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Next Steps:

The research question for Phase one was: In what ways do student-created Depth of Knowledge
(DOK) questions affect levels of student thinking in reading instruction? My intervention
consisted of, first, introducing students to the concept of employing deep thinking when reading
a literature selection. This deep thinking would be initiated via student-created questions. Then,
once students had a foundational understanding of deeper meaning questioning and its
importance in reading comprehension, my goal was for them to successfully be able to create at
least a DOK Level 2 question for the book, Zathura. Although 100% of the students were not
successful in creating DOK Level 2 questions for Zathura by the end of Phase One, their
consistent development and improvement in higher order thinking when reading gave our class
perseverance for the next implementation of Phase Two.

For Phase 2, the following changes were made to the initial intervention:
Students had the opportunity to read and experience The Stranger in many different ways
prior to creating their deeper meaning question. In Phase One, students did not receive
three separate days to read Jumanji or Zathura. Therefore, with the extended amount of
reading time including one small group reading, individual reading, and read aloud for
The Stranger, I had hoped the students would be able to identify and think more deeply
about the story because of their high familiarity with it.
Students composed their deeper meaning question on The Stranger: DOK Questions
worksheet and revised it multiple times prior to posting on Miss Hendersons blog. In
Phase One, the development of student-created deeper meaning questions was done
orally and through discussion; however, with this new format of students writing their
revisions on paper, there was a visual accounting for student growth in creating a deeper
meaning question.
The multiple revisions that students made on their deeper meaning questions for The
Stranger via one-on-one conferencing with me was planned in order to develop each
students question further on the DOK Level chart. In Phase One, I only conferenced in
small groups, so my hope was that this individual conferencing would focus on each
students strengths and needs on a more personal level in order to develop their higher
level thinking in reading even more.
I planned for my students to read closely and think deeply about The Stranger, which is
another book by Chris Van Allsburg. My students love the adventure that Chris Van
Allsburgs stories bring into our classroom, and by keeping a consistent author
throughout both phases of my inquiry, I avoided differences that may affect my student-
driven data.

My three forms of data for my first phase of inquiry included the Student Feedback Form,
student writing samples on my class blog, and my observations of each students growth in
creating DOK questions based on a piece of literature.

The data collected from my Student Feedback Form at the end of Phase One did not present
students growth in higher order thinking confidence as positively as I had hoped. When I asked
my students about their feedback on this form to better understand their feelings at the end of
Phase One about deeper meaning questions, I received a multitude of responses. Students
explained that the first time they filled out the Student Feedback Form, which was at the
beginning of Phase One, they had difficulty answering the questions because they did not know
what a deeper meaning question or response really was. Then, at the finish of Phase One when
my students filled out the same Student Feedback Form again, the students explained that since
they now knew the work a deeper meaning question required of them, they did not say they were
completely comfortable with higher thinking questioning and answering. It seemed that my
students related the word comfort in the Student Feedback Form to something being easy;
therefore, the data collection of their responses from the beginning and end of Phase One on the
Student Feedback Form did overall make sense. For the second phase of my inquiry, I plan to
more clearly explain the definition of comfortable in the context of creating deeper meaning
questions when my students fill out the same Student Feedback Form at its completion.

Students benefited from small group instruction; however, when I responded to each of my
students Zathura DOK questions on my class blog, the individualized attention for each
students level of thinking and questioning skills allowed me to focus on target areas more
effectively. Therefore, for Phase Two I plan to work more closely with my students on an
individualized basis in regards to their student-created deeper meaning questions for The
Stranger. This will continue to promote the positive effects of small group reading from Phase
One while including differentiated instruction for each of my students as well. These combined
learning opportunities should optimize my students ability to successfully think at higher levels
in creating their DOK questions for The Stranger.

I plan to continue to use the same triangulation of data from my Phase One to collect and analyze
my students growth in creating deeper meaning questions about The Stranger in Phase Two.
Also, because I observed that my students reading levels are quite varied within my class of
fourth graders, I plan to scaffold my students reading comprehension skills by reading The
Stranger multiple different times through small student-led groups, individual reading, and a
teacher read aloud.

In the collection and analysis of this student data, I learned that my students development of
deeper thinking skills required more than a three week time period to be successful. Therefore, I
planned for my second phase of inquiry to be an additional two weeks of focused small group
and individual work on creating deeper meaning questions about The Stranger to further increase
my students reading comprehension skills.