Graduation Year

2016

Degree

M.A.

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Jolenea Ferro, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kerri Milyko, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kwang-Sun Blair, Ph.D.

Abstract

Traditional teaching methods use accuracy-only criterion when teaching students a specific skill, but more and more students are being left behind in classrooms because they are not mastering the skill. Using fluency, a combination of speed and accuracy, as a mastery criterion has shown to improve both retention and mastery. Previous research suggested that frequency scores closer to the predicted frequency aim produced greater retention. It is unclear at what frequency aim a decay in retention begins to occur. The purpose of the present study was to examine the differential effects of retention on preschool participants’ reading first grade Dolch sight words once the skill had been strengthened to 3 frequencies (i.e., 15 correct words/min, which is 25% of the accepted fluency aim, 30 correct words/min, which is 50% of the accepted fluency aim, and 60 correct words/min, which is 100% of the accepted fluency aim) using fluency training and the Precision Teaching method. Three preschool age participants were assessed for retention 2 weeks and 6 weeks after reaching criterion. All participants maintained teaching frequencies of correct responding 2 weeks after reaching mastery for all 3 frequency aims. Six weeks after teaching, 1 out of 3 participants showed retention for the 15 correct words per min criterion, all participants showed retention for the 30 correct words per min criterion, and all participants showed a decay in retention of correct responding for the 60 correct words per min criterion. Limitations and future research were discussed.

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