Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Leigh D’Amico

Abstract

The problem of practice described in this paper was identified from the varying reading levels of first-grade students and the difficulty faced by teachers to meet the literacy needs of individual students within a diverse classroom. The identified problem guided the researcher to the following research question: what effect does strategy group differentiation during literacy have on accuracy, fluency, and comprehension development? The purpose of the current study is to determine if strategy group differentiation influences the academic success of students in the literacy elements of accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. Through action research studies, teachers can study their own classrooms to improve their own educational practices (Mertler, 2014). The current study followed a quantitative research methodology cycle that included four stages: planning, acting, developing, and reflecting (Mertler, 2014). Identifying the problem of practice within the classroom, reviewing related literature concerning the problem of practice, and designing the action research method was the planning phase of the action research cycle and is introduced in chapters one and two. Chapter three of this paper details the acting phase of this study and involved implementing strategy group differentiation in a first-grade classroom and collecting quantitative data including a pre- and posttest, running records, and field notes. The quantitative data collected throughout the study guided the researcher’s grouping of strategy groups for differentiation during reading and aligned to answer the research question identified for the study. The developing phase included the vi analysis of the data collected is detailed in chapter four. According to the data analyzed, 94% of students increased in reading accuracy and fluency; whereas, 100% of students increased in reading comprehension. Overall, 14 out of 17 students advanced at least one reading level and all students showed growth in at least one literacy element. Finally, the reflecting phase included a reflection of the data collected and redirecting of the study, as needed, and is described in chapter five. Comparison of pre- and post-tests demonstrated that strategy group differentiation may positively impact the literacy development of accuracy, fluency, and comprehension and may be useful with other developing reading groups. Accuracy, fluency, and comprehension improvement is likely promising in improving overall reading levels

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