Eastern Illinois University Logo
Research in Action |

Graduate

Home

About the Journal

Graduate Research

Undergraduate Research

Volume III: 2014

Carla Hymes

Analyzing the Effect Readers’ Theater can have on Fluency

The purpose of this study is to explore whether implementing Readers’ Theater will enhance the oral reading fluency of second grade students regardless of their reading ability. The research questions that will be addressed throughout this study focusing on reading fluency will be: (a) To what extent does Readers’ Theater enhance the reading fluency (focusing specifically on accuracy and automaticity) of second grade students with varied reading abilities? (b) To what extent does Readers’ Theater improve reading prosody (expressiveness with which students read) in second grade students with varied reading abilities?

View Full Manuscript

More about Carla

Carla Hymes

Educational Background: Graduated from Eastern Illinois University in December of 2007 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. In December 2013, I received a Graduate Degree in Master of Science in Elementary Education from Eastern Illinois University.

Teaching Background: Elementary Education teacher 14 years. Currently teaching second grade at Warrensburg-Latham Elementary.

Action Research Project Title: Analyzing the Effect Readers’ Theater can have on Fluency

Purpose of Action Research: The purpose of this study is to explore whether implementing Readers’ Theater will enhance the oral reading fluency of second grade students regardless of their reading ability. The research questions that will be addressed throughout this study focusing on reading fluency will be: (a) To what extent does Readers’ Theater enhance the reading fluency (focusing specifically on accuracy and automaticity) of second grade students with varied reading abilities? (b) To what extent does Readers’ Theater improve reading prosody (expressiveness with which students read) in second grade students with varied reading abilities?

Impact of Master’s Program: The Master’s program at Eastern Illinois University allowed me to further my education while enhancing my current teaching practices and methods. I learned many new teaching strategies and had the opportunity to learn from other teachers within my profession. The professors were extremely knowledgeable and helpful throughout this graduate program.



Angie Peck

Comparing a Teacher-Led Program to an Independent Technology Based Program in Improving Early Literacy Skills

The purpose of this research was to assess the impact of available technology on beginning of the year Kindergarteners and teaching phonics. As we conducted interventions on a daily basis, I hoped to see a greater success rate when technology activities were included for the young learners. In addition to interventions, I hoped to use technology based programs to extend learning for other students and challenge growing learners! The approach that lead to better student outcomes was identified. Studies on early phonemic awareness show how important these skills are for early reading skill development. I wanted to discover: What approach leads to better early literacy development in Kindergarteners: a research based, teacher led program, or technology based programs where students work independently? Which method of teaching will show greater student growth in the area of phonics and early literacy development?

View Full Manuscript

More about Angie

Angie Peck

Educational Background: I received a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia in May, 2006. In December, 2013 I received a Master of Science in Elementary Education from Eastern Illinois University.

Teaching Background: Currently, I teach Kindergarten at South Shores Elementary in Decatur, Illinois. I have taught Kindergarten for four years, first grade for one year, and third grade for one year.

Action Research Project Title: Comparing a Teacher-Led Program to an Independent Technology Based Program in Improving Early Literacy Skills

Purpose of Action Research: The purpose of this research was to assess the impact of available technology on beginning of the year Kindergarteners and teaching phonics. As we conducted interventions on a daily basis, I hoped to see a greater success rate when technology activities were included for the young learners. In addition to interventions, I hoped to use technology based programs to extend learning for other students and challenge growing learners! The approach that lead to better student outcomes was identified. Studies on early phonemic awareness show how important these skills are for early reading skill development. I wanted to discover: What approach leads to better early literacy development in Kindergarteners: a research based, teacher led program, or technology based programs where students work independently? Which method of teaching will show greater student growth in the area of phonics and early literacy development?

Impact of Master’s Program: The Master’s program at Eastern allowed me to explore new ways to teach. I feel I have a deeper understanding of my profession and have more resources to draw from to create lessons that meet my students’ needs. I have had opportunities to reflect upon my teaching, reach out to other professional peers, and have made a network of professional connections to support my future teaching endeavors.



Regina Rusciolelli

Impact of Using iPad Apps on Student Comprehension

The purpose for this action research project was to determine if the use of iPad apps would increase reading comprehension of struggling readers in a third grade classroom. Using current research to guide and structure the setup of this action research, two iPad apps involving practicing the skill of main idea and detail were utilized for a four-person intervention group. Data was collected over a five week period to answer the research question: Will the use of iPad apps to increase reading comprehension be an effective intervention for struggling readers in a third grade classroom? My hypothesis was that the use of iPad apps would increase the ability of students to identify the main idea and details of a text, thus increasing their reading comprehension.

View Full Manuscript

More about Regina

Regina Rusciolelli

Educational Background: I graduated from Eastern Illinois University in Dec 2008 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. In Dec 2013, I received a graduate degree in Master of Science in Elementary Education from Eastern Illinois University.

Teaching Background: I have been a 3rd grade teacher since 2009 at Cantrall Elementary School.

Action Research Project Title: Impact of Using iPad Apps on Student Comprehension

Purpose of Action Research: The purpose for this action research project was to determine if the use of iPad apps would increase reading comprehension of struggling readers in a third grade classroom. Using current research to guide and structure the setup of this action research, two iPad apps involving practicing the skill of main idea and detail were utilized for a four-person intervention group. Data was collected over a five week period to answer the research question: Will the use of iPad apps to increase reading comprehension be an effective intervention for struggling readers in a third grade classroom? My hypothesis was that the use of iPad apps would increase the ability of students to identify the main idea and details of a text, thus increasing their reading comprehension.

Impact of Master’s Program: The Master’s program at EIU has allowed me to look over and reflect on my current teaching practices and has given me the tools necessary to modify my instructional methods. I have learned more about constructivist learning and have directly seen my students grow as learners because they are able to explore the concepts we were discussing and create their own personal knowledge instead of being told what they should learn and know. I have also learned the value of collaborating with others, and not just those in your own content-area or grade-level. By communicating and discussing teaching ideas with others, I have learned how to take an idea and make it easier or harder for differentiation in my classroom; springboard a great lesson or project off another idea; and learn what was being done in the younger and older grades so I could adjust my content appropriately. The Master’s program at Eastern has allowed me the time to grow and develop more into the teacher I want to be.