DEBORAH COCHRANE✄Leroy, Wolcott Street Elementary School✄3rd grade general education class✄Special Education Students (Inclusion)✄Various reading levels (below, average, above)✄One student whom is visually impaired
LITERACY INSTRUCTION METHODS✭ Mrs. Cochrane, along with the entire school district, uses a variety of literacy instruction methods. Student’s have a text book (RIGBY) in which is used for guided reading.✭ Mrs. Cochrane implements both whole group instruction, small group instruction and one-on-one leveled reading instruction.✭ Students are evaluated by testing to find their reading levels (click the image below to see the chart). The test includes; reading aloud, reading to self, multiple choice questions for comprehension and unaided/aided retellings.
WHOLE GROUP INSTRUCTION 📕 Whole group instruction takes place with the use of thestudents Rigby textbooks. Each chapter is called a “theme”(Example: Theme 1 = Chapter 1). Each Theme has a differentskill in which students will be focusing on. Some examples ofTheme skills are; comprehension skills, story mapping,sequencing, free writing, thinking beyond the text, graphicorganizing etc. 📕 Each theme went as followed; First students would read anexcerpt in the beginning of that theme introducing 5 newvocabulary words and and explanation of what skill they weregoing to be working with. Next, students would usedictionaries to find the 5 words and their meanings and copythem into their journals.
WHOLE GROUP INSTRUCTION CONT. After copying the vocabulary words into the dictionary, the next lesson would consist of a story incorporating the vocabulary words. The story would also lead them into the use of the skill they are learning about. (For example: If students were working on sequencing and read “The Three Little Pigs,” they would then be expected to tell the stories most important details in a sequence.) Students then must complete a test for each theme. Also, during whole group instruction, the use of the SMART board was incorporated often. Students played games on the SMART board that incorporated their vocabulary words.
SMALL GROUP INSTRUCTION AND GROUPING There are about 5 different groups that would meet together with Mrs. Cochrane during guided reading time. The groups were divided up by their reading levels. This allows students to read and discuss literature with their peers whom are on the same reading levels as them, as well as incorporating differentiated instruction for those whom read at a lower or higher level. While small groups meet with Mrs. Cochrane, the remaining students will read and/or write independently. There are many books to choose from for each individuals reading levels.
ONE-ON-ONE INSTRUCTION 📕 One-on-one instruction is only present for two types ofinstruction which are; pull out instruction and reading levelevaluation instruction. Some students were pulled out forextra help with literacy instruction which was a one-on-onesetting. All students meet with Mrs. Cochrane every so oftento see if their reading levels have decreased, increased orstayed the same since their last evaluation. 📕
MATERIALS Rigby textbooks and Teachers edition Reader leveled texts Worksheets pertaining to particular themes Numerous different types of graphic organizers Theme tests SMART Board 📕 📕 📕 📕 📕 📕 📕 📕 📕 📕
ASSESSMENTS Theme tests included; vocabulary questions, multiple choice questions and short answer questions pertaining to that particular theme. Some of the students work samples from the themes skills were collected and assessed such as; graphic organizers, free writes, papers etc. All students are assessed on their reading levels throughout the entire year.
GOALS, EXPECTATIONS AND VALUES The goals of this literacy program are to help students become better readers and assist them with learning and implementing skills to help them better comprehend what they are reading. Students are expected to be able to implement these new skills on their own in order to reach their own goals of advancing their literacy skills.
HOME-TO-SCHOOL LITERACY CONNECTION Mrs. Cochrane, along with all of the other elementary teachers (as they all follow the same steps) is very good with keeping the students parents aware and involved. Before each theme that the students will be learning, a letter will be sent home informing the parents exactly what the theme entails and what the students need to do to prepare in order to do well in that particular theme. Also, students are to read a certain amount of time at home each week. Parents are to sign a piece of paper for each night that their child read at home and for how long. Lastly, students and parents are to keep track of the books that students read on their own.
TIME FOR WHOLE GROUP INSTRUCTION Whole group instruction for Rigby literacy instruction is implemented every day, for any where between 15 and 25 minutes. During whole group discussion, Mrs. Cochrane instructs the entire class in the literacy lesson. Each theme has a topic, vocabulary words and a skill to work on. Therefore, for whole group instruction the entire class will read aloud a story in their Rigby text books lead by their teacher. There is always a fiction story and a non fiction story for each theme (completed different days). Whole group instruction also consists of vocabulary review that is completed through group cooperation using the SMART board.
ANALYSIS OF INSTRUCTIONAL TIME FOR WHOLEGROUP INSTRUCTION📕 I am definitely in favor of the Rigby Star whole group literacy instruction lessons that are implemented in this school district. These lessons provide adequate time for learning necessary comprehension and organization skills. It was clear that the students enjoyed the Rigby literacy lessons, as they became excited when it was time to begin each lesson.📓 Literacy skills are definitely hard for students to learn. Rigby reveals many different skills and strategies to ensure that students instruction is differentiated to fit all learners learning needs.📕 However, I believe that less whole group instruction could benefit many students, if small group instruction could replace it. Learning from your peers is a beneficial method for many types of learners.
TIME FOR SMALL GROUP INSTRUCTION Small group instruction is implemented every day. Small group instruction is when Mrs. Cochrane meets with each reading level group. There are around 5 different reading level groups that have been formed and altered through out the year depending on the students reading levels. Each group has about 15 minutes of small group instruction one day out of the week. Small groups instruction also takes place when students are to work with others on tasks that go along with their theme skills.
ANALYSIS OF INSTRUCTIONAL TIME FOR SMALLGROUP INSTRUCTION📕 The time allocated for small group instruction is definitely beneficial for diverse learners. However, I would recommend that they be incorporated even more if possible. Speaking from experience, many student benefit more from small group activities rather than whole group instruction.📕 As a literacy coach I would assist the teacher by differentiating instruction in order to incorporate more small group instruction, where applicable to fit these diverse learners needs.
ONE-ON-ONE INSTRUCTIONAL TIME📕 One-on-one instruction is implemented only when students are pulled out for extra help, have a teacher push in to help an individual or when Mrs. Cochrane has one individual attempting to go up a reading level (Rigby guided reading leveled book tests).
ANALYSIS OF ONE-ON-ONE INSTRUCTIONALTIME📕 As a literacy coach, I would recommend to the teacher to incorporate some sort of individual project that involves only them and that one individual.
ANALYSIS OF TEXTS USED: Whole group - The Rigby text book has great strategies to help students who are good and/or struggling readers. It is good to introduce students to more than one strategy for comprehending and organizing literature. Also, it is beneficial that Rigby include fiction and non fiction selections. Small group – There are a large amount of small group text book selections for each reading level. These books consist of fiction and non-fiction selections, as well as a variety of different topics to intrigue students interests. Individual – Students are always allowed to check out books from the classroom to read on their own. The classroom has a ton of choices from genre to topic to reading level. I love seeing students enthusiasm when it comes to their individual reading choices. However, Mrs. Cochrane did divide the books by reading level and would tell students (based on their reading levels) which books they could chose from.
CONSIDERATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS I believe that the system used in this classroom provides a good example of a balanced literacy program and workshop approach. However, if I were to make a recommendation it would definitely be to attempt to have more small group instruction and less whole group instruction. It seems that students benefit more from small group instruction because it is less students to one teacher. Small group instruction also provides opportunity for differentiated instruction.
CONSIDERATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS CONT.⧾ I myself have participated in this literacy instruction program in this exact class room as I student taught here. The students responded well to the individual lessons but many seemed to struggle on the theme tests. I feel as though, as a literacy coach, I would try to differentiate the testing assessments. It would be interesting to see if some of the students who were failing the theme tests actually knew the material but were having some sort of issue with the whole “testing” aspect. By this, one could see what type of testing each individual responds best to (multiple choice, short answer, verbal answers, typing, etc.) and implement the testing that way.⧾ Also, more assessments should be taken on the non testing elements completed in each theme.