Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Grant, Eugene B.||Loughlin, Leo J.

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Education


Reading (Primary)


STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM Some children of average Intelligence (and above average) show a slowness in grasping the idea of reading and their part in the development of beginning word recognition skills. The problem pursued in this writing was to determine the effects of the use of selected procedures In the instructional program of reading on the progress of these children who have this slower start in beginning first grade reading. METHODS AND PROCEDURES A widely varied instructional program for the development of beginning reading skills was provided for the group of "slow-starters" of the experimental group. Besides presenting new vocabulary in meaningful settings as provided for in the basal reader program, additional procedures were also used. Troublesome words were printed on the chalkboard and the children traced over the words, with chalk and sometimes with their finger, saying the word softly to themselves. When they felt they knew the new word the chalkboard was erased and they printed it for themselves. If the child could not print the word from memory the writer would again print it for the child to trace and study until It was learned. The tracing of words in the sand tray was used but not as extensively as the chalkboard tracing. It was found that it was harder to control the shape of the letters in the wet sand than on the chalkboard. Special word cards were made using two colors of ink. The purpose of these word cards was to emphasize like and unlike elements and in some oases to stress beginning and endings of words. Word cards presenting both the capital and lower case form of the letter, especially those that are quite different, were used for tracing with the finger and at the same time saying the word softly in the same manner as was used at the chalkboard. Some word cards were in the form of word blocks with the word hiding under shading so as to emphasize the configuration of the word. The children of the experimental group showed a decided weakness in auditory discrimination. Each day there was some experience in listening for rhyming words, the word that Is different in a group of words, beginning consonants, ending consonants and associating sound of letters with their printed form. Picture cards were used extensively in this area, thus giving the child both the auditory and visual clue. Dramatization of words and phrases helped give added meaning and emphasis to reading. Assuming the role of one of the story characters helped the children become ego involved and was a great motivating factor. Composing stories and illustrating them brought added meaning to words and also an understanding of their usefulness in expressing one's ideas. RESULTS OF THE STUDY The problem set forth in this stud; was to determine the effects of selected procedures on the progress of children who are commonly referred to as "slow-starters." The children of the experimental group showed areas of weakness and a need for special help, a lack of ability to give continued attention to the reading task and some evidence of tension. The children were tested, using the Ginn Reading Test series, following the Readiness, Pre-Primers, Primer and the First header. Areas of weakness were noted and instruction consisting of a variety of procedures was used to strengthen the weak areas. The special procedures were discontinued for the most part with the beginning of the First Header. The final testing of the year showed all children, with the exception of one, to be in the average range of performance with no areas of weakness. Thus it was concluded, that the results, for this group of "slow-starters" at this particular time, show that it was possible to help them progress with near average achievement with the use of the widely varied instructional program in reading at the first grade level.


Includes bibliographical references.


xi, 88 pages




Northern Illinois University

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