Case Study Summary Report

Blythe Reynolds and Sarah Riley-EDRD 716



Meet the Student

During the fall semester of 2015-2016 school year, we had the opportunity to work with Adonnis on Thursday evenings from 4:00-5:00 at Seven Oaks Elementary School. It was a pleasure to learn from Adonnis over the twelve week period.

During the twelve sessions, we got to know Adonnis both on a personal and academic level through a variety of activities. These activities included drawing, playing with play-dough, building puzzles, Gamecock read alouds, reading fiction and non fiction books, and building with cups. These activities gave us the opportunity to learn more about what Adonnis liked and was interested in, including the types of texts he enjoyed and felt comfortable reading.

Adonnis is a second grade boy at Seven Oaks Elementary School in Columbia, SC. He loves the Carolina Gamecocks, football, jaguars, video games, and playing with his superhero action figures. Adonnis lives at home with his mom, his dad, his one sister, and his six brothers.

We saw his love for reading grow during our time with him. As soon as he walked through the library doors for our session, he was eager to share some books he had read that week and that he enjoyed. Adonnis specifically enjoys books about the Carolina Gamecocks as well as books written by Mo Willems. As the weeks went on, he seemed to become more and more comfortable speaking up and sharing about himself and what he was doing as a reader.

At Seven Oaks Elementary School, Adonnis receives Reading Intervention daily. At the beginning of his second grade year, he was reading below grade level at a Dominie Text Level 5. Adonnis loves to read and reads as part of his homework at home. At home, Adonnis believes he is surrounded by good readers, like his dad. Adonnis and his dad, according to Adonnis, stop at each word as they read, sound out words they don't know, or skip words they don't know. He prefers to read books that are not too hard, but uses a picture walk strategy to support him as a reader.

Meet the Teachers

Sarah is from Aiken, South Carolina, but now lives in West Columbia. Sarah currently teaches at Leaphart Elementary in District 5 of Lexington and Richland Counties, which is right down the road from Seven Oaks. This year is currently her third year of teaching first grade. In her classroom, she believes in setting high expectation for students while also building relationships with them. She enjoys getting to know each and every one of her students and their families. Her favorite thing to teach is ELA, especially guided reading. It is a chance to read with her students and give her opportunities to work on meeting their needs. When she is not teaching she enjoys playing tennis, hanging out with friends and familiy, shopping, and going on trips to the beach.

Blythe is from Augusta, Georgia, but moved to Columbia, SC after graduating from Presbyterian College in 2013. Blythe teaches first grade at Nursery Road Elementary School in Lexington Richland School District Five. As a third year teacher, Blythe maintains a positive classroom community in an engaged learning environment. She loves teaching reading and writing to her students. It makes Blythe the happiest when her students develop their love for reading and become better and better readers and writers. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, exercising, reading, or going shopping.

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Running Record

A running record is used to assess and monitor student reading. A running record can be administered to a child daily using a book on a child's instructional reading level, even if it is one they have read before. During a running record, the teacher does not intervene while the child is reading and the teacher also records the accuracy, errors, and self corrections.

We administered a Running Record on Adonnis on September 6 using the book The Wagon, which is a book on his instructional reading level from the Developmental Reading Assessment kit. After analyzing the Running Record, we were able to gain insight into strategies Adonnis uses while reading. While reading, Adonnis was able to identify most of the high frequency words in the story. He also reread multiple times while reading. However, Adonnis struggled with answering comprehension questions at the end of the story. He also left out several lines from the text. Through this analysis, we were able to infer that he was not self-monitoring while reading at this time.

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Miscue Analysis

On Septemember 24th I conducted a miscue analysis with Adonnis. I brought four books for him to choose from. Three books were non-fiction and one was a folktale. I brought more non-fiction books based the interests Adonnis had. I gave him some time to look through the books and made sure he knew I wanted him to pick a book that would show his strengths as a reader. It took a little while for him to choose and he chose Plants that Eat Bugs. I asked him why he chose that book and he said, "It has easy words." It was one of the easier books out of the options, which was on a level H using Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literarcy Intervention.

After the miscue was completed we analyzed for meaning construction, grammatical relation, and word substitution in context. We noticed that Adnonnis scored 53% for no loss on meaning construction and 5% partial loss with a total of 58% no loss or partial loss. Although, the data showed 42% loss for meaning construction. So is almost half and half that he doesn't loss meaning. It was interesting to notice that most words he made miscues on where high frequency words and sometimes just made sense because they were not important words in the text. However, when it came to analyzing grammatical relations he scored 58% strength and then 42% weakness. He did not score any where in between which we thought was interesting. For grammatical relations, he was either able to guess closely and get more that half of the letters right or he read a word and did not get any of the some letters when reading. Lastly, when it came to word substitution in context he scored 57% high, 29% some, and 14% none. He did substitute a couple words when reading, while making three repeated miscues in which he omitted the word leaf.

When it came time to retell the story he did struggle with answering the retelling questions I asked him. Before I started the retell I took the book from him because he is a student that does use books as a resources when retelling. He answered my questions in two word answers. When I asked what the book was about he responded by saying, "Some bugs and some plants." Two of those words were on the front cover. He did not give any responses that were specific to the book. I prompted him to tell me several different ways and he was unable to.

As we reflected on the miscue analysis, there were a couple of patterns we noticed. Adonnis made repeated miscues when he continuously read leaf or leaves for "luff." Although, at some points in the text he omitted the word. Also, he often left off the "s" on the ending of several words. This is something we have been working on with Adonnis. In addition, he did mix up a couple sight words. For example, "the" for "this." However, he did show us that he does understand he has to look at the beginning letter of words to read or make predictions of the word. All in all, the miscue was beneficial for us because we were able to learn more about Adonnis' strengths and where he needs extra support. This guided our instruction over the course of several weeks.

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Retrospective Miscue Analysis #1

The Retrospective Miscue Analysis, or RMA, was a learning process for us, as teachers, as well as for our student, Adonnis. We were prepared with the miscues we wanted to discuss with our reader. The preparation helped the conference run smoothly. As we, as the teachers, and Adonnis became more comfortable with the process during our conference, it became more positive. Through our conference, we were able to learn about Adonnis as a reader, learn more about the RMA process, and learn about ways to make the conference more beneficial for our young reader.

Throughout our time with Adonnis, we have been privileged to learn from him. We learned a lot from him during our first RMA. We learned about the importance of supporting a reader with this process. For a first time RMA student participant, Adonnis was unsure about what to do at the beginning. However, after supporting him and continuing the discussion, he became more comfortable with sharing and reflecting on his reading. From many of the comments and reflections made by Adonnis, we were able to learn that this process revealed that he knows many reading strategies. We learned that he knows them, but just does not practice them when reading regularly.

As teachers, we have continued to learn through the Retrospective Miscue Analysis process. Most importantly, we have learned how we can use RMA purposefully as an instructional strategy to reach struggling readers. As teachers, we have acquired more knowledge about using RMA to build readers' confidence and determine and reflect on the reading strategies they use. We have also learned about the role we play in the RMA conference process. It is important that we serve as the facilitators and the student, or students, help lead the discussions about their reading to have them take more control over their learning.

For the next RMA conference that we conduct, there are some things that we would change to make it more beneficial and positive for Adonnis. We would choose to make this an individual student RMA conference, rather than having another student participate with him. This would help keep the student engagement level high. As teachers, we would change some things that we did. We would still be prepared with miscues we want to discuss. However, we would limit the talking that we did. We learned that for the next RMA, we want to encourage Adonnis to talk and share his thinking more. We will encourage elaboration and talking by asking him more open ended questions. We would hope for rich conversation while sticking to the fifteen to twenty minute time period, rather than dragging the conversation on and losing student interest and purpose.

Retrospective Miscue Analysis Typescript

S: We read Plants Eat Bugs a couple weeks ago and we wanted to share and look over it because Adonnis did some really good things as a reader when he was reading it. Don’t you think you did a good job Adonnis?

A: (Nods)

S: Today we can go back and listen to Adonnis read it and see the good things he did and maybe some things we can help him on too.

B: What is really cool is that Brian is here and he can listen to it too. Brian and Adonnis, y’all can talk together about some things you notice too. So even Brian can learn from this as well!

(Begin listening to student recording of Adonnis choosing text based on his interest and the one that showed his best reading skills)

S: Why did you pick that book?

A: I looked at the pictures.

S: Have you ever seen a book with pictures like this Brian?

Br: No.

(Reading recording begins, S shows Adonnis where we are in the book and shows him how to follow along)

B: Adonnis, right here we want to point out something that you did as a reader. You read “look at the leaves on the plant” right here. What do you notice about that?

A: It should be “this” plant.

B: This plant! You went back just now and read the word this. But let me tell you, that was a good miscue you made because when you read “the plant” it actually did not change the meaning, did it? Did it still make sense? It does!

A: (Nods)

B: I am proud that as a reader you were still able to make meaning of what you were reading. But we also have to remember to look at the word too. Will you reread that sentence using the word “this?”

A: Look at the leaf on this plant.

S: It’s also cool because the word “the” is spelled how?

A: “T-h-i-e”

S: Is that the word “the”?

A: No. T-h-e.

S: Now look at the word “this” (writes on paper). What do you notice about these two words?

A: They have the “h” and the “t”

S: Right, they both have a “th” at the beginning of the word. You were looking at the beginning sound. But, we have to remember to follow through and look at the whole word when reading.

B: What do you think of this Brian? Do you think this is fun?

Br: (Nods)

B: We can all learn from this and get something out of it.

S: Brian, why don’t you try to stop us next as we listen?

(Listen to recording)

B: Here, we read “in a bug, lands on a leaf.” Wait a second.

A: “A bug lands on a leaf.”

B: When you read, you inserted the word “in”. Why do you think you did that while you were reading?

A: I see “A”, not “In”

B: Let’s reread that sentence reading each word in that sentence. Let’s make sure that we are reading every word that we see in the text so that it is still making sense to us while we are reading.

(Continue listening to recording)

B: Hmm…you just read “and the luff snapped shut”. Have you ever heard of a “luff” before?

A: Shakes head no. And the “leaf.”

S. Right!

B: What could we have done since it didn’t make sense and we have never heard that word before. What could you have done instead of kept reading?

A: I could have fixed it.

S: Also, in the word “luff”, what sound do you hear? u? In the word “leaf” we see “ea”. Have you ever heard of the phrase “when two vowels go walking, which one does the talking?”

A: The first.

S: You got it! So in the word “leaf”, we hear “e”.

A: So it is “leaf”.

(Continue to listen to recording)

B: Adonnis, you have so many reading strategies that you can use to help you when you read. We are so proud of you!

B: Here, instead of the word “stuck”, Adonnis read “stick”. Both of those words begin with the st- blend. But, we need to look at something else to figure out the word. What do you think we should do Brian?

Br: It is “stick”.

B: Since both of those words had the same beginning and ending sound, we need to make sure we are also looking at the middle sound.

I think that this conference we are doing today is helping you become more and more aware of what you are doing as a reader. You are noticing things and catching some things you are doing as a reader and that is awesome!

S: Last week we wrote in our journals about the things we did well as a reader. What are some things you think you did today?

A: I am learning words and picking the words I missed.

B: Brian, what do you think Adonnis has done well so far as a reader?

Br: He’s recognizing some of the words

(Listening to end of story recording)

B: Adonnis, have you ever had to tell anyone what the story you read was about? Like to maybe your teacher?

A: Shakes his head no.

B: Well why don’t you tell us. What was this book about?

A: Plants.

Br: Plants that eat bugs.

S: Does it remind you of anything you know about?

A: Plants need water.

S: Did you know that plants eat bugs?

A: Nods

S: How do some of the plants eat the bugs?

A: Snapping them and sticking to them.

S: What do you think they do when they eat the bugs?

A: Suck all of the blood out of it.

S: Can you show us some parts from the book that show us that?

A flips through book.

S: Brian, do you know a way that plants eat bugs from the story?

Br: They snap them?

S: Right! Adonnis, I like how when you are telling me about the book this time, you are using the book and you're explaining it in your own words.

B: I love that today we saw you how can go back and reread to correct yourself.

Thank you guys!

Over the Shoulder

The Over the Shoulder conference was held on Tuesday, November 12 after Adonnis read the book, All About Dinosaurs. This reading conference and conversation proved to be more meaningful and more positive than the first RMA conference. While Adonnis was reading, and after briefly reflecting on his miscues and corrections, I was able to determine a few miscues and teaching points I wanted to discuss with Adonnis during the conference. In this conference, Adonnis was more engaged because he was the only student involved. This allowed him to feel minimum pressure and have minimum distractions as he listened to and reflected on his reading. Adonnis already knew the procedures of a reading conference like this so that also allowed for it to run smoothly. The Over the Shoulder conference lasted a shorter amount of time than the first RMA conference. However, during this short time, Adonnis was able to participate and reflect on his reading purposefully while I was also able to instruct during various teaching points.

We were able to learn more about Adonnis as a reader through conducting the Over the Shoulder conference. We learned that he has grown as a reflective reader since the first Retrospective Miscue Analysis. While listening to the recording, I prompted him with "You went back to reread that sentence. Then, you self corrected and read the correct word. Why did you do that?" Adonnis replied with "I was making sure it made sense." The responses that he gave during the conference let us know that he is thinking about what he is doing as a reader. This reading conference also taught us that he is beginning to take ownership of his reading and what he does as a reader. We learned that Adonnis is now able to understand the reading strategy he is using, not just know what the strategy is. He is trying to use strategies, such as rereading for meaning, as he self monitors while reading. We learned that individual, rather than group, reading conferences are helpful for Adonnis' continued success as a reader.

As teachers, we also were able to learn and grow through conducting the Over the Shoulder conference. We learned about the benefit of using teachable moments with struggling readers. This brief time with Adonnis was made beneficial by discussing particular miscues almost immediately. We have learned that with Adonnis, and all readers, immediate feedback from the teacher is very important for their confidence and success. The reading conference allowed for immediate feedback on teachable moments and also encouraged reflection, which thus proved to be beneficial for our reader. We are encouraged to use reading conferences, such as this Over the Shoulder, in our classrooms with our struggling readers.

The next time we conduct an Over the Shoulder conference, we would like to make some changes to make it more beneficial. First, we would like to continue to practice being the facilitator during the conferences and allow more opportunities for the student to reflect, talk, and discuss. Second, we would like to give our students multiple opportunities to experience being recorded in class prior to the conference. This will help students feel more comfortable when being recorded. We noticed this might be beneficial because of how Adonnis seemed reluctant to listening to himself.

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Over the Shoulder Typescript

B: We are going to go through and listen to you reading it. I want you to follow along with the book and I’m going to point out some things you did really awesome as a reader and a couple of things I want you to keep working on as a reader. Okay?

So listen carefully and follow along as you read it. This is you reading so this is really cool.

(Listening to student recording)

Do you see what you’re doing there? Do you see how you paused for a little bit right there? (Student nods) But then, look what happened! You got it right!

I think it’s okay sometimes if it takes a little while to get the word. You tried your best and you didn’t give up and you figured out this said “scientist”. Let’s keep listening!

(Listening to student recording)

Did you hear what you said? (Student nods) You said “They clean the bones.” Then you went back and you said “They clean the bones”. Why do you think you did that as a reader? (Student paused) Why did you go back and reread it?

A: To make sense.

B: To make sure it made sense? Good readers do that! Sometimes they need to go back and reread to make sure it makes sense to them. That’s what you did wasn’t it? (Student nods) Way to go!

(Listening to student recording)

B: Now, you pause here for a while. Let’s see why. This is a big word. This is the word we are stuck on.

(Listen to student reading)

Hmm…is that a word you’ve heard before?

A: No.

B: Alight then let’s look back and let’s see if we can figure it out right now. Are you ready?

“Then they put the bones”…hmm..not to-geth-er. That’s not a real word! …”like a big puzzle.”

What can you do right now to help yourself figure out that word?

Do you see a part of that word you know?

A: Her?

B: Ohhh, what about at the beginning of the word? “T-o” is what word?”

A: To.

B: So they put the bones to…..

A: “They put the bones together like a big puzzle”

B: Awesome Adonnis! When you get stuck on a big word like that you can think to yourself, “what makes sense? Because we read the words around it, we get clues to help us. Let’s keep going for a couple more minutes.”

(Listening to student reading) You’re doing such a great job! I’m going to skip ahead in the recording a little bit.

We are right here (points to text) on page nine.

Something else you did was you corrected yourself a bunch. I’m gonna see if we can find the part where you corrected yourself for us to listen to.

(Listening to student reading)

Did you hear that? (student nods) You said “some bones, I mean, some dinosaurs” Why did you correct yourself there?

A: That wasn’t the word bones.

B: Yeah, that wasn’t bones. You knew that. So you went back and you self corrected that.

I love that you've been correcting yourself more. That tells me and Miss Riley that you are understanding that what you are reading needs to make sense. Excellent job!

Are you proud of yourself for all of the rereading and self correcting you did as a reader?

A: (Nods)


Strategy Lessons

Lesson 1: Reading for a Purpose

The strategy lesson and correlating activities were chosen because they met the needs of our reader, Adonnis, at that time. Based on previous assessment data and informal observations, we concluded that he believed reading was getting all of the words correctly. His main goal of reading was not to understand what he was reading. We wanted to conduct an interactive shared reading lesson with the purpose of teaching him that as readers, we monitor our comprehension while reading. We chose to include a writing extension activity to observe if Adonnis would be able to appropriately reflect on what he read.

During this strategy lesson, our main focus was on understanding what comprehension was. First, we will ask Adonnis "What is comprehension?" We will continue the discussion by providing Adonnis with real world examples to explain how important comprehension is in our lives as well as while we are reading.

Then, we will create a KWL chart together on the topic of Butterflies. This will help establish a purpose for our reading. After creating the chart, we will read a nonfiction book, Fly With a Butterfly, where we will stop if something isn’t making sense or if we are losing meaning. While reading, Adonnis will use a coding system on sticky notes to help monitor his reading comprehension as we go through this activity together. The coding system includes writing a "?" if he is wondering about something and a check mark if he understands what he is reading.

At the end of the lesson, we will discuss the strategies we already use while reading as we reflect on a strategy to help Adonnis with next week. Adonnis will write in his journal about something he learned or understood from the text.

The strategy lesson we planned to meet the needs of Adonnis as a reader at that time was successful. Adonnis proved to be highly engaged and he was able to meet the learning objective of the lesson. He appropriately and accurately used the coding system to monitor what he was reading as he marked if he understood, wondered, or had questions about new information he was learning. The instructional activities, including making a KWL chart and using sticky notes, helped him read purposefully, which he needed at that time. Because of this successful lesson and activities, Adonnis was able to independently use this reading strategy while reading as he continued to grow throughout the semester.

Through this strategy lesson, we were able to learn more about Adonnis as a reader. We learned that for him, creating the KWL chart before reading helped. The chart helped him set a purpose for his reading. We also learned that he is interested in nonfiction books and enjoys learning from them, when he has the support to do so. The sticky note coding system helped Adonnis to stay engaged as a reader while also checking to make sure he was understanding what he was reading. We learned that using sticky notes as a tool helped him read purposefully and read for understanding. We were also able to learn about Adonnis as a writer during this activity. After reading for meaning, we prompted Adonnis to reflect and write in his writing journal about what he did as a reader that day. Instead of writing, Adonnis chose to draw a picture of an unrelated topic. We learned that he has a difficult time reflecting on what he did as a reader and expressing it through written words.

The strategy lesson involved a lot of modeling and support from us, the teachers. From here, Adonnis needs to learn to monitor for purpose and understanding while reading without using sticky notes as a tool during a small group lesson. He needs to learn to be able to self monitor for comprehension while reading independently to ensure that what he is reading makes sense. Adonnis also needs to learn how to connect his reading and his writing. It is important that he continues to practice the skill of reflecting on and writing about what he has read so that he sees the strong connection they have with one another and how that allows him to better make meaning.

Lesson 2: Written Conversation

We chose a written conversation as a strategy lesson and activity at the beginning of our time with Adonnis. Through observations and the Burke Reading Invterview, we were familiar with Adonnis as a reader. The written conversation lesson enabled us to learn more about Adonnis' writing strengths and his areas for growth in a comfortable and enjoyable way. It was also important that we introduced the strong connection between reading and writing to Adonnis early, as he seeks to read and write for meaning. We felt that this activity would support the goals we had for him as a reader and a writer.

For this strategy lesson, we planned a written conversation. The participants in this activity included Adonnis, another student in our small group, and two teachers. This conversation involved all writing, and no talking as the form of communication. As teachers, we planned to write open ended questions so that it would encourage students to elaborate with their written answers. We took turns writing questions and responding to prompts between the two teachers and the two students. We planned this lesson as a way to understand Adonnis more as a writer.

The written conversation strategy lesson was fun and engaging. However, because of the time limit of the tutoring session, the lesson did not last as long as we had prepared and hoped for. Because of the limited time, we were not able to incorporate as many teaching points, but we were able to still get a feel for Adonnis as a writer.

Through this strategy lesson and activity, we were able to learn about Adonnis as a writer and as a reader. As a writer, we learned that Adonnis feels more comfortable and confident illustrating or drawing a picture than he does writing words to express himself. Rather than choosing to elaborate and add details, Adonnis wrote one to two word responses to the questions and prompts he was given in the conversation. We were also able to learn about Adonnis as a reader through this activity. While reading the conversation, Adonnis skipped over words and did not take the time, or did not understand, to come back and fix his miscue. As a reader, he was not self monitoring to make sure he was reading each word in the written text. We also learned that as a reader at this point in the semester, he lacks reading confidence and lacks reading strategy use. When he was reading the written question, he immediately asked "what does that say?" when he came to an unknown word.

This allowed us to learn that Adonnis did not know what to do to help himself when he came to something he did not know while reading. This strategy lesson helped us gather information for future strategy lessons and instruction.

Adonnis needs to learn that he has many strengths as a writer. When he sees his strengths, he will have the desire to express himself with written words and illustrations, not just illustrations. Also, it is important that Adonnis continues to practice and learn how to form complete sentences as a writer. Rather than responding to a prompt using a one word answer, Adonnis can learn how to form complete sentences with correct sentence structure. As a reader, Adonnis needs to practice and learn more concrete reading strategies that he can use while reading. We would like for Adonnis to never have to ask himself "what does this say" when he comes to a word he does not know. It is our goal that he have reading strategies in place that he can immediately rely on when he comes to an unknown word while reading.

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Use of Language Cueing Systems

Conducting a Miscue Analysis on Adonnis and following the In-Depth Procedure allowed us to gain knowledge on the cueing systems he used successfully while reading as well as the cueing systems he used the most as a reader. Throughout our time with Adonnis, we observed him relying on visual, or graphic similarity cues, more than relying on meaning. The data from the Miscue Analysis In-Depth Procedure supported our observations. It also showed us many of his strengths as a reader using the cueing systems.

While reading, Adonnis omitted or inserted words throughout the text. He omitted three different words while reading. However, two were syntactic and semantically acceptable and there was no meaning change with the omission. For example, in line 0401, he did not read the word Snap! and it did not change the meaning. This demonstrates that he is growing in the area of reading for meaning.

Of the fourteen miscues analyzed for graphic similarity, 57% of them were of high graphic similarity. This helped us understand that he was relying heavily on the way the word looked. We concluded that 42% of his miscues resulted in meaning loss while reading. Adonnis was only able to self correct an unknown word one time during this reading. These results lead us to infer that Adonnis relies heavily on the visual aspect of the word, rather than the meaning behind the text. It also leads us to understand that he will continue to need further instruction on self monitoring for meaning so that he is able to acknowledge when meaning is being lost so he can self correct himself.

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Use of Reading Strategies

Informal observations, reading assessments, and student responses have allowed us to learn about the reading strategies Adonnis uses and relies on as a reader. When reading independently, Adonnis heavily relies on "sounding out" to determine an unknown word. He also feels that as a reader, it is important that he stops at each word to process it while he is reading. Adonnis also tends to skip words he does not know, leaving out the word and thus losing the meaning and the context of the story he is enjoying. He is highly aware of other reading strategies, like covering an unknown word to see what makes sense or looking for known parts inside of a word, but needs more practice using them so that he is able to utilize them while reading independently.

Adonnis' Strengths and Needs

Over the course of this semester we have learned so much about Adonnis as a reader and writer through a running record, miscues analysis, retrospective analysis, and teacher observations. Through many assessments and lesson we saw several strengths that he posses as a reader.


-Adonnis is a child that enjoys learning. As the weeks have progress we feel he truly loves to read. Whenever we introduce a new strategy to Adonnis or show him a new book he is extremely motivated. There have even been a couple tutoring session that he has brought his own books to share with us.

-Adonnis shows that he has posses stamina as a reader. Adonnis always tries his best to finish a book he is reading or his writing with out giving up. It is a characteristic that will help him grow as a reader more and more.

-He knows most high frequency words. We believe by him knowing many high frequency words it has help him be successful as a reader. In addition, while he reads he does notice the beginning letter sounds. As we reflect on his assessments he consistency looks at the beginning letter sounds.


-We would like to see Adonnis reading through the whole word. For example, we would like him to notice the "s" on the end of words. That was one of the teaching points we used with Adonnis during the RMA. A couple of miscues he made were because he left the "s" ending off of words.

-We saw during the assessments that he needs support with retelling stories he has read. When Adonnis was asked to retell Plants Bugs Eat he was very short and said the bare minimum. Adonnis specifically said, "some plants eat bugs." I continued to rephrase my question hoping he would add more to his retell but he did not. During previous tutoring sessions we have also see him struggle with retelling but he often use the book as a resource in which he then uses the pictures to help him retell.

-Throughout our session and assessments we noticed he often does not read for meaning. Adonnis sometimes will leave words out of a text or makes up unknown words. We addressed this during the RMA and he seemed to understand that he did make a miscue. This might have to do with why he might need extra support when retelling.

All in all, we have used what we have learned each tutoring session to support Adonnis as a lifelong reader.

Instructional Decisions

Throughout our time with Adonnis we were constantly thinking about how observations and assessments would help with our instructional decisions. We made several different instructional decisions that we felt would benefit him most as a reader.

Writing Journal and Written Conversation. At the very beginning of the semester we began to brainstorm ways to learn about Adonnis as a writer and learn more about his personality. We first decided to have a casual written conversation with Adonnis. We have seen this done successful in our classrooms and students really seem to enjoy having a written conversation. So we introduced the purpose of a written conversation to him before we began. We passed the written conversation around the group and when it was Adonnis’ turn he immediately said, “I can’t read that.” I asked him to try and read it. He then read it all by himself without hesitation. After he read the question, he quickly said, “Can I draw a picture?” We responded by asking him to write first and then draw a picture, which he responded to our question with one word “football.” We think it was beneficial for us to have a causal conversation about Adonnis’ interest. We also implemented a writing journal after the first couple tutoring sessions. We let Adonnis choose a composition book that he would keep throughout our time together. We thought this would be a perfect way for him to reflect after each tutoring session. Sometimes we would give him specific questions like, “What did you do as a reader today?” while other times we let him free write. When he was given the opportunity to free write he often chose to write about football. This simple use of a writing journal gave us instructional decision ideas for the next session and gave us opportunities to provide immediate instructional feed back. We plan to continue using this journal throughout next semester and allow him to keep the writing journal so we can encourage him to write on his own.

Guided Reading and Book Discussions. We noticed early on with Adonnis that he relies heavily on decoding words. As we were getting to know Adnonis we often asked in different ways, “How do you figure out unknown words?” His answer always had something to do with sounding words out. Our data from the miscue analysis coincided with what we observed as well. Therefore, instead of decoding words we wanted him to realize that reading had to make sense. We chose to focus on reading for meaning during several tutoring sessions so he would understand that readers set a purpose for reading. We introduced the lesson by activating his background knowledge on the topic and recording it in a KWL chart. In addition, we explained how sticky notes can be helpful to us as readers. We chose to do the “I do, we do, you do” strategy with him so he would be able to see us model how we monitor our reading. We gave him sticky notes in which he was expected to write a symbol that matched our chart. This would help him check for understanding and ask questions throughout the book. We decided to use this strategy with him in hopes that he will begin to monitor for meaning independently.

Read Alouds. We decided to begin each lesson with a read aloud for several reasons. We have learned that read alouds can benefit students in multiple ways. Read alouds can spark students love for reading and help them understand readers must make a purpose for reading. Reading for enjoyment was what we wanted Adonnis to notice as we were reading. We chose books that we thought Adonnis would like based on his interest, including Just a Chicken by Langston Moore and Preston Thorne, which uses a gamecock as the main character. We chose that book because he loves the Gamecocks. He was always an engaged listener. Another reason we chose to conduct a read aloud each session was so he could see us model reading for meaning and fluency. We would often stop throughout the stories to discuss what was going on or to ask him what he was thinking as a reader, which again supports our instructional decisions since reading for meaning is something he struggles with.


As we begin to think about the Adonnis' future as a reader we thought of a couple strategies that were successful for us during the tutoring session that might be worth continuing. One strategy that he was successful at was completing a KWL chart as a group. This got him thinking before, during, and after we read the book. We choose to use a KWL chart to help him become more aware that he has to monitor while reading so he can retell what he read. We modeled the strategy then gradually let Adonnis come up with his own thinking about the book. In addition to that we allowed him to use sticky notes to track his thinking. We came up with a coding system that made his thinking more purposeful as he read. The coding system could be used in the future to help him continually check for understanding. Also, we recommend Adonnis have continued support with reading the entire word. We noticed this often and therefore chose to talk about it during the RMA. We often would remind him to "say and slide." We think this would benefit him and help him become more intentional with his reading. Also, we believe practicing the close reading procedure would help him with understanding what the text is about therefore being able to retell a book. It would give him a chance to go deeper into the story where he can learn to reread to work on fluency and find clues in text to understand words.

Suggestion to Teacher and Parents

Suggestion to Teacher

November 19, 2015

Dear Second Grade Teacher,

Over the past few months we have had the opportunity to work Adonnis Germany in the area of ELA. Just as you do in the classroom, we have conducted several assessments both formal and informal to help us meet the needs of Adonnis as a reader and writer. Through the assessments we focused on Adonnis’ strength and instructional needs. With the data we collected from the assessments we were able to conduct lessons that would build upon his strengths while continuing to develop other areas in reading and writing. As first grade teachers, we would like to share with you several strengths we believe Adonnis possesses as well as suggest some areas where we believe he needs additional support. Please review the chart below.


  • Has the motivation to learn
  • Knows many sight words
  • Enjoys reading, especially non-fiction
  • Stamina while reading
  • Hard-working
  • Using the beginning letter sound to decode words

Instructional Needs:

  • Retelling a story
  • Intonation and expression when reading aloud
  • Understanding that reading is thinking therefore realizing reading and writing must make sense
  • Comprehension strategies for reading
  • Additional vocabulary support
  • Attending to the whole word while reading

With these areas in mind, we have included a list of reading and writing strategies that Adonnis seemed to benefit from during the past couple months. We hope that our professional case study will be helpful as you continue to individualize your instructional plan for Adonnis. Please feel free to contact either of us at school.


Blythe Reynolds/Nursery Road Elemenatary-1st grade

Sarah Riley/Leaphart Elementary-1st grade

Suggestion to Parents

November 19, 2015

Dear Parents,

As you know your child, Adonnis, has been receiving small group literacy instruction as part of the after school program at Seven Oaks Elementary. We, Blythe Reynolds and Sarah Riley, have had the pleasure of working with Adonnis over the past few months as he continues to grow as a reader and a writer. We are currently enrolled in a language and literacy program at the University of South Carolina. We have learned so many new things about the reading and writing processes from your child. We are going to share some of the things we found while working with Adonnis. While working with your child, we were able to learn about him and form a relationship with him through conversations, playing with play doh, reading books, and doing puzzles together. He is a kind, hard working, and loving boy. We also learned about him as a reader and a writer by conducting many different types of assessments, both formal and informal. We conducted Running Records, reading and writing inventories, written conversations, and inquiry based lessons with your child.

Adonnis loves to read, write, and talk about non fiction books, especially books about the Carolina Gamecocks. We want to make some suggestions about ways to encourage his reading and writing growth at home. As a reader, Adonnis is practicing self monitoring to make sure that what he is reading makes sense when he comes to an unknown word. He is also seeking to understand that reading is meaning making. While reading with him, you could prompt him with questions such as “What word do you think would make sense there? Can you tell me about what is happening in the story? What did you learn from this story?”. Prompts like these would help Adonnis set a purpose for his reading. Another suggestion would be taking a trip to the public library together. Being able to check out different non fiction books that Adonnis is interested in would help to continue to increase his reading enjoyment. As a writer, Adonnis would also benefit from writing stories about topics he knows a lot about as well as experiences he has had. Keeping writing booklets or a writing journal at home would encourage his writing practice and writing stamina.

Having shared our results with you, we hope that this experience was just as rewarding and fun for Adonnis as it was for us as teachers and learners. Thank you so much for allowing us this intense and beneficial time of literacy instruction with Adonnis and please continue to work with him at home to strive for success in the areas of reading and writing.


Blythe Reynolds-Nursery Road Elementary/1st grade

Sarah Riley-Leaphart Elementary/1st grade