Date of Award

8-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

Abstract

The purpose of this research study was to explore how my teaching of literacy, which I define as reading, writing, listening, and speaking, through a balanced literacy framework impacted my students' development. I wanted to further develop and enhance my understanding of what is possible using literacy instruction grounded in a balanced literacy framework. Specifically, I would address the research question: How does my work as a first grade teacher influence my students' literacy development?

To answer the question, I recorded my daily reflections and observations in a research journal. In a separate journal, I documented my students' reactions to and interactions with the various balanced literacy activities. The journals allowed me to see and track what I did on a daily basis and how my teaching and decisions impacted my students' development. I completed journal entries at the end of each school day for six consecutive weeks. I gathered a collection of artifacts, anecdotal records, and observations across the six week timeframe.

During the six week study, I implemented new strategies and activities in order to document both my students' and my own reactions to the strategies and activities. Strategies and activities that I integrated into my instruction include daily singing and writing of songs, new and improved literacy centers based on best practices and input from veteran teachers, a new approach on shared reading, and the use of graphic organizers and post it notes to enrich understanding of non-fiction books.

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