Archive for March, 2010

Practicum-Week One

What have you seen in language arts/reading instruction?

In our Kindergarten class, we have had some language arts instruction where the teacher was using the teaching model of “fundations” where the students get familiarized with the letter in association with a word as well as the sound the letter makes. Every day, the teacher goes over the alphabet with the sound it makes by pointing to the letter while going of the letters. The class also uses their dry erase boards to write words that the teacher calls out. The teacher then asks the children to change the beginning sound to make another word (eg. pit –> hit). I have also worked individually with children who need extra help to prepare for the Universal Screening being administered after the children’s spring break. During class stations, the children work in small groups with site words during games, the teacher works with children to read short books, and the assistant works with another small group to practice writing their words.

What have you taught in your internship?

There as not been anything that I have taught in my internship, but I have given some supplementation to the teacher’s instruction during individual tutoring for the Universal screening. I have helped students get a better grasp on number and letter comprehension as well as helping the children work on their site words.

Comment on any interesting things that you have noticed about your school, the teachers, the students, or the curriculum.

During my time in my internship, I have noticed that the students come from all sorts of familial backgrounds. Some of these children come from homes where Spanish is the only language spoken, while others have limited English spoken except in school. The teacher is an amazing example for a teacher who is sensitive to the children’s needs, but who also knows that by challenging them, they are more and more likely to rise to her standards. In regards to the curriculum, I have noticed that the children in kindergarten are required to take tests to be able to show the school how the student and how the teacher is doing. The test they are preparing for is called the Universal Screening.

Post any questions that you have about teaching/learning.

How do you make sure that each requirement in the curriculum is met so the children are prepared? What happens if the children do not pass the tests they are presented, what happens to the teacher?


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Frog and Toad Together: Cookies

Introduce the story named “Cookies” and tell the students that this story comes from the book, Frog and Toad Together. Prior to reading the story from this book, the teacher will flip through and allow the students to look at the pictures and ask:

What do you see in these pictures? Who do you think these characters are? What do you think these characters will do in this story? Let’s read to find out!

–Tell the small group that each student will read out loud, and you will tell them to stop when you have a question. Make sure that when answering the questions that are creating and modifying predictions.

Student begins reading. At each stop, a different student begins reading.

Stop 1 (at the bottom of page 31)

Teacher: What do you think is going to happen to all the cookies? Have you ever baked cookies? Do you think these cookies are going to stick around for long?

Stop 2 (top of page 33-at “…then we will stop.”)

Teacher: Do you think they will stop eating the cookies? What do you do to keep yourself from eating lots and lots of cookies? Have your predictions been right so far? If not, how are you going to change your prediction of what is going to happen?

Stop 3 (end of page 35)

Teacher: Do you think they have enough will power to keep themselves from eating all the cookies? How do you think they will keep themselves from eating all the cookies?

Stop 4 (bottom of page 38)

Teacher: Do you think that these measures are enough to keep them from eating the cookies? Have your predictions been right so far? If not, will you change your predictions for the ending? What do you think is going to happen next?

Stop 5 (bottom of page 40)

Teacher: How do you think the story will end? Did you expect that frog would throw the cookies to the birds? Do you think the birds will get sick from eating so many cookies?

Stop 6 (ending, wrap-up questions)

Teacher: Do you think they really had will power? Did you expect the story to end that way? If you could write a new ending to the story, what would it be? If this story were to continue, what would happen next?

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1.    What are the three dimensions of fluency? How can you assess each dimension?

The three dimensions of fluency are accuracy in word decoding, automatic processing, and prosodic reading. Accuracy is assessed by the child being able to sound out words in text with minimal errors by referring to phonics and other strategies for decoding. Automatic processing can be assessed by expending as little effort as possible in the decoding of reading so that finite cognitive resources can be used for meaning making. Prosodic reading is assessed by readers dividing text into syntactic and semantic appropriate units by using the common sense of phrasing by paying attention to punctuation, blowing through periods, and other pause markers.
2.    Rasinski refers to fluency as a “bridge” between decoding and comprehension. What does he mean by the “bridge” metaphor?

Teachers can test fluency of a student by asking them to read a passage that is on grade level  where the teacher pays attention to the student reading rate. The bridge that Rasinski refers to is fluency being the connection between comprehension and decoding.
3.    What instructional methods does Rasinski suggest for students with difficulties in automatic and prosodic reading?

Rasinski suggests that teachers use assisted and repeated readings with children who are having difficulties in automatic and prosodic reading. These types of instructional methods aid students in these areas because the repetition help children to catch onto the language and each method allows the teacher to model the correct pronunciation and inflection that should be used.

4.    Multidimensional Fluency Scale (MFS) is used to measure prosodic quality of oral reading. List components of the MFS and describe briefly what each refers to (p. 49).

A. Expression and Volume:

1. Simply reading text, not trying to make it sounds like natural language.

2. Begins to make text sound like natural language in some text, but not all.

3. Makes text sound like natural language, occasionally slips into expressionless reading

4. Reads with good expression and enthusiasm, and varies expressions and volume to match the passage.

B. Phrasing:

1. Reads in monotone voice with very little sense of phrase boundaries

2. Reads in two- to three- word phrases frequently, choppy reading that has improper stress and intonation

3. Reads with mixed run-ons, mid-sentence pauses, and reasonable stress and intonation

4. Generally reads with good phrasing, mostly in clause and sentence units, with adequate attention to expression.

C. Smoothness

1. Makes frequent extended pauses and hesitations. Also, makes multiple attempts.

2. Experiences “rough spots” that have extended pauses or hesitations

3. Occasionally breaks smooth rhythm because of difficulty with specific words and structures.

4. Generally reads smoothly with rare breaks, but recovers quickly

D. Pace

1. Reads slowly and laboriously.

2. Reads moderately slowly.

3. Reads with an uneven mixture of fast and slow pace.

4. Consistently reads at a conversational pace throughout reading.

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Curt Assignment 2

1. What grade is Curt in?

3rd grade

2. What was the flash score for words at: first-grade level? second-grade level? third-grade level?

1st Grade:

Primer: 100%

Preprimer: 95%

1-2: 75%

2nd Grade: 50%

3rd Grade: 20%

3. What was the accuracy score at: 1-2 level? 2-1 level? 2-2 level?

1-2: 97%

2-1: 90%

2-2: 84%

4. What was the rate score at: 1-2 level? 2-1 level? 2-2 level?

Look at the spelling scores in Table 5.2 on page 172.

1-2: 65

2-1: 44

2-2: 36

5. What was the percentage correct score for: first-grade words? second-grade words?

1st Grade: 60%

2nd Grade: 0 %

Consider the following expected scores, then compare those expectations to the scores Curt produced. With the Word Recognition Test, flash scores are generally interpreted as follows: 90-100% indicates Independent Level; 60-85% indicates Instruction Level; Below 50% indicates Frustration Level.

With oral reading accuracy, scores are generally interpreted as follows: 98-100% indicates Independent Level; 95-97% indicates Instruction Level; Below 92%   indicates Frustration Level.

With oral reading rate, expected grade-level ranges are as follows:

Grade–Words per minute




With spelling scores, around 50% correct indicates Instruction Level.

6. Which grade-level flash score is the best choice for Instruction Level? (*Note: 92-94% accuracy is marginal; take a close look at Rate.)

According to the flash score, grade-level 1-2 is best because he shows a flash score of 97%.

7. Which grade-level accuracy score is the best choice for Instruction Level?

According to accuracy scores, grade level 2 is best.

8. What do Curt’s rate scores indicate about his grade-level reading? Where is he instructional according to rate?

Curt’s scores indicate that he has accomplished what is needed for the first grade level, and is on the instructional level for second grade.

9. What do Curt’s spelling scores indicate about his Instruction Level.

Curt’s scores indicate that he is under grade level. His spelling  achievement is at 50%  in the first grade and at 0% for the second grade. This shows that lots of attention needs to be given to his spelling so that he can get stronger in the first grade so he can build on that knowledge for second grade material and beyond.

10. Put all of these scores together, and what do they indicate Curt’s reading level to be?

By adding all of Curt’s scores together, I can see that Curt is in the late first grade to early second grade reading level.

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