Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Curriculum and Instruction


Hodge, Janie

Committee Member

Mackiewicz , Sara M.

Committee Member

Katsiyannis , Antonis

Committee Member

Matthews , Gretchen


Vocabulary is vital for success in secondary content area curricula and students with learning disabilities often have limited vocabulary knowledge which inhibits their success in secondary-level content area classes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an explicit algebra vocabulary intervention with graphic organizers on vocabulary knowledge and skills in algebra for students with learning disabilities in high school Algebra I. A single-case repeated acquisition design with pre- and posttest measures was used to determine the effects of the intervention for students with learning disabilities who received special education services. The study included 10 students who received Algebra I instruction in general education and additional support in a resource setting. The researcher-implemented vocabulary intervention occurred in the resource setting on alternating days for 30-40 minutes per session across four weeks. Students learned four new vocabulary words during each session through explicit vocabulary instruction and completion of graphic organizers. Results indicated that students with learning disabilities were able to learn the vocabulary and were able to apply the knowledge of the vocabulary to algebra problems. However, students did not maintain the new learning on maintenance measures, although mean scores for the maintenance measures were higher than mean pretest scores across the intervention. Project participants and the special education teachers familiar with the intervention reported positive perceptions of the effectiveness and feasibility of the vocabulary intervention.