Improving Reading Performance in a High Poverty Elementary School: A Case Study

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Darcy D. Kemp (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Carl Lashley

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to examine a high poverty elementary school's improvement model for increasing student reading performance. The model at Martin Elementary School was designed to use interactive balanced literacy, the building of positive relationships, and class size reduction to improve the reading performance of upper elementary students from families living in poverty. The questions that will be answered are: 1. What effect does the incorporation of balance literacy supplemented with other effective teaching strategies have on the reading performance of students who are living in high poverty? The strategies include interactive teaching and the building of positive relationships. 2. How does reduced classroom size affect the incorporation of balanced literacy when it is augmented by interactive strategies and the creation of positive relationships? 3. What effects does the incorporation of balanced literacy involving interactive strategies, the building of positive relationships and class size reduction have on classroom teacher practice? The school where this case study took place was Martin Elementary. It is a high poverty, urban, elementary school located in the Piedmont area of North Carolina. A qualitative approach was used to examine the effects of the improvement model on the reading performance of students of poverty. Data collection for the study took place through one-on-one interviews, focus group discussions, surveys, observations, and North Carolina End-of-Grade reading test proficiency scores. Six upper elementary classroom teachers were interviewed, observed and surveyed and thirteen fifth grade students were organized into a focus group.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2007
poverty, balanced literacy, interactive strategies, positive relationships, class size reduction, reading performance

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