reading and literacy growth

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Reading and Literacy Growth

By Roshanda M. JohnsonEDUC 6727

Reading and Literacy Growth

IntroductionReading is a complex but purposeful process that can begin as early as conception, and according to Reutzel and Cooter (2015), Reading is the skill that makes virtually all other learning possible (p. 5). As literacy teachers, we play such a special role and potentially pave the way for our students future learning and contributions to the world. As our students develop as readers and writers and move beyond the primary grades, the challenges they face are more complex and we must therefore provide them with the tools to be successful. Although in grades 4-6, student reading levels can begin to decline and many lose a desire to read, as literacy instructors we can positively influence our students. By understanding our students, meeting their basic needs, utilizing varied research-based instructional practices and diverse materials, and connecting literacy to their identities, we have the power to keep them on a steady path to success. Our challenge each day is to create an effective literacy environment for our 4th-6th graders where diverse needs are met and we hold the highest expectations for all students. Success in literacy development sets the precedence for all other learning and can help prepare students for tomorrows world.

The Developing ReaderMeet Destiny!Destiny is a beautiful, soft spoken 4th grader! She is the oldest of her fathers three children and has recently moved into his home with him and his new wife. She is one of three Hispanic females in her class, and when I introduced myself she immediately said, Im not bilingual. Destiny is dyslexic but has not let her prior struggles in reading deter her from her love of books! She likes mysteries and adventure stories, and loves to write about things she has read in books. She hopes one day to work with animals. I chose to work with Destiny because I was immediately drawn to her warmth and wanted to know more about her. Also, after speaking with her teachers, I learned that she is often compared to her genius brother and does not always get the recognition she deserves. Additionally, being Hispanic and not speaking Spanish has somewhat ostracized her from other Hispanic students. I want to help her find her personal power and voice through literacy skills and well chosen books!

ComprehensionTOOL: Blooms Question Stems are question stems and question verbs that correlate to Blooms Taxonomy and provide a hierarchy of question levels ranging from Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis & Evaluation (Reutzel & Cooter, 2016). RATIONALE: Blooms questions provide a framework that help teachers move from simple questions into more higher level thinking. Furthermore, it is already differentiated for this learner with special needs.

FluencyTOOL: DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy) ORF (Oral Reading Fluency)is a 1-minute reading sample that measures wcpm (Reutzel & Cooter, 2016). RATIONALE: I wanted to assess the accuracy with which Destiny reads utilizing her accommodations for Dyslexia in order to compare her to the norm and determine if interventions for fluency were needed. Cognitive Assessments

Summary ofNon-Cognitive AssessmentDestinys general perception of herself is that she is a good reader. She has a high perception of her growth as a reader. When comparing herself to her peers, her perception of herself as a reader is average. Despite that perception, her social feedback shows a high score. Lastly, in the domain of the physical act of reading, Destiny has an average perception of the way reading affects her physical state. For example, she neither finds it relaxing or unrelaxing but is undecided.

ComprehensionUsing Blooms Question Stems, I created 12 comprehension questions (two from each level) to accompany a 4th grade reading passage. Destinys scores were as follows:Level I Knowledge- 2/2Level II Comprehension-2/2Level III Application-2\2Level IV Analysis-2/2Level V Synthesis-1/2Level VI Evaluation-1/280%

FluencyUsing a 4th grade DIBELS ORF passage, I asked Destiny to read for 1 minute. She accurately read 90 words per minute out of an attempted 96. According to the end of year benchmark for 4th graders, any student reading 0-95 words per minute is considered at risk (Dynamic Measurement Group, 2012). Summary ofCognitive Assessments

Non-Cognitive Assessment

TOOL: RSPS (The Reader Self-Perception Scale) is a tool for measuring how students feel about themselves as readers (Henk & Melnick, 1995). RATIONALE: This tool is appropriate for Destiny as she has struggled with her dyslexia in the past. According to Henk & Melnick (1995) a students self-perception can either motivate or deter her learning. Though Destiny has had her most successful year yet, I wanted to gage what she thought of herself as a reader.

Intermediate Reader

Destiny is an intermediate reader. Though she struggles with fluency, Destiny reads independently, selects books that are to her liking, and is motivated to read for enjoyment (Laureate Education, 2014h). Destiny is highly capable of understanding language she read (receptive language). When answering the Blooms Questions, she was able to put her thoughts into words and sentences in a way that made sense, showing she is capable of expressive language as well.

Non-CognitiveNon-cognitive assessments help me determine what dispositions Destiny brings to the text. Because she is motivated to read, has a high concept of her self-efficacy as a reader, and has a positive attitude towards reading despite her challenges with Dyslexia, she will be engaged with the text I choose and more likely to persist through any hurdles (Laureate Education, 2014c). Additionally, because I know her interests and background, I can match books to her needs. CognitiveCognitive assessments should inform the teacher of a student's strengths and areas in need of more support where language and reading development are concerned (Laureate Education, 2014c). From Destinys ORF score, I know that I will need to plan to work on increasing fluency. Based on the Blooms Questions, my instruction should offer her more opportunities to flex her higher order thinking muscles!How can these assessments inform instruction?

InsightsFrom this data collection process, I have gained several insights to help navigate the road ahead.From the non-cognitive assessment, I have gained a better understanding of Destinys attitude towards reading. I realize that despite her learning exceptionality, she views herself as a good reader and will therefore be persistent when met with challenges.From Destinys comprehension assessment, I was able to determine that she is able to understand what she reads very well but could benefit from some activities that promote further development of higher order thinking skills. Destinys fluency has thus far not affected her ability to comprehend what she has read. However, she is considered At risk. Therefore, moving ahead, Destiny will need to increase her fluency to prevent falling between the gaps when she moves into the 5th grade and is met with more complex and diverse materials.

The Developing Writer

Reading and writing develop simultaneously and are interrelated. According to Mayer (2007) reading and writing are bidirectional. Therefore reading enables writing abilities, and learning how to write improves reading ability. Destiny is as excited about writing as she is about reading, and based on the results of the WSPS (Writer Self-Perception Scale) she views herself as good writer (Bottomley, Henk, & Melnick, 1997). She ranked her general progress, specific progress and the social feedback she receives as high. On the observational comparison and physiological states of the WSPS, her results revealed she has an average perception of herself as a writer. Based on the descriptors from the Key Components of Literacy, I would describe Destiny as a transitional writer. Destinys spelling, word choice, ideas, organization, voice, sentence fluency and conventions are at the transitional stage.

Writing Sample

As you can see from Destinys writing sample, she has accuracy with high frequency words and generalizations of spelling. Though the general idea of the story is conveyed, the details about each dog are not fully developed. Some new vocabulary words such as the words possible, stomach, and parvo are used. Destinys writing shows limited ending details, and though she used cardinal numbers to transition between thoughts, there is no transitional phrasing. Beginning her story with Well I dont have no dogs now, I can tell Destiny has personality, but she is still experimenting with finding her writing voice. Her sentence fluency is comprised of simple sentences, and does not illustrate any attempts at more complex structures. Lastly, Destiny still has many errors and misgivings about the conventions of grammar.

Student Sample: Grade 4, Narrative

This writing sample is from a student who, like Destiny, is also in the fourth grade. In comparison, this student is an advanced writer. This young writer has a command of spelling, and his/her idea is clear and supported by rich details. The vocabulary is lively and creates mental pictures for the reader. The organization is such that the reader can easily move through the story without confusion. The writer has clearly found a voice that is engaging and full of expression. There are a variety of sentences that are purposeful in maintaining the flow of the story. It could easily be an interesting read aloud. Lastly, the writer applies grammar rules and maintains meaning throughout the story.

Specific Writing


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