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University of Northern Iowa

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Graduate Research Papers

Elementary Education

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The Value Of Inquiry-Based Science Instruction For Elementary Students, Jessica Renae Enger Jan 2017

The Value Of Inquiry-Based Science Instruction For Elementary Students, Jessica Renae Enger

Graduate Research Papers

This review examined the academic benefits of using inquiry-based science instruction in elementary classrooms. It also examined different ways teachers integrate inquiry-based instruction. Several studies identified increases in science content knowledge, concepts, and process skills as outcomes associated with inquiry-based instruction. Other studies in this review showed mixed or negative results for academic benefits of inquiry-instruction. This review also highlights hands-on investigations, discourse, and literacy as three ways teachers integrate inquiry. Findings of this review suggest inquiry-based instruction allows students to understand difficult science concepts, justify their ideas, and can create positive attitudes toward science.


Fluency And Instruction In The Elementary Grades, Stacey Bakken Jan 2017

Fluency And Instruction In The Elementary Grades, Stacey Bakken

Graduate Research Papers

Elementary teachers are being challenged to increase student's oral reading fluency. This can be attributed to today's high demands and focus on students fluency scores from required assessments, focusing mostly on correct words per minute. This project examines the history of reading instruction along with the five essential components highlighted by the National Reading Panel (2000), specifically, fluency. This project defines reading fluency and assessments used, as well as describing best practices in supporting and developing reading fluency in the elementary classroom.


The Effects Of Using Digital Storytelling For Fourth Graders' Literacy Learning, Benjamin J. Feight Jan 2016

The Effects Of Using Digital Storytelling For Fourth Graders' Literacy Learning, Benjamin J. Feight

Graduate Research Papers

The dual purposes of this action research project were to investigate how the inclusion of digital learning techniques helped impact students' perceptions towards literacy instruction, and any impact on parents' perceptions. The action research was conducted in a fourth grade classroom of twenty-one participants in a rural school, engaging students in the whole process of creating a digital story.

The major results indicate that: a) student motivation towards writing increases when introduced to the concept of using some sort of digital device to write the story; and b) parents were enthused about the level of work their students submitted when ...


Empowering Elementary Teachers To Explore Critical Literacy Through Drama-Based Instruction, Courtney J. Jensen Jan 2016

Empowering Elementary Teachers To Explore Critical Literacy Through Drama-Based Instruction, Courtney J. Jensen

Graduate Research Papers

This research project comes in the form of a professional development project combining the theories of critical literacy for elementary students and drama as a form of arts integration in literacy instruction. The project consists of six workshop sessions intended for willing elementary school teachers looking to expand their thinking around literacy instruction. Participants experience introductions to drama as an instructional approach by learning three specific strategies, including tableau, character interviews, and writing-in-role. They also learn about the basic elements of critical literacy by engaging in self-exploration and reflection, along with participating in research-based learning exercises intended to extend individuals ...


The Effect Of Serious Gaming On Elementary Student Learning, Amanda Moritz Jan 2016

The Effect Of Serious Gaming On Elementary Student Learning, Amanda Moritz

Graduate Research Papers

With our ever-changing technological world, schools need to incorporate more engaging learning activities that expose and extend students' learning with technologies. This literature review investigated the effects of serious gaming activities on student achievement. Thirty peer-reviewed journals were selected, analyzed, and evaluated. These studies were conducted about a variety of subject areas in the elementary setting in different areas around the world. Research evidence suggested that serious gaming, whose primary goal is not entertainment but instead to educate the user, can improve student achievement, meet their different learning styles, and enhance student motivation across curricular areas and regions. Recommendations for ...


Self-Study Of One To One Reading Conferences In A Third Grade Setting, Angel Munson Jan 2016

Self-Study Of One To One Reading Conferences In A Third Grade Setting, Angel Munson

Graduate Research Papers

This paper is a study of my teaching while conducting one to one reading conferences in a third grade classroom. The reading conference consists of the teacher and student meeting to discuss the text the student is currently reading. After engaging m discussion, usually prompted by the teacher, the teacher shares a teaching point with the student. The student is then asked to focus on this teaching point during independent reading. The paper focuses on discovering how the teacher makes instructional decisions during these one to one conferences. Data sources include conference notes, audio recorded sessions between the literacy coach ...


A Journey Of Designing And Beta-Testing A Game-Based Unit, Renee E. Thomas Jan 2016

A Journey Of Designing And Beta-Testing A Game-Based Unit, Renee E. Thomas

Graduate Research Papers

This project report describes a journey of designing and beta-testing a game-based learning unit with sixth grade students in rural Iowa. Game-based learning was a trial at practicing the 21st century employability skill of demonstrating productivity and accountability. The unit was designed and developed using the backwards planning process of Understanding by Design (Wiggin & Mc Tighe, 2005). The beta testers were two classes of sixth grade students and a classroom teacher. Alpha testers were other school personnel. It is found that a majority of sixth grade students like to be in control of their learning path in a game-based format ...


The Use Of Mentor Texts To Teach Writing In Kindergarten, First And Second Grades, Mary Heeringa Jan 2016

The Use Of Mentor Texts To Teach Writing In Kindergarten, First And Second Grades, Mary Heeringa

Graduate Research Papers

The purpose of this study was to research and analyze high quality fiction and nonfiction texts to be used as mentor texts to teach writing in kindergarten, first and second grades. The researcher created a checklist and a table to analyze 81 different texts and then selected 29 to be used as mentor texts to assist in teaching opinion/persuasive, narrative and informational writing. Annotated bibliographies for the 29 texts were written and include how the texts can be used to teach writing in a classroom and/or library setting.


The Effects Of On-Line Math Games And E-Books Use On Elementary Student Achievement, Mel Carnahan Jan 2014

The Effects Of On-Line Math Games And E-Books Use On Elementary Student Achievement, Mel Carnahan

Graduate Research Papers

Game-based learning and the use of e-books is becoming increasingly more supported in classrooms as methods of increasing both student engagement and student achievement in all curricular areas. The purpose of this literature review is to examine current research on the effects of online math games and e-books on elementary student engagement and academic achievement. Over thirty peer-reviewed journal articles published in the last ten years are critically reviewed and analyzed. The findings show that online game-based learning and e-books can be effective tools within the confines of the elementary classroom, as long as careful consideration is given to student ...


Comparison Of Student Achievement, Understanding, Enjoyment, And Motivation In Mathematics Units For High-Achieving Fifth Graders With And Without Creative Problem Solving Games, Kalyn Jon Cody Jan 2013

Comparison Of Student Achievement, Understanding, Enjoyment, And Motivation In Mathematics Units For High-Achieving Fifth Graders With And Without Creative Problem Solving Games, Kalyn Jon Cody

Graduate Research Papers

Students in our public schools often struggle to create deep, personal meaning regarding mathematical concepts. Perhaps our students do not spend enough time studying mathematics during the day. Perhaps our teachers do not have a deep understanding, which leads to problems in teaching at a deep level. Or perhaps our students simply are not motivated to study the subject at a deep level because it does not seem interesting. In this pretest/post-test repeated measures study of 24 fifth grade students in a grade-accelerated mathematics class, a link between achievement scores and understanding of mathematical concepts through the use of ...


The Effects Of Peer-Conferencing On Writing Revisions In A Second Grade Classroom, Emily C. Guetzlaff Jan 2013

The Effects Of Peer-Conferencing On Writing Revisions In A Second Grade Classroom, Emily C. Guetzlaff

Graduate Research Papers

Writing has long been known as one of the three "R's" in education. However, many educators lack instructional knowledge on how to teach writing. Revision and conferencing are part of the writing teacher's vocabulary, but little research exists on these topics. This study utilized qualitative and quantitative data to compare the effects of students trained in peer-conferencing and students not trained in peer-conferencing and the effect on their writing. The introduction presents the problem that led to the development of this study. A literature review provides existing research related to writing workshop, instruction in writing, revision, and collaboration ...


Integrated Curriculum In The Elementary Classroom, Katherine Decker Simpson Jan 2013

Integrated Curriculum In The Elementary Classroom, Katherine Decker Simpson

Graduate Research Papers

Integrated curriculum can be broadly defined as using a theme to connect standards and objectives from multiple subject areas in a meaningful way to create relevant, student-centered learning tasks that promote social growth and deep comprehension. This type of instruction can promote higher-order thinking skills, cooperative learning, motivate students to engage in their own learning, and many other "intangibles".

The purpose of this project was to create an integrated unit for a first-grade classroom. The outcome will be an actual unit that can be used as a guide for teachers. However, another purpose of the project was to grasp the ...


Effective Comprehension Strategies In The Elementary Classroom, Melissa Ann Determan Jan 2013

Effective Comprehension Strategies In The Elementary Classroom, Melissa Ann Determan

Graduate Research Papers

This paper focuses on key fiction and nonfiction comprehension strategies and different methods for teaching these strategies in the elementary classroom. It is essential to use effective comprehension instruction within the classroom to unlock meaning and to build student success. These strategies include activating background knowledge, questioning, summarizing, and text structures.


Teaching Perfectionism Through Cartoons Compared To Bibliotherapy For Primary Grade Students, Miranda L. Zousel Jan 2012

Teaching Perfectionism Through Cartoons Compared To Bibliotherapy For Primary Grade Students, Miranda L. Zousel

Graduate Research Papers

Many students, especially high achievers, develop perfectionist tendencies during early childhood. It is important to teach students early to manage their perfectionism to avoid many negative consequences of neurotic perfectionism such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, procrastination , or underachievement, and to avoid entrenchment of behaviors. Traditionally, bibliotherapy and role-play have been used to help students recognize perfectionistic traits and learn strategies for ameliorating negative effects. But cartoon analysis is another potentially useful approach.

This pretest-posttest control group - experimental group design study of first, second and third graders (n = 46) compared concept acquisition and enjoyment of learning about perfectionism under two ...


Implementing Electronic Storybooks And The Effects On Reading Achievement At The Elementary Level, Chelsey Heidemann Jan 2012

Implementing Electronic Storybooks And The Effects On Reading Achievement At The Elementary Level, Chelsey Heidemann

Graduate Research Papers

Electronic storybooks are an innovative way to support the reading needs of students today. This literature review discusses the positive and negative effects electronic storybooks have on students' reading abilities. It focuses specifically on word accuracy, word recognition, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Examples and information were taken from published journal a1ticles found through online databases and books. The review concludes that electronic storybooks can have a positive effect on a student's reading ability when using an electronic storybook that meets the needs of the learner.


An Analysis Of The Dynamics Indicators Of Basic Early Literacy Skills (Dibels) Assessment, Lisa Doering Jan 2011

An Analysis Of The Dynamics Indicators Of Basic Early Literacy Skills (Dibels) Assessment, Lisa Doering

Graduate Research Papers

The inception of the No Child Left Behind Act as well as the report published by the National Reading Panel have caused a sense of urgency in early intervention for students with high literacy needs. Therefore, students are being required more frequently to take high stakes assessments at a younger and younger age. Many schools use the DIBELS assessment, but there are also many other assessments available. This paper presents research as to the validity of the DIBELS assessment as well as describes several other available literacy assessments to use either in conjunction with or in isolation from DIBELS. This ...


Curricular Integration In The Elementary Classroom, Jill Leibold Jan 2011

Curricular Integration In The Elementary Classroom, Jill Leibold

Graduate Research Papers

The No Child Left Behind Act and how it narrows the elementary curriculum is an important educational issue. Integration is a valuable teaching practice that is becoming more wide spread in today's classrooms because of the pressures placed on teachers by NCLB. Integration is used to relieve some of the pressures of NCLB by helping teachers create more time to teach all subject areas. Integration allows teachers to connect learning standards across the curriculum and make lessons more meaningful for the students. This paper describes what integration is and why teachers need to implement integration into their daily instruction ...


Engaging Emergent Writers With Anchor Lessons, Jamie Meyer Jan 2011

Engaging Emergent Writers With Anchor Lessons, Jamie Meyer

Graduate Research Papers

This research project focused on the creation of writing curriculum for emergent writers aged 5 to 7 years old. The purpose of this study was to research how beginning writers can be scaffolded in their attempts to learn how to write. This study also examined how emergent writers can be engaged in developmentally appropriate ways, what writing concepts to expect from young writers, and how to motivate young children to write. Anchor lessons were developed that connect children's literature to writing concepts and engagement. Results illustrate that children need to be taught in the zone of proximal development, use ...


Teaching Poetry Writing In The Primary Grades, Staci Cramer-Wilkinson Jan 2011

Teaching Poetry Writing In The Primary Grades, Staci Cramer-Wilkinson

Graduate Research Papers

This project examines the use of poetry to teach writing and the impact this instruction has on the primary classroom. The purpose of this project is to explore poetry instruction, examine how it has traditionally been taught, and provide professional development to classroom teachers that focuses on the effective use of poetry instruction in the classroom. The professional development sessions include Power Point presentations, small and large group discussions, and practical classroom application. Benefits and challenges of poetry instruction are also provided.


Readers' Workshop In The Elementary Classroom, Alaina Terese Daters Jan 2011

Readers' Workshop In The Elementary Classroom, Alaina Terese Daters

Graduate Research Papers

In this research project, Reader's Workshop is defined and explored in relation to an elementary classroom setting. The literature review describes the importance of independent reading, the structures and components of readers' workshop, how readers' workshop motivates and engages readers, and finally how to get started with readers' workshop in the elementary classroom. Following the literature review, there is a three-year professional development plan that lays out the key components of readers' workshop and its format for training a staff on how to implement this structure into their elementary classroom. Year one of the professional development project discusses what ...


A Mixed-Methods Research Study Comparing Observations During Integrated Curriculum Lessons With Traditional Single-Subject Lessons For Primary-Age Students, Ksenia Sergeevna Zhbanova Jan 2010

A Mixed-Methods Research Study Comparing Observations During Integrated Curriculum Lessons With Traditional Single-Subject Lessons For Primary-Age Students, Ksenia Sergeevna Zhbanova

Graduate Research Papers

This study examined teacher talk and actions under two conditions: ( 1) subject-integrated lessons of an integrated curriculum unit on African culture ( experimental condition); and (2) single subject-focused lessons of a traditional separate subject curriculum on mathematics time and money measurement (control condition). The study sought to define and compare characteristics of both curriculum approaches. Although the study was primarily qualitative with observations being recorded by the researcher that were subsequently sorted into categories through a constant comparison method, counts of frequency of observations in categories were recorded, resulting in a mixed-methods design.

The observations were collected in two stages. In ...


Writing Instruction : A New Approach, Sunni M. Hart Jan 2010

Writing Instruction : A New Approach, Sunni M. Hart

Graduate Research Papers

The teaching and learning of reading and math are high priorities in the Waterloo Community School District. The Waterloo Community School District committed many teacher hours and much money to develop curriculum and revise reading and math, provide professional development in best practice for it, and purchase new reading and math materials. Teachers have learned the new strategies, along with the language, and are teaching it to their students. They have worked their way through the new reading and math curriculum for five years now and are starting to become more effective teachers in the areas of math and reading ...


Effective Writing Strategies For Primary Grades, Rebecca Gardemann Jan 2009

Effective Writing Strategies For Primary Grades, Rebecca Gardemann

Graduate Research Papers

Writing instruction has undergone changes throughout history to become what it is today; an integral part of a balanced literacy program. This project examines appropriate and effective writing strategies for primary grades. Four current writing strategies are examined in three professional development sessions for primary teachers, including: shared writing, interactive writing, writing workshop and journaling. Appropriate means of writing assessment are also examined. These professional development sessions are presented in a series of three Power Point presentations including implementation activities for teachers.


The Benefits Of Family Literacy, Cassandra Cate Jan 2009

The Benefits Of Family Literacy, Cassandra Cate

Graduate Research Papers

This paper examines the positive influence families can have on their child's literacy education and the development of a project to provide experiences to families that demonstrate ways they can extend the learning process with their children at home. This paper provides literature supporting the importance of family involvement and the specifics of how schools and families can work together to overcome common barriers to family involvement in a child's literacy development. The project for a family literacy night was developed from the literature, providing a school-based program for literacy support for families, highlighting effective practices and suggestions ...


Phonemic Awareness : One Piece Of The "Learning To Read" Puzzle, Michelle S. Carradus Jan 2009

Phonemic Awareness : One Piece Of The "Learning To Read" Puzzle, Michelle S. Carradus

Graduate Research Papers

This research paper focuses on a review of current literature regarding the role of phonemic awareness within reading instruction for elementary students. Phonemic awareness studies and results will be shared. This paper will define phonemic awareness and relative terms, and contrast it with phonics instruction. Phonemic awareness instruction and intervention strategies will be discussed, including supplemental and intense instruction for at-risk readers. A possible sequence for teaching phonemic awareness, teaching applications, and professional book titles are offered as resources for educators of early elementary children.


Developing A Technology Committee For The Integration Of Technology At Edison Elementary In Waterloo, Iowa, Travis Elliott Jan 2009

Developing A Technology Committee For The Integration Of Technology At Edison Elementary In Waterloo, Iowa, Travis Elliott

Graduate Research Papers

Everywhere you look there are new technologies springing up! People are showing other people the new and latest electronic devices they have acquired to make their lives easier and get things done quicker. Most people would say that you must get on board with technology or get left behind.

Educators often say that when students start to fall behind it is very hard for them to get caught up without extra time and support. Most educators do not realize that they themselves are already falling behind. They are falling behind in the integration of technology into their classrooms. This is ...


Engaging And Motivating Young Readers, Alisha Briggs Jan 2009

Engaging And Motivating Young Readers, Alisha Briggs

Graduate Research Papers

It is well accepted in the teaching world that a student's success in reading is greatly influenced by the student's own motivation. A student needs to be engaged in a subject to be successful. An engaged and motivated reader chooses to read for a variety of purposes including reading for enjoyment and seeking information. A student may find this motivation within himself/herself or they may need the help of the teacher and learning environment to do so. This paper will look at the various aspects of motivation and engagement including self-determination theory, social contexts, and classroom strategies.


The Effects Of Service Learning On Children, Cedilia R. Corken Jan 2007

The Effects Of Service Learning On Children, Cedilia R. Corken

Graduate Research Papers

Service learning is a teaching strategy used to connect classroom curriculum with service projects in the community (Skinner & Chapman, 1999). These opportunities enrich educational goals and enable students to apply what is learned in the classroom to meaningful service opportunities in their communities (National Commission on Service Learning, 2007). Service learning opportunities require a specific process in which students prepare and participate in the service opportunity as well as reflect and connect what was learned to classroom content (Eyler & Giles, 1999).

Education is changing and evolving. Educators are responsible for meeting the needs of all students, with various abilities (Tomlinson ...


The Benefits Of Collaboration And Co-Teaching In The Elementary Grades, Katherine Kelley Hoover Jan 2007

The Benefits Of Collaboration And Co-Teaching In The Elementary Grades, Katherine Kelley Hoover

Graduate Research Papers

Collaboration between educators is an older concept that has become popular again in recent years. Due to the recent federal and state mandates, schools are implementing new teaching methods to raise school achievement and benefit all students. When collaborating, special education students are generally included in the general education classroom with two teachers co-teaching to meet the needs of the students. This paper will explore the importance of collaboration between general education and special education teachers and the benefits to all learners in the classroom.


Family Literacy Nights : Factors For Success, Crystal Betts Jan 2007

Family Literacy Nights : Factors For Success, Crystal Betts

Graduate Research Papers

Family Literacy Nights were developed and held at a K-4 elementary building in a medium-sized town in eastern Iowa, demonstrating an example of part of a family literacy program. Family Literacy Nights involved parents and students from the two first grade classrooms at this elementary school. Parents completed surveys and participated in interviews to share their reactions and feelings towards family literacy programs.

The included literature review explores parental involvement and family literacy programs. It looks at the effects of parent involvement on student achievement. The difference between parent involvement programs and family literacy programs is explored. Family literacy programs ...