The impact of a book flood on reading motivation and reading achievement of fourth grade students
Reading proficiency makes profound differences in reasoning and the ability to learn new information. Past research has indicated that avid readers demonstrate superior literacy development and a wide-range of knowledge across subjects (Allington, 2011; Guthrie, 2008; Krashen, 2004). In a contrasting trajectory, a child who does not engage in reading has limited exposure to a wide vocabulary (Cunningham & Stanovich, 1997) and a gap in knowledge ensues that adversely impacts literacy into adulthood (Hodgkinson, 1995; Neuman & Celano, 2006). This quasi-experimental study examined the impact of readily accessible books on students’ motivation to read, attitudes towards reading and reading achievement when students are provided daily opportunities to read self-selected materials provided through a book flood. Book floods are designed to provide a large number of books to a classroom with limited books. Thirty-eight fourth grade students from two intact classrooms were assigned as the treatment (n=19) and the control group (n=19). Participants in both the control and treatment group were administered pre- and post-test to measure reading motivation and attitudes towards reading. Participants’ scores from the district mandated assessment were used to measure pre- and post-treatment reading achievement. The fourth-graders in the treatment group were provided 15-minutes daily to read self-selected books from the book flood. Participants in the treatment group recorded and rated the self-selected books in reading logs for a 12-week period. ANCOVA was conducted to compare post-tests results on the Elementary Reading Attitude Survey (M. McKenna & Kear, 1990), the Self-Regulation Questionnaire-Reading Motivation (De Naeghel, Van Keer, Vansteenkiste, & Rosseel, 2012), and the Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress (NWEA, 2003). Analyses of the data indicate significant differences between the control and treatment group on post-test results for recreational autonomous and academic autonomous reading motivation but not on post-test results for attitudes towards recreational and academic reading. Correlation relationships and other descriptive findings are discussed.
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