Carter, M., Desai, L., & Tierney, R. (1994). Portfolio assessment in the reading-writing classroom. The Reading Teacher, 48(2), 181.
Portfolios are an effective assessment tool that teachers still use widely today. They are great to use and have on hand in the classroom, especially when it comes to writing. It’s easy to gather and make copies of a student’s writing collection and have it to show them or their parents. This article is about a book written by the authors of this book. It offers a few suggestions and techniques from four different K-12 teachers in Ohio. The authors took this information and made a tool that models questions to ask about a single piece of writing.
Even though this article is a little bit outdated, I feel the information is still applicable and useful. There are example questions to get the students minds working. It really has the students reflect on their piece of writing and why they chose it for their portfolio. It’s a way to get them to really think about their writing and look at it more closely than they might have in the first place. I believe that a student can be a super effective critic of his or her own work. I wish this article was more in depth about portfolios since they are so commonly used today. It just left me wanting more information.
Cirino, P.T., Linan-Thompson, S., Prater, K., & Vaughn, S. (2006). The response to intervention of english language learners at risk for reading problems. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 39(5), 390-398.
English language learners can be extremely difficult to work with and diagnose when they have learning or reading disabilities. How can you know if they have a real reading problem or if the language barrier is the only struggle? This article begins by talking about how they went about intervening with those students they believed to have reading problems. They did this to determine the proper response to intervention (RTI) they had to take to best help these students. It also has to be effective. There is a tiered model system that is followed when working with these students. Like every other assessment, there can be errors and problems with this type of help and intervention. Different approaches can be taken to help these students.
Working with English language learners is something I find extremely interesting. Although I have only taken one class about the best method of instructing them, I have experienced some different languages and cultures firsthand at the preschool where I work. Granted teachers aren’t exactly teaching them phonics yet because they are three, they are already working on immersing them in the English language. I just think it would be hard to say if an English language learner had a reading disability when the problem just could be they don’t understand English. I guess there are steps that can be taken to rightly determine this, though.
Fargo, J. D., Jones, C. D., & Reutzel, D. R. (2010). Comparing two methods of writing instruction: Effects on kindergarten students’ reading skills. The Journal of Educational Research, 103(5), 327-341.
This article is about a study that compared the effects of two different forms of classroom writing instruction: interactive writing and writing workshop. They were trying to see if these helped kindergarteners develop early reading skills. Data was collected for 16 weeks from over 150 students. It came to the conclusion that both were equally effective. These two methods are very different in regards to the role of the teacher, the content, and the sequencing of skills. Writing is very important to have in a kindergarten classroom, as it can increase early reading skills, which is something that the children will need to learn and start using very soon. Interactive learning is when children can start to learn letters, sounds, and words to create a meaningful text. Children learn basic print concepts and phonemic awareness to really start gaining reading and writing skills.
Reading and writing is so important to start immersing children in, even directly from birth. The fact that this article talked about writing workshop was especially neat to me since I took part in one last semester. It’s a great experience for kids and it really gets them to dive into writing, but most of the components didn’t really help with the increase of their writing quality. I believe that different methods would work differently and more effectively for different children. I think it’s best to maybe try a little bit of both and get to know the kids to see what method would work most effectively for each child.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (August, 2011). Dyslexia. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dyslexia/DS00224
According to the Mayo Clinic, “dyslexia is a learning disorder characterized by difficulty reading” (Mayo Clinic). This is very common among children. Usually the child that suffers from it has normal vision and intelligence. It’s all from inherited traits that relate to your brain function. Dyslexia also can go undiagnosed until adulthood, which can be painful and hard to live with. Although there is no cure, most children can still be successful in their schooling with the help of a tutor and adjustments made by their teacher.
Dyslexia is something that many kids suffer from, and it can easily go undiagnosed. It is important to really know the symptoms and steps you can take to help the children that suffer from it so they can be as successful as possible. It’s important for parents as well as teachers to be emotionally supportive as well, since this can be hard on a child. This site offers many different ways to diagnose and test for dyslexia, all of which you can find with help from a doctor. I think it’s important to really know where dyslexia comes from, and the origins of it. We need to understand what it is and how it affects children before we go about tossing around diagnoses.
Zirkel, P. A. (2012). The legal issues of identification and intervention for k-12 students with dyslexia. Perspectives on Language and Literacy, 38(3), 13-16.
This article by Perry Zirkel uses an illustration about a girl named Fran Doe who always seemed to struggle through the early grades, especially in reading. Her parents brushed it of, though, as they believed she was still developing, just differently than the other children. Once she got to fourth grade, they decided to consult someone about Fran’s difficulties. Soon after, she was diagnosed with dyslexia, and they along with their psychologist started to come up with educational ideas to best suit Fran and her needs. Thinking she is eligible for a certain kind of help, and then finding out she is not, the parents go through a lot of obstacles to try and get their daughter the help she deserves.
In all honesty, this article kind of made me sad. The fact that such drastic legal measures had to be taken just to get this little girl the help that she needs to succeed broke my heart. Just because this girl’s disability wasn’t “severe” enough, some necessary actions couldn’t be taken. The ultimate goal should be to help this child succeed, not to closely follow some handbook or rules. It’s sad how education is so strict and taken right from the textbook about so many different things. Maybe it’s just because I don’t understand all the legalities of the rules and guidelines that need to be followed. To me, it just complicates things and interrupts from the success of the children.