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Case Study 1

Tayla Reynolds
April 28, 2014
EDUC 340
Case Study/Reflective Paper

Case Study 2

All teachers are teachers of reading is a phrase that is often misunderstood. Until this
course, I couldnt have told you the meaning of that particular phrase or if I thought it was true. I
would have also said that reading wasnt used in my content area. While at Preston Middle
School, I have been provided with and learned many tools that help define that phrase and assist
my understanding with reading.
Throughout this course, I have learned that every classroom curriculum has some form of
literacy. I have also learned that no matter what curriculum someone is teaching, there is reading
and literacy involved which properly explains the phrase all teachers are teachers of reading. I
thought that reading was only through the textbooks, but goes a little further than that. Literacy
and reading are not only text book material, but the tools that are used to help with reading
comprehension. All educators are teaching and encouraging reading in their content area rather it
is recognizable or not, and all content area teachers play a critical role in helping students to
think, learn, and communicate with texts (Vacca,2). As agricultural education as my content
area, I have learned that every literacy tool I have been given would be beneficial to both me and
my students and help them understand any sort of literacy that is used.
One particular tool, of many, that I was taught to use is the K-W-L chart. This was one of
the first tools I learned to use this semester. The K-W-L chart is a beneficial technique because it
allowed the students to take a piece of text and make their own observations of what they already
knew about the subject, what they want to know and what they want to learn. This is one of my
favorites because it enables students to think outside of the box and really make an observation
and understand their reading. Although there is not a lot of comprehension reading in agricultural
education, the K-W-L could be used in any scenario given. This is an example that this reading
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tool can be used in any subject with any topic.
Another example is using a critical thinking strategy. This strategy allows the students to
identify the claim and the evidence within a text and to help them engage, guide, and extend
thinking throughout the reading process (McLaughlin, 111). While in Mrs. Dudleys classroom,
I encouraged the students thinking to go that much further. I asked each student to identify the
evidence and how they knew that was true by identifying a claim. This was really a great way for
me to ask the students questions and challenge their way of thinking, and in result, I was a
teacher of reading because I was asking them questions about what they had read.
One of my other favorite tools I learned to use this semester in recitation was the RAFT
tool. To me this is such a great mechanism to use on any age of students for any subject and is a
personal favorite. When using this in Mrs. Dudleys classroom, as a group we read a part of the
chapter out of the book that they have been reading. This assignment helped with students
comprehension and they collaboratively completed this assignment while still having different
ideas and answers. I assisted the students to help clarify their understanding of the assignment
while allowing then to still apply their own knowledge. This is another great example of
something correlated to reading and literacy, but someone wouldnt have to necessarily read a
piece of text in order to create a RAFT; the students would just have to be knowledgeable about
two subjects that are related to each other.
As the semester progressed, in our lab we were taught a summary organizer how to use a
two dollar summary. This was a really neat and unique way to get the kids excited about their
writing. It not only influenced creativity but was in some ways a competition on who could get
the closest to twenty words. The students were responsible for identifying the parts of a piece of
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writing and encouraged them to focus on strong, short answers. This strategy would be really
beneficial in agriculture education. I could give my students an article on an agricultural issue
and with this organizer, they could use it to find important pieces of the text and this would help
break it down.
The venn diagram is something that I have used for years since I have been in school. This
assignment was done in groups and the students collaboratively compared two different pieces of
texts and really helped with their comprehension of the two readings. The students were fairly
familiar with using a venn diagram, but I still touched up on a few things. I explained that it was
a comprehension strategy that involved making strategies while reading, encouraged the students
to work collaboratively, reread the texts if needed, and asked them to discuss what the wrote
afterwards (McLaughlin,138).
One of my other personal tools that could be used within my own classroom is text-to-self,
text-to-text, and text-to-world technique. This could easily be used in agricultural education
because in an agricultural based classroom, a majority of the students could easily relate the
content learned in class to themselves and to the world. In Mrs. Dudleys class, I was amazed by
the students that were able to make all three connections, especially to the world at their age. As
each student made their own connections, I made my connections as well and we discussed them
as a group. This was a great way for me to be able to encourage them to really think and analyze
previous instances while doing this assignment.
One of the other most important tools that I learned to use at Preston and within my literacy
class is the frayer model. This is another favorite of mine because this can be used in any subject
for any unit. I think that this is a highly effective tool for helping students understand the
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important relationships that exist among technical concepts (McKenna/Robinson, 145). This
assignment is a great way as well to really focus on just one term and to break it down
individually and analyze the true definition.
The last assignment we learned this semester was give one/take one. I enjoyed this activity
because the students got to get up and interact with each other, which as a future educator; I am
going to strive for. This encourages the students think about what they just read, to ask
themselves questions and come up with something that they would like to know more about. It
was an easy assignment for me to assist the students with in understanding and to help guide
their thinking.
In result, with all of the assignments and tools we have been given at Preston and being an
agricultural education major, I am very confident that I could use any of these materials given
within my own classroom. These tools that would be most beneficial to me and the students in
my classroom would be the Frayer model, RAFT, Venn diagram, character mapping, and text-to-
text organizers.
As an agricultural education student, the reading strategies and frayer model would be very
helpful on several different levels. In agriculture, there are numerous vocabulary words that they
may not know and it can be very challenging to learn the meaning of those particular words in
the agriculture industry. The frayer model is a useful tool to help with their comprehension of the
word(s) and can be incorporated within their own lives. In my classroom, I would have one or
two vocabulary words a week and have each student fill out a frayer model diagram and keep it
where it can be useful to them in the future.
The RAFT model is another one that can be used within the ag ed classroom as well. In
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fact, it would probably be the most fun as well. I could use this in my content area by allowing
my students to help see the pros and cons of certain subjects. An example of this would be why it
is beneficial or unbeneficial to use pesticides on crops. One view could be the pesticides
convincing the public that it is okay to be used on crops; the opposing side would be the health
department explaining to humans how pesticides could be hazardous to human health.
The venn diagram has been used in many of the classrooms that I was in and can be easily
incorporated into my own. This would be a great organizer to compare a ruminant system versus
a simple stomach, one crop to another, or comparing pesticides and trying to figure out which
would be most beneficial to use. This is not only a nice desk work assignment, but is
something that they can use as a study tool as well.
I plan on using the character mapping organizer more for history of the FFA rather than a
character in a book. For example, since the ag program isnt a lot of textbook work, I would have
my students compare a particular law and discuss the impact on FFA before the law was passed
and how it was after. This way, they could see the pros and cons of an act (if any) and let them
analyze if that law has any impact on them as a current FFA member.
Finally, the other tool that I have learned at Preston that can and will be used in my
classroom is the text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world strategy. This could be used in a
situation when my students read an article involving agriculture and most of my students should
easily be able to make some sort of a connection. Most ag students involved in the programs
have some sort of agriculture background, so it should be relatively easy for them to make some
sort of a connection. In this case, I think that this also kind of personalizes is for them because
they are using prior knowledge of what they may have learned on the farm and bringing it to help
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with an assignment in the classroom.
All in all, it is true that all teachers are teachers of reading no matter the content area. All of
the assignments used in recitation and lab this semester have helped me realize that and come to
conclusion that literacy is in agricultural education. I also have learned that students also dont
have to have a textbook open in order to be reading as well. While at Preston, I have learned and
used many tools and materials that will help me with reading and reading comprehension within
my classroom because I have an important role to play in showing students how to use literacy-
related strategies in my discipline (Vacca,2) , even in an agricultural education program. I hope
to use these new materials on my classroom to help my students with better understanding of
literacy and its importance within their education.

Case Study 8

Boles, Patrick. Literacy Matters. New York: Pearson, 2010. Print.