute (1.20 utterances ). Followed by recall information (.52) and explain/factual knowledge (.51). The behavior that teachers used the least was definition . At the teacher level, teacher 16 engaged in talk at the inferential level the most (1.11 utterances per minute). Teacher 6 again followed with .86 utterances per minute. Teacher 9 was engaged in the least amount of talk at the inferential level (.19) followed by teacher 13 (.27) . The total average across inferential behaviors was .51. Table 4 4. Book 1 Inferential Utterances: Teachers Inferential Utterances Recall Info. Judgment /Eval. Id entify Sim. & Diff. Predict/ Infer Define Explain/ Factual Knowl. Mean (SD) T1 0.22 0.11 0.56 2.13 0.11 0.17 0.55 (0.79) T2 1.03 0.06 0.26 0.96 0.58 (0.49) T3 0.14 0.14 0.48 0.83 0.07 1.04 0.45 (0.41) T4 0.18 0.95 0.12 0.30 0.39 (0.38) T5 0.06 0.53 0.83 1.01 0.36 0.56 (0.38) T6 0.09 0.35 2.46 0.53 0.86 (1.08) T7 0.22 0.33 0.22 0.11 0.22 0.22 (0.08) T8 0.15 0.23 0.08 1.45 0.23 0.43 (0.58) T9 0.06 0.25 0.37 0.06 0.19 (0.15) T10 0.48 0.34 0.29 1.64 0.05 1.11 0.65 (0.60) T11 1.70 0.65 0.18 1.35 0.06 0.79 (0.72) T12 0.32 0.26 0.26 2.04 0.58 0.69 (0.77) T13 0.54 0.04 0.08 0.34 0.04 0.61 0.27 (0.26) T14 0.71 0.26 0.30 0.67 0.11 0.48 0.42 (0.24) T15 0.35 0.40 0.50 0.76 0.40 0.48 (0.16) T16 1.66 0.43 0.13 1.83 1.49 1.11 (0.77) T17 0.48 0.48 0.10 1.69 0.53 0.44 0.62 (0.55) T18 0.73 0.86 0.14 0.63 0.09 0.63 0.51 (0.32) T19 0.38 0.38 0.32 1.52 0.51 0.62 (0.51) Average .52 0.33 0.34 1.20 0.14 0.51 0.51 Book 2. Table 4 5 displays the literal utterances for book two. On average, teachers used label and describe/notice scene the most, approximately .42 utterances per minute. The behavior that teachers used the least was count (did not occur) followed by locate (.14) and sentence 86

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completion (.15). At the teacher level, teacher 6 engaged in talk at the literal level the most (.90). Teacher 1 was engaged in the least amount of talk at the literal level (on average . 09 utterances per minute). The total average across literal behaviors for teachers during session 2 was .23. Table 4 5. Book 2 Literal Utterances: Teachers Literal Utterances Label Locate Notice Count Describe Charac. Describe/ Notice Scene Sentence Comp. Mean (SD) T1 0.13 0.06 0.06 0.13 0.06 0.09 (.04) T2 0.09 0.05 0.38 0.33 0.05 0.18 (.16) T3 0.34 0.07 0.47 0.13 0.07 0.22 (.18) T4 0.19 0.32 0.06 0.13 0.18 (.11) T5 0.16 0.16 0.16 0.33 0.20 (.08) T6 1.62 0.44 0.81 0.74 0.90 (.50) T7 0.33 0.45 0.45 0.56 0.22 0.40 (.13) T8 1.43 0.17 0.23 0.40 0.29 0.50 (.53) T9 0.24 0.18 0.12 0.24 0.66 0.29 (.21) T10 1.15 0.07 0.07 0.79 0.50 0.52 (.47) T11 0.15 0.08 0.31 0.54 0.27 (.20) T12 0.32 0.08 0.08 0.24 0.16 0.18 (.10) T13 0.11 0.22 0.33 0.39 0.26 (.12) T14 0.11 0.11 0.06 0.11 0.10 (.03) T15 0.12 0.17 0.12 0.04 0.11 (.05) T16 0.15 0.23 0.08 0.68 0.04 0.23 (.26) T17 0.51 0.22 0.29 1.02 0.15 0.44 (.35) T18 0.21 0.10 0.16 0.31 0.94 0.05 0.29 (.35) T19 0.68 0.05 0.39 0.24 0.49 0.10 0.33 (.24) Average .42 0.14 0.21 0.00 0.30 0.42 0.15 0.23 Table 4 6 displays the inferential utterances for book two. On average, teachers used predict/infer behavior the most (.81 utterances), followed by explain/factual knowledge (.68). The behavior that teachers used the least was definition (.26) followed closely by judgment /evaluation (.27). At the teacher level, teacher 18 engaged in talk at the inferential level the most (.78 utterances per minute). Teacher 6 again followed with .74 utterances per minute. Teacher 5 was engaged in the least amount of talk at the inferential level (.31 ) followed by teacher 13 (.32). The total average across inferential behaviors was .48. 87

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Table 4 6. Book 2 Inferential Utterances: Teachers Inferential Utterances Recall Info. Judgment /Eval. Identify Sim. & Diff. Predict/ Infer Define Explain/ Factual Knowl. Mean (SD) T1 1.16 0.26 0.71 0.45 0.45 0.32 0.56 (.33) T2 1.66 0.05 0.09 0.38 0.09 0.38 0.44 (.62) T3 0.27 0.20 0.54 0.07 0.34 0.87 0.38 (.29) T4 0.32 0.26 0.19 0.51 0.13 0.90 0.38 (.28) T5 0.49 0.08 0.65 0.08 0.24 0.31 (.25) T6 0.88 0.74 1.25 0.07 0.51 0.69 (.44) T7 0.33 0.67 0.11 0.45 0.67 0.45 (.24) T8 0.17 0.29 0.34 0.29 1.03 0.42 (.35) T9 0.24 0.24 0.06 0.84 0.54 0.54 0.41 (.28) T10 1.30 0.29 0.22 0.29 0.72 0.56 (.46) T11 1.23 0.15 0.31 0.69 1.07 0.69 (.47) T12 0.48 0.80 0.40 0.64 0.16 0.48 0.49 (.22) T13 0.72 0.22 0.22 0.28 0.06 0.44 0.32 (.23) T14 0.68 0.23 0.62 0.11 0.23 0.37 (.26) T15 0.54 0.33 0.21 0.95 0.08 0.33 0.41 (.31) T16 1.32 0.15 0.19 0.98 0.45 1.36 0.74 (.55) T17 0.80 0.07 0.07 0.51 0.29 0.94 0.45 (.37) T18 2.08 0.21 0.26 0.31 1.04 0.78 (.80) T19 0.64 0.34 0.34 0.34 0.24 0.83 0.46 (.23) Average .81 0.27 0.32 0.52 0.26 0.68 0.48 Book 3. Table 4 7 displays the literal utterances for book three. On average, teachers used label most (.82 utterances per minute) followed by describe/ notice scene (.63). The behavior that teachers used the least was count (.06) followed by locate (.17). At the teacher level, teacher 6 engaged in talk at the literal level the most (.72) followed by t eacher 18 (.69) Teacher 5 was engaged in the least amount of talk at the literal level (on average .14 utterances per minute) followed by teacher 3 (.17). The total average across literal behaviors for teachers during session three was .35. 88

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Table 4 7. Book 3 Literal Utterances: Teachers Literal Utterances Label Locate Notice Count Describe Charac. Describe/ Notice Scene Sentence Comp. Mean (SD) T1 0.67 0.19 0.19 0.29 0.10 0.29 (.22) T2 1.26 0.06 0.12 0.36 0.06 0.37 (.51) T3 0.09 0.18 0.09 0.09 0.37 0.18 0.17 (.11) T4 0.37 0.09 0.09 0.46 0.37 0.09 0.25 (.17) T5 0.29 0.07 0.07 0.14 (.13) T6 1.22 0.07 1.08 0.07 0.74 1.42 0.41 0.72 (.55) T7 0.37 0.27 0.09 0.55 0.32 (.19) T8 0.87 0.27 0.07 0.07 0.13 0.54 0.33 (.32) T9 1.55 0.33 0.08 0.49 0.61 (.65) T10 1.23 0.06 0.06 0.37 0.92 0.12 0.46 (.50) T11 0.91 0.20 0.13 0.59 0.72 0.51 (.34) T12 1.29 0.27 0.14 0.68 0.60 (.52) T13 0.63 0.26 0.05 0.05 0.68 0.63 0.38 (.30) T14 0.29 0.18 0.23 0.23 0.47 0.23 0.27 (.10) T15 0.60 0.16 0.38 0.22 0.34 (.20) T16 0.82 0.12 0.41 0.41 1.41 0.18 0.56 (.48) T17 1.11 0.14 0.35 0.28 0.97 0.57 (.44) T18 1.31 0.15 0.61 0.69 (.58) T19 0.66 0.06 0.18 0.36 0.48 0.35 (.24) Average .82 0.17 0.24 0.06 0.24 0.63 0.27 0.35 Table 4 8 displays the inferential utterances for book three. On average, teachers used recall information the most (.89 utterances), followed by explain/factual knowledge (.78). The behavior that teachers used the least was judgment/evaluation (.21) followed closely by definition (.22). At the teacher level, teachers 6 and 11 engaged in talk at the inferential level the most (.70 utterances per minute). Teacher 13 was engaged in the least amount of talk at the inferential level (.33). The total average acr oss inferential behaviors was .50. 89

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Table 4 8. Book 3 Inferential Utterances: Teachers Inferential Utterances Recall Info. Judgment /Eval. Identify Sim. & Diff. Predict/ Infer Define Explain/ Factual Knowl. Mean (SD) T1 0.67 0.38 0.96 0.10 0.29 0.48 (.34) T2 1.38 0.18 0.36 0.18 0.54 0.53 (.50) T3 0.92 0.18 0.27 1.10 0.62 (.46) T4 0.64 0.55 0.46 0.09 0.18 0.38 (.24) T5 0.36 0.73 0.29 0.44 0.07 0.38 (.24) T6 0.74 0.47 0.14 1.22 0.41 1.22 0.70 (.45) T7 0.73 0.18 0.46 0.09 0.82 0.46 (.32) T8 0.20 0.07 0.07 1.07 0.40 1.21 0.50 (.51) T9 0.41 0.08 0.41 0.41 0.16 1.47 0.49 (.50) T10 2.16 0.18 0.18 0.31 0.31 0.12 0.54 (.79) T11 1.17 0.20 0.39 0.39 1.37 0.70 (.53) T12 0.75 0.20 0.47 0.47 0.07 1.76 0.62 (.61) T13 0.73 0.05 0.16 0.21 0.52 0.33 (.28) T14 1.00 0.23 0.35 0.29 0.41 0.70 0.50 (.29) T15 0.49 0.44 0.65 0.27 0.87 0.54 (.23) T16 1.29 0.18 0.29 1.00 0.23 0.76 0.63 (.46) T17 1.73 0.21 0.21 0.55 0.14 0.62 0.58 (.60) T18 1.06 0.20 0.15 0.86 0.10 0.56 0.49 (.40) T19 0.48 0.24 0.24 0.60 0.18 0.60 0.39 (.19) Average .89 0.21 0.33 0.57 0.22 0.78 0.50 Across Books . Table 4 9 compares the means across books for teacher literal utterances. Data reveal that across all books, teacher 6 on average engaged in literal talk the most (.71 utterances per minute). Teacher 10 followed with .52 literal utterances per minute. The two lowest means were associated with teachers 4 and 5 (.17 literal utterances per minute). Comparing the books, teachers on average engaged in more literal talk w ith book three (.42) and the least with book one (.25). The overall mean across books for literal utterances was .32. 90

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Table 4 9. Literal Utterances Across Books: Teachers Book 1 Book 2 Book 3 Total Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD T1 0.27 0.17 0.09 0.04 0.29 0.22 0.21 0.14 T2 0.11 0.10 0.18 0.16 0.37 0.51 0.22 0.26 T3 0.18 0.11 0.22 0.18 0.17 0.11 0.19 0.13 T4 0.10 0.07 0.18 0.11 0.25 0.17 0.17 0.12 T5 0.15 0.09 0.20 0.08 0.14 0.13 0.17 0.10 T6 0.51 0.34 0.90 0.50 0.72 0.55 0.71 0.46 T7 0.45 0.27 0.40 0.13 0.32 0.19 0.39 0.20 T8 0.27 0.16 0.50 0.53 0.33 0.32 0.37 0.34 T9 0.17 0.13 0.29 0.21 0.61 0.65 0.36 0.33 T10 0.58 0.74 0.52 0.47 0.46 0.50 0.52 0.57 T11 0.43 0.68 0.27 0.20 0.51 0.34 0.40 0.41 T12 0.22 0.11 0.18 0.10 0.60 0.52 0.33 0.24 T13 0.20 0.18 0.26 0.12 0.38 0.30 0.28 0.20 T14 0.16 0.13 0.10 0.03 0.27 0.10 0.18 0.09 T15 0.21 0.22 0.11 0.05 0.34 0.20 0.22 0.16 T16 0.31 0.24 0.23 0.26 0.56 0.48 0.37 0.33 T17 0.17 0.11 0.44 0.35 0.57 0.44 0.39 0.30 T18 0.14 0.10 0.29 0.33 0.69 0.58 0.37 0.34 T19 0.19 0.15 0.33 0.24 0.35 0.24 0.29 0.21 Average 0.25 0.22 0.30 0.22 0.42 0.34 0.32 0.26 Similarly, T able 4 10 compares the means across books for teacher inferential utterances. Data reveal that across all books, teacher 6 on average engaged in inferential talk the most (.75 utterances per minute). Teach 10 followed with .59 inferential utterances per minute. The two lowest means were associated with teacher 7 (.21) and teacher 5 (.17 literal utterances per minute). Comparing the books, teachers on average engaged in more inferential talk with book one (.55) and the least with book two (.49). The overall mean across books for inferential utterances was .52. 91

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Table 4 10. Inferential Utterances Across Books: Teachers Book 1 Boo k 2 Book 3 Total Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD T1 0.55 0.79 0.56 0.33 0.48 0.34 0.53 0.49 T2 0.58 0.49 0.44 0.62 0.53 0.50 0.52 0.53 T3 0.45 0.41 0.38 0.29 0.62 0.46 0.48 0.38 T4 0.39 0.38 0.38 0.28 0.38 0.24 0.39 0.30 T5 0.56 0.38 0.31 0.25 0.38 0.24 0.42 0.29 T6 0.86 1.08 0.69 0.44 0.70 0.45 0.75 0.66 T7 0.22 0.08 0.45 0.24 0.46 0.32 0.38 0.21 T8 0.43 0.58 0.42 0.35 0.50 0.51 0.45 0.48 T9 0.19 0.15 0.41 0.28 0.49 0.50 0.36 0.31 T10 0.65 0.60 0.56 0.46 0.54 0.79 0.59 0.62 T11 0.79 0.72 0.69 0.47 0.70 0.53 0.73 0.57 T12 0.69 0.77 0.49 0.22 0.62 0.61 0.60 0.53 T13 0.27 0.26 0.32 0.23 0.33 0.28 0.31 0.26 T14 0.42 0.24 0.37 0.26 0.50 0.29 0.43 0.26 T15 0.48 0.16 0.41 0.31 0.54 0.23 0.48 0.23 T16 1.11 0.77 0.74 0.55 0.63 0.46 0.82 0.59 T17 0.62 0.55 0.45 0.37 0.58 0.60 0.55 0.51 T18 0.51 0.32 0.78 0.80 0.49 0.40 0.59 0.51 T19 0.62 0.51 0.46 0.23 0.39 0.19 0.49 0.31 Average 0.55 0.49 0.49 0.37 0.52 0.42 0.52 0.42 Student Utterances The second research question is, what is the rate of occurrence of student literal and inferential utterances? Student findings are reported by book and literal and inferential level of linguistic abstraction for student: group and student: individual Book 1 . Table 4 11 displays literal utterances for student: group. On average, student: group used count and sentence completion the most (. 15). The behavior that students used the least was locate (none ). At the subject level, students in classroom 11 engaged in talk at the literal level the most (.35 ), followed by students in classroom 6 (.29). In clas srooms 2, 7, and 8 there was no talk at the literal level for student group. The total average across literal behaviors for student: group was .08. 92

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Tabl e 4 11. Book 1 Literal Utterances: Student: Group Literal Utterances Label Locate Notice Count Describe Charac. Describe/ Notice Scene Sentence Comp. Mean (SD) T1 0.06 0.06 T2 T3 0.07 0.07 T4 0.06 0.06 0.18 0.10 (.07) T5 0.18 0.18 (0) T6 0.09 0.26 0.53 0.29 (.22) T7 T8 T9 0.12 0.12 T10 0.05 0.05 0.19 0.10 (.08) T11 0.53 0.18 0.35 (.25) T12 0.06 0.06 T13 0.19 0.04 0.04 0.08 0.09 (.07) T14 0.15 0.04 0.04 0.07 (.06) T15 0.05 0.05 0.05 T16 0.04 0.04 T17 0.15 0.15 T18 0.05 0.05 T19 0.06 0.06 0.06 Average .13 0.00 0.05 0.15 0.06 0.05 0.15 0.08 Table 4 12 displays literal utterances for student: individual for book one. On average, students engaged in higher rates of talk using label (.76 utterances per minute). The behavior that students used the least was locate (.08). At the student level, students in the classroom with teacher 5 engaged in talk at the literal level the most (.92), followed by teacher 15 (.53). Students in the classroom with teacher 10 was engaged in the least amount of talk at the literal level (on average .08 utterances per m inute), followed by students in the classroom with teacher 4 (.10) The total average across literal behaviors for student: individual was .22. 93

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Table 4 12. Book 1 Literal Utterances: Student: Individual Literal Utterances Label Locate Notice Count Describe Charac. Describe/ Notice Scene Sentence Comp. Mean (SD) T1 0.34 0.34 0.22 0.11 0.25 (.11) T2 0.51 0.06 0.06 0.13 0.06 0.17 (.20 T3 0.48 0.21 0.14 0.28 (.18) T4 0.18 0.06 0.06 0.10 (.07) T5 3.21 0.12 0.24 0.12 0.92 (1.53) T6 1.49 0.35 0.09 0.18 0.18 0.18 0.41 (.54) T7 0.22 0.11 0.11 0.15 (.06) T8 0.15 0.31 0.08 0.18 (.12) T9 0.50 0.06 0.28 (.31) T10 0.10 0.05 0.05 0.14 0.08 (.05) T11 1.06 0.06 0.29 0.29 0.43 (.43) T12 0.13 0.06 0.58 0.26 0.26 (.23) T13 0.65 0.08 0.23 0.08 0.08 0.22 (.25) T14 1.23 0.15 0.04 0.26 0.07 0.04 0.30 (.46) T15 1.36 0.40 0.30 0.05 0.53 (.57) T16 0.38 0.13 0.26 (.18) T17 0.19 0.05 0.24 0.16 (.10) T18 0.14 0.09 0.11 (.03) T19 0.95 0.06 0.06 0.32 0.13 0.30 (.38) Average .76 0.08 0.13 0.06 0.22 0.14 0.12 0.22 Table 4 13 displays inferential utterances for student: group. On average, student: group used predict/infer the most (.11). The behavior that students used the least was definition (.04). At the subject level, students in classroom 6 engaged in talk at the literal level the most (.35), followed by students in classroom 10 (.19). In four classrooms, teachers 2, 3, 7, and 8 there was no occurrence of talk for student group. The total average across inferential behaviors for student: group was .08. 94

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Table 4 13. Book 1 Inferential Utterances: Student: Group Inferential Utterances Recall Info. Judgment /Eval. Identify Sim. & Diff. Predict/ Infer Define Explain/ Factual Knowl. Mean (SD) T1 0.06 0.06 T2 T3 T4 0.06 0.06 0.06 T5 0.06 0.06 0.06 T6 0.35 0.35 T7 T8 T9 0.12 0.12 T10 0.19 0.19 T11 0.06 0.06 T12 0.06 0.06 T13 0.15 0.04 0.11 0.10 (.06) T14 0.15 0.11 0.04 0.11 0.10 (.05) T15 0.10 0.10 0.05 0.08 (.03) T16 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 T17 0.15 0.05 0.15 0.05 0.10 (.06) T18 0.09 0.09 0.05 0.08 (.02) T19 0.06 0.19 0.13 (.09) Average .10 0.08 0.08 0.11 0.04 0.08 0.08 Table 4 14 displays inferential utterances for student: individual. On average, student: individual used predict/infer the most (1.67). The behavior that students us ed the least was definition (.10). At the subjec t level, students in classroom 17 engaged i n talk at the literal level the most (1.01), foll owed by students in classroom 15 (.98). Students in classroom 7 had the lowest rate of talk (.11) followed by students in classroom 9 (.17). The total average across inferential behaviors for student: indivi dual for book 1 was .49. 95

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Table 4 14. Book 1 Inferential Utterances: Student: Individual Inferential Utterances Recall Info. Judgment /Eval. Identify Sim. & Diff. Predict/ Infer Define Explain/ Factual Knowl. Mean (SD) T1 0.06 0.11 1.74 0.06 0.49 (.83) T2 0.96 0.13 0.26 1.74 0.77 (.74) T3 0.14 0.42 0.07 1.73 0.48 0.57 (.67) T4 0.36 0.48 0.18 0.30 0.33 (.12) T5 0.30 0.59 0.65 0.30 0.46 (.19) T6 0.09 0.18 2.81 0.70 0.94 (1.27) T7 0.11 0.11 T8 0.08 0.08 1.91 0.08 0.54 (.92) T9 0.06 0.06 0.50 0.06 0.17 (.22) T10 0.05 0.24 1.73 0.14 0.54 (.80) T11 1.47 0.59 1.58 0.06 0.92 (.73) T12 0.26 0.51 0.13 2.43 0.26 0.72 (.97) T13 0.15 0.15 0.04 0.42 0.38 0.23 (.16) T14 0.48 0.04 0.22 0.89 0.11 0.26 0.33 (.31) T15 0.05 0.35 0.15 3.32 1.01 0.98 (1.36) T16 0.94 0.17 0.09 1.28 0.72 0.64 (.51) T17 0.05 0.48 4.21 0.15 0.15 1.01 (1.80) T18 0.18 0.36 0.05 1.00 0.05 0.32 0.32 (.36) T19 0.57 0.06 0.06 2.28 0.51 0.70 (.92) Average 0.41 0.24 0.20 1.67 0.10 0.34 0.49 Book 2. Table 4 15 displays literal utterances for student: group. On average, student: group used label most (.13). The behavior that students used the least was locate and count (none). At the subject level, students in classroom 13 engaged in talk at the literal level the most (.44), followed by students in classroom 6 (.15). In classrooms 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 14 there was no talk at the literal level for student group. The total average across literal behaviors for student: group was .07. 96

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Table 4 15. B ook 2 Literal Utterances: Student: Group Literal Utterances Label Locate Notice Count Describe Charac. Describe/ Notice Scene Sentence Comp. Mean (SD) T1 T2 T3 0.07 0.07 T4 0.06 0.13 0.10 (.05) T5 T6 0.22 0.07 0.15 0.15 (.07) T7 T8 T9 T10 0.14 0.14 T11 0.08 0.15 0.12 (.05) T12 0.08 0.08 0.08 T13 0.44 0.44 T14 T15 0.04 0.04 0.04 T16 0.04 0.04 0.04 T17 0.07 0.15 0.11 (.05) T18 0.05 0.05 T19 0.29 0.05 0.05 0.13 (.14) Average .13 0.00 0.08 0.00 0.06 0.09 0.16 0.07 Table 4 16 displays literal utterances for student: individual for book two. On average, students engaged in higher rates of talk using label (.35 utterances per minute) followed closely by describe/notice scene. The behavior that students used the least was count (none). At the student level, students in the classroom with teacher 6 engaged in talk at the literal level the most (.74), followed by teacher 15 (.51). Students in the classroom with teacher 14 was engaged in the least amount of talk at the literal level (on average .07 utterances per minute), followed by students in the classroom with teacher 4 (.09) The total average across literal behaviors for student: individual was .18. 97

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Table 4 16. Book 2 Literal Utterances: Student: Individual Literal Utterances Label Locate Notice Count Describe Charac. Describe/ Notice Scene Sentence Comp. Mean (SD) T1 0.39 0.06 0.26 0.32 0.06 0.22 (.15) T2 0.20 0.20 0.07 0.16 (.08) T3 0.34 0.27 0.20 0.20 0.07 0.22 (.10) T4 0.06 0.06 0.13 0.09 (.04) T5 0.08 0.08 0.41 0.19 (.19) T6 1.25 0.07 0.88 0.74 0.74 (.49) T7 0.22 0.11 0.11 0.15 (.06) T8 0.63 0.06 0.63 0.17 0.37 (.30) T9 0.12 0.18 0.15 (.04) T10 0.43 0.22 0.07 0.14 0.07 0.19 (.15) T11 0.23 0.38 0.31 (.11) T12 0.08 0.16 0.08 0.24 0.14 (.08) T13 0.33 0.11 0.33 0.39 0.22 0.28 (.11) T14 0.06 0.06 0.11 0.06 0.07 (.03) T15 0.74 0.33 0.83 0.62 0.04 0.51 (.32) T16 0.11 0.15 0.08 0.15 0.12 (.04) T17 0.29 0.29 0.07 0.22 (.13) T18 0.21 0.05 0.21 0.10 0.42 0.05 0.17 (.14) T19 0.39 0.05 0.05 0.24 0.24 0.20 (.15) Average .35 0.10 0.15 0.00 0.30 0.26 0.11 0.18 Table 4 17 displays inferential utterances for student: group. On average, student: group used predict/infer the most (.13). The behaviors that students used the least were judgment/evaluation and identify similarities and differences (none). At the subjec t level, students in classroom 17 engaged in talk at the literal level the most (.14), followed by students in classrooms 6, 13,14 (.11). In five classrooms, teachers 2, 5, 7, 8, and 18 there was no occurrence of talk for student group. The total average a cross inferential behaviors for student: group was .06. 98

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Table 4 17. Book 2 Inferential Utterances: Student: Group Inferential Utterances Recall Info. Judgment /Eval. Identify Sim. & Diff. Predict/ Infer Define Explain/ Factual Knowl. Mean (SD) T1 0.06 0.06 T2 T3 0.07 0.07 T4 0.06 0.06 0.06 T5 T6 0.07 0.15 0.11 (.06) T7 T8 T9 0.12 0.06 0.09 (.04) T10 0.07 0.07 0.07 T11 0.08 0.08 T12 0.08 0.08 T13 0.22 0.06 0.06 0.11 (.09) T14 0.11 0.11 0.11 T15 0.12 0.04 0.08 (.06) T16 0.08 0.08 T17 0.29 0.07 0.07 0.14 (.13) T18 T19 0.05 0.15 0.05 0.08 (.06) Average .09 0.00 0.00 0.13 0.06 0.07 0.06 Table 4 18 displays inferential utterances for student: individual. On average, student: individual used predict/infer the most (.55). The behavior that students used the least was definition (.15). At the subject level, students in classroom 15 engaged in talk at the inferential level the most (.72), followed by students in classroom 1 (.48). Students in classroom 8 had the lowest rate of talk (.17) followed by students in classroom 11 (.19). The total average across inferential behaviors for student: individual for book 2 was .35. 99

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Table 4 18. Book 2 Inferential Utterances: Student: Individual Inferential Utterances Recall Info. Judgment /Eval. Identify Sim. & Diff. Predict/ Infer Define Explain/ Factual Knowl. Mean (SD) T1 0.71 0.58 0.19 0.26 0.13 1.03 0.48 (.35) T2 0.34 0.13 0.40 0.07 0.67 0.32 (.24) T3 0.34 0.13 0.40 0.07 0.67 0.32 (.24) T4 0.13 0.19 0.38 0.38 0.27 (.13) T5 0.41 0.33 0.16 0.30 (.13) T6 0.22 0.15 0.37 1.03 0.07 0.51 0.39 (.35) T7 0.33 0.33 T8 0.06 0.11 0.11 0.40 0.17 (.16) T9 0.06 0.36 0.18 0.18 0.20 (.12) T10 0.43 0.07 0.58 0.36 (.26) T11 0.38 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.31 0.19 (.15) T12 0.16 0.40 0.64 0.16 0.64 0.40 (.24) T13 0.28 0.39 0.06 0.50 0.22 0.29 (.17) T14 0.34 0.17 0.62 0.17 0.33 (.21) T15 0.78 0.41 0.21 1.65 0.33 0.91 0.72 (.53) T16 0.34 0.19 0.11 0.72 0.26 0.68 0.38 (.26) T17 0.07 0.15 0.80 0.34 (.40) T18 0.99 0.16 0.05 0.16 0.10 0.68 0.36 (.39) T19 0.29 0.10 0.15 0.29 0.24 0.21 (.09) Average .43 0.23 0.19 0.55 0.15 0.52 0.35 Book 3. Table 4 19 displays literal utterances for student: group. On average, student: group used label most (.26). The behavior that students used the least was notice (none). At the subject level, students in classroom 11 engaged in talk at the literal level the most (.46), followed by students in classroom 1 (.34). In classrooms 2, 4, 5, 7, 14, 17, and 19 there was no talk at the literal level for student group. The t otal average across literal behaviors for student: group for book 3 was .11. 100

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Table 4 19. Book 3 Literal Utterances: Student: Group Literal Utterances Label Locate Notice Count Describe Charac. Describe/ Notice Scene Sentence Comp. Mean (SD) T1 0.58 0.10 0.34 (.34) T2 T3 0.18 0.18 T4 T5 T6 0.07 0.07 0.14 0.07 0.08 (.03) T7 T8 0.07 0.07 0.07 T9 0.08 0.08 T10 0.06 0.12 0.06 0.06 0.08 (.03) T11 0.78 0.13 0.46 0.46 (.33) T12 0.07 0.07 T13 0.10 0.05 0.05 0.36 0.14 (.15) T14 T15 0.05 0.05 T16 0.12 0.06 0.09 (.04) T17 T18 T19 0.12 0.12 Average .26 0.07 0.0 0.07 0.09 0.09 0.22 0.11 Table 4 20 displays literal utterances for student: individual for book three. On average, students engaged in higher rates of talk using describe/notice scene (.34 utterances per minute) followed closely by label and describe characteristics (.31). The be havior that students used the least was count (.07). At the student level, students in the classroom with teacher 17 engaged in talk at the literal level the most (.51), followed by teacher 14 (.45). Students in the classroom with teachers 18 and 2 were en gaged in the least amount of talk at the literal level (on average .12 utterances per minute). The total average across literal behaviors for student: individual was .20 for book 3. 101

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Table 4 20. Book 3 Literal Utterances: Student: Individual Literal Utterances Label Locate Notice Count Describe Charac. Describe/ Notice Scene Sentence Comp. Mean (SD) T1 0.48 0.29 0.29 0.48 0.10 0.33 (.16) T2 0.18 0.12 0.06 0.12 (.06) T3 0.09 0.18 0.14 (.06) T4 0.09 0.27 0.09 0.09 0.14 (.09) T5 0.22 0.15 0.07 0.15 (.08) T6 0.54 0.07 0.20 0.41 1.08 0.14 0.41 (.37) T7 0.09 0.18 0.14 (.06) T8 0.20 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.27 0.14 (.09) T9 0.25 0.16 0.21 (.06) T10 0.25 0.12 0.06 0.14 (.10) T11 0.07 0.20 0.20 0.16 (.08) T12 0.20 0.34 0.14 0.23 (.10) T13 0.63 0.10 0.36 0.52 0.21 0.36 (.22) T14 0.29 0.53 0.53 0.45 (.14) T15 0.60 0.11 0.38 0.44 0.11 0.33 (.21) T16 0.35 0.06 0.06 0.53 0.59 0.18 0.30 (.23) T17 0.28 0.76 0.48 0.51 (.24) T18 0.20 0.10 0.05 0.12 (.08) T19 0.30 0.18 0.24 (.08) Average .31 0.11 0.11 0.07 0.31 0.34 0.13 0.20 Table 4 21 displays inferential utterances for student: group. On average, student: group used recall information the most (.13), closely followed by predict/infer (.12). The behavior that students used the least was judgment/evaluation (none). At the subject level, students in classroom 11 engaged in talk at the literal level the most (.16), followed by students in classroom 18 (.15). In six classrooms , teachers 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 16, there was no occurrence of talk for student group. The total average across inferential behaviors for student: group was .09. 102

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Table 4 21. Book 2 Inferential Utterances: Student: Group Inferential Utterances Recall Info. Judgment /Eval. Identify Sim. & Diff. Predict/ Infer Define Explain/ Factual Knowl. Mean (SD) T1 0.10 0.10 T2 T3 0.09 0.09 T4 0.09 0.09 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 0.08 0.16 0.12 (.04) T10 0.18 0.06 0.06 0.06 0.09 (.05) T11 0.13 0.20 0.16 (.03) T12 0.07 0.07 T13 0.10 0.16 0.05 0.10 (.04) T14 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.12 T15 0.22 0.11 0.11 0.05 0.12 (.06) T16 T17 0.14 0.14 T18 0.15 0.15 T19 0.06 0.12 0.09 (.03) Average .13 0.00 0.10 0.12 0.09 0.10 0.09 Table 4 22 displays inferential utterances for student: individual. On average, student: individual used explain/factual knowledge the most (.66) followed by predict/infer (.49). The behavior that students used the least was judgment/evaluation (.11) followed by definition (.12) . At the subject level, students in classroom 15 engaged in talk at the inferential level the most (.74), followed by students in classroom 11 (.66) . Students in classroom 13 had the lowest rate of talk (.23) followed by students in classroom 8 (. 24 ). The total average across inferential behaviors for student: individual for book 3 was .35. 103

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Table 4 22. Book 3 Inferential Utterances: Student: Individual Inferential Utterances Recall Info. Judgment /Eval. Identify Sim. & Diff. Predict/ Infer Define Explain/ Factual Knowl. Mean (SD) T1 0.38 0.10 0.29 0.77 0.58 0.42 (.26) T2 0.78 0.06 0.12 0.42 0.06 0.60 0.34 (.31) T3 0.55 0.09 0.09 1.56 0.57 (.69) T4 0.55 0.27 0.55 0.09 0.37 (.23) T5 0.07 0.15 0.80 0.51 0.07 0.15 0.29 (.30) T6 0.27 0.07 0.20 0.74 0.27 1.08 0.44 (.39) T7 0.27 0.09 0.46 0.27 (.19) T8 0.07 0.40 0.07 0.40 0.24 (.19) T9 0.08 0.16 0.57 0.27 (.26) T10 0.68 0.12 0.55 0.12 0.06 0.31 (.29) T11 0.33 0.85 0.20 1.24 0.66 (.48) T12 0.14 0.27 0.34 0.27 1.15 0.43 (.41) T13 0.47 0.10 0.26 0.05 0.26 0.23 (.16) T14 0.88 0.06 0.06 0.53 0.18 0.29 0.33 (.32) T15 0.33 0.22 0.49 0.76 1.91 0.74 (.68) T16 0.41 0.12 0.23 1.00 0.12 0.65 0.42 (.35) T17 0.55 0.07 0.14 0.35 0.07 0.97 0.36 (.35) T18 0.35 0.10 0.66 0.05 0.25 0.28 (.24) T19 0.18 0.12 0.60 0.24 0.30 0.29 (.19) Average .42 0.11 0.32 0.49 0.12 0.66 0.35 Across Books . Table 4 23 compares the means across books for student: group literal utterances. Data reveal that across all books, students in classroom 11 on average enga ged in literal talk the most (.3 1 utterances per minute). Students in classroom 13 followed with .22 literal utterances per minute. The two lowest means were associated with students in classroom 2 and 7 (no literal utterances per minute). Comparing the books, students on average engaged in more l iteral talk with book three (.15) , but means across the three books were similar. The overall mean across book s for literal utterances for student: group was .13. 104

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Table 4 23. Literal Utterances Across Books: Student Group Book 1 Book 2 Book 3 Total Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD T1 0.06 0.34 0.34 0.20 0.34 T2 T3 0.07 0.07 0.18 0.11 T4 0.10 0.07 0.10 0.05 0.10 0.06 T5 0.18 0.18 T6 0.29 0.22 0.15 0.07 0.08 0.03 0.17 0.11 T7 T8 0.07 0.07 T9 0.12 0.08 0.10 T10 0.10 0.08 0.14 0.08 0.03 0.11 0.06 T11 0.35 0.25 0.12 0.05 0.46 0.33 0.31 0.21 T12 0.06 0.08 0.07 0.07 T13 0.09 0.07 0.44 0.14 0.15 0.22 0.11 T14 0.07 0.06 0.07 0.06 T15 0.05 0.04 0.05 0.05 T16 0.04 0.04 0.09 0.04 0.06 0.04 T17 0.15 0.11 0.05 0.13 0.05 T18 0.05 0.05 0.05 T19 0.06 0.13 0.14 0.12 0.10 0.14 Average 0.11 0.13 0.12 0.07 0.15 0.15 0.13 0.12 Similarly, Table 4 24 compares the means across books for student : individual literal utterances. Data reveal that across all books, individual students in classroom 6 on average engaged in literal talk the most (. 52 utterances per minute). Students in classroom 15 followed with .46 inferential utterances per minute. The two lowest mean s were associated with students in classroom 4 (.11) and 18 (.13 literal u tterances per minute). Comparing the books, individual students on average engaged in literal talk similarly across all three books . The overall mean across books for inferential utterances was .25 . 105

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Table 4 24. Literal Utterances Across Books: Student Indi vidual Book 1 Book 2 Book 3 Total Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD T1 0.25 0.11 0.22 0.15 0.33 0.16 0.27 0.14 T2 0.17 0.20 0.16 0.08 0.12 0.06 0.15 0.11 T3 0.28 0.18 0.22 0.10 0.14 0.06 0.21 0.12 T4 0.10 0.07 0.09 0.04 0.14 0.09 0.11 0.07 T5 0.92 1.53 0.19 0.19 0.15 0.08 0.42 0.60 T6 0.41 0.54 0.74 0.49 0.41 0.37 0.52 0.47 T7 0.15 0.06 0.15 0.06 0.14 0.06 0.14 0.06 T8 0.18 0.12 0.37 0.30 0.14 0.09 0.23 0.17 T9 0.28 0.31 0.15 0.04 0.21 0.06 0.21 0.14 T10 0.08 0.05 0.19 0.15 0.14 0.10 0.14 0.10 T11 0.43 0.43 0.31 0.11 0.16 0.08 0.30 0.21 T12 0.26 0.23 0.14 0.08 0.23 0.10 0.21 0.14 T13 0.22 0.25 0.28 0.11 0.36 0.22 0.29 0.19 T14 0.30 0.46 0.07 0.03 0.45 0.14 0.27 0.21 T15 0.53 0.57 0.51 0.32 0.33 0.21 0.46 0.37 T16 0.26 0.18 0.12 0.04 0.30 0.23 0.22 0.15 T17 0.16 0.10 0.22 0.13 0.51 0.24 0.30 0.16 T18 0.11 0.03 0.17 0.14 0.12 0.08 0.13 0.08 T19 0.30 0.38 0.20 0.15 0.24 0.08 0.25 0.20 Average 0.28 0.30 0.24 0.14 0.24 0.13 0.25 0.19 Table 4 25 compares the means across books for student: group inferential utterances. Data reveal that across all books, students in classroom 6 on average engaged in inferential talk the most (.23 utterances per minute). Students in three classrooms (2, 7,8) did not engage in talk at the inferenti al level . Students engaged in talk similarly across all three books . The overall mean across books for i nferential utterances was .10 . 106

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Table 4 25. Inferential Utterances Across Books: Student Group Book 1 Book 2 Book 3 Total Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD T1 0.06 0.06 0.10 0.07 T2 T3 0.07 0.09 0.08 T4 0.06 0.06 0.09 0.07 T5 0.06 0.06 T6 0.35 0.11 0.06 0.23 0.06 T7 T8 T9 0.12 0.09 0.04 0.12 0.04 0.11 0.04 T10 0.19 0.07 0.09 0.05 0.12 0.05 T11 0.06 0.08 0.16 0.03 0.10 0.03 T12 0.06 0.08 0.07 0.07 T13 0.10 0.06 0.11 0.09 0.10 0.04 0.11 0.06 T14 0.10 0.05 0.11 0.12 0.11 0.05 T15 0.08 0.03 0.08 0.06 0.12 0.06 0.10 0.05 T16 0.04 0.00 0.08 0.06 0.00 T17 0.10 0.06 0.14 0.13 0.14 0.13 0.09 T18 0.08 0.02 0.15 0.11 0.02 T19 0.13 0.09 0.08 0.06 0.09 0.03 0.10 0.06 Average 0.11 0.04 0.09 0.07 0.11 0.04 0.10 0.05 Similarly, Table 4 26 compares the means across books for student: individual inferential utterances. Data reveal that across all books, individual students in classroom 15 on average engaged in literal talk the most (.81 utterances per minute). Students in classroom 11 followed with .59 inferential utterances per minute. The two lowest means were associated wi th students in classroom 9 (.21) and 7 (.24 literal utterances per minute). Comparing the books, individual students on average engaged in inferential talk at a higher rate with book one (.57) and a lower rate with book two (.33) . The overall mean across b ooks for inferential utterances was .43 . 107

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Table 4 26. Literal Utterances Across Books: Student Individual Book 1 Book 2 Book 3 Total Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD T1 0.49 0.83 0.48 0.35 0.42 0.26 0.47 0.48 T2 0.77 0.74 0.32 0.24 0.34 0.31 0.48 0.43 T3 0.57 0.67 0.32 0.24 0.57 0.69 0.49 0.54 T4 0.33 0.12 0.27 0.13 0.37 0.23 0.32 0.16 T5 0.46 0.19 0.30 0.13 0.29 0.30 0.35 0.21 T6 0.94 1.27 0.39 0.35 0.44 0.39 0.59 0.67 T7 0.11 0.33 0.27 0.19 0.24 0.19 T8 0.54 0.92 0.17 0.16 0.24 0.19 0.31 0.42 T9 0.17 0.22 0.20 0.12 0.27 0.26 0.21 0.20 T10 0.54 0.80 0.36 0.26 0.31 0.29 0.40 0.45 T11 0.92 0.73 0.19 0.15 0.66 0.48 0.59 0.45 T12 0.72 0.97 0.40 0.24 0.43 0.41 0.52 0.54 T13 0.23 0.16 0.29 0.17 0.23 0.16 0.25 0.17 T14 0.33 0.31 0.33 0.21 0.33 0.32 0.33 0.28 T15 0.98 1.36 0.72 0.53 0.74 0.68 0.81 0.86 T16 0.64 0.51 0.38 0.26 0.42 0.35 0.48 0.37 T17 1.01 1.80 0.34 0.40 0.36 0.35 0.57 0.85 T18 0.32 0.36 0.36 0.39 0.28 0.24 0.32 0.33 T19 0.70 0.92 0.21 0.09 0.29 0.19 0.40 0.40 Average 0.57 0.72 0.33 0.24 0.38 0.33 0.43 0.42 Survey Reported Practices The third research question is, what are the self reported teacher read aloud practices? After the researcher collected video observations, teachers were asked to complete a brief online survey about their readaloud practices. Results for the survey report both closed and openended responses, which utilize quantitative and qualitative analysis. Responses from closed items are reported as percentages and responses form openended i tems are reported based on themes that emerged from the data along with germane excerpts. All 19 teachers in the study completed the survey and reported that they read aloud to their students. They indicated various benefits of reading aloud including modeling fluent reading, exposing students to different and more challenging books, gathering information, integrating reading skills and story structure/elements, and introducing vocabulary. One teacher 108

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noted, “It is important to model proper reading. It ex poses them to new vocabulary. Helps them to see how a book can take them places they have never been or see something in a new way.” However, 63% of the teachers reported general challenges that prevent or limit them from reading aloud to their students. Such barriers include time, poor student behavior, restraints of the curriculum and district, impact of testing, and finding interesting material for all students. Additionally, 68% of teacher participants listed the reading curriculum as a barrier for rea sons such as too much material to cover, restricted by the books in the curriculum, limits teacher input on read aloud selections, and too much time devoted to testing. The following sentiment illustrates this finding, “I feel like there is so much involve d in the curriculum that it sometimes doesn't leave room for read alouds, unless you integrate it in yourself.” Similarly, 42% reported the Common Core State Standards as a barrier because of perceived time constraints, rigorous testing schedule, and no te acher freedom. One teacher shared, “It doesn’t allow teacher freedom to always choose what is best for her students.” The majority of teachers selected needing support from reading coach (47%) , professional development (42%) , or organizational support (flexibility, resources, and time) (42%) to overcome barriers. One teacher noted, “A reevaluation of the quantity of work required during the 90minute reading block.” Other questions on the survey asked teachers to share inform ation about text selection. Most r eported reading mixed genre (63 %). Factors that influence genre selection include to a large degree student interest, but also other influences such as curriculum, theme/concepts, and holidays/special events. Furthermore, 84% of teachers reported using the reading curriculum for book selection. Another aspect of the survey related to pre paration and discussion. Some 37% of teachers reported that they do not usually prepare for read alouds. Teacher who do prepare reported pr e 109

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reading the text, generating questions ahead of time, and selecting vocabulary words to introduce. Many teachers reported engaging in discussion related to read alouds. This includes 84% who engage in discussion before reading. Such discussions include a sking students to make predictions, taking a picture walk, and introducing concepts of print. All teachers reported engaging in discussion during reading. This include making and checking predictions, talking about text structure, discussing word meanings, highlighting story elements, discussing author’s purpose, asking comprehension questions, and telling or asking student to make connections. Similarity, 84% of teachers engage in discussion after reading. Teachers shared that the use this time for student s to recall/retell, engage in partner discussions, reflect, use reading strategies, share lessons learned, and opinion of the text. Table 4 27 displays teacher responses regarding discussions. When teachers were asked if the overall discussion was teacher led or student led , about half reported t eacher led while the other half reported that discussions in their classroom during readalouds are equally teacher led and student led. One teacher who reported both shared, “Gradual release....I begin, guide, then students begin to naturally ask more questions themselves.” Only one teacher reported that discussions were usually student led . Table 4 27. Discussions During ReadAlouds Answer Response % Teacher led 9 47% Student led 1 5% Other. Please specify. 9 47% Total 19 100% The last part of the survey asked teachers to report on general practices and to share observations in particular. Most teachers (47%) reported spending 1015 minutes on average on a read aloud as displayed in Table 4 28. 110

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Table 4 28. Length of Time Reading During Read Alouds Answer Response % Less than 5 minutes 0 0% 5 10 minutes 2 11% 10 15 minutes 9 47% 15 20 minutes 8 42% Other. Please specify. 0 0% Total 19 100% Table 4 29 displays the number of times teachers typically read aloud to students during a week . Time varied from two times per week as indicated by one teacher to 10 times per week as indicated by one teacher who selected “other.” Most teachers (84%) generally read aloud to a whole group of students. Table 4 29. Number of Times Teacher s Typically Read Aloud Answer Response % 0 times per week 0 0% 1 time per week 0 0% 2 times per week 1 5% Other. Please specify. 1 5% 3 times per week 4 21% 4 times per week 6 32% 5 times per week 7 37% Total 19 100% As shown in T able 4 30, when asked to rate the books that they were given for the readaloud observations, most teachers were very satisfied and reported that the texts were very engaging, informative, enjoyed by students (both students in the study as well as the other students who did not participate in the study), easy to ready, they were able to make connections (to each other, other texts, and class content), and they introduced good vocabulary. In fact, 61% of teachers reported that they read aloud the text for the study to the rest of their class after observations were completed. Three teachers were dissatisfied with the text Sharks and noted that the liftthe flap made it harder to see, not easy to read aloud, and may not be appropriate for smallgroup settings. 111

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Table 4 30. Summary of Ratings for Each Text Very Satisfied Satisfied Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied What do you do with a Tail Like This? 15 4 0 0 Sharks 15 1 3 0 Let's Look at Prairie Dogs 14 5 0 0 Summary of Findings The first research question explored teachers literal and inferential talk during readaloud of informational books. Analysis of teacher talk indicates that overall, teachers engaged in all levels of literal and inferential talk, some more than others. Overall, for literal utterances teachers engaged in talk at higher rates for label across the three books and lower rate s for count and locate . Overall, for inferential utterances teachers engaged in talk at higher rates for predict/infer and recall information and lower rates for definition . At the teacher level, teacher 6 had either the highest or second highest across al l books and level of linguistic abstraction. Teacher 10 also had one of the higher rates of talk across books. For the overall averages, inferential were highest across all three books compared to literal. Teachers engaged in higher rates of talk compared to students. The second research question explored students literal and inferential talk during readaloud of informational books. Analysis of student talk indicates that overall, students engaged in all levels of literal and inferential talk, but there w ere differences in rates of behaviors. Overall, there were higher rates for inferential utterances compared to literal for both student: group and student: individual. Additionally, more talk occurred for student: individual compared to student: group. For literal behaviors, label and describe/notice scene had the highest rates of occurrences 112

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across books. Locate and count had the lowest rates of occurrences across books. For inferential behaviors, predict/infer had the highest rates of occurrences across b ooks. Definition and judgment/evaluation had the lowest rates of occurrences across books. At the student level, students in classroom 6, 15, 11, and 17 had the highest rates of talk across books and behaviors. On the other hand, students in classrooms 2, 7, and 8 had the lowest rates of talk across books and behaviors. The third and final research question explored teacher reported read aloud practices. All teachers reported that they usually read aloud to students, but practices varied. Though most teachers shared that they usually prepared for read alouds, many do not. Teachers spend different amounts of time reading to students weekly, as little as two times to as much as 10 times weekly. Survey results indicate that teachers are aware of the numerous benefits of reading aloud to children. However, many teacher s described challenges that prevent or limit them from reading aloud to students which includes the Common Core State Standards and the reading curriculum. Many teachers reported needing different types of support such as the reading coach, professional de velopment, and organizational support to overcome barriers. Further, most teachers were satisfied with the books used for the re ad aloud project. The f ollowing chapter will expound on the findings. 113

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION This study was conducted to explore teacher and student literal and inferential utterances during small group read alouds of informational books in the context of high poverty kindergarten and first grade classrooms. Many studies have been conducted only in the pre kindergarten settings. However, limited research has been conducted that utilize behavioral observation to explore the existing practices of kindergarten a nd first g rade teachers in high poverty schools, particularly around the use of informational text s . Also, previous studies have examined read aloud practices in connection with professional development activities. This study examined read aloud practices as they n aturally occur in the classroom without provision of explicit professional development. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss and elaborate on the results of the present study. This chapter begins with a brief review the methods used. Next, the discus sion of findings will provide an interpretation of results. T he chapter also includes limitations , and future research . The chapter concludes with a discussion of the study’s implications for policy, teacher preparation, and classroom practice. Summary of Methods The study was conducted in seven elementary schools in one district. Schools were selected based on the percentage of students who qualify to participate in the free and reduced price lunch (FRPL) program, which is and indicator of the poverty le vel of a school. This study included schools that are identified as high poverty , more than 75% of students are eligible for FRPL, and midhigh poverty , schools where 50.1 to 75 percent of students are eligible for FRPL, though all but one school was desig nated as a high poverty school . Teacher participants included nine kindergarten teachers, ten first grade teachers, and 98 students. This study primarily utilized 114

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behavioral observational research methods . The researcher coded three video recorded observat ions of each teacher reading aloud researcher selected informational texts. In all, 57 videos were coded. Discussion of Findings Findings from this study reveal that teachers engaged in higher rates of talk compared to students. Across books for literal behaviors, the average rate for teachers was .32 utterances per minute. This compares to the rate of .13 for student group and .25 for student individual literal utterances. Likewise, across books for inferential behaviors, the ave rage rate for teacher was .52. This compares to the rate of .10 for student group and .43 for student individual. These results are in line with existing literature that asserts that teachers tend to talk more than students and, therefore, control classroo m conversations (Bitter, O’Day, Gubbins & Socias, 2009). Another finding is that t eachers differed in how they engaged students in talk. In other words, different rates of teacher talk occurred during readalouds of informational texts during this study. Analyses of literal behaviors across all books indicate that teachers 6 and 10 had the highest rates (.71 and .52 utterances per minute respectively) . Similarly, analyses of inferential behaviors across books indicate again that teachers 6 and 10 had the highest rates (.75 and .59 utterances per minute respectively). On the other hand, teachers with the lowest rates of utterances for literal utterances include teachers 4 and 5 (.17 utterances). Teachers with the lowest rates of inferential utterances inclu de teachers 7 and 5 (.21 and .17 utterances respectively). This suggests that the use of informational text is not a sufficient impetus for rich discourse during readalouds. Even though informational books lend themselves to increased talk at higher level s (Prince et al., 2009; Zucker et al., 2010), t eachers’ discourse practices may rely on other factors, such as the quality of interactions ( Fisher, Flodd, Lapp, & Frey, 2004; Meyer, 115

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Wardrop, Stahl, & Linn, 1994) and the approach that teachers uses, particu larly with different genres ( Dickinson & Smith, 1994) . Teacher data also show that teachers engaged in higher rates of inferential talk compared to literal talk. For book one, teachers engaged in literal talk on average .23 utterances per minute compared t o .51 inferential utterances. For book two, teachers engaged in .23 literal utterances compared to .48 inferential utterances. For book three, teachers engaged in .35 literal utterances compared to .50 inferential utterances. One explanation for this findi ng is that informational texts provide more opportunities for teachers to engage students in talk that requires higher levels of cognitive demand. Additionally, there are numerous benefits of incorporating informational texts. These books can be used to address standards in math and science, increase students language skills and vocabulary, provide knowledge about informational text structures, provide content area knowledge, and increase reading interest and engagement with particular topics (Pentimonti et al., 2010). Analyses of student data reveal that students also engaged in higher rates of inferential talk compared to literal talk. For example, with book one, student: individual engaged in literal talk on average .22 utterances per minute compared to .49 inferential utterances. For book two, student: individual engaged in .18 literal utterances compared to .35 inferential utterances. For book three, student: individual engaged in .20 literal utterances compared to .35 inferential utterances. Researchers have found that informational texts impact the types of questions teachers or parents ask which, in turn, influences students’ more advanced response (Pellegrini et al., 1990; Prince et al., 2009; Torr & Clungston, 1999; Zucker et al., 2010). In other wor ds, the use of higher order questions (inferential talk) on the part of the teacher encourages more sophisticated student discourse (Gilles, 2011). 116

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Data also revealed th at more talk occurred for the code student individual compared to student group. Acros s books, for 14 of the 19 classrooms , no behaviors were coded for student group for literal or inferential behaviors (teachers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19). This finding may be a reflection that some behaviors are not c onduci ve to providing opportunities that would elicit a choral response from students. Or, teachers in these classrooms may not provide opportunities such as turn and talk to a partner. Another explanation is that students in these classrooms are less likely to talk w hile another student is speaking. Differences were also observed regarding student s in particular classrooms. Across literal utterances students in classrooms 11 and 13 had the highest rates for students group (.31 and .22) and students in classrooms 6 and 15 had the highest rates for student individual (.52 and .46 respectively). Analyses of inferential utterances indicate that students in classroom 6 had the highest rates of utterances for student group and students in classrooms 15 and 11 had the highes t rates for inferential (.81 and .59). On the other hand, students in classroom 7 were among the lowest utterances for literal student group, inferential student group and inferential student individual. Differences in the rates of student s’ utterances ma y be impacted by rates in teachers’ utterances, but cannot be determined by this study. Regarding the behaviors, for literal behaviors label had the highest rates of occurrences for both teachers and students across books. For inferential behaviors predict/infer had the highest rates of occurrences for both teachers and students across books. Locate and count had the lowest rates of occurrences for literal behaviors and definition for inferential behaviors. One explanation for the similarities for both tea chers and students is that scholars suggest that teachers’ talk is related to the same level of children’s responses (Zucker et al., 2010). In other words, student talk is likely to be at the same level of abstraction as the teacher talk it follows. 117

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Clos e examination of the rates of utterances across books indicates that overall, both teachers and students engaged similarly with the three researcher selected books. Across books for literal utterances teacher rates were .25, .30, .42, student group rates w ere .11, .12, .15, and student individual rates were .28, .24, .24. Across books for inferential utterances teacher rates were .55, .49, .52, student: group rates were .11, .09, .11, and student individual rates were .57, .33, and .38. This suggests that the books selected allowed teachers and students similar opportunities to engage in discourse. Analysis of survey results indicate that teachers remark that the reading curriculum and Common Core State Standards present challenges that prevent or limit them from reading aloud to their students. Many teachers noted that time, perceived lack of teacher freedom, and the impact of testing are barriers to pre paring for and providing readalouds as a regular part of the classroom structure . Interestingly, the intent of the Common Core Standards is not to limit teacher freedom, but to develop a set of national standards to ensure that all students are held to th e same expectations . In fact, Kendall (2011) stressed that “all autonomy is not lost; it is more important than ever for teachers to creatively engage students with effective instructional strategies” (p.28). Despite what is known about the benefits of eff ective read aloud on children’s literacy growth (Swanson et al., 2011) , it is distressing that less than half (only 7) of the teacher participants in this study reported that they usually read aloud to their students 5 days a week. If teachers really found value conducting regular and effective read alouds, time would be carved out at some point during to the day, especially since 47% of teachers reported spending 10 15 minutes when they do read aloud to their students, which is not a lot of time . Additio nally, some 37% of teachers indicated that they do not usually prepare for readalouds. This was evident during observations that some teachers did not preview the texts they 118

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were asked to read aloud for the study and did not prepare for discussion. S ome t eachers had notes throughout the texts of questions to ask or comments to make and some did not. Some had preselected vocabulary words to introduce and others did not. Researchers have found that one of the seven components of an effective interactive read aloud is the need for teachers to preview and practice. Scholars argue that previewing and practicing before hand allows teachers to pause effectively to provide opportunities to engage students in questionings and to discuss preselected vocabulary words (Fisher, Flodd, Lapp, & Frey, 2004). Furthermore, numerous studies assert that students benefit from direct and explicit instruction of targeted vocabulary words during read alouds (i.e., Beck & McKeown, 2007; Biemiller & Boote, 2006). The lack of preparat ion may have contributed to the low rates of occurrences of the definition code. It is also important to note that teachers apparently found value in the informational texts used for the study as reported in the survey and comments made by teachers and students. Of the teacher participants, 61% shared the texts used in the study with their small group with other students in the class after the study. S ome commented that they intend to use the books, “ I will plan to read the other books also, especially at the beginning of the year when we are studying animals.” Additionally, many students reported that they liked the books and were eager to read each o ne or look at them on their own. Likewise, teachers also reported that the y appreciated participating in the read aloud project. One teacher noted, “This was a great project to participate in. I'm glad I was able to do it.” Another teacher shared, “What f un! Thank you for the opportunity." The following statement is also illustrative of the fact that overall teachers found value in the project, “I enjoyed being able to do a read aloud with a small group and seeing the difference from doing it with a small group!” Though the following statement highlights that the teacher valued being a part of the 119

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experience, she noted that it was different from what she would generally do, “It was cool. A little harder because it's not very realistic. I don't normally do r ead alouds to small groups.” Scholars recommend conducting small group read alouds to increase oral language for children at risk of reading difficulties (Karweit & Wasik, 1996). One teacher reported, “The project made me reflect on my book selection and c onfirmed the fact that I need to find time in my busy reading block to do more read alouds.” Limitations Although the study contributes to the field, there are a few limitations. The first limitation has to do with the primary methodology, which was descri ptive based on behavioral observation. The What Works Clearinghouse endorses randomized experimental group design as the “gold standard” in research. This study lacked random selection , and had a small sample size of 19 teachers and 98 students. There is a place for large scale randomized research, but descriptive studies should not be considered ancillary to other research methodologies. According to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), research questions in education can be categorized into three different groups, one of which is description (Shavelson & Towne, 2002). Though descriptive research is imperative in scientific research and was appropriate given the research questions, random selection and a larger sample would increase the external validity . Second, observations were only conducted in one school district in kindergarten and first grade classrooms with a small group of students. Teachers were asked to select six students of varying reading ability ( “ low ” reading ability, “ medium ” reading ability, and “ high ” reading ability) . The number of students in the small group varied in each classroom from three to seven students and was not consistent across observation sessions due to the informed consent forms returned and the number of s tudent absences. Teacher reported student information reveled that slightly more high ability students (34.69%) were included compared to low/below level 120

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(25.51%), low medium (6.12%), on level/average (28.57% ), and highmedium ability (5.10 % ). Additionally , the researcher did not control for the type of teacher included because teachers volunteered to participate. Participants included a range from first year teachers to teachers with almost 40 years of teaching experience. Future research c ould utilize str atified random sampling for students and teachers to ensure a more representative sample of participants . Also, additional studies are needed to explore if results would be similar f or teachers and students in low poverty schools. Next, t he presence of a r esearcher and the use of a video camera in each classroom also posed a limitation in this study . One threat to observational research is reactivity. This may have altered the behaviors of teachers and students since they knew they were being observed. Thou gh this is possible, it was apparent that some teachers did not preview the book or plan discussions ahead of time, so the presence of the researcher and camera did not change some teachers . Additionally, teachers were told that the researcher was observin g how teachers read aloud to a small group of students using informational text, but was not told that occurrences of literal and inferential utterances were the focus of the study. Finally, a methodological limitation includes the fact that each teacher was only observed three times. It is unknown if more observations would provide a more reliable estimate of teacher and student literal and inferential utterances. S cholars have noted that observations should occur as much as po ssible for as long as possible since repeated observations minimize random variability (Pelligrini, 1996). Directions for Future Research T here is need of further research that would address the current limitations and expand the study. First, the current videos could be examined in additional ways to explore other aspects during readalouds. One area that should be addressed in future research is to explore how 121

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teachers in this study engaged in talk with students of different ability levels they identified as “low,” “medium,” and “hig h” ability readers and how teachers use wait time for each group of student. Findings should explore student outcome measures such as vocabulary. Additionally, research ers should study the vocabulary words that teachers selecte d to explain or define in each text. Extant literatures on the effects of read aloud interventions on students’ vocabulary/language outcomes reveal varying results. Studies report mixed findings on the influence of students’ initial level. For example, findings from two studies were not moderated by student initial vocabulary skill level (Justice et al., 2010, Zucker et al., 2013) but in the study by Silverman and colleagues (2013) the read aloud plus extension intervention effects were stronger for childre n with higher general vocabulary knowledge. Further studies should also explore if and how teachers explained text features such as headings, captions, table of contents, glossary, index, maps, and diagrams that were unique to the three texts used in the c urrent study. In the present study, the researcher selected the texts and decided the order that the books would be read. This was done to ensure that the opportunities for discourse would be similar across classrooms. Selecting texts for inclusion in the study was a challenging endeavor; the goal was to include books that were informational, appropriate in length, and appropriate in subject matter for young students. It is unclear if similar results would be found with other texts or even if teachers woul d select those texts to read aloud to their students. Future studies should utilize inferential statistics to see if there are significant differences with the books used in the study. All teachers indicated that they had not previously read any of the books to their class. Additionally, survey results indicate that overall teachers were very satisfied with the texts selected. For text 1, What Do You Do with a Tail Like This ? 15 of 19 teachers were very satisfied, and four satisfied. For the second text, Sharks , 15 were very satisfied, one satisfied, and 122

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three dissatisfied. For the third text, Let’s Look at Prairie Dogs , 14 teachers were very satisfied and five were satisfied. Additional behavioral observation studies should be conducted to explore teacher and student discourse with teacher selected texts. Further, in the current study each book was read only once. Subsequent studies should explore if and how discourse changes with subsequent readings of the same texts. Findings from extant literature sugge st that verbal interactions differ for familiar and unfamiliar books (van Kleeck, Gillam, Hamilton, & McGrath, 1997). The researcher decided to only include informational texts that focused on animals. Additional studies should compare discourse practices with different informational texts as well as compare discourse while reading narrative and informational texts in the early grades in high poverty schools. One aspect that would contribute greatly to the field is measuring student outcomes after teachers have participated in professional development that focus on selection of quality texts and ways to engage students in talk during readalouds using informational texts. Outcome measures can include vocabulary/language, print awareness, comprehension, pref erence, motivation to read informational books, and overall engagement. Finally, expanding the current coding system in future studies would shed more light on teacher and student discourse. The current codes used in the present study did not capture whe ther the teacher or student initiated dialogue by making a comment or asking a question or if the utterance was in response to a question or comment. Codes do not distinguish between statements and questions. For example, the following student utterances w ould be coded the same as label : “what is that?” and, “that is a shark,” or if a student asked, “what is fierce” or stated “fierce is very violent” those would have been coded the same way with the current coding system as definition. Additionally, the codes did not capture if teacher or student talk was 123

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correct or complete. For example, if a teacher asked, “what is that?” (Referring to an eel) and a student responded by saying, “a large snake?” there would be no way to indicate if the response was correct , incorrect, complete, or incomplete. During coding both students and teachers made incorrect utterances. Another observation is that during readaloud sessions teachers either encouraged students to make connections to themselves, other texts, or previous learning. The current coding system does not capture this dialogue so future studies should code connections. For example, one teacher shared that she saw prairie dogs when she visited family in Texas and students made connections to other informational t exts. Future studies should expand the current coding system. However, the purpose of this study was not to capture all talk, but instead to focus on and observe literal and inferential talk during readalouds using informational texts. Another aspect that was not captured with the current codes is all talk that occurred during readalouds. For example, even though teacher follow ups are an integral part of discourse, the current code does not capture teacher follow up frequency or type. Teachers often resp onded to students’ utterances with a yes or no, repeated what they stated, or repeated and expanded by asking why. Scholars note that teacher follow up with elaboration is integral and has been noted as a specific teacher practice that encourage student di scourse (Molinari et al., 2012; Nassaji & Wells, 2000). Future studies should explore teacher follow ups and the sequential nature of discourse. More specifically, inferential statistics should be utilized to explore the sequential relationship between te acher talk and student talk. Sequential analytical methods (Bakerman & Gottman, 1997) are a viable option for examining sequences during readalouds. This method reveals interactive sequences. However, few studies have utilized sequential analytical method s to explore discourse in the classroom during readaloud interactions. There is variability among 124

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teachers so additional research should explore factors that make some teachers more effective in eliciting student talk compared to others. In the current st udy differences were observed in rates of occurrences for teachers and students in certain classes. For example, both teachers and students in classroom 6 had high rates of utterances. Teacher 10 also had high rates, but her students were not among the top highest. Comparatively, teacher 7 had one of the lowest rate of inferential utterances and her students were among the lowest in literal student: group, inferential student: group, and inferential student: individual. Teacher 5 had the overall lowest lite ral and inferential rates, but her students wer e not among the lowest. However, because of methodological limitations sequential relationships cannot be determined in this study. The intent of the current study was to explore the rates of occurrences of li teral and inferential talk for teachers and students in highpoverty schools and other questions beyond the scope of this study was not addressed. Implications for Policy and Practice This study contributes to a growing body of research investigating teacher practices that encourage student talk during readalouds. Findings have implications for educational policy and practice and can be used to shape teacher learning in the context of preservice teacher education as well as in service teacher professional development. Poverty and Policy Teachers and students in high poverty schools are faced with challenges. School reform is primarily concerned with narrowing the gap in achievement between struggling students and their higher achieving peers. What some ma y consider well intentioned school reforms also fail to equalize outcomes for all students. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), 2001 set lofty goals, pressured and punished schools in need of support, and was largely underfunded. According to a study by t he Center on Education Policy, before NCLB, the rate of progress for 125

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subgroups was more accelerated (as cited in Books, 2007, p.14). Because states are able to apply for waivers, they are not held accountable for ensuring that groups of students including students with disabilities, English Language Learners, and racial and ethnic minority students show annual progress in achievement. States are also able to determine their own criteria for measuring progress (Brooks, 2007, p.30), which is problematic. According to DarlingHammond (2010) addressing low achievement with additional testing and punishments only gave a facade of a reform, but necessary changes were neglected which proved to be catastrophic for the most needy children. On a similar note, Spring (2013) links the shift from a focus on equality of resources and funding to the current focus on uniform curriculum and testing to the continuation of separate schools or programs within schools. Educational policy assumes schools will be equal if all stud ents are tested in the same way. Gamoran (2008) in a chapter on social class inequality in education highlights the potential that NCLB has but ultimately suggest that it will not reduce the achievement gap. He argues that schools should be supported and not sanctioned. Incentives generally work in the wrong direction by punishing schools that serve the most needy students instead of supporting them. It is important to realize that high school failure rates are not just a result of breakdown at the high school level, but a reflection of the entire K 12 systems inability to prepare all children successfully. Teachers of young children have a responsibil ity to reach students. Delpit (2006) notes that to “succeed in school is to cheat the system” (p.225). This is because schools have traditionally valued limited “school knowledge,” specifically around literacy practices. Valds, Bunch, Snow, Lee and Matos (2005) clearly stated that every child brings to the classroom some type of literacy knowledge, and it is then the responsibility of the school system to ensure that all children leave with a complete set (p.144). 126

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The demands of a high poverty school are i ntensified in an era of high stakes testing, standards based reform, and narrowed curriculum. The CommonCore State Standards call for teachers to expose students to more informational text beginning in the early grades. However, t eachers are often conflicted in deciding what and how much to teach and may not be provided with necessary support . Effective practices, such as reading aloud, may be pushed to the side in an effort to meet the growing demands and fit everything into strict time constraints. Particularly, effective read alouds using informational texts may be relegated. Consequently, students in the most needy schools may not be engaged in practices to bolster oral language , literacy , and overall academic development. The adoption of reform policies without support can be disastrous for students in high poverty schools. As such teachers should be provided with support to be effective teachers of reading. Teacher Learning Teacher education for preservice t eachers. In order for cha nge to occur, it needs to begin with a transformation in the way teachers perceive and value the knowledge that students bring to school. Teacher education programs need to help teachers to move beyond the deficit perspective and recognize that all student s have strengths and learn how they can incorporate their strengths into the curriculum. Teacher education courses must be designed to address issues of diversity and social justice because many programs fail to prepare teachers to effectively teach all students (Hayes & Juarez, 2012). Pre service teachers can be taught to develop an awareness of socioeconomic differences, develop empathetic rapport and caring attitudes, and develop a commitment to culturally responsive teaching (Bennett, 2008). Additionall y, pre service reading and literacy courses should teach students about the importance of developing oral language and literacy skills by incorporating read alouds of informational texts and using inferential talk to support students in analyzing and under standing texts. 127

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Professional development for i n service teachers. Teachers are likely to benefit from professional development in the area of literacy instruction to make the most of informational read alouds. Extant literature suggests that teacher profes sional development is critical for student learning and school improvement (Borko, 2004). Many teachers in this study expressed an interest in receiving help and feedback. Some teachers in particular wanted help with their classroom library to level books for students and incorporate more varied books, such as informational texts . Other teacher s wanted feedback regarding their read aloud and provide suggestions to “make it better.” Teachers often asked, “was it good,” or “was that what you were looking for?” As a part of the professional development, teachers would learn about the general role an d various functions of texts in the classroom environment as well as how to make the most of read alouds, from selecting appropriate texts, previewing and planning and crafting opportunities for students to respond to talk at higher inferential levels. Since teachers valued the read aloud project, they are likely to “buy in” to professional development, which promotes learning (King & Newmann, 2001). Additionally, the some teachers in the study identified needing support from professional development to ove rcome the barriers they identified. Furthermore, providing guidance would ensure that teachers are able to integrate read alouds effectively to bolster students’ oral language and literacy learning. Professional development (PD) is a collection of experiences intended to prepare teachers for improved performance in their roles as educators (adapted from Desimone, 2009). The key is to design and implement professional development experiences that impact teachers’ learning and practice and ultimately have a m ore powerful influence on student learning outcomes (Guskey, 2002). Gus key indicates content is one key factor. There are three central features of high quality re ad alouds. They include incorporating targeted vocabulary ( Beck & McKeown , 128

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2001), questioning that encouragement analysis (Karweit & Wasik, 1996), and discussion about the text to facilitate students’ understanding or comprehension (Coyne et al., 2009). Smolkin and Donovan (2003) suggest that teacher s should foster various areas of their content knowledge. Professional development for readalouds should focus on comprehension, vocabulary and print concepts, and how book selection influences the ways readalouds target such concepts (Dynia et al., 2013). Scholars suggest that teachers would benefit from professional development pertaining to the use of informational text in the classroom environment. As such, researchers should examine the most effective ways to support teaches to use informational text that will encourage inferential thinking as we ll as language development (Zucker et al., 2010). Specifically, Yopp and Yopp (2006) suggest that since some teachers are unfamiliar with high quality informational books they would benefit from exposure to informational texts. This would raise teachers’ awareness of the scarcity of informational text and narrow content focus (Yopp & Yopp, 2012) and provide them with information regarding how to select appropriate books . This is especially important since some teachers reported feeling limited by the book s election in the reading curriculum, but most, 84%, reported using the reading curriculum for selection of books for readalouds. Other researchers note that PD should focus on the difference between text structure, vocabulary, and actively engaging student s in textdiscussions (Santoro et al., 2008). Yopp and Yopp (2012) suggest that PD should give teachers the opportunity to engage in discussion of current literature that support s increasing the number and breadth of informational texts in the classroom co ntext. Teachers should be provided with opportunities to reflect on and share previous experiences and learn from others. Scholars caution that just spending a long 129

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amount of time is not enough, but what matters is how well the time is spent (Guskey & Yoon, 2009). For PD around readalouds, teachers should have ample time to learn, plan, implement, and reflect. Researchers note that learning can be enhanced if teachers use informational read alouds to meet state or national standards (Pentimonti et al. , 2010; Santoro, et al., 2008). In light of the Common Core State Standards, teachers are encouraged to incorporate more informational texts in the primary classroom ( National Governors Association, 2010) . Providing teachers with PD around the purpose and strategies of using read alouds to meet standards would be beneficial. This includes Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts. Teachers should participate in a variety of groups; such as across grade level and subject areas (Desimone, 2009) as a part of PD. This allows teachers to work with and learn from their peers to create knowledge through discussion and reflection. For PD around readalouds, teachers can meet in grade level groups in the same school as well as across schools with similar demographics. The ultimate purpose of professional development is to impact the achievement of students (Desimone, 2009). One of the three goals identified by Guskey (2002) is change in learning outcomes for students. Additionally, CochranSmith & Lytle (2 001) advocate that PD is linked to student learning. Price and colleagues (2009) suggest that PD studies explore the amount of talk during readalouds that will impact students’ language and literacy development. Areas should include vocabulary/language, c omprehension, print awareness, and motivation/engagement. The role of a facilitator is integral to the success of professional development (Wayne et al., 2008; Croft, Coggshall, Dolan, Powers, & Killion, 2010). As such the facilitator should possess skill s that include effective interpersonal skills, expertise in instruction, and be an overall 130

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advocate for teachers (Croft et al., 2010). The facilitator should direct teachers in the construction of new practices and knowledge (Borko, 2004) while providing a balance of pressure and support (Guskey, 2002). Facilitators include outside experts (Guskey & Yoon, 2009) as well as local leaders in a particular context. Facilitators should provide sustained and structured follow up after the core professional development (Guskey & Yoon, 2009). For PD around readalouds, the facilitator could be an expert in the field of early literacy intervention with experience in the essential features of effective professional development. They would meet with teachers individuall y supporting the integration of new strategies during their read aloud instruction. This would include book selection, how to integrate the readaloud to standards, and ways to promote student discourse. Another feature that should be considered is contex t (Merriam, 2001). It is often not considered. Teacher learning does not occur in isolation, but rather is influenced by various contexts. Opfer and Peddler (2011) surmise that there are three systems of influence on teacher learning; the teacher, the scho ol, and the learning activities or tasks. As such researchers need to understand teacher learning in various contexts (Borko, 2004). Furthermore, since learners construct knowledge socially, context should be considered (Jonassen & Land, 2012; Putnam & Bor ko, 2000; Webster Wright, 2009). Croft and colleagues (2010) support PD that is job embedded where there is a link between the PD and what occurs in the teachers’ every day classroom. The PD is authentic and the goal is to improve student learning. For PD around readalouds, barriers that teachers face should be taken into consideration as well as how context affects their instruction. This is especially true for teachers in high poverty schools. The success of the PD should align with the purpose of the P D. Evaluation methods should look at the extent to which the PD a) enhance teacher knowledge and practice, b) enrich 131

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teachers’ beliefs and attitudes, and c) increased student learning. Teachers should be given the opportunity to reflect critically and meticulous evaluation of teacher reflections and participation before, during, and after the PD can provide evidence towards the success of the PD (Webster Wright, 2009; Guskey, 2002). Researchers should collect data that would allow them to measure the succes s of the PD for both teachers and students. In order for professional development to be successful, there should be support from state, district, and local school leaders. Support includes creating a culture of learning and providing the necessary resourc es such as money and time for teachers to collaborate and learn from each other (Croft et al., 2010) and implement effective practices in their classroom context . This may include, but is not limited to allocating time during the school day for teachers to read aloud to students. Having school leaders and literacy coaches present during PD and conversations about barriers and wa ys to address them is critical. Especially since many teachers in this study noted that they would like support from their reading coach, professional development, or organizational support (flexibility, resources, and time) to overcome barriers identified. Policy also plays a part. Policy should help to create professional roles for teachers, direct funding to support teacher learning, and create an environment for continued teacher learning (Darling Hammond & McLaughlin, 2011). It is unlikely that providin g professional development opportunities for teachers without including support from leaders would yield changes in teacher practice. After all, how much help would PD be if teachers are not supported and given resources such as protected time to engage in an effective instructional practice? Teachers should be provided with support including professional development in order to be effective, especially for teachers in the early grades (Konstantopoulos, 2011). Researchers should carefully consider incorpora ting all features of effective professional development when 132

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creating PD for teachers to make the most of classroom read alouds , especially in highpoverty schools . Conclusion This study wa s conducted to explore teacher student discourse during read alouds of informational texts in high poverty schools, specifically the rates of teacher and student literal and inferential utterances as well as teacher reported read aloud practices. This study contributes to a growing body of research exploring teacher and s tudent discourse during readalouds. Merely reading aloud to students is not what matters, but the quality of interactions that take place is crucial (Teale, 2003). Scholars recommend that in an effort to improve instruction to young children, there should be a focus on ways to directly improve interactions that occur in the classroom (Mashburn et al., 2008). Observational f indings from the present study suggest that teachers and students engaged in talk at all levels of linguistic abstraction. Teachers an d students engaged in higher rates of talk at the inferential level than talk at the literal level. Teachers engaged in higher rates of talk at both levels compared to students. Students most often engaged in higher rates of talk individually compared to t alking at the same time. Additionally, differences were observed in the rate of talk for teachers and students . In general, both teachers and students engaged in talk similarly with all three books. Survey results indicate that most teachers report barrier s that prevent or limit them from reading aloud to their students. Barriers include the Common Core State Standards and the reading curriculum. Most alarming is the idea that some teachers hold about the lack of teacher freedom. In addition to considering professional development that address content and pedagogical needs, school administrators and reading coaches should be harnessed to disabuse that notion and provide supports for teachers. 133

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Findings can be used to shape teacher learning in the context of pre service teacher education as well as in service teacher professional development. Findings have implications for policy, research, and practice. Further research should be conducted that explore the sequential relationship between teacher talk and student talk as well as research that incorporate s features of effective professional development to support teachers in integrating informational text in meaningful ways to support young childre n’s’ literacy and language development . 134

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APPENDIX A IRB DOCUMENTATION The following are approval letters from the University of Florida Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB approved the initial proposal and one amendment to increase the number of observations, change context from whole group to small group, and ask teachers to complete a brief online survey. 135

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APPE NDIX B LITERACY ENVIRONMENT CHECKLIST Teacher: Grade Level: School: Date and Time of observation: YES NO COMMENTS There is a well organized and accessible area designated for the use and display of books. The area where books are located have soft materials. Books are available in different centers. Recorded books are available. There is a designated area for whole group read alouds. There is an area designated for small group learning. There are a variety of books. Books are available that range in difficulty. Informational books are available of various content areas. Books reflect diversity. The alphabet is visible. Word walls are displayed and there is evidence students use them. There is a designated writing center. There are different varieties of media available for writing. Classroom is decorated with pictures, illustrations, students’ work, and printed words from lessons. 137

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APPENDIX C POWER ANALYSIS Figure C 1. Paired Samples Power Chart 138

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APPENDIX D BOOK TITLES AND SEQUENCE OF INTROD UCTION 1. What Do You Do with a T ail Like T his? 2. Sharks 3. Let’s Look at Prairie Dogs 139

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APPENDIX E SURVEY ITEMS 1. Do you read aloud in your classroom? Why do you read aloud in your classroom? Why don't you read aloud in your classroom? 2. Do you typically read aloud during the 90 minute reading block? YES NO 3. Are there any challenges that prevent or limit you from reading aloud to your students? YES NO Please list any challenges that prevent or limit you from reading aloud to your students. 4. Would you consider the current reading curriculum to be a barrier? YES NO In what ways do you consider the current reading curriculum to be a barrier? 5. Does the Common C ore State Standard impact your ability to read aloud to your students? YES NO How does the Common Core State Standards impact your ability to read aloud to your students? 6. What kind of support would you like in order to overcome the barriers mentioned? (CHECK ALL THAT APPLY) Support from reading coach Professional Development from the district College course Peer Support Professional Learning Communities (PLC) Other __________________________ I do not need support because I do not have any challenges re garding read alouds 140

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7. What genre of text do you use most often for read alouds? Narrative Informational Mixed Genre (Informational Narrative) Other. Please specify. 8. What factors if any, influences genre selection for read alouds? 9. What is the name of the last book you read aloud to your class? 10. What is your favorite book to use for a read aloud? 11. Where do you select the books you use for readalouds? CHECK ALL THAT APPLY Reading Curriculum School Library Public Library Personal collection Other Teachers Reading Coach Other _____ 12. How do you make selections for the books you decide to use for read alouds? CHECK ALL THE APPLY Student Interest Student Skill Level Other. Please specify 13. Do you usually prepare for read alouds? YES NO How do you usu ally prepare for read alouds? 14. Do you usually discuss the book with your students before you read it? YES NO What does the discussion entail? 15. Do you usually discuss the book with your students while you read it? YES NO What does the discussion entail? 141

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16. Do you usually discuss the book with your students after you read it? YES NO What does the discussion entail? 17. Would you say that the discussion is more teacher led or student led? Teacher led Student led Other. Please specify Please explain why you think the overall discussion during readalouds is more _____. 18. How many minutes do you typically spend on one read aloud? Less than 5 minutes 510 minutes 1015 minutes 1520 minutes Other. Please specify 19. How many times do you typically read aloud to your students each week? O times per week 1 time per week 2 times per week 3 times per week 4 times per week 5 timer per week Other _______ 20. How many times do you typically read the same book consecutively? I typically do not read the same book more than once 2 times 3 times 4 times 5 or more Other. Please specify 21. Do you generally read aloud to all students (whole group) or select students (small group)? Whole group Small group Other. Please specify 142

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22. During what academic subject area do you read aloud to students? CHECK ALL THAT APPLY Reading Math Science Writing Social Studies Other. Please specify 23. Is there anything else you would like to share about your readaloud practices? 24. How did you select st udents to participate in the mixed ability small group for observations? Please list all factors. 25. Please describe each student that participated in the small group. 26. Please rate each book you read aloud for the observations. Why did you rate the book(s) as dissatisfied or very dissatisfied? Why did you rate the book(s) as very satisfied or satisfied? 27. Did you read aloud any of the books to the rest of your class after the observation? YES NO Which book(s)? CHECK ALL THAT APPLY 28. Is there anything else you would like to share about the project? 29. What grade level are you teaching for the current school year? Kindergarten 1st 30. How many years have you taught at your current grade level? This is my first year at this grade level 24 y ears 57 years 810 years 11 years or more. Please specify. 31. How many total years have you taught? This is my first year 24 years 57 years 810 years 11 years or more. Please specify. 143

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32. Please list your certification areas. CHECK ALL THAT APPLY Prekinde rgarten/Primary Education (aged 3 through grade 3) Elementary Education (grades K 6) English for Speaker of Other Languages (ESOL; grades K 12) Reading (grades K 12) Exceptional Student Education (grades K 12) Other. Please specify 33. Please select any academic endorsement(s). CHECK ALL THAT APPLY Autism Spectrum Disorders English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Gifted Reading Other. Please specify 34. What is the highest degree or level of school you’ve completed? Bachelor’s Degree Master’s Degree Doctorate Degree 35. Please indicate your race/ethnicity. Black/African American White/European American Hispanic/Latino/Latina American Asian/Asian American Pacific Islander Other. Please specify 144

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APPENDIX F CODING MANUAL Behavior Coding System for Project Read Aloud Student and Teacher Literal and Inferential Discourse Coding System for the Study: Teacher Student Discourse During Read Alouds of Informational Text in High poverty Schools Shaunt Duggins 145

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Introduction Reading aloud is one area of young children’s literacy experience that has received increased attention. Researchers have reported benefits of read alouds; but also have questioned the typical approach to conducting them. Of importance is the role of the teacher and text in creating rich teacher student discourse. Such interactions have been found to have positive effects on young children’s language and academic development. This descriptive study will report on teacher and student literal and infere ntial utterances, and teacher student interactions during readalouds using informational texts in high poverty schools. Research Questions This study was designed to address the following research questions in the context of read alouds in high poverty elementary schools: 1. What is the rate of teacher literal and inferential utterances during read alouds in kindergarten and first grade classrooms in high poverty schools ? 2. What is the rate of student literal and inferential utterances during read alouds in kindergarten and first grade classrooms in high poverty schools ? 3. What are the read aloud practices self reported by teacher s working in kindergarten and first grade classrooms in high poverty schools ? Coding S ystem: Codes and Definitions An observational coding system was adapted (Blank, Rose, & Berlin, 1978; van Kleeck, 2003) to code teacher and student utterances during readaloud interactions. The primary focus of the coding system is levels of linguistic abstraction that distinguish literal from in ferential language. Researchers have made a distinction between literal and inferential language skills based on the level of cognitive demand the linguistic interaction places on the student. According to Zucker, Justice, Piasta, and Kaderavek (2010), “li teral language requires children to discuss, describe, and/or respond to information they can readily perceive, as occurs when a teachers asks 146

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a child to label an object” (p.66). On the other hand, “inferential language requires children to use their lang uage skills to infer or abstract information by inferencing or analyzing, as occurs when a teacher asks a child to predict what a book might be about” (p.66). When students are provided with opportunities to respond (OTR), “verbal prompts or questions wit h the intent of evoking an academic response” (Cavanaugh, 2013, p.114), it increases engagement, decreases behavior problems and ultimately improve student achievement. There are four levels of linguistic abstraction for both teacher and student utterances as well as other behaviors. Literal level 1; matching perception, incudes four categories label , locate, notice, and count. Literal level 2; selective analysis of perception, includes three categories describe characteristics, describe/notice scene, and sentence completion. Inferential level 3; reorder perception includes three categories recall information, judgment/evaluation, and identify similarities and differences. Inferential level 4; reasoning perception, includes three categories predict/in fer, definition, and explain/ factual knowledge. Other Behaviors: includes three categories no level of abstraction, no response and not audible. This section provides definitions of categories, which was used for the study as well as descriptions, examples, and nonexamples for teacher utterances and student utterances. Teacher Codes Teacher Literal Utterances : teacher asks students questions or tell students information that can be readily perceived from the words or illustrations. Literal Level 1 Tea cher names or asks or tells students to label , locate, notice or count objects, items, or characters o Label teacher names or asks or tells students to name an object or person including negative label s Examples “ What’s this?” “This is an instrument.” “This is not a mammal.” 147

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“There are lots of eyes on this page.” “This is called the table of contents.” Non examples “The kitten is black.” (Describe Characteristics) “Tell me about what you see.” (Notice) o Locate teacher locates or ask or tells students t o locate an object, item, or character including the use of prepositions (above, through, inside, up). Examples “Where is the stingray hiding?” “Can you find the turtle?” “Find the dog on the page.” “It’s right inside of there.” “It is in the ground.” No nexamples “ Are we in North Dakota?” (Explain/ Factual Knowledge) “Look at that.” (Notice) o Notice teacher notices or ask or tells students to direct attention to a pictured object, item, or action and does not name it. Examples “Oh, look at what she’s doing here.” “Do you see that?” “There she is.” “Do you see this right here?” “Wow, check that out.” Non examples “This is a larva.” ( Label ) “That’s a large apple.” (Describe Characteristics) o Count teacher counts or asks or tells students to count obje cts, items, or people. Examples “How many children are at the table?” “Count with me” “One, two, three; three fish.” Non examples “That’s not an insect.” ( Label ) “There are two dogs sitting on the ground.” (Describe/ Notice Scene) Literal Level 2 Teacher describes or asks or tells students to describe characteristics, describe/notice scenes, or pauses or asks or tells students to complete a sentence. o Describe Characteristics teacher describes or asks or tells students to describes characteristics or asks or tells students to focus on perceptual properties (size, shape, color , or what it looks like ) or parts of objects or characters ; specify 148

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type of object ; who has possession ; quantity and amount. Examples “What color is the kitten?” “What kind of instrument is that?” “Who does the apple belong to?” “Who has more?” “His eyes are really, really small.” “What does his nose look like?” Non examples “ What do you think that is?” (Notice) “Find the dog on the page.” (Locate) o Describe/not ice sceneteacher describes/notices scene or ask or tells students to describe or notice actions that are immediately perceptually present in text or pictures. Examples “What’s going on now?” “Where is this taking place?” “See, the pup is growing.” “What do you see on the map?” “Do you see a dog?” Non examples “What do you think will happen next?” (Predict/Infer) “So, what happened at the beginning?” (Recall Information) o Sentence Completion teacher asks, tells, or intentionally pauses to allow students to complete a sentence. Examples “Brown bear, brown bear (teacher pauses and looks at the children) __ __ __ __.” “It was a (teacher pauses and looks at the children) __ _____.” “What’s the next word (teacher pauses and looks at the children)? Non examples “ What is this?” ( Label ) Four, five, six” (Count) Teacher Inferential Utterances : teacher asks students questions or tell students information that requires them to infer abstract information. Inferential Level 3 Teacher states, or asks or tells students to recall information, make judgments/evaluations or identify similarities/differences. o Recall Information teacher recalls prior information or asks or tells students to focus on prior information presented in the book 149

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Examples “What happened before he decided to leave?” “What was the first step?” “Tell me what the beginning is about.” “What do they like to eat? (After reading they like to eat stingrays)” “Name a type of shark that was talked about in the text.” Non examples “Where is this taking place?” (Describe/notice scene) “What kind of animal is that?” ( Label ) o Judgment/Evaluationt eacher states judgment /makes an evaluation or asks or tells students about non perceptual qualities and internal states of characters, objects, or ideas ; ask students to provide point of view . Examples “What do you think he is thinking?” “Have we been reading facts or opinions?” “Maybe she’s a little scared.” “That's a silly book.” “Why do you think the author write this story?” Non examples “How does a ____ work?” (Explain/Factual Knowledge) “I think he’s hiding to stay safe.” (Predict/ Infer) o Ident ify similarities/differences teacher states similarities or differences or asks or tells students to compare and contrast objects, items, or characters. Examples “Can you compare a watch and a clock?” “How are ____ and ___alike/different?” “Is this even t he same color as the other sharks? “How does this look different from the other one we’ve seen?” “Prairie dogs bark just like dogs.” Non examples “Why doesn’t ____ happen when ____?” (Explain/ Factual Knowledge) “It looks like a squirrel.” (Describe Characteristics) 150

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Inferential Level 4 Teacher states or asks or tells students to predict/infer, provide a definition or explain/ provide factual knowledge. o Predict/Infer teacher makes a prediction/inference or asks or tells students to predict/hypot hesize about subsequent events/conditions or draw an inference or asks students to draw an inference from something not explicitly stated in the text. Examples “What do you think this story will be about?” “What do you think is going to happen next?” “What could this be?” “What do you think this is?” ( Only showing a part of the entire image) “I think this is a baby shark.” “If they are born in the spring, then they do not come out in the winter.” Non examples “I don’t like that.” (Judgment/Evaluation) “Do you think he’s comfortable?” (Judgment/ Evaluation) o Definitions teacher discuss, ask , or tells the meaning of a word or a word with the same meaning . Examples “What does hibernate mean?” “Hibernate means to sleep through the winter.” “Another word for speedy is fast.” “What is another word for dry?” Non examples “That’s an alligator.” ( Label ) “You can find the meaning of words in a glossary.” (Explain/ Factual Knowledge) o Explain/ Factual Knowledge teacher goes beyond story to ask a question or provid e an explanation , or name subordinates of a superordinate category; distinguish between fantasy and reality . Examples “The way that a ___ works in real life is” “Why did _____ happen that way?” “Geckos are types of lizards.” “Can you tell me another animal with a big mouth?” “How can we make sure that sharks don’t vanish forever?” Non examples “What do you think papa bear means when he says?” (Predict/Infer) “What was the first step?” (Recall Information) 151

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Student Codes Student Literal Utterances : S tudent responds to a teacher question or tells about something that can be readily obtained from the words in the text or the illustrations. Literal Level 1 Students ask or label s, locates, notices or counts objects, items or characters. o Label student asks or names an object or person including negative label s Examples “That’s a piano” “An alligator!” “That’s not a frog.” “Is that a shark?” “What is this?” Non examples “It looks like a dog.” (Describe Characteristics) “Look at that!” (Notice) o Locate student asks or locates an object, item or character including the use of prepositions (such as above, through, on, up, beside, below). Examples “It’s behind the curtains.” “They are down underneath it.” “It’s right here and right here.” “Is it inside the mouth?” Non examples “That’s a motorcycle.” ( Label ) “How many are there?” (Count) o Notice student asks or directs attention to a pictured object and does not name it Examples “Look at that” “What is that?” “Do you see that thing?” Non examples “That’s a bat.” ( Label ) “What’s going to happen next?” (Predict/ Infer) o Count student asks or counts objects, items, or people Examples “Four” “1,2,3,4,5” “How many legs are there?” Non examples 152

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“That’s not a spider monkey.” ( Label ) “It ate six beetles.” (Recall) Literal Level 2 Students ask or describe characteristics, describe/notice scenes, or complete a sentence. o Describe Characteristics student asks or states perceptual properties (size, shape, color) or parts of objects, items or ch aracters ; specify type of object ; who has possession ; quantity and amount. Examples “ Brown and white” “It’s bear’s apple” “What kind of monkey is that? “I don't see any eyes on it.” “She’s wearing a wet suit.” Non examples “He’s under the table.” (Locate) “I like that shark.” (Judgment/ Evaluation) o Describe/notice scenestudent asks, describes or notices actions that are immediately perceptually present in text or pictures. Examples “Look it’s swimming really fast.” “He’s standing up.” “Is he kissing hi s mom?” “What is he doing?” Non examples “The cat is a small.” (Describe Characteristics) “This is a diagram.” ( Label ) o Sentence Completion student completes a sentence after the teacher intentionally pauses. Examples “I see a dog looking at me.” “Shut the door.” Non examples “I think the story will be about” (Predict/Infer) “Doesn’t he look happy?” (Judgment/ Evaluation) Student Inferential Utterances : Student responds to a teacher question or tells about something that cannot be readily obtained from the text. Inferential Level 3 Students ask or recall information makes judgments/evaluations or identifies similarities/differences. 153

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o Recall Information student explains or asks about prior information presented in the book Examples “First he got mad , then he packed up to leave.” “At the beginning of the bookthen” What’s her name again?” “You mean to tell me it can jump too?” Non examples “Maybe she will decide not to go back since they were not nice to her.” (Predict/Infer) “My favorite part was” (Judgment/ Evaluation) o Judgment/Evaluationstudent asks or talks about non perceptual qualities and internal states of characters, objects, or ideas ; provides point of view. Examples “Sad because she hurt her feelings.” “How to make things better now” “I don’t like that.” “This book is silly.” “He’s mad.” Non examples “This is going to be about different animals.” (Predict/Infer) “The book talked about speedy sharks.” (Recall) o Identify similarities/differences student asks or compares and contrasts objects or characters . Examples “They both tell time, but you can’t wear a clock on your wrist.” “The slug doesn’t have a shell, but the snail does.” “How is ___ like ____? “Sharks and dogs both have pups.” Non examples “I see the lemur.” ( Label ) “That’s a scary one.” (Judgment/ Evaluation) Inferential Level 4 Students ask or make a prediction/interference asks or tells a definition, or explains or provides factual knowledge. o Predict/Infer student asks or tells prediction/hypothesize about subs equent events/conditions or asks or draws an inference from something not explicitly stated in the text. Examples “Maybe she will decide not to go back since they were not nice to her.” 154

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“He can't eat a huge egg.” “I think it’s her party” Non examples “I want to know how ____ works.” (Explain/ Factual Knowledge) “They are playing on the beach.” (Describe/ Notice Scene) o Definitions student ask a question about the meaning of a word or defines a word , or asks or provides a word with the same meaning. E xamples “To sleep through the winter.” “What does hibernate mean?” “Hibernate means to sleep through the winter.” “What’s a mole?” “Another word for murky is dark.” Non examples “Do you think her tears are going to fall?” (Predict/Infer) “Look at the teeth.” ( Label ) o Explain/ Factual Knowledge student goes beyond story to ask a question or provide an explanation , or name subordinates of a superordinate category ; distinguish between fantasy and reality. Examples “How does ___ work?” “I read in another book that” “Chameleons change color.” “Are any of them females?” “Are those real?” Non examples “That’s green dirt.” (Describe Characteristics) “What’s a predator?” (Definition) Other Behaviors No level of abstraction Student or teacher responds to an utterances with “yes” or “no” Example “Yes” “No” “Yeah” “Uh huh” Non example “A monkey.” ( Label ) “5” (Counting) No Response – following a teacher utterance, individual student or group of students that 155

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the teacher made the utterance to does not resp ond, or following a student utterance, teacher does not respond. Example Silence Student shrugs “I don’t know.” Non example “He’s under the table.” (Locate) “I think” (Predict/Infer) Not Audible Student or teacher talk is not audible. 156

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Noldus The Observer XT Guidelines & Procedures To Start a NEW Coding Scheme When you start The Observer XT Version 11.5 for the first time, the Project Explorer (the tree view at the left side of your screen) indicates that no project is opened. The first step is to create a new project or open an existing one. A new blank project –This empty project contains the default Pr oject setup settings, no coding scheme and no independent variables. Click New blank project in the window that appears after starting The Observer or from the File menu, choose New Project. Specifying the Project Setup In the Setup tab in overview window of The Observer XT, click Set up project, or from the Setup menu, select Project Setup. Observation Source Offline ObservationObserve from a pre recorded video file Observation MethodRecord events continuously Observation DurationOpen ended observat ion Creating a Coding Scheme In the overview window, click Create a coding scheme or from the Setup menu, choose Open Coding Scheme. Define your elements in the corresponding panels. Subjects: o Teacher o Students: All o Student: Individual Behaviors: (all start stop codes and the behavior type is point event) o Literal level 1 Label Locate Notice Count o Literal Level 2 Describe characteristics Describe/notice scene Sentence Completion o Inferential Level 3 Recall Information Judgment Evaluation Identify Similarities/Differences o Inferential Level 4 157

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Predict/Infer Definition Explain/Factual Knowledge o Other Behaviors No level of abstraction No response Not Audible 158

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Coding Using an E xisting Coding Scheme Opening an existing project 1. From the File menu, choose Open Project or press Ctrl+O. To open a project, you can also click one of the options under Open a project. On the window that appears when you start the program. The first item in the list is the project opened last. When you hover over the project names with your mouse, the date the project was last modified is shown. 2. Find and select your project and click Open. Your project loads. 3. You are now ready to start. Save Project –From the File menu, select Sa ve Project. Select this option to save a project with all it settings and data (*.vop file). Carrying out an Observation Create a new observation – In the overview window, click Observe, then Create a new observation. Alternatively, from the Observe menu, c hoose Observation and then New. Observation Name: Teacher ID_Session #_”your initials” o For example: 1_Session 1 _ SD Start the observation–Click the Start Recording button. Score data To score an event, or click the codes you have assigned to the coding scheme elements. Stop the observation–Click the Stop Observation button in the Play back control window or the observation will end once the video has ended. Save Project From the File menu, select Save Project. Backing up a Project (Complete daily) Follow this procedure to create a copy of the project. Open the project and from the File menu, select Make Backup (or press ). Select the following (optional): External data (selected by default) – Keep this option selected Create a new F ile Name: Duggins_Dissertation Backup_Date o For example: Duggins_Dissertation Backup_3_4_15 Select Location: o For main coding station: Duggins Dissertation Materials_Backups o For secondary coding station: Duggins Dissertation Backups_Computer 2 Click Save 159

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Reliability Analysis For overall agreement Analyze o Select Data o New Data Profile Save as: ID_Session #_Overall For example, 1_Session 2_Overall Analyze o Reliability Analysis New Add pair (observations of interest) starting with researcher as primary coder. Record overall agreement, disagreement, and % agreement in the table under the correct sheet (for example, 1_Session 2) 160

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Instructions for Coding Observations Description of Context The observations took take place in kindergarten and first grade classrooms in high poverty schools in one county. The classroom teacher provided the specific day and time for the researcher to observe three read aloud sessions. The researcher v ideotaped each session. Description of Length of Observations The researcher videotaped and coded the entire read aloud session for each observation. Segmenting and Decision Rules Begin coding Coders will begin to code the observation session once the teacher (a) begins to read the text or (b) begins to engage in discussion about the text or related to the text. During coding How to Code: o Coders can pause and code at the end of each utterance or select the subject to begin coding. o If coders need to rewind, pause the video, click on the last time stamp, and scroll the bar in the playback control box as needed. Hit play, listen, and then code. o Each session will be coded in its entirety before beginning to code another session. What to Code: o Coders will code for level of abstraction for teacher and students and other behaviors as described above. o If a teacher asks a series of questions/makes a series of comments, each question or comment will be coded. For example, “Oh, look at this.” (Notic e), “What body part is it? ( Label ) o If a single utterance fits more than one behavior, code both in sequence. For example, “I can infer that they do not like to come out in the ___ (teacher intentionally pauses).” (Sentence completion and predict/infer) Wh at not to Code: o Reading of the text by teacher or student will not be coded, even if the text contains a question. For example, the text states, “Can you guess what kind of animal it is?” o Coders will not code teacher follow up (what teacher says in respons e to student utterance) if teachers (a) repeat the student utterance or (b) says yes or no in response to a student utterance. For example, “That’s right, that’s a hammerhead shark.” For example, “no” (after a student responded incorrectly to a question). End coding 161

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Coding will continue until (a) the teacher stops reading the book (for longer than 60 seconds as indicated on the time log in the video), or (b) the teacher stops engaging in discussion about the text, or (c) the video ends, which ever occurs first. 162

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Obtaining Reliability and Interobserver Agreement Interobserver agreement was calculated on 25 % of videotaped readaloud sessions, which were randomly selected and independently coded by a trained research assistant. The researcher along with research assistants will code sessions. Procedures for Training Observers All observers were trained before coding videotapes for the study. The training consisted of the following. First, the researcher explained the coding manual with coding definitions and examples and provided demonstrations. The research assistant discussed the coding manual, asked clarifying questions, and memorized the codes and definitions. Afterwards, the research assistant had an opportunity to practice coding two readaloud sessions. During the first video, the researcher coded the entire video with the research assistant using paper and pencil, stopping as frequently as needed. The researcher discussed ea ch coding decision with the research assistant and discussed any issues or questions that arose referring to the master codes. The researcher introduced the research assistant to the computer program, Noldus The Observer XT version 11.5 to code. The resea rch assistant and primary researcher practiced coding the video until the research assistant was comfortable with the program. For the second video, the research assistant coded the entire video on her own using The Observer XT. At the end of the video the researcher discussed each coding decision and discussed any issues or questions that arose. Procedures for Obtaining and Calculating IOA Point by point agreement is “the extent to which two people categorize the same occurrence of a key behavior in the same category” (Yoder & Symons, 2010, p.141). Occurrence percentage agreement was calculated for each code by dividing the number of agreements by the number of agreements plus the number of disagreements, then multiplying by 100 (Yoder & Symons, 2010). Prior to coding independently, the researcher and research assistant reached at least 80% agreement on each code. The frequency/sequence comp arison method was used. According to The Observer XT reference manual, “This method compares state events, point events and instantaneous sampling events between two observations and takes into account both the frequency and the sequence of events (p.395). If further states, “The Frequency/Sequence method can be used as a detailed indicator of the correspondence between two observations when timing of the events is important” (p.395). A tim e period of 5 seconds was used. All events were compared and were al igned with the video start time. 163

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Paper Coding Sheet Teacher Name: Session #: Length (sec): Coder: Date of Coding: Time (in sec.) Subject Behavior Notes 164

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKET CH Shaunt Shamar Elliott Duggins was born in Kingston, Jamaica. She grew up in New York City surrounded by a loving and encouraging family. In the spring of 2007 she graduated Summa Cum Laude with honors from Florida State University. With her degree in E arly Childhood e ducation, she was determined to serve low socioeconomic families and their children. She accepted a first grade teaching position at a Title 1 school in Pinellas County. Although she began teaching immediately after graduating, she knew that she would pursue a master’s degree to increase her acumen in the field of Education. So she was alacritous to participate in the job imbedded in Teacher Leadership for a School Improvement program with the University of Florida through its partnership w ith Pinellas County Schools. The Teacher Leadership for School Improvement (TLSI) program afforded her several opportunities to work collaboratively with colleagues throughout her school, across Pinellas County, and the state of Florida. Having taught whil e earning her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction she was allowed to immediately implement what she learned in her classroom as well as in her teaching community. It also introduced her to teacher inquiry, which sparked an interest in conducting research that empowers teachers to make informed decisions that ultimately increase student achievement. Upon graduating in August 2010, she was encouraged to apply for the Research in Early Literacy and Teacher Education Fellowship (Project RELATE) in th e School of Special Education, School Psychology and Early Childhood Studies. She was drawn to this program because it would allow her to delve further into research in the field of special education/early literacy and to prepare future educators. The oppo rtunity was ideal. She was ecstatic about her acceptance and intended to take advantage of it. 179

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Shaunt received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 2015. Her goal is to serve as a researcher and teacher educator by preparing future teachers and practicing teachers to develop a love for learning and a sincere desire to reach all students. Her research interests include effective teachers of literacy in high poverty schools, teacher education, and issues related to equity in education. Upon graduat ing, she looks forward to a career as a teacher educator and researcher. 180