This is a comprehensive case study centered around the student that I focused my tutoring work with, language arts based, and their achievement with the assessments. It also touches on potential activities and support that was used as additional support to further enhance the student’s understanding of English and language arts.
|Examiner||Ms. Melanie Gin|
|Dates of Evaluation||12 September 2018 to – 5 December 2018|
|Student Birthdate||21 December 2007|
|School||Glen Lea Elementary School|
Reason for the Intervention
Razae was referred to the tutoring program based on his past performance within school and his previous tests scores. The reading specialist that he sees had concerns as Razae was not meeting grade level-based expectations, and was performing below grade level, by several grades, in regards to language arts, reading, and writing content. He qualified for this tutoring support based upon his low Standards of Learning (SOL) score in reading in fourth grade.
Razae worked diligently during the administration of tests and assessments, for the most part. At times he needed additional prompting to stay on task but was otherwise very responsive and alert to what was being asked of him. He was very calm during the actual testing and understood that the evaluations were all put in place to better help his tutor understand how she could help him with his language arts skills. The scores and results on the tests are deemed to be the fruits of Razae’s best efforts.
This was Razae’s fifth school year attending Glen Lea Elementary. He has progressed through school accordingly, but has issues in certain areas like language arts. Razae has an IEP and is a part of a collaboration based, inclusionary class. He receives additional support via special education as noted by his IEP. Such assistance includes seeing various specialists, like the special education teacher and the reading specialists, as well as accommodations for learning, like being in a separate environment when required to take a test.
Razae is currently a participate in the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) master’s of elementary education tutoring program. This program works to support Razae and his learning in the areas of reading, writing, and spelling. During tutoring, which takes place twice a week for forty-five minutes in the morning during the fall, Razae receives one-on-one work time with his tutor, a VCU Master’s of Teaching graduate student. During each tutoring session, Razae works with several different areas of language arts, including; word work, new and familiar readings, and writing. Permission from the student’s legal guardian(s) was obtained before the start of the fall program.
A personal interview was conducted by the tutor with Razae to learn more about his personal life, school life, experiences, and interests. From the interview, Razae shared that he lives with both of his parents, though they live separately, and gets to see them both each day after school for a set amount of time. He has five brothers and two sisters, and is considered the “baby of the family.” Razae enjoys playing video games, especially Fortnite, playing outside with his best friend Jelend, and spending time with his family. His favorite subject in school is math, and has also mentioned he enjoys science too. Conversely, Razae mentioned that he has issues with writing and does not like to read much in school.
Razae partook in a survey, the Elementary Reading Attitude Survey, to gauge his feelings about reading. The survey found that Razae has indicated that he has little interest in reading for recreation or at home, but does have a rather high interest in reading in school and for activities in class. He has an interest in working with readings and workbooks in class and his academic subtest was within the 71st percentile. On the other hand, Razae indicated disdain for reading recreationally. He had negative feelings about reading at home, no matter the day or the weather, and disliked the idea of receiving a book for a present. His recreational subtest score was very low compared to his academic one at only the 6th percentile. Razae’s full scale score was within the 26th percentile, showing that his has a distinctive lack of motivation for reading. While in class, Razae does not mind reading and made notion towards enjoying it, but would rather engage in different things during his free time.
Results of Assessment
Yopp-Singer Test, 19 of 22 – 86%
Razae scored fairly well with the Yopp-Singer assessment, scoring a solid 19 out of 22 on this phonemic segmentation test. He had little problems with identifying the phonemes in any of the words, no matter the number of phonemes within the word, save for those that are ‘r blends’ ones. It is with the ‘r blends’ that Razae had issues and seemed to break them down into perceived onsets and rimes, segmenting both the words ‘grew’ and ‘three’ into /g//rew/ and /th//ree/ respectively.
Bryant Psuedoword Decoding Test
Razae was able to correctly decode 17 of the 35 words featured within this assessment. This placed him on a second-grade level, his score of seventeen words correct fitting into the norm and its standard deviation on this level. Though he does not necessarily struggle with sounding out phonemes and sounds in words, the concept of trying to say words that were not real seemed to affect how well Razae was able to decode each individual word. For the most part, there is not consistency within the mistakes he made, they are all varied, though short and long vowel sounds are a prevalent feature within these mistakes.
Words Their Way Elementary Spelling Inventory
Feature Points: 24
Words Spelled Correctly: 2/25
Spelling Stage: Late Letter Name-Alphabetic
|Known||Using but Confusing||Absent|
|– Initial and final consonants
– Short vowels
– Other vowels
|– Common long vowels
– Inflected endings
– Syllable junctures
– Unaccented final syllables
– Advanced affixes
– Bases/ roots
Razae was able to correctly spell 2 of the 25 words presented in the spelling inventory assessment. Further analysis of his spellings indicates that he is at a late stage in the Letter Name-Alphabetic stage. He correctly identified all initial and final consonant sounds. He also has a grasp on short vowels, scoring a five out of five with this feature. Razae is “using but confusing” blends with five out of seven correct, digraphs with three out of six correct, and other vowels with two out of seven correct. An example of a correct use of a digraph would be with shopping in which Razae spelled it ‘shoping’, able to recognize the digraph but unable to identify the inflected ending, but spelled ‘shower’ as ‘solwr’. For a blend, an example would be with float in which Razae spelled it ‘flot’ and for other vowels, fortune which he spelled ‘fornit’. He exhibited using both the different features but had others that were absent. Common long vowels, inflected endings, syllable junctures, unaccented final syllables, advanced affixes, and bases or roots are absent from Razae’s spelling.
Qualitative Reading Inventory
Word Lists Results: Identified Automatically Identified
|Pre-Primer 1||17/17, 100%||17/17, 100%|
|Pre-Primer 2/3||17/20, 85%||19/20, 95%|
|Primer||16/20, 80%||19/20, 95%|
|First||16/20, 80%||17/20, 85%|
|Second||11/20, 55%||12/20, 60%|
|Third||5/20, 25%||5/20, 25%|
|Type of Text||Oral Reading
(Number of Ideas/Rating)
|Total Accuracy 97%, Independent||111 WPM||2/5 ideas
LB 4/5 correct
People at Work
|Expository||Total Accuracy 98%, Independent||123 WPM||N/A||0/5 correct
|75 WPM||5/24 ideas
LB 5/6 correct
How Does Your Body Take in Oxygen?
Overall Instructional Level:
Razae was able to identify 100% of the pre-primer 1 words, without any errors. He was able to identify 95% of the pre-primer 2/3 words with two self-correction. With the primer words, Razae identified 95% of the words and made three self-corrections, and for first he could identify 85% of the words with one he self-corrected. For both the second and third words, Razae fell below the 70% frustration level with his identifications. Razae worked hard to decode words that he did not recognize in the various list, often using letter combinations he recognized to guess what an unknown word was. For example, he guessed the word thought as together, looking at the ‘th’ and the ‘g’ and thinking of words in which he knew those letters existed together. Overall, Razae kept focus and did his best with the word work. His instructional level falls within first.
Razae was instructional on the level one passage with his accuracy and comprehension. He fell just below the instructional level for fifth graders for reading rate during the fall, having 75 wpm while the rate is 80-130 wpm. His reading was solid and his comprehension showed that he did understand, in depth, what the passage had been about. For both the pre-primer 1 and pre-primer 2 passages, Razae’s reading rate and accuracy were instructional or independent. His comprehension for pre-primer 1 was instructional, however for pre-primer 2 his comprehension was at the frustration level. He had little issue with reading the words, only having problems with a few, unfamiliar ones from each passage. But while his reading was quick, and rather fluent, Razae’s comprehension was not. He had some issues trying to recall exact details from the passage, instead focusing more on the bigger, broad idea of the passage when answering comprehension questions. For the listening capacity, level five passage, Razae was within the frustration level for comprehension. He had difficulty trying to recall what the passage had detailed and what some of the words and vocabulary meant.
Composing & Written Expression: 1/4, Usage & Mechanics: 1/4
Razae wrote a one sentence narrative about the personal artifact that he brought to share with me, a basketball video game called NBA 2k17. His sentence showed little control or mastery over grammar or punctuation, lacking a capital letter for the beginning of the sentence little to no subject verb agreement. The writing shows little elaboration and no visible structure as it places multiple, different ideas into one, lone run-on sentence. However, it does have good focus and a central idea that is talked about within each of the details of the sentence. When we talked about it, Razae had plenty to share about the game, but when it came to writing he found he had difficulty trying to get his thoughts translated down onto a paper medium.
Standardized Vocabulary Test
PPVT-4, Standard Score 76, Percentile Rank: 5, 95% Confidence Interval 69 to 84
Based on his performance, the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-4) gives indication that Razae is below his expected level of vocabulary acquisition by more than three years. This is a significant gap. Razae’s age, at the time of the test, was 10 years and 9 months, while his age equivalent showed 7 years and 3 months. His standard score was 76 and this placed him within the 5th percentile, which as the test describes is a moderately low score. Razae will need more vocabulary instruction, encompassing both direct and indirect instruction, in order to try and help increase his word acquisition and understanding.
Summary of Assessment Results
The assessments done with Razae show that he is having difficulty with a number of different areas in his language arts studies. He has issues with decoding words and has a limited pool of words that he is familiar with and can automatically identify in comparison to others of his grade level. Some areas of concern are Razae’s difficulty with recognizing letters that make different sounds when together, digraphs and blends. Razae also has some trouble with reading and comprehension. He is reading well below grade level, on a first-grade level as indicated by the QRI, and has issues focusing on details within a story. In terms of writing, Razae also exhibits having issues. He has ideas and thoughts about what he wants to say, but is unable to translate these thoughts into coherent sentences and writings. He has issues with structuring his sentences, punctuation usage, and a limited resource of words in which he can pull from to describe something in his writing. Razae has the ability to translate his ideas verbally, but needs more instruction to be able to put these ideas to paper and writing.
Recommendations for Instruction
The main purpose for our tutoring sessions is to help strengthen Razae’s understanding of and abilities to use language across all of its different components, especially in terms of reading fluency, reading comprehension, vocabulary, writing, and word knowledge. The goals for each of these different parts of language arts is to improve upon and raise them towards grade level standards to the best of his ability, through continuous word work, reading both familiar and unfamiliar text, writing about said text, and discussing and thinking about these texts. At the very least, the over all goal is to help Razae to be better equipped with various strategies and ideas on how to approach language arts and work through the hard parts.
Some instructional changes, strategies, and ideas that can improve Razae’s language skills would include:
- For comprehension, introducing various ways to help build and explore reading comprehension, like using charts or questioning, to get the student used to thinking more in depth about what he is reading.
- For fluency and accuracy, having the student read and re-read various passages, beginning at a first-grade level and increasing with difficulty at the student’s rate, would help to not only build up word stores and inflection skills, but also potentially boost his confidence and self-efficacy.
- For word knowledge, re-introducing features that the student is having issues with, specifically the features of blends, digraphs, and other vowels, and working on building up those with repeated practice and interactive activities, games, word sorts, and practice tests, before moving onto more complex ones will help the student to better be able to decode as well as think about words, their structure, and meaning.
- For vocabulary, having the student look back at specific, somewhat high frequency words within their reading passages and then having them complete some sort of activity, like filling out a Frayer model, would better help the student to become accustomed to words that can frequent their reading and better help them not only understand their reading, but potentially also improve their word stores and their writing capabilities as well.
- For writing, practice with the actual writing process, including pre-writing, drafting, and editing, can help Razae to better organize ideas and help to translate the thoughts that he has onto paper in a coherent, more complex way.