Thesis

The effects of intense small group instruction on the reading comprehension and decoding skills of high school students eligible for special education

This study investigated the effects of intense small group reading instruction for high school students eligible for special education who scored below basic and far below basic on the literacy and language arts sections of the standardized annual assessment of California standards. The research question was: "Will intense small group instruction have an effect on the reading comprehension and decoding skills of high school students eligible for special education who also scored below basic and far below basic on the standardized annual assessment of California standards?" The fifteen student participants were assessed prior to the implementation of the intervention using both a criterion based assessment as well as a standardized reading assessment. At the end of the intervention students were reassessed using the same tests. The researcher used the pre-intervention test scores and the postintervention test scores to determine and compare pre-and post-intervention learning rates. Results showed that eight of the fifteen participants had a measurable improvement in their reading scores, given the yearlong daily intervention. Possible factors that may have influences the motivation and achievement of the seven students who did not make gains were discussed. Key Words: Reading comprehension, decoding, small group instruction, Special education

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