• The Effects of a Balanced Literacy Program on Kindergartners’ Writing

      Smith, Arthur; Melia, Catherine Valente; The College at Brockport (2000-05-01)
      The purpose of this study was to examine how the implementation of a balanced literacy program affects the writing of kindergartners in comparison to the writing of kindergartners involved in a more traditional instructional program. This study involved 36 kindergartners from two classrooms in a suburban district in Western New York. The chosen classrooms were selected because of the differences in their early literacy practices. The kindergartners in this study were part of a full day program. The subjects came from diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. A heterogeneous mix of ability levels was represented. The kindergartners were given a writing prompt to respond to in the month of May. The writing that was exhibited was used as a reflection of the overall skill level acquired by the students as a result of the different teaching practices implemented in the two participating classrooms. The data from these responses were evaluated by teachers using the Developmental Writing Continuum. A t-test was used to compare the results of the students' evaluations reported on in this study. Analysis of the data from the t-test shows that there was a statistically significant difference between the two approaches to teaching writing to kindergartners as studied in this report. The kindergartners involved in the balanced literacy framework classroom showed further developmental writing abilities than those kindergartners in the more traditional instructional program. The results presented in this study will hopefully encourage educators to reflect on the benefits of employing a balance literacy framework in early childhood classrooms.
    • The Role of Guided Reading on the Literacy Development of Young Children

      Shin, Dong-shin; Hardie, Elizabeth M.; The College at Brockport (2013-05-01)
      Guided reading is an opportunity for students to receive more individualized reading instruction from educators in a small group setting. Instruction is tailored to fit the needs and abilities of each student by creating a variety of small reading groups which focus on different skills and needs of that particular group. The goal of this project was to better understand the process that takes place during guided reading instruction and the impact that it has on the literacy development of young children. The project explored how a guided reading lesson was designed at the Kindergarten level. The project examined the activities that took place in a lesson as they relate to balanced literacy, how differentiated instruction was incorporated into each group, and how students demonstrated proficiency of skills and strategies taught. The study took place in a general education Kindergarten classroom with four students as well as a K-Lab reading intervention setting with two students. Students were chosen based on reading ability and recommendations made by the classroom and reading teachers. Over the course of five weeks, I taught guided reading lessons two days a week for twenty five minutes in each setting. Data were collected in the form of observational field notes, anecdotal records and running reading records. Overall findings reveal that there was a strong focus on word solving strategies, phonics skills, monitoring and self correcting, and comprehension skills in a guided reading lesson. In addition, differentiation in group size, text complexity and focus skills allowed for adequate progress to be made in reading, writing and comprehension among students.