• Impact of building elementary students' background knowledge in social studies.

      Drayer, Tammy S. (03/01/2013)
      This Master's Thesis project resulted in a Professional Development Project on building elementary students' background knowledge in the social studies. The project placed an emphasis on implementing effective resources and strategies in the curriculum as well as ways to use children's literature instead of the traditional textbook.
    • The influence of electronic books on third grade reading comprehension.

      Rich, Sarah A. (04/01/2013)
      This study investigated the silent reading comprehension of three third grade participants who struggle to decode grade level material. The participants were given seven passages, four from a paper book and three from an e-book. After reading, the participants completed graphic organizers and met with the researcher to retell the story. The amount of what the participant recalled was estimated using a retelling guide. The amount of points the participant obtained from the retelling guide when reading from a paper book and reading from an e-book was compared. Data indicated that all participants retold more literal information when they read from an e-book. All participants also completed a survey to express his or her feelings about reading each type of text. Two participants preferred using an iPad to read and one preferred reading from a paper book. The participant who preferred reading from a paper book also had the smallest increase in comprehension score. Another participant stated that she would have liked the e-book more if it had a pronunciation feature that read individual words for her. In conclusion, it was found that there is no harm in giving participants the choice of reading a paper book or e-book in an elementary classroom. Also, e-books are most supportive for struggling readers when a pronunciation tool is provided.
    • Integrating Children’s Literature into 5th Grade New York State Social Studies Curriculum.

      Lindstrom, Amber (29/03/2013)
      The integration of children’s literature into curriculums has shown to have a positive influence on student’s learning. In this project, children's literature will be integrated into the 5th grade New York State social studies curriculum. The curriculum will contain nine units that include whole group lessons and small group lessons. Each of these lessons have been designed to allow for differentiated instruction to occur within classrooms allowing all students the ability to comprehend the given content. Each lesson also contains a historic library to allow students to expand beyond the typical social studies lessons each day. Students will have the opportunity to gain knowledge from multiple points of view as well as academic levels. These supplemental lessons have also been designed to integrate the English Language Arts Common Core standards within to assure that all standards are being met. This supplemental curriculum has been designed as an outline to allow teachers to create their own units through their curriculum. However, the completion of the curriculum has proved that these types of lessons require a substantial amount of time to create. Therefore, it is then understood why many teachers choose the textbook and worksheet route rather than the different forms of differentiated instruction.
    • The use of incentives for motivating students to read.

      West, Trina M. (2014)
      Motivating students to read seems to be a near universal problem for teachers. To address that problem, the question for this research synthesis is, what does research say about the relationship between reading incentives and a student’s motivation to read? Results of this synthesis indicate that research into motivation and incentives, both generally and for reading, focuses mainly on students in the elementary school age range. For the effects of incentives in general, findings indicate that while tangible extrinsic rewards are used by teachers and schools, the greater impact on motivation and academic performance comes from teacher verbal encouragement and activity selection, and student interests and intrinsic motivation. For the effects of incentives specifically for reading motivation, findings indicate that these effects are similar to effects of incentives generally: that tangible extrinsic rewards are used by teachers and schools but appear to have little impact on student motivation to read, and that the greater impact on reading motivation and academic performance can come from certain types of reading instruction, student access to books, and student intrinsic motivation. These findings are relevant to the professional development of elementary teachers and will therefore be disseminated to them through a professional development video.