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ERIC Number: ED516480
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 141
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1097-6102-3
Effects of Differentiated Instruction and Word Attack Strategies on Struggling Readers
Welsh, Debra K.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
The No Child Left Behind Act requires that all students reach reading proficiency by 2014. Many students struggling with reading are unsuccessful when whole group basal instruction is the center of reading instruction. The purpose of this case study was to examine the ability of 15 fifth grade students with reading difficulties to move toward proficiency through instruction using differentiated instruction and Reading Excellence: Word Attack & Rate Development Strategies (REWARDS). The research occurred in the students' classroom to observe the phenomenon in an authentic environment. The research instruments used were teacher interviews and the pretest and posttest results of the 4Sight test and the pretest and posttest results of a decoding and fluency assessment. The patterns revealed from the data identified the successes and failures of nonspecific remediation that centered on the learner's inability to achieve reading mastery. The key findings from the study indicated that addressing students' weaknesses during one on one instruction, small group instruction, and through computer programs using differentiated instruction assisted students in moving toward reading proficiency. The mean score of the 4Sight test, used in evaluating the success of differentiated instruction, improved from 13.9 correct responses (SD = 3.97) to 18.8 correct responses (SD = 4.50). In addition, teaching the students a word attack and decoding method assisted the students in moving toward reading proficiency by giving the student a method with which to identify unknown multisyllabic words. The mean score of the decoding and fluency assessment, used to evaluate the success of REWARDS, improved from 6 words correct (SD = 4.29) to 17.83 words correct (SD = 1.60). Because of the small sample size in the current study, future studies might include more students in a larger rural setting or in an urban setting to assess the effectiveness of differentiated instruction and REWARDS and the use of differentiated instruction and REWARDS with readers that do not have reading difficulties. Other future studies might include middle school students. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001