Graduation Date

12-2015

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Education

Department or Program Chair

Elizabeth Truesdell, Ph.D.

First Reader

Madalienne F. Peters, Ed.D.

Second Reader

Elizabeth Truesdell, Ph.D.

Abstract

Preschool students are preparing for kindergarten. The kindergarten curriculum is demanding. Students are expected to enter elementary school knowing many aspects related to language arts. The problem at the preschool level is that children need to master letter recognition and letter sounds in order to prepare them to learn how to read. The literature reveals that using technology before they enter kindergarten can be beneficial in developing students emergent literacy skills (Beschorner & Huchison, 2013).

It is important for teachers to meet the needs of all of their students. Using electronic tablets in the classroom is a tool that can help promote the development of early reading skills. Shifflet, Toledo and Mattoon, (2012) showed that by just introducing four tablets into a preschool classroom, the teachers observed the students increased their cooperation and collaboration skills with one another.

Participants in this study include 20 four and five year olds in a private preschool setting in a suburban area. Using electronic tablets, students practiced letter and sound recognition as part of their daily routine. Student pre and post test scores on letter and sound recognition were compared to analyze growth over time, by using technology and specific instructional applications (apps) that focus on early reading skills. Additionally the researcher recorded and analyzed notes which described student behavior during instruction.

Test scores indicated that 19 out of 20 students increased their mastery of upper and lower case letter recognition skills. Results from notes indicated that students were engaged in using tablets and motivated to practice letter recognition skills. Keywords: master letter recognition and sound, electronic tablets, pre and post tests, motivation, engagement.

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