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Getting to Know the Literacy Learner

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I used Development Reading Assessment (DRA) and Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills assessment (DIBELS). In addition to this I used a noncongitive assessment called Reading Interest Survey developed by Denice Hildebrandt. DRA is a set of individual administered reading assessments for students who are in kindergarten through to the eighth grade. A teacher mostly administers this assessment three times per year. I used this assessment for these three students since they were in the fourth grade and I wanted to know their independent reading level, their reading accuracy, fluency and comprehension. DIBELS is designed to assess phonological awareness, alphabetic principle and fluency with connected text. I used this assessment on these three students since I wanted to know how their initial sound fluency was. In addition to this, I wanted to know their phonemic segmentation fluency. In this assessment I wanted to know how these students produced individual sounds within a given word. Furthermore, I used nonsense word fluency where I wanted to assess their knowledge of letter sound correspondences. I also conducted an oral reading fluency where I wanted to determine their skills in reading. I conducted Reading Interest Survey developed by Denice Hildebrandt since I wanted to know if these students liked to read, whether they had access to the school library, the books they liked to read and the reading topics they liked the best. These forms of assessment are different from those at earlier stages of development since they involve reading of complex material and literature. Running record assessment is used in early stages of development. This method is different from the above mentioned methods since the teacher sits next to the student while he/she is reading and observes the students finger and eye movement. If the student happens to read too fast the teacher asks him to pause.

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I gained some information and insight that increased my understanding of the cognitive and noncongitive aspects of these students as literacy learners. I learnt that all these three students read below grade level. Students A and B read below level Q that is equivalent to the 4th grade middle of the year. Student C reads at level P, which is equivalent to the 4th grade beginning of the year. I also discovered that these three students should work on their fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. After carrying out noncongitive assessment I discovered that they were reluctant readers, did not enjoy reading and that they would engage themselves in other activities if the teachers gave them a choice. They would rather surf the Internet or watch television than read. Surprisingly, I learnt that all these three students were visual learners and thus they would benefit more by reading online books. Furthermore, I learnt that student A prefers mystery and fiction while students B and C prefer books that are funny and nonfictional books about sports or animals.

My instructions

The information I gathered on these three students will guide my instructions. I would give the student C more reading material and extend his learning process compared to A and B. This is because his grade level is lower since it is at the level P compared to A and B whose level is Q. I would also provide A with online books on mystery and historical fiction. Furthermore, I would provide B and C with books that are funny and nonfictional about sports or animals. Research shows that students are more motivated to read literature material if they match their personal interests (Edmunds & Bauserman, 2006). Teachers are required to assess their students’ interests through reading conferences and interest inventories. I would then classify library books according to their content such as mystery books, humorous books and books about animals. I would specifically give student B and C the Diary of a Wimpy Kid. This is because students are more motivated to read if the teacher allows them to make their own choice. I would use three piece kits and self-discovery bookmarks to determine the books these students want to read (Edmunds & Bauserman, 2006). I would also consider the characteristics of books these students like reading. B and C like reading funny books and I would offer them a funny book like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Considering my initial assessment, I would like to know several issues about my students. I would like to know the culture of my students. Research shows that cultural identities influence students’ learning and teacher’s teaching (Hunsberger, 2007). I would like to know whether these students are rich or poor. Also I would like to know where these students originated from and what the neighborhood of their community is. I will find out about these issues by conducting a personal enquiry on these students. I would also want to know if they are actively involved with other students.

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