Text Decoding

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“First grade is the year students learn to read.” As a teacher, I have often heard the idea that students learn to read over the course of their year in first grade. In reality, children may begin to develop the foundational skills required for independent reading when they are much younger; but it is often the expectation that students will be able to independently read a developmentally appropriate text by the end of first grade. The decision for teachers is determining what resources to use in their reading instruction as there is a plethora of materials available to teach phonics, reading, and comprehension skills. In Text Decodability and the First-Grade Reader, Mesmer replicates prior studies to further investigate claims made about …show more content…
Decoding must be introduced, modeled, practiced, and mastered for a student to be successful at reading independently. For students to practice these skills, we must considering the readability of the text – could a child independently read the text after adequate phonics instruction? Many reading programs and textbooks series include “decodable readers” which are often differentiated to reach students of varying ability levels. These readers may contain text related to the “story of the week” or may focus on the weekly skills covered in the phonics instruction materials included with the reading series. Decodable readers may also be a supplement included in a phonics program, such is the case with Saxon Phonics. I believe it happens far too often that teachers try to incorporate the many, and sometimes valuable, resources we have in hopes of helping our students become better readers without knowing what materials work best and support one another. Mesmer (2007) replicates previous studies while focusing on using text decodability as an intervention utilized as students are beginning to read on their …show more content…
To determine the research design that was used, I first had to determine the type of research that was conducted. Though it was identified in the article’s abstract, a reader would be able to identify Text Decodability and the First-Grade Reader as a quantitative study by looking at the data collection in which numbers and statistics were used to report the findings. (Mesmer, 2007, pg. 61; McMillian & Schumacher, 2010, pp. 21) Quantitative research can be completed with or without the use of experiments. (McMillian & Schumacher, 2010, pg. 21) Mesmer (2007) and other researchers implemented two different treatments on groups of students which qualifies this research as experimental (pp. 72). This study meets the criteria to be considered a true experimental study as participants are similar in qualities and have equal chances of receiving the treatment or serving as a part of the control group. (Mesmer, 2007; McMillian & Schumacher, 2010, pp. 21) To assess the effectiveness of teaching practices, it will be most effective to compare the results of students who have been taught using one method of instruction and the results of students who have not been exposed to these alternative methods. With participants taking a statewide screening measure, being randomly assigned to the treatment or control group, and then having to take a post-assessment (via running record), this

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