• Balanced Literacy: What Traits are Typically Displayed in a Balanced Literacy Classroom?

      Priset, Jonathan D.; The College at Brockport (2003-05-01)
      This study was designed to understand the components of balanced literacy and to see how these components were utilized within several primary school classrooms. The study involved nine primary school teachers from a suburban, western New York school district. Four were kindergarten teachers and five were first grade teachers. The school district as well as the teachers, promoted balanced literacy. The design of this study helped bring an understanding to the different components of balanced literacy. As teachers were observed and interviewed, the framework of balanced literacy was exposed. A questionnaire also allowed each teacher to share how often she used each component of balanced literacy within her classroom. Furthermore, following these steps helped to establish workable elements of balanced literacy. Each participant modeled balanced literacy instruction, which-created the opportunity for the researcher to gain a greater understanding of balanced literacy and allowed for the opportunity of implementation within his classroom structure.
    • Building Fluency of Sight Words

      Marzouk, Nadia; The College at Brockport (2008-08-01)
      Words surround us. Many words, classified as high frequency words, make up a large percentage of the text we encounter on a daily basis. Educators understand the importance of recognition, memorization, and comprehension of these high frequency words as it contributes to improved reading ability in beginning readers. Teaching high frequency words supports student knowledge of language structure, speech patterns, and the language of the books we read. This thesis project asks the question - can kindergarten students master, identify, and read high frequency words in a text? The study explored the effectiveness of teaching kindergarten students sight word vocabulary in support of a phonics based reading program. There were two objectives to the study - to increase recognition of high frequency words and to determine whether the expectation of ten words per month was a reasonable goal. The four week research project was conducted with children from two kindergarten classes from an urban school district. The total sample for the study was 24 students comprised of two groups of randomly selected students; 12 students in the experimental group, and 12 in a control group. Pre and post testing was used for assessment. Study conclusions support explicitly teaching kindergarten students high frequency words as part of a balanced literacy program as students in the experimental group were successful in reading the high frequency words in isolation, by means of flash cards, and were able to identify them in the context of a sentence.
    • Effective Literacy Based Software Programs in a 5th Grade Environment

      Shin, Dong-shin; Yu, Randall; The College at Brockport (2013-05-01)
      As technology has evolved in our society, the same can be said for elementary literacy instruction. Students today are growing up in a technologically advanced society which offers many different modes of interacting with literacy. With the development of new online software devices, there are many opportunities for students to grow and learn about literacy in interesting ways. Teachers are often competing against computer games for the attention of their own students. What many teachers fail to see is that they need to take advantage of our students’ engagement with computer software. While traditional methods such as guided reading, read-alouds, and practice sheets may still be important, they will not hold the attention of our student body for very long. Teachers need to incorporate the use of literacy software programs into their classrooms in order to increase motivation in student literacy learning. In turn, students should be more engaged in their own learning and will be learning valuable computer skills that will carry over into their adult life. The purpose of this study is to determine how literacy software programs that the teacher uses affect student’s motivation and achievement in literacy learning activities. In order to determine this, I conducted a 6 week research study in a 5th grade classroom at an elementary school in a small suburban school district. All findings in this study were directed to answer three focal questions about the effectiveness of literacy based software programs in an elementary classroom.
    • The Effects of Balanced Literacy Strategies on English Language Learners

      Mazurett-Boyle, Rosa; Earle, Brenna (2019-12-10)
      The number of ELLs continues to grow in our country, and teachers need to know how to adequately service them. Due to the differences in educational data such as test scores and enrollment in postsecondary education, there is thought to be an achievement gap between ELLs and native English speakers. ELLs need to be given the same opportunities as native English speakers in order to read and write on grade level. If students cannot read on grade level by the end of third grade, it affects their academic potential, self-esteem, socio-economic potential and more. The use of a wide range of balanced literacy strategies can help bring ELLs to grade level. In my professional development, elementary teachers learn a variety of balanced literacy strategies to apply to a lesson format, which I have created. Teachers who attend the professional development walk away with a created individualized lesson, which includes a variety of balanced literacy techniques for one of their own students. The use of a variety of balanced literacy techniques will help bring ELLs to grade level. There is still much research needed on the effects balanced literacy as a philosophical orientation on secondary and post secondary ELLs.
    • Using Balanced Literacy to Improve Literacy Instruction

      Allen, Thomas R.; Kaczanowski, Laurie; The College at Brockport (2008-04-01)
      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.)