Date of Award

8-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

Abstract

Acknowledging that reading deficits can cause challenges with all core subjects, this thesis project stresses the importance of additional helps for the struggling reader. Guided reading is an instructional strategy utilized by teachers to increase the reading competencies of students performing below grade level. The research focuses specifically on how effective guided reading groups are for accelerating and improving the reading abilities of sixth grade students. Literature review, as it bears on this study, distills three main topics of import: literacy programs, reading interventions, and specific strategy instruction.

The research study was conducted in a small, rural school district throughout a six month period, by three female, sixth grade students, who struggle with reading. Student participants met every other day for 45 minute guided reading sessions. Data was collected using three means: Diagnostic Reading Assessment (DRA) scores, both pre and post-test, as well as bi-monthly running record assessment measures, and journal observations by the research author. DRA assessments were conducted for the students at the beginning and end of the research time period. Prior to data collection each student’s literacy folder was examined to understand the history of educational challenges for the individual learner. Study conclusions verify the positive impact guided reading strategies have, on students who read below grade level, to increase the reading skillset of struggling readers.

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