Thesis

Learning to Read in a Standards-based, Test Driven, No Child Left Behind Era

ABSTRACT
 LEARNING TO READ IN A STANDARDS-BASED, TEST-DRIVEN,
 NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ERA
 by
 Monica E. Quilty
 Master of Arts in Education
 California State University, Chico
 Summer 2011
 So much of a child’s learning experience is based on their ability to meet standard-based proficiency benchmarks and their success is measured by test-driven achievement. Most student assessment is based merely on their academic strength of a child and other abilities, attributes and characteristics go undetected and unnoticed. However, when teaching to the whole child, it is critical to factor in not only academic strength, but to address a child’s social emotional being.
 The climate of the classroom should promote whole child learning; we must incorporate teaching collaboration, cooperation and acceptance instead of competitiveness. It is critical to develop in all children a positive philosophy about education in order for each of them to have the opportunity to achieve at their own highest level and succeed in whatever they choose to do.
 Reading leads to all other learning. If a child feels positive about their ability to read and learn, then that child will be motivated to read. However, reading must be taught directly and systematically. Students who are strong readers in first grade tend to be strong readers in their life. Sound acquisition and letter recognition are the fundamental steps to learning to be a good reader. Engagement and participation is extremely valuable in teaching students. An environment that promotes literacy in the youngest school aged child, promotes phonics and phonemic awareness.
 The purpose of this action research project was two fold, first to critically examine the necessity of curriculum supplements in ELA phonics station to impact students’ retention of letter sound acquisition and second, to study an effective way to insure students’ phonemic awareness preparedness for successfully learning to read in a standards-based, test-driven, NCLB era.
 A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods were used to analyze data 1) grounded theory using constant comparative analysis, 2) intrinsic case study, 3) frequency distribution tables and polygons, and 4) histograms.
 Teaching to the whole child and creating a classroom atmosphere that supported fun and engaging lessons and promoted students constructing their own learning, contributed to success in reading. Further, instruction that is strong in phonemic awareness and phonics development strategies is critical to letter identification and sound acquisition retention.

ABSTRACT LEARNING TO READ IN A STANDARDS-BASED, TEST-DRIVEN, NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ERA by Monica E. Quilty Master of Arts in Education California State University, Chico Summer 2011 So much of a child’s learning experience is based on their ability to meet standard-based proficiency benchmarks and their success is measured by test-driven achievement. Most student assessment is based merely on their academic strength of a child and other abilities, attributes and characteristics go undetected and unnoticed. However, when teaching to the whole child, it is critical to factor in not only academic strength, but to address a child’s social emotional being. The climate of the classroom should promote whole child learning; we must incorporate teaching collaboration, cooperation and acceptance instead of competitiveness. It is critical to develop in all children a positive philosophy about education in order for each of them to have the opportunity to achieve at their own highest level and succeed in whatever they choose to do. Reading leads to all other learning. If a child feels positive about their ability to read and learn, then that child will be motivated to read. However, reading must be taught directly and systematically. Students who are strong readers in first grade tend to be strong readers in their life. Sound acquisition and letter recognition are the fundamental steps to learning to be a good reader. Engagement and participation is extremely valuable in teaching students. An environment that promotes literacy in the youngest school aged child, promotes phonics and phonemic awareness. The purpose of this action research project was two fold, first to critically examine the necessity of curriculum supplements in ELA phonics station to impact students’ retention of letter sound acquisition and second, to study an effective way to insure students’ phonemic awareness preparedness for successfully learning to read in a standards-based, test-driven, NCLB era. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods were used to analyze data 1) grounded theory using constant comparative analysis, 2) intrinsic case study, 3) frequency distribution tables and polygons, and 4) histograms. Teaching to the whole child and creating a classroom atmosphere that supported fun and engaging lessons and promoted students constructing their own learning, contributed to success in reading. Further, instruction that is strong in phonemic awareness and phonics development strategies is critical to letter identification and sound acquisition retention.

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