Date of Award

8-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

Abstract

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 study to understand the participation in and perspectives of three students, from different learning groups, on independent learning activities at the kindergarten level. In addition to gathering data from the students, evaluation and analysis on the independent learning center activities during the ELA block was also examined. The literature review section identifies links between independent learning activities and increased student accountability and motivation, affirming the findings from the active study section. While the project conclusions stress the lack of detailed study at the kindergarten-level and the need for further exploration, project findings affirm the use of independent learning center activities to promote student learning, motivation, and participation in their education.

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