Getting to Know My StudentsGathering data about students will helps teachers understand wheretheir students are academically and verify that they are meetingstate and district standards (Tompkins, 2010).Formal assessments I used to gather my data: Fountas and Pinnell Reading Running Records Scholastic Reading Inventory Reading Plus
Formal AssessmentsFountas and Pinnell Reading Running Records: Students read either a fiction or a non-fiction book aloud while their teacher marks whether the child is reading fluently, any miscues the child says, how the student decodes, etc. Then after reading the teacher then asks the child various questions to gage their level of comprehension. This formal assessment allows the teacher to determine where the child is reading independently and instructionally.Scholastic Reading Inventory: This assessment is computer based and reports students’ reading levels using Lexile scores (Tompkins, 2010).Reading Plus: Reading Plus picks up where phonics and oral reading instruction leave off, providing rapid and sustainable comprehension and silent reading fluency gains (Our System, 2011).
Student DataStudent Name Reading Running Record Reading PlusM. K. Instructional: L Avg. Comprehension: 68% Independent: K Reading Level: 2K. R. Instructional: L Avg. Comprehension: 69% Independent: K Reading Level: 1.5A.A. Instructional: L Avg. Comprehension: 86% Independent: K Reading Level: 1.5 Reading Level on Reading Plus is the highest level where the student received an 80% comprehension accuracy score.
What the Data ShowsI noticed that when it came time to the comprehension questions in the ReadingRunning Records, these three students lacked comprehension skills. They couldnot remember what they just read to me.After reviewing the data from my students I was able to see that in regards to thefive pillars of Reading: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary, Fluency,Comprehension, and Writing (Laureate Education, 2012); that I was going to beworking mainly with the last 4 pillars. Student Name Reading Running Record Reading Plus M. K. Instructional: L Avg. Comprehension: 68% Independent: K Reading Level: 2 K. R. Instructional: L Avg. Comprehension: 69% Independent: K Reading Level: 1.5 A.A. Instructional: L Avg. Comprehension: 86% Independent: K Reading Level: 1.5
Pillars of ReadingVocabulary: My students are currently working with vocabulary through the use oftheir Literature Circle book. They are choosing words they are unfamiliar with intheir book to study in order to become familiar with them .Fluency: Part of the reason why my students’ comprehension is lacking is due tothe fact that their reading is labored. They are spending more time focusing onthe words themselves then the story as a whole. A way to work on this with thesestudents is to work on Reader’s Theatre or reading chorally.Comprehension: A way to monitor comprehension with my students is to havethem separate their reading passages into sections and taking the time to stopwhen they are reading and make a note of what that passage was about.Writing: Writing can be used through the use of responding to the reading. It canbe as simple as a drawing to as rigorous as a report on what they are reading andhow they feel about it.
Selecting TextsA great resource to use when selecting texts for students would bethe Literacy Matrix (Laureate Education, 2009).It is broken into three different axes. The first, running similar to thex-axis in a coordinate grid in mathematics, being the type of text:Narrative to Informational text. The next axis (y-axis) would beLinguistic to Semiotic; does the text have more words in it or does itconsist of more pictures than words. The last axis would be thedimension of difficulty, is the text easy or hard to read.
Narrative TextNancy Drew and the Zoo CrewThis mystery book is a story about a few children who help out atthe zoo and find out that one of the toys goes missing. When itcomes to the Literacy Matrix, Nancy Drew: The Zoo Crew falls in theNarrative Linguistic category. It is not easy but it is not a hard read aswell, its text length is average for this group, there are few visualsupports, and the size of print is at the average size for theselearners. -Comprehension skills -Summarize
Informational TextTime for Kids articlesTime for Kids is a weekly classroom news magazine that motivateskids to read and issues cover a wide range of real-world topics kidslove to learn about (Time for kids, 2011). This text is Informational,but when you look at the axis of Linguistic to Semiotic I feel thatTime for Kids falls right in the middle. This text is word oriented butit also has pictures and icons to help the students understand thecontent (Laureate Education, 2009). -Comprehension skills -Summarize
Online TextTumblebooksTumblebooks is a website where stories are animated and narrated.It is a great way for struggling readers to understand what they arereading and listen to fluent reading. This story will fall in the LiteracyMatrix as Narrative Semiotic, it is a story with more pictures thanwords. With the dimensions of difficulty I feel that this text, againlike the first narrative is right on the students’ level, this time theirindependent level. -Comprehension skills -Writing prompt
Framework for Literacy Instruction Learners Texts Instructional Practices Affective and cognitive aspects Text structures, types, genres, and Developmentally appropriate of literacy learning difficulty levels matched to literacy research-based practices used with learners and literacy goals and appropriate texts to facilitate objectives affective and cognitive aspects of literacy development in all learnersInteractive Perspective Use a variety of informal and Determine texts of the appropriate Use instructional methods thatReading and writing formal assessments to types and levels of difficulty to meet address the cognitive and affectiveaccurately, fluently, and with determine areas of strength and literacy goals and objectives for needs of students and the demandscomprehension need in literacy development. students. of the particular text.Being strategic and Promote students’ independent usemetacognitive readers and of reading strategies and skills.writersCritical Perspective Find out about ideas, issues, and Select texts that provide Foster a critical stance by teachingJudging, evaluating, and problems that matter to opportunities for students to judge, students how to judge, evaluate,thinking critically about text students. evaluate, and think critically. and think critically about texts. Understand the learner as a unique individual.Response Perspective Find out about students’ Select texts that connect to students’ Provide opportunities for studentsReading, reacting, and interests and identities. identities and/or interests and that to read, react, and formulate aresponding to text in a Understand what matters to have the potential to evoke an personal response to text.variety of meaningful ways students and who they are as emotional or personal response. individuals. Laureate Education, 2009
Interactive Perspective LessonObjective: Students will be able to answer questions about the storyshowing their understanding of the text. Students will be able toread the text with 80% accuracy and fluencyPerspectives: In this lesson the perspective that is addressed is theinteractive perspective. I will be touching the critical perspectivebriefly but for this exact lesson it will be more with interactive,promoting students’ independent use of reading strategies and skills(Walden University, 2010). They will be thinking critically but it willbe more guided; the further we dive into the book the more criticalthe students will become on the text.
Interactive Perspective Lesson ContinuedText: Nancy Drew: The Zoo Crew by Carolyn KeeneLesson Overview: For this lesson and all lessons pertaining to thisbook I will be working with my students on the QVCIDS model:Questioning, Visualizing, Connecting, Inferring, DeterminingImportance, and Synthesizing. First: Picture walk, Ask predicting questions, Vocabulary Second: Here I will be observing my students and their reading behaviors (Guided Reading, 2012). As the students read, we will stop to discuss words, why the author changed the font in the story for certain words (italics), along with comprehension strategies. Last: After reading the section, I will ask the students questions to assess their comprehension (Guided Reading, 2012). They will then return to their seats and write a paragraph summarizing what they read today in their journal.
Critical and Response Perspective Lesson Objective: Students will be able to answer questions about the article showing their understanding of the text. Students will be able to read the text with 80% accuracy and fluency Perspectives: This lesson addresses the critical and response perspectives. It allows for the students to think critically about the text and respond as well. They can share their viewpoints and attitudes toward the subjects being discussed. They can evaluate the text and features, as to why the author incorporated them and what they mean.
Critical and Response Perspective Lesson Continued Text: Time for Kids collection Lesson Overview: First: To introduce this lesson to my students we will begin with reviewing various texts features. Picture walk, Ask predicting questions, Vocabulary Second: Here I will be observing my students and their reading behaviors (Guided Reading, 2012). As the students read, we will stop to discuss words, why the author changed the font in the story for certain words (italics), along with comprehension strategies. Also, I will be working with my students on a strategy called Search and Destroy. Last: After reading the section, I will ask the students questions to assess their comprehension (Guided Reading, 2012).
Assessment This will be done through the use of observation. I will observe my students in the small group setting on various comprehension skills making note as we move along. This is a great way for me to be able to track their progress and see what areas I might need to address again. Not every child is the same and they need to be taught and assessed at their level. Assessment for this lesson can be modified to meet the child as well, taking data from observation and changing assessment based on what the child has done so far in the classroom. Data and Differentiation go hand in hand.
Enrichment Enrichment: “Enrichment and differentiation must be integrated with the academic curriculum” (Beecher, 2008). One way to enrich my students in this group, even if they are struggling readers, is to give them the option of choice • Time for Kids: An extension for this lesson, and any lessons pertaining to comprehension and text features would be for the students to research any online Time For Kids article that interests them. Using what they have learned on text features have the students present their articles, either through PowerPoint or poster, discussing their features and how they enhance the article. They will also have to explain what the article was about. • Nancy Drew: To wrap up this “literature circle”, students will be asked to complete a book report, but they will be given the option of choice. The report will be in the form of a menu where they can pick from a total of 9 activities varying in points from 2 points to 8 points. With these activities, they have to choose whichever one that interests them as long as it equals a total of 10 points. I have used Blooms Taxonomy to vary the levels of difficulty of the activities along with choosing activities for the various types of learners in my group.
Analysis of Lessons These lessons are still ongoing with my students. Since starting the Literature Circles and Time for Kids I have seen my students grow in their literacy development. They are using the appropriate strategies to help them understand/ remember the text they are reading. Without the knowledge of the Literacy Matrix I feel that I would have not had a true grasp on selecting appropriate books for my students. The Literacy Matrix was able to put the concept of selecting books into an easy format where I could classify what type of book I picked up. I feel that these books fit in with the goals I have set with my students on comprehension skills and I am happy with the growth I have seen.
• References Beecher, M., & Sweeny, S. M. (2008). Closing the Achievement Gap with Curriculum Enrichment and Differentiation: One Schools Story. Journal of Advanced Academics, 19(3), 502-530. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.• Fountas, I.C., & Pinnell, G.S. (2007). The Fountas and Pinnell benchmark assessment system. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.• Guided Reading. (2012). eWorkshop. Retrieved from Queens Printer website: http://www.eworkshop.on.ca/edu/• Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Analyzing and selecting text [Webcast]. The beginning reader, PreK–3. Baltimore, MD: Author.• Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). Week 1: Changes in Literacy Education [Webcast]. The Beginning Reader. Baltimore: Author.• Time for kids. (2011). Retrieved from Time Inc website: http://www.timeforkids.com/info/about• Tompkins, G. E. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.• Our System. (2011). Reading Plus. Retrieved from Taylor Associates website: http://www.readingplus.com/our-system