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Amy Kennedy

July 31, 2015
Video Analysis #3
Diamond Mine Cart is going into the fourth grade. The student is reading at a second grade level
independently and based on the assessments at the beginning of the semester had limited
strategies to use when he encountered difficulties in his reading. We started the lessons with the
strategy of asking questions. One of the questions that Diamond Mine Cart kept including was
about what a word meant or how to pronounce the word. That lesson lead to a lesson on
decoding strategies. For this final lesson, I was introducing nonfiction text features and how
they help us understand text and get more information. Some of the books used questions as the
headings and some of the headings could be changed into a question format to help understand
the text.
I selected this clip because I wanted to look at how I connect the strategies we have been using
to the new learning. On this particular day, my student had very little sleep. Unfortunately, this
is a common occurrence with the students at my school and we have to continue teaching them
despite these difficulties. I wanted to examine my actions and how they affected the students
attitude and willingness to problem solve.
This clip is the beginning of the lesson where I am reviewing previous lessons and introducing
new learning. The new learning is nonfiction features- visual and text.

Note taking
T: Lets kind of review some things weve been
working on. This will be our sixth lesson.

Note making
Need to call it strategies. (clear noticing and

S: And then Im done.

Addressed students concern.

T: For the taping yeah, well be finished with the

taping. So, what strategy were we working on?

Remembered to call it strategy.

S: I dont remember.

T: The strategy was (point to chart)

Used previous anchor charts to help student


S: Asking questions.
T: Why do we ask questions?

Checking for understanding about purpose.

S: To find out what about.

(Skip- student hit leg on table.)
T: We ask questions before, during, and after and
some of the questions we ask- What were some
of the questions we asked?
S: Who are the characters?
Whats going to happen next?
How long is the story?
What is the story setting?
T: Then we looked at asking questions leads to
What did it lead to?
S: Prediction
T: Uh, hu. And prediction lead to
S: Confirming
T: Right. So, that was the strategy we worked on
in the beginning and we kept working on that a
lot. Then we looked atOne of the questions
you kept asking was what did a word mean or
what was the word?
So we looked at other things we can do to figure
out those words when you said you didnt know
the word. What were some things you did. to
figure out those words.

Continued review.

Link to previous charts we used during lesson

on asking questions.
Would have been good time to check for
understanding on these terms. I want the
student to not only notice and name, but have
the meaning.
Remembered to call it strategy again.

Switched back to things instead of decoding


Student used anchor chart to list strategies.

S: Sound them out, look at the picture, go back

and re-read, link to words you know
(student continued listing information from chart)
New learning
I was not clear on what we were looking forT: The other stories that we read were fiction
stories and biographies. So today we are going to way too vague.

look at some nonfiction- take some time and pick

any book you want and we are going to be
looking. There are some really neat, all different
kinds of nonfiction stories and topicslike
lightning or earthquakes some different ones
and I want us to look through and look for all
kinds of things they put in nonfiction books to
help us when we are reading.

Tried to build interest by book choice.

Stated purpose of nonfiction features, but did

not use the vocabulary.

(Student takes time selecting book on Lightning.

I selected book on Earthquakes. Each book was
selected for examples of non-fiction features.)
T: Look and see what you find. If you find
anything point it out to me and if I find anything.
Ill show you in my book.
(break as we flip through the book)
T: One thing Im noticing right now are these
neat pictures. There seems to be a lot of pictures.

I needed to give examples of what to look for

in the text first.
Noticed and named pictures, but these were
photographs. Need to be specific in words so
that students have the correct vocabulary.

S: Its purple
T: Does yours have a lot of pictures in it?
S: Mine is purple, the lightnings purple.

Trying to link what I was noticing in my book

to students book.

T: Does it have a lot of pictures in it? (referring

to students book) Do they include a lot of
S: Not very many.
T: Well, it looks like on every page, some
different pictures.

Based on the students responses I knew he

was not focusing on the nonfiction features so I
noticed and named in his book. Again it
should have been photographs.

S: Okay, I know what Im having for dinner.

T: In my book Im noticing they use the big titles
or headings. Does yours have that?
S: No

Noticing and naming in my book. Was I

looking at a title or heading? What is the

T: (Noticing that the student is not noticing

things in his book. Reaches over and flips

I knew the students book had headings so I

push my book away and start focusing on his



S: Except for that one.

I point and he changes answer.

T: Teacher flips back to beginning of students

T: Is that the only one?
Right now I see a table of contents with big

Would have been a good place to check for

understanding about the purpose of the table of
contents. Not pointing out the big headings.

S: Okay, if you see the lightning in the sky your

suppose to go inside, dont go outside, dont talk
on any electrical- oh wait thats..Thats
dangerous lightning.
Trying to refocus by continuing on.
T: Lets see what we see
S: Ball in the sky
T: Theres the

Watch to make sure my frustration is not

showing. I lost train of thought.

S: Thats the one I showed you.

S: An atom.

Beginning to suspect student does not have

vocabulary or understanding of different kinds
of pictures beyond illustrations and

T: Thats called a diagram.

Introduce new word.

T: Uh hu, whats this?

S: Oh
T: When they draw the drawing and label the
different parts, thats a diagram.
Even within this heading, I see here there in the
form of questions, and so that is something I
might want to notice. Theres another one about
how lightning forms.
Now we have another picture and another
diagram. What about this?

Explain new word- features of diagram.

Heading is written in question form. Good
place to link back to our asking questions.
Maybe should have asked why the author
would use questions as heading.

S: That just as- I forgot what thats called.

Continuing to notice and name non-fiction

features. Could have asked student to tell what
they were called. Need to get the student using
the vocabulary.

T: Thats a caption. Do you know what

captions- purpose of captions.

Checked for understanding of the word


S: To explain the picture. Thats the kind of

lightning that goes on in the desert.
Should have acknowledged the definition.
T: (flips page)
S: and if thats the lightning that is going on in
the airport you dont take off
T: They include some maps.

Trying to focus again on features and not what

is happening with the lightning.

S: Why are his knees in the wateroh hes not,

Yeah thats basically like a little meeting.
T: And the picture made you have a question.

Take students question about the photograph to

link to a text feature.

S: That made me think of the little floaties.

T: buoy, and how could you check to find out
what that is?

Let him know Im listening and gave him a

new vocabulary word.

S: Look closer.
T: and what else?
S: Know that its not fake, know that its fake.
T: Use the captions underneath, that might help
you. Remember you just said (flips back) those
here that captions tell you what is happening in
the picturemight give you a clue to use.
Now we dont have questions as titles.
S: We have captions, titles, bunches of other
S: That dark red is, looks really dangerous, no
T: Where can we find out what that is talking

Could have asked if fake or not- which would

we find in a non-fiction text.
Reminded the student about when they told me
the purpose of caption- visual reminder.

Student stopped me on this page.

Questions to determine what the student knew
about reading maps.

S: Points to key. Thunderstorm days. So we can

tell Africa has most of them. What are we
I point to title of map. He is not sure why.
looking at?
T: The title of the map, because I have to know

Name parts of map and purpose.

what it is showing me. I not only look at the key,

but I also want to check the title.
S: Im checking the key.
T: But we need to look at the text and both,
remember we talked about its not just about the
pictures, but also about the text.
S: South American/ Africa. I think they have the
same no I think Africa has the most.
T: Of what?
S: Thunderstorms

Continuing to make student aware of the

importance of not just looking at the map, but
also the text on the map.

T: In
S: the year.
T: That just said thunderstorms (pointing to the
key). Thats why we look at it, could be the
number of storms days in the last 50 years- we
look at the title to see what it says.
S: Im pretty sure the next 53 years.
T: See it tells us, the average number of
thunderstorm days in a year, so thats why we
look at the text. We cant just think we know
what its about. We have to check that text.
(continue looking through book-found more
examples of headings, titles, bolded words, maps,
T: Oh here we have a
T and S: Glossary.

Final feature in book.

T: Why do we have a glossary?

Check for purpose since he knew the word.

S: So youll know what the words are.

--------pulling chart paper forward to make an
anchor chart-----------------

T: So okay lets- weve seen a lot of things in


Not things- nonfiction features.

S: What about your book?

Address concern so we can move on.
T: Thats okay, your book had a lot of stuff in it.
That way we could kind of look at it together.
S: Read this today?
T: No we just used it to get started.
We are going to make that quick chart of the
nonfiction features that we saw.

Not to get started- to look for nonfiction

Did say what we were going to do with the

S: We can tell its nonfiction.

T: Uh hu, the non-fiction features are like sign
posts that help us find our way through the text.
We use them when we are reading the text to get
more information.
They can also help us ask questions and answer

Should have followed up on what tells us its

Explained the purpose of nonfiction features.

S: Can it help me stay awake?

T: Well you perked up when you saw the
lightning book, so yes it helps you stay awake
because it helps your mind start thinking.
There are a lot of features that you found and we
need to know what they features are and how
they help us and so there are two types of features
in nonfiction books, two different kinds. We
have one that is called visual features.

Linked into what student was asking- could

have looked at chart we had made about why
we sometimes dont remember what we read or
it doesnt make sense- being sleepy was on his
Named and defined different types of
nonfiction features.

S: Is M- here?
T: No, he wont be here all week.

Address students concern so we could move


S: Next week is school right.

T: So visual features are thing we look at. We
also have text features and what did we say text
S: The that but a hundred times bigger. The
text is like two sizes

Checking for understanding.

T: Text meansWhat does text mean?

Not sure if student understands the word text.

S: words
T: We have visual things which we look at and
text features means something about the text.
So lets thing about somethings.
What were some things you found. What were
some nonfiction features you found?

Not visual things, visual features.

Wanting student to use vocabulary when
identifying features.

S: Everything in the book.

T: Like what?
What was one of the things you mentioned?
S: Thats nonfiction because its the weather

This was a picture of a radar screen with a map

on it.

T: But what is it? (pointing to picture of map on

S: Lightning detector.
T: What is that?
S: Arrow (I think that is what he said)
T: (Flip over to another map.) Whats that?
S: A chart.
T: No, a
S: Diagram

I was focusing on the map, while he was

focusing on the photograph so I turned to
another map.
Student was not able to produce the term map
even though I had used it earlier in the lesson.

T: No, map.

Instead of no- we use a special word for this

type of chart.

S: mav

Student did not seem familiar with the word.

T: no, a maP
So is a map a visual feature, something you look
at or something about the text?
S: Something you look at.

Student was able to catergorize the features

into visual and text even when he struggled
with the terms.

T: So under visual feature we will put map on

this side. What was something else you
One of the things I noticed were these headings.
So the headings, was that a visual feature or a text
T: Okay, what else did we see?
So even the pictures, were they illustrations?
S: They were real.
T: So what are they called?
S: Photographs
T: Thats right . Would it be visual or text.
(points to visual)
What else?
(We complete the chart and then I use the text
features in a magazine article to help me
understand the text, sometimes generate
questions, and clarify.)

Teacher Learning
In reviewing this lesson, I still find that some of the habits that I am trying to break still come out
especially when I am frustrated by how the lesson is going. Part of becoming an adaptive expert
is also about responding to students need and subtle shifts when lessons are not going well. An
example in this lesson was when I realized that the student did not have the vocabulary to name

the nonfiction features. I could have written a label for all the examples I was seeing in my book
and then having the student take those labels and place them in his book when he found an

example. That might have helped shift his focus to the components of the lesson I was
addressing instead of the photographs. The lessons themselves need to follow best practices, but
then I need to make shifts within the lesson when it is not going well or based on student
I also noticed that even though in this lesson I had to support him by giving him many of the
answers he viewed it as his work and not my work. This was important that no matter what
happened within the lesson that the student come away with the knowledge that he can do this.
I also noticed that even though my student was extremely tired he did not refuse to try or put
himself down as much as he had in the beginning lessons. This shows that he is feeling more
confident about his ability to problem solve when he encounters difficulties in his reading.
I also missed opportunities to praise my student. I was busy keeping the pace faster to keep
him awake that I did not focus on what he was doing correctly or notice and name when he was
making connections. I was also abrupt in my responding with no instead of linking what he
said to the new information to clarify as in the response to the term map when he called it a
Student Learning
In this interaction the student realized that there were scaffolds (the anchor charts) he could use
to help him when he was struggling. He was also able to notice and name things he was doing.
The student now has strategies he can use to help him when he is stuck. He does not just skip
the word or not try to figure out what is happening in the story. He also knows the names of
some of the nonfiction features and how they can be used to help him figuring out what is
happening in the text. He knows that there are other strategies and information about text
structure that can help him when he is reading.
Teaching Goals and Action Plans
I have been working on the following goals:
Chapter 7- An Evolutionary, Democratic Learning Community
My goal is to increase my awareness and use of language that encourages students to take risks
and try out new strategies and concepts. I want to get better at helping them feel valued and
Even though I am more aware of my language, I still need to continue to monitor and change my
wording during lessons. I need to make all my words encouraging and supportive. I need to
continue to practice being clear in my wording, noticing and naming, and being explicit in my
teaching. I need to make sure that I include opportunities for students to try new strategies, and
choose words that support those attempts and not make the students feel as if they cannot do it.

Chapter 4: Agency and Becoming Strategic

My goal is to emphasize solving problems in literacy by acting strategically and helping my
student be independent and have strategies for when they encounter difficulties.
In this area, I still need to work on giving my student some time and encouragement when he is
independently working on a task. I rushed for answers in my attempt to keep him awake and
engaged. I also need to remember to praise him for his attempts and give him scaffolds to be
successful, but also give him time to figure out things on his own so he will realize that he has
the skills to tackle the text.

Collaboration Feedback
After meeting with my collaborative group, they pointed out some things that I did consider and
gave me an opportunity to reflect on the choices I made and pointed out things that I had not
really considered.
They commented on how much this student had changed in his interactions with me from the
beginning of our time together, but also made me realize that I had missed an opportunity to
praise the student when he knew the text feature of bold words. In fact, I did not praise the
student in this final lesson. We discussed my choice of materials. If I had used the article, it
would have limited the distraction of the photographs. If the student had not been so exhausted I
would have picked a different type of text for this lesson, but I needed something that would
keep the student engaged. I had both types of text ready. I need to look at other ways besides
interest to engage my student. We also discussed the pace of the lesson. I kept pushing the
lesson forward despite the limited enthusiasm of my student, but did not make it so fast that he
could not keep up. Diamond did perk up as the lesson progressed, but it was still a challenge to
keep him motivated.

Changes in Student Learning

Diamond Mine Cart has made huge gains in our time together through this practicum. When
we first began, he was having difficulty staying focused on a story, limited knowledge of
strategies for problem solving when he encountered difficulties in the text and limited
knowledge of what he was doing to solve problems. He stated that he had recently started to
like to read. He had a very low view of himself as a reader and would articulate that he could
not figure out words or recall stories that he had just read. Most of his experiences with
reading at school included workbook stories with questions. He did not remember a time in
school when he discussed books or was taught strategies for reading. He would check books
out of the library, but if he didnt know a word he would skip it or ask for help and did not
know that there were strategies he could use to help himself. My goals for Diamond were to
make, confirm or change predictions to monitor comprehension; and use text structures and
the reading writing connection to compose personal and literary text.
In the first lesson, we started with asking questions, predicting and confirming. When we
started, Diamond did not realize that he already made connections and made predictions, but
many times the connections and predictions took his thoughts away from the text. By using
the strategy of asking questions in conjunction with predicting, and confirming those
predictions the student was able to remember more details from the story and keep his mind
more focused on what the story told him. The student was then able to recognize when his
thoughts were not in line with what the text was telling him. When we started I was using
post it notes to write the questions, but switched to a chart format so that if the answers to our
questions were not found on that page we did not have to go looking through the book for
the post it notes. It also allowed for going back and adding details that we discovered in
other parts of the book. Diamond still struggles with asking questions, but has gained the
strategy of predicting and confirming to help him understand the story.
One of the questions that Diamond would continually ask was about how to pronounce a
word or what did a word mean. At the beginning of the lessons, he would just skip the word
and not attempt to figure it out. We spent one lesson on word strategies that would help with
decoding a word and figuring out word meaning. After this lesson, the student applied the
strategies to help him decode words that were in his speaking vocabulary and more
importantly figure out the words meaning. Now when he comes to the question, what is this
word and what does it mean he attempts to figure it out on his own and even if he cannot
figure out the pronunciation, he many times he problem solves by figuring out the meaning
from what is happening in the story.
The other goal that I had for the student was in the area of writing. He hated to write and did
not understand that there was a structure to writing. After reading several biographical

books, we used those books and their structure to write a story about Diamonds trip to
Galveston. Using the text structure and through the use of modeling at looking at how to
take one sentence and connect it to the next sentence, the student felt very successful when
he wrote a story that was three pages instead of half a page. He left the lesson excited about
writing, which had been absent at the beginning of this practicum.
Our final practicum lesson was about nonfiction features since we had been looking at fiction
and biographies. This lesson was difficult because the student did not have the vocabulary to
name the features. At the end of the lesson that student was able to name some of the
features and now had a basic understanding of non-fiction features and how they can be used
to help him understand what is happening in the text and find information.
In looking back through all the lessons, the student went from being very active and even
scattered in his thinking to being calmer and focused. He also decreased in his negative selftalk about how he was not a good reader or writer and he could not figure out things for
himself. He stopped putting his head down and refusing to try when he encountered
difficulty. His self- esteem seemed to improve and he began to recognize and name
strategies he was using in his problem solving. As his confidence grew, his excitement about
learning in general grew. By the end of the practicum, he would take credit for things he felt
he did during the lesson even if they required extensive scaffolding by the teacher. The
student was rewriting his own stories and realizing that he is a reader and writer. He realized
that he now had strategies he could use when faced with difficulties.

Changes in Teacher Learning

At the beginning of this semester, I established two goals in regards to my teaching based on the
information in Choice Words. One goal was from chapter seven entitled: An Evolutionary,
Democratic Learning Community. My goal was to increase my awareness and use of language
that encourages students to take risks and try out new strategies and concepts. I wanted to get
better at helping them feel valued and supported. The second goal was from chapter 4: Agency
and Becoming Strategic. This goal was to emphasize solving problems in literacy by acting
strategically and helping my student be independent and have strategies for when they encounter
In reviewing my lessons, I also realized how much each of the chapters of Choice Words
overlapped and needed to be applied to my teaching. The student already had a negative identity
in regards to himself as a reader and writer. I had to look carefully at the language of influence
in my teaching so that I was not continuing to reveal assumptions and implications that would
make my student continue to feel incompetent. I needed to let him see that I cared, that I would
support him in his learning, and that I believed in him. I had to look at my explicitness in the
instruction and modeling of each lesson. When I started the lessons, I was using the word

thing instead of stating the strategy. Even though in each lesson I was improving in this area,
it is hard to break the habit and requires me to be aware of my use of specific words.
I also noticed that as the lessons continued I became better at noticing and naming the strategies
that I was using and those that the student was using. When I noticed and named strategies, my
student began to notice and name strategies. Johnston stated that, socializing childrens attention
to where they are being successful is also likely to develop their sense of agency.
I also had to focus on helping the student develop his sense of identity that he was a reader and
writer, so I was careful not to use the term good reader or writer and to call him a reader or
author. I also encouraged him to feel proud of the work he was doing and asked how he felt after
he had accomplished the writing of a story.
Since one of my main goals was on agency and becoming strategic, I had to change my words
that would signal to the student that he had the strategies that could be used to problem solve. In
the beginning of my lessons, I was not giving the student opportunities to problem solve. The
phrases like How are you planning to go about this? are still not natural in my interactions. I
did include questions like How did you figure that out? which helped the student name what he
was doing to figure out a problem. I also used the word but in the early lessons, which showed
that, I had the knowledge. I worked on using the word and to change the structure of the
interaction. I also gave the student some choice within the lesson to increase student
My second goal was in the area of evolutionary, democratic learning community and how to use
my language to provide a supportive environment in which my student could take risks and try
new strategies. I started using the term we and you purposefully to draw students attention
to when he was applying strategies. I used we to help the student feel that not knowing
something was not unique to him, but something that all readers face. I also wanted him to know
that he had the power to use the strategies to problem solve. When I started the lessons I would
used the phrase Ill show you which relayed that I had the power and knowledge to problem
solve. I worked on changing the word show to share which signaled that he also had ideas
and strategies that he could share with me.
Even with the purposeful planning of lessons and reflecting on my word choice, I still need to
continue to build these skills until they become a habit. I also used the scales from Systems for
Change in Literacy Education to examine my own teaching. I used the General Aspects of
Teaching scale, to prepare and analyze my lessons. In examining my own teaching, I was
reminded how critical planning, engagement and rapport are to effective instruction. The other
scales for guided reading and minilessons were also used to reflect on my teaching and plan for

Action Plan
Even though I could see changes in my teaching and interactions with my student during this
practicum, I also need to keep working on my goals to make me a more effective and efficient
teacher. To help me in my role as a teacher and instructional coach I will need to continue to
examine my own teaching, especially since I do model lessons for other teachers.
I will first reread Choice Words myself and then plan to facilitate a book study at my school.
This book was furnished to our school a couple of years ago for the purpose of a book study, but
was postponed.
I will also continue to video tape my demonstration lessons and small group lessons to review
and continue application of what I have learned.
I will share the coaching scales with my administration and colleagues to help facilitate learning
on my campus. I also will go back and read the entire book, Systems for Change in Literacy

Professional resources
Harvey, S., Goudvis, A. & Wallis, J. (2010). Comprehension intervention: Small group lessons
for the comprehension toolkit. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Johnston, P.H. (2004). Choice words: How our language affects childrens learning. Portland,
ME: Stenhouse Publishers.
Lyons, C.A. & Pinnell, G. S. (2001). Systems for change in literacy: A guide to professional
development. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.