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Literacy Center Report

Client Name: Jessica Smith Date of Report:

Grade: 9th grade Dates of Testing: 10/28, 11/5,


11/12

School: Sweet Home High School Date of Birth: 6/1/04

Parents: Jim and Betsy Smith Age at Testing: 14

Address: 123 Maple Road Buffalo, New York Examiner: Kerri Hollowood

Telephone: (716)574-5586

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Jessica is currently in 9th grade at Sweet Home High School and is 14 years old. She
lives in Buffalo, New York with her mother and father as well as, her older sister. Jessica’s
mother has her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and her father completed school
up to 10th grade. Jessica has a very big personality and is very successful in sports. She is a
four-sport athlete and participates in soccer, lacrosse, basketball, and cross country running.
When Jessica is not playing sports or attending practice, she enjoys four wheeling with her
family, going on vacation, and attending sporting events. She also enjoys spending time with
friends, reading gossip websites, and watching Youtube videos.

When it comes to reading, Jessica views herself as an okay reader and believes she is
able to understand almost everything she reads. Although, Jessica does tend to struggle in her
English class. She is not overly motivated and is inconsistent in completing homework. She
also struggles with quizzes and frequently worries what other students think of her reading. In
the parent interview, Jessica’s mom mentioned that she “wishes there was something that
would motivate Jessica when it comes to reading.” Jessica identified her motivation within
the classroom to be driven based on grades. She knows if she does not read, she will likely get
a bad grade. When she does read, she enjoys drama and conflict within stories. Her favorite
subject to read about is global studies because she likes to learn about the past. Although,
she also considers it the most difficult because there are often difficult words that she does
not know. When asked if any of her past teachers did anything with reading that she enjoyed,
Jessica mentioned that one teacher would host a party after finishing a book with the class.

During testing, Jessica was easy to work with and cooperated during the assessments
that were given. Although, at times she was hesitant and stated she was afraid to make
mistakes, she put forth her best effort when working on assessments.

TESTS ADMINISTERED
Qualitative Reading Inventory- 6

QRI (word list)

Sixth- Independent- 100% correct

Upper Middle School- Instructional- 75% correct

High School- Frustration- 60% correct

QRI (oral)

Literature

High School Level- frustration- “Where the Ashes Are— Part I”

QRI (oral)

Expository

Upper Middle School Level- frustration- “Immigration—Part 1”

Rate: 104 WPM 98 WCPM

Recall: 6/68 ideas

Comprehension questions:

Without Look-Backs:

Number correct explicit: 3

Number correct implicit: 1

Total: 4/10= 40%

QRI (oral)

Social Studies: Expository

Level 6- Instructional-“Building Pyramids”

Rate: N/A- this passage was used as a think aloud

Recall: 13/25 ideas

Comprehension questions:

Without Look-Backs:

Number correct explicit: 4

Number correct implicit: 3


Total: 7/8= 88%

QRI (independent)

Expository

Upper Middle School Level- frustration- “Immigration—Part 2”

Recall: 5/27 ideas

Comprehension questions:

Without Look-Backs:

Number correct explicit: 1

Number correct implicit: 5

Total: 6/10= 60%

QRI (independent)

Biography: Narrative

Level 6- instructional- “Abraham Lincoln”

Rate: 163 WPM

Recall: 11/21 ideas

Comprehension questions:

Without Look-Backs:

Number correct explicit: 4

Number correct implicit: 3

Total: 7/10= 70%

QRI (listening)

Social Studies: Expository

Level 6- instructional- “The Lifeline of the Nile”

Recall: 5/25 ideas

Comprehension questions:

Without Look-Backs:
Number correct explicit: 4

Number correct implicit: 3

Total: 7/10= 70%

Words Their Way Upper Spelling Inventory: Middle Syllables and Affixes stage

Feature Points: 51/68

Words Spelled Correctly: 19/31

Total: 70/99= 71%

Personal Narrative

11/20- 55%

Ideas- 3/5- Describes interesting experience. More details are needed.

Voice- 1/5- Voice is weak. Dialogue is needed.

Word choice- 1/5- General & overused words do not create clear image.

Conventions- 4/5- few minor errors in punctuation, spelling, & grammar.

Adolescent Motivation to Read Profile

-Self Concept: 68%

-Value of Reading: 45%

OBSERVATIONS DURING TESTING

Word Recognition

When assessing a student’s oral reading, miscues are errors that a student makes. The
majority of Jessica’s miscues were substitutions, where she substituted other words than
what the passage had printed. Some substitutions were “the” for the word “that” and “and”
for the word “of” on the level 6 QRI passage, Building Pyramids, which signals the Jessica was
reading too fast or that she has a weak sight word recognition. In the upper middle school
passage, Immigration— Part 1” Jessica substituted “programs” for the word “pogroms” and
“president” for the word “present.” Since these substitutions were closely related, it again
supports the idea that Jessica was reading too fast for her brain to process what word was
actually printed in the passage.

Oral Reading
Jessica read the QRI passage “Immigration— Part 1” and only had 6 total miscues. All six of
the miscues were substitutions which means Jessica substituted a different word in for what
the actual text said six different times. After reading, she was able to recall 6 details from
the text. She also struggled with the comprehension questions answering 4 out of 10
correctly. This made the text at a frustration level for Jessica due to her lack of
comprehension of the material.

When reading Building Pyramids, a level six text, Jessica only had 3 miscues which consisted
of all substitutions where she, again, substituted different words in for what the actual text
said. Her minimal miscues and her ability to properly answer and comprehend the
comprehension questions made this text at her instructional level.

Reading Fluency

Reading fluency encompasses five aspects including, pitch, intonation, rate, stress and
volume. This is scored using the multidimensional fluency scale. Jessica’s oral reading lacks
intonation, as her reading is mainly monotoned. She reads primarily in three to four- word
groups which sometimes leads to awkward phrasing, although not often.

Listening Comprehension

Listening comprehension refers to a student’s ability to process and understand a passage that
has been read to them. When asked to listen to a passage, Jessica was able to answer 7 out of
8 comprehension questions, placing the passage, Lifeline of the Nile, at her instructional
level.

Comprehension

Comprehension, again, is a student’s ability to process and understand a text through


answering questions and recalling important details. Jessica struggled to comprehend both
the high school level passage and the upper middle school level passage. She scored a 4/10 on
the post reading comprehension questions for the middle school passage. After reading the
level six passages, Jessica was able to better comprehend the text and answer the post
reading comprehension questions. Jessica seemed to have an easier time recalling details
from the narrative biography as she recalled 11 out of 21 details from that passage as
opposed to some of the expository passages she read.

Spelling

For the spelling assessment, Jessica correctly spelled 19 out of 31 words. Prior to beginning
the spelling assessment, Jessica displayed a little anxiousness by making comments such as
“oh god, I’m not good at spelling” and “this is not going to go well.” She was given the upper-
level spelling inventory from Words Their Way. The list consisted of 31 words that got harder
as the list progressed. In the middle of testing, Jessica stated “it’s weird because sometimes
there is 2 letters next to each other but sometimes there is not.” Referring to words such as
sailor and village. This shows her awareness of different spelling patterns within the list. After
reviewing Jessica’s results, she was found to be in the middle syllables and affixes stage. She
correctly wrote all blends and digraphs and was able to write most vowels correctly.
Writing

For Jessica’s writing sample, she chose to write a narrative about her first day of high school.
Her piece consisted of a run through of her entire day from the time she woke up until the
time she went to bed. Jessica’s conventions within her writing incorporated only a few minor
errors in spelling and grammar. Although, throughout her writing piece, there was a lack of
voice as well as dialogue. She consistently repeated phrases such as “I had…” and “then I
went” and they made her writing feel repetitive. She could have incorporated more details
about how she was feeling throughout different points of the day and different events that
had happened. The use of basic verbs and adjectives left the reader to paint their own
picture of what Jessica’s day actually looked like.

Motivation/Attitudes

To assess Jessica’s motivation and attitude toward literacy, she was given the Adolescent
Motivation to Read Profile. This survey assesses students in two areas, self -concept or how
they see themselves as a reader and value of reading which is how the student sees reading
and what they get from the reading process. Jessica scored a 68% for self- concept. This
shows that she does not view herself as an overly successful reader. She scored a 45% for
value of reading which displays her ideas that she does not value reading. Through both the
results of the Motivation to Read Profile as well as Jessica’s comments at the beginning of
different assessments, it became clear early on that Jessica is not overly confident when it
comes to literacy. She does not enjoy reading or writing and mentioned it is not something
she regularly does outside of school assignments.

SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Jessica is a very personable and hard-working student. She remained engaged in all
assessments despite the fact that some were difficult for her. Her current instructional
reading level is a level 6. Jessica could benefit from using comprehension strategies as she
reads. She often forgets key details after reading. She is in the middle syllables and affixes
stage. For her writing sample, Jessica made few spelling and grammatical errors. She could
work on planning strategies that would allow her to feel less stressed when tackling a writing
assignment. She could also benefit from strategies that encourage her to include more voice
and more descriptive words when writing in order to fully engage the reader.

The following goals and activities are recommended for Jessica:

1. Improve comprehension. Jessica struggled to recall important details from the text
without looking back. Through the use of comprehension strategies, she can practice
ways to process and remember the information. This will allow her to be more
successful in answering comprehension questions as well as summarizing and
identifying key details in the text. As she uses these strategies, she will be able to
improve her understanding of different texts and remember more details of what she
read.

a. One strategy that Jessica could use for improving her comprehension would be
SQ4R. Within this strategy, Jessica would follow six steps for comprehension,
very similar to following and executing a play on the soccer field. She should
begin by surveying the text to get a preview and to learn details from pictures,
captions, chapter titles etc. Next, she should write down any questions they
have asked during their survey of the text. After that, Jessica will read the
text. As she reads, she should be instructed to look for the answers to the pre-
reading questions she came up with. After reading, Jessica can say the answers
she discovered out loud in order complete the fourth step which is reciting.
After reciting, Jessica can relate to the text by making a connection. It is
important that Jessica is aware of the
three types of connections (text to
self, text to text, and text to world).
Lastly, she can review what she read
by writing down the answers to her
pre-reading questions. Through
following these six steps, which can be
explained to Jessica as a play in soccer
to score a goal, in this case the goal is
coming to a better understanding of
the text she has read. Jessica will be
able to gain a full understanding of the
text while also staying organized in the
process. In the end, she will be able to
walk away from the text with a better
understanding because she was able to
formulate questions tailored to her
own needs. Then, she was able to
meet her own needs through reading
and finding the answers for herself
(Tompkins, 2013). The picture to the
right could be printed and used as a handout or reference for Jessica to use
when learning the strategy.

(INDIVIDUAL, SMALL GROUP)

b. Another strategy that would support Jessica’s comprehension is Consistently


Ask, “How Do I know?” Within this strategy, Jessica can be encouraged to
imagine the main idea as the palm of her hand, and then find supporting
details as her fingers. This can be introduced to Jessica by relating it to the
gossip websites she reads. When she reads an article, there is one main idea,
but she also looks for and depends on many of the details within the article to
support the main idea and give her a better understanding of the situation she
is reading about. Jessica can complete this strategy in her head or, if she would
rather see it visually, she could trace her hand on a piece of paper and fill in
the hand as she gets used to using this strategy (Serravallo, 2015).

(INDIVIDUAL, SMALL GROUP)

c. Jessica could also benefit from using the Read, Cover, Remember, Retell
strategy. For this strategy, she could start off by reading a paragraph and then
covering it and think about what she remembers. She can retell the ideas and
details that she remembers. If she needs to look back and uncover the
paragraph for ideas, it is okay. The goal would be for her to work up to reading
more and covering bigger chunks of text in order to push herself to process
more information as she reads and recall it afterward (Serravallo, 2015). Since
Jessica enjoys texting her friends this could be introduced as being similar to
trying to recall a conversation you had over text with a friend. Often times,
when recalling a conversation to another person, you do not tell them word for
word what the conversation was. You simply include the main idea and key
phrases. Also, sometimes you need to look back in order to get it correct,
which is acceptable in most cases. 


(INDIVIDUAL, SMALL GROUP)

d. Chapter-end Stop Signs would also be a useful strategy for Jessica to become
familiar with and use when reading. When using chapter-end stop signs, Jessica
would stop and jot down the most important details or events from each
chapter. This would become useful to think back on what she just read in her
content area classes. It will allow her to look back and remind herself of the
prior events that have affected the plot in previous chapters, or sections,
before she continues to read. Chapter-end stop signs could be completed on a
book mark that is separated into boxes that allow students to write the chapter
number and details. Then, the bookmark can stay right in the book, so the brief
notes do not get lost. This would be another strategy that Jessica could rely on
as she is likely reading lengthy texts in her classes. She will be able to use her
book mark in order to better understand and remember what she has read
(Serravallo, 2015). Chapter-end stop signs could be introduced to Jessica as
“time outs” while she reads. In basketball, when her coach needs to talk to the
players, he or she calls a time out. At the end of each quarter, the team has a
few minutes to regroup and discuss any changes they need to make while
playing or plays that were successful. Similarly, after reading each chapter
Jessica can take note of important details and ideas after she reads.


(INDIVIDUAL)

2. Improve planning when writing. As Jessica began to write, she struggled to plan and
identify important details for her personal narrative. These strategies could help her
to gather ideas when beginning to write. These strategies can be employed across
many different writing styles or assignments that Jessica may be assigned or any free
writing she completes. Through having different ways to organize her ideas, she will
be better prepared to include the crucial details she is trying to provide to her reader.

a. When planning to write, Jessica could benefit from the Purposefully Wonder
strategy. Within this strategy, Jessica would begin writing about an idea that
comes to mind. She will continue to write no matter what comes to mind,
whether it relates to her topic or not. This will allow her to create new topics
or ideas that may not have come to mind if she was absent mindedly thinking
or over thinking about topics. When Jessica is done writing, she can read over
her piece and highlight or underline the new ideas or topics that she produced
(Serravallo, 2015). This strategy will benefit Jessica because as she began to
write, she struggled to formulate ideas. This strategy could, hopefully,
alleviate that stress that she initially felt upon writing. This could also help her
develop important details to use within her writing as well. This strategy could
be introduced to Jessica by relating it to her four-wheeling experience. When
she goes four-wheeling with her family, they purposefully wonder through new
land and discover new places, animals, and other things within the woods. In a
similar way she is able to wonder and discover new ideas and topics and she
practices this strategy within writing.


(INDIVIDUAL)

b. Another strategy that Jessica could use when planning her writing is Ask
Yourself Questions (and Then Answer Them). For this strategy, students conduct
a self-interview and ask themselves questions such as “what do I want my
reader to know?” Or “how was I feeling at this particular moment?” Through
answering these questions, she can have an organized way to view her ideas
and the important details that she can include in her writing that will allow the
reader to gain a better understanding of the writing whether it is a personal
narrative, a fiction piece, or an informational essay. Other questions to include
might be “why does this topic matter?” “have you forgotten any details?” Or
“how is this relevant to readers?” (Serravallo, 2015). Jessica should be familiar
with interviews because she enjoys going to sporting events with her family.
She has probably seen an athlete interview after a sporting event and can use
that to help her construct a self-interview when using this strategy within her
writing.


(INDIVIDUAL)

c. Word Mapping is another strategy that Jessica could rely on as a prewriting


strategy to gather ideas and plan her writing. For this strategy, Jessica would
write her topic, or a word related to her topic in the center of a piece of
paper. From here, she could branch off related ideas or details that support the
topic. This would organize the different components that Jessica would want to
include in her writing. As she writes she can check them off, so she knows each
idea has been included. She could also connect related details with other lines,
so she can plan an organized piece by including related ideas within the
appropriate corresponding paragraphs (Serravallo, 2015). Because Jessica
enjoys going on vacation, she can think of her word map as a map that her
family uses while on vacation. Both maps will take her where she wants to go.


(INDIVIDUAL)

d. Another strategy that Jessica could use is called Create Urgency. For this
strategy, Jessica would think about her main character or the purpose of the
writing and consider the problem or the main goal. From here, she can
brainstorm how the character will achieve the goal or overcome the problem.
This will be a useful strategy for Jessica to rely on because her personal
narrative lacked a sense of urgency. It was a very straight forward play by play
of her first day of school. It consisted of phrases such as “first I went to the bus
stop. My first class was earth science. Next I had activity period…” Through
creating a sense of urgency, Jessica will be able to better engage the reader in
her writing and make it more interesting (Serravallo, 2015). She can read
different articles online from the gossip sites she enjoys reading and use those
articles as examples to see how the authors create urgency in different ways.


(INDIVIDUAL, SMALL GROUP)

3. Improve decoding while reading. As Jessica reads and comes across a word she does
not know, she frequently tried to sound it out. If she could not get it within the first
few attempts, she would mutter “whatever” and continue to read. This often caused
her to miss important details from the text. Through the use of decoding strategies,
Jessica will have multiple ways to decode unknown words rather than just giving up
and continuing to read.

a. One decoding strategy Jessica could benefit from is called Think (while you
read the words). For this strategy, Jessica should be prompted to think about
what she is reading as she reads as opposed to when she has completed the
reading. If she decodes a word, it is important for her to ensure the word she
decoded makes sense within the sentence. If it does not, she needs to go back
and use context clues to decode the word properly to come to a better
understanding of what the author is trying to say. This could be introduced to
Jessica by relating it to her enjoyment of sports. As she plays basketball or
soccer, she must think about whether certain plays make sense during certain
moments of a game. If she is at half court, it makes more sense for her to pass
the ball to a teammate who is closer to the basket, rather than take a shot
from where she is. The same is true for soccer as well as reading. If something
doesn’t make sense as she reads, she needs to take the time to go back and
employ appropriate strategies until it does make sense. A flow chart could be
created that Jessica could follow as she learns this strategy. This would remind
her to use different clues such as the beginning sound matches the letters in
the word and so on. This would also remind her to stop and think if her
decoded word fits and makes sense within the sentence based on other details.
This will allow Jessica to stop and go back to re-read when necessary in order
to catch mistakes and acquire understanding sentence by sentence rather than
having to read an entire paragraph or page over again to find the meaning
behind it. This will also allow Jessica to monitor her errors and provide her the
opportunity to self-correct when necessary which meets her second goal as
well. Jessica tends to tense up when she does not get answers correct or things
become difficult. Through this strategy, she will be able to monitor her
understanding and realize that she needs to take the time to go back and
reread in order the come to a better understanding and then have the ability to
answer questions correctly which would then eliminate her anxious feelings
(Serravallo, 2015).


(INDIVIDUAL)

b. Jessica could also benefit from using a strategy called Unpacking What It
Means to “Sound Right.” When using this strategy, Jessica would stop and think
about what kind of word would make sense for the word she is struggling to
decode. If she is able to identify the fact that a verb is missing from the
sentence or that the missing word seems to be describing something, making it
an adjective, she will be more likely to figure out what the word is based on
what sounds right (Serravallo, 2015). When introducing this strategy, it can be
compared to when Jessica is four wheeling with her family. She becomes aware
that something is not right with her four-wheeler when it makes a strange
sound when it starts. Similarly, she can recognize when a word does not sound
correct within a sentence. 


(INDIVIDUAL)

c. Another beneficial strategy for Jessica would be Check Beginning and End. This
could be a good strategy for Jessica because it could be related to the gossip
websites that she likes to read. Often times when reading an article on those
websites, you have to read all the way from the beginning to the end because
the title can be misleading. For this strategy, Jessica could take the word she is
struggling to decode and look at the beginning of the word, then look at the
end of the word. Through combining the sounds from the beginning and end, as
well as assessing what word would make sense in that spot, Jessica will have an
easier time decoding unknown words (Serravallo, 2015). 


(INDIVIDUAL)

d. Flexible Sounds is another strategy that Jessica can use when decoding
unknown words. For this strategy, Jessica would be encouraged to identify the
vowels she sees within the unknown word. Then, she can identify the different
sounds that a particular vowel or vowels, make. From here, she will have an
easier time working through possible words and decoding the unknown word
properly (Serravallo, 2015). This can be introduced to Jessica as being similar
to practicing new plays in soccer or basketball practice. It is possible when
learning a new play, she’ll have to practice it a few times to learn it and get it
down in order to use it in a game. The same goes for decoding words, she may
try a few different vowel sounds before she finds the right one but, eventually,
it will sound right.


(INDIVIDUAL)

4. Improving word choice within writing. Jessica’s writing sample was a personal
narrative regarding her first day of high school. Within her personal narrative, Jessica
struggled to vary her word choice. She simply made general statements such as “first I
went to Earth Science. The next block I had gym.” Without ever explaining how she
felt or something that happened. The repetition of the phrases “then I went” and
“next block” made the piece un-engaging to read. The repetition also contributed to
lack of voice within the writing sample. Through the use of strategies that focus on
word choice, Jessica’s writing will likely improve and become more detailed to engage
her readers and give them a better picture in their mind as they read of the events she
is describing while also improving her voice within her writing.

a. To help Jessica with word choice when writing, she can use a strategy called
Precise Nouns. For this strategy, she would be encouraged to go back to her
draft and underline any nouns that she finds. From here she will ask herself,
“can I replace this with a more specific word?” If she answers yes, she will
replace the broad noun with a more specific one (Serravallo, 2015). This can be
explained to Jessica using youtube as an example. Since Jessica enjoys
watching youtube videos, she will be familiar with the idea that if you do not
search a particular video by broad terms, it becomes more difficult to find.
Instead, searching a video by the specific title and user who published it allows
the video to be found more easily. The same goes for writing. When Jessica is
able to use more specific nouns, her audience will be able to better understand
her ideas that she is trying to portray through her writing. 


(INDIVIDUAL)

b. Similar to the Precise Nouns strategy, Jessica could also use a strategy called
Verbs That Match the Meaning to improve her word choice. In this strategy,
Jessica would find all of the verbs in her writing piece and underline them. She
could then go through and try to find better options that make the verb more
clear or descriptive. This could be done by using a thesaurus to find a wide
variety of options. In the end, Jessica should double check that the new verb
she decided to use still holds the same meaning as the one she decided to
delete from her writing (Serravallo, 2015). Similar to the last strategy, this
strategy could also relate back to Jessica’s hobby of watching youtube videos.
It could also relate to her hobby of reading gossip websites. Sometimes, when
reading information on those sites, Jessica needs to do more digging to find out
if the information that she read is actually correct. This is similar to the way
that she will dig or research to find a different verb to improve her word choice
when writing.


(INDIVIDUAL)

c. Read aloud to Find “Clunks” is a different strategy that Jessica can use to
improve her word choice when writing. When she finishes writing a draft,
paper, or even a paragraph, she can read it out loud. As she reads, she can
consider if it flows or sounds right to her. Does it naturally sound like her voice?
If any part does not sound like her natural voice, it would be a “clunk.” When
this happens, Jessica can circle the word, sentence, or phrase, and go back and
change the wording in order to make it sound more like her natural voice
(Serravallo, 2015). This strategy can be introduced by asking Jessica to think
about how she speaks and sounds when she is hanging out with her friends, four
wheeling with her family, or in a practice with a coach. As she speaks to these
people, she makes different word choices that are appropriate for different
situations. The same can be said for writing. Depending on the writing piece
and the audience it is intended for, she may find some “clunks” that don’t
quite fit in with the piece and that need to be changed.


(INDIVIDUAL, SMALL GROUP)

d. Vary Words to Eliminate Repetition is another strategy that Jessica can use to
vary her word choice as well as add voice as she writes. For this strategy,
Jessica can eliminate frequently used words and replace them with synonyms
to eliminate the repetition as she writes. This can occur as she writes, if she
notices it is happening or as she edits her draft (Serravallo, 2015). Through the
use of this strategy, Jessica will also sound more natural and less robotic in her
writing. When introducing this strategy to Jessica, it can be related to the idea
that if an opposing soccer team uses the same play over and over again, the
game would be boring to watch as well as for the players who are not involved
in that particular play. Her team would catch on quickly to the idea that the
opposing team was doing the same thing over and over again. The same thing
happens when we use repeated words when writing. It makes the experiences
dull and boring for the reader while also making the author of the piece sound
like a robot. To avoid this in sporting events, as well as in writing, we add a
variety of plays, or words, in order to keep the other team, or reader, on their
toes.


(INDIVIDUAL, SMALL GROUP)

HOME RECOMMENDATIONS

To maintain progress, Jessica will need support at home as she continues through future
reading acquisition.
1. To improve reading comprehension at home, Jessica can read a newspaper article, a
homework assignment, or even a gossip website, and then ask a family member if she can
summarize it for them. If she is able to recall the important details from the story, she was
able to understand what she read. Her family members should encourage her to look back
through the text if she needs to as well as to use any of her comprehension strategies that she
uses at school during reading and the discussion (Shanahan, 2015).
2. To improve planning when writing at home, Jessica can use a strategy called interview to
dig for undercover topics. This strategy encourages students to interview people around them
to gain different perspectives on events or ideas. Talking to people about ideas and seeing
their opinions and reactions can help to spark new ideas and take writing projects in new
directions. This strategy could also help to eliminate a writing block that Jessica could be
struggling with. Having someone to talk to about ideas can allow a plan to begin to form
either on paper or in the writer’s head (Serravallo, 2015).
3. To improve decoding at home, Jessica can look around her home, or common places such as
the grocery store, the mall, or her friend’s home, to look for words that have prefixes and
suffixes. She could make a list of different prefixes and suffixes that she comes across and
their meanings in a simple t-chart. She could use scrap paper, or even keep track on her
phone. Through learning these prefixes and suffix, she will become more familiar with them
and be able to use them when decoding words when reading. Finding familiar objects within
her environment will help Jessica to recognize the prefixes and affixes that she uses and sees
most frequently in order to become familiar with their meanings (Curran and Smith, 2007).
4. To improve word choice within her writing at home, Jessica and her family can choose a
word of the day or word of the week. This can be done in the morning before school or at
night during dinner or before bed for the following day. Each family member can try to use
the word as much as possible or whenever appropriate during the day and then tell each
other about it at the end of the day. This is a good way to draw Jessica’s attention to learning
new words that she can incorporate within her writing to vary her word choice. Jessica can be
encouraged to use the words while texting with her friends or in practice. She could even
keep an eye out when she is reading gossip sights to see if she sees the particular word of the
day or one that they have used in the past (Reading Rockets, 2018). Jessica, or one of her
family members, can choose a word of the day by looking in the dictionary or through using a
website such as https://www.wordgenerator.net/random-word-generator.php. Word
generator.net generates random words and their definitions quickly and easily.