Date Approved

5-31-2005

Embargo Period

4-10-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Elementary Education

Department

Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Molinari, Louis

Subject(s)

English language--Orthography and spelling; Spelling ability--Testing

Disciplines

Elementary Education and Teaching

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if implementing a word study spelling program in a differentiated classroom could improve students' long-term retention of spelling words. This study compared a word study program with a more traditional spelling approach. The findings of the experiment indicated that no significant difference existed between the two different methods of instruction.

After receiving parental permission, the study began in a third grade classroom with 20 students. A pretest/posttest design was used in two phases. Phase I of the study used a traditional spelling approach using basal words obtained from the Scholastic reading series. Phase I implemented a word study spelling approach, which used individualized spelling lists derived from a spelling inventory. Approximately three weeks passed within each phase between the pretest and posttest in order to establish retention levels. These results were calculated after both phases were completed and the difference scores in each phase were compared. Also, a non-independent t-test was used to further analyze if one method of instruction provided better levels of retention than the other.

Although the study provided the examiner with comprehensible results, possible recommendations were discussed and further research was suggested.

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