Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education



First Advisor

Amy Adams




Reading fluently is a lifelong skill that many students struggle to accomplish. This research focused on using strategies to improve the identification of letter sounds and nonsense words to improve reading skills. The participants were first grade students not meeting district benchmark expectations in the areas of letter sound identification and nonsense words. The ten students were from two urban schools in the Twin Cities metro area. Students were given frequent informal and formative assessments with the final summative assessment mimicking district standard testing. Teachers worked in small groups (4-5 students) or 1:1 with students. These groups met for 15 minutes each day for 4 weeks. Teachers used a variety of strategies, including incremental letter sound rehearsal, sound boxes, multisensory approach, and peer tutoring to help increase letter sound and nonsense word fluency. Results showed an increase in both areas of student achievement. While a survey measuring students’ attitude toward reading was varied, observations during interventions did show students were satisfied with their improvement of scores and their confidence level. Interventions will continue until students reach the benchmark expectations in their district.

Included in

Education Commons