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10/23/15

Lauren Checker
8144 S. White Oak Dr.
Oak Creek, WI, 53154
October 20, 2015
Kerry Owens Burr
Principle of College Park Elementary School
Greendale School District
5701 W. College Ave
Greendale, WI 53129
Dear Kerry Owens Burr,
After my first interview it was suggested that I create a comprehensive
instructional literacy plan for a fourth grade classroom based on scores from
the previous year. My educational background in Early Elementary Education
from Alverno College, along with my professional experience, makes me an
excellent candidate for creating an accurate and effective literacy plan.
As you will see from the enclosed literacy plan, I have a strong foundation
built focusing on the needs of these literacy learners. After investigating the
data, I have created an instructional plan to meet the students diverse
needs. I have highlighted educational theorists that frame the foundations of
my practice. I discuss how my beliefs and the three-block framework
interlock within these frameworks.
My personal and professional commitment for effective literacy skills in the
classroom are shown through this plan. I have effectively addressed how I
will meet the reading, writing, and word study needs for the children in my
classroom based on the data. I have created a tentative instructional plan
that includes the assessments, strategies, materials, routines, and design I
will carry out in the classroom. I hope that through this plan you will see my
dedication and passion for literacy and how I will successfully meet the
needs of these diverse learners.
If you have questions about my comprehensive literacy plan, please contact
me at 414-336-8796. I look forward to meeting you again to further discuss
employment opportunities with the Greendale School District.
Sincerely,

10/23/15

Lauren Checker

Comprehensive Literacy Plan


A) Goal Setting
When I teach literacy I feel my own passions will become
apparent to the students and will translate into young minds equally
eager for knowledge. In my potential fourth grade classroom I want to
teach lifelong strategies that will allow students to prosper in all forms
of literacy. I have specific goals in reading, writing, and word study I
want my fourth graders to achieve by the end of fourth grade.
First, and most importantly it will be beneficial to the students if
they are immersed in literacy. My goal as a teacher will be to engage
the students from the first day of school in a variety of genres to
satisfy many varying interests. I will do this by building rapports with
my students and discovering their ability levels through informal and
formal assessment to decide the range of texts I should supply. I wish
for my students to have as much choice as possible with literacy.
Students will be able to take more interest if they are reading and
writing about topics/ideas they enjoy. It will be up to the students to
approximate the skills we are focusing on while using the materials I
provide.
I want my students to be striving to be the best fluent and
accurate readers they can. A goal for my fourth graders would be to be
reading with a level 3 fluency, and 99% accuracy rate when reading
books at their level(ED 345 Handout Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark

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Assessment System.) I wish for my students to have deep


understanding in what they are reading. I wish for them to have
conscious application of reading strategies to allow them to critically
think about what they are reading in order to make thoughtful
connections. A long range goal would be for all of my fourth graders to
be reading at a level S by the end of fourth grade and become selfextending readers. While I understand this is very advanced for some
of the lower level readers, with proper instruction and perseverance it
could be possible. If not at a level S by the end of June, it would be
great to have students make significant advancements in their leveled
benchmarks. Because I have such high expectations for the lower level
readers, I will maintain these expectations for the students who are
closer to approaching an S. I want my students to stretch themselves
as far as possible while still maintaining comprehension and reading
strategies. (ED 345 Handout, OASD Instructional Guided Reading
Levels.) With that being said, I want the students to stay proficient in
fluency, accuracy, and comprehension levels.
A writing goal for my students is for all children to have
perseverance in their writing. In order to have perseverance I will set
the context for students to write to authentic audiences. My goal is to
have students writing to these authentic audiences to the best of their
ability to demonstrate their writing skills. I wish for my students to set
goals for themselves in their own writing and strive to formulate ideas
and revisions. I would like my students to be reflective on their writing

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by assessing using rubrics. This will allow students to take ownership of


their work and help with self-identity. I would like my students to be
writing in the self-extending stage or higher by the end of fourth grade
(ED 345 Handout, Building an Effective Writing Process Over Time.) By
the end of fourth grade I also want my students to be proficient
narrative, argumentative, and informative writers and receive a 3 in all
areas (ED 345 Handout, Teachers College.) Again, I will stretch
students thinking so that those who are already in the proficient area
can reach to be advanced.
A goal in word study for my students would be to be approaching
or at the syllables and affixes stage by the end of fourth grade. I would
like students to be active in deriving root words to help with spelling
and meaning (Tompkins, 2012.) A goal for my 4th graders is to become
word curious and efficient in knowing how to discover new words and
their meanings. I want students to use these new words orally and in
their writing. This integration will be helpful to their learning. A goal
for my 4th graders will be to use these new words across all discipline
areas so that children can practice using them in other settings beyond
just literacy.
Overall in reading, writing, and word study I would like my
students to be able to make connections in these areas. I also want my
students to be responsible and respectful of their learning and their
peers learning. A goal I have for these group of children will be to work
as a community of learners that can hold collaborative conversations

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and actively listen to one another. I am developmentally aware of the


age scope of these children ranging from nine to ten year olds. Overall
nine and ten year olds are starting to become more mature and can
handle more responsibility than they have in the past. They can be fast
finishers just to get there work done. They often have an abundance of
ideas their willing to share. Fairness and justice issues are also a big
part of their daily lives (Wood, 2012.)With a safe and comfortable
environment students will be able to strive to reach their full potential
in literacy and meet my goals.
B) Analyze Data and Diagnosed Literacy Needs
I was provided with data from this group of diverse learners from their
third grade year. After analyzing the progress they have made across their
third grade year, I am able to begin to discover who these literacy learners
are. I can also begin to diagnosis the needs I will need to fulfill in my
classroom.
The data provided allowed me to view the students MAP scores from
the beginning, middle, and end of third grade. These MAP scores assess
students achievement and academic growth across time (Northwest
Evaluation Association). Students RIT status based on the Northwest
evaluation association should be at a 189.9 in the beginning of third grade,
and a 199.2 at the end of third grade. When looking at the data provided
these students range from 161- 211 at the beginning of third grade.

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When reviewing the data I noticed many different trends in changing


instructional levels in narrative texts based on the Fountas and Pinnell
Reading Benchmarks. The children were assessed in the beginning of third
grade and ranged at instructional reading levels from H-M on the OASD
Instructional Guided Reading Levels chart (ED 345 Handout.) When assessed
again in January they ranged from J-N. The most current scores were from
May and students ranged from K-P. Every single student made progress and
met at least a one new proficiency benchmark. According to the OASD
benchmark guide only one student is where they should be by the end of
third grade; at a level P. This means that by the end of third grade students
who were reading at level K instructional level should be at a level S by the
end of fourth grade.
When looking at these readers processes I can identify them as
transitional through self-extending. The transitional readers will be able to
read silently, be flexible in solving words and their meanings, and will not
have to rely on illustrations. The self-extending readers will be more
advanced and will be able to read more multi-syllable words, make
connections, and become absorbed in books. Some readers may be closer to
approaching the advanced reader stage. In this stage readers are fluent
when reading aloud, acquire new vocabulary through reading, develop new
strategies while reading, and explore social issues (Building an Effective
Reading Process over Time ED 345 Handout.) It will be important to
reassess after their summer vacation to ensure student placement in these

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categories. This also means that in order for students to attempt to make
significant progress we will have to work on several skills and strategies to
have them reach these goals.
From looking at students reading level benchmarks from third grade I
can analyze how other areas such as accuracy, comprehension, and fluency
were affected based on the Fountas and Pinnell assessments. At the
beginning of third grade students had accuracy levels ranging from 91-99%.
By the end of third grade students had accuracy levels ranging from 94100%. By the end of the grade 20 out of 21 students were successfully
reading with at least a 95% accuracy rate. All of these assessments were
based on narrative texts. Accuracy rates can potentially effect childrens
reading comprehension if they are getting stuck on words and trying to
decode them. Accuracy levels ranging from 95-100% in independent reading
may reflect excellent comprehension levels (ED 345 Handout Assessment
Data Key Grade 3.) We can assess a childs accuracy rate based on a running
record (ED 345 Handout Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment.) The
third graders comprehension level at the beginning of the year was ranged
between 4-6. The students comprehension levels ranged from 5-9 by the
end of third grade. Satisfactory comprehension levels are between 7-8. All
assessments were again based on the reading of narrative texts. Only 10
students were reading at the satisfactory comprehension level by June
according to the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System.
Students reading comprehension based on their written responses fluctuated

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along their third grade year. Only 5 students had excellent comprehension by
the end of third grade, which allows me to infer they are struggling with
readers responses. Third graders fluency ranged between 0 -3 at the
beginning of the year. Level 3 being the best as students are reading in
meaningful phrases smoothly (ED 345 Handout Fountas and Pinnell
Benchmark Assessment.) Students fluency rates ranged from 1-3 by the end
of third grade. Six of these students still had a fluency of one by the end of
third grade. Words per minute were below average. They should be reading
90-125 words per minute by the end of third grade, but many students are
not. Out of 21 students, only 9 are reading above average words per minute.
Below I discuss the use of these numbers and how each affect one another.
When analyzing reading levels you can look at how accuracy levels
play a part in comprehension and fluency and vise- versa. For example,
student D9 was reading at an instructional level J in the beginning of third
grade, but had only 93% accuracy, a comprehension of 5, writing response of
1, and a fluency of 0. This is why its important to not just look at reading
level. This student was reading probably at an instructional level that was too
high, so his accuracy rate was low, as he was making 12 or more errors. This
is a direct reflection of his comprehension rate, which was at a limited rate.
His fluency was also effected as he had a 0. This means he was probably
reading word-by-word at a slow rate. The student was also only reading 36
words per minute when he shouldve been reading at 55 words per minute to
meet the standard (Benchmarks for Oral Reading Rate-Words per Minute ED

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345 Handout.) Over the course of third grade the student made significant
progress as he/she finished the year reading at level M with an accuracy rate
of 95%, comprehension level of 7(satisfactory), and fluency of 1. The fluency
rate here may be reflective of his interpretation of the text; definitely
something to assess for at a later time. When considering my fourth graders
I will do this for each student and see how their reading levels advanced over
the third grade year and ensure that accuracy, comprehension, fluency, and
words per minute followed. I will also keep this in mind when considering my
current students to carefully analyze their abilities before putting them at a
higher level of reading. While this is only an example of one student there
are others that follow this pattern.
For many students it seems to be a common trend that when they go
up a reading level they backtrack in a different skill. Before students move
onto another reading level they should be successful in all other areas of
reading and responding. At the end of third grade most students have
average or above accuracy rates with satisfactory comprehension rates. Six
of the students at the end of third grade are still receiving 1 or 2s for
fluency. Eleven of these students are also reading below the average 90
words per minute. It was interesting to see how their writing scores based on
reading comprehension from Fountas and Pinnell were connected. As
students comprehension advanced, the writing responses did as well. When
teaching these group of students it will be essential to monitor their skills
and strategies in each area of reading.

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When thinking about an instructional plan for these fourth graders,


some specific skills that this group of children are strong readers in are
accuracy. By the end of third grade all students but one were all reading with
satisfactory accuracy rates. This tells me that the students are aware of what
they are reading and I can infer they are effective in decoding words using
their cueing systems. I will be interested to see their work beyond their
Words Their Way scores to see if their decoding is accurate. It would be
beneficial to assess their prior writing and if they are approaching the
syllables and affix stage. They are also comprehending at a satisfactory level
by the end of third grade- a significant increase from the beginning of the
year. Some students could improve upon this, but overall they are
understanding what they are reading at the instructional level. Some areas
for improvement are fluency. Many students scored lower levels in this area,
possibly because they are reading a little bit too high above their reading
level. This also impacts their words per minute- which are overall below
average. If students are reading text that is to challenging they are slowing
down to accurately read the words, but they may not be putting them
together quick enough- decreasing fluency and words per minute. The last
area of improvement is their reading responses. Students seem to need more
practice writing about what they are reading. These are the overall reading
strengths and weaknesses.
From what I have analyzed on the students writing scores I can infer
probable rationales. As a teacher it will be important to know where the

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students have come from and where they are going so that I can set
appropriate goals. Based on Fountas and Pinnells Building an Effective
Writing Process Over Time rubric, I will have students ranging from
transitional- advanced writers. Transitional writers are typically in secondthird grade. It will be beneficial to know what they students have done
previously in second and third grade and if any of these traits are occurring
in their work. These writers can create complex text, check spelling, and can
write in different genres. Self-extending writers are typically 3-4 graders.
This will be the most common level of writers in my classroom. Students at
this level will be able to proof read their work, have ways to expand their
vocabulary, and write for many purposes. Advanced writers are
approximately in fourth- sixth grade. These writers spell words quickly, use
dictionaries for their writing, write in various purposes and tenses, and write
about a wide range of topics ( ED 345 Handout Building an Effective Reader
Over Time.) I am inferring to have transitional-advanced writers in my
classroom. Students were assessed based on the Teachers College rubric for
narrative, opinion and informational writing throughout the year. Students
began the third grade year ranging from levels 0-3 on the writing
assessment. They ended the year ranging from 1-3. For these samples we do
not know what type of writing the students were doing but we can assume
that the beginning of the year was narrative, middle was argumentative and
the end of the school year was informational writing. When looking at these
scores individually its interesting to analyze the differing scores and make

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inferences as to why some students were more successful in certain writing


types. Narrative writing scores ranged from 0-3.5. Argumentative writing
score ranged from 1.5-3.5. Lastly, informative writing score ranged from 03.5. In third grade students should be receiving points in each section;
structure, development, and language conventions in narrative,
argumentative/opinion, and informational writing. Its expected that
students score a 2 in the beginning of the year, a 2.5 in the middle of the
year, and a 3 by the end of the year ( ED 345 Writing Assessment Handout.)
Some overall strengths of student writing are in narrative wiring. In the
beginning of the year 18 students scored at least a 2 (the expected score
from the Teachers College.) They were also fairly strong in argumentative
writing. Sixteen students scored at a 2.5 or higher when assessed on their
argumentative/opinion writing. More than half the class met the expectations
based on the Teachers College. Some areas of weakness seem to be in
informational writing. Only 9 students received scores of 3 or higher, when
all students should be at this level or approaching it.
Students were assessed using Words Their Way Spelling Inventory at
the beginning and end of third grade. By the end of third grade all students
who were assessed are at a within word pattern level. This means students
are able to explore patterns in words and chunks to analyze unfamiliar words
(Bear, Chapter 6, 2012.) Some scores are missing from the end of third grade
so I will have to assume that some students will still be in the letter name
alphabetic stage. This means they will still be relying more heavily letter

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sounds and blends (Bear, 2012.) The goal is to get them into the syllable
and affix stage by the end of fourth grade. When analyzing word study
scores from the Words Their Way Elementary Spelling Inventory it can be
inferred that children are spelling between the letter name alphabetic stages
to within word patterns.
Although not all word study scores were filled in at the end of third
grade, all students assessed were in the Within Word Pattern stage. They are
well on their way to reaching the goal of being in the syllable-affix stage by
the end of fourth grade. When assessing word study development I can
analyze all the areas provided to understand students developmental range.
If students are reading at higher proficiency benchmarks it can be inferred
that they are comfortable decoding multi-syllable words. It will important to
continually assess for comprehension to ensure students arent loosing
meaning from a long decoding process. Once I can assess these students
myself, I will be able to see if this holds true and if students are actually
understanding these words and their meanings in their reading. Although,
when looking at student writing responses, their scores are below average. I
could infer from this that students are struggling to understand words and
their meanings based on comprehension of the text. It comes down to
knowing my students and their capabilities. At the end of third grade student
accuracy rates are satisfactory expect for one student. This again tells me
that students are easily decoding the words they are reading. When
analyzing fluency 15 students are at or above a level 2 at the end of third

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grade. I can infer that students are reading words smoothly and expressively.
Students seem to struggle with words per minute, which may mean they are
taking longer to process words so they dont make mistakes. More than half
the class meets standards in both narrative and argumentative writing. This
is excellent because it shows the students ability to process their thinking
into words. A section from the rubric is language conventions. I cannot see
the students writing so it is difficult to know if they are spelling and using
words accurately.
Overall

the strength of students in word study are reading words

with accuracy. The students are also strong in fluency, but there still 6
students with a level 1 at the end of the year. Like stated above, the children
overall are struggling with words per minute. By the end of third grade they
shouldve been reading 90-125 words per minute. Another area we will have
to further advance is writing in response to reading.
I still need to discover a lot about my students before I can guide their
literacy needs in my classroom. I will begin with assessing students using
running records, anecdotal note sheets, Words Their Way Benchmark
Spelling, Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark assessment which includes a
running record, accuracy rate, fluency score, reading rate, comprehension
conversation, and overall observations. I will analyze the MAP scores as well
to measure academic growth. If I were the teacher for this group of fourth
graders I would have to find out what they enjoy so I can gauge my teaching
toward their interests. A great way to do this would be to use a

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reading/writing inventory to discover attitudes towards literacy and their


likes/dislikes. Because I have not seen their writing, I am interested in
analyzing where they rank in each section of structure, development, and
language conventions (Rubric for Narrative/Opinion/Informative writing). This
would give me a better idea of how I could begin to form flexible strategy
based groupings for writing. I will also have to learn about their work habits
and if they can persevere through the workshop time. I also need to learn
their behaviors during whole group, partner, and independent time. This will
allow me to make decisions about instructional strategies. I will need to learn
how much prior knowledge the students have to certain topics- this will help
with reading and writing tasks. Once I know my students it will be easier for
me to differentiate for them. I can adjust my planning for diverse learners
and if there are any English Language Learners. Discovering their LAU level
will be beneficial, as I can then modify lessons and assignments for their
needs.
INSTRUCTIONAL PLAN
I believe that children learn best when they are in a welcoming
environment. When children can feel safe and willing to take risks they will
be successful. A classroom needs to be comparable to a second home for
children, and for some children, a safe haven. When children feel that they
are part of a community they will gain self-identity.

Especially at this age,

children are becoming more aware of social justice issues in society. Children
will learn best if they feel they can speak freely by giving ideas and opinions.

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The classroom must be set up accordingly for these opportunities with high
expectations and strong routines. Children learn literacy best through
engaged immersion. By this I mean not just surrounded by books, but
surrounded by their interests as well.
My belief statements reflect how children literacy best and are
supported by theory. My overall beliefs for how children learn literacy best is
through the constructivist approach for student centered learning. Through
this approach, sociolinguistics supports my beliefs about how children best
learn literacy. Lev Vygotskys beliefs about this concept were that children
learn best through social interaction. He believed that language organized
thoughts. When students are discussing their thoughts and understandings
with peers they gain new knowledge and grow deeper connections. Through
Sociolinguistics students are given authentic learning experiences and
conversations they would not receive if they werent communicating. These
social interaction experiences are valued during reading, writing, and word
study. When reading, students can use strategies with one another such as
analyzing, inferring, critiquing, and more. Based on Sociolinguistics, when
children are given opportunities to interact, they strengthen these strategies
and create deeper comprehension. When writing, students can gain ideas
from one another and even serve as the more expert other according to
Vygotskys theory. Students can interact about their writings by sharing
connections and giving feedback. Sociolinguistics can also support children
in word study. By 4th grade, words are more complex due to the emerging

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concept of deriving roots. If students are able to approximate these words


orally they can then gain a better understanding while enhancing fluency as
well. Because words cannot be taught in isolation, orally practicing word
study within reading and writing will create more authentic understandings
of what the words mean. If children are approximating these words
purposefully, they will be used in speaking, reading and writing. Another
concept Vygotsky theorized was Zone of Proximal Development. This can be
used when reaching the needs of diverse learners by assisting children to
reach their highest ability level. Zone of Proximal Development takes
children from where they are, to where they can be with guidance.
Vygotsky also had beliefs centered on the gradual release of
responsibility and scaffolding. These understandings connect to my own
beliefs as well. When releasing responsibility to children we begin by
gradually moving them towards independent work to become responsible for
their learning. Without proper modeling and explanation students will not be
successful. When we scaffold we are essentially teaching students how to
think. When modeling to students they will then begin to understand these
strategies. This concept connects to the idea of metacognition (teaching
students to think about their learning). When students have metacognition
control they know when to use different strategies and why they are using
them (Tompkins, 2014. Chapter 1)
Pablo Freire was another theorist who based his beliefs off of
Sociolinguistics. His beliefs focused around social justice and how powerful

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language is. I believe that his theory will be applicable in my fourth grade
classroom because at this age students are starting to develop their idea of
fairness and equality. Freire believed in students examining essential
questions based on the world around them. My beliefs centered on
community connect to his beliefs of social justice. Students must be
challenged and exposed socially to injustices. When students are able to
critically think about social justice topics they gain further understandings
about the world around them. These skills will benefit them as they approach
real world problems throughout life. Social justice will be an excellent way for
me to increase engagement in my classroom while promoting good reading
and writing strategies. (Tompkins, 2012. Chapter 1.)
Information Processing is the last theory that supports my beliefs for
how children learn literacy best. David Rumelhart was a main theorist behind
this framework. He believed in the two-way flow of information from how we
interpret things to how we comprehend them. This idea was between
process and comprehension. Because I believe that comprehension is one of
the most important parts of reading this framework is applicable to my
teaching. Rumelhart believed that students must be engaged in their
learning before they could use cognitive strategies, mental operations, and
their meaning-making process. Once this occurs students will begin thinking
about their learning (metacognition). When children are engaged with
reading, writing, and words, they will start processing this information to
make sense. The Information Processing theory supports the differing

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interpretations when reading. When children are engaged with their learning,
their responses to reading will deepen and more connections will grow. I
believe if students are comprehending what they are doing they will be able
to use the strategies we want them to be successful (Tompkins, 2014.
Chapter 1.) A
Assessments and Feedback
To ensure student learning, I plan to assess my students formally and
informally throughout the year in reading, writing, and word study very
similar to that of their third grade year. I will begin the year by administering
the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment. This will assess accuracy,
fluency, comprehension, and reading response. Even though this was
administered at the end of 3rd grade, I want to ensure students reading
benchmarks and abilities. I will begin with giving a running record. There
accuracy rate will help to identify where students independent reading level
is. I will also be able to make observations about the different cueing
systems students use when self-correcting. From this assessment I will also
be able to assess fluency scores. This will give me an idea about how
smoothly the students read. I will also be able to determine the students
reading rate (how many words they read per minute). The final process of
this benchmark assessment will be to have a comprehension conversation.
This will inform me how well the students are understanding what is going on
in the story. I would also like to asses students reading responses by asking
them to summarize what they learned from the story. I will administer this

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test in the beginning, middle, and end of 4th grade. This is one formal way I
will assess students reading abilities. Through this formal administration I will
also be able to monitor the goals I set for my students. Students can also set
goals for themselves in accuracy, fluency, comprehension, and reading
responses.
Another formal way I will assess children in reading is by using an
independent reading assessment. This will assess fluency, comprehension,
quality of text, and how the student responds to literature. I will use this
when students are independently reading. My goal will be to use this
assessment once a week to ensure students are reading books appropriate
for their independent reading level while using effective reading strategies. I
will track the students miscues while asking them to read aloud, and
formulate their accuracy rate. While listening to the student read I will also
assess their fluency. I will listen for expression, and responsiveness to
punctuation and dialogue. I will then assess comprehension by asking the
students questions about what they are reading. This will help me to ensure
students are using reading strategies and being metacognitive during this
process. I will ask them to tell me major events, and what they have noticed
so far about the characters and their motives ( CCSS.4.RS.3). This will also
help address my goal stated above with having students socially interact and
collaborate about what their reading.
A more informal way I will assess childrens reading progression and
understanding is through a reading continuum. This will help me to assess

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students thinking about the characters in fiction texts. This will also be a way
for me to assess speaking and listening standards in the Common Core State
Standards. The specific standard that aligns with this is CCSS.4.SL.1. I will
ask the children to first assess themselves based on their level of thinking in
inferring about characters, interpretations, and evidence. I will then assess
which level I believe the children belong too. This will be great for future goal
setting (The Reading and Writing Project 2012, K-8 Literature Reading
Continuum).
Another informal way I will assess is through a daily reading log. This
will help me to assess attitudes and interests of the child. This log will require
children to write the title of their book, how many pages read, for how many
minutes, and its rate. The log will also require parent initials to ensure
reading is occurring at home. I will also look to the childrens reading
notebooks to informally assess them. These notebooks will have reading lists
that will inform me what the child is reading and how much of the text they
are reading. These will also allow me to informally assess reader responses
to their books. Based on the data, reader responses needed developing so it
would be powerful to use these journals as a form of informal assessment to
measure progress.
I will also be conferring with students during independent and guided
reading time. During independent reading I will use an anecdotal note sheet.
This assessing will be brief and will allow me to check in with all of my
students throughout the week. I will have a conversation with each child

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about their reading and give them a compliment, then a teaching point. The
teaching point will be what the child can work on for next time. This open
conversation will allow children to organize their thoughts about their
reading, and set goals for more strategies they could work on.
I plan to also assess students writing throughout the year both formally
and informally. I will begin the year by asking the students to create a
narrative writing piece. I will then use the rubric for narrative writing from
the Teachers College to assess each category; structure, development, and
language conventions. After I have assessed these pieces of writing I will
give feedback to the students so they know what they did well at, and what
they can improve. I will assess writing using this rubric at the beginning and
the end of units. For example, I will assess at the beginning of the narrative
unit, and at the end. I will do the same for opinion and informational writing.
A more informal way I will assess writing is through writing
journals/writers notebooks. This will assess students development of ideas,
interests and attitudes. Students will write in these daily during their
independent work time. I will give written feedback on each students
response. These notebooks will help me to determine how students are
collecting and expanding upon ideas. I will be assessing more for ideas
rather than spelling. Another informal way of assessing writing will be
through anecdotal notes during independent writing time. Like in reading,
this will be a conversation between the student and me about what they are
doing well and what they could improve upon.

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I will assess word study using Words Their Way Spelling Inventory. I
would use this formal assessment in the beginning, middle, and end of the
school year. This will help me to know how well the students are using within
word patterns and deriving root words.
I will informally assess word study also through weekly word sorts. I will
assess how the children use spelling patterns accurately. I will look for these
accurate spellings and usages in all disciplinary areas. Students will be
successful when they can use new words in their speaking, reading, and
writing.
I will also assess students word study notebooks. These notebooks will
be divided into homonyms, double consonants, words with inflectional
endings, and words with affixes. There will also be a vocabulary section that
students will use during interactive vocabulary in the word study block. I will
be able to informally assess these to see if students are using these as a tool
during the word study block. I can provide feedback by writing notes and
observations to the students in their notebooks.
When assessing vocabulary development I will use observation forms
and anecdotal notes during class discussions. Like addressed above,
students will be successful when they can use new words in their speaking.
Strategies/Skills/Concepts
There are many strategies that I want my students to obtain in their 4th
grade year. Comprehension is crucial to successful and meaningful reading.

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One strategy I want my students to be strong in is making connections.


Readers need to search for how two or more things are related and how that
allows them to better understand the text. Information Processing supports
that in order for students to become interactive with the text they must
make meaning of it. This is exactly what I want to teach my students to do. I
want my students to make text-self, text-world, and text-world connections.
Students will have a deeper understanding of what they are reading if they
can make these connections. Text-world connections will help students to
understand social justice issues (Fountas and Pinnell, 2001).
Another strategy I want my students to do is to analyze texts. This
comprehension strategy will allow students to assess what they are reading
in both fiction and nonfiction texts. This is an important skill because children
will learn to break apart a text and closely examine it to achieve greater
understanding. This strategy will be applicable to this group of 4th graders
because of some weakness in comprehension. I want students to be able to
respond to what they are reading based on how they analyzed/interpreted
what they read. I want students also to be able to judge a book and consider
accurate information; known as critiquing. These skills will include evaluating
if the text is organized appropriately, if it interests them, and question the
information. The strategy of critiquing will help guide students when reading
about social justice issues. They can form opinions and back these with
examples and questions from the text. This will also assist in opinion and
informational writing. Students can read about topics/issues then use these

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ideas to formulate their own opinions in writing. They can also cite their
sources from these texts in informative writing. This skill will also help guide
students in literature circles. Through analysis and critiquing skills, students
can break down a text and discover how they understand the information
and how they feel. Students will also be able to use information from texts to
support their reasoning during discussion. These understandings also
connect to Information Processing because students are consciously using
these strategies to assess a text. (Fountas and Pinnell, 2001).
Another comprehension strategy I want my students to know and be
able to do is predicting. This strategy will be helpful to readers who might be
apprehensive towards reading. This strategy would be helpful because these
readers could create images in their minds that keep them guessing what
might come next in the book, pushing them to read more. Predicting allows
the reader to foreshadow what is coming next. It keeps the reader engaged
and allows them to assess if there predictions were right and why. Predicting
even allows readers to ask themselves questions in their heads, why is this
happening? Then form those questions into predictions, I think this is
happening because (Fountas and Pinnell, 2001).
I also want my students to be successful in meeting the Common Core
State Standards by the end of 4th grade in reading. One specific strategy
when reading is the ability to use self-monitoring when reading in both
narrative and informational texts. Based on the CCSS students should be
able to refer to details in a text, describe characters, settings, and events.

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One way to self-monitor during reading is to ask questions while reading to


check for understanding. When the reader asks themselves, whats going on
in the story? Who are the characters? Where does this story take place?
(CCSS.RL.4.1/3). The strategy of self-monitoring will help assist with students
comprehension. When students can self-monitor regularly when reading they
can even begin to use the strategy of re-reading a text to find these answers
theyre thinking about.
I believe that students should be metacognitive when reading. This will
allow them to use all of these strategies when reading. When students are
consciously thinking about how their brains are putting these strategies to
use they are becoming reflective. For example, if a reader becomes confused
when reading they can use the strategy of self-monitoring which is a
metacognitive strategy. For the students in my 4th grade class, becoming
metacognitive readers will be crucial to comprehension. Based on the data,
comprehension is a diagnosed need that the children will have, so scaffolding
how to become metacognitive when reading will be necessary. This will also
help improve reader responses. According to the data, students scored low in
this area at the end of their third grade year. If students are using
metacognition strategies to understand more of what they are reading they
will be better equipped to respond to their reading in written response form
(Tompkins, 2014). Metacognition will assist in word study too. If students
come to a word they dont know they can use their reading strategies to help
assist them. This will eliminate children decoding for too long to find the

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meaning of a word. If students have strategies they can use when they come
to a word they dont know, they will maintain comprehension and have
better fluency.
If students use these metacognitive strategies they will be able to
confidently navigate any fiction or nonfiction text. When navigating fiction
texts I want my fourth graders to understand how to read all of the difference
genres; traditional literature, fantasy, science fiction, realistic fiction, and
historical fiction. They will also understand the varying elements of fiction,
some of which being, characters, plot, setting, perspective, and more.
Students will be able to understand how to read these texts if they use
metacognitive strategies. When navigating nonfiction I want my students to
be able to identify the structural patterns to gain the most meaning.
Especially when my students are doing research or reading about social
justice issues, I want them to effectively determine whether the text is a
comparison/contrast, cause/effect, or problem/solution style. As the
classroom teacher I will ensure to provide proper scaffolding for each of
these types of text along with text sets for nonfiction.
Writing is interconnected to reading because students are becoming
the authors. When students read they are being exposed to different
concepts such as word choice and phrasing structure, perspective, and more.
When the student then begins to write they can think about the books they
are reading and how it will guide them in being an effective writer. This again

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connects back to metacognition because the writer is thinking about how to


process their words to make sense.
Writing types that I will help my students achieve are the ability to
successfully construct narrative, opinion, and informational pieces. Based on
my data, narrative writing was the strongest for this group of children. I will
work to further assist these children in narrative writing so that they can
reach my goal of being in the self-extending stage. For those who are already
there, I will assist them in reaching the advanced writing stage. Students
must have the skills in place to create narrative writing stories that include
descriptive details, correct sequencing, and dialogue. Narrative writing must
be clear and organized for the authentic audience (CCSS.W.4.3.). Like
discussed in the assessment portion, I will help them progress in structure,
development, and language conventions to create strong narrative writing
Pieces ( Gleason Handout, Learning Progression for Narrative Writing). Grade
level skills that students will work on within the structure of their piece that
will be assessed will be overall, lead, transitions, ending, and organization. In
the development of their writing they will use elaboration and craft. Students
will also need proficient skill in spelling punctuation in the language and
conventions section (Gleason Handout, Learning Progression for Narrative
Writing). The language conventions I will be able to differentiate needs for
these students based on their narrative writings. For example, one student
may need to work on his organization skills in the structure section, while
another may need more guidance in elaboration in the development portion.

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I will also be able to see common trends and target my mini lessons around
skills or strategies all students need work on in narrative writing.
Opinion writing is another type of writing that these 4th graders will
construct. Based on the data this type of writing was not as strong as
narrative writing, so I will need to work on skills and strategies to get the
students to a proficient point or self-extending. When reading and discussing
social justice issues it will be imperative for students to form opinions so that
they can create strong opinion pieces. Students will need to have the skills
to write this way so that they can support their arguments or ideas with
evidence. According to the CCSS students will give reasoning and support
their thinking with facts and details. (CCSS.W.4.1). Similar to narrative
writing, students will need the skills and strategies to work on all areas of
progress: structure, development, and language conventions. Also similar to
narrative writing, students will need to know grade level skills in each section
to successfully create opinion pieces. The differing sub-sections within these
areas will be assessed so that I can create lessons based around student
needs (Gleason Handout, Learning Progression for Opinion Writing).
The last writing type that I want my students to be successful at is
informative writing. According to the data this was the area needed for most
development for these 4th graders. According to the Common Core, students
will be able to convey ideas clearly by using facts and concrete details to
support their ideas (CCSS.W.4.2). This type of writing will require explicit
demonstration and support as to how to include facts within their own

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writing. When writing about social justice issues, these writers will have to
explain to their authentic audiences the issue while including the sub issues
and details. This will require deep understanding and metacognition for the
writer. My students will have to actively apply the skills and strategies they
learned in reading and in writing to support their thinking. Because students
will need to the same skills that are found in the narrative and opinion rubric,
they will also have to be metacognitive about how to differentiate all three
types of writing. (Gleason Handout, Learning Progression for Informative
Writing).
Another process for writers in my classroom will to be effectively use
the writing process. The ability to brainstorm, draft, revise, and create a
presentation piece are all skills I will want my writers to know and be able to
do. These skills are important because they allow writers to have purpose for
their writing and take pride in what they do. According to the CCSS this
process is known as planning, revising, and editing (CCSS.W.4.5).
According to Fountas and Pinnell this process is extremely detailed.
The first stage is a brainstorming which involves getting down on paper
everything students know about a topic. This could be done in many different
forms including graphic organizers, mind maps, or bulleting. I will then want
my fourth graders to begin drafting. Students will have an authentic
audience and begin to develop ideas and organize their thoughts. In this
stage students will work on details and their language use. My fourth graders
will then edit and proofread for conventions- grammar, spelling,

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capitalization and punctuation. After this they will publish their work with
formal editing (Fountas and Pinnell, 2001). Students will become
metacognitive about these varying writing processes. Sociolinguistics will
also help writers achieve these writing process skills by having students
generate ideas to create their writing, then peer edit one another. Other
students in the classroom can even serve as the more expert other during
the writing process.
Based on the data all children were in the within-word pattern stage of
word development. Because of this I will tentatively plan to work on word
study skills in this range and in the goal range of syllables and affixes. I will
differentiate concepts for students who are in the within-word pattern stage
and syllables and affix stage. Students in the within word pattern stage will
learn and understand the concepts of consonant blends, short vowels, long
vowel patterns, and r-influenced vowel patterns. Another skill that I would
like my students in the within-word pattern stage to acquire is the ability to
differentiate homophones and homonyms (Bear, 2012).
Once students are in the syllables and affix stage they will begin to
become more advanced in word study. A strategy that will help students in
decoding unfamiliar words is morphemic analysis. This is a powerful tool
used for vocabulary development and figuring out unfamiliar words. I want
students to look if there is a prefix or suffix in a word so they can take it off
and find the base word. This will also impact the students vocabulary
knowledge if they are able to derive roots/ find the base word to find the

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words meaning. When this process is understood students fluency and


accuracy rates will not slow down when students come to a word they dont
know ( CCSS.L.4.4). Based on the data, fluency rates were low, so increasing
word knowledge and strategies to decode words faster may increase fluency
( Bear, 2012).
Another skill I would like these students to be able to use in the
syllables and affix stage is to decode these words is how to identify
inflectional endings. Students will need to know that these suffixes change
the tense of the word but not its meaning. Derivational endings is another
skill students will have to learn when decoding. Unlike inflectional endings,
derivational endings can affect words meaning. Both of these word study
skills will have to be modeled so students can then work on approaching
these types of words ( Bear, 2012).
Navigating dictionaries is a strategy I want my 4th graders to use in
word study in all stages of development. This will allow children to look up
definitions and gain deeper knowledge about word meaning. This strategy
can only be used if students know how to then use the word in proper
context to see if it makes sense. I would not use dictionaries as the primary
source for unfamiliar vocabulary, but it is a tool to guide students in different
word meanings. My role will be to scaffold this process to ensure
understanding of how to find words and ensure their meaning in the context
(Bear, 2012).

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Another strategy to guide students in improving wordy study


knowledge is through the use of word sorts. Sorts can be used at any stage
of word development to help children see the relationships between words
and discover new word meanings. In my classroom I would have small
groupings for within-word pattern and syllables and affix stage. I will further
discuss this in my instructional strategies section.
Instructional Strategies
I will use the 3-block framework as my approach to teaching reading,
writing, and word study in the classroom. This framework will help foster the
routines in my classroom on a day to day basis while teaching the
skills/strategies/concepts needed for student success. This framework will
also allow me to differentiate learning by targeting my 4th graders needs.
Within this framework there is a balanced literacy approach, meaning there
is not writing without word study and not word study without reading and so
on. When reading, writing, and word study come together in the three-block
framework students are making connections between all three to benefit
their learning. During this framework children should have social interaction
through the use of collaboration, turn and talks, discourse, and more. This
framework will also allow room for analyzing social justice issues,
comprehension, and strengthening language skills.
My first block of the day will be reading. During reading students will
be exposed to a mini lesson where I explicitly teach a strategy or concept. I

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will scaffold the students by thinking aloud and getting them to begin
thinking about what I am asking them to do. I will gradually release this
responsibility by asking for participation, checking for understanding, then
sending the students off to work on their own. Students will have leveled
book boxes with several books at their books at their independent reading
level. Though, most of the students will be reading small chapter books so it
will be likely they will read the same book for the whole workshop hour.
During independent reading time students should be reading leveled books
to approximate the skill from the mini lesson. Independent reading will help
foster different approaches in the classroom such as small group
instruction/guided reading and literature circles.
I will begin the reading workshop block each day with a mini lesson.
The mini lesson will be centered on a specific strategy that I want students to
work on that day. The mini lesson will be carried out in a variety of different
ways to maintain engagement and a balanced approach. Some of these
options are read aloud, shared readings, reader responses, use of graphic
organizers to assess thinking, and more. I will typically use an easel during
my mini lesson as the focus point for the skill/strategy we are working on.
The mini lesson will be the highest level of support I give to the students
because I will be scaffolding what I am thinking. The goal is for the students
to then become metacognitive and begin thinking the way I am modeling.
While the mini lesson will be more explicit teaching, students will also get
opportunities to begin approximating through social interaction through the

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use of turn and talks. This will also be a time for me to begin checking for
understanding and analyzing different groupings I could create to reteach my
objective for the day. The students will then go off into independent reading
time with their book boxes to approximate the mini lesson strategy while
reading on their own.
Interactive read alouds will be practical and strategical selected in my
classroom for many reasons. Interactive read alouds as a mini lesson will
allow me to reach a specific strategy while applying to all disciplines. For
example, more advanced vocabulary will be exposed orally; which will be
useful in word study and writing. This instructional strategy will also allow
me to scaffold my students to get them to become metacognitive. This is
extremely effective because students can actively listen to the strategy
being used as I read. Interactive read alouds also allow for participation
through turn and talks. This is support by the sociolinguistics because
students are organizing their thoughts through language. Interactive read
alouds will be applied multiple times weekly during my balanced literacy
approach.
During independent reading there will be a variety of different things
happening on a day to day basis. I will use small group instruction to have
different groupings such as guided reading, and flexible needs based
groupings. I will also have literature circles which I will further explore below.
During guided reading there will be a book at the students instructional level
that we will work with to expand reading powers. During this time I will

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provide an introduction, activate prior knowledge, and give key vocabulary


so that children are prepared prior to reading (Jennifer Serravallo). I will have
several copies of the same book for children to read with me at their
instructional level. Reaching children in their zone of proximal development
will help me to maximize instruction and scaffold my students to think and
strategize on their own when reading. I will also have small flexible needs
based groups to assist working on different strategies such as fluency,
accuracy, and next level readers.
During reading I will group children according to what strategy I believe
they need more work on. Based on the data from the students 3rd grade year,
I would begin the year creating guided reading groupings based around
comprehension at first. Students with low comprehension after reassessing in
the beginning of the year would meet with me to further improve upon that
strategy in guided reading group. I would still use a mini lesson to introduce
a book I could select at their level, then have teaching moments along the
way. This would assist in using metacognition to help with comprehension
when reading.
I would also have a flexible grouping geared towards increasing
fluency rates. Based on the data the children need explicit instruction on how
to put emphasis on phrases and read with expression. One way I could work
with these students is through reading poems. Poems will create
engagement because they are a different form of text aside from a book, and
they play with the use of words. Poems and other texts at the childs reading

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level could help students in recognizing words quickly and automatically so


that they can comprehend what they are reading (Tompkins, 2014).
Another flexible grouping I would have is preparing students for a next
level text. For example, if I had four students ready to move onto a reading
level M I would group them to discuss the differences from an L to an M.
During this time we would discuss how the structure, vocabulary, and ideas
change (Jennifer Servallo). This would likely have to be done for nonfiction
and fiction texts because of their vast differences. This pre-exposure to a
next level text will allow children to start using those metacognitive skills.
Literature circles will be another flexible grouping during independent
reading time that will allow for differentiation. Looking ahead, this would not
be a form of instruction I would use until routines were strongly set in place.
Also, I would want to be confident students have the skills and strategies in
place to analyze and connect with a text. Ideally I would begin literature
circles around February. These will only increase student motivation in my
classroom due to student choice and interest based groupings. Strong
expectations, modeling, and routines would have to be set in place in order
for students to understand the collaboration and purpose of literature circles.
Literature circles would allow students to consciously use the reading
strategies they have learned such as analyzing, critiquing, predicting, and
more. They can then use language to organize their thinking with their peers
through collaboration. This is another way of differentiating instruction for
students. I would give the students choice in what book to select but ensure

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it was at their reading level. Looking at the data, I can start to think about
how I would create these groupings. Having a few more expert others within
these groupings could be beneficial to student learning and use of language.
It would also be beneficial to overall motivation and community building.
Students will work in small heterogeneous groups according to the book they
have selected. I would have all of the students begin by reading the same
book. Once I was confident students understood literature circles I would
open it up to having them read books by the same author or illustrator. There
will be different ranges of text level and type for students to choose from.
(Fountas and Pinnell, 2001 Chapter2).
During the reading workshop block conferring with students would
allow me to monitor their progress as mentioned above in how I will assess
students. Conferring will keep students motivated because it will show my
admiration for their reading progress. Conferring with students during
independent reading time will be very conversation based and nonthreatening. It will help me to ensure students are understanding what they
are reading and engaging with the text. Conferring is extremely
individualized so it provides for differentiation between students. Like
mentioned above in the assessment section, I will have an anecdotal note
sheet that will allow me to note observations about the student during
independent work time. Each student will likely have different
skills/strategies they need to work on, so this will be the time to address
those needs and observe their progress over time. When I confer with small

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groups such as literature circles, I will do more observing unless the students
seem to be struggling. After their conversations I will confer with them and
we will discuss strengths and areas for improvement.
During writing workshop in the three-block framework students are
planning/brain storming, composing, revising, and sharing in their writing
journals. Like reading, students also need to be metacognitive when writing.
Because writing involves many skills, strategies, and concepts metacognition
must be actively used. Students will need to think about each part of the
writing process and apply what they know to create successful writing
compositions. Students also need to go through a problem solving process to
create their compositions. When students use a problem-solving method in
writing they can think about how they are going to write it ( brainstorming),
how they are going to do it ( composing), how they can rethink and add more
( revising/editing), and how they can share with others, ( publishing). This
will make their writing applicable to the real world.
Children learn to write best by actually writing. They need time set
aside specifically for writing, showing that we value their work. This will
evoke student motivation because students will feel that they need to take
ownership of their compositions due to their authentic audiences. One of my
goals was to have children writing to authentic audiences, which ensures
that children know they are writing for a purpose. For example, if a student is
writing about lunch options it would be useful to gear that writing perhaps to
the school board or National School Lunch Program board. This will foster

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motivation and will be practical for solving or approaching real world


problems. Social justice issues would also be applied to authentic audiences.
Overall authentic audiences will adopt a positive relationship for writing for
my children by ensuring all my students know they are writers. A successful
writing workshop will have independent, guided, and investigative/research
work. Students learn best when they can share ideas about their writing
through oral communication (Fountas and Pinnell,2001. Chapter 2.)
I will begin the writing workshop, just like reading with a mini-lesson.
There will be different approaches I will take during the mini lesson like
analyzing text from a book, use of graphic organizers, and shared writing.
This mini lesson would be projected on an easel or SMART board. There will
be a specific objective for the day that students will get to approximate in
independent writing time. I will scaffold my thinking and give children the
highest level of support to show them what I mean. This is where I would
explicitly model what I am doing. I would begin with the highest amount of
support, then with participation and understanding I would slowly release the
scaffold. During the mini lesson I will also set the context for who the
childrens authentic audience is. This will promote engagement and
perseverance for the children during independent writing time ( Fountas and
Pinnell, 2001).

I will use the CCSS to develop my objectives for each mini lesson prior
to independent writing. Throughout the year we will focus on text and
purposes, production and distribution of writing, research to build and

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present knowledge, and range of writing (Common Core State Standards for
Writing K-5). I will form groupings based on students needs in these areas.
One guided writing grouping I could form to differentiate based on the data is
how to write informatively. This grouping would focus on how we use facts
and details from research to creating these writing pieces. During this time I
will use students zone of proximal development to take their writing from
where it is, to where it can be with my assistance. Sociolinguistics would
support this strategy because this needs based group would allow for
authentic social experiences during writing with peers and myself.
During the writing workshop students will likely be in different stages
of their writing. I can use this to my advantage to create flexible strategy
groupings for my 4th graders as I notice assistance needed. Because I have
never seen their actual writing I cannot say specifically what groupings I
would create based on structure, development, and language, but I can
consider possible options. If a couple of students are struggling with endings
in narrative writing I could pull them together as a strategy group to reach
their zone of proximal development. I would use flexible groupings in all
areas of the writing process to meet students diverse needs.
Another way I can differentiate to meet students needs would be to
form a brainstorming grouping. This could be for apprehensive writers or
writers who may need more motivation. I would work on helping these
students visualize through the use of organizational tools such as graphic
organizers or mind maps. This would be specifically helpful for my 4th graders

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who struggle to write informational pieces. I could also have a grouping


based solely on research strategies. If students are struggling to write
informational texts, they may be struggling how to research properly. Again,
the use of graphic organizers and visuals may help these students. Guiding
the students at their zone of proximal development will increase their writing
abilities.
During independent writing time, I will be also conferring with students
to monitor their development and where they are in their writing approach
(planning, editing, and revising). Similar to reading, I will use an anecdotal
note sheet to monitor progress in independent writing and differentiation. All
students will likely be in different stages of their writing, so I will have to
provide feedback accordingly. Students will also be in different
developmental stages so this will provide me with the opportunity to focus
on individual students needs at that time. There will be time built into the
writing block for students to share their work with a partner and give ideas,
peer edit, and begin to revise. It will be helpful for students to interact and
collaborate about ideas; this is based off of sociolinguistics. In addition to
being supported by sociolinguistics, collaboration with peers with increase
student motivation and engagement.
I will begin the word study block with a community meeting. This will
be focused on language skills and strategies for how to interact in groups.
Some ways that we will start the block will be interactive edits, poetry
reading, interactive vocabulary, and handwriting. My role during interactive

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edits will be to explicitly demonstrate the process of editing. I will likely do


this as a whole class or with small needs based groups. I will focus on
mistakes I see students commonly making in their writing and we will fix
these as a group.
Based on my analysis of the data, I can infer that I will have to
differentiate word study because of levels varying from with-word pattern to
syllables and affixes. Students will mostly be working in pairs or at their
pods during the word study block because of the importance of language in
this block. Collaboration between peers will give authentic learning
experiences and conversations centered on these words. New words will also
be used orally in context. This reflects my goals for the students; students
will be successful when they can use new words in interchanging disciplinary
areas ( Fountas and Pinnell, 2001).
For students to strategically use these vocabulary words they will need
to be proficient in word sorting; another strategy used during the word study
block. I will provide students with words from both areas; within-word pattern
and syllables and affix stage. For example, students at the within-word
pattern stage may be sorting long vowel words, while students in the
syllables and affix stage may be sorting words with inflectional endings. I will
have the students create open sorts, meaning they will categorize the words
according to similarities. This will allow children to take ownership of their
own vocabulary and explore these words and their meanings. Students will
be able to recognize commonalities among these words in order to speak,

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write, and read these words fluently. Once students have sorted their words,
they will participate in different activities to use these words in context.
These will include partner activities that require the students to use the word
orally and in writing. The use of approximation and support from
sociolinguistics will assist children in creating deeper meaning for words.
Using word sorts as a strategy of learning vocabulary will be beneficial to
students knowledge of words. (Fountas and Pinnell, 2001).
Students will gain knowledge about words from other blocks as well.
Word study will have to be integrated into both reading and writing, and
taught explicitly. To increase students skills in enhancing vocabulary
development, I will have to be tactical so that students can use their
knowledge of new words across disciplines. Like mentioned above, I will use
interactive read alouds to expose students to new words. For example an
interactive read aloud will expose children to more advanced vocabulary and
phrasing. Interactive read alouds are also engaging and will increase
students interest and motivation. In writing students will get exposure
through interactive editing and modeled writing. While I will have a specific
block for word study, it will be most beneficial when integrated into all
disciplinary areas. During the language and word study block students
benefit from the way words work and their meanings. Wordy study block will
also expose students to rich vocabulary and give them opportunities to
interact. It involves the processes of both decoding and deriving. Without

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both of these processes students could not read words and make meaning of
them (Fountas and Pinnell, 2001).
Classroom Design
My classroom will be set up very strategically to provide the best
environment for students to thrive. Based on my beliefs, it will be crucial that
students are comfortable in my classroom so that they can take risks.
There will be coat racks outside of the classroom for children to hang
up their belongings. When they walk in their will be a table right in the entry
of my classroom where students can turn in their homework into baskets. I
will also have the SMART board up so that children can select their lunch
choice if they have hot lunch. They will then have morning work to do that
they will get started on right away.
The students desks will be arranged in pods in the center of the room.
These pods will support my beliefs through theory of sociolinguistics.
Students will be heterogeneously arranged in each pod. This is where
students will do their independent reading and writing. During this time the
room will be mostly silent, aside from me conferring with students. Students
will have opportunities to communicate during the sharing portion of the
workshops.
There will be a center carpet area for the students where all of the mini
lesson will take place. In front of the carpet will be an easel and a SMART
board. Surrounding the walls will be anchor charts made during mini lessons

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that students can refer to at all times throughout the day. There will also be
student work hanging to represent my admiration for the students hard work
and perseverance. I will also have a word-wall for students to refer to
throughout their day. This wall will include common long vowel words, rinfluenced words, inflectional endings, derivational suffixes, and other
common misspelled words.
I will also have a kidney table in a corner of my room for guided
reading, writing, and word study. This will be an area for me to work with
students zone of proximal development. All of my materials such as guided
reading texts, magnetic letters for manipulating words, and additional word
sorts will be readily available in this area.
When students meet with a partner during the reading and writing
workshop, as well as in word study, students will have a choice about where
they would like to meet. Options will include their desks, a clear area on the
floor, or any other section of the room that is available. Expectations will be
set to ensure that where they are working is conducive and comfortable.
There will also be a classroom library. This area will have bins with
various text genres clearly labeled by level. This is also where I will keep text
sets both fiction and nonfiction. These materials will be available during all
disciplines. There will also be a bin that has Ms. Checkers must reads.
These will be novels or nonfiction texts that I believe others should read. I
will provide a brief description as to why I liked that book so much. This will

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encourage children to pass along books they like to their friends and family
too. In the classroom library there will also be the students published
writings for all students to read. Nearby the library there will be shelves with
students just right book boxes with their name.
Having a comfortable and safe environment will allow students to
reach my goals throughout the year.

Professional Development Plan


My implications throughout my plan for student learning are evident.
My beliefs supported by theory are represent well throughout this plan to
ensure my goals are met for my 4th grade class. There are areas of strength,
as well as areas for development.
My students will be directly immersed in literacy based on my plan
through the 3-block framework and overall classroom environment. My plan
will allow for children to not only become immersed in literacy, but become
engaged and persevere in reading, writing, and word study. Students will be
able to approximate all of the new skills/strategies/and concepts in a stressfree environment. Because of the classroom set up and instructional
strategies they will have authentic conversations with peers to organize their
thoughts.

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I predict that all students will have met, if not well on their way to
reaching my goals set in reading, writing, and word study. More importantly,
they will have the skills established that they need to continue growing as
readers and writers. Because of the integration in all three blocks, I can infer
that students will grow in all disciplinary areas. I will know that my students
are successful if they can read, write, and speak while using the skills and
concepts learned daily.
An area of strength in my literacy plan are the assessments I plan to
use to ensure student success. I believe this is critical to have these
addressed prior to lesson/unit planning. I will know what I will use to assess
students both formally and informally in reading, writing, and word study. I
will monitor students by checking for understanding on a day to day basis.
This will provide me direct feedback as to what the students need to work on
and improve prior to a more summative assessment.
Another strength of my plan are my instructional strategies. I believe
this section provides detail as to how routines will run in my classroom based
on the three-block framework. I designed this section to be very fluid in the
sense that all three blocks are important and seen as integrated into all
disciplines. The three-block framework supports Vygotksys Theory.
Scaffolding will be used during mini lessons and guided reading to support
student learning through modeling my thinking. This will encourage
metacognition and increase comprehension. I will also be able to support
childrens zone of proximal development during conferring and guided

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reading. Because of the pods and social interactions throughout my


workshops, students will also serve as more expert others. Social Justice
Issues will also be addressed through use of the three-block framework.
Students will have experiences using text sets based around differing issues
in their community (for example natural resources). They will get authentic
conversations, as well as have authentic audiences to write to.
An area of development in my plan would be on the concepts/skills/and
strategies. I believe I could strengthen these to ensure student success. After
assessing student knowledge again in the beginning of the year I feel I could
better determine what the students need to know. I could improve this
portion by reaching out to my colleagues to see what they have planned.

Works Cited

Bear, D (2012). Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and
Spelling Instruction (5th Ed.) Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson
Fountas, I. C. (2001). Teaching comprehension, genre, and content literacy:
Guiding readers and
writers grade 3-6. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Gleason, R. ( 2015). ED 345 Handouts: Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark
Assessment System, OASD Instructional Guided Reading Levels, Building an
Effective Writing Process Over Time, The Reading and Writing Project 2012, K8 Literature Reading Continuum, Learning Progression for Narrative Writing.
Tompkins, (2010). Literacy for the 21st Century: A Balance Approach. Boston:
Pearson
Education.

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Wood, C. (2012). Yardsticks children in the classroom (3rd Ed.)