Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Thomas Allen


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 students – remaining connected to and partnered in the balanced literacy strategy. The literature review examines the historical record of reading instruction as well as the impact of governmental policy, NCLB and ELA testing in particular. The active research component was performed over several months in a suburban school district, with ten fifth grade students of varying reading competency. Several measures and strategies were incorporated in the research. They included: Developmental Reading Assessments (DRA), student surveys, word study skill blocks and guided reading sessions. Study conclusions reveal an increased competency for above grade level and at grade level readers, while below grade readers struggled. (The study’s time span was noted as a possible factor in this result.)


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