Date of Award

8-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education

Department

Education, Leadership and Public Service

Program

Reading Specialist (BR)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Christi Edge

Second Advisor

Sandy Imdieke

Third Advisor

Derek Anderson

Abstract

Learning to read is a complex process in which children have to apply their existing knowledge and experiences in addition to using reading skills such as reading comprehension and decoding abilities. Parents and guardians shape children’s first experiences with literacy. Children’s interactions with others at home create contexts for learning and children’s literacy embedded in everyday life activities. Nineteen kindergarten students and their parents participated in this action research study. Parents were given an open-ended pre and post survey questions about their child and family activities so the researcher could get to know them better. The surveys were a conversation starter and a way to discuss with parents ways to improve their family literacy skills at home. The researcher conducted a year-long classroom inquiry including regular classroom assessments as well as district assessments to examine alphabet knowledge skills. Students were assessed at the beginning of the school year in September to see their base-line abilities in early literacy skills. At the end of the school year, parents’ literacy awareness had increased, and students’ early literacy skills had also increased. The researcher understood more clearly, how to continue to help parents understand the importance of early literacy skills with the continuing efforts of home literacy activities, one-on-one conversations, and literacy tips to parents.

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