Assessment is an integral and ongoing part of both learning and teaching (Tompkins, 2010).Effective literacy educators link assessment and instruction to improve student literacy success. By applying this premise to my own personal experience in working with three children who represent the three stages of beginning readers, I have come to a greater understanding of the importance of using information to make instructional decisions. As Dr. Janice Almansi, states in the webcast Literacy Autobiography, “it is not what we are teaching but who we are teaching” (Laureate education, 2010f). The three children I chose to work with for this assignment are neighborhood children whose background, I knew very little about before beginning this assignment. Because children need to be active participants in their own learning, it is vitally important to understand what experiences have shaped their literacy background (Laureate Education.2010b). Two of the children are siblings, whose parents emigrated from the African country of Eritrea. Aryam is a nine year old girl; and will be in fourth grade this upcoming school year. Abiel is a seven year old boy and going to second grade. English is the only language the children speak, although their parents speak the language Tigrinya in their home. The parents themselves are bilingual as English is taught in the schools of Eritrea. Aryam and Abiel say that they understand Tigrinya, but do not know how to speak, read or write it. In speaking with the parents, they seem relatively well educated and defiantly very supportive of their children’s education and literacy in particular. Both the mother and father report they support their children in any way they can by helping with homework, assigning and monitoring reading time and even reading together when possible. They seemed to understand the crucial role parents play in helping their children become successful readers and writer (Tompkins, 2010). 3
Preston, the third child I worked with, is a bright and energetic seven year old boy who is best friends with Abiel. Preston is also going into the second grade this fall. Preston lives part time with his father and grandmother and part time with his mother. I met briefly with his grandmother, who obviously has very big influence on Preston’s literacy and educational background. She was able to tell me that Preston is a great student and is reading and writing on or above grade level. She too, is very supportive of her grandson, and states that she has always helped him in any way she can. Assessment allows us to identify and understand the strengths and needs of our students (Afflerbach, 2007). Because I have recently learned that developmental word knowledge aligns itself with the developmental stages of reading (Laureate education, 2010d), I chose to use the Word Their Way Primary Spelling Inventory (PSI) and the Elementary Spelling Inventory (ESI) from Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary and Spelling Instruction (Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton & Johnston, 2008). Use of these tools allowed the identification of the three students to be beginning and transitional readers and letter name- alphabetic and within word pattern spellers (Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton & Johnston, 2008). Administering this assessment was an interesting experience, especially for the two young boys. I first administered the ESI (Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton & Johnston, 2008). I assumed that both boys would be fairly similar in their reading and spelling abilities because they told me they both got A’s and B’s on their report cards in reading and spelling. The ESI is a list of 25 increasingly difficult words that surveys a range of features that can identify students up to the derivational stage (Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton & Johnston, 2008). When administrating the test, it is recommended to discontinue the test after five or more mistakes are made. This is exactly what happened with Abiel. In fact, I only administered the first eleven 4
words, and Abiel was not able to spell any of the words correctly. Therefore I had to adjust my assessment to the PSI in order to better identify his level of developmental word knowledge. After administering the inventories I used the corresponding Inventory Feature Guides (Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton & Johnston, 2008), to determine each of the children’s spelling stage. According the feature guide, Abeil is in the early letter name- alphabetic stage. The PSI feature guide demonstrated that Abiel shows weakness in the feature area of short vowels. Preston, on the other hand, is in the early within word pattern of word development. Utilization of the ESI feature guide helped to identify that Preston is developmentally ready for long vowel instruction. I determined Aryam to be in the late within word pattern stage of spelling. The feature guide identified the area of instruction for Aryam to be the other vowels. The non-cognitive assessments I used with my students were the Elementary Reading Attitude Survey (ERAS) for the boys (McKenna & Kear, 1990) and the Motivation to Read Profile (MRP), for Aryam (Gambrell, Palmer, Codling, & Mazzoni, 1996).I chose the ERAS for Preston and Abiel because of its child friendly format. This assessment measures two areas of reading which are; recreational and academic reading. By analyzing the results of the tests I was able to determine that both Preston and Abiel have relatively a high motivation to read. Their composite scores were both in the 80 percentile range. I was also able to determine that both boys, Abiel in particular, enjoy academic reading. In talking with the boys, they both say they really enjoy reading books, especially non-fiction and funny fictional stories. To continue their reading engagement, I would provide a variety of text that meets their reading levels and reading interests. Aryam also has a high motivation to read. The MRP measures two areas of reading motivation, self-concept and the value of the reader (Gambrell, Palmer, Codling, & 5
6 Mazzoni, 1996). By scoring her profile, I was able to determine that Aryam’s composite score placed her in the 85 percentile range for the full scale. I found it very interesting that her self-concept and value of reading were exactly the same, at 85 percent in each area. These scores indicate that Aryam is a motivated reader. She has confidence in her reading abilities and finds reading as worthwhile and valuable. In order to continue Aryams reading engagement; I would provide text that both stimulate, and foster her interests in reading. Because I am aware that data drives instruction, I would utilize the information from the assessments I have given, to group the children for small group activities. For the upcoming second grade boys, they would be placed in small groups that would facilitate their developmental word study. Preston would be assigned a small group of other students who were also identified as early within word pattern stage spellers. In this group I would provide instruction and learning activities on focusing on long vowels. Abiel would be also assigned a small group with children who have similar abilities. Abiel’s PSI scores demonstrated he is in the middle letter name alphabetic stage; therefore, I would place him a group of students who are also in this stage of development. For this group I would build instruction and learning activities based on short vowels. Large group instruction for the two boys would include mixed vowel word families. Word families can be used to generate 500 different words that students encounter in primary reading (Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton & Johnston, 2008), which will help to build phonics, fluency, vocabulary in reading and writing. According to the ESI assessment, Aryam is in the late within word (Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton & Johnston, 2008). The assessment identified her areas of instruction to be “other vowels”. For small group instruction I would place her with students in a similar stage of word development. Aryam’s small group instruction and word study activities would be based
7 on the areas of “other vowels”. Other vowels include diphthongs and other ambiguous vowels (Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton & Johnston, 2008).For whole group instruction I would focus on complex consonants and begin to include instruction on inflected endings. The utilization of the ESI, PSI, and reading motivation surveys provided the spelling and word development stages as well as the engagement levels of my learners. However, looking over the data, I realized further assessment in reading, such as a reading inventory would have provided more specific information on each student. Reading inventories can offer rich information from which we infer students’ reading strengths and challenges (Afflerbach, 2007). Because reading inventories provide very detailed information on a student’s reading process (Laureate Education, 2010j), the use of the reading inventory would have answered a few questions I have on the children’s reading abilities. Further questions I have include, what is their specific level of reading? What is their level of comprehension? Are they reading with expression? And what kind of miscues are they making? Finally, the goal of literacy education is to ensure all students achieve their full literacy potential (Tompkins, 2010p.5).The very first step in this process is to understand and cultivate the contexts which your students bring to your classroom. Dr. Janice Almansi describes this as “fidelity to students” (Laureate Education, 2010a). The ability to make critical literacy decisions rests upon the educator’s ability to utilize observation, documentation, interpretation and evaluating and planning to provide best practices for literacy education (Laureate Education, 2010j).Use of the ESI, PSI spelling inventories (Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton & Johnston, 2008), and reading motivation surveys with the students, provided information on both cognitive and non-cognitive aspects of the students literacy development. I was able to determine the level of developmental word knowledge and specific areas of reading motivation, to make decisions on
8 instructional activities that will build upon their specific levels of learning. I also realized although the assessment I used provided specific areas of spelling stages and word knowledge, I had other questions on reading ability which may have been answered by a reading inventory. Gaining insights to my individual students as literacy learners has been a valuable experience. I believe this experience will facilitate my own proficiencies in planning for instruction; and therefore build greater student literacy success.
References Afflerbach, P. (2007). Understanding and using reading assessment, K–12. Newark, DE: International Reading Association. Bear,D.R.,Invernizzi, M.Templeton & Johnson.(2008).Words their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction (8th ed.).Columbus, OH: Pearson Prentice Hall. Gambrell, L. B., Palmer, B. M., Codling, R. M., & Mazzoni, S. A. (1996). Assessing motivation to read. The Reading Teacher, 49(7), 518–533. Retrieved from the Education Research Complete database. Laureate Education Inc., (2010j).Assessing Word Knowledge. The Beginning Reader PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author. Laureate Education Inc., (2010a).Changes in Literacy Education. The Beginning Reader PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author. Laureate Education Inc., (2010d).Developmental Word Knowledge. The Beginning Reader – PreK-3.Baltimore, MD: Author. Laureate Education Inc., (2010f).Literacy Autobiography. The Beginning Reader –PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author 9
10 Laureate Education Inc., (2010b).Perspective on Early Learning. The Beginning Reader PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author. Laureate Education Inc., (2010h).Reading Inventories. The Beginning Reader PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author. McKenna, M. C. & Kear, D. J. (1990).Measuring Attitude toward Reading: a New Tool for Teachers .Reading Teacher, 43 (9) 626-639.Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Tompkins, G. E. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
13 Selecting Text Reading comprehension involves reader factors and text factors. When selecting text for their students, educators must make informed decisions based on the reader’s background knowledge, reading skills, and text factors such as; genres, text structures, and text features (Tompkins,2010). Utilization of the Literacy Matrix (Laureate Education, 2010) provided a valuable tool which facilitated the selection of texts for my three young students. The texts included one informational, one narrative and on line text. Because I am aware that text factors contribute to student writing (Tompkins, 2010), I was also able to incorporate ideas student writing based on the texts I have chosen for them. I chose the topics for my three students based on reading interests, background knowledge and readability factors. Knowing that the two young boys, Preston and Abiel enjoy informational texts and humorous stories; I chose the topic of community helpers; specifically police and firefighters. Preston had recently had his bicycle stolen so I knew he would be particularly interested in police work. Abeil on the other hand, told me he wanted to be a firefighter when he grows up, so I knew this topic would pique his interests. In choosing a topic for Aryam, who is a higher level reader and interested in female character based books, I chose the topic of Black History and African American heritage. Having previously determined Abeil as an emergent reader, in the early letter name- alphabetic stage of word development facilitated the selection of text based on the level of readability. Dr. Janise Almansi describes readability as; sentence length, number of syllables and concept density (Laureate Education, 2010).The informational text I chose for Abiel was the book titled A Day in the Life of a Firefighter ( Hayward,2001).Because Abiel expressed interest
in becoming a firefighter, I felt it was important to explore many of the aspects of this job. Creating opportunities for students to use informational text for authentic purposes helps teachers to increase comprehension (Duke, 2004).Using the literacy matrix I was able to determine this book as mid-semiotic, and informational(Laureate Education, 2010). The pictures were large with captions that made this text fairly easy to understand and reader friendly for a student at Abiel’s reading level. In choosing the narrative text for Abiel, I selected text that could be classified as “twin text”. Twin texts are two books, one fiction and one non-fiction on the same or related topic (Camp, 2002). The narrative text as well as the online text I chose, both features firefighters as the main characters. The narrative book is titled, The Fire Cat (Averill, 1960). By applying the text factors on the quadrants of the Literacy Matrix, I was able to determine that this book fits on the narrative and midpoint of semiotic to linguistic text. The readability factors will meet his instructional needs because it will match his instructional reading level. The sentence length, larger text and text structure supports his level of difficulty to read with comprehension and enjoyment (Laureate Education, 2010k). The online text I selected is titled; The Fire Station (Munsch, 1991).This eBook is another twin book, in respect to its subject matter of firefighters. I chose this book because it is similar in text factors to the narrative book, The Fire Cat (Averill, 1960), and matches his instructional reading level. I also believe it will add to Abiel’s reading enjoyment; as well as help make connections to the facts and information in the informational text (Camp, 2002). For the Preston’s text selection, I also relied on his background knowledge and reading abilities to facilitate my selections. I had recently learned that Preston had his bicycle stolen and
the police were called to investigate. I was aware that personal experiences can generate interest, and when educators build upon these interests, a home- school connection will be built that supports literacy (Duke, 2004).The informational text I choose is titled, I want to be a Police Officer (Liebman, 2000).According the Literacy Matrix this book falls in the middle of the linguistic quadrant and left in the information quadrant (Laureate Education, 2010k). The text in the books meets Preston’s instructional reading level as an early within word pattern stage speller which I had previously determined through the use of the Elementary Spelling Inventory (ESI) (Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton & Johnston, 2008). The narrative text I chose for Preston is titled Robert the Rose Horse (Heilbroner, 1962). The book is a classic book that is humorous and its readability level fits Preston’s instructional reading level. Application of the literacy matrix, determined this book to be fall in the narrative and slightly semiotic because of its relatively large pictures and four to six lines of text. I also chose Robert the Rose Horse (Heilbroner, 1962) because I was aware of the plot, and felt it would work as a twin text because of its related theme of police officers and the jobs they do. For Preston’s online text I will also use The Fire Station (Munsch, 1991). I felt the story would appeal to his interest as well and the ending may lead to a trip to a police station, which I felt fit in well with his own particular topic. Aryam is the third student who I previously assessed for word development. She demonstrated late within word pattern stage spelling, which places her as a transitional reader. Aryam had expressed her preference for books based on female characters, so I decided to use the theme of Black History. I chose the narrative book entitled, The Story of Harriet Tubman Conductor of the Underground Railroad (McMullan, 1991).This text is a completely linguistic 15
16 and informational text. Although it lacks semiotic features, the text size, paragraph length, syllabication (Laureate Education, 2010k) will meet her instructional and readability levels. I also believe the subject matter will be particularly engaging for Aryam because of the facts and information on a true African American heroine is something she can probably relate to. I chose the narrative book and online book for the same reasons; readability and similarity to the theme. The online book is from Tumblebooks, (www.tumblebooks.com), and is titled, White Socks Only (Coleman, 1996). Abby Takes a Stand (McKissack, 2005) is the other narrative book I selected for Aryam. Both texts feature a young African American female as the main character, and are similar in plots as they are both based on black history and civil disobedience. These texts could also be characterized as twin books, as they are very similar to each other in their topics. Pairing these texts are a viable method for both teaching and learning critical reading and thinking (Camp, 2002), which is something very important for a transitional reader like Aryam. Finally, because reading and writing are related, and writing helps students become better writers (National Councils of Teachers of English, 2009), I would utilize computer based writing activities for each of my students. TumbleBooks(www.tumblebooks.com), offers a book report on its website which opens to a web page called Tumble Pad. On this page each student creates a book report, and can print out his or her own report. The book report forms are developed according to grades kindergarten to third grade and fourth grade plus, so that they fit the style and type of writing appropriate for the grade the child is in who is creating the books report. I believe this type of writing will appeal to all three children because it is will provide motivation to read, write and learn when using the computer (Castek, Bevans-Mangelson, & Goldstone , 2006).
17 Evaluating and selecting text for students is a vital process in which effective literacy teachers provide the text necessary for future reading success. Students require reading, writing, and comprehension skills in their primary years in order to build the knowledge base that will support learning in the upper grades (Laureate Education, 2010 l). Analyzing text based on the Literacy Matrix, with its readability and difficulty factors can help educators to make selections of text based on the student’s needs and abilities. Online text and writing activities can also facilitate literacy skills in a manner that is both necessary and motivating for student’s participation in the digital world (Castek, Bevans-Mangelson, & Goldstone , 2006).When educators make informed decisions in selecting text for their students the results are more successful and life long readers.
18 References Averill, E. (1960). The Fire Cat. New York, NY:HarperCollins Publishing. Bear, D., Invernizzi M., Templeton S., & Johnson F. (2008).Words their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction (8th ed.).Columbus, OH: Pearson Prentice Hall. Castek, J., Bevans-Mangelson, J., & Goldstone, B. (2006). Reading Adventures Online: Five Ways to Introduce the New Literacies of the Internet through Children’s Literature Reading Teacher, 59(7), 714–728. Camp, D. (2000). It takes two: Teaching with twin texts of fact and fiction. Reading Teacher, 53(5), 400–408. Coleman, E. (1996). White Socks Only. Retrieved from http://www.tumblebooks.com. Duke, N. (2004). The Case for Informational Text. Educational Leadership, 61(6), 40–44.
Hayward, L. (2001) A Day in the Life of a Firefighter. New York, NY: Dorling Kindersley Publishing. Heilbroner,J. (1962) Robert the Rose Horse. New York, NY. : Random House. Laureate Education Inc., (2010k).Analyzing and Selecting Texts. The Beginning Reader PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.
19 Laureate Education Inc., (2010l).Informational Text in the Early Years. The Beginning Reader PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author. Liebman, D. (2000). I want to be a Police Officer. Buffalo, NY: Firefly books. McMullan, K. (1991). The Story of Harriet Tubman Conductor of the Underground Railroad. New York, NY: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers. McKissack, P. (1996). Abby Takes a Stand. New York, NY: Penguin Young Readers Group Munsch,R.(1991). The Fire Station. Retrieved from http://www.tumblebooks.com. National Council of Teachers of English. (2009). NCTE beliefs about the teaching of writing. Retrieved from http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/writingbeliefs. Tompkins, G. E. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (5th ed.). Boston MA:Allyn & Bacon.
Sandra Distasio Walden University Cindee Easton Beginning Reader PreK-3 July 31, 2011
22 Lesson Plan: Interactive Perspective The ultimate goal of the interactive perspective is to teach children to be literate learners who can navigate the textual world independently (Laureate Education, 2010 n).With this goal in mind I created a lesson plan that would facilitate the interactive perspective for the three students with whom I had previously assessed for instructional literacy levels. Two of my students are beginning readers, at different levels of word development. The lesson plan itself addresses Preston’s early within word spelling stage and focuses on long vowels and comprehension. Included in the lesson plan are modifications to meet the instructional levels of the other two learners. Abeil had demonstrated his instructional level to be early beginning speller, so I adjusted the lesson plan to involve word study on short vowels. My third learner is a transitional reader in the late within word spelling stage which indicated that Aryam was ready for instruction and word work focusing on diphthongs. Through the implementation of this lesson plan, I was able to determine several areas of metacognition and strategic processing for all three of my students as well as areas of further instruction
23 Teacher: Sandra Distasio Date: July 29, 2011 Age/Grade Range; Developmental Level(s): age 7, first grade, beginning reader early within word spelling/word development Anticipated Lesson Duration: 60 minutes
24 Explain that as they are reading they will need to keep in mind the story sequence because they will also be creating a flip book identifying the beginning middle and ending of the story.
27 I adapted this lesson plan to fit the needs of my other two students to meet their instructional levels in several ways. In order to provide instruction for my other two students who are a beginning reader in the middle letter name alphabetic stage and a transitional reader in the late within word of word development, I adjusted instruction to address these levels. For each of my students I selected text that met their instructional reading level. I used the narrative texts The Fire Cat (Averill, 1960), for Abeil the early beginning reader, and Abby Takes a Stand (McKissack, 2005) for Aryam the transitional reader. For each of these students I changed the anticipatory set to match the text in which they worked with. For the emergent reader I used cats as the motivating and anticipatory set. I also selected words from the book displaying the short vowel pattern such as hat, pet, man, slid, men, sit. For the building knowledge portion of the lesson plan I used a short vowel word sort using words and pictures that featured short vowel patterns. To address comprehension, Abiel also used the flip book to identify the story sequence based on his text. I also used the same writing activity for enrichment but changed the prompt to what would happen if Pickles was a dog. For the transitional reader I adjusted it to show a crowd. In the crowd the people I used pictures of people labeled with words that were made up of diphthongs, such as frown, proud, scowl, stood, point. I also adjusted the length of time of lesson duration, to 3 days because of the length and readability level of her book. I assigned her to read the first chapter while I observed her reading behaviors, and assigned reading the final chapters for the following two days. For building knowledge portion, I used a diphthong word sort and a story mountain graphic organizer to address comprehension. I used each of these instructional tools for assessment. For her enrichment activity I assigned her to write a letter to Abby the main character in her book, asking questions and commenting on her experiences in Tennessee.
28 Through the reflection of the implementation and the assessments embedded in this lesson plan, I was able to determine areas in which I promoted my students strategic processing and metacognition. Strategic processing should be threaded throughout the five pillars (Laureate Education, 2010n). I believe all five pillars were addressed in this lesson through the word work and comprehension activities. The word work that was based on each student’s instructional level effectively addressed phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension and even phonemic awareness. According to Janice Almasi, being metacognitive is how one approaches the attack of the text (Laureate Education, 2010n).Word sorts and vowel instruction provides tools for my student’s word attack. Attention to words and how they work involve a brief, clear and focused look in which readers take an active role (Fountas & Pinnell, 1996).Using word analysis through word work on vowels helped my learners to practice the strategy of using the visual information on vowel patterns. Guided practice helped to promote the strategy of looking for vowel patterns to help read and make sense of the words with similar patterns. Using the words from the text to initiate the sorting activity helped to instruct and motivate each of the students. They were excited to find the words that we used for instruction. Abeil, Preston and Aryam each stopped while reading to enthusiastically point out the words we had previously gone over during instruction. They were even more excited when they found words on their own that fit the vowel patterns which we had reviewed. Using words that appeared in the text for instruction helped to provide an authentic and purposeful meaning to the tasks (Fountas & Pinnell, 1996).
29 The comprehension activities also facilitated metacognition and reading strategies. The keys to children’s acquisition of comprehension strategies are the instructional techniques and activities used by the teacher (Stahl, 2004).During the introduction activities I used conversation to activate prior knowledge. Using roses and allergies for Abiel , experiences with cats for Preston and being in crowd and Tennessee for Aryam, helped these students use prior knowledge to make connections to the text. Setting the purpose, and assigning a task after reading text helps students by providing a meaning for reading. It also facilitates the gradual release of responsibility of gaining meaning from the text (Stahl, 2004). Using teacher questioning, student recall, retell, and graphic organizers, help students to build other comprehension strategies such as; monitoring, determining the importance, connecting, summarizing and visualizing (Tompkins, 2010). Each of my students was able to correctly and rather thoroughly identify the story elements required in their graphic organizer assignment. Current research supports teaching and reinforcing story elements as an effective approach to facilitating comprehension strategies (Stahl, 2004). In the case of all three of my students, it appears they have a firm understanding of the story elements and have begun to acquire the strategies and metacognitive approaches toward the types of comprehension involved in each of their lessons. Based on the assessments used in this lesson plan I was able to determine several areas of future instruction. Abeil was able to correctly sort approximately 90 percent of the words and pictures that displayed the short vowel pattern. With his information I was able to determine that short vowels continues to be his level of instruction that I should continue instruction in this area to increase his accuracy of short vowels (Laureate Education, 2010n).Even though the lesson went fairly well for Abiel, he seemed a bit un motivated to complete the word sort. I
30 believe a word game based on short vowels might have provided more engagement and motivation towards his word development. Both Preston and Aryam demonstrated 98 percent accuracy in their word sorting activities. This data provides indicates that both students are at the independent stage of word development in their respective word study instruction. Using this information facilitates the next area of instruction for both these students. In Preston’s case would I begin to work on word study involving on r -influenced vowels. Aryam’s assessment data demonstrated that she is now proficient in identifying diphthongs and is ready for her next stage of word study which would complex consonants. Both of these students seemed motivated and engaged in their instructional activities. Reflecting on their instruction, the only thing I would change was to use more academic vocabulary for the students, especially for Aryam. I believe I should have reinforced the word diphthong more often so that it becomes part of her academic vocabulary. Even though I believe she is proficient in decoding diphthongs, repeating an having her use this word in context would provide a greater connection to this decoding strategy itself. Assessment of the comprehension activities provided data to support proficiency in identifying story elements for all three of my students. I was able to determine both Abeil and Preston can correctly identify the story sequence. Aryam was able to correctly identify the beginning or exposition, the rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. Using this data facilitates the next areas of instruction on comprehension. For both Abel and Preston I would work on the strategy of getting the big ideas from a text. Identifying the main ideas in a text is a comprehension skill that leads to a greater understanding of the author’s purpose, ideas and how the ideas are organized as well as promoting metacognitive self-monitoring for understanding
31 (Tompkins, 2010). Because Aryam has demonstrated competency to identify story elements in a narrative text, I believe I would proceed with comprehension instruction with using informational text. This might include; making predictions, questioning, thinking aloud, attending to and uncovering text structures, drawing inferences, summarizing and constructing visual images (Duke, 2004). Finally, educators need to promote and facilitate both skilled and strategic reading because students need know how to read strategically (Afflerbach, Pearson, & Paris 2008). Reflecting on this interactive lesson plan allowed the identification of competencies in several areas of comprehension and word study, areas of further instruction and areas of weakness in my instruction. Building word knowledge, spelling patterns and comprehension through identification of story elements promoted interactive learning for all three of my learners. Combining identification of story elements and developmental word study allowed practice in fluency in decoding, word recognition and understanding According to Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton & Johnston, processing text though spelling and word development assists in the automatic process of decoding words and therefore leads to greater comprehension (Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton & Johnston, 2008). Combining identification of story elements and developmental word study allowed practice in fluency in decoding, word recognition and understanding added to their repertoire of reading strategies and metacognition. In respect to the three students with whom I worked, I believe I was able to foster, guide and instruct them to be towards being more reflective and self-regulating, which is the final goal of the interactive perspective.
32 References Afflerbach, P., Pearson, P., & Paris, S. (2008). Clarifying Differences Between Reading Skills and Reading Strategies. Reading Teacher, 61(5), 364–373. Retrieved from the Education Research Complete database. Averill, E. (1960). The Fire Cat. New York, NY:HarperCollins Publishing. Bear, D., Invernizzi M., Templeton S., & Johnson F. (2008).Words their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction (8th ed.).Columbus, OH: Pearson Prentice Hall. Duke, N. (2004). The Case for Informational Text. Educational Leadership, 61(6), 40–44. Retrieved from the Education Research Complete database. Fountas, I. & Pinnell, G.(1996). Guided Reading: Good First Reading for All Children. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Gambrell, L. B., Palmer, B. M., Codling, R. M., & Mazzoni, S. A. (1996). Assessing motivation to read. The Reading Teacher, 49(7), 518–533. Retrieved from the Education Research Database.
33 Gwinnett County Public Schools. (2010). First Grade Academic Knowledge and Skills 2010- 2011. Retrieved from http://www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us/gcps. Heilbroner, J. (1962) Robert the Rose Horse. New York, NY: Random House. Laureate Education Inc., (2010q).Interactive Perspective: Guided Reading. The Beginning Reader PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author. Laureate Education Inc., (2010n).Interactive Perspective: Strategic Processing. The Beginning Reader PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author. McKenna, M. C. & Kear, D. J. (1990).Measuring Attitude toward Reading: a New Tool for Teachers .Reading Teacher, 43 (9) 626-639.Retrieved from EBSCOhost. McKissack, P. (1996). Abby Takes a Stand. New York, NY: Penguin Young Readers Group. Stahl, K. (2004). Proof, practice, and promise: Comprehension Strategy Instruction in the Primary Grades. Reading Teacher, 57(7), 598–608. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Sandra Distasio Walden University Cindee Easton Beginning Reader PreK-3 August 7, 2011
36 Critical and Responsive Lesson Plan The critical and response perspectives allow students to have a deeper, richer interaction with text that can provide a greater level of comprehension and emotional response. In order to effectively address these perspectives, I based the lesson plans on each student’s instructional level in reading, writing and comprehension. The instructional procedures I used to address the critical and response perspective appeared to be motivating and engaging. Based on the level of responses and creativity demonstrated in each of the students work, I believe I was able to effectively facilitate and build areas of metacognition for all three of my students. All three students demonstrated the ability to make connections, ask and answer high level questions, draw inferences as well as synthesize information (Miller,2002), which indicated they were learning how to become strategic readers, writers and thinkers.
37 Teacher: Sandra Distasio Date: August 7, 2011 Age/Grade Range; Developmental Level(s): Age 7, First Grade Beginning Reader
Anticipated Lesson Duration: 2 days 45 minutes each session minutes
39 Learning Objectives:The students will respond to the book The Rainbow Fish (Pfister,1992) by answering literal, inferential and evaluative comprehension questions to make text to text connections. The student will create an open mind portrait book (Tompkins, 2010) in the form of a fish to provide written reflection and response to the stories events, and characters. The students will write a foreword for their books that critically examine the writer’s purpose and perspective.
42 Extension/Enrichment/Transfer of Generalization of Knowledge:
Have the students write a story from the point of view the little blue fish, starfish, or octopus. Create an open minded portrait book of that character
43 I adapted this lesson plan to meet the instructional levels of my third student whose instructional levels I had previously assessed as a transitional reader. Because I was aware of Atryam’s higher level reading and comprehension skills, I based this lesson plan on a text that met her readability and comprehension levels .The also chose this narrative text because of it’s on the civil rights theme. This text is online story from www.StorylineOnline, titled White Socks Only (Coleman,1996).Aryam had previously read another book, Abby Takes a Stand (McKissack,1996) which was also based on the civil rights theme, which I felt would be effective to use to teach making text to text connections. I also adapted her anticipatory set to display several different styles of socks, white socks, black socks, striped socks, etc. I asked her to look at the socks and asked her if she has many different colored socks. I asked her to keep the variety of the socks in mind as she read the story. I also had her recall the story she had previously read, Abby Takes a Stand (McKissack, 1996). We discussed how in that story, Abby the main character, made a choice to help make a stand against discrimination. I told her to consider the choices the little girl in the story White Socks Only (Coleman, 1996) makes, and how and why they play such an important role in the story. She then listened and viewed the book. We compared and contrasted the main characters on a T chart. I concluded that day’s lesson by asking her to bring some of her own socks the next day when we completed her lesson. For the building knowledge portion, Aryam listened again to story via www.StorylineOnline.I then asked several inferential, literal, and evaluative questions based on the book.
44 I had Aryam draw, cut and assemble an open mind portrait book based on the book. Then I had Aryam complete the thinking pages. I instructed her to write the characters thoughts, by visualizing she was actually the little girl (Grandma) in the story. I asked her to bring three or four of her own socks for the next lesson. For the synthesis/ closure activity, we looked and talked about her socks and my socks .We discussed the importance of the socks in the story. Next I drew three socks on chart paper and had Aryam think, discuss and record how the story made her feel through the beginning, middle and end of the story. For her final tasks, I asked her write a forward as if she were the author Evelyn Coleman, explaining how and why she came to write the story. Then I asked her to write on the inside of her back cover, how the story made her feel and why, and what important lesson she learned from the book. For the enrichment portion I asked her to write a story from the Chicken Man’s point of view and create an open minded portrait book of Chicken Man.
45 This lesson plan addresses my two youngest readers, who are beginning readers in the early and middle stages of spelling and word study. Based on the previous cognitive and non-cognitive assessments, I chose the online book The Rainbow Fish (Pfister, 1992)from the web site www.TumbleBooks. Preston is a higher level reader, so I decided to use an online book in order for Preston and Abiel to both view and read the text together. I felt it would be beneficial for the boys to be able work together, and share responses and ideas. I am aware that is important for students to spend a great amount of time reading and talking about their reading with classmates and teachers (Tompkins, 2010). For my third student, I chose another online version of a text, titled White Socks Only (Coleman, 1996) based on its theme and readability level. Aryam is a late transitional reader with very good inferential and literal comprehension, so I chose the text based on enriching these skills and building on evaluative and connecting comprehension. It is important for teachers to choose high quality literature that promotes thinking and discussion, has believable compelling characters and deals with real childhood issues, (Miller,2002).The texts that I selected appeared to meet this criterion. Based on the assessments embedded in the lesson plan, I believe all three learners are beginning to absorb some of the metacognitive strategies that were implemented in the lesson plan. During the recall and retell portion, for the two young readers I heard some very relevant details about the story. Preston seemed to take the lead in the conversation; however Abiel had some very good insights as to the emotions of the characters. When I commented on his perceptions, he told me that coming from a big family, helps him understand “drama”. When I asked him to elaborate on this comment he told me that it seems like in his house someone is always upset, or mad or crying about something. I used this information to point out that he was able to use his own experiences to understand and feel how the characters felt in the story to help him get a deeper meaning out of the story. At this point Preston chimed in, to say that he could understand how the little blue fish felt when Rainbow Fish would not share his scales, because his older brother does not share with him, just like Rainbow Fish.
46 I used this discussion to make the teaching point that they had both boys had made a text -to -self connection. Text- to- self connections are important comprehension strategies that help students link the ideas they are reading about to events in their own lives (Tompkins, 2010). Aryam also did very well making text- to text- connections during the T chart activity .She was able to identify several pertinent connections to the White Socks Only (Coleman,1996) and Abby Takes a Stand (McKissack,1996). I chose this strategy because I felt that her higher level of reading, and larger quantity of reading experiences, made it an appropriate connection for her to explore. Text-to Text connections require higher level thinking, and can be one of the more difficult connections to make particularly for children who have done less reading(Tompkins, 2010). I was very impressed with her comparisons in particular, because even though I had read both books, she was able made comparisons that even I did not think of. When I explained that what we were doing was making text-to text connections; that this a way for readers to use what they already know to help them understand the books they are reading, she told me she does it a lot, that she just did not know “it” had a name. I explained that now “it” has a name; and the next time she is thinking about books to make connections with other books, she is making a –text-to- text connection. Many models of strategy instruction involve declarative knowledge. Declarative knowledge involves teaching children what the strategy is (Stahl, 2004 p.598). All three children did an exceptional job creating their open mind portrait books. I felt that each student, at his and her own level, was able to appropriately reflect the thinking of the characters in the books. It was obvious that both Preston and Abiel were able to make connections to their past experiences to relate to the characters in the story. Both boys wrote rather insightful thoughts of the story character that reflected that they were engaged as well as perceptive in their writing performance .Aryam also created a very thoughtful open mind portrait book that demonstrated she was able to respond and think rather deeply about the characters in her assigned text. Engaging students in reading and writing helps students understand what they already know (Laureate Education, 2010v).
47 For my students this was a very effective means to access prior knowledge, and experiences to make connections to a new text. In order to address the response perspective I used graphic organizers based on each of the text’s themes; fish for the boys, socks for Aryam. During this portion of the activity all three students were quite engaged in the activity. The boys even got into a heated argument over a recent incident in which Preston would not share his Gameboy with Abie,l. I used this opportunity to show how this experience made them connect even better to the text. Response to literature allows students to bring their own life experiences thoughts and feeling to the text (Durand, Howell, Schumacher &Sutton, 2008). I also added a written response portion to each child’s open mind portrait book. Again I was impressed with all three children’s their rather insightful responses. It was apparent that both Abiel and Preston understood the theme of their text TheRainbow Fish (Pfister, 1992). Both children were able to relate the book to their own experiences and reflect on how the book made them feel, as well as express how important kindness and sharing. I found it particularly touching that after we completed the lesson, Abiel offered to let Preston ride his bike, because Preston had recently had his bike stolen. This exemplified that how a book is read, and the value placed on reader response can transform a book into a role model, mentor, an example or a friend (Durand, Howell, Schumacher &Sutton, 2008 p. 28). Aryam was also quite adept at responding to her text in a way that indicated that she was able to connect and actually learn from the message. Readers can be transformed by text and become a different person by emotionally connecting to a text (Laureate Education,2010t).This was apparent in the written response in her open minded portrait book. She wrote that discrimination is wrong and it is important that all people treat people the same. She even wrote that she will try not to be mean to the Spanish girls and call them “beaners”. Aryam demonstrated through her writing, that she now has a better understanding and connection of what she already knew( Laureate Education,2010v).She was able apply this connection; that judging people by their skin color is wrong for all people, including herself.
48 I believe that making this this connection provided a personal insight that can help her be more tolerant and respectful to others. According to Durand, Howell, Schumacher & Sutton, current societal trends demonstrate lack of care on a daily basis; but teachers can play a role in changing this trend, by creating a climate of caring in their classroom (Durand, Howell, Schumacher& Sutton, 2008 p.22). The use of books that teach fairness, character traits and social justice, such as the books I used for my students, can help to create and serve as models for caring for themselves, those around them, and the world itself. When reflecting on the implementation and effectiveness of the lesson plan, I feel that the lessons went very well. The only aspects of the lessons I would change is to allow more time for each student to elaborate in greater depth during the writing and graphic organizer response activities. Probst’s Transactional Theory stresses the importance of giving ideas time to crystalize, in order to encourage students to reflect upon their responses (Probst, 1987). Although each student was able to demonstrate how the text evoked their own feelings and understandings, I believe that I could have been more through in exploring how each of the students brought their own meaning to their text. According to Probst, this can often be a difficult but interesting task; however, acknowledging the uniqueness of each reader and accepting differences can result in significant discussion and writer response (Probst, 1987). I believe the next areas of instruction for the Preston and Abiel would be to teach strategy of text –to-world connection. Students connect their background knowledge using text –to-world connection by relating what they are reading to their learned knowledge of their world, in and out of school (Tompkins, 2010). In Aryams’s case I would continue to explore the text-to text connection by utilizing an informational book on a prominent civil rights leader such as Rosa Parks. I might also begin to explore symbolism and use the previous narrative texts to introduce this literary devise. Metacognition is thinking about thinking, and involves awareness and control of thinking (Miller, 2004). Use of the critical and response perspective address the thought processes in which the reader is able to gain deeper meaning and understanding of the text (Laureate Education, 2010s).
49 Through the implementation of this lesson plan, I believe I was able to effectively provide instruction that addressed both these perspectives. My students not only demonstrated the ability to critically examine the text, but were also able to make personal connections that brought about powerful insights that perhaps make them more responsible and respectful citizens. Recent studies indicate that most effective reading teachers encourage high level questioning and other forms of text interaction (Stahl, 2004). It is my hope that through the instruction practices implemented in this lesson plan, I am on the path to becoming a highly effective literacy teacher.
50 References Bear, D., Invernizzi M., Templeton S., & Johnson F. (2008).Words their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction (8th ed.).Columbus, OH: Pearson Prentice Hall. Coleman,E.(1996).White Socks Only. Retrieved from www.StorylineOnline . Durand, C., Howell, R., Schumacher, L. A., & Sutton, J. (2008). Using Interactive Read-Alouds and Reader Response to Shape Students’ Concept of Care. Illinois Reading Council Journal, 36(1), 22–29. Gambrell, L. B., Palmer, B. M., Codling, R. M., & Mazzoni, S. A. (1996). Assessing motivation to read. The Reading Teacher, 49(7), 518–533. Retrieved from the Education Research Complete database. Gwinnett County Public Schools. (2010). First Grade Academic Knowledge and Skills 2010- 2011. Retrieved from http://www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us/gcps. Laureate Education Inc., (2010s).The Critical Perspective. The Beginning Reader PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.
51 Laureate Education Inc., (2010v).Response Perspective. The Beginning Reader PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author. Laureate Education Inc., (2010v).Response Perspective Reading and Writing Connection. The Beginning Reader PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author. McKenna, M. C. & Kear, D. J. (1990).Measuring Attitude toward Reading: a New Tool for Teachers .Reading Teacher, 43 (9) 626-639.Retrieved from EBSCOhost. McKissack, P. (1996). Abby Takes a Stand. New York, NY: Penguin Young Readers Group. Miller D. (2002).Reading with Meaning. Markham, ON:Pembroke Publishers Limited. Pfister,M,(1992). The Rainbow Fish. Retrieved from http://www.tumblebooks.com. Probst, R. (1987). Transactional Theory in the Teaching of Literature. Resources in Education, Retrieved from the ERIC Database.
52 Upon the completion of my Literate Environment Analysis Presentation, I invited a fellow colleague and the mother of two of my students to view the presentation. The feedback I received from both the teacher and mother were very positive. My colleague, Nichole, is a fellow kindergarten teacher, was intrigued by both of the lesson plans. She informed me that although she briefly touches on the critical perspective during instruction, she had no idea of its importance; and how easily it can be embedded in teaching. She also loved my ideas on how to implement both the response and critical perspectives through the online version of The Rainbow Fish (Pfister, 1992). She remarked how she had forgotten what wonderful text resources we have through online websites such as www.StoryLineOnline.com and www.TumbleBooks .com. When responding how she could help to support the literacy development of my students, her answer was to share resources such as texts, and instructional practices, and to share feedback and self-reflection from her own classroom experiences. She also requested I do the same thing for her; share resources, texts, feedback and reflection. Nichole’s only question was to ask if she could borrow some of the resources from this course.
53 In eliciting feedback from the mother of the siblings with whom I worked, I was also given many positive comments. Fatima told me very honestly, that she did not understand a lot of what she read in the presentation; but she did come to a greater realization of the importance of her children spending time reading, and reading comprehension. She also said that she and her husband probably need to spend more time reading, in order to set a good example for their children. Fatima said also she realizes she should be talking to her children about what they read. Her response as to how she could she support my efforts in the literacy development of her children, was to reply that she would take her children to the library more often and allow them more time on the computer to read and view online stories. When asked what I could do to help her support her children’s literacy development, she answered that she would like a list of books that I recommend for her children to read. She also requested a list of questions she could use to help them with comprehension. The only questions she had, was to ask if her children were good readers. To this I was able to answer quite honestly, that yes, they are good readers and they are on their way to becoming even better readers.