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Findings:

After considering the process and results of student performance in creating higher level
questions for The Stranger in Phase Two, I observed the following themes from collected and
analyzed data.

Students appear to be more successful in creating deeper meaning questions when multiple
revisions are constructed on paper, then submitted on a technological forum.
A major change from my first phase of inquiry to my second phase of inquiry was the
introduction of The Stranger: DOK questions worksheet which required students to revise and
edit their beginning deeper meaning question. This worksheet aided in my students success
because they were able to view their progress in developing a deeper meaning question for The
Stranger while following edits and teacher notes for reference. Furthermore, the students deeper
meaning questions did not lose their worth and meaning when posted on my class blog because
the students final DOK questions for The Stranger were on their worksheets completely revised,
edited, and then approved by me. These many layers of support throughout my Phase Two really
helped my students succeed in creating higher level DOK questions for The Stranger while truly
understanding the process of thinking more deeply in order to comprehend more in reading.

Although my students often flourish when working collaboratively for projects, when a
challenging task such as thinking deeply about a piece of literature is taking place in the
classroom, my students seem to work best individually with my support.
Throughout Phase Two I observed that the most beneficial time of instruction for my students
when creating their deeper meaning questions for The Stranger was our individual conferencing.
This one-on-one time with each student allowed us to focus on individual strengths and
challenges in deepening his or her thinking about a piece of literature. Also, I observed that the
individual student-teacher conferencing gave students more ownership and pride in their DOK
questions for The Stranger because we were working so closely as a team on the creation. Then,
when students worked individually to revise their work after our conferences, all were focused
on the task of revising, recreating, or finding meaning for their questions which eliminated
distractions. These eliminated distractions offered a more study focused environment within my
classroom which was also necessary in order for my students to be successful during a
challenging thinking assignment.

Teaching students how to think at a deeper level about a piece of literature requires a great
amount of time.
When I completed my first phase of inquiry, I knew that I would most definitely need additional
time with my students to work further and more closely on developing their higher level thinking
with a piece of literature. During my second phase of inquiry, I taught at a much slower pace
with my students in creating their DOK questions based on The Stranger including a large
amount of one-on-one student-teacher time. These new implementation strategies in my Phase
Two created a successful result for my students as 89% created at least a DOK Level 2 question
for The Stranger. An observation I did have throughout this extremely successful Phase Two was
that for a total of three weeks my reading instruction time was focused primarily on The
Stranger. I was surprised to look back and realize that all of the hard work my students and I put
into developing their higher thinking skills and creating questions that drew on a deeper meaning
from The Stranger only resulted in one piece of evidence! Phase Twos implementation process
did teach many additional skills along the way such as students revising/editing their work and
using resources such as the DOK wall chart as a reference for their learning. However, it is
important to note that Phase Twos implementation was able to be so successful because of the
time allotment it was offered.

Students have much more difficulty beginning to think critically in fourth grade when they
have not been explicitly taught those skills throughout their foundational education years.
My student teaching experience has offered me the view from a first grade perspective with the
Common Core State Standards being implemented during students foundational years, and then
from my current fourth grade perspective where advanced deeper thinking skills are expected of
students without that supplemental foundation. I have observed that without the prior knowledge
of higher level thinking skills and comprehension strategies throughout reading instruction,
students in intermediate grades have great difficulty meeting the current expectations of the
Common Core State Standards and models like Webbs Depth of Knowledge. Because my
students had not been explicitly instructed in primary grades to develop their deeper thinking
skills at the high levels models like Webbs DOK suggest, my Phase Two required much more
time and effort on the students part to be successful. I often listened to my students tell me how
difficult learning how to make deeper meaning questions was, and when the second phase of
inquiry was complete, my students still asked if I could help them more on creating higher level
DOK questions. Because my students did not develop the rote skill of asking these higher level
thinking questions during reading when they were younger, it is much more challenging and
frustrating for them to adopt new reading comprehension strategies after five years of learning.

Potential Steps for a Phase Three:
If time allowed, I would implement a third phase of inquiry continuing to build upon my
students higher level thinking skills using two books from different authors. Since I gained a
great deal of insight on how to best prepare my students for creating meaningful questions about
a piece of literature, I would use the same teaching strategies as my Phase Two. However, I
would begin to decrease the amount of time students would have to create their deeper meaning
questions based on a piece of literature such that in three weeks, students would have read and
created DOK Level 2 or higher questions for two books rather than one. Also, during the
implementation of the second book during my Phase Three, I would decrease my involvement in
students creation of deeper meaning questions by having them conference with each other in
order to revise and edit their original reading questions. I would continue to post student work on
the DOK wall chart to display and praise my students growth in deeper reading comprehension
skills. I would also continue using my class blog in order for the students to answer each others
deeper meaning questions about the two pieces of literature for Phase Three in order to spark
high level thinking conversations and discussions about reading in our class.