Mark received:


(cohort average: 76%)

Reading: Summary and ‘Where-to-next?’ for Hannah’s learning

Use the analysed running record (‘Nibbles’) and your summary to plan (suggest) specific ways to extend Hannah’s learning within the Guided Reading of the same text,Nibbles’. Then state briefly what other relevant support could be given within the wider literacy approaches.

  1. Your SUMMARY: Analysis of Errors (E) and Self-corrections (SC). State sources of information (m s v) that Hannah has either used or neglected. Note the child’s depth of understanding of the text.

Analysis of Hannah’s reading of Nibbles, reveals that she is beginning to integrate all sources of information (m s v), however, her answers suggests a lack of deep understanding and shows difficulty with comprehending key concepts in the text. Hannah should stay at this level.

She had 16 errors and 4 self corrects, placing her self-correction rate at 1:5. Since her self-correction rate is above 1:4, this may indicate she is not sufficiently self-monitoring her reading. This may be due to a lack of comprehension.

Meaning is Hannah’s strongest cue, present in 15 of her errors, structure was her second strongest cue, present in 13 errors, and visual cues were her weakest at 11. Her accuracy rate was 90%, which places this book at her instructional level. She is beginning to use word parts, sounding out the first letter on 12 occasions, for words she had difficulty pronouncing.

It appears Hannah sometimes neglects visual cues, using pictures, as opposed to word parts, to obtain meaning. This is evident when she says “father” instead of “principal” on page 4. Hannah did insert a word, however, this did not change the meaning. Furthermore, there were two omissions of the same word, “guinea” indicating a lack of familiarity with the animal. Hannah had to be told four words.

Hannah appears to have a low depth of understanding for this material. She references the pictures to obtain meaning, rather than the text. She was noted to be pointing or looking to the pictures when unsure. I also suspect she is not familiar with what a guinea pig is, as she refrains from using the word even after being told. Hannah is also guessing more words at the end of the text, with less self corrects, which may indicate a decrease in interest (perhaps due to lack of comprehension).

  1. Where-to-next?

How could you extend Hannah’s meaning (m), grapho-phonic (v) knowledge, and processing strategies within the Guided Reading of ‘Nibbles’. What else could support related learning within the wider literacy approaches?

To extend Hannah’s meaning, discuss potentially difficult vocabulary, prior to reading the text. For example, Hannah seems unfamiliar with the word ‘guinea pig’, as she avoided saying it.

It would also be beneficial to have a detailed discussion about the pictures and ask Hannah for alternative meanings, as she misinterpreted the flood for a floating school and the principal for a father. By having a discussion and introducing key concepts, Hannah will be able to make appropriate connections with the text, extending her meaning and comprehension.

Furthermore, making connections and having discussions will increase Hannah’s engagement, which appeared to drop as the book progressed, as indicated by the fewer self-corrects in later paragraphs.

To extend Hannah’s grapho-phonic knowledge, ask her to focus on word endings, as she mostly gets the first letter correct. Ask ‘Does that sound right?’ or ‘What sound does the end letter make?’.

Furthermore, using oral prompts will also guide her to utilise phonetic strategies for pronouncing words correctly. For example, “said the pri…” will indicate to Hannah that “father” is not the correct word and encourage her to use all cues to pronounce the word. Focusing on letters and clusters helps break down unfamiliar words and assist with pronunciation.

Extending Hannah’s processing strategies can be achieved by encouraging her to make connections between prior knowledge and the text. As previously mentioned, discuss the pictures prior to reading and get Hannah to relate the themes to her own experiences. Also, encourage Hannah to make predictions about what she believes will happen next. This strategy draws on prior knowledge and will build Hannah’s comprehension.

To support related learning within the wider literacy approach, it is encouraged to extend known structures with engaging songs. Furthermore, class discussions of key concepts will enhance her familiarity with the text ideas and assist with comprehension.

Also, self-monitoring can be enhanced in writing by teaching students to underline words they feel they have spelt wrong and allowing for multiple revisions, so they can revisit meaning and surface features. Wider independent reading of easier text will also enhance Hannah’s familiarity with structures and grapho-phonic knowledge.

Writing: Where-to-next for Alex’s writing?

Use the full analysis of ‘Hot bread shop’ to inform ‘Where-to-next?’ planning decisions for Alex.

  1. Identify a range of possible teaching points that could be addressed when conferencing with Alex on his own writing (‘Hot bread shop’).

Deeper features:

Adding more details is a possible teaching point. By asking questions about what he has written, Alex will be able to extend meaning orally. Example questions include – ‘Tell me about what you have written?’, ’What else do you like about the bakery?’, and ‘How does the rest of the family feel?’.

Additionally, detail and meaning can be expanded upon by drawing a picture of the event and adding speech bubbles. This will allow for Alex to expand meaning through a visual medium and elaborate on the story, in future revisions, by providing him with writing prompts.

Surface features:

Spelling is a possible teaching point that could be addressed when conferencing with Alex on his own writing. It appears that Alex is at the phonetic stage of spelling, writing most letter sounds in sequence in each word. The teacher can write and say some of the common words together, so that Alex can hear the sounds in sequence and build his familiarity with phonetics. Furthermore, it is encouraged that the students develop their word banks through regular reading of a variety of books.

Additionally, punctuation could be a possible teaching point. Capital letters are used at inappropriate times. Revisit when it is appropriate to use capital letters and read through Alex’s work with him, emphasizing where they can be placed.

  1. Alex is also working in a Guided Writing group with students who have similar learning needs. Having identified some areas of potential learning, describe what you could teach next. Focus on one deeper and one surface feature.

Deeper feature:

One deeper feature that could be beneficial for the focus of the Guided Writing group could be elaborating on text and meaning. To achieve this, continue to model recounts of personal events. Invite children to ask questions during the demonstration (e.g. Who?, What?, Where?, When?, and Why?) and incorporate the answers into the text, demonstrating to the students the process of elaborating. Furthermore, this activity integrates oral language. Also, encourage students to write mind maps and drawings prior to writing to promote visual cues, which can be used as prompts for more details.

Surface feature:

One surface feature that can be focused on for the Guided Writing group would be punctuation. The teacher can model the use of full-stops, commas, and capital letters. Explain what a sentence, comma, full-stop, and capital letter is. Additionally, elaborate on why they are important and provide simple guided exercises for students to apply them, after modeling each. Identify full-stops, commas, and capital letters in the shared reading texts and read a variety of books regularly, to reinforce correct punctuation.

Essay a): What is Guided Reading and why is it an important instructional approach, within the wider literacy programme? (750 words)

Guided Reading is a teaching approach that strongly supports students learning of literacy (Biddulph, 2002a). Discussed in this paper is the meaning and purpose of Guided Reading. Additionally, the importance of ‘constructing meaning’ and ‘social collaboration’ is explored. It is discovered that Guided Reading correlates to these core literacy principles and, therefore, provides students with the opportunity to develop reading strategies with a variety of sources, supporting the wider literacy programme (Iaquinta, 2006).

The primary purpose of Guided Reading is to “enable children to read for meaning” (Fountas & Pinnell,1996, p.4). Furthermore, Iaquinta (2006, p.2) states that the three main goals behind Guided Reading are that it “(1) meets the instructional needs of all the students in the classroom, (2) allows for increasingly difficult texts to be taught, and (3) allows for meaning to be constructed using problem-solving strategies”. Together, these three principles form the foundation of Guided Reading.

The individual instructional needs of students are usually met with Guided Reading through the practice of grouping students with those of similar reading ability. This approach allows the teacher target the students common learning needs (Iaquinta, 2006). Once grouped, the basic structure of a Guided Reading lesson includes – (1) selection of a text, (2) introduction to the text, (3) reading the text, (4) discussion of the text, (5) teaching points, and (6) word work (Fountas & Pinnell, 2002). This clearly defined structure provides a standardised approach to learning, allowing for multiple groups, at different levels, to simultaneously work on specific learning needs.

The Guided Reading process allows students to develop their network of reading strategies from a variety of sources. Fountas & Pinnell (1996) support this claim, stating that by utilizing the various sources students will have the foundation for developing fluency with reading. The three sources identified by Clay (1993) are – (1) semantic, (2) syntactic, and (3) grapho-phonemic. Therefore, it is evident that Guided Reading provides students with the opportunity to learn necessary skills to become literate by developing strategies from these three sources.

Guided Reading is an important instructional approach, within the wider literacy programme, as it addresses core literacy principles (Biddulph, 2002b).  Braunger & Lewis (1998) identified thirteen core principles, all of which, are relevant to Guided Reading and the wider literacy programme (Biddulph,2002b). Two are explored in this paper – (1) constructing meaning and (2) social interaction.

Constructing meaning, as Biddulph (2002b) points out, is about readers develop their own understanding of the author’s message. This theme ties in with the principles of Guided Reading as – predicting, summarizing, synthesizing, and monitoring – are correlate to the development of personal meaning (Biddulph, 2002b). Fielding and Pearson (1994, p. 67, cited in Biddulph, 2002b) state that comprehension strategies are further developed in Guided Reading as students are presented with frequent and systematic opportunities to read.

The repetition in Guided Reading has additional benefits for developing reading comprehension. Repeated reading has been associated with improved reading speed, accuracy, and comprehension (Carver & Hoffman, 1981; Dowhower, 1987; Moyer, 1982). Furthermore, Samuels (1979) reported that repeated reading allows for students to generalize to new reading material. Manzo (1975, p.288) observes that frequent Guided Reading encourages students to develop their “unaided recall, recognize implicit questions, self-correct, and organize”. These four skills are essential to improving overall reading comprehension (Manzo, 1975). This means that, through Guided Reading, students will improve their overall comprehension of a variety of text, which is a widely accepted as the purpose of the wider literacy programme (Fountas & Pinnell,1996).

Another core understanding necessary for literacy is social interaction (Biddulph, 2002b). Dowhower (1999) claims that literacy is best developed through social interaction, as students receive assistance from those with more knowledge. This understanding relates closely to Guided Reading. Iaquinta (2006, p.5) supports this statement, stating that “Guided Reading is essentially a carefully managed social occurrence”. With Guided Reading, students lead the discussion, whilst the teacher guides them to arrive at the deeper meaning (Gavelek and Raphael, 1996).

Guided Reading is not without its criticism. Manzo (1975, p. 287) argues that Guided Reading “appears relatively impersonal and demands little more than fundamental mental abilities”. Since this criticism, however, Guided Reading has grown to encompass more than ‘general recall’. In contrast, Mooney (1990) identifies Guided Reading as an appropriate strategy for children who are moving towards fluency. Manzo (1975) concedes that concentration during reading is improved as Guided Reading encourages self-correction and organization of information.

In conclusion, Guided Reading is a well-structured teaching approach that strongly supports students learning of literacy (Biddulph, 2002a). It usually consists of six steps – (1) selection of a text, (2) introduction to the text, (3) reading the text, (4) discussion of the text, (5) teaching points, and (6) word work (Fountas & Pinnell, 2002). This structured approach allows for teachers to group students based on level and targets their individual instructional needs. Furthermore, Guided reading provides students with the opportunity to develop reading strategies with a variety of sources, necessary for skilled reading (Iaquinta, 2006). It has been found to improve concentration (Manzo, 1975) and through repetition improve comprehension (Carver & Hoffman, 1981; Dowhower, 1987; Moyer, 1982). Lastly, Guided Reading is a social interaction that assists in developing individual meaning, all of which are key understandings that corollate to the wider literacy programme.

Essay b): How do teachers support their students as they progress through the iterative stages of the writing process? (750 words)

There are a variety of strategies for teachers to support students as they progress through the iterative writing process. The writing process consists of four stages – (1) forming intentions, (2) composing a text, (3) revising, and (4) publishing. Teachers can support students by modeling the writing process, abiding by its core principles, asking open-ended questions, analysing students writing, offering feedback, providing ample opportunities to practice various forms, and delivering various instructional methods. Each of these strategies allows students to progress through the writing process and takes the emphasis away from writing as a product.

To support the writing process, teachers must respect the students’ efforts to experience writing for themselves. For Murray (1972), this principle has many implications for teachers, most notably – (1) ensuring the text is the student’s own writing, (2) students create their own meaning, (3) students use their own language, and (4) ample opportunity is provided to re-write drafts to develop their voice. These principles ensure that teachers have not legislated meaning to produce a product, but, rather, empowered students to have ownership of their own writing process and lets them begin building a repertoire of strategies needed to succeed.

At the ‘forming intentions’ stage of the writing process, teachers can support their students by asking open-ended questions, such as ‘how could you find more information?’ and ’Who are you writing this for?’. By asking questions, as opposed to providing direct guidance, the student is encouraged to think critically and develop their own voice.

The second stage involves the student composing a text. Teachers can support students in this phase by using a range of instructional approaches, such as – language experience, shared writing, guided writing, group, paired, and independent writing (MoE, 2003). Providing students with ample opportunity to experience each instructional approach will support their writing process by offering diverse experiences.

The teacher can support the student at the revision stage by asking open-ended questions, aimed to guide the student to critically assess their writing for clarity and accuracy. Examples include – ‘How might the audience respond to this?’ and ‘What is an alternative to this sentence?’ (MoE, 2003).

It is also important for the teacher to support the writing process by focusing on multiple revisions instead of form. Zamel (1982, p.1) believes that if teachers focus on form then they “fail to teach students that writing is a process of discovery”. Zamel (1982) claims that a student cannot anticipate what they are going to write and, therefore, as Murray (1972, p.21) states, writing should focus on iteration, with “mechanics coming last”. Additionally, to ignore differences in representation by legislating form almost certainly means suppressing a separate way of thinking (Murray, 1972). This implies, focusing on form only serves to hinder the writer’s ability to create meaning by placing restrictions on structure and ideas. Therefore, teachers must encourage multiple revisions instead of refining form. This also complements the iterative nature of the writing process.

The teacher can also support students by providing feedback and analysing students work. Feedback informs further learning and allows the teacher to model the revision stage (MoE, 2003). As the Ministry of Education (2003, p.22) points out, “learning to revise their writing is essential if they are to become accurate writers”. Moreover, analysis of writing allows the teacher to monitor progress and identify ‘next learning’ steps for individual and guided writing group (MoE, 2003).

Peer interaction during the revision stage also supports writing as a process. Paulus (1999) reports that changes students make on their own work after revision are often surface level, however, changes made as a result peer and teacher feedback are often meaning-level changes. Therefore, it is important for the teacher to encourage peer reviews, so students discover deeper meaning.

Publishing is the last stage of the writing process and involves making the text available for others to read (MoE, 2003). Open-ended questions related to this stage include ‘How could you indicate some parts are more important than others?’ and ‘How will you share your story?’. Murray (1972, p.21) states that “there are no absolutes, only alternatives” and, therefore, the teacher can support students by encouraging diversity in presentation.

In conclusion, this paper has highlighted various strategies teachers can adopt to support students as they progress through the iterative stages of the writing process. By modeling the writing process and abiding by its core principles, teachers can empower students to create meaning through text (MoE, 2003). Teachers can support their students by asking open-ended questions at each step, promoting critical thinking. Additionally, undertaking analysis and providing feedback will aide to model further learning. Providing opportunities to practice various forms, encouraging peer reviews, and delivering various instructional models also supports student’s progression through the writing process.


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