Month/Year of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Teacher Education

First Advisor

Saundra Shillingstad


This capstone reports the effectiveness of using differentiated instructional and assessment strategies to improve student understanding in phonics mastery. Based on pretest data that analyzed understanding of short u consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words, phonics instruction was implemented to meet the needs of students in whole-group and small-group settings. This unit consisted of five whole-group lessons over short u blending and segmentation. In addition to the whole group learning, specific students were pulled for small-group intervention. The unit concluded with a post-assessment that tested student understanding on real and nonsense CVC words; these assessments were implemented to assess if the integration of nonlinguistic representation and scaffolding improved student understanding. After reviewing and analyzing student information, data shows that learning increased when engaging instructional strategies were implemented into lessons. I found that feedback, nonlinguistic representations turn-and-talks, and scaffolding support student understanding of phonics mastery.