Capstone/Dissertation Title

Increasing the engagement levels of struggling middle school readers

Term

2007

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAEd

Abstract

The research question addressed is how can the engagement level of struggling middle school readers increased? Although reading is eminent in our daily lives, sadly for many students reading is not enjoyable. This capstone documents one teacher's attempt to increase levels of engagement by using three best practice components: silent reading/choice read alouds and think aloud/modeling. Key influences included peers, former and current students, professional training in reading instruction, and authors such as Atwell, Harvey, Rief, Beers, and Guthrie. The method of study was action research implemented on a sixth grade language arts class, and the data was collected from the struggling readers. Research tools used were observation, surveys, and a Critical Incident Questionnaire (Brookfields). She found the most effective best practice components to be read alouds and silent reading time. Both had positive impacts on the student's feelings of engagement.

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