Reading Discovery: The development of an early literacy program through reflective practice and analysis
AdvisorBradley, John M.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractA contributing factor to children's lack of reading achievement in school is that there may be ineffective or no early literacy intervention programs at their school. A review of literature suggests that early literacy intervention is beneficial to help children be successful in school. This teacher-as-researcher study was designed to investigate six years of the development of the Reading Discovery program and to describe the process of reflecting on my practice and analyzing my results in order to improve my early literacy program, students' literacy, and teachers' literacy instruction. The instruments I used to assess student literacy were from Marie Clay's Observation Survey or my adaptations of them, consisting of letter identification, a word test, concepts about print, writing vocabulary, dictation, and text reading. My study included 324 first-grade students from two elementary schools, where I was a reading specialist over the last six years. There were 170 children who participated in the Reading Discovery Program. This program was enhanced by the assistance of 17 literacy volunteers. During the study, 145 children, identified as being at-risk, graduated from Reading Discovery. The longitudinal data showed that only three of the students who graduated from the program needed further reading intervention. Unlike some remedial programs, the children in this program spent 90% of their time actually reading and writing real texts. The rest of the time was spent reflecting on their work, doing word analysis, and taking care of bookkeeping. In conclusion, the Reading Discovery program had a positive effect on the literacy achievement of the participating first-grade children. Even those children not in the program benefited, because I provided their classroom teachers with instructional support, in-service training, and assessment data on every first-grade child. In addition, primary grade children regularly checked out appropriately leveled books from my library. As a result of this study, I have increased the number of students who participated in the program by providing individualized instruction, by using trained literacy volunteers, and by selecting the appropriate time for instruction. Reading Discovery program has significantly increased the number of children who can read and write without future remediation.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading & Culture