Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 34


Torin Sawyer

Instructional Mini-lesson

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 11:49 AM

Comment [1]: There are several things I
would change if I were going to redo my
mini-lesson. One thing I would have
changed was that I would give the answer to
the student before letting them find on their
own. To change this, I would make a note in
my presentation to always pause after
asking a question and to not answer my own

Inferring the Meaning

of Unfamiliar Words:
Word Detectives

By Torin Sawyer

I have tried to upload the rest of the PowerPoint as a PDF but I am unable to. If
requested, I can email the PowerPoint as a separate document.

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 11:55 AM

Comment [2]: In this worksheet, I would
have added an extra column that includes
the dictionary definition of a word.
Otherwise, the student might be confused
and think the wrong definition is correct!

Case File #1: The Unidentified Words





New sentence

Mini-lesson reflection
What went well?

There were many things that I thought went well during my lesson this week.
The first thing that I thought went well was that I called the class detectives, which
many of my peers say would be a lot of fun to do in an elementary school classroom.
I also think it was beneficial to have them work together as a group rather than
individually. The reason I had them work in their group was that I wanted them to
have an open line of communication, and to think or new ideas that they might not
have thought of the first time reading through the text. I also think that the
worksheet I provided the groups was well organized and planned out, although I
wish the watermark was much less noticeable. One last thing that I think went
really well was my prepared slides for the I do portion of my lesson. I had them
prepared before I presented to look as if I were going through the text aloud, which
helped to move the lesson along quickly with few technical difficulties.

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 11:58 AM

Comment [3]: To change this, I would
have liked to print out a sample first to see
what it looked like, but I did not have the

How might you improve?

There were several suggestions on how I could improve my lesson, and now I
wish I could re-teach it! The main thing that was mentioned was the disequilibrium
between the opening/ closing, and the body of the presentation. Looking back on
the slides now, I can definitely see how I should have edited them to flow better and
to stick to the main topic that I was teaching. Another thing that I could improve on
is letting the class take the time to think. I never asked them to turn and talk with a
partner, which is something I should have done. I also wasnt waiting long enough
for students to give an answer and was helping them along, which is not helping the
student learn. One last big issue that came up with my lesson was the idea of
misconceptions about what I was teaching. To prevent any misconceptions about
what the vocabulary word actually meant, I should have put another column on the
worksheet for the dictionary definition.

What did you learn?

First off, I learned that I much rather prefer teaching young children than my
peers! I also learned that when you are up front and teaching, the lesson might take
a turn that you werent expecting. For instance, when I had put the excerpt from
Because of Winn-Dixie up on the screen, I had expected the class to pick out a
certain word, but they picked a different one. I was a little scrambled when that
happened, but I think I managed to catch myself (even though I ended up giving
away the definition). I think that this experience was very valuable and was a great
teacher of time management and lesson preparedness.

Reading lesson plan

Kristen Carson & Torin Sawyer

Instructional Plan Purpose:

This lesson is about mind mapping. The purpose of teaching this pre-writing
strategy is for students to get their ideas down on paper by using facts, ideas,
information, or pictures about their topic. Students will use this pre-writing
strategy when they are writing about something they are familiar with or a topic of
their choice. Students can also use this pre-writing strategy when working in

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 12:00 PM

Comment [4]: I need to always pause and
wait for a student to answer the question I
just asked!

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 12:02 PM

Comment [5]: This tells me that I always
need to be prepared for things I dont

State/National Learning Standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.1.A: Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an
opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically
grouped to support the writer's purpose.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2.A: Introduce a topic clearly, provide a general
observation and focus, and group related information logically; include
formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to
aiding comprehension.

Content Objectives (to be copied in Assessment Chart below) and alignment to
State Learning Standards:

1. SWBAT Identify a main topic (5.1.A & 5.2.A)

2. SWBAT Create a mind map for their topic (5.2.A)

3. SWBAT Support their main idea with evidence (5.1.A)

Language Objectives:

1. SWBAT Explain the meaning of prewriting

Previous Learning Experiences:

Students have already been introduced to webs and t-charts during yesterdays
lesson on pre-writing strategies. Teacher has discussed the benefits of pre-writing
and explained how pre-writing is a great way to get your ideas down on paper and
organizes your thoughts.

Planning for Student Learning Needs:

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:35 AM

Deleted: LITERACY.W.5.1.A :

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 12:04 PM

Comment [6]: We should have had a
greater insistence on what prewriting is,
since we included this objective. We should
have had the students each identify what
prewriting is before they would be able to
move on.

Students who have IEPs or ELLs will focus more on drawing pictures of their ideas
for their topic and less words will be written on the mind map for these students.

Assessment Strategies:

Content/Language Objectives

Assessment Strategies

SWBAT Identify a main topic

(5.1.A & 5.2.A)

Informal: Teacher will monitor students by walking

around the room and checking students mind
maps. Teacher will be looking to make sure that all
students have identified a topic and have begun
creating their mind map.

Formal: Teacher will choose 3 students from the
class to share their mind maps on the document
camera. The students who are sharing their mind
maps will have exceptional examples for fellow
classmates to use as an example.

SWBAT Create a mind map for

their topic (5.2.A)

Informal: Students will share in their tables groups

the mind maps they have created.

Formal: Teacher will collect the mind maps from
students once they have completed the task.

SWBAT Support their main idea

with evidence (5.1.A)

Informal: Teacher would monitor how students are

finding their evidence, and give little direction on
how to find the evidence. Students should know
how to find resources in the classroom at this age.

Formal: During the discussion wrap up at the end of
the activity, each group will provide evidence from
their experience during the activity to the rest of
the class that explains the connection between their
main idea and the supporting evidence they chose.

SWBAT Explain the meaning of


Informal: Students will have the chance to share

with their group what they think prewriting is, and
why it is important in the writing process.

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 12:11 PM

Comment [7]: We have to be careful of
who we choose to present, and should
preselect students who have done a
presentable job of creating a mind map.

Formal: Teacher will have students write down

what prewriting is in their own words on a post-it
that is placed on the board.

Student Voice:

K-12 students will be
able to:

Student-based evidence to
be collected (things
produced by students:
journals, exit slips, self-
assessments, work
samples, projects, papers,

Description of how
students will reflect on
their learning.

1. Explain student
learning targets and what
is required to meet them
(including why they are
important to learn).


At the beginning of the

lesson, students will
summarize that pre-
writing means to them
and why they should
use pre-writing
strategies in their

2. Monitor their own

learning progress toward
the learning targets using
the tools provided
(checklists, rubrics, etc.).

Sticky Notes

Students will be
provided one sticky
note at the end of the
activity to answer in
their own words what
prewriting means to
them, and why it is

3. Explain how to access

resources and additional
support when needed (and
how/why those resources
will help them).

Exit slip

Students will be asked

to recall one of the
resources they used
while completing this
assignment and write
it down on their exit

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 12:11 PM

Comment [8]: Make sure this actually
happens, seems easy to skip over in a

slip. They are asked to

do this to help other
students who are
struggling to find
additional resources.

Grouping of Students for Instruction:

Whole Class: Teacher will begin with instruction to the entire class by
explaining a mind map, why it is a great pre-writing strategy, and asking the
class questions.
Individual: Students will work individually to choose a topic of their choice
and begin creating their mind map.
Small Group: Students will share their completed mind maps with their table
Whole Class: Teacher will choose three students to share their mind maps
with the class on the document camera. Students can ask questions and also
use the examples provided by students as a tool to make sure they completed
their mind maps correctly.

Section 2: Instruction and Engaging Students in Learning


To introduce this lesson, the teacher would start by asking the class several
questions to get them thinking about different prewriting strategies. The teacher
will discuss with the class all of the different types of prewriting there are, and ask
them which one is the best one to use in the classroom, while teaching them the new
strategy: mind mapping.

Why should we write down all of our ideas when thinking about a
Do you think that prewriting is a helpful writing tool?
Why are we including pictures in our mind maps?

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 2:53 PM

Comment [9]: This whole section could
be combined into one explanation of how
the students will be grouped throughout the

What are other forms of graphic organizers?

What stage in the writing process comes after prewriting?



Teacher will signal to class for their attention by raising one hand. This will signal
to students that the teacher needs their attention because the lesson is coming to an
end. Once all students are quiet, the teacher will hand out sticky notes to each
student for them to write what pre-writing means to them and why it is important.
After students have put their sticky note on the board, teacher will then hand out
the exit slip. Students will need to recall one resource they used for this activity and
write it on the exit slip in order to leave the classroom.

Independent Practice:

As independent practice, the teacher would have each student build off of the mind
map they made today by translating it into a different form of prewriting (web,
graphic organizer, list, t-chart, etc).

Instructional Materials, Resources, and Technology:

Blank paper
Sticky Notes
Exit slip with 1 resource
Handout explaining learning targets
Classroom resources (internet, document camera, classroom library)

Common Core State Standards Initiative. (2010). Common Core State Standards for
English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and
Technical Subjects. Boise, ID: Idaho State Department of Education.
Rog, L. J. (2011) Marvelous minilessons for teaching intermediate writing, grades 4-6.
Newark, DE: International Reading Association

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 2:55 PM

Comment [10]: We never discus this in
our lesson, so this question is searching for
any students who have any prior knowledge
about this topic.

Learning Steps: Continued!

Learning Steps and Activities

Supporting Theories/Principles
(why are you doing what you are

1. Teacher will begin lesson by asking

the class several questions to get them
thinking about different prewriting

Piaget: Basic structures for

organizing information

2. The teacher will then introduce the

prewriting strategy of mind mapping
with an example, and discuss the
similarities and differences between this
prewriting strategy and others they
have already learned.

Piaget: Accessing students prior


3. Students will then be allowed to work

on their own, with a topic of their choice
to create their own mind map. The
example from the teacher will be
viewable on the board for reference.

Bandura: Students learn from

teacher modeling

4. After adequate time is given to

students to complete their mind map,
they will have the opportunity to share
their mind maps with their group

Vygotsky: Teachers give students

the chance to talk through a
problem with their group

5. As students are sharing in their

groups, they will note down one of the
resources that they used to complete
this assignment.

Constructivism: Learners construct

their own knowledge by being
actively engaged.

6. The teacher will then call on several

students to share their work on the
document camera.

Paivio: Teachers use visuals from

students to compliment oral

7.Students will have the chance to ask

their classmates questions about their

Vygotsky: Teachers give students

the chance to talk through a

mind maps, or edit their own so it better

follows the mind mapping criteria.

problem with their group

8. Students will then be given sticky

notes to answer in their own words
what prewriting means to them, and
why it is an important stage in the
writing process. (Place sticky notes on

Ausabel & Mayer: Remind students

of relevant information they already
have to store it in their long-term

9. Based on the one resource the student

wrote down while completing their
mind map, they will answer the question
on the exit slip: What is one resource
you used while completing this

Ausabel & Mayer: Remind students

of relevant information they already
have to store it in their long-term

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:36 AM

Deleted: long term

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:36 AM

Deleted: long term

Student writing analysis

T/L 322
Kristen Carson & Torin Sawyer

Writing Samples: the student writing samples that we scored were from Mrs.
Casanovas 5th grade class. Students were asked to choose one of the two stories
given in the test to read. Once they had completed reading, they were to summarize
the story in their own words. The two readings were about: 1) Marathon Kids and
2) Seeing-eye Dogs.

Student #1 - Marathon Kids

Ideas: 4
Justification: This student is clear and focused more often than not, has a main
point and the student shows sufficient knowledge of the topic they are covering.
This student gives some new information and some common knowledge
information is expanded on. The qualities of the details definitely outweigh the

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 2:55 PM


Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 2:55 PM

Deleted: .
Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 2:55 PM
Deleted: .

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:37 AM

Deleted: quality of the details definitely

Examples: This student gave a lot of good examples of important information such
as: 33% of teens and kids are overweight or obese and pushing to eat 5 fruits and
vegetables. This student also made it clear what the main point should be, which is
instilling healthy habits into kids, so hopefully the habits will carry over into their

Organization: 3
Justification: This student had a pretty loose organization to his writing, which
could make it hard to understand fully. This student also needs to work on their
leads and conclusion before this piece of writing would be polished as a final draft.
This student also needs to add in more transitions, as he jumps around from fact to
fact. This student definitely spent too much time on trivia, and it is hard to see the
follow through with their writing.
Examples: This student started out with a fact, students from kindergarten-5th
grade are pushed to run 26.2 miles. This student does not introduce his topic; he
seems to jump right into it, headfirst. This student also needs to add in transitions
between his ideas, like here ...their habits will be better. They are also pushing.
While this student has a lot of facts, he does not organize them in a way that flows

Voice: 3
Justification: I actually think this student has aspects from both section 3 and
section 4, but because of the fact that it isnt ready to be shared aloud, and that it
seems sporadic, made me give this paper a 3. This student does seem very earnest
and sincere with their writing, but they spout off too many facts for them to put
their own voice into their writing.
Examples: This paper seems sporadic because it jumps around from students
running, to people being overweight to eating five fruits and vegetables a day. This
student also doesnt seem to have a specific audience in mind, since they seem to be
talking towards kids, but then switch to teens, and then back to kids.

Word Choice: 5
Justification: This student seems to encompass all attributes of section 5 for word
choice. This student seemed to be natural, and they used the words they chose
confidently. I would say that this student had some engaging parts in this summary,
and the words this student chose to use were concise, expressive and striking.
Examples: Some of the words that this student used that seemed impressive to me
were: pushed, fit, habit, pushing and vegetables. These words give a real
feeling of energy to this writing, and lets the reader know that this student knows
about fitness.

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 2:56 PM

Comment [11]: Im not sure exactly what
I meant by loose, I should have been more

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:52 AM

Deleted: topic,

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:52 AM

Deleted: the 3 section
Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:52 AM
Deleted: and the 4 section

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:53 AM

Deleted: Also

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:53 AM

Deleted: the 5 section
Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 2:56 PM
Comment [12]: I should have added at
least one vague example.

Sentence Fluency: 5
Justification: Although there was an aspect to this students writing that seemed
more towards a 4, or even a 3, overall, they would have scored a 5. This writing was
readable on the first try, had some sentence variety in structure and length, and was
readily understandable. One thing that this piece of writing lacked, however, was a
good rhythmic flow.
Examples: One thing I noticed while reading through this students writing was that
he only mentioned that he was talking about the students in the first sentence,
and they were never mentioned elsewhere, instead the students were
represented by they. This is a good example of a student substituting a noun for a
pronoun, which showcases a high level of thinking.

Conventions & Presentation: 4
Justification: This student has a great grip on conventions and presentation. While
there are a few minor spelling errors, there is nothing that distracts from the
meaning of the writing. One thing that I noticed was that this student only used
periods and did not use numerous conventions. Also, a good once over is necessary
before publishing.
Examples: One part that tripped me up was when the student wrote run 26.2
miles/ a marathon, which shows me that they are trying to add in other
conventions but need to practice a bit more. This student misspelled habbit, but
correctly spelled all of the other words written down.

Student #2 - Marathon Kids

Ideas: 6
Justification: This student had a clear and focused idea that helps keep the readers
attention throughout the duration of the text. This student also exhibited a strong
main point and even employed a story line. I could tell that this student had an in
depth knowledge of the topic that they were summarizing, and the piece of writing
takes the reader on a journey.
Examples: This student kept the same idea throughout the piece of writing,
mentioning marathon kids multiple times as well as running. This student also
let the reader know that they were specifically talking about kids and getting them
into the habit of being fit.

Organization: 5

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 2:57 PM

Comment [13]: I should take this into
consideration more often!

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:54 AM

Deleted: a clear and focused idea that help
Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:54 AM
Deleted: read

Justification: This student had a clearly purposeful organization and a sense of

direction, including having a strong lead and conclusion. There arent as many
transitions as I was hoping to see, but the flow of this writing seemed pretty smooth.
This student had a good pace for their summary and it was very easy to follow.
Examples: The student started out the writing by saying the passage is about a
program called marathon kids, and goes on to tell the reader what marathon
kids actually is. The conclusion that this student states: studies show that about 30
percent of American children and teens are overweight, which tells us exactly why
marathon kids is important. One transition that this student had was ...running
the distance at once. Instead, they are running, which could have been combined
into one sentence, but still works, and adds some sentence variation.

Voice: 4
Justification: This students writing seems to stand out from many others, and has
some good share aloud moments. The writer seems present in the piece and comes
off as earnest and sincere in their summarization of marathon kids. This piece
shows awareness of the readers as well.
Examples: One of the read aloud moments that I saw while reading through this
piece of writing was that marathon kids is designed to get kids in habit of running
at an early age. This seems like read-aloud material to me, because it might
highlight to the class how important it is to be active while they are young. The tone
that the reader uses seems respectful, and aimed at pleasing the reader, which could
be a classmate or a teacher.

Word Choice: 5
Justification: This student had many engaging moments in his/her writing. The
student included words that create a clear message, image, and impression of the
story that they are summarizing. Also, this student used strong verbs throughout
the writing sample.
Examples: The student used strong verbs in sentences such as, Marathon Kids is
designed to get kids in the habit of running at an early age and Studies show that
about 30 percent of American children and teens are overweight. I liked how the
student used words such as, designed, habit, studies show, and teens. These
examples also show how the student included words that create a clear message,
image, and impression because the writer is being very descriptive. The student is
not using simple adjectives to describe what he/she is summarizing.

Sentence Fluency: 5
Justification: This student included a wide variety of sentence style, structure, and
length. In addition, this student writes in a way that is readily understandable and it

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:54 AM

Deleted: american

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:54 AM


Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:54 AM

Deleted: .,

is readable on the first try. Lastly, the writer has a very good flow between
sentences because he/she used different words to beginning each sentence.
Examples: Some examples provided from this writing sample that support the
students use of a variety of sentence style, structure and length are, instead, they
are running a quarter mile to a half mile at a time. and But the students are not
running the distance at once. The first sentence shows how the student includes a
complex sentence and the second sentence shows how the student includes a simple
sentence. Some examples of the beginning of this students sentences are, the
passage, but, instead, Marathon Kids, and studies show, all of these words at the
beginning of his/her sentences help the summary flow and also makes this piece
readable on the first try.

Conventions & Presentation: 5
Justification: This writing sample exhibits one that is ready to publish with light
touch-ups. Since there are minor errors that are easily overlooked and correct use
of conventions this student would have little to no clean up before publishing.
Examples: The one spot that I would have the student revisit is the first sentence,
The passage is about a program called Marathon Kids the program is about kids
that are challenged to run 26.2 miles. I would have the student revisit this sentence
because it could be broken up into two separate sentences. I would point out to the
student that this sentence seems long, and I would have him/her read it out loud to
hear where there could be a break or pause. Once the student has seen where to
break apart the sentence into two separate sentences I would ask for the student to
revise the summary.

Student #3 - Seeing-eye Dogs

Ideas: 2
Justification: This student struggled to tie the reading into the summarized
paragraph. The main idea and message is hard to infer, along with the students
broad unsupported generalities. Not only did this student not stay on topic for the
reading, they also jumped from one idea to the next. It looks like this student really
struggled to fill the space given, because he/she gives an opinion at the beginning
that cannot be justified or supported from the reading.
Examples: In the beginning of the writing sample, the student states, traning dogs
is fun and hard, the reading did not generalize that training a dog is hard nor is it
fun. The student stated a broad generalization rather than supporting the details
with evidence. After the student states this generalization, he/she continues on to
give information about one his/her friends stating, Cree spends three hours each
Wednesday traning dogs. This information was not in the text, and this example

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 2:57 PM

Deleted: I

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 2:58 PM

Comment [14]: Im not sure if this is true,
I should have gotten a second opinion.

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:55 AM

Deleted: T
Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:55 AM
Deleted: dogs is

directly supports that the main idea of this writing sample is hard to infer. Lastly,
the student filled a little over half of the given space for the summary. This shows
that the student struggled to fill the space provided, especially with the last sentence
the student added, So come on lets do it!, this sentence shows that the student was
out of things to write about and added a filler sentence that would take up more
space on the page.

Organization: 1
Justification: In this writing sample, the student did not have a clear sense of
direction, it was a challenge to follow the writers thinking, everything is as
important as everything else, and there was no lead or ending to this sample.
Examples: Overall, this writing sample is all over the place when it comes to
organization. The students started the summary with, traning dogs is fun and
hard. There is no hook to get the reader interested. The writer also ends the piece
by stating, So come on lets do it! instead of wrapping everything together into a
clear ending. In addition, this writing sample does not differentiate from what
information is important and what are supporting details. For example, the writer
states, She would rather spend time with the dogs then her friends. then the writer
jumps and says, So you should try to help us get more people to come and help.
these two pieces of information seem equally as important to the writer. I cannot
tell if this writer is trying to persuade me to volunteer at an animal shelter or if she
is summarizing a story. This example also shows how it is difficult to follow the
writers thinking because there is so much jumping around.

Voice: 2
Justification: I decided to give this writing sample of 2 because I do not feel that
this is writing to be read. I do see some voice in this sample, but again, Im not
sure if the voice that I am seeing is voice that Im reading into. Lastly, I felt that this
writing sample was distant in the sense that the writer is listing off details instead of
actually having a voice in the piece.
Examples: I felt that there was a hint of voice when the writer states, So come on
lets do it! at the very end of the writing sample. But I felt that I could be reading
into the voice instead of voice actually being present. Also, this writing is not ready
to be read to the class yet, because there are not shareable moments, especially
because the writer did not stay on topic.

Word Choice: 1
Justification: I gave this writing sample a 1 for word choice because the writer
repeats and overworks words such as, she and so at the beginning of almost every

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:55 AM

Deleted: T

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 2:58 PM

Comment [15]: I could have been more
specific in this statement.

sentence. Also, the writer seems to really be struggling with the summary because
he/she keeps writing simple sentences that do not have any flair.
Examples: The writer used she and so at the beginning of almost every sentence,
She volonteers at Assistance Dogs of the west, She would rather spend time with
the dogs then her friends, So you should try to help us get more people to come
and help, and So come on lets do it! All of these sentences are extremely simple
and there is not differentiation in the format. If the student used different words at
the beginnings of these sentences, then the writers word choice would be a lot

Sentence Fluency: 3
Justification: This student struggles with sentence variety, flow, and some
sentences are not very clear at first glance. If the student would have added more
variety to sentence structure, then I believe that the sentences would have flowed
together more.
Examples: The student used many simple sentences throughout this writing sample
such as, She volonteers at Assistance Dogs of the west, and So come on lets do it!
The student could have connected some of his/her thoughts into compound
sentences instead of breaking each idea into a separate sentence. Since all of the
sentences were simple, reading this sample made it very choppy and hard to read in
some parts. If the student had combined sentences, then the overall flow of the
summary would have been a lot better in general.

Conventions & Presentation: 4
Justification: There are a few misspellings and punctuation errors that the writer
would need to do a good once-over prior to publication. Overall, the errors do not
interfere with the message, even though that message is confusing. Lastly, most of
the spelling and punctuation is correct in this writing sample.
Examples: The student continued to spell training incorrectly throughout the
writing sample. The student forgot to include the first i so he/she is spelling it
traning. The student forgot to include an apostrophe in lets. The student wrote,
So come on lets do it!, instead of, So come on lets do it!. In that sentence, the
writer could have also included a comma after the word on, which would have
made the sentence flow better.

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:56 AM

Deleted: .
Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:56 AM
Deleted: .
Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:56 AM
Deleted: .
Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 2:58 PM
Deleted: .

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 2:59 PM

Deleted: .
Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 2:59 PM
Deleted: .
Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:56 AM
Deleted: would have

Who did I interview?

Teacher interview

I actually managed to get in contact with my old 5th grade teacher, Lisa Krupp, from
South Bay Elementary School. First, I emailed her and asked if she would mind
letting me interview her as part of an assignment I had for class. She was more than
happy to help me out, and was very excited that I decided to go into the education
program! I scheduled a time to talk with her, and we spoke by phone during her
lunch break on a Monday.

What did I learn?
I leaned a lot more than I was expecting to learn when I first thought about
conducting the interview. One of the first questions I had asked her had to deal with
students getting to choose their own reading material. Surprisingly she said that her
students very rarely got to choose their own books for class time reading, which
seems so different than what we are learning in class. As we have been developing
lesson plans this year, I have noticed that we are encouraged to allow students to
make their own choices, including being able to choose their own books (as long as
they are within a predetermined set of parameters) and discovering topics they are
interested in.
I also learned that there is a lot of integration between literacy and most
other subjects in school. I like that the students get a chance to read historical fiction
or a book about social justice for a social studies unit. It was surprising to me how
much literacy is able to cross through the classroom, but it also makes sense.
Literacy is such a huge part of education, I can see why so much time is spent
developing literacy fluency in the early years of elementary school. Which makes me
wonder about students who need differentiated instruction, since Ms. Krupp
mentioned that South Bay Elementary School does not have enough students to
really differentiate instruction. I know that there must be several students in the
classrooms that need differentiated instruction, and they just arent receiving it.
I think it was a good idea to have us interview a teacher, especially one that is
fourth through eighth grade. I know that I want to teach a younger grade, preferably

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 3:02 PM

Comment [16]: If I could do this
assignment over again, I would probably
still ask my old fifth grade teacher. It was
great to be able to talk and catch up with her
as a colleague instead of a student. I would
change the questions that I asked, including
more of what we learned towards the end of
the year.

kindergarten or first grade, so I liked that we had the opportunity to see what an
older classroom would operate like, and how literacy is integrated into all subjects
in fifth grade. I also really enjoyed being able to talk and catch up with my old fifth
grade teacher, which I never thought I would do!

Questions asked:
1. Which literacy curriculum do you use in your classroom?
This year we are using a brand new curriculum! We are now using the
National Geographic Reach for Reading which is a program that spans

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 3:02 PM

Comment [17]: I should have asked if the
curriculum had changed ever.

kindergarten through fifth grade. This program is matched to common core

and includes a lot of nonfiction books centered on social studies and science.
2. Does your class read more fiction or nonfiction?
We definitely read a lot more nonfiction, since those books can be translated
across many areas of study. Some of the fiction books that we read are

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 3:03 PM

Comment [18]: This is too simple of a
question with a very straightforward
answer. I could have made it more broad.

historical fiction, or books about social justice.

3. How is literacy integrated in other content areas?
Well, like the books that we have been reading for social studies and science,
the students have really enjoyed being able to read a book for a different
subject than English. Students also have to use writing for all other subject
areas, which can be tedious, but effective at encouraging good literacy
4. How do you differentiate instruction? What about for special education
or ELL?
Actually, this school doesnt really have enough ELL students for them to
receive differentiated instruction. There are specialists that will work with
students who are learning English as a second language, but for the most
part, my students stay in the classroom for the duration of the day. There are
some options in the curriculum that allow for differentiated instruction

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:56 AM

Deleted: a good

though, such as additional reading or work that students can do if they finish
early. We can also give students extra help if they need it, but it can be
challenging to find the time to help every student individually in a day.
5. Do you use a different curriculum for writing instruction?
Yes, although I cant remember the name of it right now. We are required to
teach persuasive, narrative and informative writing styles, but also try and
incorporate writing into as many areas of study as possible. My students
might not like all of the writing we do, but it will be helpful when they reach
middle and high school, or beyond, when writing becomes much more widely
used and expected. Unfortunately the students dont get much choice in what
they write about, even while writing opinion pieces, which is frustrating.
6. Which forms of assessment do you use?
The biggest forms of assessment we use are the three big state tests that the
students take. There are also separate district tests that the students must
take, which are all on the computer. The assessments that arent state or
district mandated, come from the curriculum, which is what the school
expects us to do.
7. Do you read aloud to your students? If so, how do you choose a book?
I do actually read aloud to my students about thirty to forty minutes per
week, although it is not always a possibility as other things may come up that
we need to use that time for. I choose the book by thinking about which
books I think my students would enjoy, but wouldnt normally pick out for
themselves to read.
8. Do you use writer's workshop? If so, can you describe what it looks like
in your classroom?
I tried to do a writers workshop many times, but it never seems to work out.
Instead of doing writer's workshop, I have my students write directly and
specifically for the standards that are required.
9. How do you group students for reading level groups?
I tried to look at the reading ability level for each group that I am making. I
take into account what their reading comprehension level is and their

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 3:03 PM

Comment [19]: I should have asked if she
ever wanted to give writers workshop
another shot.

literacy ability. We dont typically do a lot of group work in the classroom

10. Do students ever change classrooms for literacy instruction? If so, do
you think it is beneficial?
Nope! The students stay in my classroom all day except for lunch and recess,

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 3:04 PM

Comment [20]: I should have asked what
her opinion on changing classroom for
instruction was.

or they are a special needs student, then they will go to the resource room

Equality unit
Grade 4/5
Reading/Language Arts
4 weeks

Thematic unit

This unit is designed to help students be more open minded about the
differences we see in others. As the world is getting more and more diverse, it is
important to educate students on being accepting.

What is equality?
Equality is the notion that all people are essentially the same, and any
superficial differences do not determine the worth of a living being. Equality is
ensuring that all humans have the same opportunities to make the most of their
lives without being held back. Equality is also acknowledging that there has been
certain groups of people in history have been discriminated against.

Essential questions
What is equality?
How do I practice equality in the community?
What does equality look like?

Key assessments
1. Equality poem- poem that addresses a time they were discriminated against,
or a time they witnessed discrimination.

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 3:05 PM

Comment [21]: If I could do this
assignment again, I might try and pick a
different topic. I think that equality is a
great thing to learn about in school, and
some students will only ever hear about it in
schools, but it is very broad. I might have
chosen something more direct, like racism
or discrimination.

2. List of unfair rules- Students will be split up into two groups and each will be
given a different set of rules to follow. Each group will then discuss (and
write in their journals) how having a separate set of rules made them feel).
3. Thank you letter to favorite historical human rights activist (using at least 5
vocabulary words from the list)
4. Newspaper article from 1960- A fictional retelling of a historic event from the
perspective of a newspaper reporter.

Discrimination Tolerance



Scott King











Luther King






Instructional overview

In this unit, students will learn about equality as a big picture, but also learn
about the surrounding topics of discrimination, civil rights activists, and different
historic events that detail equality (or lack of it). We sill start off by going to the
local universitys history museum to visit their exhibit of pictures taken in Selma, AL
in 1965. There, the students will make observations of what types of actions they
see in the photos, and try to imagine what it would be like to like in a time like that.
After the students return from the museum, they will write a poem about a time
they were discriminated against, or when they saw somebody being discriminated
In the next weeks, the students will begin reading a novel of their choice from
a selection of two: Number the Stars, or To Kill a Mockingbird. While reading
these books, the students will be jotting down I wonders and be filling out a KWL
chart. The students will then debate on the meaning of equality and create a list of
unfair rules that the other group has to follow.
Students will then draft a thank you letter to one of the civil rights activists
we learned about in the classroom. In the note, the students must use at least five of
the vocabulary words that we have learned so far from this unit. Finally, the
students will read newspaper articles from around the time the civil rights
movement was happening. After learning of several events that happened during
this time, the students will design, and write, their own historical-fiction newspaper
article from that same time period.

Resources (Community, novels, poems, picture books, videos, websites, etc)

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 3:06 PM

Comment [22]: I would change this to
another assignment, possibly comic strip
depicting an event.

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 3:07 PM

Comment [23]: I would have also tried to
pick out some different vocabulary words,
but it is tough to determine which words are
necessary without actually teaching these

Washington State University Museum of History visit
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
o Lee, H. (1960). To kill a mockingbird. Philadelphia: Lippincott.
Number the stars, by Lois Lowry
o Lowry, L. (1989). Number the stars. Boston: Houghton Mifflin

Picture Books:
The Sneeches by Dr. Seuss
o Seuss, D. (1953). The Sneeches and other stories. New York, NY:
Random House.
Still I Rise - Poem by Maya Angelou
o Angelou, Maya. Still I Rise. New York: Random House, 1978. Print.
Cross - Poem by Langston Hughes
o Hughes, Langston. Cross. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1926. Print.
We Wear The Mask - Poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar
o Dunbar, P. L. We Wear The Mask. Kent State UP. Print.

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 3:07 PM

Comment [24]: Is this even possible?

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:57 AM

Deleted: ue
Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 10:57 AM
Deleted: ue


Kid President - How To Change The World (a work in progress)- Youtube

o SoulPancake. (2013, December 19). Kid President - How To Change
The World (a work in progress). Retrieved April 26, 2016, from

The Girl With Pinhead Parents- Youtube Video

o Bliss, K., & ThePinheadProject. (2010, September 07). The Girl With
Pinhead Parents, an anti-racism lesson, feat.Nelly Furtado, Chris Bosh,
LIGHTS & more. Retrieved April 26, 2016, from


The Indionapolis Star. (1968, April). Martin Luther King Slain. The
Indionapolis Star. Retrieved April 26, 2016, from
The Civil Rights Digital Library
o The Digital Library of Georgia. (2016, January 1). Retrieved April 26,
2016, from http://crdl.usg.edu/


Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 3:07 PM

Comment [25]: Check to make sure any
youtube videos are age appropriate for the
grade being taught.

Janken, K. (2010). The Civil Rights Movement: 1919-1960s, Freedom's Story,

TeacherServe, National Humanities Center. Retrieved April 26, 2016, from
Famous Civil Rights Activists. (2016). Retrieved April 26, 2016, from

Week 1

Community field trip: We are lucky to be in a community that has a
museum of history on the Washington State University campus. We will
attend this exhibit as a class and take notes of what we observe. Currently,
the exhibit on display is of the Selma to Montgomery March from 1965. This
exhibit highlights the racial discrimination of the United States and gives us
insight into how people of a different race used to be treated. Students will
take a journal with them to ask questions, make I wonder statements, and
to sketch any pictures they want to illustrate.
KWL: Students will have made a KWL chart before leaving for the field trip,
and have filled out what they already know about racial discrimination, or
the march in Selma. Students will have also filled out the what I want to
know section, and will try and find the answers to their questions in the
museum exhibit.
Vocabulary: As a class, we will start filling out a vocabulary chart for this
weeks vocabulary words (Equality, Fairness, Discrimination, Tolerance,
Identity, Martin Luther King Jr.)
Poem: We will read several of the poems about racism and identity to get a
feel for what a poem on discrimination sounds like, and feels like. I would
then ask the students to write their own poem, either of a time they were
discriminated against, or when they saw somebody being discriminated

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 3:08 PM

Comment [26]: Not sure about this, I
dont like the idea of using worksheets.

Week 1 exemplar:
Poem of an animal discriminated against due to its breed.

No Time for a Dog
They say there is no time for me
They say I have to go
They say I have to wait and see,
They continue saying no.

My owners didnt want me,
They yelled at me to leave,
Theres no room in the family tree,
They left me here to grieve.

They kept on trying to nudge,
They wanted me to succeed
They wouldnt let me budge,
I just wanted to be freed.

Week 2

Novel: Students will be given the choice of reading either Number the
Stars, or To Kill a Mockingbird. After choosing their books, the students
will form reading groups based on the book they choose. For the first chapter
of the book, I would ask students to make predictions about what they think
will happen, and document their thoughts in their writing journals.
Journal: As a prompt for the week for their journaling, I would pose the
question: Does being equal mean everybody is happy, or everything is fair?
What evidence can you draw from to prove your answer? Each book should
have evidence that can vouch for either question to be answered.
Debate: Students will get a chance to debate with a small group about what
the true definition of equality means. After the debate, we will come up with
a class definition for equality that everybody agrees with (if possible).
Role-Play: Back in their groups for the debate ( and ), one group of
students will create a set of rules that the other group has to follow. These
rules will not be fair for each group, and might cause disagreements between
the students. After completing the role-play, the students will right about
how they felt when they were presented with a list of unfair rules.

Week 2 Exemplar: List of unfair rules

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 3:08 PM

Comment [27]: Maybe would have
chosen newer books to be more relevant,
and more engaging for students.

- No talking between the hours of 9:00am and 10:30am
- Must remain seated through entire lesson
- No chewing gum
- Has to stay in from recess
- Have to line up for lunch after us
- Pencils must never be dull
- Must clean everyones desk in the whole classroom
- Can only have four bathroom passes per week
- Two hours of homework every night
- There will be a pop quiz everyday on the homework from the previous
- There are no opportunities for extra credit
- There will be extra math homework provided to those who sass in class

Week 3

Video: We will watch the video called Kid President: How to Change the world (a
work in progress) and take notes in our journals about different ways the video
talked about that people think they are helping, but arent. Students will think about
this video when they are writing their letters.
Vocabulary: The students will learn the rest of the vocabulary words and choose
several to become experts. They will write these words on posters and illustrate
the word along with adding a definition, which will hang around the room for the
remainder of the unit.
Journaling: Students will have already taken notes in their journals while watching
the Kid President video. The students will now create a KWL chart about what they
know, or want to know, about civil rights activists.
Letter: Students will conduct their own research on their choice of civil rights
activist (with teacher approval). In the letter, the student will thank the activist for
what they have done for mankind, citing specific events in the activists life.
Students are required to include at least five vocabulary words in their letter.

Week 3 Exemplar

Dear Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,

Thank you for all of the sacrifices that you have made during your tragically
cut-short life. You worked so hard to help your community, by being the best
minister you could be, and wanting to fight for the rights of your friends and family.
Every human deserves to have equal rights, and I dont think the civil rights
movement would have been as successful as it was if you did pushed so hard for
equal treatment. You seem to have such a deep respect for all mankind, especially
when you tried to organize a march for equality in Selma, AL in 1965. Although the
first march did not succeed, and was later dubbed Bloody Sunday, you showed a
great amount of courage to get back on your feet and begin to organize another
march just several days later.
Every human deserves to have the same protection from the police and the
government, but that was not always the case. Thank you for fighting so hard to try
and change the disparities among civilians of the United States of America. Even
after your untimely end, you have continued to inspire hope and equality for
Thank you again,
Torin Sawyer

Week 4

Vocabulary book: Now that some of the students are experts on several words, it
is time to expand the knowledge to the rest of the class! In this activity, the students
will create a vocabulary book in which they will write the word, definition, and an
illustration in a short, staple-bound book.
Article: The students will explore different newspaper articles from history to get a
feel of how they are different from the news articles of today. The students will then
choose an event from history that highlights a time of discrimination, equality, or
racism (we will create a list together as a class to choose from). The students will
write a short article in newspaper style about the event they chose and we will put
them together to create a class newspaper.

Week 4 Exemplar

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 3:09 PM

Comment [28]: I should have written to a
lesser known activist.

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 3:10 PM

Comment [29]: I need to make sure to
cite my sources!

Assignment checklist: 90 points total

Possible points

Earned Points


Week 1 Journal

Week 2 Journal

Week 3 Journal

Week 4 journal

Equality Poem


List of rules


Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 3:10 PM

Comment [30]: Is it going to be possible
for the teacher to initial every single student
for every assignment?

Thank you letter


Newspaper article


Vocabulary poster


Vocabulary book


Chapter questions

Number the stars- Questions are arranged by chapter (Adapted from Mrs.
Silvas Reading class study guide found online)
1. Why do you think the Free Danes newspaper was important in Denmark
during the war years?
2. Why didnt the Danish army fight the Germans when they invaded
3. Why did the girls always take a different route to school?
4. Why was Kirsti upset when she and her mother returned from shopping?
What was Ellens solution to the problem?
5. What do you think would have happened to the Johansens if Ellens true
identity had been discovered?
6. Why do you think the Danes spoke in code words?
7. Why do you think there was no laughing between Mrs. Johansen and her
brother as they sat down to talk?
8. Why is Annemarie so delighted to have oatmeal, milk, cream, and butter at
9. Who do you think the people arriving for the funeral really are
10. What do you think is really in the casket?

11. What was the purpose of Aunt Birtes funeral?

12. What do you think happened to Mrs. Johansen on the way back from Uncle
Henriks boat?
13. What do you think Mrs. Johansen meant when she said that it may all have
been for nothing when she spotted the parcel?
14. How would you have reacted to meeting the German soldiers?
15. Why do you think the contents of the packet were so important?
16. What do you think life will be like in Sweden for the Rosens?
17. What will the Rosens do now that the war is over?

To Kill a Mockingbird Adapted from WikiClassroom
1. The novel is set in Maycomb, Alabama, in the 1930s, during the Great
Depression. How does the narrator describe the town? What indicates that
most of the townspeople are poor?
2. How did Scout learn to read and write?
3. What compromise does Atticus make with Scout at the end of the chapter?
4. Summarize the tire incident. Who do you suppose was inside the Radley
house, and what did Scout hear?
5. The children view Boo Radley as a strange and frightening figure. How do
Miss Maudie and Atticus view him? What do they say about him?
6. Why is it important to Jem to get his pants before morning, even though the
mission is dangerous?
7. When Jem finally comes in, Scout notices he has been crying. Why do you
think he was crying?
8. Up to this point in the novel, Boo Radley has been perceived as a lunatic or a
monster. What evidence in the past two chapters indicates that he is not at all
the threatening figure that people have made him out to be?
9. Near the end of the chapter, Atticus refers to the ingrained racism among the
residents of Maycomb. How does he describe racism in this passage? To what
does he compare it?
10. How might the killing of a mockingbird be a metaphor for one of the novels
major themes? For example, what might mockingbirds symbolize?
11. What does Atticus mean when he says, The one thing that doesnt abide by
majority rule is a persons conscience?
12. When they arrive at the church, Scout and Jem experience first-hand what it
feels like to be the object of racial intolerance. Briefly describe the incident
and how it is resolved.
13. When Atticus comes into Jems room before bedtime to speak with the
children, what information does he relay to them from Aunt Alexandra? Do
you think he believes what Aunt Alexandra has made him say?
14. Why has Dill run away from home? What reasons does he give?
15. After the men leave, Jem reveals his fears to Atticus. What is Jem worried
16. Comment on Judge Taylor's attitude to his job. Does he take the trial
seriously or not?

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 3:11 PM

Comment [31]: Not 100% sure about
these questions, I might have the students
help me develop questions about the book
as we read.

17. Why does Atticus ask Bob Ewell to write out his name? What does the jury
see when he does this?
18. How well does Mr. Gilmer prove Tom's guilt in the eyes of the reader (you)
and in the eyes of the jury?
19. Why does Scout think that Mayella Ewell was the loneliest person in the
20. Scout says Mr. Dolphus Raymond was an evil man. Is she right?
21. What does Jem expect the verdict to be? Does Atticus think the same?
22. Although Atticus did not want his children in court, he defends Jem's right to
know what has happened. Explain, in your own words, Atticus's reasons for
this. (Look at the speech beginning, This is their home, sister.)
23. What does Atticus tell Scout about why the jury took so long to convict Tom?
24. Compare the reactions of Miss Maudie and the other ladies when Scout says
she is wearing her britches under her dress.
25. How does Maycomb react to the news of Tom's death?
26. Why does Scout's question upset Jem? Is there a simple answer, or any
answer, to the question (How can you hate Hitler an then turn around an be
ugly about folks right at home?"
27. What three things does Bob Ewell do that alarm Aunt Alexandra?
28. Comment on the way this chapter reminds the reader of earlier events in the
29. What explanation does Atticus give for Bob Ewell's attack?
30. Who does Atticus think caused Bob Ewell's death?
31. Comment on the way the writer summarizes earlier events to show their

Student interview

Anna Reid and Torin Sawyer
Student Reader Interview

Student 1: weak reader
Student 2: strong reader

1. When do you read?
a. Student 1: I read mostly at school, when my teacher tells us to SSR,
partner read, or read to the class.
b. Student 2: I read a lot actually, especially at school and after school. I
spend a lot of my time reading on the weekends, and Ive been in
trouble before for being caught reading past my bedtime.
2. Why do you think reading is important?

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 11:44 AM

Deleted: says that








a. Student 1: Reading helps us learn things that we didnt know before.

b. Student 2: Reading helps us find out information about different
things, and we can find out information about things we are interested
in. Im interested in dinosaurs, so Ive been reading as many of those
books as possible.
What are your feelings on Pig out for reading? Do you enjoy it?
a. Student 1: I really like Pig Out because you can get prizes for reading.
b. Student 2: I liked the Pig Out because I won so many prizes! I helped
our class become one of the top reading classes in the school!
Does anyone in your family read? Do you see them read?
a. Student 1: I never really see my parents read, maybe the newspaper
b. Student 2:Yeah, I see my dad read the newspaper or his
phone/computer all the time. My mom used to read to me when I was
little, but she hasnt been reading to me much lately.
What type of books are your favorites? Why?
a. Student 1: I really like picture books because if I dont know how to
say a word I can look at the picture. Chapter books are harder for me
to read.
b. Student 2: I love the Harry Potter books because its so magical! I love
books that can take you on an adventure.
What kind of reading strategies do you use while you read?
a. Student 1: I like to look at the pictures when I can. Sometimes my
teacher tells me to ask questions when I read so I do that too,
b. Student 2: If I come across a word I dont know I usually try to keep
reading to figure out what the word means. If I still stay stuck on that
word I will look it up in a dictionary or on the computer.
What do you think your biggest struggle with reading is?
a. Student 1: Getting the information that I need to, I get distracted really
b. Student 2: Finding a good book to read!
How do you find a book to read?
a. Student 1: I look in the library for the dot color of the reading level I
am at. Then I look at the front to see if it looks interesting.
b. Student 2: I usually like books that are in a series because I know I will
probably like the rest of the books. I will usually search the fantasy or
science fiction section of the library.
Do you ever visit the Pullman Public library with your family? Do you wish
you could visit more often?

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 3:12 PM

Comment [32]: This question only
worked at the elementary school we were
working at, since the other schools have
different reading programs.

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 3:12 PM

Comment [33]: We should have gone
more in depth with this question: favorite
nonfiction, favorite biography, etc.
Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 11:44 AM
Deleted: are your favorite

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 3:13 PM

Comment [34]: Although we didnt ask
this question, I think it would show a lot for
a students drive for reading.

a. Student 1: No.
b. Student 2: We used to go a lot more with my mom and dad, but my
sister has been taking me to the library lately.
10. Do you ever see your teacher reading his/her own book for enjoyment?
Maybe when you are SSR?
a. Student 1: Yeah sometimes my teacher reads while we are SSR. She
also talks a lot about the books she reads at home during her free
b. Student 2: Yeah I guess, although she only seems to like books about
history or other boring things.


For our student reader interview we were able to interview two fourth grade
students at Franklin Elementary. We are both placed in the same first grade
classroom, so before practicum one day we went to the school early and interviewed
students while they were at lunch. Since we werent familiar with these students
and their reading habits, we had to ask their teacher who was considered a strong
reader and who was considered a weak reader. Student 1 was labeled a weak reader
because they are currently in the low level reading group, and struggle with
comprehending text. Student 2 was labeled as a strong reader because they are
currently above grade level reading and are placed in the high level reading group.

Student 1, the weak reader, was interviewed first. Even though this reader
does struggle with reading, they proved to be really excited to talk about it. They
expressed that they enjoy reading at school, but werent given much time to read
while at home. When asked if they ever saw their parents read, the students mood
changed. It seemed like the student wished that their parents would read more with
them at home. This student also said that picture books are their favorite because
they can look at the pictures if they need help with a word or an idea. I think it
would be beneficial to this student if they were taught and understood more reading
strategies. The student also expressed that when they receive prizes or incentives to
read, they will read more.

In our interview with student 2, we learned that this student actually picked
up books to read for fun. One of his favorite series to read is Harry Potter, and his
reasoning was because of the imagination and fantasy involved, but also because it
was a series book. One thing this student kept mentioning was how much they
enjoyed reading books that were in a series, mostly because he didnt have to look
too hard for the next book to read. This student had some really good reading
habits, especially when talking about their reading comprehension. Student 2 had a
solid strategy for finding the definition to words that they didnt know, which was to

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 3:14 PM

Comment [35]: It was a lot more difficult
than we thought to find students to

read on and see if the word meaning became clear. If this student did not find the
meaning of the word within a few lines, they would then look the word up. This is a
good strategy for comprehension because it is helpful for students to be able to
determine what the definition of a word is without having to stop and break out a
dictionary all the time.

Some of the similarities between these two students had in their reading
styles were incentives, and that they both understand reading is necessary to find
out new information. When asked about if they liked the Pig Out On Reading
program that took place at their school, both students mentioned that part of the
reason they liked the program was because they got prizes. While student 1 said
they always like incentives to read, student 2 did not seem to need as much
incentive to enjoy reading. We also asked these students why they did read, and
both were quick to say that it was to find out new information. While student 1 was
not happy about reading for information, he understood that reading is a necessary
part of school. Student 2, on the other hand, seemed to enjoy reading to learn new
information (as long as it was about an interesting topic).
A few of the takeaways from conducting this interview were the fact that
parents play a huge role in students feelings towards reading. Student 1 who was
the weak reader stated that he never sees his parents reading and they wont spend
time reading with him or to him. However, student 2, the strong reader said that
they see their parents read quite often. It is understandable that in 4th grade,
parents arent spending much time reading to their children because they can read
on their own, but we think it is still important that they involve themselves
somehow in their childs reading. Another takeaway from this interview was the fact
that students are more prone to reading if they are offered incentives. We think it is
important that you teach your students to love reading on its own, but it doesnt
hurt to push them to read through incentives. Even if it is something small, like a
sticker or a pencil students will still get excited about reaching their goals and they
will feel a sense of accomplishment after they receive their incentives.
In the future, we both think we would use some of these strategies in our
classrooms. We learned that the students enjoyed being able to pick out their own
readings, which is something we will try and incorporate into our classrooms. Being
interesting in the topic you are reading about is key for comprehension and
understanding because you jump one big hurdle already: engagement. We have
learned that it is important to encourage the families of our students to spend time
reading with their children, if not to practice reading, then just to have bonding time
with their child. There were so many instances in the elementary school that we saw
when a student was not reaching their full potential. One of the reasons that
students dont try as hard in school is because of lack of parental involvement; if the

Torin Sawyer 5/3/2016 3:14 PM

Comment [36]: Im not sure how I would
incorporate this into my future classroom,
but I would try and give pencils or
bookmarks to students who read a lot of

student thinks their parents dont care about education, they wont care about it
In the end, these interviews brought up a lot of ideas that we will have to be
able to adapt to in our future classrooms. It will be difficult to engage students of all
reading levels, especially when some students are much more advanced than others.
However, these students could help you assist other students that may need some
encouragement or help with finding good books to read. We also think it is really
important to show your love of reading to your students. If they see us reading just
for fun, hopefully the students will see reading as a fun activity instead of a menial
task, or something they are forced to do.