Teacher InterviewWhat are the student’s strengths in the classroom and academically? Sometimes the student does well with participations. The student raises his handfrequently to ask questions or volunteer for something. The student interactions with otherpeople are good.What are the students weaknesses in the classroom and academically? Certain people catch the student off guard. He can easily get distracted by other people.He is low in reading. He should be at a level 28 but is not reading at that level. The student’swriting is very low. His writing stamina is also very low. He has difficulty spelling words and hissentence length is immature for his age. He doesn’t have much independence and doesn’t havethe vocabulary to make more difficult interactions. His interactions with other people are good,however sometimes I will ask him a question and I will get a blank stare. I think this tie into hisvocabulary being lower.What are your reading and language arts goals for the student this year? My reading and language arts goals are to have this student reading at grade level beforethe end of the school year. I would like at least one year worth of growth in reading and writingstamina. I would also like for the student to utilize the room to help with his reading and writingas well as what he knows about words better. I would like for his punctuation and capitalizationto become better. The most important thing I would like for him to do is enjoy reading andlearning. I want him to love school.What do you recommend I watch for as I observe this student? I would like for you to watch him during independent work. Maybe pull him aside andgive him more one on one. Watch to make sure that he is staying on task and understands whathe doing. I would like for you to make sure you are paying enough attention in whole class andis using his time wisely. Other things I would like for you to watch for are the following: makesure that he is using classroom charts, make sure that he is using classroom tools, make sure thathe utilizes his individual clock, make sure that he is following along and listening to a story. Thelast thing I would like for you to watch for is his ability to retell a story or talk about what he hasjust read.
Observation 9-13-11Morning Circle Time on the Carpet:The student sat on the carpet in his assigned seat. He raised his hand to answer three out of fourquestions the teacher asked the students. He fiddled a lot on the floor touching different parts ofhis body. Sometimes he would look down at the floor and lose track of the discussion. Overall hedisplayed behavior that majority of the third graders display on the carpet.During Words their Way:The student sat at his desk and worked on the assignment. He raised his hand a lot to askquestions. Some of the questions he asked were: “What does this word say?” “Does this wordmake this sound or this sound?” “Did I do this right?”Before Journal Time:The class met on the carpet. They discussed seed topics and watermelon topics. Journals shouldreflect seed topics. The teacher asked the class three questions. The student responded to two outof three questions however his responses were only guesses. The teacher told the class shewanted them to write a seed story and that this week she wanted the class to focus zooming in tothe story and focusing on important aspects of the story. She also wanted the students to focus onsequencing and putting things into the right order.During Journal Time/Independent writing:The student pulled out his journal but did not write in his journal. He was easily distracted by hisclassmates. He would consistently open and close his desk. I had the student sit with me at theteacher’s table. I asked the student what he wanted to write about. He told me he was going towrite about a time where he and his cousin and brother were riding their bikes around the corner.The student was going to begin his story at his grandmother’s house and then have it end outside.I had to explain to the student that this is not a seed story. The student was confused about thedifference between a watermelon story and a seed story. I then asked the student what he wasgoing to zoom into. The student was confused about the word “zoom” he asked me to explainwhat it meant. After a fifteen minute discussion with this student he proceeded to write in hisjournal. He stopped periodically while writing his journal to think about the words he wanted towrite down. Attached is a copy of this journal assignment. The student misspelled a few wordsthat were on the word wall. I had the student look for the word didn’t on the word wall andcorrect his spelling of that word. The child was able to locate the word. The student does not
utilize the word wall to help his spelling of words. I told the student that sometimes when he isnot for sure how to spell or word or wants to double check his spelling he should look around theclassroom and see if that word is located in the room somewhere.During Math:I pulled this student and another student out in the hallway to assist them with a study guide for amath test that would be administered the next day. Both students needed assistance for everyproblem. The student fidgeted a lot on the floor, and looked around the hallway. The student waseager to read the questions for the test, however struggled with very basic words and neededassistance sounding words out. The student struggled seeing the relationship between +10 and -10 addition and subtraction problems. The student needed me to explain why we did certainthings and how we came up with an answer. The student did become engaged in the activity.When I praised the student on his thinking process or his math ideas, or math terminology hewould refocus his attention on the next question and become actively engaged.During Science:The class sat on the carpet with their science journals. The teacher discussed with the class the 4roles of Prairie soil. The teacher took notes on the electronic whiteboard and had the studentscopy the notes into their notebook. The student was not able to finish copying the notes from theboard to his paper. Attached are the notes the student took. Keep in mind this is all the studentwas able to copy in a time span of forty minutes.Observation 9-14-11Today’s schedule did not follow its usual routine. There was a substitute for half of the day(meaning I did the first half of the day’s teaching) and then a science lesson that took placeoutside after lunch(with U of I students) until the end of the school day.Morning Work:The student did his morning work as soon as he entered the classroom. He remained focus on hismorning work and was able to complete it before circle time on the carpet.Circle Time:The student displayed good behavior during circle as I read a folktale to the students. He wasattentive and did not converse with the other students. He raised his hand to answer multiplequestions.Words Their Way:
The student had a hard time staying focused during words their way. The student continued totalk with his neighbors. The student consistently raised his hand to ask for help on where certainwords should be placed. The student had little confidence in the answers he had chosen. It wasdifficult for the student to explain why he placed a word in a particular chart. He had a hard timesounding out the words which made it difficult for him to see the rhyming pattern that the wordsdisplayed.Math:The class was administered a math test. The test was similar to the study guide I worked on withthe student yesterday. The student was not able to complete the test. A lot of spaces were leftblank where answers should have been. The student had a hard time reading the questions on thetest. Even after a question had been read to the student, the student struggled comprehending thequestion and thus could not come up with an answer.Science:The student did a great job participating in the science activity today outside. The studentparticipated in all the activities and raised his hand to ask multiple questions. He consulted withclassmates and actively engaged in all the hands on activities.Observation 9-20-11Morning Work:The student entered class late and was not able to begin the morning work.Circle Time:The student was well behaved. The student gave the teacher eye contact. The student raised theirhand to answer multiple questions.Words their way:Student worked on the assignment. The student raised their hands a few times to ask questionsregarding the lesson. The student was able to identify the word endings. After noticing therelationship that the words shared the student quickly finished the lesson.After words their way students were to read silently to themselves. I decided to pull the studentout of class and read to me. The student read the story “How do Dinosaurs Learn to Read”. Thestudent was able to make a good prediction about the book based off the title. The student did agreat job of sounding out words that he did not know. The student looked at me multiple times tomake sure he said the word right. As the student read he noticed a rhyme to the story. Moreoverthe student was able to answer questions regarding the story. The student was able to summarizecertain parts of the story. Sometimes the student would have to reread a small portion of the story
to summarize what he had read. The student made text-to self connections. The student noticedhe had made a mistake and did not pause at a comma. The student and I discussed quotationmarks. The student made an inference about the last page based on the illustration.During RTI:The student was unable to keep up with the teacher. The student would skip over words that hedid not know. The student would frequently talk with his classmates. The student seemed verydiscouraged.Math:Student stayed on task. Copied answers from the electronic whiteboard on to his paper. Thestudent did not volunteer to answer any math questions.Science:The students participated in the card game “Go Dig” which is very similar to the “Go Fish”. Thestudent displayed enjoyment. The student frequently asked me how to say certain words.9-21-11Today’s observations are very similar to yesterdays. The student participated in class discussionand raised his hand to answer a few questions. The student would frequently allow his eyes toroam the classroom. The student got out his seat more than usual today to talk to a familymember of his that is also in the class. The student resets the first time he is told. The student didnot ask me or the teacher for help today during Words their way. Instead he conversed with thestudents next to him. There were times when I noticed this student looking at his neighbor’spaper for the answer. During silent reading the student pulled out the Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Thestudent relied on the pictures to tell the story instead of the words. I would notice the studentsquickly flipping through the pages and looking at each picture. The student’s behavior duringmath was very similar to yesterdays. During science today the student worked with a partner. Heand his partner were able to get some of the assignment done; however, I had to remind them tostay on task. There was a lot of talking and giggling coming from the area.
Caila Bishop Individual Student Assessment I chose to do my individual child assessment project on an eight year old male studentwho is currently in the third grade at Stratton Elementary School. This student is extremely wellbehaved in the classroom. There are times when this student can be caught out of his seatsocializing with one of his cousins in the classroom; however, once the student is told to reset, hequickly corrects his behavior. This student always arrives to school on time and enters theclassroom with a positive attitude. I have never seen this student upset or angry. He is alwayspolite to everyone and socializes with the majority of students in the classroom. During recess,this student can be seen playing basketball and soccer with two other male students in theclassroom. I conducted a brief interview on this student and asked him questions about his familyand home life. The student lives with his mom, dad, two younger brother ages five and sevenmonths old, a younger sister who is one year of age, a cousin, uncle and an aunt. The student’shome life is very busy and because of this he has a hard time concentrating on his homeworkwhen he gets home from school. With such a busy home life the student will walk over toDouglas Branch Library after school with one of his older cousins to complete his homework. Ifthe student needs help with his homework he will either ask his mom, aunt or uncle for help.Sometimes the student’s mom will read to him at home but it is not very often. The student doesnot have very many books at home. The student eats dinner with his family and goes to bed ateight thirty every school night. Last year the student liked going to school because he was able toplay games and use the computer. This year the student likes school because there are lots ofbooks in the classroom and he is given plenty of time to read.
I choose to do my project on this student after I observed him the first few days of schoolduring independent reading.. I noticed that the student was skimming a chapter book by lookingat the pictures in the book, instead of reading the words on the page. The student would keep hiseyes fixed on the picture and would quickly turn to the next page. I went up to the student andasked him what his book was about. He looked at the picture and based off the illustrations in thebook he gave me a brief description of what he thought the chapter was about. I asked him toread a few words from the book and he responded by closing the book and asking if he couldfind an easier story to read to me. In regards to reading this student is not at appropriate grade level. A running record hasbeen kept on this student since kindergarten. The running record reveals the following (see figure1): It shows how the student ended his kindergarten year reading at a level three which was atgrade level. The student entered first grade and had dropped to a reading level two at thebeginning of the year. The drop in reading level at the beginning of the school year was mostlikely due to a lack of reading over summer break. I came to this conclusion during my interviewwhen I asked the student if he read any books over the summer. He stated that he did not do a lotof reading over summer break. At the end of first grade the student had made improvements inhis reading and ended the school year reading at a level eight. Although he had gone up readinglevels he was expected to end first grade reading at a level sixteen. The student entered secondgrade at the reading level he was at the previous year. He jumped up four reading levels while insecond grade and ended the year at a reading level twelve which is still a first grade readinglevel. A developmental reading assessment (DRA) was conducted on the student at the beginningof the school year. The DRA results show that the student needs to improve in his readingfluency and reading comprehension (see figures 1a-1d). In regards to fluency the student needs
to improve in his reading expression. As the DRA was being conducted on the student he readthe story with little expression. The student remained monotone as he read the text. Moreover thestudent needs to work on phrasing. The student does not heed all punctuation while he is reading,which hindered his understanding of the story. In addition the student needs to improve on hisreading rate. The student is reading 44 words per minute at a first grade reading level. Thestudent should be reading 80 or more words per minute at a third grade reading level. In additionthe student needs to improve on his reading accuracy. The student had a total of four miscues anddid not attempt to self correct any of the miscues. Moreover the student paused four timesthroughout the reading when he came across words that he could not pronounce. All four timesthe teacher had to tell the student the word. In regards to comprehension the student needs to improve on retelling the story. Thestudent was not able to retell the story using all the characters name or important details from thetext. Also, the student needs to work on retelling the story using more vocabulary that was in thestory. The student was able to retell the story using some language and vocabulary from the text;however he did not have a good understanding of key words or concepts. In addition the studentneeds to improve on retelling the story without teacher support. The student had a difficult timeretelling the story without questions or prompts to guide his thinking process. In addition, thestudent needs to work on his reflection following the story. The student’s reflection was limitedand lacked a relevant reason as to why he liked the text. Moreover the student needs to work onmaking connections to the story. The student lacked literal and thoughtful connections to thestory. The writing stamina of this student is very low. I noticed that this student is a very slowwriter and has a hard time staying focused during writing activities. Sometimes the student’s
inability to focus is due to his peers. Figure 2 and 3 is an example that shows the writing staminaof this student. Figure 2 are notes the teacher had put on the electronic whiteboard for thestudents to copy in their science journals while they were on the carpet. The teacher gave thestudents fifty minutes to copy the notes as she discussed the topics. The students looked at theteacher as she discussed the topics, however, a few times throughout the lesson the students eyeswould roam from the teacher, his paper, to small paper objects on the floor. Figure 3 shows thenotes that the student copied. This student was the only person in the class who was not able tocopy all of the notes in the fifty minutes provided. Although the student did not finish copying allof the notes, he asked the teacher if she would print them off and let him finish copying them athome. Using punctuation is something else the student struggles with while he is writing. Thestudent does not use punctuation marks in his writing. He has a hard time showing where asentence begins and where it ends. He is familiar with the different type of punctuation marks;however, the student told me that sometimes he does not know where to put the punctuationmarks. An example of the students writing without any punctuation marks can be seen in figure4. Moreover the student writes with a mixture of capital letters and lower case letters throughouthis writing. Figure 5 shows an example of his writing where he has three uppercase letters in asingle word. The student knows that uppercase letters should be placed at the beginning of thesentence, yet he fails to follow that rule. The student told me that he doesn’t think putting capitalletters in his writing should be a big deal since the meaning of words remain the same. Idiscussed the importance of using capital letters and punctuation in his writing. I shared with thestudent how the meaning of a sentence can change due to punctuation. After our discussion thestudent went back an revised his previous journal entries.
In addition the student has trouble spelling recalling vocabulary that he wants to includein his writing. The student constantly asks me to help him think about words that he can’t recallor words that have a certain meaning. This in return affects the students writing stamina.Moreover, the student has a difficult time sounding out words and spelling them. Figure 5 is apage out of the student’s writing journal. The journal entry shows a ton of misspelled words. Alot of the words the student misspelled are words he should know how to spell by this gradelevel. Words such as “when, brother, cousin, slipped, rocks and hurt” are all misspelled. Thestudent could make a lot of improvements with his writing if he utilized the classroom word walland other classroom resources; however, he forgets about these classroom resources and has tobe reminded to use them. The student would benefit from using a dictionary, and knows how touse one, however he would rather raise his hand and ask for help spelling a word because it takeshim so long to find a word in the dictionary. After assessing this student for a few days and working with this student in theclassroom, two things impressed me. The first thing I noticed about this student is that he is verymotivated. Despite the struggles he faces with reading and writing he is always willing to learnand never gives up. He likes to know if he has done an assignment correctly, and will fix it if it isnot right. The student takes pride in completing his assignments and learning new information.The second thing I noticed about this student is his attitude and energy in the classroom. Thisstudent is a very happy and social student. He never enters the classroom with a negative attitudeand is very respectful and responsible. He participates in class discussions and raises his hand toanswer a variety of questions. The student’s motivation and attitude are two big strengths thathave already proven beneficial in helping him grow in reading and writing this year.
If I were this child’s teacher I would assist this student with his reading fluency byworking with him on appropriate phrasing and expression using familiar texts. By allowing thestudent to pick a familiar text at his reading level he will have an easier time focusing on theexpression and phrasing of the text. In small literacy group or one-on-one with the student Iwould have him point to the different punctuation that he notices throughout the text. I woulddiscuss with the student what happens when that punctuation is present and how punctuation caneffect reading expression. In addition I would model and support reading in longer andmeaningful phrases with expression. I would assist the student in reading segmented passagesout of the story emphasizing parts of the text that should be read smoothly together. In order to assist this student with his reading rate I would provide time and readingmaterial for repeated readings. I would start the student off with familiar reading material orreading material at a lower level. I would have the student preview the reading material focusingon events in the story and vocabulary before he reads it. Moreover I would support and reinforceself-corrections of miscues as well as encourage the student to use context clues, word structureclues and analogy clues to problem solve unknown words. Moreover I would teach him how tolook at picture for clues that would help with the identification of words. In regards to comprehension I would assist the student in retelling the story byencouraging the student to use characters names, key vocabulary and language from the textwhen retelling the story. I would model and teach the student how to create and use story mapsthat will help him in retelling the story. I would introduce story mapping as a collaborativeactivity using a familiar text. I would encourage the student to visualize the characters, settings,and events as he listens to the story. I would then discuss and chart the main characters and story
events. I would review the chart with the student focusing on the sequence of main events. Iwould then have the student retell the story using the story map we created. In order to assist the student in reflecting upon a story I would provide opportunities forhim to pick his favorite book and tell me why it is his favorite. I would also have the student gothrough the book and point to the pictures or parts of the story that he has referred too. I wouldassist the student in making connections to the text in two ways. First I would model and teachthe student how to make text-to-text connections. I would model text to text connections byreading the text with the student and verbalizing my own thoughts beginning with “this bookreminds me of another book because….” Next I would display a chart of books and other readingmaterial that had been read together in the class to support connections. I would introduce andmake a list of different text to text connections such as comparing characters personalities andactions, comparing story events, comparing story themes or comparing messages the author istrying to convey. I believe that the recommendations I provided above would improve the student’s readingfluency and reading comprehension. A lot of these recommendations could be implemented insmall literacy groups or one-on-one with the student. I believe that this student should beencouraged to participate in activities that will target those recommendations. Moreover, Ibelieve that the student should be encouraged and reminded to use the strategies he learns in hisliteracy groups to assist him throughout the school year with his reading and writing.