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ERIC Number: ED556955
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 154
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3039-3085-0
Time Is of the Essence: An Investigation of 4th and 5th Grade Teachers' Instructional Practices within the Literacy Block
Mercurio, Harry J.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Widener University
This qualitative study examined the amount of time that fourth and fifth grade teachers devoted to literacy instruction within the time allotted to them within the daily literacy block. Prior research of the literacy block focused largely on primary grades (Allington, McGill-Franzen et a1.,2010; Cunningham & Allington, 2003; Morrow, 1992); this study purposefully focused on the upper elementary grades' use of the literacy block. Prioritizations of instructional time made by the participating teachers as well as evidence of instruction aligned with Common Core Standards (CCSS) were examined and analyzed. The purposefully selected sample for this study was comprised of a minimum of 50 teachers (in grades four and five) from three school districts, which are located in the southeast region of Pennsylvania. The data collection methods used included teacher questionnaires, teacher observations, and in-depth teacher interviews. Data were coded and organized along all three data collection methods. Analysis and interpretation of findings were organized along the research questions that framed the study. Results of the study revealed that time spent on reading instruction was a highly prioritized instructional area of the literacy block for both fourth and fifth grade teachers. The most amount of time was found to be devoted to reading instruction in fourth grade. However, it appeared that fifth grade teachers prioritized writing instruction slightly more than reading instruction. The researcher concluded that this finding could be due to the state mandated writing test for grade five students. Areas of literacy instruction which were given less prioritization by fourth and fifth grade participating teachers included grammar, spelling, vocabulary instruction, independent reading, and shared reading. Recommendations are offered for school administrators and educators to continue expanding the instructional time for reading, writing, and related skills so that students leave the elementary setting with the strongest foundation possible to read, write, speak, and think with the utmost proficiency. [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: Elementary Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Grade 5; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania