Limited reading proficient students in two types of cooperative learning groups for reading instruction

Sally Reed Costa, Fordham University


The behavior and performance of fourth- and sixth-grade students, who were below their grade level in reading but not classified as learning disabled in reading, were observed and analyzed as they worked in cooperative groups for reading instruction. Two types of procedures were used: (a) Know, Want to Know, Learn (KWL) (with expository text), and (b) Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition (CIRC) (with narrative text). Each procedure was video taped at the two grade levels during the presentation of three selections from the students' anthology reader. The 12 separate units took a minimum of 3 days for each lesson. The written work and the interaction of the limited reading proficient students were analyzed and compared with the work and behavior of the able readers in the same cooperative learning groups. Results indicated that, although not identical the differences in written production and interaction between the two groups of children were small. There were 37 distinct types of interactions shown by the students. Limited reading proficient students were active participants in all phases of both teaching/learning formats; they were not relegated to a passive role in the cooperative learning groups. KWL procedures of listing what they knew or wanted to know about a topic were difficult for the children when they did not have prior knowledge about the topic. Fourth graders experienced more difficulty with KWL procedures than did sixth graders. Both grade levels were able to respond to the teacher's questions presented in the CIRC format. Cooperative learning for reading instruction was shown to generate quality discussion and understanding for children of limited reading proficiency.

Subject Area

Literacy|Reading instruction|Language arts|Elementary education

Recommended Citation

Costa, Sally Reed, "Limited reading proficient students in two types of cooperative learning groups for reading instruction" (1994). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9511231.