Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Even with extensive literacy research, routines, and policy modifications, many elementary students are not provided with the needed tools to develop independent literacy skills. Therefore, the purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine what independent literacy behaviors are developing in first through fourth grade students to determine whether the Daily 5 framework is developing the desired independent literacy skills in those students. Based on Vygotsky's social development theory, the Daily 5 literacy routine teaches students five essential habits to develop independent literacy abilities across various grade levels. This qualitative study's research questions were developed to examine what independent literacy behaviors have been observed by teachers and how student learning is reflected based on Vygotsky's zone of proximal development. The study included nine participants comprised of teachers and parents of students at the study site. The data collected through open-ended interviews, email questionnaires, lesson plans from teachers, and documentation were then coded using Atlas.ti. Emergent themes were identified through data analysis, and the findings were validated through member checking, triangulation, and researcher reflexivity. The findings revealed that while some independent literacy behaviors are reported, additional support is still needed. The findings led to the development of a professional development project centered on literacy professional development activities that build collaboration. This study and project facilitates positive social change by defining how the Daily 5 routine is promoting independent literacy skills at the research site, which builds communities of readers and positive reading experiences that circulate within the school and home.