Graduation Date

5-2017

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 Peters, Ed.D.

Second Reader

Robin Gayle, Ph.D., MDIV, MFT

Abstract

Reading workshop is a way to structure a literacy block during the school day that allows for differentiation and a high level of student engagement in the process of learning to read. During reading workshop, students read independently and with partners at their independent reading levels while the teacher confers with students and leads small groups. During conferences, the teacher differentiates instruction and tailors lessons to individual student needs.

The purpose of this study is to examine the result of individualized lessons on word attack strategies on first grade students’ reading ability. Word attack strategies, as in strategies for decoding unfamiliar words, are a crucial component of learning how to read fluently. Students who lack word attack strategies may struggle with reading and do not progress at their expected rate of development.

This is an evaluation research study using a qualitative analysis of student data as collected by the teacher as researcher. Observational notes and running records were used to collect data on a class of 19 first graders aged 6-8 as participants. Results indicated that all students made progress as readers, with 84% of participants reading at or above the grade-level benchmark at the end of the data collection period. Additionally, 100% of participants showed growth in reading comprehension and word attack strategy skills.