Spring 2017

Document Type

Master's Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


With the growing number of English Language Learners (ELLs) in the United States, increasing early literacy in students who come from non-dominant language homes and from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds is becoming increasingly important. Lowering the language demands of home-based activities is an opportunity to improve reading skills in kindergarten students, especially in ELLs. This quasi-experimental quantitative study used a pretest/posttest design to investigate the benefits of assigning homework based solely on 25 high-frequency words. The control group (n = 13) received traditional weekly reading homework packets and the treatment group (n = 13) received weekly high-frequency word packets with five flashcards per week. Independent samples t-tests and paired t-tests were conducted to determine the difference in student achievement scores. The results suggest the use of high-frequency word homework packets did not significantly affect student achievement in reading. Implications include that merely lowering the language demands of the home-based activities is not sufficient in increasing family involvement in kindergarteners’ reading.