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    Stark.case study Stark.case study Document Transcript

    • Term Project- Case Study on Phonological Awareness and Decoding What are the age, grade level, and reading level of the student you taught? The student I taught, Josh, is four years and nine months old. He went to preschool for one year and begins kindergarten this fall. According to the standards by Moats (1998), Josh is at a Novice or Early alphabetic reading stage because in the pre-assessment (discussed later), he showed that he knew “that alphabet letters represent abstract speech segments (phoneme) (p. 2) however, he is still learning to compare the likeness and difference of similar sounding words, and still confuses some letters and sounds. (Standard II) What are relevant characteristics of the student, including race/ethnicity, primary language and English proficiency, gender, disability status, supplementary or special education services and supports? Josh is a white/Caucasian male, without disability, whose sole language is English, and has not been identified as needing any supplemental or special education services or supports. However, it may be valid to mention that Josh lives with both of his college educated parents. Josh’s father is an electrical engineer. Josh’s mother is a Math and Reading teacher at the same school as me. His mother also, interestingly, has her Master’s degree in Reading. Blachowicz and Fisher (2004) state that, “children from book-filled homes, whose educated parents love and value reading, read to their children, and patiently explain specific vocabulary to their children when they ask questions at the store, on an outing, or at home… come to [school] with 1
    • a more advanced vocabulary than the average child from a less education-focused family.” (p.67) How does the current classroom climate promote independence, cooperation, risk- taking, interest, and caring? The “current classroom” for the purposes of my meetings with Josh included the living room and kitchen of his home. Independence is promoted in this environment because it is a comfortable place for him where he knows his boundaries and expectations on a normal basis. As I came into the home to “teach” him, the expectations with which he was familiar, changed. Before we began our meetings, Josh’s mother prepared him for my arrival and told him that I was coming to read with him. The first day I came, he cooperated freely. In between my visits, Josh’s mother reinforced what he and I did during my first visit by continuing activities we started together and encouraging conversations about word families throughout normal activities each day. The third time, however, cooperation was more difficult to maintain. I suspect because Josh and his mother had done some work that morning, he lacked interest in our activities, but also because, on that day, he was more interested in his toys! In addition, during our first session, his younger brother was napping and during the second and third, he was awake. Josh had two distractions to overcome, his toys and his sibling. During our second visit he also seemed interested in pushing limits with me a bit more, likely due to his comfort with me (I have known Josh his entire life not only because I teach with his mother, but also because I play on a softball team with both parents and Josh often attends games.) For example, instead of writing words that rhyme from “Humpty Dumpty” into a square, he would mark dots or scribble a little and then watch for my reaction. Later, his mother joined us at the 2
    • table to provide encouragement for him to cooperate and made him “care” by explaining that she and I would be upset and hurt if he didn’t complete his work. She also reminded him of the deal he made that if I played cars with him, he would do some writing activities for me. He felt guilty that his actions were “hurting” others and wanted to make it right by holding up to his end of the bargain (i.e. car play and writing exchange). She was able to employ from her experience or child development knowledge, information that motivated Josh, but also supports Erikson’s third Stage of Psychosocial Development; Initiative vs. Guilt, which was an appropriate form of leverage for Josh at the age of four. During this stage, “The child continues to become more of an independent individual and to take more initiative, but still needs to negotiate doing this appropriately. If not permitted and encouraged to do so, this may lead to guilt feelings.” (Standard I) What particular instructional challenges do the student, his instructional context, and his schooling history present? An obvious instructional challenge is in my own lack of experience with both the grade level and the content of reading. Thus possibly, and unfortunately, supporting Troia’s (2004) statement that “exemplary phonics instruction may be relatively uncommon.” One can only hope that instruction with Josh would also be considered to support Anthony & Francis (2005) when they “suggest that experiences with oral language play an important role in developing phonological awareness.” (p.256) and “phonological awareness training, especially when combined with instruction in letter knowledge, leads to longstanding improvements in phoneme awareness, reading and spelling.” (p.258) I am optimistic, however inexperienced, that my “literacy instruction may prove most successful [because] particular phonological 3
    • awareness skills, spelling patterns, and word reading strategies are linked and taught in a systematic, developmentally sensitive order.” (Anthony & Francis 2005) Josh has a limited amount of schooling history. He, as I mentioned before, has only been in preschool for one year. His experiences in a traditional classroom are limited. This presents a challenge because he is not aware of most implicit or explicit rules and expectations that other, more experienced students, would know. Additionally, a result of not having significant experience or time spent in a school atmosphere may actually make the instructional context of learning at home, in July, without an experienced “reading” teacher, less of an instructional challenge because he has no comparison. What assessment instruments did you select and why? What did they reveal about the student’s reading strengths and needs? How did you use the information obtained to plan your instruction? As suggested in the Live Chat with Dr. Troia, I used “The Nonword Decoding Test” to assess Josh initially. We made it through two lines of the assessment, about ten words, and not so successfully. He said only 2-3 of the nonwords correctly. He was able, however, to make the sound of each letter separately which was exciting because it informed me that Josh is phonemically aware. In addition, that he also meets GLCE Strand 1 for phonics (understand the alphabetic principle, that sounds in words are expressed by the letters of the alphabet. R.WS.00.03) He “has the ability to manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in words, and [has] rudimentary phonological skills, such as judging whether two words rhyme.” (Anthony & Francis 2005) As expected of a novice reader, he would mistake b’s for p’s. For example, the nonword was ‘bos’, Josh said “pos”. I was more able to understand his confusion with 4
    • information posed by Anthony & Francis (2005). “Phonemes are either voiced or voiceless depending on whether or not they are produced with vibration of the vocal chords (e.g. voicing differentiates /f/ from /v/)…It is easier to tend to voiceless consonants than to voiced consonants, at least in spelling tasks that require phoneme awareness and other competencies.” (p.257) After talking with Dr. Troia, this was clear as well, that /p/ is voiceless and /b/ is voiced. To continue with our lesson, I asked him what letter made the /p/ sound and he pointed to the b. I said, “Josh, that’s a B!” then asked what sound the letter b makes and he said “b”, correctly. I asked if he knew other words that started with that sound and he said, “bath, boy”, and “big.” We repeated the explanation with the letter “p” and he responded with “pizza”. So we continued on the nonword list and when we came to the nonword ‘petrang’, he exclaimed, “Pizza!” Moates (1998) says that “Letter sounds and letter names such as /w/ and “Y”, and /y/ and “U” may be confused. At this juncture, teaching affects the development of decoding strategies; children may not develop the habit of sounding a word out unless they are taught how and are given sufficient practice.” (p.2) The assessment revealed that Josh is phonemically aware, but that he cannot blend sounds together yet and still needs practice decoding. Moates suggests appropriate activities such as “rhyming; adding and deleting syllables, matching beginning consonants in words; recognizing odd sounds and identifying that a sound exists in selected words”. (p.1) After a visit to the teacher store, and reading module 4 in particular, I concluded that it would be appropriate and beneficial to work with Josh on word families to increase his overall phonological awareness. What were your instructional goals for your lesson? Why were these goals selected? How do they relate to the curriculum and the needs of this student? 5
    • The instructional goals for my lesson were to build upon Josh’s preliterate phonemic awareness to foster phonological abilities and strategies necessary for him to become successfully literate in the future. Specifically, I wanted to focus on multiple word families with Josh in hopes that the patterns would be beneficial in his literate future. Cunningham (1998) cites that, We know from basic process research on reading that the major word recognition function in the brain is pattern detection…Words we have read before are instantly recognized as we see them. Words we have not read before are almost instantly pronounced on the basis of spelling patterns the brain has seen in other words. (198-199) From this research, I concluded that if I wanted to improve Josh’s ability to become a successful reader, I would have to help him learn to recognize word patterns as opposed to sounding out words. For example, if he knows the word 'cow', the pattern to for him to then learn is ‘wow’, ‘now’, ‘how’, etc. Moats (1998) says that, “Automatic word recognition, which is dependent on phonic knowledge, allows the reader to attend to meaning; likewise, slow, belabored decoding overloads short term memory and impedes comprehension.” (p.1) Therefore, I knew I would have to be mindful not to over emphasize phonics as it could actually have a negative effect in his literary advancement. For example ‘cat’ could be the beginning of another word family. Without this awareness on my part, I may have asked Josh to sound out the word if he was not familiar with seeing it in print (although he probably would in language), I may first model by saying 'cu' 'a' 'tuh', and rather than blending it together as one cohesive unit, he may make this word three syllables from one. From this interpretation, it seems evident to teach patterns through word families - rhyming words rather than “sounding out” words. 6
    • Due to the fact that I am not an elementary teacher, I had to refer to the Grade Level Content Expectations on the Michigan Department of Education’s website to support my goals and expectations while completing work on this case study. According to Strand 1 for Reading, word recognition and word study are significant goals in the curriculum for Kindergarten students. Josh will begin Kindergarten in the fall, if he can master any of these skills before he begins school, he will likely be ahead of his peers and on the road to being successfully literate, which would help me achieve my goal. However, this assumes he is not among the 20% of less fortunate students who either need “direct intervention in phonological awareness or require specialized reading/language arts instruction.” (Troia 2004) Incidentally, in the amount of time that I have to complete this case study will make it difficult to measure if my efforts truly go on to assist Josh’s future literacy success. A more measurable and likely attainable goal would be to increase his score of three out of ten, on the Nonword Decoding pre-assessment, to four out of ten using the same test as a post-assessment. GLCEs that will guide my instruction with Josh are: • Demonstrate phonemic awareness by the using a wide range of sound manipulation competencies including sound blending and deletion. (Phonics Awareness R.WS.00.01) • Use grapho-phonemic (letter-sound) cues to recognize a few one-syllable words when presented completely out of context. Begin to associate letters and sounds, particularly initial and final consonants. (Phonics R.WS.00.04) • Automatically recognize a small number (about 18) of frequently encountered, personally meaningful words in print. Word Recognition R.WS.00.05 • Make progress in automatically recognizing a few of the 220 Dolch basic sight words. (Word Recognition R.WS.00.06) • Follow familiar written text while pointing to matching words. (Word Recognition R.WS.00.07) • Narrow possibilities in predicting words using initial letters/sounds (phonics), patterns of language (syntactic), and picture clues (semantic). (Word Recognition R.WS.00.08) (Standard II) 7
    • Did your reading instruction make a meaningful contribution to the students overall reading progress? How do you know? As evidenced by my research described here, I did meaningfully contribute to Josh’s overall reading progress. I know because at the end of our four sessions together, Josh re-took the Nonword Decoding Test that he took as a pre-test. Pre-assessment data showed that Josh only correctly named 2-3 of the nonwords correctly. Using the same test to post-assess shows that Josh progressed because he was able to solidly name 4 of the non-words. What did you do to support the student’s success during the lesson and why? Were your efforts beneficial; Why? Some particular elements you might want to include: (a) your teaching method (e.g. direct instruction, strategy instruction, reciprocal teaching, peer mediated learning) and justification for it; (b) use of modeling, cues, prompts, teaching aids, and feedback; and (c) techniques for promoting generalization and maintenance, such as performance summary and branching to future lessons. I supported Josh’s success by building on his prior knowledge. Many of the activities I planned with Josh were based upon ideas from “Development of Phonological Awareness” in which it is said that The relation between learning to read and developing phonological awareness is reciprocal. Children’s preliterate phonological awareness and the phonological awareness they develop while learning the names and sounds of letters in their alphabet help children learn to read. This facilitative effect of phonological awareness is strongest during the period in which children learn to “break the alphabetic code,” which normally takes 1 to 3 years depending on the orthographic transparency of the written language. In turn, reading and writing provide feedback that influences individuals’ phonological awareness development. (Anthony & Francis 2005) The first thing I wanted to know after the pre-assessment was if Josh actually knew all of the letters in the alphabet and their sounds. He first sang the alphabet for me and then I drew 8
    • several pictures on a piece of paper (one at a time). Then I drew in the number of rectangles in for each letter that would be represented in the word. I laid out letter tiles from my Scrabble game, ensuring that there were only enough to create the words for the pictures I chose to draw. I did not want to overwhelm him with too many choices, but wanted to see if he knew sounds for the words of the pictures that I drew. Regardless of the fact that he did not necessarily know how to spell the words, he was able to select, and slide into the drawn boxes, correct letter tiles that matched the sounds of the letters in the word as I segmented the phonemes for him. While sight word reading was not my instructional goal, I was curious to understand the phases of sight word learning as provided by Gaskins, Ehri, Cress, O’Hara, and Donnelly (1996). The pictures I chose to draw for Josh assumed he was not in the pre- alphabetic phase wherein he remembers a distinctive, purely visual cue such as “tall posts” in the word ‘yellow’ because he was able to say each of the letters upon seeing them. But then again, many words that began with a lower case /p/ were ‘pizza’. At any rate, the three pictures I drew were the sun, a crab, and a spoon (with a fork next to it because apparently, the artistic skills in my spoon were lacking!) I found it interesting that he knew that the onset /cr/ in crab and the /oo/ in spoon both required two letters to make the sound for those words. After choosing the appropriate letters, Josh wrote letters into corresponding boxes. Next, I began employing the tools I acquired from the teacher store. I employed instruction that was scaffolded, peer mediated (although, technically I am not a peer), and strategy based instruction. After the pre-assessment, we began “playing” word family games. First, word family flash cards and then word family cubes. According to Cunningham (1998), these were good purchase and activity choices for Josh based on his pre-assessment on the 9
    • Nonword Decoding test and, “that teaching words together as a family will call better attention to the morphological relationships and will allow students to take better advantage of these relationships when reading on their own.” (p. 192) Word family flashcards were great because they were age appropriate and engaging for my learner. He liked seeing the pictures and finding words that rhymed. However, it was evident that he was not reading the word on the front of the card but instead the picture because at one point the word on the front of the card was ‘cold’ with a picture of a penguin. He said “Penguin!” I corrected him and asked to look at the letters in the word and what the first letter he saw was and its sound. He knew /c/ did not start the same as penguin, /p/. Once he learned the word with the picture on the front of the card, he quickly was able to name other words that were likely to appear on the back. Sometimes he gave nonwords, but they rhymed! When he made up a word, I would say, “Good job, Josh! ‘Dar’ does rhyme with ‘car’ because they both end in the /ar/ sound, right? But ‘dar’ isn’t really a word, what else rhymes with ‘car’?” and He would reply, for example, with “Jar” or even, “Let me see the other side of the card.” Joshing desiring to see the other side of the card, that had other rhyming words on it, indicates that he was either reading the words or that he was looking at the first letters of the words and adding them to the ending of the words, because he knew that is what made them rhyme. After both sessions that we played with the word family cards, Josh would write some of the words from word families into a four square chart on a piece of paper (i.e. see evidence 2 & 3). Moats (1998) suggests that, “Writing words after reading them reinforces pattern knowledge.” (p.7) Josh and I also made use of the word cubes, mainly only one of the six that came in the pack. The cube that I chose had one of each of the following rimes on it: ar, at, ow, ug, ip, at, 10
    • and ig. In this activity, Josh had to create words that ended in the sound on the die that he rolled. This game was good, but he lost his attention for it quickly as we had already played with the word family cards. Josh’s mother agreed to play the game with Josh if I left several of the cubes for him until the next time I came back. When I returned, we first played with the cubes and followed up by writing words in the same families in a four square chart together because as I’ve cited, repetition from patterns and writing learned words aides in student learning and retention. The plan for the rest of this visit was to read nursery rhymes with Josh from a book of his. As I read, I followed along with my finger to model a strategy, but did not explicitly explain that he too should do this; however, with a few seconds of starting to read, Josh said that he wanted to follow along with his finger. This is likely to be a skill that he previously learned from his parents who read to him and with him almost daily. The rest of nursery rhyme reading did not go as planned with choosing words that rhymed and writing them, which forced and modifications as described in the next section. Finally, upon my next visit, we played a game that was based on one called Rhyming Training Lesson #7 and provided in class by Dr. Troia, which I modified for my student. Josh earned a single Swedish Fish candy for correctly answering if Stimulus 1 and Stimulus 2 rhymed. If he earned 15 fish, which he did (and actually earned 18), he got to eat his fish and get a Hot Wheels car that I purchased for him as the prize. From my teaching experience and as a 11
    • student, I know how much I loved competition and winning prizes. Competition created a desire for me to be successful intrinsically and prizes were excellent extrinsic motivation for when the task at hand was not as desirable. Josh was very excited about the game. I, however, felt slightly awkward and “robot-esque” using the script for the game and for example, “reinforcing compliance behavior after every fourth response.” Nevertheless, I am learning and not a reading pro, so I will happily follow along with a script especially if it is a proven practiced created by others, who have much experience with studies on teaching children to read. The next class session I attended for TE846, we watched a video on PALS classrooms wherein teachers, and students, engaged in activities that modeled scripted style lessons and that helped me to see that this system could be beneficial for the learner even though it felt contrived to me. What were the critical moments or choices made during instruction that impacted the direction of the lesson? During the second lesson, Josh seemed very disinterested in reading nursery rhymes with me and repeatedly asked if I wanted to play cars with him. I considered that they were on the forefront of his mind because we were in the living room where some of his toys are kept. After several more attempts to refocus him on the book, I agreed to play cars. I immediately knew that I would have to make this a word related activity and I did, without Josh even realizing it! Blachowicz and Fisher (2004) suggest that, “Playing with words enables students to develop a metacognitive understanding of how words work. When learning words is fun, students become interested in words and see them as objects they can use to examine.” (p.68) While playing cars, he instructed me that I had to predict which color car would win in the 12
    • “race” that was about to take place. I instructed him that each time he or I predicted a winner, the other would have to name 2-3 words that rhymed with the color. For example, I would say, “What color car is going to win? Red or Blue?” Josh would say, “Red.” I would then say, “What are three words that rhyme with red?” He would say “Dead” (D seemed to be a favorite consonant to switch in during these rhyming games even when it created a nonword!) Then he needed more cues, such as repeating “What else rhymes with red, and dead?” as I point to my head he would say, “Head.” I would then say, “What else rhymes with red, dead, and head? Making sure to emphasize or increase my volume as I said the words that rhymed. Sometimes he would say something that didn’t rhyme at all and I would say, “Does ball really rhyme with red and head? Josh would answer that they did not and we (his mother or I) would give another clue like, “What do you sleep in at night?” He would say “My bed!” And if we asked if bed rhymed with red, he would respond that it did. When it was his turn to “race” the cars back to me, he asked me the questions, “What color car is going to win!” “What are 2 words that rhyme with [green]?” Sometimes I would respond with words that did and did not rhyme with [green] to see if he would correct me, which in most cases he did not, however, if I stopped to ask him, “Josh, does jump really rhyme with ‘green’? He would respond by saying, “No.” Then if I asked him why either because he knew or learned the pattern, he would say, “Because they don’t sound the same at the end.” Troia (2004) suggests that oddity detection in phonological sensitivity is an acceptable form of phonological analysis. “Which word does not share the same syllable or sound as the stimulus?” Interestingly: 13
    • Children can detect similar- and dissimilar-sounding words before they can manipulate sounds within words. …And can generally blend phonological information before they can segment phonological information of the same linguistic complexity. Finally, children refine phonological awareness skills they have already learned while they are learning new phonological awareness skills.” ( Anthony & Francis 2005) The direction of my lesson completely changed from nursery rhymes and pointing out words that rhymed to making playing with cars a rhyming game. Blachowicz and Fisher (2004) cite that “You can create a positive environment for word learning by using activities, materials, and resources that enable students to play with words. In addition, you should model word learning for your students.” (p.67) The direction of my lesson changed only by activity, not content. I made word learning a game by using the cars (his interest for the day), and created an environment in which Josh not only played with words, but so did I- therefore, modeled behavior. (Standard III , Standard IV, Standard V, Standard VI) Anthony & Francis (2005) cite that “experiences with oral language play an important role in developing phonological awareness.” (p.256) What evidence do you have that the student achieved your instructional goals? I provided three examples of student work to Dr. Troia as well as pictures included herein that the instruction occurred. The pre- and post-assessment indicate that Josh met my end goal of correctly naming 4 words on the Nonword Decoding test. If you were given another opportunity to teach this lesson with this student, what changes would you make and why? Some particular elements you might want to address include: (a) your behavior management; (b) tactics to promote active participation and interest; (c) lesson pacing and transitions; (d) effectiveness of teaching procedures and materials; and (e) usefulness of the assessment data collected. 14
    • If I were given another opportunity to teach these lessons with Josh, changes I would make are within me. On my third visit, I was very tired and feeling overwhelmed with what I did not know. I had driven from Berkley at 6 a.m. to West Bloomfield to East Lansing, back to West Bloomfield to Clinton twp to meet that day and it was only 3 o’clock in the afternoon, but I was weary. Thus, maybe not as patient as I could have been. I don’t think that Josh even knew because I my feelings were never externally manifested, but I feel as though I could have been more effective that day if I was feeling more rested. Also, my expectations of four year old Josh may have been different if I worked with this age group more regularly and so I may have transitioned more effectively and had planned that activities may take longer than I hoped so my expected pacing for each lesson may have been slower. Additionally, though out of my control, I would have waited to complete the assignment until I had more comfort in the content area of reading. I felt very uncomfortable initially because I have so little experience with reading and students of Josh’s age. Completing this term project not only aided in me learning the material through application but also helped me to realize that skills I employ each day as a teacher are beneficial to students in any age group. For example, ability to be creative and flexible were beneficial characteristics I displayed to continue with lessons as I could see upon immediate reflection that they were not going as planned. In what ways could reading instruction for this student be more developmentally appropriate and responsive to his unique needs? Honestly, this is a question that is very difficult to answer because I honestly believe I did a great job planning reading instruction and activities that were appropriate for Josh’s level 15
    • developmentally. I have an undergraduate background that includes child development and I feel that I was very aware and responsive to his needs. In addition to choosing activities and lessons that were appropriate according to his pre-assessment, I also referred to the Grade Level Content Expectations for the state of Michigan and they too reinforced lesson selections I made. I demonstrated the ability to work effectively and developmentally appropriate as well as be responsive to his unique needs especially as evidenced by the explanation of when Josh was not interested in the nursery rhyme activities and we switched to cars and learning through play. What aspects of your reading lessons demonstrate your use of newly learned techniques to provide effective reading instruction? Aspects of my reading lesson that demonstrate my use of newly learned techniques are evident when I had to adapt my lesson to Josh’s needs the day we played rhyming games with cars instead of reading the nursery rhymes book together. I followed the ICUE steps where I first Identified the student’s need for adaptation. Next, I Chose two CARES adaptation strategies. I accommodated for Josh by changing the environment from the living room to the kitchen. I also modified my lesson by substituting an alternate learning task. Then I Used (employed) these strategies. Finally, I Evaluated the effectiveness of the adaptation strategy. Everything I did should show what I learned from class readings and/or conversations. I knew nothing about anything in reading, not even vocabulary terms such as decoding, segmenting, blending, or phonological awareness. The fact that I gained vocabulary through repetition and context in readings, were reinforced during class discussions and now practiced and applied in case study. School-wide reading initiatives that I mentioned in my post to 16
    • module 1, such as Drop Everything and Write (D.E.W), will take on whole new meaning now and I will feel that writing can be more aptly implanted and driving in my future pedagogical ideals. When I was told that I had to take this class, I accepted it and knew it may be challenging. After attending the first class, I left feeling overwhelmed and had great hesitance with rapidly growing resistance. I don’t know where it happened, but I suddenly was able to analyze and apply course readings and instruction to my own professional life and knowledge I was gaining from class was enabling me to understand and feel more like I knew what I was doing in my case study rather than just winging it with an attempt to meet requirements. While my evidence that Josh met my instructional goal of earning 4 points on the post assessment may be a mediocre measurement, I know that I aided Josh’s progress in phonological awareness and on his road to being a successful reader. Simply expressing that I think Josh is better off because of our sessions may not be measurable or warranted, but he was provided with reading experiences and rich oral language activities that followed ideas from as suggested by multiple course readings, which have undeniable positive results on learners in their studies. Selfishly, I felt as though my experience as a learner had more direct impact. All of the module work and readings were suddenly blossoming. Ivey (2004) appropriately expressed my feelings explaining, “No longer glued to print, they ‘take off’ in reading. Flight is possible if children are given the opportunities to construct their own wings and experience the sensation of being able to read text thoroughly, with sound comprehension and rich interpretation that arises from myriad conversations about potential meanings.” (p.239) I was the learner she 17
    • described here and in the end I see that I went from the nervous jumper who was shoved out of the plane to the avid, gravity loving, thrill seeking sky-diver who is eager, on the next plane, to jump on her own. 18