The intent of the study is to discover the effects of direct phonics instruction on first grade readers. Previous studies show early and systematic phonics instruction leads to better reading achievement. This study examines the effects of direct phonics instruction by asking four questions: How is student attitude toward reading affected by direct phonics instruction? How is DIBELS reading assessment affected by direct phonics instruction? How is student reading motivation in the classroom setting affected by direct phonics instruction? How is student motivation in reading at home affected by direct phonics instruction? Data for this study have been collected through a triangulation method using the following: student attitude surveys, DlBELS pre-test and progress monitoring assessments, teacher observation of students engaged in reading in the classroom, and parent interviews on reading motivation at home. These data measures suggest that students make gains in the area of student attitude, reading achievement, and motivation with reading in the classroom and at home after direct phonics instruction. The most significant areas influenced were student reading motivation in the classroom and overall reading achievement. Due to the limitations of the small sample size and influences of other literacy methods and instruction, generalizability of the findings is limited. This study does however, provide positive results that using direct phonics instruction with first grade readers has positive outcomes in their reading behaviors and progress.
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