Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Education Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

PDF

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

Elementary education

Teacher Education and Professional Development

Articles 1 - 30 of 84

Full-Text Articles in Education

A Kindergarten Teacher's Exploration Of Independent Learning Activities, Nicole A. Vaughn Aug 2012

A Kindergarten Teacher's Exploration Of Independent Learning Activities, Nicole A. Vaughn

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

The focus of this thesis project was to gain insight and understanding of the types of independent learning activities that are developmentally appropriate and meaningful for kindergarten students during a guided reading ELA block and to discover ways to engage students in independent literacy activities that extend and enhance their literacy development. In the study, the following questions were addressed - How are independent learning activities developmentally appropriate for kindergartners to promote literacy development? What types of independent learning activities promote the literacy development of kindergartners? Throughout this six week study a qualitative research design was utilized. The teacher-researcher, created the ...


Exploring The Literacy Development Of Preschoolers Through Theme-Based Center Activities, Shannon Gross Aug 2012

Exploring The Literacy Development Of Preschoolers Through Theme-Based Center Activities, Shannon Gross

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

With the integration of an increased literacy and math based curriculum for young children, it is important to keep students engaged while maintaining efficient and effective instruction. As a proven practice, play-based education allows a focused classroom that effectively educates children in literacy. This thesis project examines the effects of theme-based play centers on classroom literacy as well as suggested methods in lesson planning, engagement, and success. The literature review considers previous research regarding integrated theme-based play centers which suggests improved emotional, social, linguistic, and cognitive abilities in students. The research project used observation and qualitative research to focus on ...


Implementing The Common Core Learning Standards In Grade Three: Teaching For College And Career Readiness Through The Social Studies Content Area, Trista Fiorino Aug 2012

Implementing The Common Core Learning Standards In Grade Three: Teaching For College And Career Readiness Through The Social Studies Content Area, Trista Fiorino

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

With the current state of the economy and job market in the United States, it is imperative that students are college and workforce ready when they complete their public school education. Standards- based education provides solid foundation for educators to plan learning experiences that build from the prekindergarten to grade twelve. Standards-based education is widely accepted and utilized as we prepare today's' students' for success when facing tomorrow's challenges.

As politicians, administrators, educators and parents work closely to ensure that the public education is equipped to meet the demands of the twenty first century, new and improved standards ...


The Effects Of Parental Reading And Teaching On Kindergarten Children's School Readiness, Erin M. Dawson Aug 2012

The Effects Of Parental Reading And Teaching On Kindergarten Children's School Readiness, Erin M. Dawson

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

This thesis project identifies and discusses parental reading and teaching patterns and the impact these same methods may or may not have on children's school readiness, specifically the student’s readiness to read. The study highlights the following research questions: What patterns of parental reading and teaching can be identified among families of children entering kindergarten in a rural school? What are the associations between parental reading and teaching patterns and the child's school readiness? The literature review section examines the topics of home environment, parent’s engagement with literacy development, school readiness, and academic success. The active ...


Exploring The Use Of Interactive Read Alouds To Support The Literacy Development Of Fifth Graders Receiving Academic Intervention Services, Abbey L. Boyst Aug 2012

Exploring The Use Of Interactive Read Alouds To Support The Literacy Development Of Fifth Graders Receiving Academic Intervention Services, Abbey L. Boyst

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

Students identified as requiring Academic Intervention Services (AIS), either through testing or teacher recommendation, often struggle with fluency, reading comprehension, or a combination of both. This thesis project examines the effects of interactive read-alouds in reading instruction in an AIS class as a means to foster growth in comprehension and literacy skills. The central question, what happens when read-aloud activities include explicit instruction of reading comprehension and is incorporated into the instruction of students receiving AIS, was explored. The literature review section discusses previous research observations on the use of a designed read-aloud curriculum for teaching comprehension of narrative texts ...


Factors Influencing Readers When Matching Texts To Struggling Students, Brian P. Romeo Jul 2012

Factors Influencing Readers When Matching Texts To Struggling Students, Brian P. Romeo

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

Teachers at every scholastic level search for the best pedagogical practices for their particular classroom and students. The method of leveling, a strategy in which teachers assess the instructional level of a text in order to properly match books with an individual reader, is used increasingly in literacy programs at the elementary level. Books are “leveled” by using a formula that measures sentence and word difficulty. This research project examines how students interact with various texts and explores student fluency, expression, comprehension, and re-telling. The research examines student accuracy rates, self-corrections, and miscue analysis. It considers what text features teachers ...


Conferring With Readers To Develop Reading Proficiency, Sandra Goettelman May 2012

Conferring With Readers To Develop Reading Proficiency, Sandra Goettelman

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

The purpose of this research study is to determine the ways in which reading conferences help students develop reading proficiency. Reading conferences are one to one work with a student in which instruction is individualized to support the reader and help to elevate the student to be able to flexibly call upon a number of strategies to problem solve. The research questions will focus on the ways in which students incorporate feedback on decoding, fluency, and comprehension in their oral reading. The degree to which the reading conference fosters independence for students will also be examined. In addition, the efficiency ...


Using Literature To Support Second Graders' Critical Literacy Of Civil Rights, Nicole M. Leo May 2012

Using Literature To Support Second Graders' Critical Literacy Of Civil Rights, Nicole M. Leo

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

This study was designed to explore the use of children's literature to engage second grade students in critical literacy. I drew on multiple domains examining the use of children's literature in students' critical literacy development. I used data to analyze the kinds of perspectives children's literature provides, how students interpret different perspectives to solve their conflicts, and in what ways children's literature helps second graders act on issues that are important to them. The duration of the study was five weeks. An inquiry style of research was used. Data was collected through the use of field ...


The Importance Of Play In Early Childhood Education, Cristie R. Ellison May 2012

The Importance Of Play In Early Childhood Education, Cristie R. Ellison

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

Play is “work” for young children and is understood to build necessary language and social skills and understanding. This thesis project, an analytic review, explores the subject of play within the early childhood classroom environment while considering both cognitive constructivism and social constructivism through the lens of Piaget and Vygotsky. The multiple purposes of the review were to gain a more complete understanding of the functions of play in the early childhood setting, emphasize the importance of play for children's intellectual, emotional and social growth, and to analyze a body of knowledge of developmental and cognitive theories pertaining to ...


The Use Of Hands-On Comprehension Games In Literacy Development, Maria Prestigiacomo Apr 2012

The Use Of Hands-On Comprehension Games In Literacy Development, Maria Prestigiacomo

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

Reading comprehension is one of the most difficult components to teach. I have tried every resource my district has given me to help build comprehension skills and I have not seen a significant impact on the children’s learning. I investigated hands-on games and activities to see if they could help improve and build comprehension skills.

Many children in the twenty-first century are tactile learners and need hands-on activities. Keeping this in mind I researched and implemented hands-on games and activities for students in the fifth-grade to practice and reinforce their comprehension skills. I created, taught through guided practice, and ...


Inquiry-Based Instruction: Not All Fun And Games, Sharon Kinsley Oct 2011

Inquiry-Based Instruction: Not All Fun And Games, Sharon Kinsley

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

This study seeks to examine the role of play in learning in order to define how games may be used as an effective tool for instruction in an inquiry-based classroom. Given the multitude of games that are available that purport to be educational, an effective means of choosing games for the classroom is explored. The connection between the use of inquiry-based instruction and games is investigated with an eye toward developing criteria for assessing games for use in the classroom. Numerous online games were evaluated from four different websites to determine the usefulness of these criteria for discriminating between games ...


Interactive Whiteboards: Impact On Fifth-Grade Writing Skills, Danielle Marie Mooney Oct 2011

Interactive Whiteboards: Impact On Fifth-Grade Writing Skills, Danielle Marie Mooney

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

Given current societal emphasis on technology mixed with the community pressures to succeed in an increasingly technological world, teachers and school districts find themselves focusing efforts on integrating technology and instruction more readily in their classrooms; their goal - to improve instructional practices and keep up with the developing, tech-savvy world. This thesis project discusses several clarifying questions - How much technology should schools be expected to provide? What types of instruction would most benefit students? The research study addresses the influence of the SMART board on students’ academic development, specifically in writing with regard to motivation and literacy. The project’s ...


Bilingual Education : Searching For The Ideal Elementary Bilingual Program, Vanessa J. Brumaghim Dec 2009

Bilingual Education : Searching For The Ideal Elementary Bilingual Program, Vanessa J. Brumaghim

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

Bilingualism refers to an individual’s ability to proficiently use multiple languages. Bilingual education, then, refers to all programs that seek to teach using two specific languages. Bilingual education’s goals are to not only academically but also culturally embrace the student learner and prepare them for the competitive, global market. This research project heralds the merits and challenges of each teaching model (two-way immersion, transitional, and developmental) being utilized in the United States. It argues the challenging question of best practices for these models as they are employed for future generations of K-12 learners, taking into account the various ...


Literature Circles And Their Effects On Student Motivation And Reading Comprehension, Katie Covert Dec 2009

Literature Circles And Their Effects On Student Motivation And Reading Comprehension, Katie Covert

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

Literature circles promote social interaction and cooperative learning, help target various learning styles, and promote student inquiry. Reading groups encourage reluctant readers and allow the opportunity for students to read, write, think, and talk about what they are reading. This thesis project examines the effectiveness of using literature circles as an intervention to improve interest and understanding. It evaluates the importance of student motivation and comprehension on reading competencies. The research study was conducted on two six student groups in a fourth grade classroom – a test group and a control group. Students took a pre and post survey about their ...


The Roles Of Middle And High School Reading Specialists, Kathleen M. Stolfi Aug 2009

The Roles Of Middle And High School Reading Specialists, Kathleen M. Stolfi

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

The main goal of The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 is to hold school districts accountable to close the achievement gap. One way in which the NCLB is ensuring accountability is by requiring school districts to seek better qualified and prepared classroom teachers and well-prepared reading specialists who can serve as coaches or mentors for teachers in the schools. Elementary level reading specialists and their role in the school community has been widely researched however the secondary level lacks clarity in impact on academic success and in articulation of their purpose and partnership with teaching and administrative ...


Classroom Management As An Effective Means 6fpromoting Literacy Development, Deborah Lofthouse-Crowe Aug 2009

Classroom Management As An Effective Means 6fpromoting Literacy Development, Deborah Lofthouse-Crowe

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

Educational research in academic success states that effective classroom management is the most important facet of effective student learning. Teacher’s attitudes can both improve and detract from their own and students’ attitudes regarding learning and scholastic experience. Research reveals that teachers who use instructional time ineffectively or unproductively, or do not involve students in meaningful and engaging activities, can risk losing students' attention and negatively impact their motivation to learn. Additionally, it is noted that many inexperienced teachers enter the classroom unprepared for the well-considered balance that is necessary for academic success; the precarious balance between instruction and classroom ...


The Impact Of Student Choice On Motivation For Struggling Readers To Complete Reading Activities, Rachael Parlett Aug 2009

The Impact Of Student Choice On Motivation For Struggling Readers To Complete Reading Activities, Rachael Parlett

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

How do teachers motivate their students to learn? Prompt, induce, or inspire – whatever word is used, educators recognize the importance of understanding students as individuals with idiosyncratic learning styles and the challenge of implementing the best practice for each. Former research in this subject defines the two types of motivation as intrinsic and extrinsic. This research project investigates and reports on the query, does giving student choices in reading activities impact their desire to learn? The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore different forms of motivation, driven by student choice as a catalyst, for learning in the classroom ...


Students’ Response In Terms Of Motivation And Engagement With The Use Of Informational And Nonfiction Texts, Melissa Sue Hundley Aug 2009

Students’ Response In Terms Of Motivation And Engagement With The Use Of Informational And Nonfiction Texts, Melissa Sue Hundley

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

Student motivation and engagement for reading is a vital part of reading instruction, reading progress, and reading success. This thesis project examines the use of informational and nonfiction texts and trade books in Academic Intervention Services (AIS) instruction. It specifically focuses on two questions - How do third-grade students enrolled in AIS services for literacy respond to the use of informational and nonfiction texts and trade books in AIS instruction and how do they self-report on their motivation and engagement for reading and reading instruction when informational or nonfiction texts and trade books are used in AIS instruction? The literature review ...


Strategies For Teaching Literacy, Susan Michelle Wolbert Jul 2009

Strategies For Teaching Literacy, Susan Michelle Wolbert

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

How do students learn to read and spell? How do they best construct meaning from literacy lessons? This study discusses a balanced approach to literacy education examining the use of phonetic and whole-language approaches to instruction. The author examines the benefits of teaching reading and spelling using each approach separately, and then in a balance of methodologies for student success. Differentiation and constructivism, defined as the way a teacher flexibly implements instruction based on student need and progress, along with student learning through experience to make meaning from information presented, as partners in the suggested balanced literacy approach. Word study ...


Music's Effect On Performance During Writers' Workshop, Caitlin E. Philpott Aug 2008

Music's Effect On Performance During Writers' Workshop, Caitlin E. Philpott

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

This research attempted to.answer the question, how does music affect the time on task and the number of words/sentences written during writers' workshop. The researcher collected data from a first grade class in an urban school. The researcher used classical music from various artists during writers' workshop. Organized charts and surveys were used to collect the data. The data was analyzed to determine if their was an increase in students' progress.


How Can Teachers Support Students Who Suffer From Test Anxiety?, Ashley Roth Aug 2008

How Can Teachers Support Students Who Suffer From Test Anxiety?, Ashley Roth

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

With the advent of the No Child Left Behind Act, annual standardized testing has become a reality for today’s elementary students and growing numbers of students report test anxiety as a concern. This thesis project examines sample strategies that classroom teachers can use to support students who experience test anxiety. The study gathered data from a select group of fifth grade teachers from a small rural school in Western New York through surveys, discussions, and one-on-one interviews. The literature section explores the history of test anxiety and its effects on test performance. Study skills, emotional capacity, possible interventions, such ...


Building Fluency Of Sight Words, Nadia Marzouk Aug 2008

Building Fluency Of Sight Words, Nadia Marzouk

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

Words surround us. Many words, classified as high frequency words, make up a large percentage of the text we encounter on a daily basis. Educators understand the importance of recognition, memorization, and comprehension of these high frequency words as it contributes to improved reading ability in beginning readers. Teaching high frequency words supports student knowledge of language structure, speech patterns, and the language of the books we read. This thesis project asks the question - can kindergarten students master, identify, and read high frequency words in a text? The study explored the effectiveness of teaching kindergarten students sight word vocabulary in ...


The Effects Of Peer Tutoring On Fifth-Grade Students’ Motivation And Learning In Math, Janelle Austin Aug 2008

The Effects Of Peer Tutoring On Fifth-Grade Students’ Motivation And Learning In Math, Janelle Austin

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

An essential component of mathematics in everyday life is the ability to problem solve. Students need to be able to master problem-solving skills and one way to achieve this goal is through peer-assisted learning or peer tutoring. Historically, studies have concluded that peer tutoring increased academic achievement and motivation in tutors and students being tutored. Research suggests that peer tutoring has shown significant gains in the use of mathematical language and self-confidence. Motivation was an additional benefit of using a peer assisted model for learning to promote student progress in the mathematics classroom. The focus of this thesis project is ...


The Effectiveness Of Phonemic Awareness Instruction On Struggling Readers, Jamie Elizabeth Powers Aug 2008

The Effectiveness Of Phonemic Awareness Instruction On Struggling Readers, Jamie Elizabeth Powers

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

Phonemic awareness, defined as understanding phonemes, a linguistic set of units considered the basics of speech sound by which words are represented, is an important skill set to acquire in the elementary grades. The relationship between phonemic awareness, or the more commonly, phonological awareness, and reading ability has been studied for many years. Children with strong phonological awareness can detect, match, blend, segment and manipulate speech sounds, which aids in their predictive ability and leads to successful reading. This research project explores the effect of small group instruction on struggling readers at the second grade level, with specific focus on ...


Using Technology To Develop Early Phonological Awareness Skills, Adrienne Ripley May 2008

Using Technology To Develop Early Phonological Awareness Skills, Adrienne Ripley

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

Differentiated instruction, a necessary practice in inclusive education, allows teachers to meet the needs of all students in a given classroom. The partnership of education and technology provides teachers with an interactive and focused means to present student-specific content.

This three week, action research project explores the use of an ACTIVboard and classroom desktop computers to engage and motivate students in a variety of activities targeting phonological awareness skills, specifically syllabication and rhyming. The literature review examines the history of technology in schools, the benefits of using technology in the classroom, notes the relationship between phonological awareness and reading readiness ...


Guided Reading Group Instruction And Reading In Studies, Jennifer L. Sonricker May 2008

Guided Reading Group Instruction And Reading In Studies, Jennifer L. Sonricker

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

In an effort to understand and improve the reading ability and group dynamics in an elementary classroom, this thesis project examines several questions regarding the potential interaction of learning practices and social skills. The overarching question – How can guided reading groups affect student achievement in reading? Secondary inquiries centered on how scaffolding instruction aids comprehension in reading and fluency, and what happens to student attitudes when working cooperatively in small, level-based, reading groups. The literature review examines the various methods and practices in guided reading instruction including collaborative and cooperative group instruction, reading workshops, reading journals, and graphic organizers. The ...


The Effects Of Readers’ Theater On Motivation And Reading Fluency, Dawn Pauline Graves May 2008

The Effects Of Readers’ Theater On Motivation And Reading Fluency, Dawn Pauline Graves

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

Reading aptitude is a foundational skill that is incorporated across all core subjects. Competent reading, which consists of fluency, decoding, and comprehension, allows access to the world through language. Prior studies confirm the importance of this skill as it is noted that students who are not good readers by third grade will continue to struggle well into adulthood. This research project explores the impact of Readers’ Theater as an effective fluency intervention program. The literature review section discusses oral versus silent reading comprehension and the additional element of prosodic reading as an important, if unquantifiable, aspect of gauging fluency. It ...


Using Balanced Literacy To Improve Literacy Instruction, Laurie Kaczanowski Apr 2008

Using Balanced Literacy To Improve Literacy Instruction, Laurie Kaczanowski

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

What is the most effective and efficient pedagogical approach to reading literacy? This weighted question has challenged educators for decades and continues to challenge young teachers in today’s classrooms. This thesis project focuses on strategies to engage and motivate students to read while examining the reading process. It discusses reading approaches, reading strategies, and includes activities for teachers in the classroom as well as parents to utilize in the home, to support the student and child and continue positive, reading behaviors based on the balanced literacy approach. The paper highlights the importance of the key participants - parents, teachers, and ...


Reducing Stress Through Morning Meetings, Denell Jodine Knaub Dec 2007

Reducing Stress Through Morning Meetings, Denell Jodine Knaub

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

Stress in the lives of urban students, caused by multiple factors, specifically from violence and bullying, can affect their ability to do well both academically and socially. Student observation notes that the majority of students lack the coping mechanisms needed to deal with this stress in healthy and productive ways. This thesis project examines some of the causes of urban childhood stress and how educators can help their students reduce that stress and develop appropriate coping strategies for dealing with situations students may encounter daily at school. As part of this action research project, the use of daily morning meetings ...


How Mnemonic Devices And Songs Help Third And Fourth Graders Learn And Retain Information, Sarah Beth Butler Dec 2007

How Mnemonic Devices And Songs Help Third And Fourth Graders Learn And Retain Information, Sarah Beth Butler

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

Much of the information students are required to learn in school consists of isolated facts and discrete bits of specific information and involves a process that incorporates both comprehension and memorization. Students need to learn strategies that work within their style of learning, and then apply them, to create and reinforce the links to acquired information. The concept of mnemonic devices as an aid in learning and recalling information is the focus of this research project, not as a teaching strategy but as an enhancement for students to create long-term memory associations. Mnemonic devices include rhyming, key words, peg words ...