In order to help students to reach their academic goals, the teacher uses a personalized approach to address the specific needs of every learner. This personalization is also necessary when working with small groups. This paper includes a discussion of some instructional ideas for two students (Level B, Cases 1 and 2) to improve their early reading skills (Sayeski & Paulsen, n.d.). Raymond (aged 6.1) has difficulty with rhyming words and identifying lower case letters (Sayeski & Paulsen, n.d.). As to the student’s comprehension skills, he likes listening to stories and is good at identifying the setting, main characters, as well as the events that were mentioned at the beginning and the end of the story. However, he is struggling with sequencing the events that were mentioned in the middle of the story. Raymond can be grouped with another student who has similar problems. Amanda (aged 6.5) has problems with sequencing events in the story and identifying main ideas. In addition, she has difficulty with reading sight words, and she often tries to guess at words rather than read them. Her reading is slow, and she fails to read some letters.
The book to be used for these students can be Winnie and Wilbur: Winnie the Witch by Thomas (2016). This source is age-appropriate and can help in training specific literacy and comprehension skills. The students will be able to enrich their vocabulary, improve their reading, writing, and comprehension skills. The book can be interesting for boys and girls because it contains some humorous situations and funny characters. The book should be interesting to make learners motivated to read it and complete tasks based on the story. As for writing, the learners may be asked to write the spell the witch uses (a set of letters) and compose their own spells writing and reading them out. A similar task with spells can help in letter recognition (specifically helpful for Amanda). Amanda can also write spells for Raymond in upper-case letters, while the boy will write them in lower-case letters. The girl will check if Raymond made everything correct. To engage students, the teacher may state that incorrect spells can do some tricky things similar to the ones that happened in the story about the witch and her cat.
As far as particular strategies to be employed, both students will benefit from the use of Model-Lead-Test strategy. The teacher will utilize this method to help students address their letter recognition problems. This framework implies the teacher’s instruction, encouragement to complete a task together, and assessment (Sayeski & Paulsen, n.d.). Raymond will train to identify lower- case letter, while Amanda will read words fast and slowly, as well as say the sounds of the letters and letter combinations shown to her. Reading sight words can also be trained with the help of this framework.
Graphic organizers can also be helpful in this group, as they will be instrumental in building the students’ comprehension skills. Raymond and Amanda will complete story maps to identify the main ideas and sequence the events. The learners will work together and individually to facilitate the acquisition of the necessary skills. The teacher will also use pictures asking students to arrange them in the correct order. A combination of peer tutoring and repeated reading can be employed as well. Amanda will read the story several times in terms of independent practice and activities mentioned above. After that, she will read the story to Raymond and ask him to retell the story. Amanda may also be asked to detect all the sight words and read them to Raymond. The boy can be encouraged to find the words and show them to Amanda so that she could read them for him. The sight words will be given to him in cards written in upper-case letters. In this way, the student will practice detecting lower-case letters in the book.
Findings from the Videos
Various resources are available to teachers who can use helpful tips in their practice. For instance, the video by Early Literacy Matters (2017) provides new teachers with insights into the way assessment can be conducted effectively. The child is engaged and ready to complete the tasks the teacher offers. One of the tips that will be helpful in my future practice is the way the teacher encourages and praises the child. The teacher is also engaged, and her body language is appropriate. I will also try to maintain such a positive environment when assessing students’ knowledge or progress. I will also make sure that testing situations will not be stressful for children (Reading Rockets, 2014). I will remember that assessment should be postponed if a child is not feeling well or is unprepared for some reason. I will definitely use observation as one of the major strategies to understand the way students think and learn (Reading Recovery Council of North America, 2010). This understanding will help me develop clear instructions, introduce material more effectively, and help students with the most challenging topics or activities.
Early Literacy Matters. (2017). Early literacy skills assessment.
Reading Recovery Council of North America. (2017). Effective literacy practices – assessing through close observation.
Reading Rockets. (2017). Pre-reader assessment.
Sayeski, K., & Paulsen, K. (n.d.). Early reading.
Thomas, V. (2016). Winnie and Wilbur: Winnie the Witch. Oxford, England: OUP Oxford.