Term

Spring 5-2-2016

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MALED

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Stephanie Reid

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Wendy Schmalz

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Megan Bauer

Abstract

The guiding research question of this capstone project was, how can formative assessments be utilized within a balanced literacy framework in order to respond to the reading needs of 5th grade students? The key motivation for formulating this research study was the constant struggle to find a framework for teaching reading that could address the diverse learning needs of students. The author defines formative assessments, in terms of a process, and then explores the balanced literacy framework. The study continued by exploring how the formative assessment process can be utilized within a balanced literacy framework, as it relates to the purposes of this study. From there, the action research study articulated how formative assessments could be utilized in three key phases including: 1) identifying student needs, 2) responding to student needs, specifically within a balanced literacy framework, and 3) monitoring progress. The author concluded that formative assessments are not a static tool used once a year. Rather, it is a process that can be leveraged throughout the learning process to address, respond to, and meet individual student needs. This research was originally gathered to impact the individual practice of classroom teachers. However, the action research study revealed that the formative assessment process can be utilized both within the classroom and at the building level, in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and the Response to Intervention (RTI) process.

Research Methodology

Action Research

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