A Year In Bloom’s (Part 2): Reading

A Year In Bloom’s (Part 2): Reading

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a classification of educational objectives, which is based on the research of Benjamin Bloom and colleagues that was released in 1956. There are six classifications: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, evaluate and create/synthesis. (I prefer using the word Synthesis.)

Many of the skills that kids are taught are aligned to the rigor matrix and guide many teacher’s instructional practices. 

In this article, I’ll detail my experience using these classifications to foster critical thinking in my scholars.

Intro: The Origins of Bloom’s Reading

Unlike my Word Power routine, I started experimenting with using the Bloom’s structure for Reading my 3rd year of teaching. After learning how students retained skills through the method, I researched Bloom’s Taxonomy and the associated question stems.

With an enhanced understanding of the objectives, I created a progression that supported the system.

1. Purpose of Study: New Type of Rigor

Traditionally, reading instruction centers around one of three approaches.

A. Reading Workshop Model: This is probably one of, if not, the most popular model for teaching Reading. Its focus is on “just right” books, 3-cueing model, and small group instruction.

B. Drill and Kill: This is an approach, which has a heavy focus on “backward design” and test-taking strategies.

C. Worksheet: The other approach is where teachers get materials from “somewhere.”

The goal: Marry the first two approaches by encouraging higher-order thinking while ensuring kids are receiving adequate, balanced reading instruction.

Figure 1.1: An example of a weekly progression of a skill.

2. Framework: A Natural Scaffold

With the structure, the year start at the Knowledge portion of Bloom’s and progress them until they synthesize that skill. Following that week, you continue to build on those previously learned concepts.

Classification of concepts using Bloom’s Taxonomy.

To encourage critical thinking within those various skills, the question stems at each stage of rigor was key.

Sample Question Stems at each stage.


Characters: How would you describe the main character? (The kids just have to identify the trait, not give evidence at this state of the week.)


Text Structure: What details support the text structure of the article?


Inference: What conclusion can you draw after reading the story?


Main Idea: Is the Main Idea Stated or Implied?


Plot: Did you enjoy the story? Were there any parts that didn’t make sense?


Author’s Purpose: Create your own Author’s Purpose. (My scholars made commercials or advertisements last year.)

3. Methodology: T.P.R.I./Classroom Discussion/MAP Growth

To accumulate data, I relied heavily on classroom discussion–as we didn’t have any formal reading assessments, although I gave quizzes on Fridays for the individual skills.

Additionally, I conducted Running Records and students took the MAP Growth test.

Results are found below.

4. Results: Multiple Genres Growth

Figure 1.2: Multiple Genres MAP Growth

Of the 15 student sample size, they averaged 177 on the Multiple Genres area of MAP Growth at the BOY 2019-2020, which encompasses 1st through 3rd level reading skills such as Plot, Characters and Main Idea.

At the beginning of the year 2020-2021, the students averaged 199 on their MAP Growth, which is an increase of 22 points or 2.2 years growth. That’s seven points of the norm growth. 199 is where most fourth graders are at the beginning of the year. So, my students were a year above their peers.

Several scholars made substantial growth.

  • One student grew 44 points or 4.4 years
  • Eight Scholars grew 20-plus points
  • Only one student scored below the norm at 182, which is five points below.

*It should be noted that three students from the BOY 2019-2020 moved. All three of these students scored below the norm, which would have placed my class average at the norm.

4B. Results: Author’s Craft Growth

Figure 1.3: Author’s Craft MAP Growth

Of the 15 student sample size, they averaged 178 on the Author’s Craft area of MAP Growth at the BOY 2019-2020, which are the 4th level comprehension skills: Theme, Author’s Point of View, Author’s Purpose.

At the beginning of the year 2020-2021, the students averaged 197 on their MAP Growth, which is an increase of 19 points or 1.9 years growth. That’s four points above the norm growth. Similarly to Multiple Genres, 197 is where most fourth graders are at the beginning of the year. So, my students were a year above their peers in this area, as well.

Several scholars made substantial growth in this area, as well.

  • One student had a RIT of 227 in this area, which is above 12th grade level.
  • Six Scholars grew 20-plus points
  • Only two students had a RIT below grade level in this area—174 and 179.
Figure 1.4: Example of Data Tracker for a Skill.

5. Discussion: Full-Year Integration

It should be noted that I wasn’t able to teach Procedural Text and Persuasive Text due to Covid-19.

For this method to truly be effective, I feel there needs to be full-year integration with Writing and Word Study. It grew students, but I feel it could grow them more if the other subjects were completely embedded throughout the year.

Additionally, the incorporation of data trackers and annual assessment would provide a more consistent and comprehensive evaluation loop.

6. Conclusion: Disrupting The Status Quo

Based on the early results, the method of Reading instruction is effective at encouraging higher-order, divergent thinking and enabling kids to retain the concepts. To further validate the approach, more educators with different styles must implement the method.

Do that and the “status quo” would be disrupted.

If you’re interested in learning more about “Bloom’s Unit: Reading” or would like professional development conducted on the method, email thephenomenalstudent@gmail.com

Jeremiah Short, Educator

Published by Jeremiah Short

My name is Jeremiah Short, and I'm a educator with six years of experience. I love to teach and the overall craft of the profession. I've written one book on my journey(As I Took My Walk With God Volume I: I Stopped Wasting God's Time) with a second one way (As I Took My Walk With God Volume II: Greatness Was Upon Them). In addition to writing books, I've created several instructional routines: Word Power, T.I.D.E., Bloom's Units: Reading and The Phenomenal Classroom.

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