Date of Award/Publication

2003

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education

Abstract

In this study, the effect of differentiation through interest-based literature circles on reluctant readers was investigated. Four struggling fourth graders, two boys and two girls, were studied. Students were given a choice of books and upon selection were grouped with 4 or 5 students of similar interests. Students decided on daily reading assignments and selected literature circle roles. Literature circles met daily. Teacher observations, audio recordings, student surveys and self-assessments, and parent surveys were used to collect data. The reluctant readers showed increased levels of participation, improved comprehension and word decoding, and elevated levels of confidence. They emerged as leaders and began reading independently. The flexible grouping, self-selection of reading material, and daily participation in book discussions drastically changed their attitudes toward reading and enabled them to acquire crucial reading skills.

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