Courtney Voss CI 475 Individual Child Project 10.21.


Individual Child Project For information regarding the background of Robeson Elementary School and the classroom environment of the first grade class I am placed in, please see the Appendix, page two. So far this year, three assessments have been administered to Jaden: the DRA, the Words Their Way Spelling Inventory, and word analysis portion of the DRA. Jaden is at a level three on the DRA assessment (Appendix, p. 4). He struggled with various words in the level three book and also on the letter sounds assessment after reading the story. On the level two assessment, he scored very well but also had trouble with the questions at the end of the story. Since Jaden’s score was low, I administered the DRA Word Analysis test (Appendix, p. 8). This included rhyming, alliteration, phonemic awareness, metalanguage, letter/word recognition, segmentation, and encoding. Jaden was very strong in rhyming, phonemic awareness, and letter recognition but struggled with beginning sounds. He started off on the first problem by saying, “I don’t know” and said this for the rest of the test. I am curious to find out if he truly does not know or solely did not feel like doing the test. This was interesting to me because on the Words Their Way Spelling Inventory (Appendix, p. 19) he knew many initial sounds. In the Words Their Way Spelling Inventory, Jaden wrote a first letter for each word with the exception of one where he wrote three letters. He knew the initial sound for nineteen out of twenty six words. This test score put him at a kindergarten level in Words Their Way. Although Jaden is a struggling reader, he is very interested in learning. He is one of the most positive and happy students I have worked with. Jaden is a wonderful student to work with and I expect great things from him this school year. I learned a lot about Jaden by doing an interview with him (Appendix, p. 21). One

important thing to know is that he lives in a shelter. He often talks to my cooperating teacher and me about this and how it is dirty and there are bugs. This is important to consider as a teacher because since he living situation is out of the ordinary, he may struggle with doing homework, for example. Another comment that Jaden made was that he likes reading the bible and his mom reads to him about Jesus and God, showing that religion is a large part of his life. Jaden owns only three books and likes to read about sports (specifically SmackDown wrestling books) and do puzzle books that he can “take out the pieces and put them together.” He chooses what books he is going to read because he “loves them” and talks about books with his little sister who is four years old. He believes he is a good reader because he can read books and said he does not find reading difficult. Conducting a running record with Jaden was not difficult and gave me an opportunity to see his ability to read (Appendix, p. 22). I chose an old DRA book at level three for him to read. This book was at a good level for him since he did not read it perfectly but was very interested in the reading. Next time, I would choose a harder book or let Jaden choose a book. If he chose the book, I could see if he was choosing books that were at his reading level or if they were too easy or difficult. If I had done a running record with an older student, I think the experience would have been much more difficult. I have conducted a running record with a first grader at a high reading level and it was challenging to keep up with her fast reading. Doing a running record with a student in middle school or junior high would be even more difficult for me! After doing this running record, I learned a lot about Jaden and his reading habits. First, he uses pictures as a crutch when reading. He would refer to them when he came across a word he did not know, such as helicopter. He looked at the word, looked at the picture, then said helicopter and looked to me for approval. The book What Can Fly? has a pattern that was “An airplane can fly. A helicopter can fly. A balloon can fly.” After reading “An airplane can fly.”

he said, “An helicopter can fly.” He kept with the pattern he had started reading instead of reading the words on the page. This mistake is considered a Meaning mistake since the meaning of “an” is correct in the context of the sentence. After finishing the story, he talked about the last picture and was able to relate it to his own life when I asked him questions. Jaden read the book fluently and made few errors. He was excited to read the book to me and was interested in the story the whole time. After working with Jaden, I set two goals for him to achieve. First, I want him to get closer to reading grade level books by the end of first grade. Since he is so invested in his schoolwork, I think this is a reasonable goal to set for him. He read the level three DRA book almost perfectly which shows that he has made progress since the beginning of the year. Not only do I hope he is able to read at grade level, but I hope he is confident in his reading. During the running record, he often repeated words or phrases. I hope that by the end of the year he is able to read fluently without going back to make sure what he read was correct. The second goal I set will help him achieve the first goal. I hope that he will be able to recognize all sight words. One way to help him with this goal is to work with him on sight words that are on the classroom word walls. By recognizing sight words, he will have a larger bank of words that he will be able to identify. I want to work with him one on one to improve his sight word reading. When I shared these goals with my cooperating teacher, as well as with Jaden, both felt as if they were reasonable goals that could be met by the end of the year. Alicia agreed that she wanted him to read at grade level and also felt that his attitude towards would be an asset that could help him achieve this goal. Having Jaden recognize sight words was also a sensible goal for him and she thought this would be possible since the students work with the word wall words throughout the week. They each also get an updated word wall on a page that can help him learn his words. Jaden was also very excited about these goals. He had mentioned to me that he

wanted to read chapter books by the end if first grade so reading at grade level is something he wants to do. Also, when I asked him if he thought he would be able to read all the words on the word wall he responded with an enthusiastic “Yes!” I hope that at my time left at Robeson I will be able to help Jaden get closer to reaching his goals. I also learned a lot about Jaden through our two reading conferences (Appendix, p. 23). Again, I could see the effects of living in a shelter in our reading conference. When I asked Jaden what goals he had he responded with “Get a job. Make my own food.” Now, this partially may be my fault for not specifically stating reading goals but it showed me what is important to him. During the first reading conference, I chose a leveled reader for Jaden, “Go Animals Go!” He liked this book because it was about farm animals. He read it fluently and he noticed the differences between the words and the pictures. For example, there was a picture of a dog in a train but the text said the dog was “on” the train. Jaden pointed this out by saying, “No, the dog is in the train!” I thought this was a significant aspect of the conference because Jaden was paying attention to small details and knew the difference between on and in. During the second reading conference, Jaden picked out a book, “Birthday Party,” which was another leveled reader that he had received that day in reading groups. He chose it because the next day was his sister’s birthday and she likes books. Again, Jaden read this book fluently and used his finger to point to each word as he read it. He often self-corrected any mistakes that he made. When I asked him what he remembered he flipped through the book and said all the places the characters went before the party. I want to work with him on recall without looking at the pictures. Reading conferences are a great way to learn about how a student feels about his or her reading. Not only did learn about Jaden’s reading ability, I learned about his personal life. One challenge I had was that I had to do a reading conference while the rest of the class was doing a group activity. Jaden kept looking over as though he wanted to be participating with the rest of the class. In the future

I would make sure that I did reading conferences while the rest of the class was working on quiet reading activities. Overall this project was very helpful in both learning about reading as well as learning about an individual student. I learned that every student will be at a different stage in reading. Jaden was in the lower group of students but there are other students who are much higher and more fluent in reading than he is. This is something that I will need to consider when planning instruction in the future. Completing a running record with Jaden was a good way to see how they are done and to see how it tells you what kind of mistakes students make when reading. I can learn what I need to teach based on the results I find from the running record data. Another good way to address my student’s needs is to hold reading conferences with them. This will allow me to talk to my students individually and get their perspective on how reading is going for them. I can see if they are choosing books that are at an appropriate level for them to read as well as see the progress they have made. When starting this project, I knew Jaden was not at grade level and I expected him to be a poor reader. After working with him I realized he uses many strategies when reading to help him succeed. If he does not know a word he stops and stretches it out. He also refers to the pictures to help him identify unfamiliar words. In my time left at Robeson I plan to work one-on-one with Jaden to help him recognize more sight words. I also plan to work with him during reading groups and elicit responses from him that involve retell and critical thinking. I truly enjoyed getting to know Jaden as reader and am looking forward to working with him during the rest of the semester.

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