Diagnostic Tool Kit & Case Study Portfolio
ED 917 Diagnosis, Analysis, and Remediation of Reading Difficulties in Middle and Upper Grades
ED 919 Reading Practicum
Competency 2: Phonemic awareness and phonics: principles, knowledge, and instructional practices
In order for students to create a solid foundation for reading, they must feel comfortable with their phonemic awareness and phonics skills. This is done by creating a safe environment for students to experiment and test out their knowledge. Within the provided example of the Diagnostic Toolkit, there are a number of suggested activities for a child to engage within to develop their skills and knowledge for an appropriate reading foundation. These activities include:
· Initial and final consonant sorts
· Lively Letters
· Word Work
· Mix and fix
· Quick Phonics Screener to guide instruction
· Words Their Way
· Sorts- Long Vowel Patterns, Long Vs. Short Vowels
· Elkonin boxes plus letters
· Word building
· Rules for syllable division
· Project Read
· Matching games
· Word walls
· Magnetic letters
· Word sorts
Competency 5: Selection and use of appropriate programs, materials, and technology for reading instruction
Within the Practicum experience, I afforded the opportunity to implement a variety of programs and techniques for each student, as well as a plethora of materials and technology. I choose to use this opportunity to delve into using an IPad to supplement instruction and motivate the learners. This included selected readings to read on the device as well as finding apps that supported targeted skills. Once I tested the students and learners their strengths and areas of weakness, I was able to better select materials that not only would interest them, but more importantly target my focused instruction areas.
My favorite thing to do within the educational field is find new and interesting ways to enhance not only my instructional practices but also enhance student learning and their educational opportunities. I use every chance to learn how each student learns, rather than what they need to know. I love working with colleagues and sharing new ideas and techniques that have worked for them or haven't worked for them. I view it as a chance to grow as an educator and expand my learning. Within the attached case study, there are a number of checklists to evaluate the climate of the classroom, it's setting, the curriculum that is implemented, instructional techniques, the literary environment, and the resources and materials used for instruction.
Competency 7: Screening and diagnostic instruments, their administration, and use for determining student strengths and weaknesses
Competency 8: Knowledge and use of a variety of informal and formal reading assessments
Within my practicum experience, I administered the DIBELS, Reading A to Z, BADER, and DAR tests. Each of these tests allowed me to gain a whole picture of each reader as a learner and allowed me to assess how I would be most able to work with the student to improve their reading and literacy skills. By pre-testing each student, I was able to gain a knowledge of where to start with each student and how to target my instruction. With post-testing, I was able to see how my instruction contributed to gains in the student's learning. Throughout the experience, I was also able to see how tips and techniques I was helping the student with were transferring over into their classroom experiences.
DIBELS is a test that is utilized for fluency that I have frequently utilized as a formal reading assessment. Students within the district that I have taught in are given this assessment three times a year, beginning, middle and end of year, to observe if a student has made progress within areas of vocabulary and fluency. This is always an informative tool that students and teachers can use to help guide their reading progress.
Competency 12: Approaches and practices for writing instruction, including assessment of writing skills and their relationship to reading
Reading and writing are two very intertwined skills that go hand in hand when discussing literacy instruction. Within every area of the classroom, in one way or another, students use reading and writing skills. Within core academics, students use reading to gather information on valuable units and then transfer and prove their knowledge through creating pieces of writing. Therefore having a foundation that is solid within literacy will support all academic learning. For a number of years I have created a routine with writing. Each week, we as a class would create a graphic organizer that would include all of what we had done in each subject, specials included. Then from this information, students were required to write home in a given notebook to someone, whomever or whatever they wanted to write to, about what they did that week. This activity allowed students to answer their parent's question of "What did you learn this week?" without the typical answer of "I don't remember" or "Nothing." It gave students the opportunity to practice their writing skills and be creative. It's amazing how interesting and detailed students' letter could become.