Journal of Applied and Educational Research


Education | Psychology

Document Type



The number of elementary students in the United States reading at a proficient level is significantly low. Elementary schools in the United States need to increase the number of students reading at the proficient level in order to move towards success in other subject areas, raise graduation rates, increase economic opportunities, and boost the likelihood of favorable long term health. Foundational reading skills, beginning in kindergarten, are an early predictor of future reading proficiency. Homogeneous ability grouping is one instructional strategy that can help students master foundational reading skills. Ability grouping is an educational practice that can be used with all students. Few studies exist in the research involving American kindergarten students' participation in homogeneous ability groups. This research seeks to fill that gap by testing the effects of ability grouping on kindergarten students' reading achievement. This study utilized an AB research design over the course of 12 weeks in a kindergarten classroom. In this study, all 24 students in the kindergarten class completed the FAST one-minute letter sound fluency assessment, Form 1, to establish a baseline score. The students received six weeks of foundational skills instruction during the baseline phase. During the intervention phase, the students spent six weeks engaged in homogeneous ability groups. It was hypothesized that kindergarten students who participated in an ability-grouped intervention in the area of reading would make greater gains in letter sound fluency than when not participating in a homogeneous ability-grouped intervention. A dependent samples t-test and subsequent analysis of the results did not support this hypothesis.