Page 1


Ayse Oral Case Study SEYSL 750 Professor Hacker Spring 2012

Student’s Name: P.T. Date of Birth: November 6, 1999 1


Age: 12 Grade: 7 Student Background: P.T. is an eager 12 year old female student in 7th grade who is warm and extroverted, as well as extremely inquisitive. P.T.'s wholesome nature is produced by P.T.'s traditional Indian family, and her motivation to learn derives from a lineage of professionals among in her family. She was born in the borough of Queens, New York, and she attends a school that caters to students whom range from 6th grade to 12th grade. Her quarterly progress report card reflects her studious disposition by displaying an overall average of 89.96. However, she especially excels in English and History. P.T. was given a student interest survey in order to help the instructor cultivate lessons that will be geared towards her interests, one of her parents were interviewed to procure culturally sensitive and responsive lesson plans, and a conference was held with one of her teachers to better understand P.T.'s learning behavior in a classroom setting. P.T.'s student interest survey revealed her desire to pursue a higher level education in pediatric medicine. P.T.'s interest in becoming a pediatrician derives from her mother's professional career when her mother lived in India. In fact, P.T. comes from a line of doctors and scientists, as her father was a renowned scientist in India. In addition, P.T. filled in the remainder of the sentence, "If I had a million dollars, I would..." on the student interest survey (Naegle, 2002, pp. 45-47) with a heart-felt, selfless response: "Give half to my family and half to the poor and needy." This response revealed that P.T. learns with a purpose, and her purpose is to use her intellect to help people. The majority of the questions encouraged the student to foresee herself in rhetorical situations such as completing the sentence, “if I had one wish, it would be…” The depth to the student’s answer to this particular question, and her answers to other open ended questions 2


divulged that she takes her time to truthfully respond and equally cares about what she shares. The student continuously stopped to verbally discuss the questions in order to avoid being too ambiguous, and the aforementioned characteristics were concluded through this observation. The instructor also noted the student’s ability to communicate her ideas in the student’s writing. For instance, the student responded to the open ended statement, “If I had one wish, it would be…” by saying “To become a Pediatrician or any type of ‘High’ Doctor” on page forty-six of the “Student Interest Survey” (Naegle, 2002). It was evident that the student was implying that she wishes to become a “high ranking” pediatrician. In other words, she is able to find synonyms for words in order to extrapolate meaning. Mr. G., who is P.T.'s English teacher mentioned that P.T. experiences some difficulty verbally expressing her thoughts, ideas, and opinions. However, Mr. G. states that P.T. utilizes the thesaurus in the classroom for most of her in class writing assignments. P.T. is unlikely to surrender to the word "inability." In fact, Mr. G. suggests P.T.'s perseverance reflects her 98% grade point average in English language arts. Historical fiction, science fiction, and mysteries tend to be on P.T.'s preferred reading list. Mr. G. says, "P.T. especially enjoys books and stories that involve morbid events such as, death and destruction." He continues to summarize that P.T.'s attraction to carnage is a result of her favorite after-school activity, watching television, especially the news. Mr. G. iterates that he could not have a more inquisitive, well mannered, and respectful student in his classroom. In addition, P.T.'s thirst for knowledge often drives his instruction at times because P.T. tends to ask lingering questions that Mr. G. does not yet have the answers. Pre-intervention Assessments:



The following pre-intervention assessment tools were used to guide the initial stage of instructional planning: Qualitative Reading Inventory-5th Edition (Appendix A) (QRI-5) (Leslie, Caldwell, 2011), a student interest survey (Naegle, 2002, pp. 45-47), and a brief letter from the student to the literacy specialist candidate. Each assessment tool procured unique results. Word lists, and passages in the QRI-5 (Leslie, Caldwell, 2011) are traditional, and precise methods to measuring the student's reading level, as well as word recognition, and her ability to utilize phonemes to decode unfamiliar words. Non-traditional assessment tools used to collect personal interests such as, a brief conversation and a student interest survey (Naegle, 2002, pp. 45-47), assist in analyzing the student's responses to open ended questions, and develop a harmonious relationship with the student. Overall, these assessment tools reveal skills that the student inhabits, and the results gauge the appropriate level at which an instructional plan should be implemented to enhance the student's abilities and diminish her weaknesses. The initial assessment was administered by engaging in a short conversation with the student. The literacy candidate inquired about the student’s nationality, values, and eased the student into a comfortable environment with informal small talk. The purpose for this approach was to bridge a cultural connection between the examiner and the student. In addition, shared verbal communication helped to assess P.T.’s ability to verbally express herself, communicate her ideas, interests, and determine the limitations within her lexicon. As a result of the conversation, P.T. emphasized that her drive for academic achievement derived from the encouragement of her nuclear family members. Another finding demonstrated that P.T.’s strong beliefs in Indian traditions, and dedication to her religion divulged the need to reinforce structure within each lesson plan. The conversation eased the student into an informal written assessment, a three page 4


"Student Interest Survey" (Naegle, 2002, pp. 45-47). The survey created a foundation to which included the student's interests, hobbies, background, family, and the various texts she enjoys reading. The majority of the questions on the survey consisted of rhetorical situations, and prompted the student to complete a sentence using prompts such as, "If I had one wish, it would be..." (Naegle, 2002, p. 46). P.T. continuously stopped to verbally discuss the implicit meaning behind some questions, and this action revealed P.T.'s ability to formulate more than one answer to a question. In other words, P.T. thoroughly investigates all the possibilities to solve a problem. Therefore, it became evident that an instructional plan for P.T. should indefinitely include challenging questions to which P.T. can practice metacognitive strategies. Finally, the QRI-5 (Leslie & Caldwell, 2011) was administered to gauge instruction to adhere to P.T.'s appropriate reading level. Leslie & Caldwell (2011) recommend administering word lists that are two or more years below the student's current grade level help to relieve the student from experiencing frustration (p. 42). As a result, this protocol was followed, and the student's word recognition skills disclosed the type of passages she should read in the second portion of the testing process. Initially, the student started with a level 4 word list (Leslie & Caldwell, 2011, p. 102). The student read the following word lists thereafter: level 5, upper middle school level, and high school (Leslie & Caldwell, 2011, p. 102-105). All of the word lists were read by the student with ease, and the process revealed the student's ability to read words in isolation with fluency. In fact, only one word per list was read incorrectly. The total number of words automatically read correctly equaled the sum of 19 words for each list. The following word lists, level four, five, and the upper middle school level word lists resulted in an almost perfect score of 95%. P.T. easily read all the word lists at an independent level. Therefore, in order to avoid subjecting the student to very difficult high 5


school level passages, the literacy candidate noted observations regarding the student's miscues. The student either added or omitted a vowel in each of the single words that was marked incorrect on the word lists. Precisely, the word "adaptation," in the level four word list, was read by the student as "adaption." Consequently, this miscue changed the meaning of the entire word, and it was evident that the student relies heavily on context clues in order to distinguish the meaning, and appropriate pronunciation of words. Additionally, P.T. added an extra vowel to the word "Registration" in level five's word list. She read the word as "Registeration," and added an extra vowel to the word, creating an entirely new word that is non-existent. Finally, on the upper middle school word list, the student demonstrated a possible issue with vowel sounds when the word begins with a vowel, or vowels are the dominant letter in a single word. For example, P.T. read the word "Infrared" as "Infrered." The consonant combination of the letters "f" and "r" possibly caused the slight mispronunciation of the letter "a." With all of that said, the student will surely be exposed to lengthy words that are abundant in multiple syllables, vowels, and consonant combinations. All word lists were read at an independent level, and in order to formulate a challenging, yet attainable curriculum for P.T., the high school level word list was administered. The overall score that P.T. received was 90%. Once again, another word list revealed the student's ability to phonetically decipher words in isolation, and at an independent level. However, only eighteen of the nineteen words were identified automatically. The student's difficulty with multisyllabic words, and words with many vowels was confirmed when she initially misread the words "Disinfectant" and "Protestations." The word "Disinfectant" was read as "Disinfeect" and the word "Protestations" was read as "Protostitions." Although the student successfully corrected her mistakes, the literacy candidate inquired whether the student knew the meaning to miscued 6


words. P.T. was familiar with the word "Registration," but she did not know the meaning of the words "Disinfect" and "Protestations." Thus, the final word list safely secured the notion that the student may mispronounce words due to the absence of a definition or alternative words that may used as context clues. The student was subject to further reading evaluation to ensure appropriate reading and writing materials are included in future instructional plans. A narrative text and an expository text was read by the student. "Where the Ashes Are--Part 1" by Nguyen Qui Duc (1997) is a high school level narrative text that discusses the Vietnam War, family values, and events in which are realistic (Leslie & Caldwell, 2011, pp. 392-393). In other words, the entirety of the story was chosen because it adhered to P.T.'s reading preferences, and personally relatable familial characters. Overall, the student's capacity to fluently read the narrative text was at an instructional level. Three aspects of the student’s reading skills were observed: concept questions pertaining to the student’s prior knowledge, the student’s ability to retell the story, and a series of comprehension questions that focused on both explicit and implicit answers. The student vocally responded to five concept questions that measured the amount of prior knowledge she had regarding the content within each passage. Scores ranged from three being the most familiar, to zero being the least familiar to the student. The summative score for reading the narrative text was a total of 40% familiar with the narrative's content. All three questions were somewhat familiar to the student, but she scored a 2, 1, and 1. One question prompted the student to "Tell [...] what you know about the country Vietnam" (Leslie & Caldwell, 2011, p. 409). The student's ability to make text-to-self connections, and her intense interest in history helped the student in knowing that Vietnam was located in the Asian 7


continent. The text-to-self connection the student made was her personal relationship with a friend who is from the same continent as well. However, this answer received a 2 in familiarity because she was not entirely knowledgeable of the history of Vietnam, and most importantly the Vietnam War, which is the dominant setting in the passage. Three additional questions revealed the student's ability to use background knowledge of root words in order to synthesize information. For instance, three questions asked the following: "What does 'civilian' mean?"; "what does 'escalation' mean?"; "What does 'convoy' mean?"; "What is a ceasefire?" P.T. was unable to distinguish the meaning of "civilian," although she stated that she knew the meaning of civilization. Otherwise, P.T. noted the association of a "rising action" with the word "escalation" by using her background knowledge of an escalator. The student concluded that the prefix "con" in the word "convoy" implied the word means to "trick" someone. Finally, the last word, "ceasefire" was difficult for the student to define. The first word, "cease," in the compound word was an unfamiliar word, and affected her understanding of the meaning of the word in its entirety. She knew the word "fire" had multiple meanings such as, an actual fire or bearing arms, but the opposing definition of "cease" confused the student. As a result, future instruction will include the use of multiple opportunities in building background knowledge to form a strong foundation for new words. Upon completion of the background knowledge questions, the student read the 707 word narrative aloud. P.T. was given the choice to read the passage silently or aloud, and the student's extroverted nature empowered her to share her reading skills. As a result, it was easy to note that the student's intonation was precise, and she acknowledged all punctuation marks, including, but not limited to quotation marks. The student briefly paused for all commas, changed her voice to insinuate the voice of characters for quotation marks, and heightened tone for exclamation 8


points. Although the student stumbled upon a few words from time to time, she made a point to pause to decode unfamiliar words. Altogether, her reading behavior demonstrated how important grammatical structure is to the student's reading. The next portion of the reading test P.T. had to retell the story. The complete breakdown of the literacy candidate's scoring sheet covered four main elements to a story: setting, background, goal, and series of events. The student recalled 15 out of the 45 ideas. P.T. recalled information mostly pertaining to the goal of the story, major places and characters in the story, and specific dates such as, 1968. Therefore, the results concluded that the student requires additional instruction in strengthening her ability to recall information from texts. In spite of the student's performance on recalling information, P.T. did fairly well on the comprehension questions. The student was asked ten questions to which five were dependent upon explicit answers and five others were dependent upon implicit answers. Questions that required explicit answers demanded specific information from the text. On the other hand, questions that required implicit answers called for information that was understood to be related to the question. The student answered four out of the five implicit questions correctly without looking back at the text, and three out of the five explicit questions were answered correctly. The student showed strength in answering questions that required her to recap the setting and the background in the story. In fact, the highest number of checks during the retell portion of the test was 8 out of 17 on the setting and background section. The final results indicated that the student can read high school level texts on an instructional level. P.T. is fully capable of reading narrative texts on a high school level, but statistically expository texts are a little more difficult for students to read. The QRI-5 (Leslie & Caldwell, 2011) protocol suggests to start students two levels below his or her current grade level. With 9


this in mind, and the student's interest in biological medicine, as well as her desire to become a pediatrician, the literacy candidate chose an expository text on a 5th grade level. "How Does Your Body Take in Oxygen?" (Leslie & Caldwell, 2011), was the level five expository text that was given to the student. The summary of the student's reading revealed that the student can read a level five expository text on an instructional level. Background knowledge, a miscue analysis, retelling information from the text, and eight comprehension questions were administered. The student received a score of 8 out of the total of twelve points on the background knowledge portion of the exam. Two questions in particular revealed that she is extremely aware of how the human body takes in oxygen in that she received the highest score on each question, a three. Afterwards, the student read 343 words aloud, receiving a total number of five miscues to which did not change meaning and three miscues that changed meaning. The results of the miscue analysis revealed that the student is able to read a level five expository text on an independent level. On the other hand, the student was only able to recall 22 ideas from a total of 74. The two questions during the background knowledge portion that received the highest scores, made a difference to the amount of detail she recalled about cells needing oxygen to work properly. This result influenced future instructional goals in that lessons will be focused on building background knowledge to aid the student in reading difficult narrative texts. The recall and background knowledge portions of the test are the focal points of future lesson, but the comprehension questions determined that reading comprehension was not one of the student’s weaknesses. Eight comprehension questions were asked by the examiner and a total of six questions were answered correctly. Two out of four explicit questions were correct and four out of four implicit questions were correct. The student was placed at an instructional 10


level for reading level five expository texts. However, future instruction in which focuses on actively recording details as the student reads aloud will be incorporated in all, if not most of the examiner’s lessons. Practicing active reading skills such as recording important details from a text will provide the student with a suitable amount of practice. Ongoing formal and informal assessments continued throughout the instructional sessions in order to accommodate the student's learning opportunities. Adjacent to ongoing informal conversations, the student kept a written log on index cards and documented new words she learned in her journal. The index cards mimicked the exit card strategy in that the student wrote what she had learned after each lesson, or she had the option to ask any questions regarding the material. A small box in the shape of a house held all of the index cards, and it was named "The house of knowledge." This especially motivated because this activity practiced the art of delaying gratification, and assessed the student's learning through reflecting on what she has learned throughout the duration of the instructional sessions. Each index card was addressed during the last session. The knowledge documented was expanded upon by responding verbally, and by writing in her journal notebook. Overview of Instructional Sessions Instructional sessions incorporated culturally-relevant materials, technology, real life reading and writing intervention strategies, motivational activities to encourage the student to continue the life-long pursuit of positive reading experiences, and modifications as a result of ongoing assessments made by the literacy candidate was the outlining structure of interacting with the student. This structure highlighted the specific areas in which the literacy candidate can better understand the student's strengths and weaknesses. The majority of instruction was based on P.T.'s results on the reading portion of the QRI-5 (Leslie & Caldwell, 2011). The student will 11


be exposed to reading expository texts with the purpose to build background knowledge regarding the topics discussed in narrative texts. Considering the fact that the student’s comprehension is up to par, the ultimate instructional goal is to provide a significant amount of opportunities for the student to practice critical thinking skills in order to align to the metacognitive strategies. The following metacognitive strategies will be included in most, if not all, of the examiner’s lessons: making inferences, pre-reading, asking questions such as; what is this material about?, do I already know something about this?, should I read this quickly or slowly?, did I learn all the important ideas?, etc., reading and reviewing sections of a text in order to ensure the student understands the content prior to moving on, making predictions, drawing conclusions, and formulating hypotheses. A short story titled, "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson (1948), accompanied by nonfiction texts were selected according to the student's interest in mystery and science fiction. "The Lottery" (Jackson, 1948) is usually read in grades 9-12. All lessons will begin with a short informal discussion between the literacy candidate and the student. These informal discussions will enhance the student’s speaking and listening skills in that the student will learn how to express her ideas. In addition, the examiner will model appropriate measures of conversation and model how to question the material in all texts, both narrative and expository. Including the administration of the QRI-5 (Leslie & Caldwell, 2011), the student participated in a total of six lesson all together. All lessons were developed as part of an entire unit of study. The major themes that were discussed during each lesson were the following: corporal punishment via stoning, symbolism and symbolic characters, the author's choice writing style and purpose for creating a twisted and unexpected ending of the short story, human nature, conversational writing strategies to understand people's opinions and perceptions on 12


controversial issues, and modified activities driven by teachable moments. Building background knowledge, active reading skills, higher order learning, critical thinking skills such as, evaluating and analyzing, making inferences, interpreting information, sharing ideas by responding in writing, and shared reading were the skill objectives to build in each lesson plan. The first lesson (Appendix B) was primarily intended to get acquainted with the student, build background knowledge prior to reading "The Lottery" (Jackson, 1948), and assess her reading ability. Two short nonfiction texts titled, "Death by Stoning: The Condemned" (Head, 2012) and "The History of the Lottery" (Winning With Numbers, 2006) were read to build background knowledge regarding the first theme of corporal punishment through the act of stoning, and how the lottery began. Initially, the student followed the literacy candidate's model of writing all the information she knows about the lottery, and stoning. This activity then lead to a brief discussion between the two. Next, an active reading strategy, coding, was modeled for the student. Coding or annotating to identify concepts or facts that are familiar, confusing, new, unusual, or surprising were marked on the nonfiction article titled, "The History of the Lottery" (Winning With Numbers, 2006). The student soon joined in with the read aloud and the following codes were used as annotations: concepts or facts the student already knew was marked with a check (√), information the student found confusing was marked with a question mark (?), new, unusual, or surprising information in which was understood, but shocking to the student, was marked with an exclamation point (!), and finally, after all the reading was done, the student replaced all of her question marks with an asterisk (*) to indicate that she understood the meaning after she completed the reading. Certain modifications were made to this first lesson. The constant pausing to place code marks on the first article consumed entirely too much time. In addition, the student placed 13


entirely too much emphasis on coding, and as a result, she was unable to remember relevant information. This strategy did not fully help to resolve the student's issue with recalling information in order to build background knowledge. Two articles that were ideally supposed to be read in a duration of two days had to be extended to a three day lesson. The literacy candidate underestimated the amount of information to which was unfamiliar to the student. The student was meticulous in her coding, and she was given a highlighter to complement the coding strategy. As a result, she spent less time on the meaning of the codes, and focused entirely on the content of the article(s). This activity shed light on P.T.'s reading behavior. P.T. carefully read through information that she found interesting, and preferred to converse about this information. With that said, the literacy candidate was able to understand that P.T., although meticulous in carrying out the requirements of a lesson, needed immediate affirmation to her questions. In conclusion, a two day lesson (Appendix B) expanded into a three day lesson. The fourth lesson (Appendix B) incorporated a pre-reading strategy, and revolved around inciting critical thinking skills to ease the student into reading "The Lottery" (Jackson, 1948). A supplemental text, The Book of Questions by Stock (1985), was incorporated. In addition, a teacher-student correspondence writing strategy (Daniels, Zemelman, & Steineke, 2007) and a public writing strategy were used to highlight real-life writing. A controversial question from The Book of Questions (Stock, 1985) was used to encourage intense engagement. The question was, "You're given the power to kill people simply by thinking of their death and twice repeating the word goodbye. People die a natural death and noone will suspect you. Are there any situations in which you would use this power? [Explain your answer]" (Stock, 1985, p. 19). This prompt presented P.T. with an ethical dilemma and it offered an alternative approach to demonstrate how texts often relate to each other. The student used her journal to respond to the 14


prompt at the very beginning of the lesson, and the literacy candidate responded as well to model the type of possible responses a question like this warrants. Answers were discussed verbally. P.T.'s answers demonstrated her ability to rationalize the multiple ways in which certain negative actions warrant appropriate consequences. The prompt served to be an active ingredient to P.T.'s motivation. With that said, the lesson was immediately modified on site. The original lesson called for the student and literacy candidate to respond to the reading by stopping every 5 to 10 minutes. However, the question was used as a returning point, a question to guide student-teacher correspondence while reading the text. Text-to-world and text-to-self connections were made. P.T. often reacted to the literacy candidate's answers, and this soon became the lesson's new course of action. Recognizing, and respectively considering P.T.'s motivation to prove her response was deemed better than her instructor demonstrated P.T.'s strength as a persuasive writer. The fifth lesson (Appendix B) was inspired by a scholarly article titled “You Gotta See it to Believe it: Teaching Visual Literacy in the English classroom” by Seglem and Witte (2009). A visual literacy strategy, tattoos (Seglem & Witte, 2009, p. 218). This particular strategy utilizes popular culture as a means to engage students in critical thinking skills such as, interpretation, synthesizing information, and transforming one’s background knowledge into more, non-linear literary inquisitions. The strategy was modified to align to the text. The student was presented that had multiple images embedded within it. The student evaluated, analyzed, identified, and made image-to-world connections if you will. Two images that the student deemed were related to one another were chosen and placed on either side of a “Relationship of Two Images” worksheet. Afterwards, the student explained why the two images were closely related in writing, demonstrating her ability to draw conclusions, support 15


her ideas, and make inferences. Finally, the student placed each image on either side of a TChart worksheet titled “Death and Eulogy.” The image of a mouth was placed in the “death” section, and the image of a hand was placed in the “eulogist” section. The student gasped when she was told that she must write a one paragraph eulogy. However, the examiner vocally modeled a short eulogy from the eye socket image’s point of view in memory of the skull image. As a result, the student began writing immediately and as the session came to a end, she requested more time. Hence, the lesson proved to be a success due to the student’s eagerness to continue writing. The aforementioned lesson was modified due to time constraints and in order accentuate the effectiveness of the strategy. P.T. was required to use Adobe Photoshop CS to create her own tattoo. P.T. used a multi-media program to expand on one of her answers to controversial question presented in the teacher-student correspondence lesson. P.T. had to determine the implicit or symbolic significance behind all of her images in order to convey a message without the assistance of words. P.T. was able to present a visual representation of words. As a result, this activity assisted her in incorporating more words into her lexicon. In addition, this lesson helped P.T. identify author's purpose, express her thoughts, and recognized that this process was relevant to the process in which readers must identify an author's purpose in written works. Furthermore, adjustments were made to the two worksheets: "Relationship of Two Images" and "Death and Eulogy." The “Relationship of Two Images” worksheet originally requested six images, and each pair was to be recorded on either side of the triple entry chart, under “Image #1” or “Image #2.” The student was to choose three pairs out of the six pictures from the previous worksheet, and place each one in either the “Death” or “Eulogist” column on the “Death and Eulogy” worksheet. However, based on her inability to vocally express herself, 16


and allocate the words to aid her expression, it became more important for the student to interpret, and articulate her interpretations in a discussion. After all, written word is the tangible associate to verbal communication. Summary and Conclusions Multiple assessment tools were utilized to measure P.T.'s academic growth and current literacy levels, strengths, and needs. Mostly authentic assessment tools (Heibert, Valencia, & Afflerbach, 1994; Wiggins, 1993) were used to resemble reading and writing in the real world. Authentic tasks such as discussing the texts included in the instructional plans, keeping journals, teacher-student correspondence, and personal reflection. Authentic assessment tools emphasized the importance to value the thinking behind the work, and the process of learning (Pearson & Valencia, 1987; Wiggins, 1989; Wolf, 1989). These tools assisted in evaluating both, the student's academic growth and the effectiveness of the literacy instruction plan. In addition, authentic assessment provided the literacy candidate with immediate information in regards to the necessity to modify instruction in order to cater to the student's academic growth. The initial assessment tool, informal discussion, was used throughout the lessons and at the very end a discussion revealed how much information recalled from the reading, writing, and overall instruction. A series of questions were developed to guide the discussion. First, the student was asked whether she felt the sessions were worth it, and if she can recall a specific skill that she will carry into her future learning activities. The student replied that she will always use the visual literacy strategy to interpret the deeper meaning of difficult texts. In fact, she said "I never knew literature was that deep until that 'eulogy' project." Second, the student was asked the difference of effectiveness between receiving instruction on a one-to-one basis, and a classroom setting. Obviously, she noted the one-to-one put her in a position to willingly participate, but she 17


added that getting to know your instructor motivated her to learn more. Skipping to question five, the student was asked whether she will use the coding strategy, and document new words as she reads in the future. Sadly, and unfortunately, she stated that she prefers to use context clues, or simply skip the word. P.T. said that "Stopping so much during reading makes me want to stop reading. Sometimes it just makes me understand less. I like to read the whole thing and get the gist." The results to these questions revealed that P.T. could have been exposed to more writing exercises as opposed to delineating time to active reading strategies. All of the instructional planning proved to be effective in that P.T. will use these skills in the future, and it helped her to better interpret texts. The exception to the coding strategy lesson, in which could have been a lesson that practices summarizing difficult texts. The student was provided with a small marble notebook for journaling and to dedicate the notebook solely to the instructional sessions. The first purpose for the notebook was to record new words P.T. had learned. Out of the two short nonfiction articles, and the eight pages of the short story P.T. had read, a total of 52 words were recorded. Some of the words were frequently used words in everyday life, and most likely in her classes. For example, the word "Eulogy" has definitely presented itself a number of times during her visits to church. P.T. was familiar with the word, but she was not sure of the actual meaning and use of the word within context. Interestingly, the word "Condemn" was on her list of words, and once again, although she was familiar with the word, she was unable to easily explain the meaning of the word. As a result of this vocabulary word journaling exercise throughout the entirety of the instructional plan, P.T. stated that she verbally used at least 6 of the 52 words on a daily basis. Briefly reviewing the words every day ensured P.T. was making use of the exercise in real life situations. In addition, the assessment revealed P.T. was capable of doing this task on her own, but with a little nudge 18


by an instructor she was able to remember new words. Recommendations for Instruction Several instructional recommendations resulting from the instructional experience that the literacy candidate and the student shared were made to ensure the student continually approaches learning with a positive outlook. Recommendations such as, adding more nonfictional texts to her list of reading material, conducting some background research that pertains to her choice of nonfiction texts, and documenting and using new words from her reading experiences. Methods such as reflecting upon what the student has learned, expanding the list of genres she reads from, peer book group discussions, and keeping a response journal to track characters were recommended as well. P.T. is highly engrossed in historical fiction, mysteries, and science fiction. The majority of what Mr. G. teaches in English class consist of novels. Nonfiction material should supplement P.T.'s reading experience. It was suggested that Mr. G. ask students to choose a particular issue in a fictional text from daily, in class reading, and produce nonfiction texts regarding that topic using the Internet. This method will not only enhance P.T.'s background knowledge, it will serve as a practicum for future research papers. The additional suggestion was to make this assignment an ongoing weekly assignment, and have students present the material in small book groups. Book groups will encourage P.T. to express herself, share what she has learned in order to avoid forgetting information that she has read, and enhance her reading experience in the future. However, to implement a certain structure to this activity, it was suggested that the students in the book group use the teacher-student correspondence activity. The activity should be modified into a write-around where the student are prompted with a question on the board 19


such as, "Did you know..." In return, students in the book group can complete the sentence with an interesting fact from their research. As a result, P.T. will gain retention of the information, and she will value conducting research to understand more than just the gist of what she is reading in class. Journaling new words can be incorporated in the book group activity. P.T., and her classmates will document at least 4 new words they have learned from the research. Each student can be issued a prop. It was recommended that the teacher purchase very cheap whistles from a ninety-nine cents store. The whistles can be issued out to teach student in the book group, and obviously kept by the student, but held in class. The students will write down the four words, and the synonyms on a separate sheet of paper and pass their notebooks to a book group partner. The discussion will commence, and the students will blow a whistle if one of his or her partners used a word from a list. Of course, an alternative prop that was deemed appropriate for Mr. G. was encouraged. Conference with the Teacher Originally, it was very difficult to converse with Mr. G in regards to putting some recommendations into practice. Persistence is a pertinent quality to possess in order to support the instructional plan one believes will impact P.T.'s, and all of Mr. G's students' academic achievement. Literacy specialists must be patient and considerate of a subject content area teacher's time constraints. With this in mind, communication via email was conducted throughout an entirety of two weeks to assist Mr. G in incorporating an effective lesson plan that will enhance both P.T.'s, and his students' literacy levels, academic achievement, and motivation to pursue a life-long desire to read. Days one, two, and three of email correspondence with Mr. G were essentially meant to 20


get better acquainted with Mr. G. One of many emails contained a conversation regarding Mr. G's extracurricular activities. The purpose in considering Mr. G's interests was to guide my understanding of his personality. Mr. G stated that he exercised on a daily basis and valued the importance of staying healthy. In addition, he reviewed his daily routine with me and this information was a great deal of help in being considerate of his time as a person, and teacher. Finally, since much of what teacher's do on their spare time is a part of their personalities, I praised Mr. G's ability to stay focused on his needs, as well as holding down the forte if you will.

Establishing a relationship, gratitude and appreciation during the few days of friendly conversation with Mr. G open the gates of communication. Mr. G was more willing to discuss P.T.'s classroom performance, her strengths, interests, and areas in which she needs more work. I provided Mr. G with a scanned copy of the QRI-5 (Leslie & Caldwell, 2011) in order to ensure the results were a proper evaluation of P.T.'s literacy levels. Mr. G did believe that P.T. was capable of reading at a high school level, but high school level assignments such as, writing for literary analysis proves to be difficult for P.T. Although P.T. was capable of verbally making analogies, she had a difficult time putting her thoughts into organized writing. Mr. G recommended that I help P.T. with writing her thoughts on paper by brainstorming, and organizing the written material by simply numbering each thought according to relevancy, purpose, and goal. As a result this conversation inspired the 5th lesson, visual literacy lesson (Appendix B). Subsequent to Mr. G's recommendation, I shared the visual literacy lesson (Appendix B) to use in his classroom at his leisure. However, simply sharing one of my lessons as a suggestion did not suffice. Hence, I drafted a lesson plan (Appendix B) that Mr. G can use when teaching 21


The Giver by Lois Lowry (1993). I attached a lesson plan in Portable Document Format (PDF) and emailed it to Mr. G. Mr. G was especially pleased with the effort I put forth in gearing this lesson specifically to what he is teaching in class. In addition, Mr. G used the assignment as an added final for students who are inclined to do better with projects than cumulative testing. Personal Reflections The entirety of the case study was useful and productive to achieving the effectiveness of my future literacy coaching experiences. The experience I shared with the student, and collaborating with Mr. G proved to be useful for the future. The experience in using evidencebased assessments, and informal ongoing immediate assessments relinquished the opportunity to alter ineffective evaluations. The ongoing communication with Mr. G exposed me to the relentless persistence a literacy professional must possess in order to persuade a teacher to utilize a literacy specialist's services. Evidence-based assessment tools are available in both, formal and informal formats. Both forms of assessment were equally useful, precise, and provide a glimpse of P.T.'s aptitude for reading. However, I noticed that these assessment tools are only as effective as the follow through by the literacy specialist. In other words, the QRI-5 (Leslie & Caldwell, 2011) did not help to evaluate P.T.'s body language, and her reading behavior. The student interest survey may be informative, but there were certain blind spots. Evaluating P.T.'s penmanship, her constant pauses in between questions to verbally discuss what was being asked of her, and punctuality can only be assessed on a person-to-person interaction. Although it is important to formulate numerical data, it is equally important to include personal observations. The evidence-based testing revealed that P.T. was capable of reading high school level narrative texts. Sure, this assessment was precise, but as an English teacher, and future literacy 22


specialist, I made a mental list of books that high school students are required to read. A multitude of narrative texts English language arts (ELA) teachers use in the classroom are chosen according to the ELA teacher's preference, or what the administration enforces. These texts must be dissected, analyzed, and a vast expansion of difficult vocabulary live between their pages. A vast mixture of unfamiliar vocabulary words conjoined to artfully create multiple sentences can affect P.T.'s ability to understand the gist of a 300 page novel. I only drew this conclusion by observing P.T.'s fidgeting, while we were reading "The Lottery" (Jackson, 1948). A test cannot see what I see, and therefore, I quickly had to develop a means of measuring behavioral evidence. Measuring P.T.'s literacy level using the QRI-5 (Leslie & Caldwell, 2011) was an interesting learning process. The easiest part of using the aforementioned assessment tool was the administration of the test. Word lists offered no relieve in foreshadowing the selection of the appropriate texts for P.T. to read. All the words were entirely too easy for a student such as P.T., in that she relies heavily on phonetic abilities to decode certain words. Therefore, I felt the word lists, although the author's suggested its use prior to beginning the reading portion of the preassessment, consumed a lot of energy and time. Insightfully, this consumption of time was a preview of the time a literacy professional must spend on the grave details in order to ensure all the cards are on the table. Collecting data was fairly easy, but calculating the data proved to be a challenge. I used a tape recorder to avoid missing any pertinent information regarding P.T.'s reading ability. Conversely, I was drowning in too much information. I had to make note of all types of mistakes, miscues, and curiously repetitive movements, and this recording process pulled me away from simply tallying P.T.'s scores on the QRI-5 (Leslie & Caldwell, 2011). I realized 23


quickly, that I needed to create a separate sheet of paper to tally the most abundant issues. Thankfully, this process helped to foster efficiency in the future, and I learned to appreciate my desire to pay attention to every detail. Soon after these mountains were climbed, the tedious task of relying on Mr. G painstakingly sent me through a detour. Communication is one of the most important duties to the vast qualifications a literacy specialist must meet. Unfortunately, this process made me very anxious. I dislike relying on others to complete my assignments, conversing with people I have never met in person, and especially, persuading another professional to give feedback, or worse, use a lesson I created for his or her classroom. Fortunately, the use of technology supplied me with invisible confidence, and combined with my stubborn persistence, repeated attempts in emailing Mr. G made him cave. Furthermore, all emails were written in memo format, with a professional tone, and with attention to grammatical conventions. Constant efforts in maintaining a professional tone resulted in Mr. G's willingness to cooperate, and cultivated communication as smooth as silk. Finally, some questions that arose from this experience are mostly concerned with the following: time management and a faster turnaround on the willingness of a teacher's cooperation, and response, and assessment measurement tools to score observations. Although I consulted with Internet message boards to contrive some advice for the aforementioned major issues, searching message boards took away a great deal of valuable time. In addition, nobody presented a sure-fire way in resolving the issue regarding lack of communication between teacher, and literacy specialist. I understand that receiving the cooperation of a teacher takes time, but with respect to how busy I am bound to be as a professional in the field, what paths can I follow to help manage time more efficiently? As for a grand list of assessment tools, I had 24


difficulty finding a literacy assessment tool that measures behavior. Regrettably, most behavioral measurement tools are dedicated to psychological evaluation tests. With regard to placing students at a comfortable level of reading, and the need to consider the early signs of students who have special needs, tests that calculate reading ability and behavior are sadly very scarce.




Daniels, H., Zemelman, S. & Steineke, N. (2007). Content-Area Writing: Every Teacher's Guide. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, pp. 106-112. Head, T. (2012). Death by stoning: The condemned. Civil Liberties. Retrieved from Jackson, S. (1948, June 26). The lottery. Ross, H. (Eds.). The New Yorker, Retrieved from Leslie, L. & Caldwell, J. S. (2011). Qualitative Reading Inventory-5th Edition. A.M. Ramos, (Ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education. Naegle, P. (2002). The New Teacher’s Complete Sourcebook: Middle School. New York, NY: Scholastic Professional Books, pp. 45-47. Retrieved from Pearson, P. D., & Valencia, S. W. (1987). Assessment, accountability, and professional prerogative. In J. E. Readence & R. S. Baldwin (Eds.), Research in literacy: Merging perspectives, Thirty-Sixth Yearbook of the National Reading Conference (pp. 3-16). Rochester, NY: National Reading Conference. Qui Duc, N. (1997). Where the Ashes are: The Odyssey of a Vietnamese Family. New York, NY: Addison-Wesley. Seglem, R., Witte, S. (2009). You gotta see it to believe it: Teaching visual literacy in the English classroom. Journal of Adolscent & Adult Literacy, 53(3), pp. 216-226. Stock, G. Ph.D. (1985). The Book of Questions. New York, NY: Workman Publishing, p. 19. Valencia, S. W., Hiebert, E. H., & Afflerbach, P. P. (1994). Realizing the possibilities of performance assessment: Current trends and future issues. In S. W. Valencia, E. H. Wiggins, G. P. (1993). Assessing Student Performance. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers. Winning With Numbers. (2006). Retrieved from Wolf, D.P. (April 1989). Portfolio assessment: Sampling student work. Educational Leadership, 46 (7), pp. 35-39.


Ayse Oral Case Study Write Up  

Student’s Name: P.T. Date of Birth: November 6, 1999 1 1