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Calderone, Cynthia Dianne.
Case studies of trainers' and selected teachers' perceptions of an early reading intervention training program
h [electronic resource] /
by Cynthia Dianne Calderone.
[Tampa, Fla.] :
b University of South Florida,
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this qualitative research study was to describe and explain the characteristics of an effective professional development model in an early intervention training program. The focus of the study was on particular aspects of literacy instruction that were emphasized during training sessions and trainer and teacher perceptions of the Accelerated Literacy Learning (ALL) program. This study examined the elements of training that two teachers chose to transfer to their classrooms, as well as modifications they chose to make, in the year following training in an effort to gain further insight into successful teacher training practices. The following research questions guided this study: 1. How do teachers who have received early intervention training for two semesters apply this knowledge in their classrooms during the following school year? 2. What do teachers choose to use and not use from the training program and why?3. What modifications of the program do teachers make, if any, and why? 4. What are the perceptions of trainers about an early intervention training program? To obtain answers to these research questions, I conducted individual and focus group interviews with teachers and trainers, made observations of training sessions, analyzed course documents, and observed two teachers in their classrooms in the year following training. These data were analyzed using qualitative analysis procedures. I followed a phenomenological theoretical approach and reported my findings through descriptive case studies. The study findings indicated that teachers chose to use many elements of training in their classrooms in the year following training. It was discovered that the elements that the teachers chose to use in training were the elements that the trainers emphasized in training sessions. The findings also indicated that teachers made modifications to the lesson format that they were taught in training.The segment of the lesson that the teachers chose to modify was one that was not as prescriptive in training as other lesson segments. The trainers did not spend as much time discussing the writing segment of the lesson format as they did the other segments and consequently the teachers made modifications.
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2007.
Includes bibliographical references.
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Advisor: Susan Homan, Ph.D.
x Reading and Language Arts Education
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Case Studies of Trainers and Selected Teachers Pe rceptions of an Early Reading Intervention Training Program by Cynthia Dianne Calderone A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Childhood Education College of Education University of South Florida Co-Major Professor: Susan Homan, Ph.D. Co-Major Professor: Mary Lou Morton, Ph.D. James King, Ed.D. Robert Dedrick, Ph.D. Date of Approval: May 31, 2007 Keywords: emergent literacy, early literacy, prof essional development, staff development, teacher education Copyright 2007, Cynthia Dianne Calderone
DEDICATION This doctoral dissertation was written in loving m emory of my mother, Janet Walberg, who passed away before I began my st udies. She instilled in me a love for learning and the importance of pursuing ed ucational goals. She was a great source of inspiration for me as I completed m y doctoral studies and particularly as I struggled to finish writing my di ssertation. I will be forever grateful to her for nurturing and encouraging my dr eams and ambitions. I miss you mom. I would also like to dedicate this dissertation to my husband, Mike, for his constant love, patience, and support. I know that it would have been very difficult for me to complete this scholarly journey without h is continued faith in me. Thank you, Mike, for being such a fun-loving compan ion and for continuing to challenge my thinking on a daily basis. I look for ward to a life full of wonderful surprises with you.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I have many people to thank for their continued su pport throughout the years in helping to inform and improve this dissert ation. I am most grateful to my committee members, Susan Homan, Mary Lou Morton, Ja mes King, and Robert Dedrick for their expert guidance on the project. My thanks go to Drs. Homan and King for developing such an important literacy program to meet the critical needs of students who have difficulty learning to r ead and then allowing me to study the program. I learned how to be a better re ading teacher because of you and hope to use that knowledge to help other teache rs and children in the future. I would also like to extend a warm thank you to Dr Morton for her willingness to read my dissertation on multiple occ asions and to give me helpful feedback. Also a special thank you goes to Dr. Ded rick for his feedback and assistance with finding an outside chair for my fin al dissertation defense. Bridget Cotner offered guidance with my analysis and format ting procedures. Thank you, Bridget, for your help, and most of all, for your f riendship. Soon we will be celebrating the completion of your doctorate degree too! I would also like to thank my participants, Susan, Stacey, and Pat for agreeing to let me study their expert instruction. I am so very grateful to all of you for your gracious kindness and patience over th e years. Thank you for hosting me in your classrooms. I have great admira tion for the incredible work that you are doing with your students. Merci bien.
i TABLE OF CONTENTS LIST OF TABLES..................................... ................................................... .....................vi ABSTRACT........................................... ................................................... ........................vii CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION.......................... ................................................... .....1 Statement of the Problem........................... ................................................... ...........5 Purpose of the Study............................... ................................................... ..............9 Informed Assumptions............................... ................................................... ...........9 Research Questions................................. ................................................... ............10 Definition of Terms................................ ................................................... .............11 Scaffolding........................................ ................................................... ......12 Reading Strategies................................. ................................................... .12 Cueing Systems..................................... ................................................... ..12 Acceleration....................................... ................................................... .....13 Running Records.................................... ................................................... .13 Coaching........................................... ................................................... ......13 Early Intervention................................. ................................................... ..13 Zone of Proximal Development....................... ..........................................14 Chapter Summary.................................... ................................................... ...........14 CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF LITERATURE.................. ............................................15 Teacher Education and Professional Development..... ..........................................16 Successful Formats for Professional Development.... ...........................................17 Teacher Development................................ ................................................... .........20 Early Intervention Programs........................ ................................................... .......22 Reading Recovery........................ ................................................... ............23 Teacher Training....................... ................................................... ..25 Trainers of teacher leader s................................................25 Teacher leaders........... ................................................... ...26 Teachers.................. ................................................... .......26 Program Expectations................... .................................................28 Accelerated Literacy Learning...................... .............................................31 Teacher Training....................... ................................................... ..32 Program Expectations................... .................................................34 Prevention in the Early Grades..................... ................................................... ......36 Observation........................................ ................................................... .....37 Diagnosis.......................................... ................................................... .......38 Assessment......................................... ................................................... .....39 Standardized Tests..................... ................................................... .39
ii Authentic Assessment................... .................................................40 Portfolio Assessment...... ..................................................4 1 Journals.................. ................................................... ........41 Reading Assessment................................. .................................................41 Running Records........................ ................................................... .42 Informal Reading Inventories........... .............................................42 Grouping for Instruction........................... ................................................... ..........43 Teaching for Strategy Use.......................... ................................................... ........44 Predictions........................................ ................................................... .......46 Illustrations...................................... ................................................... .......46 Connections........................................ ................................................... .....47 Self-Monitoring.................................... ................................................... ...47 Cross-Checking..................................... ................................................... ..47 Searching for Information.......................... ................................................48 Self-Corrections................................... ................................................... ...48 Fluency............................................ ................................................... ........48 Problem-Solving.................................... ................................................... .49 Scaffolding the Emergent Reader.................... ..........................................51 Chapter Summary.................................... ................................................... ...........52 CHAPTER THREE: METHOD.............................. ................................................... .......56 Purpose of the Study and Research Questions........ ...............................................56 Research Design.................................... ................................................... ..............57 Theoretical Research Approaches.................... ..........................................58 Phenomenological Research Approach..... ....................................59 Heuristic Inquiry...................... ................................................... ...60 Descriptive Case Study................. .................................................62 Participants and School Site....................... ................................................62 Participants....................................... ..............................................63 School Site........................................ .............................................64 Researchers Role...................... ................................................... .............65 Pre-Study Involvement.................. ................................................... .........66 Data Collection.................................... ................................................... ...............67 Data Sources....................................... ................................................... ................67 Observational Field Notes.......................... ................................................67 Interviews......................................... ................................................... .......68 ALL Course Documents............................... .............................................69 Data Analysis...................................... ................................................... ................69 Analysis Procedures................................ ................................................... 70 Field Notes from ALL Training...................... ...........................................72 Interview with Site-Based Trainer.................. ...........................................73 Focus Group Interviews and Individual Teacher Inter views.....................73 Field Notes from Observations of Classrooms........ ..................................73 ALL Agendas and Course Documents................... ...................................74 Ensuring Credibility............................... ................................................... .............74 Data Triangulation................................. ................................................... .74
iii Analysis Checks.................................... ................................................... ..............75 Member Checks...................................... ................................................... 75 Timeline........................................... ................................................... ...................76 Chapter Summary ................................... ................................................... ...........78 CHAPTER FOUR: FINDINGS............................. ................................................... .........80 Accelerated Literacy Learning Training Program..... ............................................82 Trainers........................................... ................................................... ........83 Site-Based Trainer..................... ................................................... .84 Support Trainers....................... ................................................... ...85 ALL Participants and School Site................... ...........................................85 Participant Teachers................... ................................................... .86 School Site............................ ................................................... ......87 First Semester Experiences......................... ...............................................87 ALL Training Course Requirements....... ......................................88 Second Semester Experiences........................ ............................................90 Videotapes............................. ................................................... ......92 Decision-Making........................ ................................................... .96 Teaching Points....................... ..........................................99 Pacing................................ ..............................................102 Acceleration.......................... ..........................................104 Reading Strategies..................... ..................................................1 05 Strategy Talk.......................... ..........................................107 Strategy Use........................... ..........................................110 Cueing Systems......................... .......................................111 Independence.......................... ................................................... .112 Trainer Data Analysis.............................. ................................................... .........116 Support Trainer Data Analysis.......... ................................................... ....117 Support............................................ .............................................119 Decision-Making.................................... ......................................121 Site-based Trainer Data Analysis................... ..........................................122 Decision-Making................................... ......................................124 Support........................................... .............................................126 ALL Participant Teacher Data Analysis.............. ................................................128 Mrs. Paterson.......................... ................................................... ..............129 Background Information........................... .................................129 Description of Class............................. ......................................130 Description of Classroom......................... .................................131 Personal Teaching Style.............. ...............................................133 Reading Group Time............................... ...................................137 Reading Routine........................ .......................................137 Fostering Reading Independence......... ............................143 Data Analysis........................... ................................................... ..............146 Individual Assessment............................ ...................................149 Teaching and Reinforcing Reading Strategies...... .....................151
iv Conversation for Language Development and Meaning Construction....................................... ..........................................156 Conversation........................... .........................................156 Meaning Constru ction.............................................. ........159 Lesson Modifications............................... ....................................161 Summary of Results for Mrs. Paterson.... .................................................16 2 Ms. Stone............................... ................................................... ................163 Background Information........................... .................................163 Description of Class............................. ......................................164 Description of Classroom......................... .................................165 Personal Teaching Style.............. ...............................................167 Reading Group Time............................... ...................................172 Reading Routine........................ .......................................174 Fostering Word Recognition............. ...............................176 Data Analysis........................... ................................................... ..............182 Individual Assessment............................ ...................................185 Reading Strategies and Cueing Systems............ ........................186 Reading Strategies..................... ......................................187 Cueing Systems......................... .......................................191 Focus on Print and Sight Words.............................................. ..192 Summary of Results for Ms. Stone......... ................................................... 198 Member Checks.......................... ................................................... ......................200 Ms. Hazlett................. ................................................... ............................200 Mrs. Paterson .............. ................................................... ..........................200 Ms. Stone................... ................................................... ............................201 Cross Case Analysis................................ ................................................... ..........201 Similarities Across Cases.......................... ...............................................202 Assessment..... ................................................... ...........................202 Running Records........................ ......................................203 Anecdotal Records...................... .....................................203 Reading Strategies and Cueing Systems.. ....................................203 Differences Across Cases........................... .............................................204 Mrs. Paterson.................................... .........................................204 Ms. Stone........................................ ...........................................205 Elements of Accelerated Literacy Learning Training. .............................205 Chapter Summary.................................... ................................................... .........207 CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION........................... ................................................... ......210 Summary of the Study............................... ................................................... .......211 Characteristics of Effective Models of Professional Development.....................214 Monitoring and Coaching..... ................................................... .................215 Teacher Reflection and Conve rsation with Peers ................................ ....216 Teacher Reflection................................. ......................................217 Conversation with Peers........................... ..................................217 Sustainability.............. ................................................... ...........................218 Contributions of the Study............. ................................................... ...................218
v Conclusions........................................ ................................................... ...............219 Elements of Accelerated Lite racy Learning Training............................. ..219 Elements of Training Used in the Classroom........ .....................221 Modifications to the Lesson Format................ ...........................222 Confirming and Disconfirming Cases............................................. .........225 Implications....................................... ................................................... ................228 Length of Teacher Training P rograms............................................ ..........228 Training Emphasis .......... ................................................... ......................229 Supportive Structures....... ................................................... ......................230 Teacher Modifications................... ................................................... ........230 Limitations of the Study............... ................................................... .....................231 Recommendations for Models of Professio nal Development and Teacher Training....................... ................................................... ........................234 Length of Training Programs ................................................... ................235 Supportive Structures....... ................................................... ......................235 Systematic Follow-Up.................... ................................................... .......236 Funding................................. ................................................... .................237 Recommendations for Future Research.... ................................................... ........238 REFERENCES......................................... ................................................... ....................241 APPENDICES......................................... ................................................... .....................257 Appendix A. Semi-Structured Interview Protocol (Spr ing 2003) ......................258 Appendix B. Semi-Structured Interview Protocol (Spr ing 2004)........................259 Appendix C. ALL Course Syllabus.................... .................................................26 0 Appendix D. Tentative Schedule Fall 2002........... ..............................................261 Appendix E. Construct Key.......................... ................................................... ....262 Appendix F. Mrs. Patersons Anecdotal Record Form.. ......................................267 Appendix G. Ms. Stones Anecdotal Record Form...... .......................................268 Appendix H. Sample of ALL Course Agendas........... ........................................269 ABOUT THE AUTHOR................................... ................................................... .End Page
vi LIST OF TABLES Table 1. Research Questions and Study Design..... ................................................... ......58 Table 2. Ethnic Enrollment at School Site........ ................................................... ............64 Table 3. Study Timeline.......................... ................................................... ......................77 Table 4. Strategy Talk Construct................. ................................................... ...............109 Table 5. Strategy Use Construct.................. ................................................... ...............110 Table 6. Constructs from Training Transcript Data ................................................... ....115 Table 7. Constructs from Support Trainer Focus Gr oup Interview Data......................118 Table 8. Constructs from Site-based Trainer Inter view Data........................................12 3 Table 9. Mrs. Patersons First Grade Class Demogr aphic Information.........................131 Table 10. Constructs from Mrs. Patersons Interview Data.............................................1 47 Table 11. Constructs from Mrs. Patersons Observati onal Data.....................................148 Table 12. Themes from Mrs. Patersons Data......... ................................................... .....149 Table 13. Ms. Stones First Grade Class Demographic Information...............................165 Table 14. Constructs from Ms. Stones Interview Dat a.................................................. .183 Table 15. Constructs from Ms. Stones Observational Data...........................................183 Table 16. Themes from Ms. Stones Data............. ................................................... .......184 Table 17. Summary Table of Findings................ ................................................... .........206
vii Case Studies of Trainers and Selected Teachers Pe rceptions of an Early Reading Intervention Training Program Cynthia Dianne Calderone ABSTRACT The purpose of this qualitative research study was to describe and explain the characteristics of an effective professional develo pment model in an early intervention training program. The focus of the study was on pa rticular aspects of literacy instruction that were emphasized during training sessions and t rainer and teacher perceptions of the Accelerated Literacy Learning (ALL) program. This study examined the elements of training that two teachers chose to transfer to the ir classrooms, as well as modifications they chose to make, in the year following training in an effort to gain further insight into successful teacher training practices. The followi ng research questions guided this study: 1. How do teachers who have received early interve ntion training for two semesters apply this knowledge in their classrooms durin g the following school year? 2. What do teachers choose to use and not use from the training program and why? 3. What modifications of the program do teachers m ake, if any, and why? 4. What are the perceptions of trainers about an e arly intervention training program? To obtain answers to these research questions, I co nducted individual and focus group interviews with teachers and trainers, made observa tions of training sessions, analyzed
viii course documents, and observed two teachers in thei r classrooms in the year following training. These data were analyzed using qualitati ve analysis procedures. I followed a phenomenological theoretical approach and reported my findings through descriptive case studies. The study findings indicated that teachers chose t o use many elements of training in their classrooms in the year following training. It was discovered that the elements that the teachers chose to use in training were the elements that the trainers emphasized in training sessions. The findings also indicated tha t teachers made modifications to the lesson format that they were taught in training. T he segment of the lesson that the teachers chose to modify was one that was not as pr escriptive in training as other lesson segments. The trainers did not spend as much time discussing the writing segment of the lesson format as they did the other segments and co nsequently the teachers made modifications.
1 CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION Many teachers have reported that they do not feel adequately prepared to effectively teach reading to their students, partic ularly with students who struggle to learn to read (Olson, 2001). Therefore, they seek opport unities for professional development that will help remedy this problem. School distric ts have responded to the teachers needs by directing a substantial amount of resource s to such things as salaries for personnel who deliver staff development workshops, supervision and evaluation, substitute teachers, extra school days, and stipend s for teachers (Hughes, Cash, Ahwee, & Klingner, 2002). Unfortunately, school districts h ave provided monies for professional development programs without actually determining w hether teachers and students benefit from participation in the programs (Robb, 2 000). In the past, professional development programs typ ically involved training teachers at a one-shot workshop (Rodgers & Pinnel l, 2002). These workshops would provide teachers with materials to use in their cla ssrooms and possibly even how to use them. Sometimes this was done through demonstratio n and/or videotapes. Very often, however, teachers were simply expected to listen to the ideas presented by professionals who were considered experts in the field. Unfortuna tely, many of these hit and run inservice sessions were not effective in terms of ch anging teaching practice in the classroom (Askew, Fulenwider, Kordick, Scheuermann, Vollenweider, Anderson, & Rodriguez, 2002; National Research Council, 1998).
2 If an isolated workshop is not enough to improve c lassroom instruction, then what types of professional development can be used to do so? Research suggests that programs that offer intense levels of support are m ore effective (Anders & Evens, 1994; Anders, Hoffman, & Duffy, 2000; Hughes, et al., 200 2; Moore, 1991). Furthermore, Hughes, et al. (2002) explains that professional de velopment programs are effective when they incorporate supportive structures such as site -based facilitators, support groups, and coaches. In addition, Allington (2006) argues agai nst isolated workshops and supports a broader conception of professional development that includes a long-term plan for developing teacher expertise. An extensive amount of research has been conducted to determine the characteristics of professional development models that make them effective (Askew, Fulenwider, Kordick, Scheuermann, Vollenweider, And erson, & Rodriguez, 2002; Hughes, et al. 2002; Rodgers, Fullerton, & DeFord, 2002; Rodgers & Pinnell, 2002). One early intervention training program, Reading Re covery, is noted as having one of the most effective staff development models (Rodgers, 2 002; Lyons, Pinnell, & DeFord, 1993). The reason for this is likely to be because the model is consistent with recommendations for effective staff development suc h as monitoring, coaching, teacher reflection, conversation, voluntary participation, full-school participation, collaboration among role groups, and ongoing assistance in assimi lating new information (Hughes, et al., 2002). Anders and Evens (1994) suggest that when teachers are monitored and coached as they learn to implement a program in their class rooms, they are more likely to increase their skills and use what they have learned. Teach ers gain confidence when they are able
3 to apply what they are learning in their classrooms and receive feedback from knowledgeable trainers on a regular basis. When te achers are given opportunities to communicate with trainers and other teachers in the program regularly, they develop a caring community, which is believed to positively i mpact the program (Jackson, Paratore, Chard, & Garnick, 1999). Teachers are more likely to utilize what they have learned when supportive structures, such as these, are in p lace. Research also supports the need for teacher reflec tion (Bos & Anders, 1994; Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1993; Zeichner, 1980). When teachers are given opportunities to reflect on what they are learning and how it is working in their classrooms, they continue to process, revise, and construct new idea s and beliefs about teaching. It is especially powerful when teachers are encouraged to converse with their peers about their experiences. Through dialogue, teachers are able t o learn from each other and internalize what they are learning. In addition, teachers who volunteer to participat e in professional development programs show an interest in improving their practi ce. They are searching for new knowledge and materials that they can put into imme diate practice in their classrooms. Snow, Burns, and Griffin (1998) have reported that research-based content and systematic follow-up are required for sustainabilit y, but that many programs dont provide these due to lack of funding and resources. In an effort to provide sustainability, many distr icts are now employing teachers as coaches at school sites. For example, the Readi ng First initiative provides funding for professional development and reading coaches (No Ch ild Left Behind Act, 2001). The Reading Success Network, a national network of scho ols operated by the U.S.
4 Department of Educations Comprehensive Assistance Centers, also supports the use of coaches by providing them with ongoing support, mat erials, and training (U.S. Department of Education, 2001). Coaches are employed to provide training, demonstra tion lessons, observations, and immediate feedback to the teachers at their sit e. In this way, teachers have a sitebased person who can mentor, coach, and assist them as they learn to implement a new innovation. In addition, teachers learn together i n a collaborative setting that fosters dialogue and reflection about their teaching practi ces. Coaching has become a powerful way to provide teachers with the knowledge and requ isite skills to improve their teaching practice (Darling-Hammond & MacLaughlin, 1995; Lyon s, 2002). When teachers are able to reflect on their practice with someone more knowledgeable, a shift in their thinking about teaching may likely result. Lyons ( 2002) states: We have learned that the key to teachers growth, development, and improved practice is the ability to reflect on ones learni ng, to change practice based on that reflection, and to develop a theoretical fram e of reference or set of understandings that takes into account ones exper iences and the experiences of students. (p. 93) Teachers who are given regular opportunities to ref lect on their learning, with a trainer or coach, are more likely to adapt and change their te aching practice because they are able to verbalize and test new ideas in a supportive env ironment. This notion is based upon Vygotskys (1978) research that learning is sociall y constructed and that one can learn from a more knowledgeable other.
5 One of the ways in which to determine if a training program has an successful staff development model is by discovering if teache rs utilize what they have learned in training. An early intervention training program t hat employs a successful professional development model is Accelerated Literacy Learning (ALL). This study focuses on the aspects of the ALL training program that teachers c hose to use in their classrooms in the school year following their training. It describes how teachers applied what they had learned in training in their respective classrooms. The findings of this research study contribute to the existing research base regarding reading research, professional development models, and teacher training by examini ng the transfer of training knowledge to classroom practice. Statement of the Problem U.S. Education Secretary, Richard Riley, called fo r a national crusade in his State of Education address in 1996. He suggested that ev ery American child should become a good reader by the end of third grade. The America Reads Challenge and the Reading Excellence Act were initiated during President Clin tons presidency to pursue the goal of ensuring that American children were reading on gra de level by the end of third grade (U.S. Department of Education, 2001). The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is an example of more recent legislation initiated to improve the academic achievement of at -risk students. This legislation directs a substantial amount of resources to schools to pro vide services to teachers and students for the improvement of reading achievement, particu larly in the early grades. It is expected that teachers in the early grades will tea ch their students to become independent readers.
6 Teachers are finding that, despite their efforts to teach all of their students to become independent, fluent readers, some students c ontinue to struggle to learn to read. A substantial amount of research has shown that ear ly intervention is necessary to meet the educational needs of these students (Brashears, Homan, & King, 2002; Clay, 1991; 1993; 2002; Frye & Short, 1994; Johnston & Allingto n, 1990; McCarthy, Newby, & Recht, 1995; Short, Frye, Homan, & King, 1997; Stan ovich, 1986, 1993; U.S. Department of Education, 2001; Wasik & Slavin, 1993 ). School districts have become increasingly aware of the need for professional dev elopment opportunities for early intervention training for teachers so that they can effectively instruct the students who are having difficulty learning to read. In an effort to provide staff development opportuni ties to teachers, many districts are interested in professional development models t hat have been proven to be successful with teachers. Successful formats for professional development are those that utilize coaches and mentors, time for reflection, ongoing d ialogue, voluntary involvement, and collaboration among university and school personnel (Hughes, et al., 2002). The Accelerated Literacy Learning (ALL) training progra m, offered by Drs. Susan Homan and James King at the University of South Florida ( USF), was an early reading intervention program that employed these formats fo r professional development (Homan, et al., 2001). The ALL Training Program was modeled after the hig hly successful Reading Recovery staff development model in many ways. It was an intensive yearlong teacher training program that was offered to teachers in Fl orida for 11 years. It was offered in Hillsborough County during the 2002-2003 school yea r. Teachers enrolled in the
7 program received six hours of graduate credit for t wo semesters of training. They were expected to meet for weekly training, once a week, for a period of two hours. The teachers agreed to implement the program in their c lassrooms with a group of three students during their training year. Throughout their training year, teachers were obse rved, coached, and supported by one of a group of three trainers of the program. The trainers observed individual teachers as they conducted specialized reading inte rvention lessons with their ALL group of students in their classrooms. The observations occurred approximately every other week and teachers were given immediate feedback fro m the trainer who was assigned to work with them. In addition, one of the ALL traine rs was employed as a Reading Coach at the same school as eight of the teacher particip ants. The training took place at this school as well. This site-based trainer provided w eekly training, as well as on-site coaching, on a regular basis to the participants fr om her school. She was also considered to be the expert trainer and provided the bulk of the training to all of the participants. Her philosophy of reading education was embedded in the training. Although teachers implemented the ALL program in t heir classrooms during their training year, with support from the trainers, it w as not known what happened in the classroom in the years following training. What el ements of the program did teachers choose to use with their students? One would expec t that teachers who spent a year in training as they implemented a program, would utili ze what they had learned in their literacy classrooms and make it part of their instr uctional repertoire. In an effort to understand the sustaining impact o f ALL training, this study describes the processes of two teachers, who receiv ed ALL training during the 2002-2003
8 school year, as they established a context for lite racy in their classrooms, at one school, in the subsequent school year. The study was conducte d at a school where eight of the teachers received ALL training. The focus of the s tudy was on the processes of teachers as they prepared their students for literacy learni ng and determined which of their students were at-risk of reading failure. This stu dy took place within two semesters, giving this study a bounded context for literacy de velopment. The research design incorporated in-depth individu al interviews with two teachers enrolled in the program who volunteered to particip ate in the study, an in-depth interview with the site-based trainer, two focus group interv iews with six teacher participants, one focus group interview with two support trainers, ob servations of two teachers classrooms, and field notes of the ALL training ses sions. The participants of this study comprised the site-based trainer, two support train ers, and six teachers enrolled in the program who agreed to participate in the study. Prior to this study, I enrolled in the training pr ogram with the teachers, for a period of two semesters, to develop a rapport with the teachers, learn as much as possible about the ALL program, and work with a group of thr ee students, which was expected of all of the participants of the program. I conducte d a pilot study during that time to test the interview instruments. During the pilot study, I conducted individual interviews with the site-based trainer and two teachers to ascertai n their perceptions of the ALL Training Program. The pilot study helped me refine the semi -structured interview protocols as I determined the questions that would be most appropr iate for an understanding of the ALL program. The pilot study also contributed to the d esign of this research study by aiding in the development of the research questions and in ductive case study design.
9 Purpose of the Study The purpose of this qualitative research study was to describe and explain the particular aspects of literacy instruction that wer e emphasized during training sessions and trainer and teacher perceptions of the Accelera ted Literacy Learning (ALL) program. In particular, this study investigated how two teac hers applied what they had learned from their participation for two semesters in the A LL Training Program. This study examined the elements of training that two teachers chose to transfer to their classrooms, as well as modifications they chose to make, in the year following training in an effort to gain further insight into successful teacher traini ng practices. This study contributes to the field of education by providing other educators researchers, and change agents seeking to implement new innovations in schools wit h information regarding what teachers utilized from their training to improve li teracy instruction for at-risk students. Informed Assumptions It is my belief that teachers choose what they wan t to use from training programs and make modifications as they see fit, in order to better meet their students needs as well as to match their individual teaching styles. Because of this, I expected the ALL participant teachers would not implement every aspe ct of the ALL program, but would instead choose to use certain elements of the progr am that they believed would meet their own teaching needs as well as their students learn ing needs. Since I was a participantobserver during the training sessions, I maintained an emic or insiders perspective (Patton, 2002) regarding the elements of ALL that w ere emphasized during training. It was my expectation that the elements that were emph asized during training sessions were
10 more likely to be applied by the teachers in their classrooms. The elements that were emphasized in training were assessment activities, reading strategies, and cueing systems. Research Questions The following research questions guided this study: 1. How do teachers who have received early interve ntion training for two semesters apply this knowledge in their classrooms durin g the following school year? 2. What do teachers choose to use and not use from the training program and why? 3. What modifications of the program do teachers m ake, if any, and why? 4. What are the perceptions of trainers about an e arly intervention training program? The first research question guided the study, in t erms of determining how teachers applied what they learned in training in their clas srooms. Field notes were taken by me during the training sessions to determine the eleme nts of training that were taught in the program. More time was spent on certain elements o f the program than on others. It was found that the more emphasis placed upon an element in training, the more likely it was to be transferred to the classroom. Conversely, th e less emphasis placed on an element, the less likely it was to be transferred to the cla ssroom. Because of this, the elements of training were examined in this study. The second research question was asked to identify the aspects of the program the teachers would choose to use as well as those they chose not to use. Explanations for their choices were also examined. The third resear ch question was asked to determine if modifications were made by the teachers, and if so, why they were made. In order to answer these questions, individual interviews and c lassroom observations were conducted
11 with participants who volunteered and were purposef ully selected to participate in the study. The fourth research question was asked to determin e the perceptions of the trainers about the early intervention training prog ram under investigation. The focus was on discovering what the trainers perceived as the g oals of the program for the teachers as well as the students. This question sought insight into the perceptions of the trainers about professional development and teacher training practices as well. An individual interview with the site-based trainer and a focus g roup interview with the support trainers were conducted to provide answers to this question. The questions were asked of a small sample of teac hers, participating in one early intervention training program and are not meant to be generalized. However, due to the use of purposeful sampling in this study, teachers were selected because they were thought to provide information-rich cases, which yi elded in-depth understandings of the phenomena under study (Patton, 2002). Definition of Terms There are many terms used in this study that may r equire definitions. The definitions will help to clarify what is specifical ly meant by each term. The meanings are provided for eight terms that are frequently used i n the literature on early intervention and emergent literacy and are also used in this study. The eight terms that are defined in this study are scaffolding, reading strategies, cueing s ystems, acceleration, running records, coaching, early intervention, and zone of proximal development.
12 Scaffolding In the construction field, a scaffold is a platfor m that supports workers. In teaching, scaffolding refers to the support teacher s give to students to help them reach the next level of learning. Scaffolding involves reach ing the child at his/her level and providing help to move the learning forward. Simil arly, scaffolding can be used during training with teachers. Trainers scaffold teachers and provide the appropriate level of support to facilitate their learning just as teache rs do with their children. The amount of help shouldnt be too much, nor should it be too li ttle (Bruner, 2000; Vygotsky, 1978). Reading Strategies These are the active cognitive and social processe s that readers use to construct meaning from text (Clay, 1985; Short, 1991; Smith, 1978, 1988). They include processes such as rereading, chunking a word, looking at the pictures, reading ahead, selfmonitoring, using first-letter cues, cross-checking searching, focusing on whether or not the text makes sense, connecting to past experience s, and making predictions about what the story may be about. Cueing Systems There are three cueing systems that children use t o monitor their reading (Clay, 1993). They are meaning cues, visual cues, and str uctural cues. The meaning cues are those that the student uses to determine if what th ey are reading makes sense. The visual cues are used to determine if what they are reading looks right, including expected letters/sounds for individual words that are read a nd checked. The structural cues are used by children to discover if what they are readi ng sounds right, in terms of the grammatical structure of the language.
13 Acceleration Clay (1993) refers to acceleration as the fast prog ress that is needed, for students who lag behind their peers, to catch up with them. The expectation is that children will perform at an average level of proficiency in their classes. This is achieved when the child learns to work independently and takes over t he process of learning. Running Record A Running Record is an assessment of a childs rea ding of text (Clay, 2002). The teacher notes reading behavior, as the child reads, and then analyzes it to determine what strategies and cues the child uses to process text meaning. It is also used to discover the level at which the child can read with 90% accuracy or better (Lyons, Pinnell, & De Ford, 1993). Coaching Coaching refers to working closely together in a c ollaborative context, engaging in problem-solving and inquiry-based conversations, and sharing information. Coaches provide support to teachers by working beside them in the classroom and by providing immediate feedback to them. Coaches are there for the teacher at the point of need. They establish trust, listen well, and select one o r two coaching points to strengthen a teachers practice (Lyons, 2002). Early Intervention Early intervention involves identifying and provid ing individualized instruction to children determined at-risk of school failure. T his is typically done within the first two years of school. The premise is that prevention is more effective than remediation. It is a widely accepted notion that the sooner at-risk chil dren are identified, the sooner they can
14 receive individualized instruction, and consequentl y might not need remediation in later years. Zone of Proximal Development The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) refers to t he distance between what a child can accomplish independently and what the chi ld can do with the help of someone more knowledgeable (Vygotsky, 1978). Teachers try to work with a child in their zone of proximal development so that they can scaffold t he child to a higher level of progress. Children develop new understandings and accomplishm ents with the guidance of their teachers. Chapter Summary This qualitative research study focused on the per ceptions of trainers and teachers about an early intervention training program. The study was designed to investigate how teachers applied what they had learned, through the ir participation for two semesters in early intervention training, in the school year fol lowing their training. It described and explained how the elements of training were used or modified in each of the classrooms. The theoretical framework for this study incorporat ed literature from teacher education, professional development, early intervention, and l iteracy instruction for at-risk students. This research study was designed to provide a rich, deep description of teachers literacy practices and how they applied what they had learne d in training in their classrooms.
15 CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW How do teachers develop the instructional skills n ecessary to effectively teach students at risk of reading failure in their classrooms? This literature review addresses teacher development, within the context o f early intervention and literacy. To develop an understanding of how teach ers gain knowledge about how to help students who struggle to learn to read, it is important to discuss successful formats of professional development. It is also im portant to emphasize what is expected of teachers so that they can effectively i dentify and provide assistance to children who are in need of additional services. I nstruction for students deemed at-risk will also be addressed. There are many early intervention programs that ha ve been developed to meet the needs of students at risk of reading failu re. Two programs, Reading Recovery (RR) and Accelerated Literacy Learning (AL L), will be described in detail as they are both early intervention programs with professional development models that adhere to effective training practices as well as have positive student outcomes. These areas have been chosen for the lit erature review because they provide information directly related to this resear ch study.
16 Teacher Education and Professional Development Few would argue the importance of teacher quality on student achievement. Strickland (2001) states that teacher quality is a crucial factor in reading and literacy achievement in children. One of the Feder al Department of Educations goals is to improve student achievement by raising teacher and principal quality (Department of Education Strategic Plan, 2002). Re search on teacher education and reading instruction suggests that appropriate t eacher education produces higher reading achievement in students (Anders, Hoffman, & Duffy, 2000; National Reading Panel, 2000). Clearly, what teachers do af fects how students perform. Educators and researchers acknowledge the need for effective teacher education and professional development opportunities for teac hers because of this. In recent years restructuring professional develop ment and focusing on teacher development have become prominent aspects o f education. Over the past decade there has been a movement away from the trad itional approach to teachertraining, which mostly purported a top-down orienta tion. This approach typically followed the development of an innovation from a un iversity or research center, taught by instructors, professors, or staff develop ers, with the goal of training teachers to implement the innovation as it was mean t to be implemented. This approach, known as the fidelity approach, assumed t hat changes teachers made to the intended innovation would negatively impact the success of the innovation (Snyder, Bolin, & Zumwalt, 1992). Recent approache s to teacher training have purported a more collaborative orientation between university and school personnel.
17 Successful Formats for Professional Development Successful formats for professional development ar e those that encourage collaboration among university and school personnel in an open, trusting environment where everyone is encouraged to take ri sks and feel supported (Lyons & Pinnell, 1999). Just as students who feel that t hey are in a trusting, safe environment for learning will be more willing to ta ke risks and try something new, so too will teachers. The support structure provid ed to teachers as they learn and acquire new skills is an important consideration fo r providing effective professional development for teachers (Lyons & Pinn ell, 1999; Pinnell, 2002). Professional development should be research-based, but also connected to practice. It should be experiential so that teache rs are engaged in the teaching process as they learn (Askew, et al., 2002; Darling -Hammond & McLaughlin, 1995; Lyons, et al., 1993; Pinnell, 2002). When te achers are able to put new learning into practice immediately with sustained s upport from knowledgeable professionals, it is more likely that they will uti lize the new skills (Anders & Evens, 1994). In addition, teachers who practice a nd implement an innovation, while they are learning about it, are able to put i t in the context of their own classrooms. One reason for the widespread failure of innovatio ns in the classroom setting might be because certain approaches failed to acknowledge the contextual features of classrooms which might influence the us e of innovations (Jacob, 1999). Some of the changes that would support contextually -sensitive approaches to innovations (Jacob, 1999) include supportive struct ures such as site-based decision
18 making, a culture of collaboration, the use of ment ors and coaches, shared vision among school participants, and professional develop ment that empowers teachers. Research has shown that there are certain requirem ents of professional development models that should be considered when d esigning programs (Hughes, et al., 2002; Pinnell, 2002). These include monito ring and coaching, teacher reflection, conversation, voluntary participation, collaboration among university and school personnel, and assisting. When these ch aracteristics are present in the design of a professional development program, Hughe s, et al. (2002) suggest that not only will teachers receive training in reading practices, but also will develop personally and professionally into reflective pract itioners who take ownership in their learning. The United States Department of Education (2001) b elieves that teachers need sophisticated training. Lyons and Pinnell (19 99) believe that one should approach teacher learning in the same way one appro aches student learning. They offer suggestions on what to do to improve teacher quality. These include the use of teacher leaders or coaches. There is evidence t hat teachers skills increase with intensive and extensive levels of support, includin g those of monitoring and coaching (Anders & Evens, 1994; Moore, 1991; Lyons & Pinnell, 1999; Pinnell, 2002). It is recommended that teacher leaders or coaches s upport teachers by observing them regularly to gain insight into the t eacher/learner situations, provide opportunities for teachers to talk about their teac hing with teacher leaders and peers, select hypotheses and problem solving techni ques with particular children in
19 mind, confirm or support a hypothesis with ongoing feedback, and reassess to discover what works and why it works (Askew & Gaffn ey, 1999; Lyons & Pinnell, 1999; Lyons, et al., 1993). Conversations and ongoing dialogue are central to the learning process (Allington, 2006; Combs, 1994; Johnston et al., 199 8; Lyons, Pinnell, & DeFord, 1993). Teachers who are given opportunities to tal k among their colleagues about what they are observing, learning, and practicing b egin to formulate or revise theories about student learning. They challenge on e anothers thinking and reflect on their own teaching based on what they have learn ed from others and well as what they have experienced themselves. According t o Tharp and Gallimore (1988), when teachers are given time to reflect on what they are learning and how it relates to their teaching practice, teacher deve lopment is more effective. As teachers learn and test new concepts and theor ies about teaching, there is a shift in their thinking and beliefs about teac hing. This is evidenced by their conversations about their teaching with colleagues, what they choose to do with their students, their reflections and analyses of t heir learning, and discussions about theory and practice (Askew & Gaffney, 1999; Lyons & Pinnell, 1999; Lyons, et al., 1993; Rodgers, 2002). When teachers are given the opportunity to have a productive dialogue about teaching with their colle agues, they refine their perceptions as well as formulate new ideas and beli efs about teaching. The notion of teacher buy-in is also important t o the success of professional development formats. Teachers who want to try new innovations and seek training usually will implement a new program more readily t han those who do not want to learn
20 to try something new. In general, professional dev elopment formats that encourage voluntary participation are more successful than th ose that force participation (El-Dinary & Schuder, 1993). When teachers receive professional development tha t is grounded in research and classroom-focused, they are apt to employ instructi onal practices that lead to higher reading achievement (Darling-Hammond, 2000; Nye, Ko nstantopoulos, & Hedges, 2004). Teachers who are given opportunities to par ticipate in high quality professional development are able to stay current with best read ing practices (American Federation of Teachers, 1999). It stands to reason that high qua lity professional development leads to positive teacher development, which in turn leads t o higher student achievement. Teacher Development Statistics by Haselkorn and Harris (2001) support the belief that there should be highly qualified, knowledgeable professionals in ou r nations classrooms. Eighty-nine percent of Americans agree that a well-qualified te acher should be in every classroom. Seventy-seven percent of Americans think that it sh ould be a high national priority to develop the skills and knowledge of teachers, which should be done on an ongoing basis throughout their careers. Sixty percent of the Ame rican public believes that our investment in teachers is the most crucial strategy for improving student achievement. Strategies such as academic standards and testing w ere not thought to be as critical by Americans. Teacher development is of the utmost im portance in terms of improving student learning. How do teachers acquire the complex skills require d to be an effective teacher? Effective teachers are those who learn how to be re sponsive to the developing child. This
21 involves a careful decision-making process by the t eacher based upon observations of children and how they learn. The teacher learns to coordinate actions to scaffold the child at the point of need (Clay, 1991; Lyons & Pin nell, 1999). The teaching process requires constant observation and evaluation during a teachers interaction with a child or group of children. Teachers learn to focus on chil dren, thinking about what each child needs to progress, and then readjusting and revisin g their instruction on the spot to facilitate student progress. This knowledge is acq uired through experience and with carefully constructed guidance from knowledgeable s taff developers and/or colleagues. Teacher development is successful if teachers are provided with direct demonstrations of the skills and procedures they ar e expected to use as well as opportunities to converse with other members of the learning group in a supportive atmosphere. In this way, the knowledge is shared w ith others and teachers know that they are supported in their endeavors to improve th eir teaching practices for their students (Lyons & Pinnell, 1999; Tharp & Gallimore, 1988). As teachers watch demonstration lessons by peers and others, they question, clarify understandings and misunderstandings, and revise their thinking about teaching. Research has shown that teacher development is eff ective when specific characteristics are present during training (Lyons & Pinnell, 1999; Lyons, et al., 1993; Pinnell, 2002). Programs should be intensive and l ong term and should be grounded in practice. There should be a balance between demons tration lessons, analysis, and reflection. New learning occurs when the ideas are experienced, analyzed, and discussed with a knowledgeable and more experienced person. There should be opportunities for conversation about the act of teaching among peers as well. Teacher development is
22 most effective when it is supported by a learning c ommunity that shares experiences and conversations about teaching. Teachers learn how t o analyze teaching and learning behaviors and problem solve together in an environm ent such as this. Reading Recovery and Accelerated Literacy Learning are both early intervention programs that utilize successful formats for profes sional development. They have been proven to be successful with teachers and student o utcomes are positive as well (Homan, et al., 2001; Lyons, et al., 1993; King, & Homan, 2 000; Rodgers, 2002). The next section will describe these programs in depth in an effort to provide relevant information about the development of the programs as well as the expe ctations for teachers. Early Intervention Programs For the purposes of this review, early interventi on refers to the practice of identifying and providing support to children, with in the first two years of school, who struggle to learn to read and have been determined to be at-risk of school failure by their teachers (Clay, 1993). It is based upon the premis e that prevention is more effective than remediation. Most of the early intervention progra ms target the first grade since that is the critical year for learning to read (Slavin & Ma dden, 1989). A high correlation has been found between low phonemic awareness at the be ginning of first grade and poor reading progress by the end of first grade (Juel, G riffith, & Gough, 1986; Liberman, 1973; Share, Jorm, Maclean, & Matthews, 1984; Stano vich, Cunningham, & Feeman, 1984; Taylor, Strait, & Medo, 1994; Tunmer & Nesdal e, 1985). An extensive amount of money and resources have be en made available for programs such as Reading Recovery and Accelerated L iteracy Learning, to provide schools with the expertise and training necessary t o deal with children who are finding it
23 difficult to learn to read. Research has shown tha t the expense and training are worth it, in terms of the gains children experience in their literacy development. Dorn, French, & and Jones (1998) suggest that if children are unabl e to successfully read by the end of third grade, they will continue to have difficulty reading and will lag behind their peers in later years. This knowledge emphasizes the need fo r interventions that work. In addition, most of the work needs to be done before third grade if children are going to become successful readers in school. This puts a t remendous amount of pressure on the teachers and especially the children, to make signi ficant gains in reading in the early grades. What training is provided to teachers once they ha ve agreed to participate in an early intervention program? Reading Recovery and A ccelerated Literacy Learning have specific teacher expectations, ongoing assessments, and structured lesson formats for teachers to follow that are essential to the succes s of each program. Learning these requires a great deal of time, commitment, and tena city on the part of each teacher. Reading Recovery Clay (1993, 2002) developed a one-to-one tutoring program known as Reading Recovery (RR), which revolutionalized the t eaching of reading, particularly with children considered at-risk of re ading failure. Reading Recovery is a program that was developed for struggling read ers in first grade. It was founded by Marie Clay, an educator and psychologist from New Zealand. Because of the programs wide acclaim, due to the p ositive results of its targeted first grade sample, many areas of the United States especially Ohio and Pennsylvania, and many nations in Europe and Asia, have implemented the
24 program. It was first introduced in the United Sta tes in Columbus, Ohio in 198485 (DeFord Lyons, & Pinnell, 1991). Reading Rec overy is described as a one-toone tutoring model for first graders who score in t he lowest 20% of their classes on an observational survey developed by Clay (2002). In this program certified teachers tutor individual students for 30 minutes e ach day until they reach the level of average student performance in their classrooms (Pinnell, Lyons, DeFord, Bryk, & Seltzer, 1994). If this happens, students are di scontinued from the program. Should this not happen, after 60 lessons, the stude nts are released from the program but are not discontinued (Wasik & Slavin, 1993). The individual instruction provided in this progra m is critical to its success. Working one-on-one with a student provides an inten sive instructional time. During this time, teachers help students monitor th eir own reading by employing strategies that will help them negotiate the mean ing of texts. Clay (1991) describes the strategies readers use to process tex t as: making predictions looking at the pictures making connections to their own lives self-monitoring by rereading cross-checking information searching for information self-corrections when something isnt right fluency the ability to solve problems
25 Teacher Training The Reading Recovery staff development model and t eacher training program involves three levels of training: trainers of teac her leaders, teacher leaders, and teachers (Lyons, et al., 1993). All participants in the pro gram, regardless of the training level, participate in a yearlong educational program that includes working with four children, behind-the-glass teaching observations, and discuss ions with peers. The behind-the-glass lessons involve bringing a child to the training si te and conducting a lesson behind a oneway glass mirror. The other teachers can hear and observe the lesson on the other side of the mirror and carry on a discussion during the cou rse of the lesson. The discussion focuses on the observed teachers instructional dec isions. They are used to aid in teachers understandings about the procedures, effe cts of teacher decisions, and relationships between the observed lesson and their own teaching. These lessons are intended to stimulate a teachers self-reflection a nd critical analysis of his/her own teaching (DeFord, et al., 1991). As Tharp and Gall imore (1988) suggest, teachers move along a developmental continuum of five stages as t hey regulate their teaching performance: (1) assistance provided by more capabl e others; (2) assistance by others and self-assistance; (3) self-assistance; (4) internali zation and automaticity; and (5) deautomatization and recursion. In other words, as teachers become more skilled at decision-making, they move from regulation by other s, to self-regulation, to automatized behaviors. Trainers of teacher leaders. Teacher leader trainers take university courses on theories of learning, language development, reading and writing, in addition to implementation issues. They learn how to be leader s and instructors of teachers as well
26 as how to provide the necessary support for the suc cessful implementation of the project in their region. During their training, they work with children and continue their own theory building as well. Teacher leaders. Teacher leaders participate in a yearlong education al program that includes a clinical practicum experience, theo retical seminar, supervision practicum, and district apprenticeship. The teacher leaders c omplete all of the training the teachers complete including behind-the-glass demonstrations, observations, and discussions. During their yearlong training they are usually in residence at a university site where they complete 21 graduate hours of university coursework (DeFord et al., 1991). Teacher leaders are required to have a Masters degree and primary teaching experience. During the training year they continue to work with four c hildren daily to practice what they have learned. Even after the training year, the tr ainers continue to work with children to keep them fresh and connected to practice (Lyons et al., 1993). As they think about the ways in which they teach their children, the traine rs are encouraged to think similarly about the training for teachers. Also, upon comple tion of the training year, the teacher leaders continue to receive support from the univer sity trainers. Teachers. DeFord et al. (1991) describes the rigorous trainin g provided to teachers. Reading Recovery teachers meet weekly, i n sessions typically held after school for a year. They receive nine quarter hours of gra duate university course credit for their participation. The teachers should have at least t hree years of primary teaching experience before they participate in the program. Their training year begins in the summer with a 30 hour workshop that they attend bef ore the start of the school year. During the year, Reading Recovery teachers work wit h four children in one-to-one
27 tutoring sessions on a daily basis. Each student w orks with their Reading Recovery teacher for half-hour lessons. The teachers are ob served and supervised by their teacherleader on a regular basis and provided with constru ctive feedback. Also during this time, teachers participate in and observe behind-the-glas s demonstration lessons coupled with peer feedback, on a weekly basis. The goal of the Reading Recovery teacher training is to improve the teaching of at-risk learners (DeFord et al., 1991). Clay (1985) suggests that effective teachers focus on the needs of individual children and design programs that will accelerate t heir progress. She states: It is not enough with problem readers for the teac her to have rapport, to generate interesting tasks and generally to be a good teach er. The teacher must be able to design a superbly sequenced program determined by the childs performance, and to make highly skilled decisions moment by mom ent during the lesson. (p. 53) Reading Recovery teachers learn to do this with gui ded practice and support from their teacher leaders. The business of meeting each stud ent where they are or following the child as it is referred to in Reading Recovery, is central to the teacher training program. In order to do this, teachers must know what childr en can already do. Clay and Cazden (1990) described the Vygotskian pr ocess of helping a child do things that are almost within reach as providing a scaffold for children so that they can work within their zone of proximal development. Sc affolding refers to the support teachers give to their students to help them reach the next level of learning. Scaffolding involves reaching the child at his/her level and pr oviding help to move the learning
28 forward. The amount of help shouldnt be too much, nor should it be too little (Bruner, 2000). Pinnell (1997) stated that Reading Recovery training provides teachers with: a structure that builds content knowledge observational data guidance from knowledgeable experts careful record-keeping demonstration lessons by peers, used for discussion collegiality understanding language in learning as a central foc us Program Expectations The goal of Reading Recovery is for teachers to he lp their students become independent readers. Teachers help children develo p a self-extending system whereby strategies are secure and habituated (Clay, 1993, p.43). Skillful teachers prompt students to use the Reading Recovery strategies by explicitly teaching them, modeling them, and reinforcing students when they use them ( Short, 1991). Teachers must practice careful observation to determine the strategies chi ldren are using as they unlock the meaning of a text. Teachers are trained to keep an ecdotal records of their students reading progress so that they can design a program specific to their students particular learning needs. Dialogue is central to the Reading Recovery progra m as language is used to construct meaning and to learn something new. Inst ruction is a dialogic exchange between the teacher and the student about a text. Natural conversation assumes that there is some telling, some demonstrating, some enc ouraging, some suggesting, some
29 praising, and all other types of human interactions (Lyons, et al., 1993, p. 58). Tharp and Gallimore (1988) refer to these conversations a s instructional conversations. As the teacher and the student converse about the mean ing of a story, they learn from each other. The teacher learns about what the child can already do and the student learns the ways in which to approach an unfamiliar text. Dialogue is also important in a teachers construc tion of knowledge. During the teacher training year and in sessions following tra ining, teachers reflect and talk about their teaching. They observe each other teaching behind the glass and discuss the nuances of the observed interactions to clarify the ir own understandings about how children learn to read. The insights gained during these discussions inform the teachers teaching decisions. The heart of the program is decision-making. Teac hers must be skillful at selecting appropriate materials and activities, dec iding when to interrupt a childs reading to maximize instruction, and knowing when to accele rate a child to the next text level. Clay (1993) stated, The teacher must skillfully se lect the activities needed by a particular child. Otherwise she will slow the chil ds progress further by having him complete unnecessary work, thereby wasting precious learning time (p.19). Time is of the essence in Reading Recovery because lessons are only 30 minutes in length. There is no time to waste. Therefore, teachers must learn t o be responsive to the learner (Askew & Gaffney, 1999). Another key aspect of the program is teacher scaff olding. Askew and Gaffney (1999) described the teachers role in the followin g way:
30 Because the teacher is clear about a childs compe tencies, he or she is free to do things for the child that are not within reach, to help the child do things that are almost within reach, and to expect the child to ac t on things that are within reach (pp. 80-81). Teachers who know their students well, know how to reach them and what to do to accelerate their reading progress. Working one-onone with a child provides an ideal opportunity for a teacher to get to know how that c hilds mind works and what to do to actively engage the child in activities that will g uarantee success in reading. Lyons, et al. (1993) list characteristics of teach ers with higher and lower student outcomes based on an analysis of videotaped Reading Recovery lessons. Teacher leaders coded the tapes and developed the list of descripto rs. They did not have access to student outcome data, which makes it difficult to state wit h certainty that certain teacher behaviors cause higher or lower student outcomes. The teacher leaders did, however, critically evaluate the lessons as they had been tr ained to do with the behind-the-glass observations. The list of teacher characteristics which were associated with higher student outcomes, although not tested and therefore not rigorous from a research standpoint, was still useful in terms of reporting the teaching practices that were considered desirable for the Reading Recovery train ing program. Lyons, et al. (1993, p. 83) listed the following characteristics of teacher s with higher student outcomes: allows time for independent problem-solving; knows when to be quiet persistent in questioning and prompting students to do what they know requires students to problem-solve while reading questions in a way that makes children think and ac t
31 asks the child to evaluate him/herself asks children to be responsible for checking questions in a way that helps children check severa l different sources helps children discount or verify their predictions based on a closer look helps children use oral reading and rehearing to ge t a feedback system going uses specific praise to confirm childrens strategi c behavior provides warm and friendly interaction accepts the childs efforts, even those partially r ight observes and responds to the childs moves personalizes the story for the individual child sounds positive and reassuring that the child has d one something good Accelerated Literacy Learning In Florida, Short, Frye, Homan, and King (1997) de veloped a program known as Accelerated Literacy Learning (ALL), which was base d on the Reading Recovery model. This program, which began as a one-to-one tutoring program, has grown to a one-to-three early intervention program in the first and second grades. In this model, regular classroom teachers are trained to work with a group of three at-risk readers in their own classrooms. The difference between the two program s is that Reading Recovery is a oneto-one, pull-out, tutorial program, whereas ALL emp loys Reading Recovery strategies with small groups of children within the regular cl assroom. This model is referred to as the push-in model because the intervention takes pl ace in the classroom (Homan, King, & Hogarty, 2001).
32 Teacher Training Teachers receiving ALL training attend a two hour class, one time per week. They are trained in assessment, strategy use, accel erating reading progress, meeting individual students needs, and lesson structure. The teachers are expected to identify a group of three struggling readers, in the bottom 10 % of their classes, whom they feel will benefit from the structured lesson format. Teacher s are trained to use Clays Observation Survey (2002) with their students to determine the students for their ALL group. The teachers meet daily with their ALL group for 30 min utes during which time they apply what they have learned in training. In the second semester of their training, the teac hers videotape themselves conducting an ALL lesson and share the video with o ther teachers in the class. The trainers also observe the teachers periodically to provide support and feedback. The goal of the program is to accelerate the progress of chi ldren who lag behind their peers and to foster independent reading behaviors. In order to do this, teachers are trained in scaffolding techniques which can be used to better meet each childs needs. The 30 minute lesson moves very quickly and uses a three part lesson format: Familiar Reading and Running Records, Writing, and Introducing a New Book (Homan, et al., 2001). The lesson begins with a 10 minute warm-up, for children to read familiar books. The teacher takes one or two running record assessments during the first 10 minutes of the lesson. A Running Record (Clay, 200 2) is a record of a students oral reading behaviors. This record is used to design a n appropriate individualized program for each student.
33 The second segment of the lesson involves 10 minut es of writing time, where students learn to construct words and sentences wit h the goal of building writing fluency. It is important to encourage the child to write his own sentence so that the child learns how to transfer what they are thinking onto the pap er. This process allows the child to begin to use letter-sound relationships to break do wn the sounds in the words, and then put them together again. Finally, the last 10 minutes of the lesson are use d to introduce a new book which is the book given to the students to read for the R unning Record the following day. The teacher and the child begin this segment of the les son by looking at the pictures in the entire book, known as a picture-walk (Pinnell, Frie d, & Estice, 1990). As they look at the pictures, students talk about what is happening in the story, make predictions, and learn some of the challenging vocabulary in the story. The purpose of the introduction is to familiarize the child with the story so that the child can successfully read it independently. The challenge that teachers must remember is to make sure that there is enough work for the child to do when she reads it the following day for the Running Record. If the b ook is too easy for the child, the Running Record will not be helpful in determining t he strategies and problem-solving techniques the child uses to attack difficult text. If it is too hard, the child will become frustrated and give up. Teachers must find materia ls that are right at the childs instructional level to use with the child. Only th en will the child accelerate her reading progress. Teachers are encouraged to stay within the 30 minu te format so that they will have time to work with other students as well. In addition, due to the intensity of the
34 lesson, children become exhausted if they have to w ork much longer than 30 minutes with their teacher. They lose interest and stop wo rking, which makes for a very unproductive lesson. Program Expectations The ALL program has expectations for both teachers and students. The program goals (Short, Frye, Homan, & King, 1999) for the st udents include: accelerating the reading progress of ALL students t o a level of average or above supporting and improving students self-esteem by p roviding successful reading and writing experiences in first grade lowering the rate of first grade referrals for spec ial education classes lowering the number of potential high school drop o uts by providing successful reading and writing experiences in first grade Accelerated Literacy Learning students are expected to become independent, strategic readers at the completion of the program. This can only happen when children develop competence in strategy use. Successful readers con fidently approach texts and employ strategies when they come to a part of the text tha t is hard for them. Teachers train students to use strategies by explicitly modeling t hem and cueing students with questions like, Does it look right? (visual cue); Does it sound right? (syntactic cue); and Does it make sense? (semantic cue). These questions ar e used to reinforce strategy use as well as to encourage students to monitor their own reading. Tharp and Gallimore (1988) emphasize the importanc e of instruction by the teacher:
35 The instructing voice of the teacher becomes the s elf-instructing voice of the learner in the transition from apprentice to selfregulated performer. The noninstructing teacher may be denying the learner the most valuable residue of the teaching interaction: that heard, regulating voice, a gradually internalized voice, that then becomes the pupils self-regulati ng still, small instructor. (p. 57) When the ALL teachers use the same questions to cue students to use strategies on a regular basis, the students internalize those quest ions and begin to monitor themselves. ALL teachers are given extensive assessment traini ng. They learn how to administer and score Clays Observation Survey (200 2). This is done at the beginning of their training year so that the teachers can make i nformed decisions about student grouping and needs assessment. Teachers learn the importance of becoming keen observers of children. Lyons and Pinnell (1999) be lieve that observation is an ongoing part of the teaching process. Teachers learn about how children learn and process information by observing their behavior with books. Effective teachers continuously reassess and revise their lessons based upon the ob served behaviors of their students. The minute by minute decision the teacher makes ab out what a child will be asked to do is the key to the success of each lesson. Wh en teachers are astute observers, they are able to determine a childs strengths and areas of confusion. Once these have been established, the teacher can provide appropriate sc affolding to the child to foster reading independence and problem-solving strategies. The t eacher does this by using demonstration, explicit teaching, effective questio ns and prompts, and conversation with
36 the child about the process. Most of all, teachers are expected to be flexible and respond and adjust to the student. Prevention in the Early Grades There has become an increasing awareness, by educa tors and researchers, in recent years, of the critical importance of individ ualized instruction in the reading curriculum at the first grade level (Wasik & Slavin 1993). Anderson (1993) states that children who fail to learn to read by the end of fi rst grade tend to develop low self-esteem and are at risk for continued school failure. With this knowledge in mind then, it is extremely important for first grade teachers to tea ch their students the skills necessary to read first grade texts independently. Also, for th ose students who are having difficulty with the reading process, additional services might be needed, in the form of individual or small group instruction, to meet the needs of the s tudents. Intervention is most likely needed for students in first grade who are at-risk of reading failure. As the U.S. Department of Educati on (2001) has discovered, without intervention, most poor readers remain poor readers limiting their academic achievement and their potential (p.4). It is disconcerting to note that 88 percent of children, who struggle to learn to read in first grade, continue to do so at the end of fourth grade (Juel, 1988). Research has shown that reading failure in the primary grades can be reduced to less than 1 in 10 children with early intervention (Foorman, et al., 1998; Torgeson, Wagner, & Rashotte, 1997; Vellutino, Scanlon, Sipay & Denckla, 1996). Early intervention is crucial to helping at-risk students learn to read.
37 Observation One of the ways to determine whether or not childr en may have future reading difficulties is to become a keen observer o f children. When we document observations of children over time, we can see patt erns that develop which either aid or deter growth (Clay, 1982). Clay (1979) beli eves that it is imperative a teacher carefully observe each child in the class, at frequent intervals, to determine each childs specific strengths and weaknesses. Th is requires a teacher to step away from the act of teaching to observe and think about what is being observed (Clay, 1993). The teacher should not be prompting or instructing during this time, but simply watching what a child can do with print. This is the first step to preventing reading difficulties because teachers ca n become responsive to childrens needs when they know what their students can and cannot do. When teachers carefully document observations of t heir students, they create a picture of each child that clearly shows w hat they already know how to do. With this knowledge, teachers can work with childre n from where they are and build upon their skills, through guidance and scaff olding, to increase their level of reading proficiency (Clay, 1991). The philosophy o f building upon the strengths of the child, rather than the weaknesses, is an import ant one. When a teacher recognizes what a child already knows how to do and helps bridge the gap between what is known and unknown, through scaffolded instr uction, the child can make greater gains, and accelerate his or her learning.
38 Diagnosis Once teachers have a clear picture of what their s tudents can and cannot do, they can begin the diagnostic process to design pro grams and tailor instruction to meet the needs of their individual students. The d iagnostic process should not be rushed, but should provide children with time to or ient themselves to their teacher, class, and learning expectations. This time also g ives the teacher plenty of observational opportunities to find out what childr en already are able to do. Clay (1993) suggests this be done no later than on e year after a child enters school. This allows children additional time to de velop literate behaviors they might not have come to school with, and avoids labe ling them at risk before their skills develop. Teachers need to be cautious about labeling children, especially since children are growing and learning at a rapid rate in the primary grades. In fact nearly half of the nations children can learn to read regardless of the way in which they are taught (Lyon, 1997). This does not mean, however, that children shouldnt receive additional help should they need it. Although a formal diagnosis should not happen befo re a childs first year of schooling, certainly more informal forms of assessm ent should be ongoing throughout the course of the year to help meet the needs of each c hild. When children are actively involved in their learning through their participat ion in literacy tasks, they formulate ideas and deepen their understanding of concepts. Their knowledge can be assessed in many ways.
39 Assessment Assessment refers to the gathering of information about what a child knows and can do. The process is ongoing and can take many f orms. Caldwell (2002) believes assessment involves the following four steps (p.3): 1. Identify what to assess. 2. Collect evidence. 3. Analyze the evidence. 4. Make a decision. Teachers have many choices for gathering reading as sessment data to inform them of their students progress including such things as s tandardized tests, authentic assessment, and reading inventories. Standardized Tests One way of determining what children already know, which is currently present in schools, is through the use of standardized test s. Do standardized tests provide specific information that present what children know or have learned in school? It has become widely recognized by educators and researchers that they do not. Armbruster and Osborn (2002) point out the problems with standardized tes t use in this way: (1) Standardized tests do not reflect a research-b ased understanding of reading, particularly higher-order thinking skills; (2) som e teachers teach to the tests, thus narrowing the classroom curriculum and frag menting teaching and learning; (3) because information about student pe rformance on normreferenced tests typically appears long after the tests are administered, teachers and students are made to feel like passiv e recipients of test
40 information, rather than active participants in an ongoing assessment process; (4) dependency on standardized tests caus es teachers and policymakers to rely on only one indicator of student achieveme nt rather than on the multiple indicators that can emerge from classroom -based assessments. (p. 129) Since the items on the standardized test have only one right answer, if children do not know the answer, they are encouraged to make a best guess. Because of this, one cannot be sure if the student really knows the answer or i f they made a good guess. In fact, teachers are instructed to teach this strategy of m aking the best guess, through the process of elimination, to their students. What one can be sure of then is that a student who performs well on a standardized test is a good test taker. Beyond that, one cannot be certain of what a student knows. As a result, it h as become necessary to reevaluate the ways in which we find out what children have learne d. Authentic Assessment An alternative method of determining what children have learned has been termed authentic assessment. This term is especially app ropriate to signify assessment activities that represent literacy behavior of the community a nd workplace, and that reflect the actual learning and instructional activities of the classroom and out-of-school worlds (Hiebert, Valencia, & Afflerbach, 1994, p. 11). In other words, it is the collection of data, in the form of real tasks that demonstrate wh at children have learned. Portfolio-based assessments, student self-evaluatio ns, work/performance samples, anecdotal records, and journals are examples of aut hentic assessment (Armbruster & Osborn, 2002).
41 Portfolio assessment. In recent years there has become an increasing inte rest in the use of portfolio assessment in classrooms. Bas ically, portfolios include samples of student work over time, which are used to determine what a student has learned. Teachers and students are encouraged to select piec es that will show a students growth. Usually the selections include journals, writing sa mples, running records, drawings, lists of books students have read, reports, and projects. The idea behind portfolio assessment is that the se lections included in a students portfolio will represent what the student has learn ed. The process of selection is one that requires teacher-student collaboration, as they wor k together to choose samples that will show what the child has learned. The portfolio is also an effective tool to use when reporting progress to parents, as it contains actua l, specific pieces that demonstrate what their child has learned. The information provided in the portfolio is very meaningful to students, teachers and parents. Journals. Journals and writing samples provide teachers and p arents with specific information about what a child has learned, in term s of his/her writing progress. Teachers can record a students writing growth over time as they read the writing samples and make anecdotal notes of what a student has lear ned about writing. This information is useful for the teacher in terms of recording stu dent growth and reporting progress to parents. Teachers also gain information about chil dren that might be useful in tailoring instruction to particular students to further their writing progress. Reading Assessment There are many different ways in which to measure a students reading performance. Valencia (1990) suggests that the mea sures used be authentic and
42 trustworthy. That is to say the measures should as sess real reading and use clearly defined assessment procedures. The three purposes of reading assessment identified by Caldwell (2002) are to identify good reading behavi ors, determine a students reading level, and document evidence of student progress. This is done by listening to a child read from a given text and documenting reading beha viors. Running Records. A running record (Clay, 1993) is a way to record th e reading behavior of an individual child while reading. The child is given a text to read and the teacher places a check mark on a paper for every wo rd read correctly. Errors are recorded systematically as to type (meaning, visual structure), and the number of errors are used to calculate the level of text difficulty. The teacher identifies and analyzes a childs errors to determine the cue systems the chi ld employs when a difficult passage is read. Readers can use semantics or meaning, syntax or the structure of the language, and visual information provided by letter/sound relatio nships to identify a word. The running record indicates whether the book read was easy, ap propriate, or too difficult for the student so an appropriate reading level is determin ed for the child. Informal Reading Inventories (IRI). The informal reading inventory is similar to a running record in that it assesses a childs oral reading on a given text. It provides two possible scores: one for word identification accura cy and one for comprehension. These scores are then used to determine three possible le vels for the student. An independent level is represented by 98%-100% word identificatio n accuracy and 90%-100% comprehension accuracy. An instructional level is represented by 90%-97% word identification accuracy and 70-89% comprehension ac curacy. A frustration level is represented by less than 90% word identification ac curacy and less than 70%
43 comprehension accuracy. One purpose of using an IR I is to determine whether or not a student can read and comprehend grade appropriate m aterial. A second purpose is to find a students highest instructional level. Grouping for Instruction Teachers seek to meet the needs of their students a s best they can. This is difficult to do in a classroom with 20-30 students. Clay (1993) believes that the best way to tailor instruction to students needs is by indi vidualizing instruction. If this is not possible within schools, she thinks providing instr uction with small groups of children would be an appropriate alternative. When children are organized into smaller groups, ba sed upon their specific learning needs, teachers can focus on individual st udents more easily than in a large group. In this way teachers can offer instruction that is targeted to each students needs (Caldwell, 2002). The grouping should be flexible such that students can move from one instructional group to another, as they gain skills and make progress. Teachers determine whether or not a child should be moved to a differe nt group based upon regular, ongoing assessments. Small group instruction makes it possible for teach ers to teach students the skills necessary for each student to become independent, s uccessful readers. Pressley, Rankin, and Yokoi (1996) studied the practices of teachers who were considered to be successful in teaching children to read. They discovered that all of the teachers used approaches that were rich in language and literature, but also incl uded explicit skill instruction. The effective teachers provided direct instruction in t he following skill areas: alphabet recognition, phonemic awareness, letter/sound relat ionships, phonics, decoding, and other
44 word attack skills such as recognizing high-frequen cy words, chunking words, and using context. In recent years it has become clear that explicit instruction in decoding or phonics helps students build sound/symbol correspon dence which, when coupled with opportunities to practice these skills in the conte xt of reading, is necessary for reading fluency and success (Adams, 1990; Beck & Juel, 1995 ; Chall & Popp, 1996; Foorman, 1995; Honig, 2001; Share & Stanovich, 1995). Even though 60 to 70 percent of children have had the benefit of rich literary experiences a t home, Honig (2001) believes that all children benefit from explicit, systematic skills i nstruction. Since some students are having difficulty becoming fluent readers of gradeappropriate books, an organized system of skill development is needed for these stu dents (Liberman, Shankweiler, & Liberman, 1991; Torgesen, Wagner, & Rashotte, 1994) Researchers and educators have found that grouping students based upon need is an effective way of providing students with this necessary, specific instruction. Teaching for Strategy Use Those of us in the field of education have recogni zed for at least two decades that reading is a process that involves act ive thinking and the use of strategies to construct meaning from text (Clay, 19 91; Goodman, 1983, Goodman, 1994; Short, 1991). Successful readers use strateg ies for unlocking meaning automatically. They actively search for relationsh ips between new and prior knowledge. They operate on print by problem-solvin g and cross-checking their options, rather like solving a puzzle. If somethin g doesnt make sense, they revise
45 their thinking and make another attempt at problemsolving. Successful readers continuously monitor their reading work (Clay, 1993 ). Children who struggle to learn to read do not use strategies in this way. They often confuse themselves and have difficulty u nderstanding what is read because they do not approach print in an orderly wa y. Reading is difficult for them because they have been unable to discover concepts about print and how text works. Therefore, these children often give up bec ause the reading work is too difficult for them. Children who have difficulty l earning to read will continue to struggle unless they are explicitly taught the stra tegies to use while reading. In order to prevent early reading failure we shou ld be looking for strategies the child is using (Clay, 1979, p. 50). Children who employ strategies for unlocking the semantic, syntactic, and graphoph onetic cues in a text become more successful at learning to read. What are thes e strategies for processing text? Clay (1991) describes the strategies readers use to process text as: making predictions looking at the pictures making connections to their own lives self-monitoring by rereading cross-checking information searching for information self-corrections when something isnt right fluency the ability to solve problems
46 Children who have success with reading employ the a bove strategies, whereas children who have difficulty with reading do not. How are these strategies taught? This can be done by reinforcing the strategies as c hildren attempt to use them. If children do not attempt to help themselves when the y have difficulty decoding a word, then the appropriate strategies should be sug gested and modeled for the child. The teacher should encourage children to em ploy reading strategies, so that their students can become self-regulating, independ ent readers. Predictions Proficient readers automatically think about what they are reading and make predictions about what will happen next in the story. As they read they try to match the text to their predictions of what the tex t will say (Clay, 1993). This requires attention to the text as well as to the me aning of a story. Children who have not been exposed to story structure through ac tively listening to stories both at home and at school, have not developed this ability to predict what will happen next. This strategy develops when children are enc ouraged to practice it while they listen to and read stories. Illustrations Illustrations are integral to the meaning of stori es, particularly in picture books. Children who are in the habit of looking at the pictures to support the meaning of text, have a greater chance of being suc cessful readers. When children are given opportunities to invent stories based upo n the pictures, they learn about the ways in which pictures are used to support the story in books. This strategy
47 will help children develop a sense of story, make p redictions about the story, and aid in meaning construction. Connections Readers bring their knowledge of language, the worl d, and how books work, to the reading task. This prior knowledge is called upon as readers approach a text. Proficient readers use this knowledge to c ontrol the reading task. They are constantly making connections between what they kno w and what they are learning. They use this strategy to help them assi milate new information. If a reader can make a connection between the known and the unknown, they have a greater chance of learning new information. Self-monitoring Proficient readers monitor their reading at all ti mes. Self-monitoring is a skilled process that develops over time with a grea t deal of reading practice. As children become more proficient at reading they lea rn to check on their reading behaviors. If what they are reading does not look right, sound right, or make sense, they reread to check if they have made an error and then correct the error. This is a strategy students develop as they learn to process what they are reading, during the physical act of reading. Cross-checking Cross-checking is a behavior that readers use when they think something they have read is not right. It involves using two sources of information to check one against the other. For example, the child migh t use visual cues to attempt a
48 word, but finds that the word does not make sense. Proficient readers use this strategy to determine if their attempt at a word is correct. Searching for Information Children who have difficulty with a word, learn to problem-solve. This involves searching for information, or cues that wi ll help them attempt the word. The questions that teachers can ask children to pro mote searching behaviors are: Does it look right?, Does it sound right?, Does it make sense? Proficient readers search for information to help them correct their e rrors. Self-corrections Proficient readers who monitor their reading, sear ch for cues in the text, and cross-check information, will correct their own errors (Clay, 1993). When children learn to correct their own errors, they ar e learning to become independent readers. Teachers can encourage children to become independent readers by giving children opportunities to self-correct. Ins tead of telling a child what they have done wrong, teachers can place the responsibil ity on the child by telling them that they made a mistake and then asking them if th ey can find the mistake they made. Fluency Proficient readers read with fluency. This refers to the rate and accuracy with which they read. Readers who can recognize wo rds automatically and group them into meaningful phrases at a rapid rate are ab le to read fluently (Honig, 2001). Students develop reading fluency by reading and rereading familiar texts. They also learn from exposure to fluent reading mod els, such as adults who read to
49 them, listening to stories on tape, choral reading, shared reading, and partner reading (Allington, 1983; Dowhower, 1991). Problem-solving When children are given an unfamiliar text to read they will more than likely engage in reading work (Clay, 1993). Sinc e they are not familiar with the text, they may find parts of the text difficult to read. Proficient readers approach unfamiliar texts with confidence because they are a ble to use problem-solving strategies. These strategies are in the head ope rations that help readers unlock the meaning of texts. Research by Baker and Brown (1984) has shown that the learning of strategies is successful when certain characteristi cs are present within learning environments. They present three factors that are critical to supporting the learning of strategies. The first factor is a focus on the learners awareness of why its important to learn something. The second factor is teaching for strategies while learners are actively engaged in the reading of aut hentic texts. The third factor is an emphasis on the interactions between the teacher and the student. Studies by Harste, Woodward, and Burke (1984) have found that interactions and demonstrations between learners can also support th e learning of strategies. Teachers support students before they actually rea d whole texts. When students choose a book to read, the supportive inte ractions occur both before and during reading. The focus of the interactions befo re reading is on meaning. Teachers introduce the book to students before they attempt to read it so that
50 students can successfully read the book, but also a re challenged by the reading work presented in the text. Comments and questions by teachers, if well-placed can benefit students strategy development. They should not interrupt th e students reading, unless doing so positively fosters the reading process. C lay (1985) suggests teachers ask four main questions to teach and reinforce cue use: 1. Does it make sense? 2. Does it look right? 3. Does it sound right? 4. What would you expect to see? Teachers may choose to use any one of these questio ns based upon the cue systems the student is using or not using. They can be use d to reinforce strategies that are habituated as well as to focus students on cue syst ems that students do not yet use automatically. The goal is to encourage the studen t to self-correct and monitor their own reading, so that they can develop indepen dence, which leads to acceleration. After the student has finished reading, the teache r and student discuss particular sections of the text that were difficult or where the student did some good reading work. When only one or two miscues or sections of texts are discussed, discussions between teacher and student are usually more productive (Short, 1991). Discussing all of the miscues a stu dent makes is usually too overwhelming to the student and consequently not pr oductive. Praise and encouragement are especially effective at reinforci ng behaviors. In the absence of
51 praise and encouragement, learning may be fitful an d unsystematic; only with adequate praise can progress be forward moving (Th arp & Gallimore, 1988, p. 54). The praise the teachers used in the ALL progr am was specific to each child. Rather than use general words of praise such as go od job, the teachers would try to reinforce appropriate reading behaviors and woul d praise specific behaviors by saying things like, Good Billy. You are feeling n ervous, but you shouldnt. You should feel confident because you used your strateg ies (Mrs. Patersons Observational Field Notes, February 26, 2004). Scaffolding the Emergent Reader In teaching, scaffolding refers to the support tea chers give to students to help them reach the next level of learning. Scaffolding involves reaching the child at his/her level and providing help to move the learning forwa rd. The help the teacher provides should be just enough to allow the child to progres s toward independence. It should not be too much help to rob the child of his or her ow n initiative, and not too little so that a child gets frustrated by failure (Bruner, 2000, p. 31). Scaffolding is a constructivist conception in that the teacher facilitates learning at a childs individual level or at the point of need, rather than assuming the traditional stance of the giver of knowledge. The teacher supp orts the learning, which is directed by the child rather than the teacher. As Clay (1993) states, One simply takes the pupil from where he is to somewhere else (p. 12). This can o nly be done if the teacher knows where the child is. Then knowledge is constructe d through the interactions of the child with the teacher.
52 This social constructivist concept, where the stud ent constructs knowledge with the help and guidance of the teacher, is supported by Vygotskys Zone of Proximal Development (Vygotsky, 1978). Vygotsky identified the distance between what a child can accomplish independently and what the child can do with the help of someone more knowledgeable as the Zone of Proximal Development. It is the targeted area for teachers to effectively reach with their students to maximiz e student progress. This is due to the fact that it is the area where new learning can tak e place. The Zone of Proximal Development is the area where by students can take in new learning with assistance. Without assistanc e, the new learning would be too difficult and thus might not be learned. Tharp and Gallimore (1988) refer to this scaffolded learning as assisted performance. The y identify five ways in which to assist student performance: modeling, management a nd praise, feedback, questioning, and cognitive structuring. The goal o f assisted performance by the teacher is to support student learning. Clay (1993 ) believes that the goal of scaffolded instruction should be to help children d evelop a self-extending system. This refers to a set of operations just adequate f or reading a slightly more difficult text for the precise words and meanings of the auth or (p. 39). Chapter Summary One of the greatest challenges our nation faces in education today is ensuring that no child is left behind. Every child has the rig ht to literacy, but not every child comes to school with the same language and literacy exper iences that provide a successful transition from home to school (Delpit, 2002; Heath 2002). Because of this, teachers are
53 finding the need for literacy interventions with th eir students who are struggling to become literate. All children benefit from active engagement in lit eracy activities at school, much like they do from the types of activities that children participate in at home to acquire literacy, but the children who need this ty pe of engagement the most are those who have not been exposed to them at home. F or this reason, children should participate in a balanced reading program at school that includes opportunities for read alouds, practice reading fam iliar texts to build fluency and deepen the meaning of stories, shared readings with the teacher, and guided reading, individually or in small groups, with supp ort from the teacher (Dorn, French, & Jones, 1998). Teachers should engage the ir students in conversations about stories, to model for them how meaning is con structed and connections are made between text and real life. In this way, chil dren discover that print has meaning. They also learn how to think about what t hey are reading, as they are reading, to see if the context makes sense. Another way to engage children in stories is to ha ve them interact with them. This can be done by asking students to retel l stories in their own words and/or act out stories, both of which aid in a chil ds construction of meaning. Once children become engaged in literacy activities, tea chers can observe children to find out more about their literate behaviors. Children who have difficulty learning to read requi re more time and specific guidance from their teachers. They need i ndividualized instruction that will provide them with the specific skills needed t o succeed in reading. This must
54 be done explicitly and directly by knowledgeable te achers who are responsive to their students. How much time should teachers allow for their work with struggling readers? Generally, Clay (1979) suggests that teac hers should allow twice as much time for their slow readers as for their good reade rs. Teachers sometimes plan to work with their good readers first, thinking that s aving their slow readers for later will allow more time for them. Unfortunately, in d oing this, teachers sometimes find that they dont get around to working with the ir slow readers. Working with the slow readers should take priority over working with the good readers, since they are the ones who are in need of the teachers guidance the most. A comprehensive review of the literature supports the view that at-risk students need explicit, individualized instruction from their teachers, if they are to become fluent, independent readers. Teachers who a re knowledgeable, responsive, and skillful at selecting activities needed by the students they work with to foster this growth in reading, are crucial to the success of the program (Clay, 1993). Therefore, intensive teacher-training is necessary to provide teachers with the necessary skills to help their students become successful readers. A study that explores the depth of a training program that suppo rts teachers as they change their practice and apply what they have learned in their classroom as a result of training, will provide educators and researchers with pertine nt information regarding effective ways to implement new teaching innovation s in schools. There is a growing body of research that supports the use of early intervention programs with at-risk students, partic ularly in the area of literacy, and
55 this study will add to the body of knowledge by des cribing one particular training program (ALL) and the processes of two teachers as they apply what they have learned from their participation in the early inter vention training program in their respective classrooms.
56 CHAPTER THREE: METHOD This chapter describes how this research study was conducted. There are five main sections in this chapter. The first section e xplains the purpose of the study and the research questions. The second section discusses t he research design, including the theoretical research approaches of the study. The third section describes the participants and the school site, including my role as a researc her, since I was a participant-observer in this study. The fourth section reports the data collection and analysis procedures. The fifth section explains how I ensured credibility an d viability by triangulating the data sources. Finally, a timeline is provided at the co nclusion of the chapter to document the time I spent in the field. The Purpose of the Study and Research Questions The purpose of this qualitative research study was to describe and explain the characteristics of a successful professional develo pment model in an early intervention training program. The focus of the study was on pa rticular aspects of literacy instruction that were emphasized during training sessions and t rainer and teacher perceptions of the Accelerated Literacy Learning (ALL) program. In pa rticular, this study investigated how two teachers applied what they had learned from the ir participation for two semesters in the ALL Training Program. This study examined the elements of training that two teachers chose to transfer to their classrooms, as well as modifications they chose to make, in the year following training in an effort t o gain further insight into effective teacher training practices.
57 The following research questions guided this study: 1. How do teachers who have received early interve ntion training for two semesters apply this knowledge in their classrooms durin g the following school year? 2. What do teachers choose to use and not use from the training program and why? 3. What modifications of the program do teachers m ake, if any, and why? 4. What are the perceptions of trainers about an e arly intervention training program? Due to the emergent nature of this qualitative case study, broader ideas beyond the basic questions arose and were reported and explained in depth (Bogdan & Biklen, 2003). Research Design This qualitative study employed a case study desig n which was used to describe, explain, and interpret the overall processes of tea cher training in literacy instruction for at-risk students. A phenomenological approach guid ed this studys focus on how teachers applied what they had learned from the Acc elerated Literacy Learning early intervention training program in their classrooms d uring the school year following their training. The experiences of trainers and teachers in the program were documented during the training year in order to discover their perceptions of the training program. An examination of the elements of training was also ma de to determine what was taught in the program and what teachers chose to use and/or m odify from the program in their classrooms, in the school year following their trai ning. Table 2 outlines the research questions and study design.
58 Table 2 Research Questions and Study Design ___________________________________________________ ____________________________ Question Data Collection Analysis ___________________________________________________ ____________________________ How do teachers who have Field notes of tr aining Conversation Analysis received early intervention sessions, inte rviews, (Moerman, 1988) training for two semesters focus group interviews, Pattern Analysis apply this knowledge in their classroom observ ational (Miles & Huberman, 1994) classrooms during the field notes, training documents Interview Analysis following school year? (Hycner, 1985; Seidman, 1 998) Document Analysis (Patton, 2002) What do teachers choose to Individual inter views, Pattern Analysis use and not use from the focus group in terviews, (Miles & Huberman, 1994) training program and why? classroom observa tional Interview Analysis field notes (Hycner, 1985: Seidman, 1998) Content Analysis (Patton, 2002) What modifications of the Individual int erviews, Pattern Analysis program do teachers make, focus group int erviews, (Miles & Huberman, 1994) if any, and why? classroo m observational Interview Analysis field notes (Hycner, 1985; Seidman, 1998) Content Analysis (Patton, 2002) What are the perceptions Individual interviews, In terview Analysis of trainers about an early focus group interviews (Hycner, 1985; Seidman, 1998) intervention training program? ___________________________________________________ ____________________________ Theoretical Research Approaches The design of the study was guided by two theoreti cal research approaches. These research approaches included phenomenology an d heuristic inquiry. Patton (2002) refers to phenomenology as the study of the lived experience of people who directly experience the phenomenon. This requires a very cl ose and careful study of the phenomenon as well as in-depth interviews with peop le who experience the phenomenon
59 to gain a deeper understanding of the phenomenon un der study (Hycner, 1985; Patton, 2002). In this particular study the phenomenon I i nvestigated was the trainers and teachers perceptions of the ALL training and their understanding and application of ALL concepts in their classrooms. Heuristic inquiry re fers to an intense personal experience with the phenomenon (Patton, 2002). Since I immers ed myself in the ALL culture for two semesters, as a participant of the Accelerated Literacy Learning training program, a heuristic research approach was also employed. Phenomenological Research Approach A phenomenological research approach is one that i s used to report how people experience a phenomenon, including a group of peopl es perceived realities in a particular context (Holstein & Gubrium, 1994; Hopki ns, 1994; Moustakas, 1994; Patton, 2002). Phenomenologists believe in the existence o f an essence of a phenomenon and seek to report this essence through the perceptions of the participants who have experienced the phenomenon. A phenomenological app roach is used to deeply examine the subjective occurrences of phenomena by providin g a careful description of each persons lived experience or actual reality experie ncing the phenomenon. In a sense, a persons perception is their reality and that is wh at phenomenologists seek to study. The philosophical underpinnings of phenomenology a re largely based upon a system of subjective openness developed by Edmund H usserl (1859-1938). He believed that personal understanding comes from experience. His philosophy stressed conscious awareness through reflection on the core meaning (e ssence) of experience. Husserl believed a persons consciousness is developed thro ugh the interactions of individual
60 perceptions and knowledge of the world. In this re gard, Husserl maintained that knowledge is founded in a persons perceptions of a n experience. Researchers who choose to use a phenomenological a pproach seek to understand the phenomenon under investigation by immersing the mselves in the natural setting. They conduct interviews with participants and obser ve participants interactions in the setting to gain an understanding of the participant s experiences. The field notes and transcripts from the interview data are analyzed as well as pertinent documents collected from the setting. All of these data sources are an alyzed in an effort to describe and interpret the phenomenon under investigation. Phenomenological analysis involves something known as epoche Epoche is a Greek term that means to refrain from judgment. Th is entails suspending judgment until all of the evidence has been collected (Moustakas, 1994, Patton, 2002). Once all of the data have been collected, then a researcher can beg in phenomenological reduction, which involves bracketing Bracketing is a term coined by Husserl (1913), w hich refers to the analytical process of taking the phenomenon out of the natural world and dissecting its elements for thorough inspection (Denzin, 1989; Pat ton, 2002). After a deep phenomenological analysis of the data, the research er chooses to report the findings in a way that accurately depicts the participants exper iences with the phenomenon. Heuristic Inquiry Heuristic inquiry refers to an intense personal ex perience with the phenomenon (Patton, 2002). Although heuristics is a form of p henomenological inquiry, it differs to the extent that the personal experiences of the res earcher are at the forefront, rather than
61 excluded (Douglass & Moustakas, 1985). Heuristic i nquiry differs from phenomenology in the following four ways outlined by Douglass and Moustakas (1985): 1. Heuristics emphasizes connectedness and relati onship, while phenomenology encourages more detachment in analyzing an ex perience. 2. Heuristics leads to depictions of essential m eanings and portrayal of the intrigue and personal significance that imbue the search to know, while phenomenology emphasizes definitive descripti ons of the structures of experience. 3. Heuristics concludes with a creative synthesi s that includes the researchers intuition and tacit understandings, while phe nomenology presents a distillation of the structures of experience. 4. Whereas phenomenology loses the persons in th e process of descriptive analysis, in heuristics the research particip ants remain visible in the examination of the data and continue to be po rtrayed as whole persons. Phenomenology ends with the essence of experi ence; heuristics retains the essence of the person in experience (p. 43) The fact that I personally experienced the phenomen on, by working with children and directly engaging in the program as a participant, makes the heuristic inquiry approach an appropriate one to use in this study. I shared in the intensity of the phenomenon with the participants of the study and therefore have a voic e in the study. My interpretations are influenced by my personal perceptions and experienc es with the program.
62 Descriptive Case Study Stake (1995) defines case study as a detailed stud y of a single case to understand its inherent complexities. Case studies are often employed in qualitative research to provide particular, exacting accounts of specific s ituations (Merriam, 1988; Yin, 1989). According to Patton (2002), well-constructed case s tudies are holistic and context sensitive (p. 447). Cases can be programs, groups cultures, or individuals. They are units of analysis. There are multiple case studies or units of analysis, in this study. Each case in this particular study constitutes an indivi duals perceptions of the phenomenon under investigation. Descriptive case studies lend themselves to answe ring how and why research questions (Yin, 1989). This study sought answers t o questions about how teachers used what they had learned in a training program in thei r classrooms and why they chose to use certain elements of training and make modificat ions to others. Interviews and observations of the participants in this study info rmed the development of each detailed, descriptive case study. Participants and School Site The participants in this study comprised a site-ba sed trainer, two support trainers, and six participant teachers in the ALL Training Pr ogram. Purposeful sampling (Patton, 2002) was used to identify two extreme cases at one school site, in an attempt to yield information-rich cases about how two teachers appli ed what they had learned from the ALL Training Program. This provided a more focused understanding of what elements of training teachers chose to use and/or modify in their classrooms. The sampling was done during the training year. One teacher was cho sen because she reported that she was
63 using what she had learned in training and intended to use it the following year. In fact, she stated that she had included ALL in her profess ional development plan for the following school year. Another teacher was chosen because she reported that she was not using certain elements of the ALL program. Subsequ ent observations confirmed the teachers self-reports. Both teachers agreed to pa rticipate in the study and signed written consent forms. Choosing one confirming and one dis confirming case in this study helped to elaborate the findings, adding richness, depth, and interest to each descriptive case study. Participants The participants in this study included one 50 year old white female site-based trainer, Ms. Hazlett, and two teachers. One 47 yea r old black female first grade teacher, Mrs. Paterson, and one 27 year old white female fir st grade teacher, Ms. Stone, were purposefully selected from the participating teache rs to be systematically observed and individually interviewed to provide a deeper unders tanding of how each teacher used the elements of training provided during the training s essions in their respective classrooms in the year following their training. One of the developers of the ALL program, who is a professor at the University of South Florida, also participated in this study. Dr K provided guidance during the training sessions to teachers and trainers. He was trained to be a teacher trainer in Reading Recovery at Richardson, which was the first site outside of Ohio State University. He was trained by Billie Askew in her first training class. Dr. K questioned, probed, and provided comments during the training s essions, as we watched the teachers videotapes to guide our understanding of ALL concep ts.
64 Pseudonyms were given to the participants in this study to protect their identities and maintain confidentiality. I asked the site-bas ed trainer and the selected teachers for their input on creating pseudonyms for each of them One teacher joked that if she could choose an identity for herself, then she would like to be known as Sharon Stone. This participant teachers name became Ms. Stone for the purposes of this study. The sitebased trainer and the other teacher gave me permiss ion to create pseudonyms for them. I chose the name Ms. Hazlett to refer to the site-bas ed trainer and the name Mrs. Paterson to refer to the other first grade teacher. Dr. K w as the pseudonym chosen for the university professor and developer of the ALL progr am. School Site All of the study participants were at the same scho ol site. The school site was chosen because it was the site where the training t ook place, where the site-based trainer was employed, and where eight of the participant te achers were employed. In addition, the researcher had established a rapport with the p rincipal and teachers prior to the study and therefore had no difficulty in obtaining approv al for the study. The school site was in an urban, low socio-economic area of Florida and al l students at the site qualified for free and reduced school lunch. There were 889 students enrolled in the school. The ethnicity of the students is reported in Table 1. Table 1 Ethnic Enrollment at School Site Total White Black Hispanic Asian Indian Multir acial Enrollment 889 128 379 331 5 1 45
65 Researchers Role I was a participant observer in this study. Havin g established relationships with the teachers as a participant enrolled in the progr am with them the previous year, all of the teachers gave their consent to participate in t he study. The teachers were also mindful of my role as an observer, as I took scripted field notes during the second semester of the training program and conducted focus group and indi vidual interviews. Therefore, teachers were accustomed to my presence as an obser ving participant. Scripted field notes refer to notes that are taken that capture as much of the dialogue as possible between the teacher and her students during instruc tion in the classroom. I was trained to use scripted field notes when I collected data for the National Longitudinal Evaluation of Comprehensive School Reform (NLECSR) for the David C. Anchin Center at the University of South Florida (USF) and the American Institutes of Research (AIR) in the 2002-2003 school year. Two teachers, who were purposefully selected from t he school site to participate in the study, were accustomed to my role as a resea rcher due to the fact that I collected data during the second semester of the training pro gram. These teachers therefore had experience with a participant observer. Since this research study commenced during a new school year, however, the children were not acc ustomed to the presence of a researcher. Because of this, I began the data coll ection at the beginning of the school year, so the students would immediately come to exp ect my presence during the literacy period.
66 Pre-study Involvement I enrolled in the Accelerated Literacy Learning Tr aining Program with the teachers participating in this study, during the pr evious school year. I attended the classes with the participants for two semesters and worked with a group of three students from one participants classroom. During the first semester of the program, I developed a rapport with the teachers and worked with students at the school site. I pulled out three students from one participant teachers classroom, as the training required, and worked with them in the site-based trainers portable beca use the teacher was not comfortable with the idea of me working in her classroom at tha t time. During the second semester, I approached the participant teacher, who also happen ed to be the teacher of the students in my ALL group, and asked if I could work with my gro up in the teachers classroom. The teacher agreed and I met with my ALL group of stude nts two times per week in the teachers classroom, for an entire semester. Durin g that time, the teacher and I shared information about our students as well as materials and the teacher agreed to participate in the research study. Also during the second semester, I began to take f ield notes of the ALL training sessions and conducted a pilot study with six teach ers from the site-based trainers school. This was done to test the interview protoc ol. All of the teachers at the site agreed to participate in the study and signed consent form s at that time. The teachers who participated in the ALL training at the school site were very cooperative and willing to talk with me about the Accelerated Literacy Learnin g program, their experiences with the training, and its use in their classrooms.
67 Data Collection Field notes were taken during the ALL training ses sions in Spring 2003. Full-day observations in each of the participating teachers classrooms were made in August, 2003. During this time, I took field notes of the literacy practices each teacher used with students throughout the school day, to gain a compr ehensive understanding about literacy learning in each teachers classroom. Subsequent o bservations took place during each teachers guided reading lesson time in Fall 2003 a nd Spring 2004. Field notes were taken at that time to determine elements of the ALL training that teachers used in their literacy lessons. Individual phenomenological inte rviews (Patton 2002) were conducted with the site-based trainer in Spring, 2003 and wit h two teachers in Spring 2003 and Spring 2004. Two focus group interviews were condu cted in Spring 2003 with a total of six ALL participating teachers. In addition, one f ocus group interview was conducted in Spring 2003 with the two support trainers. Data Sources Data collected for this study were from numerous s ources. Data collected by me during the training sessions in Spring, 2003 includ ed such things as field notes of training classes, agendas, handouts, and other pertinent doc uments about the program. Other data included (1) transcriptions of individual interview s, (2) transcriptions of focus group interviews, and (3) field notes from classroom obse rvations. All data were transcribed by me. Data triangulation of these various sources st rengthened the study (Patton, 2002). Observational Field Notes I took field notes during the ALL training classes for a period of 11 weeks. The field notes provided detailed information about the content, support structures, and
68 expectations of the training program. I also took 22 days of observational field notes in two teachers classrooms in the year following trai ning. These data were analyzed to ascertain the elements of training they were using as well as to document any modifications they chose to make in their classroom s. Interviews One individual phenomenological interview (Seidman, 1991) of approximately 30 minutes was conducted with the site-based trainer t o obtain in-depth information from her about her perceptions and experiences with the ALL Training Program and her decisions about what to emphasize in training. An interview protocol (Appendix B) was used with the site-based trainer. I transcribed the audiota pe and analyzed the transcript as well as the training transcripts to prepare a case study wi th the information gathered from these data. Teachers who volunteered to participate in the stu dy were purposefully selected based upon data obtained from focus group interview s conducted by me during Spring, 2003. At that time one teacher reported that she p lanned to use the ALL model in her classroom and another said that she would not. The two teachers were interviewed for approximately 30 minutes, in Spring, 2003 and Sprin g, 2004. Interview protocols were used with each teacher (Appendices A and B). The i nterviews were conducted to determine what elements of ALL training the teacher s had chosen to use and not use in their classrooms as well as any modifications that they chose to make and the reasons for their individual choices. A semi-standardized interview protocol (Appendices A and B) was used with the ALL participants and site-based trainer in an attem pt to be consistent with the questions.
69 However, due to the emergent nature of this study, questions were adapted and changed, based on the participants responses, when appropri ate. In this way data were captured that might not have been, had only pre-determined q uestions been asked. The teachers were also observed during their regularly scheduled literacy block, for a period of four weeks in Fall 2003 and four weeks in Spring 2004 to determine the elements of the ALL program that they had incorporated into their liter acy lessons. ALL Course Documents Pertinent course documents were collected from the ALL Training Program to determine the elements of training that were taught in the program. These documents included a course syllabus (see Appendix C), sample agendas (see Appendix H), a tentative course schedule (see Appendix D), and ane cdotal record forms (see Appendix F and Appendix G). These documents were collected in an effort to understand the Accelerated Literacy Learning course content. Data Analysis The analysis of the data involved a careful review of data gathered from trainer interviews, teacher interviews, focus group intervi ews, and observations of classrooms. Since this qualitative case study employed a natura listic design, the categories for analysis emerged from the data. Due to the develop ment of multiple cases in this study, the constant comparative method was used to analyze the data (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Patton, 2002). The data were coded case by case. The analysis process involved reading the transcripts for each case carefully several tim es to gain a holistic sense of the data for each case. The data were then analyzed line by lin e and units of meaning were identified. Constructs developed from the emerging data. Data were coded with a Construct Key
70 (see Appendix E) for elements of ALL training that were used in each teachers classroom during literacy instruction. The analysis of the data required qualitative anal ysis procedures. Hycners (1985) and Seidmans (1998) suggestions for interview anal ysis guided the analysis of data obtained from individual interviews and focus group interviews. Pattons (2002) guidelines for content analysis and Moermans (1988 ) suggestions for conversation analysis guided the analysis of field notes and tra nscripts of interviews. In addition, Miles and Hubermans pattern analysis (1994) was us ed to code data and look for emerging patterns. Analysis Procedures My first task involved typing the field notes from the ALL training sessions and observations of classrooms to cook the data (Hubb ard & Power, 1993). I also transcribed the audiotapes of the teacher and train er interviews to remain close to the data (Wolcott, 1994). Once these tasks were accomplishe d I began the difficult task of reading and analyzing all of the transcript data. First, I read the field notes from the ALL training sessions through twice to gain a holistic sense of the data. I then read each line of the ALL transcripts and highlighted units of meaning (Patton, 2002). Construct names e merged from these data. The construct names came directly from the data. One e xample that illustrates how this was done was from one support trainer when she commente d, We want to be supportive, in the training transcript. This sentence was highlig hted and the paragraph was bracketed with the construct name, Support This step was repeated when I read the transcrip t from the interview with the ALL trainer. I read through the transcript twice for a holistic sense
71 of the data. I then read each line of the intervie w transcript and highlighted units of meaning. Construct names emerged from these data. I employed the same procedures with the support tr ainers interview data. After coding all of the observational training data and t rainer interview data, I discussed the constructs with the site-based trainer for confirma tion. I did this to determine the elements of the training that were taught in the AL L Training Program. I then created a Construct Key (see Appendix E) with construct headi ngs, construct names, and descriptions for each construct to be utilized for coding purposes with the data collected from the teachers. The next step involved reading through the field n otes of the 22 observations from Mrs. Patersons classroom through twice. I read ea ch line of the transcripts and highlighted units of meaning. I used the Construct Key (see Appendix E) to be consistent with construct names from the emerging data, but al so added any new emerging constructs from Mrs. Patersons data to the Constru ct Key. Following this, I read through the transcripts of the interviews with Ms. Paterson through twice. I read each line of each of the transcripts and highlighted units of meaning I applied the same procedures with the interview data as I had with the observational data. I then discussed the constructs with Mrs. Paterson for confirmation. After this, I added these constructs and descriptions for each construct to the Construct Key (see Append ix E). The next step involved reading the field notes of the 22 observations of Ms. Stones classroom through twice. I read each line of each of the transcripts and highlighted units of meaning. I used the Construct Key (see Appendix E) to be consistent with construct names from the emerging data, but al so added any new emerging
72 constructs from Ms. Stones data to the Construct K ey. I then read the transcripts from the interviews with Ms. Stone through twice. Follo wing this, I read each line of the interview transcripts and highlighted units of mean ing. I applied the same procedures with the interview data as I had with the observati onal data. I then discussed the constructs with Ms. Stone for confirmation. Once t his was done, I added these construct and descriptions of the constructs to the Construct Key (see Appendix E). Next, I read the transcripts from the focus group interviews through twice. I then read each line of each of the transcripts and highl ighted units of meaning. I used the Construct Key (see Appendix E) to be consistent wit h construct names from the emerging data, but also added any new emerging constructs fr om the data to the Construct Key. After all of the data were analyzed once, I analyz ed these data again with the finalized construct key. I discussed the construct key with a qualitative researcher. I sent a transcript from a classroom observation to be ana lyzed by the researcher. I compared her analysis to my own. We continued to discuss th e construct key and analysis procedures and analyzed transcripts until we reache d agreement on the meanings and descriptions of the constructs, which helped to cla rify the analysis procedures. The following subsections specify the analysis procedur es used for each of the data sources. Field Notes from ALL Training Field notes of the ALL training sessions were coded session by session to discover emerging themes from each session and acro ss sessions. These data were used to describe the expectations of the ALL training pr ogram, which was helpful in comparing what was expected of the teachers receivi ng training with what teachers actually did in their classrooms. Data were analyz ed to determine the elements of
73 training and the emphasis placed upon each of the e lements. After the elements were identified and assigned construct names, they were grouped according to type under a construct heading. The frequency for which each el ement occurred in the data determined whether or not the element was emphasize d in training. Interview with Site-based Trainer The transcript of the audiotape from the interview with the site-based trainer was analyzed line by line. Constructs emerged from the data. These data informed the researcher about the site-based trainers perspecti ves on the ALL training program and the particular elements of ALL she felt should be e mphasized for the success of the program. Focus Group Interviews and Individual Teacher Inter views Transcripts of audiotapes from two focus group int erviews with six of the participating teachers were analyzed using Hycners (1985) guidelines for interview analysis. In addition, two individual interviews ( during and after training) from each of the two teachers were analyzed. They were carefull y studied to determine what elements of training teachers used from the program and the reasons for their choices. Field Notes from Observations of Classrooms Transcripts from observations of two teachers rea ding lessons were analyzed using Moermans (1988) conversation analysis. The recorded data captured as much of the conversation as possible between the teacher an d her students to determine patterns of teacher/student interaction. Conversational elemen ts, such as interrupting, pausing, and discussing meaning were noted in the field notes. This allowed for a careful, detailed
74 examination of teacher/student interaction. Constr ucts emerged from these data and were added to the construct key as well. ALL Agendas and Course Documents Document analysis (Bogdan & Biklen, 1998) informed the way in which the agendas and course documents were analyzed. The AL L agendas and documents provided specific information regarding what was ta ught during the ALL training sessions. Please refer to Appendix C for a copy of the ALL Course Syllabus. Please refer to Appendix F for a copy of the anecdotal rec ord form that Mrs. Paterson used daily with her Reading groups and to Appendix G for a cop y of the anecdotal record form that Ms. Stone used daily with her Reading groups. Ensuring Credibility This section is devoted to addressing the issues o f credibility in this study. Data triangulation, analysis checks with another qualifi ed researcher, as well as member checks with the study participants helped to ensure the quality and credibility of the study. Credibility ensures the accuracy of the dat a. It is my responsibility as the researcher to ensure the truthfulness of the findin gs and to carefully report these findings correctly to ensure the quality of the study. Data Triangulation The term triangulation brings to mind a common geometric shape the tria ngle. The form of the triangle is strong and is used to c onstruct geodesic domes (Patton 2002). In research, triangulation is used to strengthen th e findings of a study. Data triangulation refers to the use of multiple methods of inquiry, s uch as interviews, observations, and document analysis to obtain in-depth understandings of phenomena (Bogdan & Biklen,
75 2003; Denzin & Lincoln, 2003). In this study I emp loyed data triangulation by collecting data from three sources: interviews, observations, and course documents. I collected these data from multiple sources as well: site-base d trainer, support trainers, and six teachers to add further rigor, breadth, and depth t o my investigation of an early intervention training program and to strengthen the credibility of the study (Berg, 2004). Analysis Checks A qualitative researcher employed at the David C. A nchin Center at the University of South Florida for five years, and the project manager for the National Longitudinal Evaluation of Comprehensive School Ref orm (NLECSR) read several transcripts. She analyzed the data using the Const ruct Key (see Appendix E) and confirmed the constructs and construct headings. T his process aided in developing specific definitions for the constructs, which in t urn helped with the analysis procedures. The qualitative researcher was given a construct ke y developed by me for coding purposes. The construct key included the construct s with descriptions of each element of training. She was given several transcripts of fie ld notes from a typical reading group lesson from one teacher to analyze for elements of training. Her coded transcript was compared to the same transcript coded by me to dete rmine the clarity of the constructs and definitions. We discussed any areas of disagre ement and reworded descriptions presented in the construct key that were unclear fo r a better understanding of the elements of ALL training. Member Checks Phenomenologists provide participants with access to their data (Hycner, 1985; Moustakas, 1994). The constructs and emerging them es from the field notes of the ALL
76 training sessions were shared with Ms. Hazlett, the site-based trainer. She provided her perspectives on the emerging data and confirmed the constructs and themes. Since she had conducted the training, she had a deep understa nding of the training context. By confirming the emerging themes, the site-based trai ner informed the finalized constructs and helped me avoid any potential bias issues. I a lso shared Ms. Hazletts written case study with her. She confirmed the themes and agree d with the presentation and findings of her case study. Case studies of two teachers were shared with the r espective teachers as well. Upon completion of each case, the transcripts and t hemes were shared with each teacher to determine if they agreed with them. Both teache rs agreed with the presentation of the case and the findings of the study. Timeline An IRB was approved prior to this study for the pi lot study conducted at one of the school sites and a continuation was filed and a pproved until November 2004. A letter of approval from the county was obtained and submit ted as well as a letter from the principal at the school site. In addition, the tea chers at the school site signed their consent forms and agreed to participate in the stud y. Data collection began in Spring 2003 and continued until Spring 2004. The followin g procedures were used in this study: 1. I participated in the ALL Training Program from August 2002 April 2003. 2. I took field notes of the ALL training sessions for 11 weeks in Spring 2003. 3. I conducted two focus group interviews, with th ree teachers in each group, in Spring 2003. 4. I purposefully selected two teachers to intervi ew and observe based upon information
77 gleaned from the focus group interviews. 5. I individually interviewed the selected two tea chers twice (Spring 2003 and Spring 2004), and the site-based trainer and two supp ort trainers once in Spring 2003. 6. During the first week of school, in August 2003 I made a full-day observation to obtain information about literacy instruction and practices in the context of each classroom. 7. Twenty-two observations were made in each class room during guided reading time, which is the period of time when teacher s meet with small groups of students, and during their literacy period. 8. I held an exit meeting with each teacher and th e site-based trainer upon the completion of the data collection pro cess in Spring 2004. 9. I transcribed, organized, analyzed, and interpr eted the data from Spring 2004 Spring 2007. 10. I conducted a member check with each of the pa rticipants in the study to confirm the findings of the study in Spring 2007. Table 3 presents the timeline for this qualitative case study. Table 3 Study Timeline Date Procedures Aug. 2002-April 2003 I participated in the ALL Tra ining Program. Jan. 2003-April 2003 I took 11 weeks of field note s of the ALL Training Program. Feb. 18, 2003 I conducted a focus group interview with two trainers. Feb. 19, 2003 I conducted a focus group interview with three teachers. I interviewed Ms. Hazlett.
78 Study Timeline (continued). Date Procedures Feb. 26, 2003 I conducted a 2nd focus group interview with three teachers. April 2, 2003 I interviewed Ms. Stone. April 10, 2003 I interviewed Mrs. Paterson. Aug. 8, 2003 I made a full day observation and to ok field notes of literacy instruction in each teachers classroo m. Aug. 12-Sept. 12, 2004 I made daily observations an d took field notes of literacy instruction in each teachers classroom. Feb. 24-Mar. 18, 2004 I made daily observations an d took field notes of literacy instruction in each teachers classroom. Mar. 19. 2004 Exit meeting with each teacher and site-based trainer. Mar. 2004-Mar. 2007 I transcribed, organized, anal yzed, and interpreted the data. Feb. 2007 I conducted a member check with each of the participants in the study to confirm the study findings. Chapter Summary This chapter described how this research study was conducted. I explained the purpose of the study and the research questions. I discussed the research design, including the theoretical research approaches of th e study and the rationale for employing a qualitative case study design. I also described the selection of participants and the school site, including my role as a researcher, sin ce I was a participant-observer in this study. The data collection and analysis procedures were a lso included in this chapter. I explained how I took field notes of observations of training sessions and teachers classrooms, conducted interviews with trainers and teachers, and collected and analyzed course materials. I also shared how I ensured cred ibility and viability by triangulating the
79 data sources in this study and conducting analysis checks, including my collaboration with a qualitative researcher and member checks wit h participants. Finally, I provided a timeline to document the time I spent in the field and the sequence of procedures used in this study.
80 CHAPTER FOUR: FINDINGS This chapter provides an in-depth look at the ALL T raining Program by offering detailed information regarding the background and p erceptions of the trainers, participant teachers, and school site. Descriptions and interp retations will be presented involving the first and second semester experiences within the AL L Training Program. An analysis of data collected from observational field notes of tw o participant teachers who received a year of ALL training will also be presented and exp lained in an effort to determine what elements of training teachers used and/or modified in their classrooms a year after their training. In an attempt to present the data as acc urately as possible, direct quotes from trainers and participant teachers will be provided. Due to the case study design of this study (Patton 2002), this chapter is devoted to presenting an analysis of the data within indivi dual cases. Case studies of the trainers and two teachers of the Accelerated Literacy Learni ng (ALL) Training Program are presented to offer a focused understanding of profe ssional development in early intervention. The phenomenological data, including interviews and observations, collected from trainers and teachers were analyzed separately, followed by a cross-case analysis. This was done to determine the major the mes for each case as well as those across cases. The constructs and themes that emerg ed from the data were useful in answering the research questions that guided this s tudy.
81 The research questions this study sought to answer were: 1. How do teachers who have received early interve ntion training for two semesters apply this knowledge in their classrooms durin g the following school year? 2. What do teachers choose to use and not use from the training program and why? 3. What modifications of the program do teachers m ake, if any, and why? 4. What are the perceptions of trainers about an e arly intervention program? Since I was a participant in the ALL Training Progr am, I felt it would be appropriate to include my thoughts and experiences with the training as well. The italicized paragraphs document my feelings and expe riences with the program, in an effort to further illustrate the lived experience ( Hycner, 1985; Patton, 2002) of being a participant in the ALL Training Program. This heur istic approach supported my knowledge of and ability to comment on what was tau ght and emphasized during the training sessions. In-depth case studies of two first grade teachers w ho participated in the ALL Training Program are included in this chapter to pr ovide a focused understanding of how teachers applied what they learned in training in t heir classrooms, one year after completing the training program. The individual ca se studies of teachers will be presented in an effort to demonstrate the way in wh ich teachers with different instructional styles assimilated knowledge and made it part of their teaching repertoire. The case studies presented are of two teachers who were purposefully selected to be interviewed and observed based on their responses t o focus group interview questions. Extreme case sampling was used to select these teac hers.
82 Although both teachers spoke highly of the training program, they each claimed they would use the knowledge they had gained in dif ferent ways. One teacher claimed she planned to write the program into her Professio nal Development Plan for the following school year and would implement the progr am as she had been taught to do in training. The other teacher reported that she was not planning to use the program in exactly the same way she had during training. She was the only teacher in the program who admitted that she would probably modify the pro gram, which was the reason she was selected as a participant in the study. Choosi ng a teacher with a differing perspective than the other participant teachers would normally enrich the study by providing a broader contextual view about training, but in the case of this study, that was not found to be true. The findings of this study indicated that the selection factors were less important than the effect of the training. It is important to note that the data for this stu dy were from a small sample of teachers and therefore are not generalizable. Data from the other teachers in the study could be characteristically impatterned differently In fact, it is probable that other manifestations of the ALL program were present in o ther teachers classrooms at the school site as well as in classrooms offsite. Accelerated Literacy Learning Training Program As soon as I found out about the Accelerated Liter acy Learning Training Program, I knew that I wanted to become involved in some way with the program and to learn more about it. Approximately five years earl ier the Department of Defense Dependent School System (DODDS) had embraced Readin g Recovery and was looking for interested teachers to volunteer to receive tra ining. At that time I was a first grade
83 teacher with DODDS, but was unable to make the comm itment necessary to receive training, as I was getting married and did not yet know whether or not my husband and I would be living in the same area of England where t he training was taking place. In the end, we were able to move to that area, but the off er to train teachers no longer applied. In retrospect, I wish I had volunteered to particip ate in the Reading Recovery training program. Because of my interest in teaching reading, I atte nded Reading Recovery workshops that were held after school for first gra de teachers. I found the philosophy to be in line with my own philosophy of how children l earn to read and how to best teach reading, particularly for at-risk students. As I l earned more about the program, I became even more interested in using Reading Recove ry strategies with my first grade students. Within a few months of becoming a doctoral student at the University of South Florida (after 17 years of elementary school teachi ng), I became aware of the Accelerated Literacy Learning Program. I began to enthusiastically pursue an active involvement with the program at that time. My majo r professor suggested that I take the training for credit as part of my doctoral studies, and I enthusiastically agreed to do so. I attended the training program for two semesters, which began in Fall 2002 and ended in Spring 2003. Trainers The ALL Training Program had three trainers who we re assigned to provide training to 14 teachers who had volunteered to part icipate in the training program. The
84 site-based trainer, Ms. Hazlett, who provided the b ulk of the training, was a Reading Coach at one of the participating schools. The oth er two trainers were doctoral students at the University of South Florida (USF). They had more of a support role in that they handled administrative tasks such as scheduling, pa perwork for graduate credit, and providing teachers with agendas and handouts. They also had a more active support role with such things as guiding discussions, coaching, observing, and providing feedback to teachers. Site-based Trainer Ms. Hazlett was the teacher-trainer who provided t he majority of the training in the program. She was a Reading Coach at the school site where eight of the participating teachers worked. Ms. Hazlett had been working for the school system for about 20 years. She spent five years as a paraprofessional and, aft er completing her teaching degree, continued working as a teacher. She became involve d with the ALL program in 1992. Ms. Hazlett was completing a Masters Degree in Ear ly Childhood and teaching in an early childhood center at that time. She saw an ad for the position in the districts Administrative Bulletin and decided to apply. As M s. Hazlett stated: It was geared towards a first grade program and I h ad just been teaching first grade prior to that for a number of years and felt very strongly about first grade and the importance of it. So when I saw a program directed at first grade kids who are struggling with Reading, I was very, very i nterested. So, kind of on a whim, I applied for a teacher position and a traine r position, and was very surprised to be called in for an interview for the trainer, and ended up being selected. So I was one of the first trainers in th e county when it was implemented
85 at USF. So thats how I got started with it. I st ayed with the program for the five years that it was really active in the county and I trained three different cadres of teachers. For three years we were bringing in new teachers. Then the remaining two years I spent continuing to support the teacher s in the program. We were in a transition at that point with funding, and so on, b ut I stayed for five years until things sort of fizzled out here in the county. I w ent back in the classroom, and then I worked with another grant, a staff developme nt grant, where we actually implemented very much the same strategies for class room teachers, the use of running records, the strategy talk, even the lesson components we worked on. I did that for two years. So then at the beginning o f this school year, I was approached again about participating in the final y ear of the grant, and my situation was that I could do that. And the teache rs here at my school were invited to participate, which was very important, s ince I was here already, it really made a lot of sense. (February 19, 2003) Support Trainers The other two trainers attended an ALL trainer cla ss and an ALL teacher class at the same time, as part of their doctoral studies at USF. They received training for one year (two semesters) and were in their second year as trainers for the ALL program. They provided training to the teachers for the fina l year of the grant as well. The training took place between August 2002 and May 2003. ALL Participants and School Site There were 14 participants in the ALL Training Prog ram. Of the participants in the program, eight were teachers at the site-based trainers school, two were teachers at a
86 university charter school, three were teachers at o ther elementary schools, and I was a doctoral student. The two teachers who worked at t he university charter school dropped out of the training program after the first semeste r, leaving only 12 participants in the program. All 12 participants in the training progr am gave written consent to participate in the study, but only six teachers attended the fo cus group interview. Participant Teachers Of the six teachers who participated in the focus group interview, only two teachers were purposefully selected to be observed in their classrooms and individually interviewed. Extreme case sampling was used to sel ect these teachers. Mrs. Paterson and Ms. Stone were the two teachers who were select ed for an in-depth study. Both teachers taught first grade. One 27 year old white female first grade teacher, Ms. Stone, was selected because I had worked closely with her and two students in h er classroom. Since I had worked in Ms. Stones classroom already, she was accustomed t o my presence. We had developed an easy rapport, which was probably why she agreed to participate in the study. Ms. Stone had been teaching for five years. All of her teaching experience was at the school site. One 47 year old black female first grade teacher, Ms. Paterson, was also selected to participate in the study. Ms. Paterson was chos en because she stated that she would probably not use what she had learned from the ALL training in the same way in which she had been trained. Since she was the only parti cipant in the training program with a differing view on how she might use what she had le arned from training, she was chosen
87 in an effort to add depth and interest to the resul ts of the study. Ms. Paterson had been teaching for nine years. All of her teaching exper ience was at the same school site. School Site During the first semester, the training was conduc ted at an inner-city elementary school where two of the teachers worked. After the first semester, the trainers decided to change the training site to that of the site-based trainers elementary school because she and eight of the participating teachers worked ther e. This inner-city elementary school was the site selected for the research study for se veral reasons. First, it was selected because it was the site where the training took pla ce during the time when I was collecting data. Secondly, the teachers who partic ipated in the research study as well as the site-based trainer worked at the school site. Lastly, the school site was chosen because it was the site where I conducted my ALL le ssons during training, and therefore I had full access to the site. The principal and fac ulty members were accustomed to my visits, which made obtaining approval for data coll ection purposes much easier. First Semester Experiences Before I enrolled in the ALL Training Program, I h ad decided that I would study the program for my dissertation. I had not yet det ermined what the purpose of the study would be, but I knew that I would use the informati on from the training sessions in some capacity in my doctoral dissertation. Therefore, t he training served two professional purposes for me. I hoped to become a better readin g teacher as a result of the training, as well as to design a study for my doctoral disser tation. Since I was the only doctoral student participating in the program, who was not p roviding training, and who was not
88 currently teaching at the elementary level, I had t he difficult task of establishing a rapport with the other participants. I realized early on that it was important to defin e my role in the program as student, which was a humbling position to be in, considering my teaching and educational background. I was used to being in the role of teacher, but I found that the other teachers were more comfortable around me when I played the student role. I soon discovered that the role suited me, as I indee d was a student at the University of South Florida (USF), and was learning so much from the other teachers in the ALL Training Program. Also, it helped that I had devel oped and taught ALL lessons to a group of three students, just as the teachers were expected to do. Ms. Stone was kind enough to allow me to work with three of her students, during the first semester of training. She was not comfor table with the four of us working in her classroom, however, so we conducted our ALL lessons in Ms. Hazletts classroom. I met with the students two times per week, for 30 minute lessons, during the first semester of training. ALL Training Course Requirements The ALL Training Program was designed as a college course and participants could receive college course credit for their parti cipation in the program. Participating teachers received the required materials for the co urse at no additional cost them. The following required texts for the course were provid ed to the participants by the local school district: Clay, Marie M. (1993). An observation survey of early literacy achievement Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
89 Clay, Marie, M. (1993). Reading Recovery: A guidebook for teachers in train ing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. A course syllabus was also given to the participant s, providing a description of the course, objectives, requirements, and a tentative s chedule from August 14, 2002 December 4, 2002 (see Appendix C). Participants me t once a week for two hours of training. There were a total of 16 training sessio ns in the first semester. Therefore, participants received a total of 32 hours of traini ng in the first semester. These training sessions were primarily devoted to training teacher s how to systematically observe their students and administer Marie Clays Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement (2002). The course objectives were to conduct systematic o bservation of students, administer instruments appropriate for determining student literacy functioning status, select books at the appropriate level for individua l students, plan and implement a daily 30 minute ALL lesson, and to make decisions to faci litate acceleration of students (RED 6540 Course Syllabus, University of South Florida, 2002). All of these objectives were met in the course, but the teachers needed addition al time to familiarize themselves with the Observation Survey There was a lot to learn about assessment and re cord keeping that was new to the teachers, and they were struggl ing with keeping the other students in their classes engaged while they completed the asse ssments. Even though a tentative schedule (see Appendix D) a nd timeline were developed for the course, the trainers were very flexible and adjusted the schedule according to the teachers needs. That meant that the bulk of the t raining in the first semester was devoted to learning how to assess students using the Observation Survey and how to take Running
90 Records. Videotapes were presented of ALL lessons to illustrate the lesson format and all of the nuances associated with developing and i mplementing an ALL lesson. Some of the teachers had begun to teach, but the majority o f the teachers were still struggling with completing the assessments, because they were asked to assess all of the students in their classes. The trainers provided numerous examples, through t he use of videotapes and modeling, as well as opportunities for practice dur ing the training sessions, to familiarize the teachers with systematic observation and assess ment procedures. By the end of the first semester of training, the teachers had comple ted the class assessments, identified their group of three students for instruction, and had begun instruction. The trainers supported the teachers by conducting observations a nd providing them with constructive feedback on a regular basis. Second Semester Experiences During the second semester of training, I had deci ded that I wanted the focus of my doctoral study to be on how teachers use what th ey have learned during training in their classrooms, upon completion of training. Sin ce I had made this decision, I knew that I would have to situate myself as researcher for the second semester of training. This was a very comfortable role for me since I was collecting data for the David C. Anchin Center at USF at that time. I found that it was also an easy transition to make from the role of student, since both roles requir e astute observation and active listening. I was learning from the trainers and teachers, wit h the added responsibility of taking copious field notes. I think the fact that I was taking notes probably was very
91 distracting to both the teachers and the trainers a t first, but I chose to sit at the back where I could easily see and hear everything that w as taking place during training, as well as position myself somewhat apart from the gro up. Although this position was successful in situating me as researcher, this al so removed me from the group. I found that I rarely participated in the discussions. Per haps this was because I was still learning how to take field notes and found it diffi cult to take field notes and actively participate at the same time. Another exciting development took place during the second semester of training. By this time I had developed an excellent rapport w ith Ms. Stone. I continued to meet with three of her students, until one of the studen ts moved away. When this happened, I talked with Ms. Stone about the possibility of chan ging the meeting place from Ms. Hazletts classroom to her classroom. I wanted to meet with the remaining two students in her classroom for several reasons. First, I bel ieved that we could provide a more consistent program to the students if we met in her classroom because the students would see that Ms. Stone and I talked and shared ideas. I also wanted to offer the two boys in my group an opportunity to read the books from thei r classroom for a more seamless approach to teaching reading. I wanted them to be able to read the books that they read with their teacher as well as with me. I thought i t would also save time because we wouldnt have to walk to and from Ms. Hazletts roo m each day. Also, I could work individually with the boys more easily if we were i n their classroom. If one boy needed more time, I could dismiss the other boy and work i ndividually with him. Of course, I also had another underlying agenda, related to my d octoral dissertation, and that was
92 that I hoped to engage Ms. Stones participation in my study for the following year. Thankfully, Ms. Stone was a willing participant and for that I will be eternally grateful. The second semester of training took place between January, 2003 and April, 2003. Since I had attended the training sessions, conducted ALL training lessons with two students, typed the transcripts taken from the field notes from training, and read through the training transcripts, I had a deep unde rstanding of the ALL Training Program and its precepts. This contextual knowledge was in strumental in helping me analyze and interpret the data. In this section, excerpts from training transcripts will be presented in an effort to provide support for the interpretations of the data Direct quotes will be used as often as possible to present the data as accurately as possi ble. For a better understanding of the context of the training sessions, background inform ation and information regarding who was speaking will be provided as well. Description s, explanations, and interpretations of the training sessions will also be provided as much as possible for further clarification. Videotapes During the second semester of training, the teacher s had begun teaching ALL lessons with a group of three students in their cla ssrooms and were fully implementing the ALL program. Each teacher was videotaped durin g their presentation of an ALL lesson with their group of students at some time du ring the semester. One videotape was shared at each training session. The trainers woul d deconstruct the lesson in the videotape and use it to reinforce ALL training conc epts. This section will describe what was presented and emphasized during the second seme ster of ALL training, when the videotapes were shared with the participant teacher s.
93 The month of January was devoted to preparing teac hers for videotaping a lesson to share at a training session. Each session in th e second semester began with a videotape of one of the teachers. The teacher would provide a little background about the students in her group and then the teachers and trainers wou ld watch the video. During this time, one trainer would continuously point out important aspects of the ALL lesson by questioning the teachers as they watched each video tape. The trainer would talk through the lesson as the teachers watched, and used the vi deotape to teach and reinforce ALL concepts. Ms. Hazlett explained, the purpose of t his is to use instruction we see to open up to the group. Always bring comments to the grou p (Training Transcripts, Jan. 22, 2003). One teacher would be asked to write down qu estions that the teachers wanted to ask the videotaped teacher, as we watched the video so that the teacher in the video could answer them following the video. Once the vi deo ended, a discussion began about the lesson and teachers would ask the videotaped te acher about the decisions she had made for instruction. At the beginning of each training session, the tea chers and trainers watched a videotape of one teacher as she conducted an ALL le sson in her classroom with her ALL group. The following excerpt is an example of how the trainers reinforced ALL concepts by using a teachers videotape: [R is one of the s upport trainers. T refers to the teachers. H is Ms. Hazlett, the site-based trainer. Dr. K. i s one of the developers of the program and a university professor.] R: Whats going on? What section of the lesson i s this? T: Familiar read R: Can you tell which child is the focus?
94 T: Closest to her R: Have you noticed what the teacher does to show that shes listening to a child? H: I heard some strategy talk. T: Does she have different bags for each kid for the familiar read? Dr. K: Im impressed with her teaching point with one kid and the other kids are still reading. R: Whats going on here? T: Reinforcing strategies. R: How long do you do this? T: Until they can do it by themselves. (Training Transcripts, Feb. 5, 2003) It is interesting to note that the trainers, univer sity professor, and teachers had different purposes in mind for viewing and discussing the vid eotapes. The trainers focused on the lesson structure and the sequence of teaching event s during an ALL lesson. They seemed to want to reinforce the lesson format. The univer sity professor commented on the teachers decision to make a teaching point and stu dent engagement. The teachers were more interested in practical, procedural informatio n regarding the routines they had established with their groups. Here is another exa mple from the same training transcript that further illustrates this point: R: What are we moving into now? T: Running Record R: What are the other two doing while she does th e Running Record? T: I would like to know what word work is. T: Are the kids writing with pens?
95 R: They are gel pens. What do you think about th e time? If you have a long book, about how many words should it be? T: 100 R: What comes next? T: Teaching Point R: How many teaching points should there be? T: 2 or 3 T: Why are they folding the paper? (referring to paper in student notebooks) T: Are the children putting the focus childs ini tials on everything? (Training Transcripts, February 5, 2003) The teachers answered the trainers questions regar ding lesson format, but seemed to be more interested in the decisions the videotaped tea cher made regarding the practical procedures the teacher had developed with the stude nts before teaching the ALL lessons. They had learned the lesson structure and demonstra ted that they knew the proper sequence by answering the trainers questions, but when they had an opportunity to question the teacher it was usually regarding the r outines the teacher had established with her ALL students. Each teachers individual practi cal procedures that they had developed for their ALL group of students differed, while the lesson format remained the same. That was probably why the teachers were more interested in questioning each other about procedures and routines. Although the ALL program has a definite format and time structure with 10 minutes of reading familiar books, 10 minutes of wr iting, and 10 minutes of reading an unfamiliar book, teachers were given the flexibilit y to develop lessons within each of the
96 time segments based on each childs needs. This me ant that not all teachers were doing exactly the same thing. There were many variations within each segment of the lesson, which was probably another reason why the teachers were so interested in watching their colleagues videotapes. The teachers learned what worked best for their st udents and developed a program suited to them, but they were also always searching for ways to improve their teaching. They were fascinated by the videotapes because they were so different. Each teacher infused her own personality and established procedu res and routines within her ALL lessons, which contributed to the variation in less ons. Also, the personalities and abilities of the students varied, which also contributed to t he differences among ALL groups. Another reason why I believe the teachers were so e nthralled with the videotapes was because teachers do not have opportunities to w atch other teachers teach. Much of the ALL Training Program was devoted to providing o pportunities for teachers to watch each other, to have a dialogue about the decisions they made regarding instruction, and to reflect on their teaching practice. The teachers l earned from each other as well as from the trainers in the training program. Decision-making Teachers are faced with making thousands of decisio ns on a daily basis in their classrooms. They have to make decisions regarding their instructional practices, grouping children, lesson planning, in addition to many administrative decisions. The teachers found that decision-making was extremely i mportant in the ALL program as well. Teachers had to make decisions about how to form reading groups, individualize instruction, and particularly how to monitor their teaching behaviors to maximize each
97 students reading potential. They also were traine d to monitor their pacing, which required that they make decisions about how they co uld best use the time they had in each segment of their ALL lesson. As Ms. Hazlett s tated, the 10-10-10 format: was to force the teacher into making better decis ions and to not get bogged down on unnecessary details or to over dwell on so mething that wasnt essential to the literacy process. By forcing people to do a 10-10-10, it really made teachers go okay, Ive got two minutes left, what s really important here in this segment of the lesson and what can I do with it and what should I do with it? It forces a different kind of decision-making (February 19, 2003) Decision-making was emphasized during the ALL train ing sessions, as each teacher made decisions about what to do during the 30 minut e lesson and how to make the most productive use of the time with their students. Decisions were made based on the individual needs of the ALL students. The following excerpt from the training transcripts exe mplifies the importance of decisionmaking to the program: [M and R are support trainer s, T refers to the teachers, and Dr. K refers to the university professor and program deve loper] M: Is she keeping track of what all three children are doing? What do you think shes getting ready for now? T: Running Records M: How did she take care of the other children? T: Put her hand out M: Was that a good choice? Give it a try or move on? He gave it a try. Would you say he is a confident reader? He s really not making many
98 appeals even though hes using wait time. H ow do you think the child felt about the Running Record? T: Positive M: Thats important what do you think about the wo rd caught for him? Yes, that word is not a good word for boxes. [this refers to drawing a box for each of the letters in the word caught and asking the student to use letter sounds to determine each of the letter s in the word]. Dr. K: A is doing a lot of talk about what to do n ext. I wonder what would happen if she pulled out and said, What w ill we do next? and had them start monitoring themselves. What do you think of the independence shes allowing? They are doing the book w alk on their own. Do you think sweater is a good word to be looki ng for? Do you think theyre going to be ready for the vocabulary in th is book? R: What do you think about the teacher choosing to read the book with them? M: You make the best decision you can, in the time you have. (Training Transcripts, February 26, 2003) The trainers were constantly questioning and probin g to make teachers aware of the importance of their decisions regarding the ALL les sons. Teachers had to make decisions regarding the appro priate teaching points to make with each child, without overwhelming the children. They had to make decisions regarding pacing and how much time to devote to eac h segment of the lesson. Although teachers tried to stay within the 10-10-10 format, they had the flexibility to make changes based on their students and their respective needs The program follows the child and
99 therefore is not dictated by the teachers. Teacher s also had to decide the appropriate reading levels for their students and choose books that were at their instructional, rather than frustrational level. They made decisions abou t when to accelerate their students, based on student assessment data. Finally, teacher s were constantly making decisions about how they could best foster reading independen ce in their students. Teaching points. Teachers in the ALL Training Program had to make de cisions about what they chose to teach to each child in the ir ALL group. These are referred to as teaching points in the ALL program. The decision s they made about what would be the focus of their teaching that day were based upo n student responses. The teachers were trained to follow each child and their particu lar learning needs for the day. When a child made an error, the teacher had to decide whet her to ignore the error or to make it the focus of their teaching for that child. The go al was to choose two or three teaching points for the focus child each day. The reason th ere was a limit to the teaching points was so that the child was not overwhelmed by teachi ng points. One of the support trainers explained the purpose of using teaching po ints in the following way: M: For instance, one of the things that you do is you look for the positives and you build on the strengths. When you observ e them doing something right, you reinforce it. Then you discuss the thin gs that you think are most crucial that need help. Like your teaching point. You do the same thing when youre in an observation. You know that this new t eacher, especially first semester, is going to be overwhelmed and is going to h ave many things that they are not yet implementing, so you reinforce the posit ive things that they are doing and then you look for those teaching points that are going to best help them be the
100 kind of teacher, independent, reflective, ob serving teacher that they need to become. (Trainer Focus Group Interview, Febr uary 18, 2003) Once again, the trainers brought teaching points to the attention of the teachers during training through the use of videotapes. The follow ing excerpts from training demonstrate how the videotapes were used to reinforce the use o f teaching points: [R is a support trainer and T refers to individual teachers] R: What comes next? T: Teaching point. R: How many teaching points should there be? T: Two or three. (Training Transcripts, February 5, 2003) R: After watching this, think of teaching points that you would do. Lets see if you would do the same teaching points. In he r teaching points did she have a focus? T: Visual T: Looking at the pictures R: Whos in control of the sentence generation he re? T: Child (Training Transcripts, February 12, 2003 ) The decisions teachers made about teaching points f or their individual students usually directly related to the reading strategies and cuei ng systems that were taught in ALL training. For example, in the above transcript, th e teachers discussed the videotaped teachers decision to focus the attention of the ch ild she was working with on meaning cues by prompting the child to look at the pictures Teachers in the ALL program practiced astute observation, and in this case, the teacher noticed that the student was not
101 attending to the pictures to help construct meaning from the text. That might have been the reason she chose to make meaning cues one of th e teaching points with her child on that particular day. The notion of teachers becoming careful observers of children and responding to children at the point of need with an appropriate t eaching point was one of the goals for the teachers in the ALL Training Program. Ms. Hazl ett described this program goal in the following way: Its to shift their thinking and to look at the way kids learn to interact with reading and writing in a more informed way. My hope is tha t they begin to see the power that they have in terms of guiding the instruction in reading and writing and being able to be better observers of the little things th at really matter that we learn from Clay in using the assessments, the Observation Surv ey, the use of the Running Records, and just becoming very data-based observer s with knowledge to know what theyre seeing. So I hope that by doing that, theyre really helping kids to progress faster than they would normally without th at kind of input. (February 19, 2003) In the ALL program a teachers decision to make a p articular teaching point is critical to the accelerated literacy learning process for child ren. Teachers identify individual students areas of strength and weakness in reading build on their strengths by reinforcing the problem-solving strategies that the y employ, and scaffold instruction to meet their reading needs. As Ms. Hazlett stated, You have to go where the child is (February 19, 2003).
102 Pacing. One of the biggest challenges facing teachers in th e ALL program is managing the time that they have with their ALL gro up of students. The ALL lesson is divided into three 10 minute segments, with 10 minu tes of reading familiar books, 10 minutes of writing, and 10 minutes of reading an un familiar book. Consequently, pacing is a very important component of the ALL program. Teachers are trained to use the 30 minutes wisely, which means that they have to monit or the time as well as the activities that they decide to do with their students during e ach 10 minute segment of the 30 minute lesson. Teachers found this to be a very difficult task, but thought that it was aiding them in making better decisions on how to use their time efficiently, as the following transcript suggests: [C is the interviewer, P is Ms. Paterson, M is a Reading Coach and participant teacher] C: What is your view of the 10-10-10 format? P: I think its great, 10-10-10, my only problem is sticking with it, but I think its a good way to monitor ourselves so we do nt go over and we have more time to spend with the other children because you know you are working with just a small group of children. In order to meet all the children, I think its a good concept, its just hard to stick to it. I just always want to give more and give more. C: How do you stop yourself from doing that if yo u want to give more? P: Believe it or not Im constantly watching the clock. I dont know if thats a good thing to do or not, but Im constantly w atching it. Im running out of time. M: Well its been good for me because its making me more structured and
103 making better decisions for my small group. Ive always been trained with the Guided Reading, which is similar to the ALL structure, but the Guided Reading is a little bit more unraveli ng what the kids need and going with, following up with what weve done with the whole class in shared reading, so its a much different structure than what Im used to, so its helping me shift my thoughts on how to do ce rtain things and be a little bit more flexible. (Teacher Focus Group Inte rview, February 19, 2003) Although the teachers in the focus group were discu ssing pacing and the ALL lesson structure, the construct of decision-making emerged once again. It is interesting to note that in every discussion with the teachers and trai ners, both in training and during interviews, the topic of decision-making would inev itably arise. Most of the excerpts from training were related to the decision-making p rocess for teachers, which is why Decision-making became one of the three main themes that emerged f rom the ALL training data. In the second semester of training, the issue of pa cing and time management came up during the viewing of teachers videotapes. The trainers wanted to reiterate the importance of pacing, particularly with regard to t ime spent working with young children. The ALL program is a response-based program, which means that teachers are constantly responding to students by prompting, questioning, a nd probing them. Because of this, children who are the focus of the teachers attenti on and instruction for the 30 minute lesson might grow fatigued and start to withdraw or completely shut down. The following excerpts from training transcripts exempl ify this: [R is a support trainer, T refers to the teachers, Dr. K is a university profe ssor, Ms. Hazlett is the site-based trainer]
104 R: What do you think about the time? If you have a long book, about how many words should it be? T: 100 R: This is the read through, is it first read or second read? Dr. K: These are push-in lessons, is that correct ? So I could send them back to their seats to read the book. R: Were at 32 minutes. Well stop here. Questi ons? (Training Transcripts, February 5, 2003) R: What do you think about the length of the new book session? T: It is too long. R: Is it okay to do the whole book? This is prod uctive. You have to make choices about time for each section. Ms. Hazlett: The book introduction is the perfect place to see the Zone of Proximal Development. He had looked th rough the book independently. R: They are working so hard. Ms. Hazlett: First graders do get tired. Thats why it is only a 30 minute lesson. (Training Transcripts, March 5, 2003) Ms. Hazlett: It is okay to step in and finish th e book with the child. Those are the things you have to do for timing. (Training Transcripts, April 23, 2003) Acceleration. Another difficult task for teachers, related to dec ision-making in the ALL program, was to choose appropriate levels o f books for their students. Teachers
105 were encouraged to scaffold instruction for each ch ild to accelerate their progress to higher levels of reading proficiency, which was ref erred to as acceleration in the ALL program. Although the teachers were aware of the i mportance of acceleration in the program, the focus of moving children up in reading levels was primarily prevalent near the end of the second semester, which is when it wa s hoped that the children would graduate from the program. There were two occasions during training when acce leration was discussed. The following excerpt was taken from the second semeste r of training regarding acceleration: [T refers to teachers, M is a support trainer] T: With three kids, if they have 100% [on the runn ing record], is it time to go up? (Training Transcripts, January 22, 2003) M: If he had this rate for a couple of days, then he could move up a level. He was using strategies and not appealing. (Tra ining Transcripts, April 9, 2003) During each ALL lesson session, the teacher would a ssess at least one child (who was referred to as the focus child) by taking a Runni ng Record of the childs reading errors. The data that were collected by the teacher were th en analyzed to determine the instructional reading level. The teacher made deci sions regarding whether or not to accelerate the students based upon these data. If a child read a book at his/her instructional level and consistently employed readi ng strategies when attacking difficult text, the teacher might choose to accelerate the ch ild to the next reading level. Reading Strategies The ALL Training Program was designed to train tea chers to implement the ALL early intervention program within the classroom set ting. The focus of the training was on
106 learning systematic observation for assessment purp oses, and strategies for struggling readers (RED 6540 Course Syllabus, University of So uth Florida, 2002). The second semester was primarily devoted to teaching specific reading strategies to the teachers so that they could, in turn, teach and reinforce them with their students. At every session of the second semester of ALL training, the reading st rategies were stressed, which is why Strategy Talk and Strategy Use became major constructs in this study. Strategy Talk referred to what the teachers said to remind studen ts to use reading strategies, and Strategy Use referred to when the children used reading strategi es (See Appendix E). Teaching the teachers each of the reading strategie s and how to teach and reinforce them with their students was a major focu s of the second semester of ALL training. This was done both explicitly and implic itly during the course of training. The reading strategies were taught explicitly by the tr ainers by presenting them and modeling them for the teachers. The following strategies we re taught to the teachers: making predictions, looking at the pictures, making connec tions, self-monitoring, cross-checking, searching for information, self-corrections, fluenc y, and problem-solving. Strategies were taught and reinforced implicitly through the u se of the teachers videotapes. An analysis of the data revealed three constructs w ith regard to reading strategies. These constructs were Strategy Talk Strategy Use and Cueing Systems Although the constructs Strategy Talk and Strategy Use were similar in that they referred to how reading strategies were employed, distinctions were made regarding who was using them. Strategy Talk was a construct that emerged from the data regardi ng what teachers said to children to remind them to use the reading strategi es. In contrast, Strategy Use was a construct that emerged from the data regarding when children used reading strategies to
107 attack challenging text. Finally, Cueing Systems was a construct that emerged from the data which referred to the three cueing systems (me aning, visual, and structure) that teachers used to encourage students to employ appro priate strategies for attacking texts. Strategy talk. An analysis of the data revealed that modeling, tea ching, and reinforcing strategies was emphasized during ALL tr aining sessions. The construct that emerged from the data was labeled Strategy Talk. This construct was one of the three major constructs that emerged from the ALL training data. The following excerpts from field notes were taken with regard to discussing St rategy Talk: 3:45-4:25 pm Ms. Hazlett shared overheads of quotes from Marie Clay, Regie Routman, and Fountas and Pinnell about helping struggling reade rs. She then gave examples of strategy talk to use with the children with the go al of promoting independence. 4:25-4:45 pm In groups we were given examples of strategy talk and had to order them from broad to specific. Then we put them on a large pa per funnel to illustrate the movement from very broad to more specific strategy talk. (Training Transcripts, January 29, 2003) The following excerpt illustrates how the trainers used the videotapes to highlight strategy talk [Dr. K is the program developer and a university professor, T refers to the teachers, Ms. Hazlett is the site-based trainer]: Dr.K: Im wondering why same kind of strategy tal k is not being used now that was being used in the lesson. Ms. Hazlett: Were so focused on strategy talk. Dont not talk about the story.
108 The point is the story. Lets talk abo ut strategy talk. T: I had a better question. I have my papers wit h me to remind myself. (Referred to handouts given in training about strategy talk) T: I tried your suggestion of covering up a word and asked what they think goes there. T: D and I have been doing team-teaching and wev e been using strategy cards. T: Those strategy cards. We should all have them Big strategy cards. Ms. Hazlett: Thats from the same company as DRA. Im going to show you some snippets of strategy talk. [She showed a video of someone using strategy talk and one of herself.] Ms. Hazlett: Bite your tongue once in awhile and give kids a chance to self-correct. (Training Transcripts, February 5, 2003) There was also some discussion about spending too m uch time teaching and reinforcing strategies with the students in their groups. The teachers wanted to know if they might not be overusing them. All of the teachers were using the strategies with their ALL groups, which was certainly a goal of the program. Sometimes when we learn something new, however, we have a tendency to overuse it as we make it a part of our teaching repertoire. The teachers were concerned that this was happening to them. Th e following transcript illustrates this point [T refers to the teachers, Ms. Hazlett is the site-based trainer, R is a support trainer]: T: M is the focus child. I focused on strategies and reinforcing strategies Im afraid I might have over focused on it. Ms. Hazlett: I think its interesting that she do es the strategy talk here, after the book
109 walk, but before they read. R: Is this an appropriate time for strategy talk and teaching points? T is very good at finding the strengths of the child and reinfo rcing them. We do need to incorporate wait time during the writing. (Training Transc ripts, February 12, 2003) There were 18 examples of Strategy Talk from the Training Transcripts over the course of 1 1 weeks. These examples occurred during six of the A LL training sessions. Table 4 provides examples of Strategy Talk from the ALL training transcript data. Table 4 Strategy Talk Construct Date Examples from Training Transcripts Jan. 22, 2003 I like the way she reinforced you g et your mouth ready. strategy talk in the writing section, can you d o it? Yes! Jan. 29,2003 She then gave examples of strategy ta lk to use with the children We were given examples of strategy talk and had to order them from broad to specific. Then we put them on a d rawing of a large paper funnel to demonstrate the order to the cl ass. Feb. 5, 2003 I heard some strategy talk. reinforcing strategies Do you notice strategy cards? Im wondering why same kind of strategy talk is not being used now that was being used in the lesson. Were so focused on strategy talk, dont not tal k about the story. The point is the story. Lets talk about strate gy talk. D and I have been doing team teaching and weve be en using strategy cards Those strategy cards. We should all have them. Big strategy cards. Im going to show you some snippets of strategy talk.
110 Strategy Talk Construct (continued). Date Examples from Training Transcripts Feb. 12, 2003 I focused on strategies and reinforc ing strategies Im afraid I over focused on it. I think its interesting that she does the strat egy talk here, after the book walk, but before they read. Is this an appropriate time for strategy talk an d teaching points? Feb. 19, 2003 Good strategy talk. Did you notice? She was real explicit. So, is it better to give a told than to say, get your mouth ready? Apr. 23, 2003 I heard strategy talk right there. Seeing the connection between strategy talk and cueing systems helps you see what the child can do and still ne eds to work on. Strategy use. Teachers modeled and reinforced the use of reading strategies with their students. When students employed the reading strategies to attack and create meaning from unfamiliar texts this was referred to as Strategy Use within the context of this study. There were 10 examples of Strategy Use in the Training Transcript data over 11 weeks of training. Table 5 presents examples of Strategy Use from these data. Table 5 Strategy Use Construct Date Examples from Training Transcripts Jan. 22, 2003 Hes using a lot of strategies. Im impressed. Jan. 29, 2003 We watched a video of one teachers ALL lesson with her three students and discussed the components of her les son and the choices she had made ab out teaching points and strategy use.
111 Strategy Use Construct (continued). Date Examples from Training Transcripts Feb. 19, 2003 [T used strategy cards with her stud ents. She asked her children what strategies they could use to help themselve s when reading.] That happens though. What possible reason could she have for choosing the books for them? T: to check strategies Feb. 26, 2003 Try to show the positives to reinfo rce strategies that children are using. Some children work it out aloud. Mar. 19, 2003 What do you notice about their readi ng? Do you notice any strategies? What strategies did you see coming out? Self-c orrection went on. Apr. 9, 2003 If he had had this rate for a couple of days, then he could move up a level. He was using strategies and not app ealing. Strategy Use -chunk -pictures -searching -get mouth ready -read ahead -prior knowledge -think aloud -rerea d -monitor -cross-check Apr. 23, 2003 Another thing you can do is have th em find a place where they used a strategy to solve a problem and shar e it with the group Cueing systems. Ms. Hazlett explicitly taught cueing systems and re ading strategies again on April 9, 2003. During the first half of t he training session we watched a videotape of a teacher and then we regrouped to review cueing systems and reading strategies. Ms. Hazlett used this time to assess our knowledge by l isting the cueing systems and then asking us to name the reading strategies. She made a char t on the white board for us to copy as we relayed the information to her. The field notes fr om the session are below: Ms. Hazlett: We are going to practice our use of cues and strategies. Strategies
112 are kind of mental actions, w ith beginning readers they are more visual. [She then began to write the cueing systems on the board.] Cueing Systems Cues are like sources of information. Meaning Structure Visual Reread Reread Reread Read Ahead Read Ahead Read Ahead Monitor Monitor (Training Transcripts, April 9, 2003) Ms. Hazlett shared her expertise with the teachers during training. The following excerpt from training is an example of this: Ive been doing this for 10 years and can share th is with teachers. Seeing the connections between strategy talk and cueing syste ms helps you see what the child can do and still needs to work on. Build on stren gths. (Training Transcripts, April 23, 2003) Ms. Hazlett stressed the importance of understandin g and employing the cueing systems and strategies with students in the classroom. Independence The goal of the ALL program was to foster independe nce in young readers so that they would develop the problem-solving skills neces sary to approach texts with confidence, rather than depending on other more pro ficient readers to help them, or simply giving up. Children who are at-risk of read ing failure struggle to learn to read and often do not want to work at improving their readin g skills because it is hard work. The ALL programs systematic approach to teaching a chi ld how to read was intensive for
113 children because they were working one-on-one or in small groups with very focused attention for 30 minutes. The children worked very hard because they were ex pected to make progress and were encouraged and pushed to do so. One of the su pport trainers of the ALL Training Program stated that the goal of the program was to teach children to be self-extending, to develop independent self-extending systems so th at they can attack any reading and be successful at it (Trainer Focus Group Interview, F ebruary 18, 2002). This required decision-making on the teachers part as well. Tea chers were constantly monitoring their teaching and deciding what to do and say to the stu dents in their ALL group, to foster each students reading independence. Much time was spent in training on how to foster r eading independence in children. The trainers provided examples through t he use of videotapes and modeling. It was clear from the training sessions that one of th e most important goals of the program was to encourage children to be independent readers The trainers reinforced this message at every session. The following excerpts f rom training illustrate how the trainers chose to do this: [T refers to the teachers, Ms. Ha zlett is the site-based trainer, R is a support trainer, C is the teacher who was sharing h er videotaped lesson, Dr. K is one of the program developers and a university professor] Ms. Hazlett: How independent is he? T: Hes using a lot of strategies. Im impressed T: When they keep trying and trying and they don t know the word, should I tell? Ms. Hazlett: Well talk about that .when do you g ive a told? Momentum
114 is an important point. You want them to be able to figure out the word. T: Were really not supposed to do many tolds. Ms. Hazlett: A lot of us foster dependency instea d of independence. If the book is too easy, let them read i t and then pick a harder book next time. (Training Transcripts, January 22, 2003) R: What is the purpose of the writing segment? Ou r goal is always independence. (Training Transcripts, February 5, 2003) Ms. Hazlett: How would you have changed the intro to the new book? C: I would have backed out a little more. Ms. Hazlett: Knowing the materials is so importan t to deciding how much support to give. R: What could we do when we pull back? What does that mean? C: I didnt let them turn the page on their own. (Training Transcripts, February 12, 2003) Ms. Hazlett: What do you think of the independenc e level? Are they doing the work, is she doing the work, or are they sharing the work? (Training Transcripts, February 19, 2003) Dr. K: A is doing a lot of talk about what to do next. I wonder what would happen if she pulled out and said, What will we do next? and had them start monitoring themselves. What do you th ink of the independence shes allowing? They are doing the book walk on their own. (Training Transcripts, February 26, 2003)
115 R: Is there frustration on the first read? T: No Ms. Hazlett: Theres very little teacher telling. R: Is this authentic book talk? T: Yes R: She acknowledged what they already knew. Ms. Hazlett: When you tell them to go on and try it, then they have to decide if it was right. Did it help to go on? It did help. How do you think they are going to do tomorrow on the runn ing record? (Training Transcripts, March 5, 2003) Although 24 constructs emerged from the data from t raining transcripts, there were three main themes that were the impetus of the ALL Traini ng Program. Decision-making, Reading Strategies, and Independence were emphasized more than any of the other concept s in the ALL training program. The training sessions were d eveloped around these three themes, which is why they became the focus of the entire pr ogram. Table 6 presents the constructs from training transcript data. These constructs ar e organized by theme. Table 6 Constructs from Training Transcript Data by Theme Decision-making Independe nce Reading Strategies Construct Frequency Construct Frequency Construct Frequency Pacing 8 Support 1 Strategy Use 11 Leveling 10 Familiar Read 3 Strategy Talk 18 Lesson Structure 5 Independence 18 Cueing Syste ms 7 Teaching Points 6 Control 4
116 Constructs from Training Transcript Data by Theme ( continued). Decision-making Independe nce Reading Strategies Decision-making 14 Engagement 7 Scaffolding 5 Fluency 9 Push-in Model 1 Self-monitoring 3 Acceleration 4 Problem-solving 1 Assessment 6 Helping Kids 1 Focus Child 2 Child-centered 1 Meeting Child 1 Total 61 49 29 The themes emerged after a thorough analysis of the data. These data were analyzed holistically by reading through the transcripts at least three times. The above constructs emerged from the transcript training data and were tabulated for frequency and then categorized by theme. For a description of the con structs, please refer to the Construct Key in Appendix E. Trainer Data Analysis The phenomenological data that were collected and c oded from the three trainers consisted of one 30 minute trainer focus group comp rised of the two support trainers and one 30 minute interview with the site-based trainer The focus group interview took place on February 18, 2003. The site-based trainer was interviewed on February 18, 2003 as well. These interview data were used to de termine the beliefs and perceptions of the trainers about the ALL Training Program and to explain what they believed to be the goals of the program.
117 After reading the interview transcripts from the tr ainers through twice to gain a holistic view of the data, I coded each page for un its of meaning and bracketed the meaningful chunks with an assigned construct name t hat emerged from the interview data. The construct name that was assigned to each meaningful unit of text came from the text itself. For example, one of the support t rainers mentioned the following as one of the goals of the ALL program, to teach children to be self-extending, to develop independent self-extending systems so that they can attack any reading and be successful at it (Trainer Focus Group Interview, February 18, 2003). The two constructs that emerged from the data were Self-extending Systems and Independence The construct names were assigned to each meaningful unit and the n organized into categories. The frequency of each construct was tallied and themes emerged from these data. After coding all of the data, the constructs fell under t wo themes. The themes were Decisionmaking and Support. In order to systematically anal yze the data, I coded the data from the support trainers and those of the site-based tr ainer separately before completing a cross-case analysis. Support Trainer Data Analysis One of the support trainers offered to observe and provide feedback to me during a lesson with my ALL group. Although we were both doctoral students, we had nev er taken a course together, as she was further along i n the doctoral program than I was at that time. Additionally, I had had the pleasure of working with her on another project as a graduate student, so I felt comfortable working w ith her. Despite that fact, I was feeling very uncomfortable with the prospect of bei ng observed by her.
118 I think most of us assume that when we are observe d, we are also being judged, and I felt that way too. It was an extremely awkwa rd situation. The truth is, however, that she handled the situation very well and put me at ease immediately. She was very supportive and took an active interest in my studen ts. Her feedback was very constructive and nonjudgmental as well. She was ex tremely helpful in scaffolding my instruction and making it better for my students. How did she do this? I believe she did this by offering help at the point of need, but not pushing it upon me. She said she would be available should I need her guidance. I was the one who decided to invite her in. And that made all the difference. There were 21 constructs that emerged from the supp ort trainer focus group interview data. Table 7 specifies the constructs t hat emerged from these data. Please refer to Appendix E for a description of the constr ucts. Table 7 Constructs from Support Trainer Focus Group Intervi ew Data Decision-making Support Construct Frequency Construct Frequency Pacing 4 Support 5 Self-extending System 2 Flexibility 3 Independence 2 Push-in Model 2 Teaching Point 2 Helping Kids 1 Decision-making 2 Building on Strengths 1 Observation 1 At-risk Students 1 Reflection 1 Strategy Use 1 Fluency 1 ZPD 1
119 Constructs from Support Trainer Focus Group Intervi ew Data (continued). Decision-making Support Construct Frequency Construct Frequency Connections 1 Understanding Kids 1 Writing 1 Child Progress 1 Although 21 constructs emerged from the support tra iner focus group data, there were two prevalent themes. Decision-making and Support were the two main themes that emerged throughout the focus group interview. For the purposes of this study, support can refer to the support that trainers provide to t he teachers as well as the support that teachers provide to their students. The data indic ated a preponderance of support in the ALL program. Support The support trainers suggested that the techniques teachers are trained to use with their students are the same techniques the trainers use with the teachers to provide a supportive structure in the program. As one traine r explained: Some of the same techniques that you use with stude nts when youre working with the children, you have to use with the teacher s. For instance, one of the things that you do is you look for the positives an d you build on the strengths. When you observe them doing something right, you re inforce it you know that this new teacher, especially first semester, is goi ng to be overwhelmed and is going to have many things that they are not yet imp lementing, so you reinforce the positive things that they are doing and then yo u look for those teaching points
120 that are going to best help them to be the kind of teacher, independent, reflective, observing teacher that they need to become. (Traine r Focus Group Interview, February 18, 2003) The support trainers reported that the ALL program was multilayered in its support structure, with supports all along the way from the child, to the teacher, to the trainer, to the county, to the state (Trainer Focu s Group Interview, February 18, 2003). They further explained that the goal of the program was to observe the teachers every other week. They were not always able to meet that goal, due to the fact that the teachers sometimes were not available or did not want them t o come in for various reasons. But that is yet another example of how supportive the t rainers were because they responded to the needs of the teachers. As one support trainer suggested, I leave it up to the teacher a lot because Im not there to be a critical analyzer Im there to be a support system the goal for us is to be a support (Trainer Focus Grou p Interview, February 18, 2003). Another support trainer gave an additional example of how she was flexible in providing support to her teachers. She said: Well, Im usually at the school every other week fo r that teacher, but sometimes, like this last Thursday, I went to observe one of t he teachers, and because of illness, another teachers illness, not that teache rs, she had seven extra kids in her classroom and her reading table that she normally d oes her reading group at, was full of extra kids because of an illness of another teacher. She had 29 students in her class, seven of which were not her own. She ha d coming and going as far as people taking students out, and it just wasnt an a ppropriate time. It would not have been a valid observation and so I just told he r I would come back this week.
121 Sometimes circumstances like that come up. I think the goal is to try to see them every two weeks and sometimes you observe and somet imes like that situation, we just talked a little bit. (Trainer Focus Group I nterview, February 18, 2003) Decision-making Decision-making was another common theme that emer ged from the support trainer focus group interview data. Decision-makin g refers to the decisions that teachers are constantly faced with in terms of what they cho ose to teach to their students as well as how to best meet individual student needs. Althoug h there is a certain structure that is taught during ALL training, with 10 minutes reserve d for reading familiar books, 10 minutes for writing, and 10 minutes for introducing a new book, teachers were faced with decisions regarding what to do during each 30 minut e lesson. These decisions were usually made during the lesson itself, as teachers responded to students at the point of need. As one support trainer explained: time is important, so that you dont press them t o the point that they are getting more and more fatigued. For that reason, it is go od if you can do the 10-10-10. Now sometimes in the group situation you have to m ake decisions on the time. Like maybe you would have done a more extensive tea ching point, and you just had to spend just this amount of time on it and you hope that as that pattern reoccurs, which it usually does, you will take it f urther. (Trainer Focus Group Interview, February 18, 2003) Pacing is only one aspect of decision-making that teachers face when they are working with their students. They also have to mak e decisions about what the focus of their teaching will be that day with each student. This focus referred to the teaching point
122 the teacher chose with her student. Teaching point s were given by the teacher based on identified areas of weakness in individual student performance. There were usually only two to three teaching points selected for each less on, so that students were not overwhelmed with information from teachers. As one support trainer suggested: I mean if we would have made ten goals for you, it may have been overwhelming, but just to pick one teaching point, and it may or may not have been the point you would have chosen as a trainer, but just a starting place and to build on them. So thats kind of the program in action. (Trainer Focu s Group Interview, February 18, 2003) Site-based Trainer Data Analysis I had come to know the site-based trainer, Ms. Haz lett, as a person who was completely committed to the principles and philosop hy of the Accelerated Literacy Learning Program. Not only was Ms. Hazlett knowled geable and experienced, she was also highly spirited and engaging. Her enthusiasm for the program and devotion to its precepts influenced each of the participants of the training program. Ms. Hazlett heartily shared her expertise with us and had a profound inf luence on the success of the training program. There were 28 constructs that emerged from the site -based trainer data Table 8 specifies the constructs that emerged from these da ta. Please refer to Appendix E for a description of the constructs.
123 Table 8 Constructs from Site-based Trainer Interview Data Decision-making Support Construct Frequency Construct Frequency Decision-making 4 Small Groups 3 Observation 2 Coaching 3 Independence 2 At-Risk Students 2 Lesson Structure 1 Support 2 Reading Strategies 1 Teacher Preparation 2 Running Record 1 Helping Kids 2 Child Progress 1 Flexibility 2 Assessment 1 Push-in Model 2 Student Selection 1 Feedback 2 Discontinuing Children 1 Dialogue 2 Response-based 2 Teaching Guided Reading 1 Problem-solving 1 Meeting Child 1 at His Level Scaffolding 1 Strategy Use 1 Teacher Change 1
124 There were two themes that emerged from the site-ba sed trainer interview data. Support and Decision-making were again the two main themes. Decision-making w as discussed during Ms. Hazletts interviews, with regard to the decisions teachers make regarding instruction. The support that Ms. Hazlett discusse d during her interviews referred to the support that she provided to the participant teache rs in the form of coaching. Decision-making Ms. Hazlett began her discussion of the program wi th the student selection process. She explained that teachers were faced wi th decisions regarding the selection of three students who would work with the teacher for intensive ALL instruction. The following excerpt from her interview data explains this process: In the push-in model? Its a little more subjecti ve. I think here the teachers were told to survey their entire class and then to look at not the most struggling kids, because the teachers were in their own learning cu rve. We didnt want them to end up working with ESOL kids who had no English, or children who were obviously having Special Education difficulties, b ut kids who looked like they had lack of opportunity or developmental issues th at made them be a little more behind. So the teachers kind of made their own de cision there, based on that parameter. (February 19, 2003) The teachers administered Clays Observation Survey (2002) to the students in their classes to determine which students would benefit m ost from the individualized, prescribed ALL program. Ms. Hazlett further explained the necessity of dec ision-making in the program when she discussed the ALL lesson structure. She p articularly focused on the 10-10-10
125 format of the lesson. She felt that the format com pelled teachers to consider pacing. The following excerpt clarifies what she believed to be one of the goals of the program and the reason behind using the 10-10-10 format: Well, originally, with the one-on-one model, it wa s to, I believe, it was to force the teacher into making better decisions and to no t get bogged down on unnecessary details or to over dwell on something that wasnt essential to the literacy process. By forcing people to do a 10-10 -10, it really made teachers go okay, Ive got two minutes left, whats really imp ortant here in this segment of the lesson and what can I do with it and what should I do with it? It forces a different kind of decision-making. (February 19, 2003) Ms. Hazlett also discussed the purpose behind vide otaping teachers during their ALL lessons. The videotapes were used during the t raining sessions to reinforce the ALL concepts. They also gave teachers a context for wh ich to have a purposeful dialogue about their instruction. Ms. Hazlett described the process in the following way: They have a weekly class where we come together an d we are using the videotape model. Teachers are required to tape th emselves with a lesson. That is a huge component of the training, where th ey have to sit, and we have a sort of prescribed way of using the teaching on th e tape to help us be better at making decisions. Every moment youre making deci sions, decisions. (February 19, 2003) Decision-making was essential in the ALL program. Ms. Hazlett explained that to reach the goal of really helping kids to progress faster than they would normally and fostering each childs reading independence, teache rs had to constantly make appropriate
126 decisions based on their individual students needs She stated, I suppose theres a continuum of decisions that some are more in the di rection of the philosophy that were trying to promote. Theres a definite philosophy o f child-centered, response-based teaching (February 19, 2003). Support Ms. Hazlett discussed the importance of supporting teachers in the ALL training program. She explained that her role had developed over the course of the training from observer to coach due to the needs of the teachers. She described this role change in the following way: Ive taken a different tactic. In my original tra ining, it was strictly observational, and I was trained to take down the data of what I saw happening in the lesson. Then to provide feedback and have a conversation w ith the teacher afterward and answer questions. Really a dialogue about what ha ppened and clarify confusions, and try to keep people on track with the general d irection that were trying to go in these lessons. But now I have done a little bi t more of the coaching model here, what has been, I think, a good thing, where we almost work through the lesson together. We sit side by side, and say .te achers would stop in the middle and say, okay, I dont know about this part, shou ld I do this, should I do that? and we actually have a little talk and then we go or I may step in and show them something, if theyre interested in that model. (F ebruary 19, 2003) Ms. Hazlett continued to explain that the reason th at this happened was because the teachers were nervous about being videotaped and wa nted Ms. Hazlett to come into their
127 classrooms to coach a lesson before they had to mak e their videotapes. She suggested: The anxiety level goes up with that. They tend to seek out more support because they feel their weaknesses or perceived weaknesses whether theyre really there or not, but they want to be, theyre more on their toes. They want to be sure that theyre understanding things better before they ha ve to display themselves in front of everybody. (February 19, 2003) Each teacher was required to make one videotape of an ALL lesson with their students to share with the teachers and trainers in the ALL tra ining program. Ms. Hazlett was available to support and coach eight of the teacher s in the program. These eight teachers also worked in her school, which made it easier for her to support them. When asked how often she was able to observe and/o r coach the teachers in the program, she responded in the following way: I try to see two teachers a week of the eight. It s difficult because its not my main job here, but Ive been allowed to maintain t hat in this position. I try very hard to see them, so teachers probably get seen on ce a month by me, but there are ad hoc moments all the time because they stop me a nd say, Can you help me videotape? or ask me about a Running Record, or t hings like that. (February 19, 2003) Ms. Hazlett explained that she tended to approach t he teachers, rather than waiting for them to approach her, because she saw it as her res ponsibility to do so. She scheduled the classroom visits with the teachers and provided side-by-side coaching to them if they expressed an interest in her offer to coach them. This model worked best for both the teachers and Ms. Hazlett.
128 ALL Participant Teacher Data Analysis The phenomenological data that were collected and coded from the two selected participant teachers consisted of one 30 minute tea cher focus group comprised of five ALL participant teachers, including the two selecte d participant teachers, and two 30 minute interviews with each of the selected partici pant teachers. The focus group interview took place in Spring, 2003. The two teac hers were interviewed in Spring, 2003 and then again in Spring, 2004. These interview da ta were used to determine the beliefs and perceptions of the teachers as to what they had learned in the ALL training program and what they chose to use in their classroom from the ALL training. The two teachers, Mrs. Paterson, and Ms. Stone, we re also observed during Fall, 2003 and Spring, 2004. Observational field notes f rom each teachers classroom, during their regularly scheduled Reading time, were collec ted daily over a period of one month in Fall, 2003 and over a period of one month in Spr ing, 2004. There were a total of 22 days of observational field notes collected in both Mrs. Patersons and Ms. Stones classrooms during that time. After reading the observational field notes from t he teachers through twice to gain a holistic view of the data, I coded each page for units of meaning and bracketed the meaningful chunks with a construct name that emerge d from the observational data. The construct name that was assigned to each meaningful unit of text came from the text itself. After coding all of the data, the construc ts fell under three construct headings. The headings were Program Goals, Instruction, and Profe ssional Development (see Construct Key in Appendix E). In order to systematically ana lyze the data, I coded the data from Mrs. Paterson and Ms. Stone separately before compl eting a cross-case analysis.
129 Mrs. Paterson Background Information During the 2003-2004 School Year, Mrs. Paterson was a 47 year old black female in her 9th year of teaching. All of her years of teaching to ok place at the same school site. She was a first grade teacher at that time. Mrs. P aterson was very interested in improving her teaching, particularly the teaching of reading, and would seek out opportunities for professional development. She mentioned that she d id a lot of reading on the subject to become a better informed reading teacher and took c lasses when she could. She described her reading training in the following way : In the beginning I did a lot of reading. I took s ome Goals 2000 training. That was a training that I took up and it was a wonderfu l training. It might have been in 1998, which was really kind of based off the ALL training that we used to have. It was kind of modeled after the ALL teache rs. It was done in the classroom, and they got a grant to do this training Goals 2000. Ms. Hazlett, she and a couple of other people, they did that trainin g also .I think we had grant money for two or three years. It started out durin g the summer. We went to class four days a week, or was it one day a week? Then t he other days we were in school, we worked during the summertime because the y had summer school then and what we were allowed to do, the teachers t hat were in the Goals 2000 training, we were allowed to work in the schools du ring the times we were not in training, pulling groups of children, and workin g specifically with those children. So it was like three or four from each s chool, so we had a classroom like this, but we didnt have a class. We would pu ll the students we wanted to
130 work with and just solely do that. We were all the re together so we were there to help each other. And Ms. Hazlett was here and the other teachers would come out and help and then wed go back to class one day a week and share things that we had been doing. That went on that whole summer and then they followed through during the year when we incorporated it in our classrooms and they came and modeled and observed. We had to do the video, like we have to do for ALL. We critiqued the video and then discussed it in cla ss. So its almost the same training except it was stretched over a period of t hree years until the grant money ran out. It was almost like the ALL except that it didnt incorporate all of the writing like ALL does now. And a lot of the strate gies and the way they say to start out the groups, that wasnt really done, but a lot of the stuff is the same as ALL. (April 10, 2003) Ms. Paterson took her teaching job very seriously. She had a strong desire to understand and help her students. She was especially interest ed in helping the students in her class who were at risk of reading failure. For this reas on, she volunteered to take intensive reading training. In her nine years of teaching, s he took intensive reading training for four years. That certainly showed her commitment t o reading instruction and her desire to improve her own teaching for the sake of her stu dents. Description of Class There were 22 students in Mrs. Patersons first gr ade class. Her class comprised 13 females and nine males. There were 15 black chi ldren, four white children, and three Hispanic children in her class. Table 9 presents t he gender and ethnicity of the students in Mrs. Patersons class.
131 Table 9 Mrs. Patersons First Grade Class Demographic Infor mation Race Females Males Total Black 11 4 15 White 1 3 4 Hispanic 1 2 3 Total 13 9 22 Description of Classroom The physical layout of Mrs. Patersons classroom wa s developmentally appropriate for first grade students (Bredekamp, 19 87). There were four round tables situated on the left side of the room, away from th e door, and near the white dry-erase board at the front of the room. There was a mix of five to six children at each table. Seated at the first table, in the front left-hand c orner of the room, there were three black females, one white female, and one black male. Sea ted at the table to their right were three black females, one white male, one Hispanic m ale, and one black male. Seated at the table behind them were two black females, one H ispanic female, one black male, and one white male. Seated at the table to their left (behind the first table) were three black females, one black male, one Hispanic male, and one white male. The children had assigned seats in Mrs. Patersons classroom. There were times during the course of the day when the students would move to a large area on the floor designated for shared reading times or to various learning centers in the room, but when the students were working individually they remained in their seats a t their assigned tables. Mrs. Paterson had learning centers in her classroo m. At the front of the classroom, in the far left corner of the room was a large table where Mrs. Paterson met
132 with her Reading groups. Along the wall, behind th is table were shelves of books. Also, along the wall by the shelves of books was the List ening Center with a tape recorder, headsets, and books. To the left of the Listening Center, along the same wall, was the Reading Center with shelves of books and little cha irs. At the back of the room, along the same wall, was the Computer Center, with one co mputer. There was also a hanging pocket chart with sentence strips next to the Compu ter Center, where children could practice reading poems, stories, etc. from the sent ence strips. Behind the pocket chart were two closets for storage. Along the back wall of the room were storage cabin ets, a sink, and a bathroom, which was situated next to the door of the classroo m. Mrs. Patersons desk was in front of the cabinets at the back of the room. There was also a table and a painting easel set up next to her desk, which could potentially function as an Art Center. Along the front wall of the classroom was a large white dry-erase board. Above this, Mrs. Paterson had hung a number line. On the white board, she had hung a Reading poster that read: Making Connections: Text to Text Text to Self, Text to the World. In the far right corner of the front of the room Mrs. Paterson had made a large monthly calendar to use to teach calendar skills with her s tudents. In front of the white board was an overhead projector. There was a television and VCR kept on a stand in the front corner of the room near the large meeting area. In the shared reading area, Mrs. Paterson had a rocking chair for herself and an easel that c ould be used to write on. On the far right wall of the classroom Mrs. Paters on had created a Word Wall with letters of the alphabet evenly spaced across t he wall. She had hung index cards with color words and had placed them in alphabetical ord er on the Word Wall. There was
133 room to add more words under each of the letters of the alphabet. Next to the Word Wall was a bulletin board with environmental print. On this bulletin board Mrs. Paterson had hung signs, like a STOP sign, and other examples of signs one would find in the environment. In the back right corner of the classroom, to the right of the classroom door was a Writing Center. There was a small desk there. Alo ng the wall, behind the desk was a shelf with various types of paper, markers, and oth er writing utensils. This Writing Center was situated diagonally from the opposite co rner where Mrs. Paterson usually taught. Personal Teaching Style Mrs. Paterson showed genuine care and concern for her children and wanted them to show respect for her and each other. At the beg inning of the year, she worked at building a strong rapport with her students. She d eveloped a respectful community of learners in her classroom. The way in which she ch ose to do this was often with taped stories and songs about cooperation and friendship. One example that illustrated how Mrs. Paterson developed a caring community took pla ce on August 13, 2003, at the beginning of the school year. She had gathered the class in the shared reading area and was sitting on the rocking chair. The following tr anscript was taken from the observational field notes on that day: T: I Care Cat whispered to me that you are lear ning so fast. He said that you are the best class Ive ever had. And y ou know what? I think hes right. [T played a tape with a song by I Care Cat about being a family under one sky. The children swayed back and forth as they listene d to the song. Then T played
134 another tape with the song, I am precious, so are you. I Care Cat sang about how eyes, ears, mouth, hands, nose, and feet are precious. He explained how wonderful the brain is. Then all the students san g the I am precious song again. T brought out a stuffed cat and referred to a char t in the room with the Class Rules. T and S and I Care Cat went over the cla ssroom rules together.] (August 13, 2003) While the children listened to the tapes, they were actively engaged by rocking and singing along with the chorus. They showed great i nterest in the songs and the class discussions with the teacher. Mrs. Paterson was te aching the children classroom rules and expected behavior in this way. The atmosphere was very positive and both the teacher and her students seemed to genuinely enjoy these moments. Mrs. Paterson was very firm with her children and would not tolerate inappropriate behavior. At times she would raise h er voice, but she would always be respectful to the children. They knew she expected them to behave and work hard. Mrs. Paterson would often engage them in conversations a bout their families and home lives. She asked many questions and seemed to want to get to know each and every child well. The children also asked many questions and were con versational with her. Mrs. Paterson treated her students like family members. The foll owing is an example of how she developed a strong rapport with her students [T ref ers to Mrs. Paterson, S refers to individual students]: T: Lets get ready for family time. [T turned on soft classical music and sat in the r ocking chair in the meeting area. S quietly walked to the area and sat down by their teacher].
135 T: I can tell you are going to have a fantastic F riday. You all came up so quietly. Lets see what I Care Cat wants to tell us today. [T turned on the tape, Lets Sing a Song About Fe elings. S whistled when I Care Cat whistled.] S: I cant whistle. T: Thats okay. I cant whistle either, so I jus t rock. [T played Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down song. S follow ed the directions that the tape suggested. Shoulders up, shoulders down, I show how I feel.] T: Im looking for good listeners. I see good li steners. [Tape said, What do you do when youre afraid? S sang a song, When y oure afraid and you know it, tell a friend.] T: How can you make scary feelings go away? S: Sing a song. T: What do you do ? S: I get close to mommy. S: When Im scared, I get on my two sisters bed and I hold them tight. S: When Im afraid, I go get my teddy bear. S: I go under the blankets. S: I sneak in my sisters bed when shes asleep. T: Do you sing or hum along with her to make you feel better? S: Were gonna get a flashlight. T: Thats what I did with my boys. I gave them a flashlight at night. Fridays are sharing time, so everybody will get a ch ance to share, but lets finish
136 listening to I Care Cat. (August 15, 2003) Mrs. Paterson continued to play the tape and the ch ildren discussed other feelings they had experienced. After the discussion, she told th e children that they could write about something that had frightened or made them sad. In general, Mrs. Paterson tried to connect curricular content to her students lives a s much as possible. This served two purposes; not only were she and her students gettin g to know each other, but the students were also making meaningful connections between cur ricular content and their lives. In terms of control, Mrs. Paterson had a teacher-c entered classroom. She was in charge. She controlled the students behavior with stickers, praise, and with her voice. The children were not allowed to do anything withou t her permission. She had a traffic light in her room that she used to control the nois e level in the classroom. She would set the decibel level on the machine. If it was quiet, the light remained green. If the noise level in the classroom started to increase, the tra ffic light would flash yellow. The light would turn red and a loud siren noise would go off if the noise level was too loud. As you might expect, this only worked for a couple of weeks. Once the novelty of it had worn off the students started to ignore it and Mrs. Paterson had to raise her voice to call attention to it. She would put it away for awhile and then bring it out again in a month or two when it would work with the students again. A lthough her classroom was teachercentered, she had a genuine concern for her student s and she tried to encourage her students to care for each other as well.
137 Reading Group Time Mrs. Paterson formed Reading groups by administeri ng Marie Clays Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement (2002) to each of the students in her class at the beginning of the school year. She wanted to determ ine which of the students in her class were at-risk of reading failure. She stated, I tr y to observe them while Im doing it to see just what they seem to be struggling at, which things come easy for them, and then I go from them (March 17, 2004). Mrs. Paterson expl ained that she tried to meet with the students who were having difficulty with reading at least four times per week: I pull them. I try to see them at least four time s a week. I started out trying to see them five and then I was neglecting the other children. Using this in the classroom, its hard, with all of the interruption s and everything, and I was neglecting my kids who I thought were average, so I cut them back to four times per week. I just started trying to implemen t some of the procedures and some of the things that I had done in the ALL program .the cut-up story, the pulling out sight words and writing the m and stretching them and the interactive writing, shared reading. That s how we started out. (March 17, 2004) Reading routine. Mrs. Paterson met with her Reading groups at a tabl e at the front of the classroom. She had developed a routin e with the children so that each child knew what was expected of them when they met with t heir teacher. Mrs. Paterson would call a small group of children up to the table with her. Each student would immediately choose a book to read from a basket of books on the table. They would read their individual books aloud while the teacher observed a nd listened to them read. The books
138 in the basket were all familiar books that the stud ents had read before, but occasionally students would have difficulty with a particular wo rd which would interrupt their reading fluency. At these times the teacher might interven e, as she did in the following scenario: T: Why couldnt it be like? S: It has two o. T: Read it again. [S self-corrects.] [Another student had difficulty with a word.] T: What can you do to help yourself? S: sss-search (attempts the word) T: When Im reading I see the s, but in search I hear an r. Is there an r? S: No T: Try again. [S rereads and self-corrects.] [Another student had difficulty with a word and sa id, They] T: That word looks like They, but what is missi ng? What does They start with? S: Th T: Right. [S rereads and self-corrects.] (February 24, 2004) In the above excerpt, Mrs. Paterson used visual cue s with her students, and in each instance the students were able to correct their er rors. Mrs. Paterson typically would use
139 either meaning or visual cues with her students whe n they had difficulty reading an unfamiliar word. After the students warmed up with the familiar boo ks, Mrs. Paterson would meet with one student to take a Running Record. The oth er students in the group would pair up and were sent to another area in the room to rea d familiar books together. Mrs. Paterson would remind students of the reading strat egies they could employ if they came to an unfamiliar or difficult word before she would begin the Running Record as the following excerpt illustrates: T: What do good readers do when they come to word s they dont know? S: Get your mouth ready. T: What else? S: Look for chunks. [S reads My House T records miscues.] T: Go on. [S reads and skips the last word. T points to the word and S reads it.] T: You did an excellent job. Like on this page. I was looking to see if you were using any strategies. On this page, you got your mouth ready. S: And on the word, pirate. T: I bet you understand the story too. What was the story about? [S retells story.] (February 24, 2004) Mrs. Paterson often checked for comprehension by as king the children to retell the story. Sometimes she did this with individual children aft er a child completed a Running Record, but she also checked comprehension with gro ups of children after they read a
140 story and again the following day to determine what they remembered from the story they had read the day before. Mrs. Paterson wanted the children to focus on the meaning of the story and would often have conversations with h er students about the sequence of events. Typically, Mrs. Paterson would engage her students in conversations about texts. She would often ask her students questions about th e stories and would encourage retellings, but more often than not she would relat e reading texts to the students lives. She tried to help the students make connections to their own lives in an effort to make learning more meaningful. She also felt that it wa s extremely important for children to use language as much as possible to further develop their conversational skills. She explained how she did this with her students in the following way: We do a familiar read. I basically do the same th ing with all of my kids, not just with the children I thought need that extra h elp. I do a familiar read. I try to talk with my kids, try to bring in some languag e because a lot of these children dont have language. Sometimes we just s it and just talk. Then Ill do a Running Record. For the children at hig her levels, there were some I didnt do a Running Record, but for the most part I try to do a Running Record. Once they started reading with my shared reading, that group that I didnt we just kind of talked about the book, tried to pull out language and we did lots of repeated readings with them. Thats what I sta rted out doing (March 17, 2004) When Mrs. Paterson was asked what a typical reading lesson was like in her classroom, she responded, typical is familiar read, running r ecord, introduce the new book, I try to
141 put in some language and I try to activate prior kn owledge. I just try to see what they already know. Thats typical (March 17, 2004). Mrs. Paterson would introduce a new book by activa ting students prior knowledge and by building background for the story. She did this by questioning students about what they already knew about a topic or questioned them about the pictures in the story. She would ask them to make predictions about what they thought the story would be about. She and the children oft en would have a conversation about the book before they began to read it. Mrs. Paters on stressed the importance of talking about the story in the following excerpt from her i nterview: I try to talk to them. I hope I am because like I say I think these children dont have the language. They dont have the experiences that a lot of children have. They miss a lot. I found that some of these children had never been to the beach when I read a story about the beach. So it gives me knowledge as to what they know and as to how much help I need to give them when theyre reading the book. Because see if they dont know these things, then its hard for them t o get an unknown word. Because Ive had children who have used the strate gies, they got their mouth ready, they looked for chunks, and they got the wo rd, but they still dont know they had the word. They didnt know they were rig ht because they had no clue what the word was. Thats why I try to talk with them a lot and probably I love to talk. (March 17, 2004) Mrs. Paterson developed a routine for introducing a new book to the children as well. She would engage the children in conversatio n about the topic of the book and
142 what it might be about. Then she allowed the stude nts to preview the pictures and make predictions about the story. As the children previ ewed the story, Mrs. Paterson would talk with her students about what they thought the story would be about. She tried to use the vocabulary words in the story that she thought the children might have difficulty reading and/or understanding. She explained how sh e did this in the following way: ...We talk about the new book. I try to pull out some of the vocabulary in the book, and what I try to do, I try to pull out where, a lot of it I dont want to point it out to them. So I just try to use it in conversations. Were talking about the pages to see if they realize what Ive said, a nd some of them actually do. Ive had students say, Oh Ms. Paterson, you said the e xact same thing on this page, you know as theyre reading. So some of them have really started catching on that I use the vocabulary. So I try not to pull o ut too much, because I want them to, when they come to it, remember that we discuss ed that page and find it for themselves. (April 10, 2003) Mrs. Paterson wanted her students to experience suc cess when they were reading, so she set them up for success. Using the vocabulary in t he book, in a conversational way, was one way to do this. She would anticipate which wor ds might be difficult for the students, and would deliberately use them when she introduced a book to the students so that when the children encountered the word, they might have a greater chance of reading it. The conversations Mrs. Paterson had with her students a bout texts helped build vocabulary for the new book, which was helpful to her students as they attempted to read unfamiliar words.
143 Fostering reading independence. In the beginning of the year, Mrs. Paterson would model reading for her students and chorally r ead with them to provide further support for student success. The following excerpt from Mrs. Patersons observational field notes exemplifies how she introduced a new bo ok: T: Were going to read a new book. Since weve b een talking about friends, I thought youd like this book. S: Monkey friends! T: Do you think this story is about monkey friend s? Why? S: Because they climb like monkeys. [Students talked about how the friends were acting like monkeys.] T: The title of this story is Things I Do With My Friends What do you like to do with your friends? S: Play babydolls. S: I wanted him to let me ride his bike. He has a scooter. S: Me and my brother we go get a friend and we ha ve a clubhouse. T: Do you have some rules for your clubhouse? S: No messing up. S: My daddy rides a bicycle. T: I have a friend too. I go shopping with my fr iend. Sometimes we go to lunch. I dont see her very much because we re both very busy. Were gonna read. Open your book. Ill read first then you read. [T read page.] Lets read this page together. [T and S read page chorally.] T: I see CC and CD pointing to the words. Good p ointing.
144 S: I think theyre going to the store. T: They could be. [S made predictions about what the page would be a bout, looking at the pictures.] T: Have you ever jumped rope? Hot Potato, Hot Po tato, with a long rope? S: Yea. T: Im gonna read this page as its written. It says skip because jumping rope is kind of like skipping. You have to r ead the words on the page, even if you think it might say something else. (Se ptember 12, 2003) In this example, Mrs. Paterson encouraged her stude nts to make predictions about the story. She allowed them to preview the pictures be fore they read the story. She also read each page first, to provide a model of fluent readi ng, and prompted students to point to the words as she read them. Although she wanted st udents to attend to the pictures to gain meaning from the story, she also wanted them t o attend to the print on the page. She wanted students to be able to match the words they were hearing with the words they were seeing. This was the routine she had develope d with her students when she introduced a new book to them. At the beginning of the school year, Mrs. Paterson would often model reading for her students. She modeled reading when she read st ories to her students in the shared reading area of her classroom. She also would mode l reading to students in small groups when she introduced a new book. By February the st udents had become more independent and fluent in their reading, so she no longer needed to do this. The following excerpt from the observational field note s is an example of an introduction to a new book (Level 13) in February:
145 T: Whats the title of the book? S: Pizza for Dinner T: Look at the pictures a little bit. [S looked at pictures.] T: What do you think theyre doing? S: Making cookies. T: Cookies? It looks like cookies but when I rem ember the title of the story . S: Pizza! T: Yes, I think theyre making pizza because the title is Pizza for Dinner Lets look at the next page. What are they putting on the pizza? S: Sauce. T: Theyre putting tomato sauce on the pizza. Wh at do you like on your pizza? S: Mushrooms. T: Mushrooms. I like sausage on my pizza. S: And Cheese. T: Go on. Lets see if they put what we like on their pizza. S: Pineapple! T: See if you can find the word pineapple. [S framed word on page.] T: Go on. What do you think Dads thinking? Look at Dads face. Hes letting her know that shes okay. Whose pizza do you think theyre eating? S: Dads S: The girls.
146 T: Read the book and see if it tells whose pizza theyre eating. (February 25, 2004) In the Spring, Mrs. Paterson was no longer reading a page first and then asking students to read after her. The students were independently reading the books with little teacher intervention because they had become more fluent in their reading. The reading routine had changed because the children were more independ ent readers. She did continue to question students about the meaning of the texts an d would provide meaning and visual cues as they were needed. Data Analysis The phenomenological data collected from Mrs. Pate rson included one 30 minute focus group interview, two individual 30 minute int erviews, and 22 classroom observations. The focus group interview took place on February 19, 2003. The individual interviews with Mrs. Paterson took place on April 10, 2003 and again nearly one year later on March 17, 2004. There were 11 cl assroom observations made in Fall, 2003 and 11 classroom observations made in Spring, 2004. There were 34 constructs that emerged from Mrs. Pa tersons interview data. The constructs were tabulated to determine the frequenc y of each construct in the data. Table 10 specifies the four constructs that emerged from these data with the highest frequency. Please refer to Appendix E for a description of the constructs.
147 Table 10 Constructs from Mrs. Patersons Interview Data Construct Frequency Running Records 11 Assessment 7 Conversation 6 Reading Strategies 8 The goals for the participant teachers of the ALL p rogram were: .being able to be better observers of the little things that really matter that we learn from Clay in using the assessments, the Observation Survey the use of Running Records, and just becoming very data-based observers with knowledge to know what theyre seeing. So I hope that by do ing that, theyre really helping kids to progress faster than they would normally w ithout that kind of input. (Hazlett Interview, February 19, 2003) Mrs. Paterson met these goals and, in theory, could have been a model for the ALL program. She was very systematic in her observatio ns of each individual student and kept thorough records of each childs reading progr ess. Her goal was to help her students to become better readers and she did this by teachi ng and reinforcing reading strategies. There were 29 constructs that emerged from Mrs. Pa tersons classroom observational data. Table 11 specifies the 11 cons tructs with the highest frequency that emerged from these data. Please refer to Appendi x E for a description of the constructs.
148 Table 11 Constructs from Mrs. Patersons Observational Data Construct Frequency Reading Strategies 64 Meaning Cues 64 Visual Cues 55 Hearing Sounds 21 Connections 18 Teaching Points 17 Running Records 13 Choral Reading 12 Familiar Read 11 Writing 11 Assessment 6 There were three themes that emerged from Mrs. Pate rsons interview and classroom observational data. They were developed after a th orough analysis of the data, which included reading through the data at least three ti mes for a holistic sense of the data, analyzing the data for meaningful units, developing constructs from the emerging meaningful units, and tallying the constructs for f requency. The themes that emerged were Individual Assessment, Teaching and Reinforcing Rea ding Strategies, and Conversation for Language Development and Meaning C onstruction. These themes encompassed the essence of Mrs. Patersons teaching of reading. Table 12 presents these
149 themes and the frequency with which they occurred i n the data collected from Mrs. Paterson. Table 12 Themes from Mrs. Patersons Data Theme Frequency Individual Assessment 37 Teaching and Reinforcing Reading Strategies 72 Conversation for Language Development and Meaning C onstruction 88 Individual Assessment Mrs. Paterson wanted comprehensive and very specif ic knowledge about each of her students reading ability. She felt that she c ould better help her students with their reading skills if she had this knowledge. In an ef fort to gain as much information as possible about each student she would actively obse rve them as they read, and individually assess each of her students by adminis tering Marie Clays Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement (2002) to each of the students in her class at the beginning and end of the school year. During the y ear, Mrs. Paterson would individually assess each student using a district-adopted readin g assessment, the Developmental Reading Assessment (Beaver, 1999). She would also take Running Records of each of her students on a regular basis and would use the i nformation gained from the assessments to determine each students strengths a nd weaknesses. She also used the information from the Running Records to make decisi ons about the appropriate reading level for each student.
150 Mrs. Paterson developed a routine of assessing one student within each of her reading groups every day. Her reading groups usual ly met for approximately 30 minutes, which meant that she would individually assess at l east three students every day during her regularly scheduled reading time. Because of t his, Mrs. Patersons reading groups changed frequently. Students would move up to othe r levels and would join other groups of children as needed. Although Mrs. Paterson had established reading gro ups of no more than five children, her groups were flexible and constantly c hanging. She explained the flexibility of her grouping in the following way: My biggest group, I think I have five. My smalles t group I have one. Ive had some groups where I just have one because Ive had some children that just went whew! and then I would just have to take that as c hildren caught up and came maybe within one level of them and then I kind of joined them together . My groups have changed constantly. Even my ALL gr oups. The group that you saw here, only two of the children were origin al and one of them could actually move if he wasnt such a problem. Becaus e of his behavior sometimes I have to send him away. He cant progress. The little girl back at the computer, she was one that was also in the original group, a nd my God, she has just flown. So shes left them far behind, so it has changed. I pull children from here and there and it constantly changes .(April 10, 2003) Her program was actually more of an individualized program than a group program because of her focus on each individual childs pro gress.
151 Teaching and Reinforcing Reading Strategies Mrs. Paterson spent the majority of her reading gr oup time teaching and reinforcing reading strategies. She felt that if t he children were taught the reading strategies and would utilize them when they were re ading, they would become independent readers. Mrs. Paterson focused on the reading strategies with each and all of her students because of this. The following excerp t from one of her interviews explains why she focused on teaching and reinforcing reading strategies: I think, well since I started using the reading st rategies, Ive noticed that that is what I do when I read. I didnt know that before I knew anything about reading strategies. I realized Im doing that so that mus t be a good thing to help you read. I think it helps the children, so thats why I rea lly focus on them. Now a lot of times I think the children dont understand them. But I still wonder sometimes if the children understand them. They can recite the m to you, but I wonder sometimes if they get it. But Im hoping if you c ontinue theyll get it because I tell them all the time. That is what I do even if Im reading to them and let them know, hey you know what I just did? I read on bec ause I wasnt sure about that word. You know and now, hey, I can think about wh at makes sense so I can get my mouth ready and help me figure out the word. (M arch 17, 2004) There were 64 examples of teaching and reinforcing reading strategies in Mrs. Patersons classroom observation data. A chart was posted at the front of the room that listed six behaviors of good readers. They were: 1. Point to the words. 2. Look at the pictures. 3. Look at the word. 4. Think, What fi ts? 5. Make a guess. 6. Check it. There were also seven strategy cards posted in the room. They were: 1. Look at the
152 pictures. 2. Get your mouth ready. 3. Does it sou nd right? 4. Does it look right? 5. Does it make sense? 6. Chunk words. 7. Try it aga in. There was also a poster hanging in the group area with a Reading Strategies Song: Look at the pictures. Still no clue? Read it again all the way through. When you get to the place where you are stuck. Get your mouth ready and the word pops up! The childre n had visuals of the strategies and would sing the song to remind them of the reading s trategies to employ when they encountered unfamiliar words. Mrs. Paterson and her students reviewed the strate gies many times during the course of the day. She routinely reminded her stud ents to use the strategies before she would take a Running Record with a student. The fo llowing example illustrates this point: T: I love the way I see you glance up to make sur e youre looking at the pictures. [T sends two students away to read together on the floor. She prepares to take a Running Record.] T: Tell me what you do to help yourself when you re reading. S: Look at the picture. Get your mouth ready. T: You do those things. Good for you. [S reads and doesnt know the word koala.] T: Read that again. Do you remember what that is ? [T points to the picture.] Its called a koala. [S finishes book.] T: The only thing I want to bring your attention to is this page. You said
153 mice here. [T points to the word mouse.] T: If this said, mice, what letter would you se e here [T points to ou] S: i T: Yes, mice says i and means more than one mou se. Look at the picture. How many? S: one T: Just one mouse. Read this for me. [S rereads and self-corrects.] (March 4, 2004) In this example, Mrs. Paterson asked her student to list the strategies he might employ before he began to read. The student was able to l ist a couple of strategies, but also showed that he understood how to use them, by emplo ying them during the Running Record. Mrs. Paterson also provided meaning and vi sual cues to help her student decode an unfamiliar word. Mrs. Paterson usually began her group time by revi ewing the reading strategies with her students. She also would typically use vi sual and meaning cues to help her students as the following example demonstrates: T: What do good readers do when they have trouble with a word? S: They look at the pictures. T: What else? S: Look for chunks. S: Go back. T: If it doesnt make sense, go back and read it again. Good. [S read book and T took a running record. When S e ncountered pair of overalls,
154 T pointed to words.] T: Youre doing fine. [S finished reading.] T: Good Billy. You are feeling nervous, but you shouldnt. You should feel confident because you used your strategi es. Lets go back to this page. You read, It was a present of ____ and then you stopped because you knew that wasnt right. Lets look at this word pair. [T writes p air on a white board.] T: Remember when we talked about the sound ai m akes? How do you say air ? S: pppp T: Dont worry about the p right now. What doe s this say? S: air T: Then put the p at the front. S: pair (February 26, 2004) In the above example, Mrs. Paterson used a visual c ue to help her student decode the word pair. She began by separating the word and pointing out the air chunk, but her student still didnt understand, so she reminded hi m about the sound for /ai/, which was something that he knew. She took him from the know n (/ai/) to the unknown (pair), by chunking the word and working with the sounds as we ll as the visual cue to figure out the word pair. Mrs. Paterson often would use meaning cues as well as visual cues to help her students with unfamiliar text. The following excer pt from her classroom observational field notes was an example of this:
155 T: What did they do when they were on the compute r? S: typed it. T: What do you think he will do? [S told a story about experiences with moving. T a nd S discussed the pictures.] T: And then what happened? S: Dad came home. T: Read the sign. Get your mouth ready. How did you know that was home? S: Because of the h. T: Lets read Hello Dad Look at the pictures. What is she doing? What is another word for putting a picture up? Get y our mouth ready. When I say the word hold, I hear an o and a d and when I look at this word I dont see those letters. Does it look right? No. T: What are you going to do? How are you going t o get your mouth ready for the word? Show me the word. You need to be look ing at the word. Now is that word we? Why? Why cant it be we? Good readers dont just say anything. That doesnt help you. Good reade rs use the strategies. Look at that chunk there. [T covers first part of th e word violin and just shows in.] Look at the word again. [S rereads and corrects word.] (March 3, 2004) When Mrs. Paterson asked her student to look at the pictures and preview the story, she was focusing on the meaning of the story. She want ed to encourage her student to think about the meaning of the story before and during th e reading of the book. She also asked her student to attend to the print by using visual cues. She reinforced the use of reading
156 strategies with her student by reminding her to get her mouth ready, which meant to look at the letter and attempt to match the sound with t he letter, as well as to look at the pictures to check to see if what she was reading wa s making sense and matched what was happening in the story. Conversation for Language Development and Meaning C onstruction Mrs. Paterson wanted her students to become fluent readers. She believed that the reason some of her students had difficulty learning to read was because of their lack of language. Many of her students simply were not abl e to understand what they were reading because they did not understand the vocabul ary used in the story or because they lacked rich language experiences at home. This app arent lack of language development was more than just a second language issue (which w as also a problem), but rather was a result of children not conversing with their family members at home, let alone conversing about books. Mrs. Paterson believed that children could improve their reading and language ability through the use of conversation. Conversation. There are many ways to engage children in conversat ion. Mrs. Paterson demonstrated that she cared about her chil dren by asking them questions about their lives. She also asked them questions about t heir lives to encourage them to make connections between their lives and texts. The fol lowing excerpt from her classroom observational field notes is an example of how Mrs. Paterson encouraged text-to-self connections through conversation with her students: T: Weve been talking a lot about family and frie ndship. Who can tell me something that left an impression on you? S: If somebody says, Im not going to be your fr iend. Thats rude.
157 T: What do you think you should do if somebody sa ys, Im not going to be your friend.? S: You could talk to another friend. S: You could walk off. S: We could tell our moms. T: Yea, but first I would want to know why they d idnt want to be my friend. So I would ask the person if I had d one something to make them not want to be my friend. Its much bet ter to be friends. Everybody should try to be friends. Im going to read you a story called, Two Can Do It. What do you think it will be about? S: Kids doing things together. T: Does this story remind you of anything? S: Its text-to-self because of the title. T: You made a text-to-self connection, very good. Tell me what it is. S: My friend rides her bike with me. T: I saw this and I remembered Bo and Peter Why did I think of that? S: Because theyre two friends. T: How can we make a connection to Bo and Peter ? S: They almost do the same things. T: In Bo and Peter, they both read together and ate together. Do you t hink its a good thing that friends get along and do thin gs together? [T showed the book Ten Greedy Bears. ] Do you think they will get along? S: No.
158 T: How can you tell? S: Their faces are getting mad. [T read the story. S asked what burst meant.] T: Popped open. [T continued to read and stopped to ask questions. ] T: What do you think is going to happen next? Wh o can tell me what happened to the cheese? S: The fox ate it. T: Why? S: He wanted it to be equal. T: But why? S: Because they kept fighting over the cheese. T: What do you think would have happened if they had not been fighting over the cheese? S: They would have had more cheese. T: It is better to share. (September 10, 2003) In the above excerpt, Mrs. Paterson encouraged her students to think about the meaning of the stories and to make connections between stor ies (text-to-text) as well as between the stories and the students lives (text-to-self). She prepared the students to comprehend the stories by building a background for the storie s, previewing the pictures, and encouraging the students to make predictions about the stories. Mrs. Paterson was in charge of the conversation. Her students were not conversing with each other, but all
159 conversation was directed through her. This techni que was effective in engaging students and monitoring their understanding of the meaning o f the stories. Meaning construction. Whether Mrs. Paterson worked with a whole group, sm all group, or an individual student, she would typicall y begin her reading lesson by asking the students to preview the pictures and tell her w hat was happening in the story. The students were actively engaged, from the start of t he lesson, in the meaning of the story. The conversations she had with her students, in add ition to the questions she posed, would be about story sequence and overall meaning o f texts. The following excerpt from observational field notes, from Mrs. Patersons wor k with an individual student, is an example of how she encouraged students to focus on the meaning of texts: T: Were gonna work on those strategies so that t his book wont be too hard. [T pulls one black female to the reading table. T gives the book Shoe Boxes to S. T gives a little background on the story.] T: Look at the pictures and tell me whats happen ing on every page, just like when we do a book walk. [S looks at pictures and tells what is happening.] T: Lets read to see what Mandy, her brother, and her sister did with their shoe boxes. [S reads. T takes a Running Record.] T: Very good. Tell me what happened in the story from the beginning. [S retells the story.] T: What kind of games? [S answers.] T: Who tried on the baseball shoes? [S answers.]
160 [T continues to ask comprehension questions and S answers correctly.] (March 10, 2004) The above example is one of 64 examples that emerge d from Mrs. Patersons classroom observational data indicating a pattern of reinforc ing meaning construction. She would begin most of her reading lessons in the above mann er and would check for understanding before, during, and after a student r ead a given text. The following excerpt from Mrs. Patersons classro om observational data indicates how Mrs. Paterson focused on meaning with her students when she was working with a small group of children: [T passes out the book On Our Street ] T: What do you see on the cover? [S list items.] This story is about different things that are on our street. Wha t have you seen on your street? S: Kids. S: Bicycles. T: What do you live in? S: Go with my mom. T: When you go home, are you in a house, an apart ment, a trailer? S: Boat. T: You live in a boat? [S nods.] T: Im going to ask your grandmother if you live in a boat. [T and S preview the pictures and discuss the stor y sequence.] (February 25, 2004)
161 Once again, Mrs. Paterson encouraged her students t o make connections between what they were reading and their lives. She also focuse d on the meaning of the story by previewing the pictures with her students and discu ssing what might have happened. She would do this with her students before they read th e story on their own, to prepare them for success. Because of this, her students were ab le to read with confidence and fluency. Lesson Modifications Mrs. Paterson used the ALL lesson structure with a slight modification. She would begin her reading group lessons with an oppor tunity for students to read familiar books and would take a Running Record of at least o ne student during this time. She also introduced a new book at each group time. In terms of the writing portion of the lesson structure, however, she made modifications. She wo uld sometimes plan to have students generate and write sentences, but not on a consiste nt basis. Instead, she would teach comprehension strategies and discuss the meaning of texts with students during this time. She taught writing with her whole class of students and would encourage them to write more than one sentence, using invented spelling, bu t this was not done during small group instruction. Mrs. Paterson explained why she chose not to include the writing portion in her lesson structure. She said: A lot of times, though, I do change the 10-10-10 b ecause sometimes I think that one aspect needs more time with a certain group th at the other, like my highest group. They dont need 10 minutes of writing beca use theyre writing wonderful stories now. So to me they need more time with co mprehension because not only do I do comprehension, I talk about other aspects of reading with my high groups, like story mapping so I kind of incorporate all of that and to me they need more
162 of that now than the writing because they have the writing down so I kind of pick and choose as to how much time I spend with each o ne as to what their needs are in that particular group. (April 10, 2003) Summary of Results for Mrs. Paterson Mrs. Paterson believed that she would not use what she had learned in the ALL Training Program in exactly the way she had been ta ught to use it. After a thorough analysis of the data, however, I found that Mrs. Pa terson did use many concepts from training in her teaching. Her focus was on helping students accelerate, which is one of the goals of the ALL program. She met with student s individually and in small groups, as she had been trained to do, in order to better o bserve her students and determine the appropriate course of action to help them become be tter readers. She used Clays Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement (2002), in which she had received training on how to administer during ALL training. Many of the concepts taught in ALL training had be come a part of Mrs. Patersons teaching repertoire. She taught and rei nforced reading strategies, which were emphasized in ALL training. The data collected fro m her also indicated that she employed the cueing systems, with a particular emph asis on meaning and visual cues. Mrs. Paterson would engage her students in conversa tions about texts to encourage them to focus on the meaning of the text and would often help them connect textual information with their own lives. Mrs. Paterson di d not, however, use the ALL lesson structure as she had learned to do in ALL training. She made modifications to the writing section of the lesson and would focus on comprehens ion strategies rather than sentence
163 construction. In general, Mrs. Paterson used much of what she had learned in training. In fact, she would be an excellent model for the AL L program in action in the classroom. Ms. Stone Background Information During the 2003-2004 School Year, Ms. Stone was a 27 year old white female in her 5th year of teaching. All of her years of teaching to ok place at the same school site. She was a first grade teacher at that time. Ms. St one had earned a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Fl orida. She volunteered to enroll in the ALL Training Program because she wanted to lear n how to help the children in her class who were at risk of reading failure. She exp lained, .its a big concern getting those struggling readers up, so it seemed like a pr ogram that would benefit a lot of our children (Teacher Focus Group, February 26, 2003). Ms. Stone had attended other Reading trainings in the past because she wanted to learn how to help her students who were having diff iculty learning to read. All of her previous training had helped her to develop a readi ng program, but she was interested in furthering her knowledge on how to help individual students make continuous reading progress. She explained: Ive been to workshops on phonics and literacy cen ters and all kinds of things like that, but this has given me more insight. Ive be en to workshops on guided reading. This though, has given me more insight t han anything, because it really specifically told you about teaching guided readin g. Everything is kind of fluff in a lot of ways it seems, and you hear oh, if you re doing this for phonics, and if youre doing this, and all these la-dee-da project things, but when you really get
164 down to it, its teaching those strategies and imp lementing those. Something that has been beneficial and Ive had training on are s trategy cards. Using those to teach the entire class as a whole group and youre talking about the strategies and what can you do if you come to a word and you only see the beginning of it? How can that help you? Do you see that littl e word in there? And then taking from what you do from the whole group into the guided reading group and saying, Dont you remember when we came to tha t word and we couldnt figure it out, what did we do?, and get them think ing. Those cards are very beneficial and that was a good training. Our read ing coach two years ago got those for us. (April 2, 2003) Ms. Stone had some previous experience with teachin g and reinforcing reading strategies and found training regarding reading strategies ver y helpful. The ALL Training Program validated what she was already doing in terms of re inforcing strategies, but gave her more specific information that she could apply in t he classroom with individual students. Description of Class There were 21 students in Ms. Stones first grade class. Her class comprised 11 females and 10 males. There were 10 black children four white children, and seven Hispanic children in her class. Table 13 presents the gender and ethnicity of the students in Ms. Stones class.
165 Table 13 Ms. Stones First Grade Class Demographic Informati on Race Females Males Total Black 6 4 10 White 1 3 4 Hispanic 4 3 7 Total 11 10 21 Description of Classroom The physical layout of Ms. Stones classroom was d evelopmentally appropriate for first grade students (Bredekamp, 1987). There were four round tables situated near the front of the room, near the white dry-erase boa rd. There was a mix of four to five children at each table. At the back of the room wa s a large round table where Ms. Stone met with her reading groups. There was also a rect angular table where two boys were seated, near the shared reading area. The children had assigned seats in Ms. Stones cla ssroom. Seated at the first table, in the front left-hand corner of the room, t here were two white males, one black female, one Hispanic female, and one black male. S eated at the table to their right were two black males, one black female, one Hispanic mal e, and one Hispanic female. Seated at the table behind them were two black females, tw o Hispanic females, and one Hispanic male. Seated at the table to their left (behind th e first table) were two black females, one white male, and one white female. There was one bl ack male and one Hispanic male seated at the rectangular table at the back of the room. There were times during the course of the day when the students would move to a large area on the floor designated
166 for shared reading or to various learning centers i n the room, but when the students were working individually they remained in their seats a t their assigned tables. At the front of the classroom, next to the door, i n the far left corner of the room was a Word Wall. Next to the Word Wall was a large white dry-erase board. There were class rules posted on a chart at the front of the r oom and a calendar, where students would practice learning calendar skills at the beginning of each day. There was also a large graph posted with information regarding how the stu dents traveled to school that day. Ms. Stone had learning centers in her classroom. Along the right wall of the room there was a Reading Center with a bulletin board wi th a Get Hooked on Books! poster. There were five shelves of childrens books, big bo oks (oversized instructional texts), and three rugs in the Reading Center, where children co uld sit comfortably on the rugs and read either alone or with partners. A Reading Str ategies chart was posted as well as charts for Compound Words, Sight Words, Word F amilies, Vowels, Rhyming Words, and Colors. In addition, the Reading Cen ter had an easel set up and shelves with magnetic letters, where the children could pra ctice letter recognition and spelling words. In the same area of the Reading Center ther e was an alphabet bingo game and individual chalkboards. Next to the Reading Center was a Listening Center with books and headsets. Next to the Reading and Listening Ce nters, along the same wall, was a shared reading area with a rocking chair and easel, where Ms. Stone met with her class to read to them. There was a Chunk Chart and Alpha bet Chart hanging on the wall. Along the back wall of Ms. Stones classroom was a Computer Center. There was a pocket chart hanging at the back of the room. There was a television on a
167 moveable stand, and another bookshelf in the back o f the room for supplies. There was also a door to another classroom in the back of the room. Ms. Stones teachers desk was on the left side of the room, near the door. She had a table with writing folders near her desk. Be hind her desk were closets and cabinets for storage. Along the same wall, in the back of t he room, there was a single bathroom for her students. Personal Teaching Style Ms. Stone wanted her students to learn and follow the classroom rules that were posted in her classroom. At the beginning of the y ear she read the rules to the students and explained what each of the rules meant. She al so asked the students to chorally read the rules as she pointed to each one. She would re fer to these rules throughout the day to remind the students of them, often asking students to list a rule for her. The following excerpt from observational field notes taken in her classroom was an example of this [T refers to the teacher, S refers to individual st udents]: T: Lets see those good listeners. A good listen ers eyes are open. A good listeners ears are open. A good listeners lips are closed. A good listeners hands are still. A good listeners feet are quiet. [T referred to a poster on the board with pictures of what good listeners do .] T: Put away your crayons and pencils. Please put your books away. Please put your heads down. Please put the book bas ket in the middle of the table. Just waiting for a few people to put away the ir pencils and their papers. I want you to be thinking about a rule that we have in our classroom. If you are a girl in the classroom, can you tell me about a rul e we have in the classroom?
168 S: Look at you. T: Okay, you need to be looking at me when I am t alking. Are you doing that? What is another rule? If you are a boy in th is classroom, tell me a rule. S: You need to be quiet. [Students took turns telling their teacher a rule and T reviewed them by pointing to each one listed on a poster on the board.] (Aug ust 8, 2003) Ms. Stone had a teacher-centered classroom. In the above example, the students were telling their teacher the rules that she had establ ished for them. There was not any discussion between the teacher and her students abo ut the reasons for having rules, or any indication that the students had any ownership of t he rules. They were simply expected to memorize and follow them. Ms. Stone expected her students to behave and woul d not tolerate inappropriate behavior. She controlled her students by using her voice and by giving explicit directions for their every move. She expected her students to follow her directions and would wait until every student had followed a given direction before she would continue with her lesson. It was a common practice of hers to ask he r students to put their heads down on their table after they had followed her directions, so that they would not talk to each other or become distracted as they waited for every stude nt to do what the teacher had asked them to do. This was a typical practice of Ms. Sto nes during whole group lessons. The children did have more autonomy when they were allo wed to work in the various centers that were set up in the classroom. The students in Ms. Stones classroom worked in Li teracy Centers while she met with small groups and individual students during Re ading time. The centers were set up
169 at the beginning of the school year and Ms. Stone s pent the first week of class introducing each center and explaining what the stu dents should do at each of the centers. T: We need to continue talking about things we ca n do at Center time. In the next week or so we are going to start those R eading groups. In the Reading Center, you can read to yourself, you can rea d a big book, you can read to a buddy, you can read a book the class wrote. At the Poem Center, you can read a poem from the pocket chart, you ca n mix up sentences in the little pocket chart. What is something you c an do in the Writing Center? S: Draw a picture. T: Yes, but its a Writing Center, not a Drawing Center, so you have to write words under the picture. S: You can write spelling words. T: I would love to see that. S: You can find vowels in the words that you writ e. S: You can look for words that you know. S: You can practice writing ABCs. S: You could write names. T: How about writing sentences with words that yo u know? [T wrote each suggestion on a chart.] T: Names always start with what kind of a letter? S: A capital. T: As you get better and better, you can write st ories. Weve talked about our Read and Write the Room Center. You need a pointer and walking around
170 the room pointing to words that you know and reading them. What do we do to write the room? Maybe you decide to wal k around the room and find all the is words in the room and make a tally m ark or check mark every time you see the word. Or maybe you want to write all the words that you see that start with the letter j. T: Someone donated these nice lunch boxes to us. This lunch box says, letter tiles. [T showed the letter tiles to S.] Y ou can sit down and make your spelling words. This one is called, word ti les. With word tiles you can make sentences. This one says, after, and this one says, play. Heres a spelling word, is. I can take the words t he, dog, is, big and make a sentence, The dog is big. You can write them down and make a sentence. What do you have at the beginning of the sent ence? S: The T: What kind of letter? S: Capital. T: These are magnet letters. There are two place s where you can use magnet letters. You can take these magnets a nd you can get a tray and you can put them down. [T puts letters d own on a cookie sheet.] You can make words, spelling words, or words that you know. These magnets will stick on my desk. Its not just playtime with the magnets. You need to make words. T: This lunch box has cards that rhyme. Heres t he word top. Im going to show you another word thumbs up if i t rhymes, thumbs
171 down if it doesnt rhyme. [T says a word and children show thumbs.] T: I have another rhyming game. You can see if y ou can find some matching cards. [T played game with S to model for th em how the game was played.] T: These cards have part of a picture and a lette r. You would have to find the f card, o card, and x card to spell fo x. When you line them up next to each other, you will spell the word fox and there will be a picture of a fox. You can use these pieces to make words. I am thinking of a word that starts with an f and it rhymes with hog. Raise your hand. S: Frog. T: You are right. [T showed children how to put puzzle pieces togeth er.] (August 25, 2003) Ms. Stone spent time each day reviewing the Literac y Centers and gave very explicit directions and modeled for the children what to do at each of the centers. The students were assigned to one Literacy Center each week. Ms Stone told the children, were working on getting to stay at our centers. You can t go to another center. By the end of the week you will have visited all of the centers (August 25, 2003). The students enjoyed working at the centers and were highly enga ged during this time. It was a bit noisy, but it was productive noise which did not se em to bother Ms. Stone or the students. She was able to effectively work with her Reading g roups without interruptions from the other students in the class.
172 Reading Group Time Ms. Stone formed her Reading groups very early in the school year. She was working with small groups and individual children b y September 10th. She spent the first few weeks of school surveying all of the children i n her class to determine the appropriate Reading level for each of her students. She administered part of Marie Clays Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement (2002) to each student. There was a basic sight word check section on the Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement (2002), which was what Ms. Stone used to ascertain the sight vocabulary for each of her students. During the AL L training, the teachers were expected to administer the whole survey to each of their stu dents. Ms. Stone chose not to do this, but rather chose selected sections from the survey to administer to her students. She also met with each of her students and had them read to her and would take a Running Record to help her decide on the appropriate Reading level for each of them. Ms. Stone explained that she used Running Records, the Observation Survey and the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) on a regular basis with her students to determine the appropriate placement for her student s: I continuously do observations and Running Records I refer to the Observation Survey if there is a really struggling child at a much lo wer level, but just throughout the year as far as reading goes by look ing at their Running Records to see how they are progressing, through the Developm ental Reading Assessment test, and just conferencing with them and observin g their work on a daily basis and keeping notes of what Im seeing this year wit h writing. Ive been keeping track, as I see them, daily or weekly, writing wha t Im observing. I can use
173 that to then determine if theyre at an appropriat e level or not. (March 17, 2004) During the ALL training, the participants were giv en a form that teachers could choose to use when they worked with the students in their Reading groups (see Appendix F and G). This was the form that Ms. Stone referred to i n her interview. On the form, teachers could note the date, the students that were in the group, the book that the students reread, the new book that was introduced, and the skill or concept that was taught. In addition, there was a place at the bottom of the form for a R unning Record. She explained why she chose to use the form: For myself to keep track of what it is that we do every day, whos there in the group on the day that were meeting, keep track of what books weve read, that helps when I go to do that Running Record, then I know what the book is that weve previously just introduced. If were focusi ng on something specifically, if we focus on ing words, and then the next day theyre having trouble finding those ing words, to go back and talk about what weve talked about. Also, to show parents, it can be used for either to show pa rents during conferences or administrators to show, heres...if were talking about a particular child, heres from this day, this day, this day, obviously Im w orking daily with this child, or just kind of a back-up mainly just to keep trac k for myself of what it is that goes on every day, kind of like a mini lesson plan for guided reading. (March 17, 2004) Ms. Stone chose to use this form with her Reading g roups, in an effort to keep an accurate record of what she and the students accomp lished during their group time together. This form was used for anecdotal informa tion as well as for planning purposes.
174 Ms. Stone wanted to ensure that each of her studen ts was working at an appropriate level, which meant that she had to obse rve and informally assess her students on a regular basis. She would rearrange her Readin g groups as her students progressed to higher levels. Because of this, her groups were fl exible and constantly changing, based on the reading abilities and needs of her students. She explained how she formed Reading groups in the following way: With the grouping, again it depends on the assessm ents that Im getting back from them. Try to keep, usually with reading, kee ping them all at a level, working at the same level. If I see that one chil d is progressing, I would move them to another group. If theyre progressing qui cker that the other children in the group, or if someone has fallen behind, I kind of rearrange and you just need to look weekly pretty much to see where each child individually is at and where the best spot would be for them. (March 17, 2004) Reading routine. Ms. Stone met with her Reading groups at a table at the back of the classroom. She had developed a routine with th e children so that each child knew what was expected of them when their teacher met wi th groups. The children who were not meeting with their teacher were engaged in Lite racy Centers during group time. The children who were meeting with their teacher knew w hat was expected of them as well. Ms. Stone would call a small group of children to sit with her at the table. Each student was given a bag of books full of several bo oks that the child had read before. They would choose a familiar book to read aloud whi le the teacher observed and listened to them read. Even though the children were readin g simultaneously, they were not necessarily reading the same book. While the child ren were reading, Ms. Stone would
175 choose a student to read to her and would take a Ru nning Record of that students reading. Following the Running Record, Ms. Stone w ould typically introduce a new book with each of her groups of students. Ms. Ston e described a typical reading lesson in the following way: Every child has a bag of books that they have been working on and the first thing that they do is theyll take out their bag o f books and read a familiar book for them as sort of a warm-up. Usually durin g this time Ill do a Running Record with one of the children while the others are still reading. Then depending on the level, with my higher level kids, well then go into looking at a new book and discussing a new book. With my lower levels, some of them Ive used the ALL program in which we ll do some sort of writing or word building, going over sight words, something in between and then well introduce and do the new book and t hen even with some of the advanced groups, to maybe do a follow-up le sson, if there was a lot of compound words. For example, maybe have them w rite a sentence with compound words or make a little book that sho ws compound words. With some of my higher groups, Im having them wri te down unknown words and then work together to figure them out. You know maybe someone else in the group knew that word that they didnt know, but they keep a little list of things that theyre reading throu gh cause they dont need me to sit there and go through everything. They can may be read the whole book except for two words, so theyre writing down thos e words and then talking to each other to help solve the word. But the mai n thing is the familiar read,
176 the Running Record, and then the new book. (March 17, 2004) In the above excerpt, it is interesting to note tha t Ms. Stone modified the structure of the ALL lesson format. She chose to start and end her reading lessons in the way she was trained to do in the ALL program. The children beg an their lesson by reading familiar books and Ms. Stone took a Running Record of one st udent. She also introduced a new book and the students would read the new book. Ms. Stone modified the writing section of the ALL lesson structure. She did not use the sentence generation and cut-up sentences du ring this time. Instead Ms. Stone wanted her students to work on developing a basic s ight vocabulary. When Ms. Stone met with her students, she usually focused on visua l cues and word recognition. Regardless of the reading level of her students, Ms Stones focus for reading was at the word level, in that she emphasized recognizing word s rather than on the meaning of sentences and stories, with her students. Fostering word recognition. Ms. Stone wanted her students to develop a basic sight vocabulary. She believed that word recogniti on was essential for reading fluency and competency. When she met with her students, wh ether in groups or individually, she reinforced word recognition. The following excerpt is an example of how she did this: T: Do you see a spelling word from this week? [S used finger to point to word.] T: How did you know that said bed? S: It starts with a b. T: What if you cover up the y in the word they. S: the
177 T: Cover up the y and the t. S: he T: There are words hiding in that word. S: I see a boy in his bed. T: Do good readers use pictures to help them? S: Yes. [T introduces a new book.] T: What time of day do you think this story takes place? S: At night. T: How do you know? S: There are stars. S: Theres a tiger. T: Did you look at the word or the picture of a t iger. [S pointed to the picture.] T: Can you find the word tiger. [S pointed to the word.] T: On the next page theres a speech balloon. Wh ats the word? S: Mom! T: It starts like mom. S: Mother! T: It starts like Mother, but its another word [T gives wait time while S try to figure out the w ord.] T: That word is Mommy.
178 [S read chorally.] T: Everybody find the word into. Cover the in . Cover the to and the word is in. Put them together and they make the word into. Read it again and remember the word into. [S reread.] T: Look at the word was. Cover the w and wha t do you see? S: as T: Thats a spelling word this week. (September 1 0, 2003) In the above example, Ms. Stone reinforced word rec ognition and word-building. She often referred to spelling words when she worked wi th her students in reading. She also wanted her students to recognize words within longe r words, so she would have them take apart the words to identify smaller words. Th e students would look at the pictures to help them gain meaning, which was a strategy that M s. Stone taught her students to use, but more often than not she would redirect her stud ents attention to the print. She used visual cues with her students more than any other r eading cue. Ms. Stone taught her children compound words and r hyming words. She often asked her children to focus on these as they were r eading. Although the children would use picture cues to construct meaning of texts, Ms. Stone wanted to ensure that her students recognized the words associated with the p ictures. In the following example, Ms. Stone used visual cues to encourage her student s to tune in to the printed word: T: How did you know this was teapot? S: I saw tea and pot. T: So you think about the spelling of the word? Girls come join us. Lets
179 look at the cover. [S read title, I Saw a Dinosaur ] T: What do you know about this story? S: Its about dinosaurs. T: Look at the word bedroom. What kind of word is that? [No response.] T: How many words do you see? It has two words. What are they? S: Bed. Room. T: Right. Its a compound word. [T takes calculator and shows S.] T: What is this? S: Calculator. T: Find the word calculator. [S cannot find the word.] T: How can you tell which word is calculator? [S do not know.] T: Calculator begins with a c. What does it en d with? cal-cu-lat-or-r-r-r. S: r [S point to the word calculator.] T: Turn the page. See those three dots. One dot is a period and tells us to stop. Three dots means theres more on the next pag e. Lets read the page. [S read the page chorally.] T: What animal is on this page?
180 S: Elephants. T: What are they wearing? S: Yellow and red pants. T: What animal is on the next page? S: Kangaroo. T: Find the word kangaroo. [S point to the word kangaroo.] T: Read the book to yourself. (February 23, 2004) Ms. Stone wanted her students to recognize unfamili ar words. When she introduced a new book, she and her students would preview the pa ges together. Ms. Stone asked questions about the pictures, but would then ask th e students to connect the picture to a word on the page. She did this to prepare her stud ents to read the book independently. She also would often point out conventions of print such as the use of periods and ellipses, as in the above example. Ms. Stone encouraged her students to practice sigh t words. When students encountered unfamiliar words or if they had difficu lty attacking a sight word, Ms. Stone would write the word on a card or small piece of pa per for the students. The students kept the cards in their individual bags of books. Sometimes Ms. Stone instructed her students to practice reading the word cards. The f ollowing example shows how she reinforced sight words with her students: [T introduces the new book, Words are Everywhere .] T: Lets look at this book. S: Theres a spelling word.
181 T: Which word? S: Us [S point to the word, us.] T: Look at the pictures. Which sign tells us abo ut children? [S cannot find it.] T: Can you find the word children? [S point to the word.] T: Can you find the spelling word tell? [S point to the word.] T: Can you find our old spelling word find? [S point to the word.] T: Cover up the word to show us in. [S cannot do this.] T: How do you spell in? S: i-n T: Thats right. T: Find the word cannot. [S point.] T: That word is a compound word. Show me the two words. [S cover word to show can and not.] [Later in the lesson, two students had trouble wit h the word tell. T wrote the word on a piece of paper for each of the stude nts.] T: This is a spelling word. What does it say?
182 S: Tell. T: Put it in your bag. [S put word card in bag.] [T explained to me that she made sight word cards for her students and had students practice reading them at their seat.] (Fe bruary 24, 2004) In the above example, when the teacher introduced t he new book, a student pointed out a spelling word. The teacher intended to preview the pictures with her students, but as the focus of Ms. Stones reading lessons were usually a round the words, the student pointed out the spelling word on the page. The rest of the lesson focus was on words as well. Using words on cards did not seem to be an effectiv e way to reinforce words, however, because even though the students encountered the sp elling word tell, they did not recognize the word in context. Data Analysis The phenomenological data collected from Ms. Stone included one 30 minute focus group interview, two individual 30 minute int erviews, and 22 classroom observations. The focus group interview took place on February 26, 2003. The individual interviews with Ms. Stone took place on April 2, 2003 and again nearly one year later on March 17, 2004. There were 11 classr oom observations made in Fall, 2003 and 11 classroom observations made in Spring, 2004. There were 34 constructs that emerged from Ms. Sto nes interview data. Table 14 specifies the five constructs with the highest freq uency that emerged from these data. Please refer to Appendix E for a description of the constructs.
183 Table 14 Constructs from Ms. Stones Interview Data Construct Frequency Running Records 10 Assessment 9 Meeting Childs Needs 7 ALL Training 7 Reading Strategies 6 These data indicated that Ms. Stone informally asse ssed her students on a regular basis using Running Records, specific information from Cl ays Observation Survey (2002), and the Developmental Reading Assessment (Beaver, 1 999). She did this to determine the appropriate instructional level for each of her students. In an effort to meet her students reading needs, Ms. Stone emphasized asses sment and reading strategies in her classroom. There were 30 constructs that emerged from Ms. Ston es classroom observational data. Table 15 specifies the eight constructs with the highest frequency that emerged from these data. Please refer to Appendix E for a description of the constructs. Table 15 Constructs from Ms. Stones Observational Data Construct Frequency Visual Cues 94 Meaning Cues 28 Sight Words 28
184 Constructs from Ms. Stones Observational Data (con tinued). Construct Frequency Choral Reading 19 Conventions of Print 17 Hearing Sounds 14 Running Records 13 Centers 13 There were three themes that emerged from Ms. Stone s interview and classroom observational data. They developed after a thoroug h analysis of the data, which included reading through the data at least three times for a holistic sense of the data, analyzing the data for meaningful units, developing constructs fr om the emerging meaningful units, and tallying the constructs for frequency. The themes that emerged were Individual Assessment, Reading Strategies and Cueing Systems and Focus on Print and Sight Words These themes encompassed the essence of Ms. Stones teaching of reading. Table 16 presents these themes and the frequency wi th which they occurred in the data collected from Ms. Stone. Table 16 Themes from Ms. Stones Data Theme Frequency Individual Assessment 32 Teaching and Reinforcing Reading Strategies 128 Focus on Print and Sight Words 49
185 Individual Assessment Ms. Stone wanted comprehensive and very specific k nowledge about each students reading ability. She felt that she could better help her students with their reading skills if she had this knowledge. In an ef fort to gain as much information as possible about each student she would actively obse rve them as they read, and individually assess each of her students. She admi nistered parts of Marie Clays Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement (2002) to some of the students in her class at the beginning and end of the school year. Ms. Stone explained why she did this in the following excerpt from one of her interviews (March 17, 2004): The ones who were below level the first nine week s, I did those children. Someone who came in reading at a level 10, I didn t think there was any need for that. But the ones who Id say were at a leve l 4 or below at the beginning of the year or by October, I had done the Observation Survey for all of them. And the ones who are still below level or borderline a t the end of the year are the ones Im planning on redoing and seeing what impro vements were made. Ms. Stone further explained that the Observation Survey was especially helpful at the beginning of the school year and during the school year with students who transferred into her class. The information she obtained from the survey helped her make decisions about appropriate placement as well as what to do t o help her students progress in reading. She stated: Especially at the beginning of the year. It lets you know what letters they know, what sight words, how they hold the book and how they look at a book, and its a good starting point, I feel, to then ta ke them from that point and see the
186 progress as the year goes on to then go back and s ee what theyve done, but I think its a good starting assessment. Sometimes what they come in with from kindergarten really doesnt give you enough inform ation, and this was definitely good to have it. (March 17, 2004) During the year, Ms. Stone would individually asse ss each student using a district-adopted reading assessment, the Developmen tal Reading Assessment (Beaver, 1999). She would also take Running Records of each of her students on a regular basis and would use the information gained from the asses sments to determine each students strengths and weaknesses. She also used the inform ation from the Running Records to make decisions about the appropriate reading level for each student. Ms. Stone would take at least one Running Record p er week for each of the students in her class. Her reading groups usually met for approximately 15-25 minutes each day, depending on their reading level. She ex plained that she would meet for a longer period of time with the students who were re ading at lower levels because she would have them do more writing and word work. Reading Strategies and Cueing Systems The reading strategies and cueing systems were emph asized in the ALL Training Program and were clearly observed in Ms. Stones cl assroom as well. Ms. Stone explicitly taught the reading strategies to her stu dents when she met with them as a whole group. She would use the cueing systems when she m et with small groups and individual students.
187 Reading strategies. Ms. Stone taught her students reading strategies to use when they encountered unfamiliar text. She had reading strategy cards posted in her shared reading area. There were nine cards in all. They were: 1. Look at the beginning sound. Look at the endi ng sound. 2. Make sense? 3. Look at the pictures. 4. Sound right? 5. Look right? 6. Guess. 7. Chunk 8. Try it again. 9. Read. Read. There also was a poster with a Reading Strategies Song: Look at the pictures. Still no clue? Read it again all the way through. When you get to the place where you are stuck, get your mouth ready and the word pops up! Ms. Stone believed that students needed to know an d utilize the reading strategies to be successful readers. She modeled and reinforc ed the reading strategies with her students because she believed they needed to be abl e to use them to become independent, fluent readers. She fostered their success in read ing by: Teaching them different ways of what to do when th ey come to a word. Can they look for the picture for clues? Can they fin d a little word inside that they know is there? Does it make sense? Asking them q uestions, does it look right? Getting them to look at the beginning, the end, se eing different word families,
188 different things inside the word that are going to make them become more fluent readers. (April 2, 2003) The above excerpt came from an interview with Ms. S tone during her ALL training year. At that time, she received intensive training regar ding the reading strategies and cueing systems. She practiced questioning techniques with her students to encourage them to employ the reading strategies. In the year following ALL training, Ms. Stone was still teaching her students the reading strategies because she believed: Those strategies are what a child is going to need to use in order to read and they need to know that if they come to an unknown word, what they can do to help themselves. Can they look for a little word, can they check the picture, can they think of something else that begins with that letter, to get their mouth ready. Without going over those things and having them ar ound the room and using the cards and just talking about always what you can d o, theyre not going to know, okay when I come to a word I dont know, what are my options? So its something thats very important for them to b e able to read. (March 17, 2004) The reading strategies were emphasized during the A LL Training Program, and they were inherent in Ms. Stones reading program as wel l. Ms. Stone explicitly taught the reading strategies to her students when she worked with them as a whole group. She referred to the posted strategy cards and song. Wh en she worked with small groups and individual students, she typically reminded them to get your mouth ready and look at the picture, as the following example illustrates: T: Please choose a book and begin reading quietly
189 T: Whats the name of the story? S: w-w-w (attempts word) T: You got your mouth ready. Use the picture. T hese are great pictures to help. [S read quietly to themselves. Two girls chose th e same book to read.] T: I just want you looking at the cover of this b ook. What do you see on the cover? S: A sun. S: A birthday. T: This story is called The Surprise Inside What do you think the surprise in the box will be? S: Balloons and presents. T: Lets read the title again. [S read the title chorally.] Lets open it up. T: What color box did he get? S: Red T: Can you find the word red? Point to the wor d. [S point to the word.] T: Can you find the word green? [S point to th e word.] T: There are two colors on this page. S: Pink and yellow. T: Lets read it. S: Pink and [pause] orange! T: How did you know it said orange? S: Because is has an o. T: If it said yellow, what letter would there be? S: y
190 T: Lets read the story from the beginning. [S re ad the book to themselves.] T: Read the story again while I get the activity ready. [S read softly.] [T took a white board and marker, made two columns and wrote 2 words at top.] red green T: Im going to give you each a red piece and a g reen piece. Im going to write a word on the board and youre going to show me if it rhymes with red or green. Put up the red piece if you think it rhymes w ith red, and the green piece if it rhymes with green. [T wrote the words, bed, head, green, led, mean, t een, fed. She said each word and the S put up the appropriate color piece. T p ut a red or green dot next to each of the words.] T: What do they both have at the end? Were goin g to do two more because you guys are doing awesome. T: Lets read all of the words that are red. [S read the words chorally.] T: Lets read all of the words that are green. [ S read the words chorally.] (September 11, 2003) In the above example, Ms. Stone reinforced the read ing strategies. Once again, Ms. Stone wanted her students to focus on the printed p age, as well as the picture. She prompted them to identify and read words, like red and green. During the writing portion of the lesson, rather than asking the stude nts to generate a sentence, she worked on rhyming words. This was very typical of her les sons. She would have the students identify and write words.
191 Cueing systems. Ms. Stone observed her students when they were re ading to determine the cues they relied on to help them with unfamiliar text. She observed and documented the cues each of her students used when they were reading. Then, when she worked with them, she would try to strengthen the c ueing systems that were weaker for them. She explained what she had learned from trai ning in this way: but it has given me more insight as far as seeing their strengths and their weaknesses and what cues theyre using and the mea ning, visual, the structure, things like that. I was not aware of them before. Its not written down anywhere that if a child says this, this is the reason why, and now this class has really shown me. (April 2, 2003) being able to interpret the cues that theyre usi ng, the meaning, structure, and visual. How they are reading. From the train ing, probably the thing I took away the most is how to use those assessments to h elp you plan to see if the child focuses totally on the pictures or if theyre look ing for meaning, what it is that theyre using to help them read and then what that in turn tells me what I need to focus more on with my teaching if I was seeing, li ke when Ms. Hazlett would mark down the different types of questions that we asked and if I saw that I kept asking questions pertaining to visual, to know tha t I needed to focus more on asking things about meaning and structure. If I h ave a child whos very meaning based, heres what we can do to focus on something else. It made me more aware and showed me how to interpret the reading and the cueing systems that my students are using. (March 17, 2004)
192 The above excerpts from interview data indicated th at Ms. Stone had learned the cueing systems and genuinely wanted to help her students b ecome better readers by using the appropriate cue with each of her students. Although she was aware of the three cueing systems and recognized the need to include meaning cues, she relied heavily on visual cues. An analysis of the observational data indicated that Ms. Stone used 94 visual cues, as opposed to 28 meaning cues, over 22 days of observations during her reading group ti me. The reason for this preponderance of visual cues was because of Ms. Sto nes focus on sight words and print with her students. Focus on Print and Sight Words An analysis of Ms. Stones observational data indi cated that she relied heavily on visual cues and sight words to teach her students t o read. During 22 days of observation, Ms. Stone used visual cues with her students 94 tim es when she worked with them at group time. She also taught and reinforced sight w ords 28 times over the same period of time. She clearly wanted her students to focus on the printed page when they were reading. Ms. Stone began to teach her students sight words at the beginning of the school year. The following excerpt from her observational data illustrates the way in which she chose to do this: T: Yesterday afternoon we talked about 12 specia l words that we need to know how to read and write in first grade. [The words were on cards and placed in a large apple pocket chart on the white board. T po inted to the words. T and S read the words chorally.]
193 S: and T: I see boys and girls who are sitting quietly. S: can S: dad S: is T: i-s is S: see T: I see good students. [T and S said each word and spelled them chorally. ] T: Were going to take those words and sometimes when youre learning new words it helps to write them over and over. Well were going to practice those 12 special words that you need to know for first grade. Were going to rainbow write our words. What colors do y ou see in the rainbow? S: red T: Were going to take each word and write the wo rd with different colors. [T wrote words on board and modeled for students.] T: Im going to say each word and you say them af ter me. [T read words and S repeated.] T: I want to see some beautiful, beautiful work. (August 13, 2003) Ms. Stone had her students practice writing and rea ding sight words on a daily basis. She wanted her students to develop a basic sight vocabu lary that they could utilize when they were reading.
194 The students in Ms. Stones class often were given word cards to practice reading. The following example shows how Ms. Stone encourage d her students to focus on words and print by using visual cues: [T is working with S and has word cards for S. S is reading each word card. T tells him to put the word cards in his bag full of familiar books.] T: Choose a book from your bag to read. [S read The Surprise Inside .] T: Lets read Look Again (a Literacy Place My Book S put together.) [T chunks words for students.] T: You know this word. [T covers up inside to s how in.] [T covers up th in this and says what does thi s say?] S: is [T uncovers word.] S: this T: Lets read My Feet (Literacy Place My Book) T: Who has funny feet on this page? S: cat T: Point to that word. [S point to cat. T continues on each page askin g students to find the animal with funny feet and pointing to the corresponding word.] T: Look at page 2. Find the word funny. [S po int.] T: Can you find the word fun? [S point.] T: Can you remember the spelling word that rhymes with fun? S: run
195 [S read the book on their own.] T: Im going to put a big star next to the f in feet so that when you see it youll remember the word feet. (February 26 2004) The above excerpt was a typical example of how Ms. Stone conducted her reading lessons with small groups and individual students. There was a definite pattern of fostering word recognition, using visual cues, and encouraging her students to focus on the print on each page in the book, particularly wi th her at-risk students. Ms. Stone often covered parts of words for students to show them th e part of the word that they already recognized. She would often try to take them from the known to the unknown. For example, when her student did not recognize the wor d inside, she showed him in to help him figure out the word inside. She did th is to prepare her students to read the books independently. The students in her class who were visual learners and /or strong readers had no difficulty with this. The students in her class who were not visual learners and who struggled to learn to read had great diffic ulty. Ms. Stone taught her students basic sight words by writing them on cards for students and asking them to practice reading them. She pointed out spelling words and had them identify spelling words in the books they read. She also encouraged students to build new words with words that they already recogn ized. She often practiced word building with them, by using rhyming words. The fo llowing excerpt was an example of this: [T passed out word cards and asked S to read them. S reviewed sight words.] T: I need Jazlyn to take out the story Words are Everywhere [T instructed other students to read quietly while she took a Running Record.]
196 T: How does it begin? S: /t/ T: That was a spelling word last week. Can you t ake a guess? How does it begin? S: /h/ help T: Good. [S turns the page and finds the word card tell m arking the page. T had instructed S to put the card there so that whe n she was reading the word tell on the page, she would remember it when she saw the word card.] T: Thats for you. Remember the word? S: tell [S read page with tell.] T: Get your mouth ready. [S doesnt know the wor d.] [T tells S the word.] T: Its important to take a guess. This word loo ks like these but it says things. Read it again. [S has trouble reading not.] T: Look at that /t/ sound at the end. T: Stretch it out. [T stretches out sounds for S n-o-t.] S: not [S has trouble with the word way. T writes day .] T: Whats the word? S: day [S makes the connection and says, way.]
197 [T works with another S.] T: What is it? S: Monkey? T: It begins like monkey. [T tells word monst er.] T: Which one of those words is our spelling word? S: me T: Can you think of a word that rhymes with me? S: we T: Put your books away. Were going to do someth ing different today. I want you to number your paper 1-9. [T pass es out paper.] [T lists words and asks students to write words.] T: at Change the word at to bat. Change t he word bat to sat. I want you to write the word it. Change th e word it to sit. Change the word sit to bit Can you think of a word that starts with an h that rhymes with the first word o n your paper? S: hat T: How do you spell it? [S spell word.] Circle the word at in hat. Were going to read through the words and spe ll them. Take these back to your seat and Ill ask you about it later. S take word cards for they and with to read at their seats.] (March 2, 2004) In the above example, Ms. Stone worked on developin g a sight vocabulary and word building with her students. She used a concept tha t was taught in the ALL training program as well, which was to take something that a child already knows and build
198 on that knowledge in order to learn something new. Ms. Stone used this concept when she had her students build words from words th at they already knew. Although the students were able to do this, they really had difficulty reading the books. In general, Ms. Stone spent the majority of her readin g group time assessing students and working with words and print on the page, rathe r than on the meaning of texts. The students spent so much time taking apart the st ory and on skill work, they rarely had time for fluency practice and reading for meani ng. Summary of Results for Ms. Stone Many of the concepts taught in ALL training had be come a part of Ms. Stones teaching repertoire. She taught and reinforced rea ding strategies, which were emphasized in ALL training such as chunking and get your mout h ready. The data collected from her also indicated that she employed the cueing sys tems, with a particular emphasis on visual cues. Ms. Stone reported that she planned to use what sh e had learned in the ALL Training Program in exactly the way she had been ta ught to use it. During an interview she mentioned that she intended to put it into her Professional Development Plan at the school for the following school year. She explaine d, next year, when I do my professional plan, the past couple of years Ive do ne it for reading, and I would like to be able to incorporate that Im using this program in my plan (April 2, 2003). A thorough analysis of the data indicated that Ms. Stone did u se many concepts from training in her teaching. She met with students individually and i n small groups, as she had been trained to do, in order to better observe students and dete rmine the appropriate course of action to help them become better readers. She used Clays Observation Survey of Early Literacy
199 Achievement (2002), which she had received training on how to a dminister during ALL training. Ms. Stone used the ALL lesson structure with a sli ght modification. She would begin her reading group lessons with an opportunity for students to read familiar books and she would take a Running Record of at least one student during this time. She also introduced a new book at each group time. In terms of the writing portion of the lesson structure, however, she made modifications. She wo uld sometimes plan to have students generate and write sentences, but not on a consiste nt basis. Instead, she would use the writing section of the ALL lesson structure to rein force sight words and word building. Ms. Stone explained why she chose not to include th e writing portion in her lesson structure. She said: I didnt entirely follow the writing of the ALL p rogram. I kind of tweeked it to my own and I didnt really feel that that wa s something necessary. We used other ways of helping each other figure out w hat part, what letters we needed The writing was probably the shorter of the parts, maybe five minutes because mainly the children who I used the program with were fairly on level for writing and writing was not something that the y really needed as much to focus on, which is why I kind of eliminate a lot o f the writing parts. (March 17, 2004) Ms. Stone chose to modify the lesson structure beca use she did not feel that it was necessary for her students. Her students wrote sen tences and stories individually and as a class, but Ms. Stone chose not to have them do this during reading group time.
200 Member Checks After I analyzed the data and developed case studi es of the ALL Training Program, I met individually with the site-based tra iner, Ms. Hazlett, and the two selected participant teachers, Mrs. Paterson and Ms. Stone. I shared each case study with the appropriate participant. I conducted a member chec k with Ms. Hazlett to discuss and confirm the findings from her data. I also conduct ed individual member checks with Mrs. Paterson and Ms. Stone to discuss and confirm the findings from their data. Each of the participants agreed with the interpretations of the data and confirmed the findings of the study. Ms. Hazlett Ms. Hazlett and I met to discuss the findings from the ALL training data in February, 2007. At that time I reviewed the data c ollection and analysis procedures with her and then shared the case study findings from th e phenomenological data of the ALL Training Program. We discussed the emerging themes and I showed her support for these themes in the data. She confirmed the themes and agreed with the findings from the study. At that time she also mentioned a conce rn she had about the sustainability of the program. She did not think the ALL participant teachers were using what they had learned in training any longer. Ms. Hazlett often visits teachers classrooms as a Reading Coach in the school. It was in this capacity that she was able to make the observation that teachers no longer applied what they had learn ed in training in their classrooms. Mrs. Paterson Mrs. Paterson and I met to discuss the findings of the study in February, 2007. At that time I reviewed the data collection and analys is procedures with her and then shared
201 the case study findings from the phenomenological d ata collected and interpreted from her interviews and classroom observations. We disc ussed the emerging themes and I showed her support for these themes in the data. S he confirmed the themes and agreed with the findings from the study. She laughed and admitted that she still taught reading in the same way, four years after the data collecti on period. Mrs. Paterson reiterated the need for her students to learn and use the reading strategies and to construct meaning from texts. She also mentioned language developmen t goals for her students. Ms. Stone Ms. Stone and I met to discuss the findings of the study in March, 2007. At that time I reviewed the data collection and analysis pr ocedures with her and then shared the case study findings from the phenomenological data collected and interpreted from her interviews and classroom observations. We discusse d the emerging themes and I showed her support for these themes in the data. She conf irmed the themes and agreed with the findings from the study. She admitted that she sti ll taught reading in the same way as she had four years ago but that she hoped she used more meaning cues now. She explained that she now taught second grade and her students a lready used a basic sight vocabulary consistently. She mentioned that she thought her f ocus had probably shifted from predominantly visual to a more meaning orientation. At least she hoped that was the case. Cross Case Analysis After a thorough analysis of the phenomenological data for each of the cases, there were obvious similarities and differences acr oss cases. Most notable among the similarities were the assessment procedures and the use of cueing systems to teach and
202 reinforce reading strategies. There was a strong e mphasis in ALL training on the best way to teach and reinforce reading strategies throu gh thoughtful and appropriate questioning techniques. The teachers employed thes e questioning techniques in their classrooms. The assessment procedures that were ta ught in training included using Running Records, Clays Observation Survey and documenting individual student progress through the use of anecdotal records. The teachers utilized these assessment procedures in the year following ALL training as we ll. The greatest difference that emerged from the data was the focus of reading inst ruction between the two teachers. Each teacher favored one cueing system over the oth ers, which led to differences in their reading instruction. Similarities Across Cases Assessment The title of the course in the first semester of t raining was: Assessment in Literacy. There were five course objectives which were all related to assessment in literacy. The syllabus (2003) listed the following course objectives (see Appendix C): 1. conduct systematic observation of students 2. administer instruments appropriate for determining student literacy functioning status 3. select books at the appropriate level for individua l students 4. plan and implement a daily 30 minute ALL lesson 5. make decisions to facilitate acceleration of studen ts The trainers taught the participant teachers how to conduct systematic observation of students and provided them with Clays (2002) Observation Survey as well as training on
203 its administration. The teachers were expected to use the instrument with each of their students in the first semester of training. Both o f the teachers who were selected to participate in the study used the instrument during training as well as in the year following training. Running records. The teachers were taught how to keep a Running Reco rd of student reading behaviors during the ALL training. The trainers modeled how to take a Running Record and had the teachers practice record ing and analyzing student behaviors. The teachers also practiced using Running Records w ith their ALL group of three students, in their respective classrooms, during tr aining. Both of the participant teachers in the study used Running Records on a daily basis with their students in the year following training as well. Anecdotal records. The teachers were given various forms by the site-b ased trainer that could be used with their ALL group of students as a record-keeping tool. The forms were used to document what took place when th e teacher met with her students during reading group time. Both of the participant teachers used anecdotal record forms in the year following ALL training (see Appendix F and G). The form that each teacher chose to use differed, but both teachers chose to u se a form from ALL training to document what took place during each reading lesson Reading Strategies and Cueing Systems The trainers emphasized reading strategies and cue ing systems in the ALL Training Program. Every session in the 11 weeks of the second semester of ALL training was devoted to teaching and reinforcing the reading strategies and cueing systems. As a result, both of the participant teachers taught and reinforced the reading strategies to their
204 students in their respective classrooms. The teach ers asked the questions that they were taught in ALL training to help their students emplo y the appropriate reading strategies when they came to unfamiliar words. The teachers a nd their students were definitely familiar with the reading strategies and used them on a daily basis in their respective classrooms. Differences Across Cases The differences that emerged from the phenomenolog ical data were between the two first grade teachers. The data indicated that Mrs. Paterson and Ms. Stone each favored one cueing system over the others, which le d to differences in their instruction. The results showed differences in the questions the y asked their students as well as the focus of each teachers instruction. Mrs. Paterson Mrs. Paterson favored meaning cues when she scaffo lded instruction with her students. She often asked the question, Does it m ake sense? She asked this to direct her students to think about the meaning of text, as they attempted to problem-solve on unfamiliar text. She also asked students to previe w the pictures before, during, and after reading. She engaged them in conversations about t he meaning of what they were reading as well continually checked for text compre hension. Additionally, Mrs. Paterson encouraged her students to make connections between texts as well as between texts and their own lives. The data indicated that Mrs. Pate rson emphasized meaning construction and language development in her reading instruction
205 Ms. Stone Ms. Stone favored visual cues when she scaffolded instruction with her students. The question she often asked was Does it look righ t? She asked this to direct her students to the print on the pages of texts, as stu dents attempted to problem-solve on unfamiliar text. She taught sight vocabulary with word cards and had students study words out of context. She reinforced spelling word s, compound words, and rhyming words in texts. She taught conventions of print, s uch as the use of capital letters and punctuation marks. The data indicated that Ms. Sto ne emphasized word recognition and print in her reading instruction. Elements of Accelerated Literacy Learning Training The elements of the ALL Training Program were the ALL concepts that were taught to the teachers. The following is a list of the elements of ALL training: Observation Survey Running Records Anecdotal Records Leveled Books Acceleration 10-10-10 Lesson Format Familiar Read Writing New Book Reading Strategies Cueing Systems
206 Teaching Points Follow the Childs Lead Student Grouping Conversation about Text These concepts included the use of the Observation Survey, Running Records, and anecdotal records as means of gathering individual student assessment data. Teachers were also taught how to select leveled books for th e appropriate reading level of each of their students and acceleration procedures. A part icular lesson format (10-10-10) was explicitly taught to teachers, which included instr uction for each of the three segments of the lesson (Familiar Read, Writing, Introduction to the New Book). In the writing segment of the lesson, teachers were instructed in the use of Elkonin boxes and sentence generation and construction. Reading strategies an d cueing systems were outlined indepth. Trainers explained the philosophy of the pr ogram as well, which included following the childs lead during instruction. In addition, teachers were taught how to group their students and how to encourage conversat ion about text. Table 17 presents a summary table of the research findings with regard to what elements of training teachers chose to use in their classrooms as well as the mod ifications that they made. Table 17 Summary Table of Findings Elements of Training Mrs. Paterson Ms. Stone Used Modified Used Modified Observation Survey * Running Records * Note. An asterisk indicates the teachers choice for each of the elements of training.
207 Summary Table of Findings (continued). Elements of Training Mrs. Paterson Ms. Stone Used Modified Used Modified Anecdotal Records * Leveled Books * Acceleration * 10-10-10 Lesson Format * Familiar Read * Writing * New Book * Reading Strategies * Cueing Systems * Teaching Points * Follow the Childs Lead * Student Grouping * Conversation About Text * Note. An asterisk indicates the teachers choice for each of the elements of training. Chapter Summary In this chapter, I answered the four research ques tions after an in-depth analysis of observational and interview data from trainers and teachers in an early intervention training program. First, I analyzed the data from the Accelerated Literacy Learning Training Program, which included a thorough analysi s of data from two teacher focus group interviews, one trainer focus group interview one site-based trainer interview, and training transcripts from 11 weeks of ALL training. Explanations of the ALL Training
208 Program with thick descriptive details regarding wh at was emphasized in training were presented. Secondly, I analyzed data from two part icipant teachers, which included two focus group interviews, two 30 minute interviews wi th each of the two selected teachers and transcripts from 22 days of observational field notes in each of the teachers classrooms. Case studies were presented of the tra iners and two participant teachers perceptions of the ALL Training Program. The findings indicated a preponderance of support from the trainers in the ALL Training Program. The themes that emerged from the analysis of trainer data were decision-making and support. The trainers explaine d that their role was to help foster appropriate decision-making and to guide and suppor t teachers as they tested and implemented the program in their classrooms. The findings also indicated that the concepts that were emphasized in ALL training were also the concepts emphasized by the t eachers in their classrooms. In the ALL Training Program teachers were trained to admin ister a survey to their students to determine specific information with regard to each of their students strengths and weaknesses in reading. Both teachers chose to admi nister the same survey to their students in the year following training as well. T he teachers were also trained to use a Running Record with their students in an effort to identify miscues and determine the appropriate Reading level for each student. Both t eachers used Running Records on a regular basis in their classrooms in the year follo wing training. In the ALL Training Program the trainers taught re ading strategies and cueing systems and provided the teachers with questions th ey could ask their students to reinforce these. Both of the teachers in the study used the questions with their students.
209 They both taught their students the reading strateg ies and utilized the cueing systems as well to reinforce the use of the reading strategies It was interesting to note that the two participan t teachers who were interviewed and systematically observed both used the ALL lesso n structure in the same way. They started their lessons with a 10 minute warm-up, in which each student read familiar books to build fluency in reading. The teachers also use d at least 10 minutes of the lesson time to introduce a new book. However, both teachers ch ose not to use the 10 minutes of writing as they were trained to do. Both teachers modified the lesson structure and chose to spend the remaining 10 minutes on reading work t hat they viewed as necessary for child acceleration. The decisions that each teacher made regarding how they spent their group time with their students, as expressed in interviews and interpreted from observations, reflected how reading was taught in their respectiv e classrooms, as well as what each teacher emphasized with each of their students. Th ese decisions were made with regard to individual students and their respective reading needs, which was a goal of the ALL Training Program. Each teacher designed a program for each of their students that they believed would best meet each childs individual le arning needs.
210 CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION The purpose of this qualitative research study was to describe and explain the characteristics of a successful professional develo pment model in an early intervention training program. The focus of the study was on pa rticular aspects of literacy instruction that were emphasized during training sessions and t rainer and teacher perceptions of the Accelerated Literacy Learning (ALL) Training Progra m. In particular, this study investigated how two teachers applied what they had learned from their participation for two semesters in the ALL Training Program. This st udy examined the elements of training that two teachers chose to transfer to the ir classrooms, as well as modifications they chose to make, in the year following training in an effort to gain further insight into effective teacher training practices. The followin g research questions guided this study: 1. How do teachers who have received early interve ntion training for two semesters apply this knowledge in their classrooms durin g the following school year? 2. What do teachers choose to use and not use from the training program and why? 3. What modifications of the program do teachers m ake, if any, and why? 4. What are the perceptions of trainers about an e arly intervention training program? To obtain answers to these research questions, I co nducted individual and focus group interviews with teachers and trainers, made observa tions of training sessions, analyzed course agendas and materials, and observed two teac hers in their classrooms in the year following training. These data were analyzed using qualitative analysis procedures. Content analysis was used to examine the classroom and training observational field
211 notes. Interview analysis was used with the indivi dual and focus group interviews. Pattern analysis guided the systematic examination of all of the data to determine patterns and emerging themes. I followed a phenomenological theoretical approach and reported my findings through descriptive case studies. This chapter begins with a summary of the study, f ollowed by a discussion of the contributions of this study to the existing body of knowledge on professional development and teacher training. This chapter als o discusses conclusions and implications gleaned from the results of this resea rch study. Limitations of the study will be presented as well. Finally, this chapter outlin es recommendations for models of professional development and teacher training pract ices and recommendations for future research. Summary of the Study This qualitative study investigated a successful p rofessional development model in an early intervention training program. A thoro ugh examination was made of the ALL Training Program as well as classroom literacy inst ruction in the classrooms of two ALL participant teachers, in the year following trainin g, in an effort to ascertain what elements of training teachers chose to use and modifications they chose to make in their classrooms Purposeful sampling (Patton, 2002) was used to select two participant teachers for systematically observations and interv iews. Observational field notes were analyzed from 11 we eks of ALL training. In an effort to present the data as accurately as possibl e, direct quotes were used from the training sessions. This made it possible to accura tely describe and explain the phenomena under investigation. The field notes wer e analyzed strictly through
212 qualitative means. The first step was to type the field notes and read through them twice for a holistic sense of the data. Then these docum ents were read line by line, and units of meaning were identified and highlighted. Twenty-fo ur constructs related to ALL training (see Table 6) emerged from these data. A construct key (see Appendix E) was developed and used for coding as well, as I continually retur ned to the data. These emerging constructs were tallied and themes emerged based up on the frequency of constructs in the data for each teacher. In addition to the field notes, two focus group in terviews, with a total of six participating teachers, one focus group interview w ith two support trainers, and one interview with the site-based trainer were also con ducted. All of these interviews were recorded, transcribed, and then analyzed using qual itative analysis procedures. The same sequence of procedures was used with these data. E ach transcript was read twice in an effort to capture a holistic sense of the data. Th en the transcripts were read line by line, and units of meaning were identified and highlighte d. Constructs emerged from these data and were tallied. Emergent themes were based upon the frequency of each construct and emerging patterns in the data. Two first grade teachers were purposefully selecte d from the ALL Training Program to participate in this study, based on extr eme case sampling. Each teacher was interviewed in Spring 2003 and Spring 2004. The in terviews were recorded and transcribed. A total of 22 observations were made of each teacher during their literacy instruction. Field notes were taken in each of the teachers classrooms during their literacy instruction for 11 days in Fall 2003 and 1 1 days in Spring 2004. These data were analyzed using qualitative analysis procedures.
213 The data collected from Mrs. Paterson were analyze d first. The interview and classroom observational data were read twice for a holistic sense of the data. These documents were then read line by line, and units of meaning were identified and highlighted. Twenty nine constructs emerged from Mrs. Patersons classroom observational data (see Table 11) and 34 constructs emerged from her interview data (see Table 10). These constructs were tallied and theme s emerged based upon the frequency of the constructs. A descriptive case study of Mrs Paterson was formulated from the holistic and analytic data. The data collected from Ms. Stone were analyzed ne xt. The same analysis procedures were used with Ms. Stones data. Thirty constructs emerged from Ms. Stones classroom observational data (see Table 15) and 34 constructs emerged from her interview data (see Table 14). These constructs we re tallied and themes emerged based upon the frequency of the constructs. A descriptiv e case study of Ms. Stone was formulated from the holistic and analytic data. A cross-case analysis was conducted after each cas e was presented separately to determine similarities and differences between and across cases. This was done to answer the research questions posed in this study. The study findings indicated that teachers chose to use many elements of training in their classrooms in the year following training. It was discovered that the elements that the teachers chose to use in training were the elements that the trainers emphasized in t raining sessions. These elements were modeled frequently during training sessions through the use of videotapes and were reinforced in teachers classrooms through the use of coaching by trainers.
214 The findings also indicated that teachers made mod ifications to the lesson format that they were taught in training. The segment of the lesson that the teachers chose to modify was one that was not as prescriptive in trai ning as other lesson segments. The trainers did not spend as much time discussing the writing segment of the lesson format as they did the other segments and consequently the teachers made modifications. Interestingly, the lesson format was emphasized in training, so the teachers chose to use the lesson format, but they modified a section of t he format that was not clearly explained in training. Characteristics of Successful Models of Professiona l Development An extensive amount of research has been conducted to determine the characteristics of effective professional developme nt models (Askew, Fulenwider, Kordick, Scheuermann, Vollenweider, Anderson, & Rod riguez, 2002; Hughes, et al. 2002; Rodgers, Fullerton, & DeFord, 2002; Rodgers & Pinnell, 2002). Askew, et al. (2002) suggested that professional development prog rams should be connected to practice, and that teachers should be engaged in th e teaching process as they acquire new understandings and learn new innovations. Teacher s who practice and implement an innovation as they are learning about it are able t o put it in the context of their own classrooms. Research suggests that professional development pr ograms are successful when they incorporate supportive structures such as site -based facilitators, support groups, and coaches (Anders & Evens, 1994; Anders, Hoffman, & D uffy, 2000; Hughes, et al., 2002; Moore, 1991). Effective models of staff developmen t also usually employ the following features: monitoring, coaching, teacher reflection, conversation, voluntary participation,
215 full-school participation, collaboration among role groups, and ongoing assistance in assimilating new information (Hughes, et al., 2002; Pinnell, 2002). Hughes, et al. (2002) explained that when these effective features are pr esent in a professional development model, teachers are more likely to develop into ref lective practitioners who take ownership in their learning. This in turn might li kely result in a change in teaching practice. This study examined an early intervention training program that utilized a successful model of professional development. The Accelerated Literacy Learning (ALL) Training Program incorporated the following s uggested characteristics of professional development: monitoring, coaching, te acher reflection, conversation, voluntary participation, and ongoing assistance in assimilating new information. The findings of this study confirmed that teachers who participate in professional development programs with the above characteristics are likely to use what they have learned in their classrooms. Monitoring and Coaching Anders and Evens (1994) suggest that when teachers are monitored and coached as they learn to implement a program in their class rooms, they are more likely to utilize what they have learned. Coaches are employed to pr ovide training, demonstration lessons, observations, and immediate feedback to th e teachers at their site. In this way, teachers have a site-based person who can mentor, c oach, and assist them as they learn to implement a new innovation. Coaching is an effecti ve way to provide teachers with the knowledge and requisite skills to improve their tea ching practice (Darling-Hammond & MacLaughlin, 1995; Lyons, 2002).
216 Teachers gain confidence when they are able to appl y what they are learning in their classrooms and receive feedback from knowledg eable colleagues on a regular basis. Teacher leaders or coaches lend support to teachers by conducting frequent observations to gain insight into teacher/student interactions. Askew and Gaffney (1999) recommend that teachers be given opportunities to discuss the ir teaching practices with teacher leaders or coaches. When teachers discuss problemsolving techniques with certain students in mind, and receive ongoing feedback from teacher leaders or coaches, they are able to discover what works and assess why it works This leads to more teacher reflection and refinement of teaching practices. The ALL Training Program employed a Reading Coach a s the head trainer. Ms. Hazlett was a Reading Coach at the school site wher e the training took place in the second semester and where eight of the participant teachers worked. Therefore, Ms. Hazlett was very accessible to the teachers and was able to monitor and coach the teachers as they implemented the ALL program in the ir classrooms. Since Ms. Hazlett was on site, the teachers received assistance on an as-needed basis. During the training year, the teachers were using the elements of train ing and were fully implementing the program. One of the reasons for this might have be en because Ms. Hazlett was able to facilitate the implementation of the program, since she was employed as a Reading Coach at the school site. Teacher Reflection and Conversation with Peers Research also supports the need for teacher reflec tion (Bos & Anders, 1994; Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1993; Zeichner, 1980) and co nversation with peers (Askew & Gaffney, 1999; Combs, 1994; Lyons, Pinnell, & DeFor d, 1993; Lyons, et al., 1993;
217 Rodgers, 2002). When teachers learn new concepts a bout teaching and are able to process what they are learning through dialogue wit h colleagues and self-reflections, there is more likely to be a shift in their thinkin g and beliefs about teaching (Askew & Gaffney, 1999; Lyons & Pinnell, 1999; Lyons et al., 1993; Rodgers, 2002). Teacher reflection and conversations with peers about their teaching are central to the learning process. Teacher Reflection When teachers are given opportunities to reflect o n what they are learning and how it is working in their classrooms, they continu e to process, revise, and construct new ideas and beliefs about teaching. The ALL teachers were asked to write written reflections at the end of every weekly ALL session. They were given a prompt to respond to regarding the challenges and triumphs of the ALL program in their classrooms (see Appendix H for homework reflections). A train er would read and provide written feedback to each teachers written reflections. Th ese reflections encouraged teachers to process what they were learning and formulate and r evise theories about student learning to improve their teaching practice. Conversation with Peers When teachers are encouraged to converse with thei r peers about their experiences, they process and internalize what they are learning. The teachers in the ALL program were able to dialogue with each other o n a weekly basis about what was working or challenging in their classrooms. They q uestioned each other and the trainers about decisions they had made with regard to instru ction. The ALL teachers were particularly interested in the procedures and routi nes each teacher had established with
218 their ALL groups, as these differed among teachers. Through dialogue, the ALL participant teachers were able to negotiate new und erstandings about scaffolding instruction for at-risk readers. Sustainability Snow, Burns, and Griffin (1998) reported that resea rch-based content and systematic follow-up are required for sustainabilit y, but that many programs dont provide these due to lack of funding and resources. In an effort to provide sustainability, many districts employ teachers as coaches at school sites (No Child Left Behind Act, 2001; U.S. Department of Education, 2001). The ALL Training Program employed a Reading Coach to provide teacher training, which ma de the implementation of the ALL program successful during the training year. In th e years following training, however, there was not a plan in place for systematic follow -up, due to lack of funds, which led to concerns about the sustainability of the ALL progra m. Ms. Hazlett mentioned a concern she had about the sustainability of the program. She did not think the ALL participant teachers were using what they had learned in training any longer. Ms. Hazlett often visits teac hers classrooms as a Reading Coach in the school. It was in this capacity that she was a ble to make the observation that teachers no longer applied what they had learned in training in their classrooms. Contributions of the Study Although previous research has identified character istics of effective professional development and determined the need for systematic follow-up for sustainability, there is a lack of research regarding the transfer of knowle dge from an effective professional development model to classroom practice. This stud y addresses this apparent lack in the
219 body of literature on professional development and teacher training. It should be of interest to school administrators, university profe ssors, educators, researchers, and change agents seeking to implement new innovations in schools. In addition, this study might also be of interest to educators seeking to i mprove their teaching practice for atrisk students in literacy, as it provides specific examples of appropriate instruction for individual students who struggle to learn to read a nd write. Conclusions In order to accurately answer the research questio ns in this study, it was necessary to study the knowledge that was generated in the AL L Training Program. Since I was a participant-observer in the ALL Training Program, I was well-versed in what was taught during the training sessions. In addition, I maint ained copies of hand-outs, agendas, and the course syllabus, which were analyzed using qual itative means. Also, 11 weeks of field notes from the second semester of training we re analyzed using qualitative analysis procedures to discover the elements of training tha t were emphasized in the ALL Training Program. Elements of Accelerated Literacy Learning Training The elements of the ALL Training Program were the ALL concepts that were taught to the teachers. The following is a list of the elements of ALL training: Observation Survey Running Records Anecdotal Records Leveled Books Acceleration
220 10-10-10 Lesson Format Familiar Read Writing New Book Teaching Points Reading Strategies Cueing Systems Follow the Childs Lead Student Grouping Conversation about Text These concepts included the use of the Observation Survey, Running Records, and anecdotal records as means of gathering individual student assessment data. Teachers were also taught how to select leveled books for th e appropriate reading level of each of their students and acceleration procedures. A part icular lesson format (10-10-10) was explicitly taught to teachers, which included instr uction for each of the three segments of the lesson (Familiar Read, Writing, Introduction to the New Book). Teachers were instructed to choose no more than three teaching po ints for instruction with each child so that the child would not become overwhelmed. In th e writing segment of the lesson, teachers were instructed in the use of Elkonin boxe s and sentence generation and construction. Reading strategies and cueing system s were outlined in-depth. Trainers explained the philosophy of the program as well, wh ich included following the childs lead during instruction. In addition, teachers wer e taught how to group their students and how to encourage conversation about text.
221 The elements of training that were emphasized the most, based on an analysis of data, were the Observation Survey, Running Records, Reading Strategies, and Cueing Systems. The trainers taught the teachers assessme nt procedures using the Observation Survey and Running Records, and reinforced reading strategies and cueing systems with the ALL teachers. They modeled these strategies th rough the use of videotapes. The trainers presented videotapes of other teachers usi ng reading strategies, and they also used the ALL teachers videotapes to comment on the importance of teaching these strategies to students. The trainers focused on wh at the teachers said to students to encourage them to use reading strategies as well as provided analytic commentary on students use of the strategies. The teachers choice to use the elements of traini ng that were emphasized by the trainers is a testimony to the importance of priori tizing training concepts in a professional development model. If there are numerous new conce pts that need to be taught in a training program for teachers (such as in the ALL T raining Program), there is the distinct possibility that teachers might get overwhelmed and might be less likely to utilize what they have learned. Therefore, it might be wise for trainers to prioritize the new concepts and to emphasize them through modeling, repeated pr actice, and coaching. Elements of ALL Training Used in the Classrooms Ms. Stone and Mrs. Paterson used many of the eleme nts of training in their respective classrooms in the year following trainin g. Both teachers used similar assessment procedures, including the use of Clays Observation Survey at the beginning of the school year to determine the appropriate rea ding level for each of their students and to form reading groups. They also used Running Records and anecdotal records on a
222 daily basis with their groups of students to mainta in detailed records of student progress in reading. Both teachers also developed a similar reading routine with their students and taught and reinforced Reading Strategies. Modifications to the Lesson Format Mrs. Paterson and Ms. Stone made modifications to the lesson format in the year following training. Both teachers chose to modify the writing section of the lesson format. During the second 10 minutes of the lesson the teachers would choose to teach a concept based on what they felt their students need ed to become better readers, rather than specifically on constructing sentences. Mrs. Paterson usually spent this time discussing the story sequence, asking her students to retell the story and answer comprehension questions. Ms. Stone typically focus ed on word recognition and skills during this time. For example she would reinforce spelling words, sight words, rhyming words, and compound words. Interestingly, both teachers had the same reason f or choosing to modify the writing section of the lesson format. They both fe lt that their students did not need instruction in writing. Both teachers taught writi ng as a separate subject, rather than as part of the reading lesson. The teachers explained that their children were able to write paragraphs and stories and therefore did not need t he focused work on sentence structure. This was certainly true in the Spring, but the teac hers also chose to make the modification to the writing section at the beginning of the year when their students were just learning how to write sentences. Therefore, there must have been a reason other than that their students did not need to learn how to write sentenc es any longer. The fact is that the sentence generation in the writing section had the potential to develop much more than
223 just sentence structure. It slowed down the readin g process for children as they learned how to stretch the sounds in words to spell words, using letter-sound relationships. They learned directionality, matching, and conventions o f print as well. Why did the teachers choose to modify the writing section of the ALL lesson format? One potential reason might be because writ ing and what a teacher might do during the writing section was not emphasized in tr aining. The teachers watched videos of what other teachers chose to do during the writi ng section, but explicit instruction with regard to what to do during the writing segment of the lesson was lacking. The writing section of the lesson was simply not emphasized in training as much as the other sections of the lesson. One of the developers of the ALL program discussed a possible reason why writing was not emphasized in training with me. Sh e suggested that the writing section of the lesson structure was the weakest element of training. She thought this might have been because it was a weak area in the development of the program as well. The writing section and what to do with children during those 1 0 minutes of the lesson was not fully developed before the start of the training program, which meant that the trainers werent confident about what to teach, and consequently the teachers werent sure what to do with their students during that time. Dr. K, another program developer, suggested that t he teachers might have opted out of the writing segment of the lesson for anoth er reason. He suggested that Clays Reading Recovery training model provided more flexi bility in the writing segment of the lesson than the other segments of the lesson. He s peculated that Clays ambiguity led to training flexibility that doesnt tell teachers wha t to do during the writing segment. He
224 thought this training flexibility might have led te achers to make modifications to the writing segment of the lesson format. I asked Ms. Hazlett to respond to Dr. Ks statemen t about Clays ambiguity in the writing segment of the lesson. Her perception of C lays model was that there was a definite prescription for the writing segment, but that there was a larger range of options for teachers in the writing segment than in other s egments of the lesson. She took responsibility for the teachers choice to modify t he writing segment of the lesson by saying that the trainers werent sure what to teach beyond the sentence generation and the cut-up sentence. She also felt that Clays origina l one-to-one tutoring model in the writing segment was less accessible to the ALL pu sh-in model with three students. The sentence generation and cut-up sentence was sim ply too lofty a goal to accomplish with three students in 10 minutes. Another problem that surfaced related to the writi ng segment of the lesson was pacing. Teachers were concerned about the pacing o f the lesson and adhering to the 30 minute lesson plan structure. The activities that were suggested to use during the writing section often took more than 10 minutes, which made pacing and keeping to the suggested time frame difficult to do. The teachers may have chosen to modify the writing section because they were concerned that it would take too long and not leave enough time to introduce a new book. The writing section was labor-intensive for the teachers because they were instructed to write the sentences for each of their three students and cut them up. When a teacher only has 10 minutes, this is difficult to d o, particularly since it takes a few minutes for each student to generate a sentence. A lso, additional time is needed for each
225 student to write their sentence, with guidance from the teacher. When you have three students writing three different sentences, this be comes time-consuming for the teacher and the students. When the teachers brought this problem to the atte ntion of the trainers during ALL training, one of the suggestions for resolving this was to let the focus child generate the sentence and allow the other two students to wr ite the focus childs sentence. The teachers tried this but found that it was still tak ing much longer than 10 minutes because they continued to have to write three sentences and cut them up as well as provide scaffolded instruction to each of their students as the students attempted to write the given sentence. It became frustrating for many tea chers and students. Thus the teachers seemed to find the writing section a lesson in futi lity. They might have modified the writing section of the lesson format because after weighing the amount of time needed for that section versus increases to student individual reading and writing progress, the teachers might have found a disconnect. Confirming and Disconfirming Cases Ms. Stone was purposefully selected to participate in this study because she reported that she intended to use what she had lear ned in the ALL Training Program in her classroom in the year following training. She was selected as a confirming case based on her self-reports as well as observations o f her using the elements of ALL training in her classroom during the training year. The findings of this study confirmed that she used many elements of ALL training in her classroom in the year following training, but that she also made many modifications based on her reading instruction. Ms. Stones focus on print and word recognition wi th her students was not an
226 intended goal of the ALL program and led to an imba lance in her reading instruction. Her attention to visual cues over meaning and struc ture cues made it difficult for some students to accelerate. There were students in her class who were not visual learners and consequently experienced great difficulty understan ding the visual cues Ms. Stone offered. Certain students did not have a firm unde rstanding of letter-sound relationships and/or concepts about print. These students might have benefited more from meaning cues. Clay (1993) suggests that teachers must be reflec tive and responsive to the negotiations of the child (p. 4). To accomplish t his, teachers must carefully observe students as they read and accurately record what st udents can already do. Systematic observation and careful monitoring of student readi ng behaviors will help a teacher address the appropriate and inappropriate reading b ehaviors of a child. The goal is to encourage children to employ appropriate reading be haviors. Since every child negotiates text differently, a skillful teacher mus t respond to each child differently. Strategic teachers understand that acceleration is more probable if they respond to each child with appropriate cues, at the point of need. A teacher who chooses the same response to use with all children is doing the chil dren a disservice. A teacher who has a bias toward one cueing system, just as a child who favors one cueing system over another, is unbalanced. Eff ective reading instruction, particularly with at-risk students, necessitates knowing the str engths of each child, building on those strengths, reinforcing the use of reading strategie s, and using a balance of cues with each child. If a teacher relies heavily on one cueing s ystem over others, then it is likely that some childrens reading needs are not being met in that teachers classroom.
227 Mrs. Paterson was purposefully selected to partici pate in this study because she reported that she did not intend to use what she ha d learned in the ALL Training Program in her classroom in the year following training. S he was selected as a disconfirming case because of this. Mrs. Paterson was the only teache r in the ALL Training Program who admitted that she would probably not use what she h ad learned in training in exactly the same way in her classroom. Interestingly, the findings of this study confirme d that Mrs. Paterson did in fact use many elements of ALL training in her classroom in the year following training. She made a modification to the lesson format, but other than that Mrs. Paterson could have been a model for the ALL Training Program in the cl assroom. She had internalized the knowledge she had gained from the ALL training and made it part of her teaching repertoire during the training year. She had not e ven realized that she had done this and was surprised to find that she was a confirming cas e rather than a disconfirming case. I thought perhaps my presence might have affected this finding. Since I had taken the training with Mrs. Paterson, I was concerned th at she might have thought I was checking up on her. When I discussed this possib ility with her, after I had collected and analyzed the data and met with her to confirm t he findings, she disagreed with me. She said that my presence did not affect what she d id naturally with her children during reading instruction. In conclusion, it seems the selection factors used in this study were not as important as the robustness of the findings. In ot her words, a teachers perception of whether they would be or would not be a confirming case was less important than the effect of the training. The selection factors were used to add breadth and depth to the
228 findings, but in fact both teachers were found to b e confirming cases, in the sense that they both used elements of ALL training in their cl assrooms in the year following training. Thus, in this study, the use of purposef ul sampling and selection factors as discreet factors did not produce extreme cases. Implications There are several implications for professional de velopment and teacher training from the findings of this study. First, the result s of this study indicated that teachers who participated in a yearlong teacher training program applied what they had learned in their classrooms. Secondly, the findings confirm that wh at is emphasized and explicitly taught in training programs will probably be applied in te achers classrooms. Thirdly, teachers are more likely to apply what they have learned fro m trainings and teacher in-services when they are supported as they implement new pract ices. The last implication for teacher training from the findings of this study is that teachers might make modifications and might not utilize what they learned in training in exactly the same way as they were trained to do. Each of these implications is discu ssed further in the following sections. Length of Teacher Training Programs The length of teacher training programs seems to be an important consideration in terms of whether or not teachers will apply what th ey have learned in their classrooms. The ALL Training Program took place over two semest ers. The teachers who chose to participate in the program made a commitment to att end weekly training sessions over the course of approximately eight months. This is a substantial commitment in the life of a busy teacher.
229 There was an incentive for the teachers which migh t have influenced their decision to participate in the training program. T he teachers were offered university course vouchers for six credit hours at the Univers ity of South Florida. Some of the teachers were interested in pursuing a Masters deg ree, which might have made their participation in the ALL Training Program more attr active. Most of the teachers genuinely wanted to participate in the training, ho wever, because they were interested in helping at-risk readers in their classes. They als o hoped that the training would help them become better Reading teachers. Training Emphasis The findings of this study seem to indicate that t he concepts that were emphasized in training were the concepts that were transferred to the teachers classrooms. After a qualitative analysis of the ALL Training Transcript data, the element of training that was emphasized the most was Reading Strategies, which i ncluded Strategy Talk and Strategy Use. Both teachers in this study taught and reinfo rced Reading Strategies with their students. It appears that teachers who are explicitly taught concepts through the use of demonstration, modeling, and guided practice are mo re likely to apply these concepts in their classrooms. The trainers taught the teachers Reading Strategies directly through lecture, but also taught them implicitly through th e use of videotapes and modeling. The teachers also practiced teaching and reinforcing Re ading Strategies in their classrooms with the guidance of an assigned trainer. It seems that by emphasizing these concepts in training, the teachers were more likely to use them in their classrooms.
230 Supportive Structures The ALL Training Program provided teachers with ef fective supportive structures such as monitoring, coaching, teacher reflection, c onversation, voluntary participation, and ongoing assistance in assimilating new informat ion. The three trainers in the ALL program were assigned particular teachers to observ e and support in their classrooms as the teachers conducted ALL lessons and practiced wh at they had learned in training. These trainers provided immediate feedback to the t eachers by observing them and giving them oral and written feedback with positive commen ts and suggestions for improvement. This feedback was constructive and he lpful, rather than critical, negative, and judgmental, thus providing a positive supportiv e structure to the teachers. The teachers had opportunities to converse with th eir peers about their ALL lessons during their weekly discussions. These dis cussions usually took place as teachers watched videotapes of other teachers. They shared questions and concerns during this time as well as probed for further clarification ab out certain ALL concepts. They often reflected on their own teaching experiences orally and in writing. Teachers were asked to write a written reflection each week, as they assim ilated and practiced what they were learning in training. In general, teachers were we ll-supported by the trainers and the other teachers during the ALL training, which seeme d to increase the likelihood that the teachers would use what they had learned in trainin g in their classrooms. Teacher Modifications The findings of this study indicate that teachers seem to make modifications of structures and formats that are learned in training In recent years many scripted programs have been taught to teachers in an effort to homogenize the teaching profession.
231 Based on the findings of this study, it would seem that even though teachers are taught a specific format and given a script of sorts to fo llow, they are likely to make modifications to the format or program. In fact, r ecent research has indicated that teaching is not standardized and cannot be scripted (Allington & Johnston, 2001; LadsonBillings, 1999; Pressley, Allington, Wharton-McDona ld, Collins-Block, & Morrow, 2001; Taylor, Pearson, Clark, & Walpole, 1999). Th e reason for this varies with teachers, but generally relates to decision-making. Teachers make decisions about how to teach and wha t to teach their students based on their students needs as well as what they believe their students should know. These decisions are certainly fundamental to their own training and experiences in the teaching profession. Teachers might not feel comfo rtable trying something new and might depend upon the way it has always been done because that is what is comfortable for them. Many teachers seek out new i nnovations and want to challenge themselves, but if found to be difficult, demanding or time-consuming, might abandon the new innovation and return to what is comfortabl e. Limitations of the Study There were five features of this study that limit the findings. These limitations were characteristics of the design and were forecas ted at the start of the study. The first limitation regarded the sample size. The second li mitation related to the duration of data collection and time in the field. The third limita tion concerned the diversity of perspectives among participant teachers. The fourt h limitation dealt with the role of the researcher. Finally, the fifth limitation related to the data collection procedures.
232 One characteristic of the study that limited the f indings is that the semi-standard interview questions were asked of a small sample of teachers, participating in one early intervention training program, and are not meant to be generalized. There were three trainers and 12 participant teachers in the ALL Tra ining Program. The trainers were interviewed and six of the 12 participant teachers (three teachers in two focus groups) were interviewed as well, in an effort to obtain as many perspectives as possible about the program. Unfortunately, not all teachers were able to attend the focus group interviews. In addition, all of the participant teachers appear ed to share similar perspectives, with the exception of one teacher. Therefore, purposeful sa mpling was used to select two teachers with differing perspectives for a focused study of the ALL Training Program. The second limitation of the study relates to the actual amount of time spent in the field. The ALL Training Program took place over th e course of two semesters. Although I was a participant observer during both semesters, I only took field notes for the second semester of training. During the first semester of training I participated more than I observed, and during the second semester I observed more than I participated. This meant that I had more data from the second semester than the first. Also, although I made 22 observations of each of the two teachers in this study in the year following training, over the course of two semesters, the obs ervations were only made during literacy instruction from August 8, 2003 Septembe r 12, 2003 and again from February 24, 2004 March 18, 2004. There were 11 days of o bservations for each teacher in the Fall and 11 days of observations for each teacher i n the Spring, thus giving this study a bounded context for literacy development.
233 The third limitation of the study was that all of the participants in the ALL Training Program were female teachers. This limite d the diversity of perspectives among the participants in the training program. Two seem ingly diverse teachers were selected for their differing perspectives because of this, i n an effort to provide information-rich case studies. A fourth limitation of the study was the role of t he researcher as participant observer. I was a participant in the ALL Training Program, which made me somewhat more approachable to the other participants, since we were engaged in the same learning experiences, but they knew that I was a doctoral st udent at USF, which set me apart. This was particularly true because two of the trainers o f the program were also doctoral students. Since I did not take field notes during the first semester of training, however, I was able to establish myself as a participant in th e program and developed a good rapport with the other teachers. In the second semester of training, I began to tak e field notes, which again set me apart from the other teachers. The fact that I par ticipated in the ALL Training Program and then went into the teachers classrooms to obse rve them, might have affected the findings of the study. They seemed to be comfortab le with my presence, since they were accustomed to my note-taking during training, but t hey may have felt that I was checking up on them to see if they would use what they had learned in training. I told them that I was studying first grade literacy instr uction, and was interested in finding out what teachers do naturally in their classrooms to develop literacy skills with their students, particularly those who struggled to learn to read and write, but they might have thought I wanted to see if they would use the eleme nts from ALL training.
234 The fifth limitation of the study was my data coll ection procedures. I took scripted field notes, which are notes that captur e direct quotes and as much of the dialogue as possible between participants, during m y observations of the ALL Training Program and in the classrooms. I did this rather t han tape record or videotape the lessons in an effort to be less obtrusive and because somet imes it is difficult to hear the videotapes and tape recordings. I wanted a more fo cused study of dialogue between the teacher and her students, so I concentrated on that Therefore, I was limited by how fast I could write and definitely missed parts of the dial ogue. I collected an extensive amount of data over time, however, which allowed for emerg ing patterns and themes, and thereby strengthened my confidence in the study findings. Also, I conducted member checks with each participant teacher and the site-based tr ainer to further confirm these findings. Recommendations for Models of Professional Developm ent and Teacher Training Practices The results of this study lead to several recommen dations for professional development and teacher training. First, it is rec ommended that training programs that are developed to instruct teachers in the applicati on of teaching concepts should be at least two semesters in length. Secondly, training programs should incorporate supportive structures as teachers assimilate and practice thes e concepts in their classrooms. Thirdly, systematic follow-up is recommended in the form of study groups and/or peer coaching to provide sustainability in the years following tr aining. Lastly, funding and resources should be made available for the continued success of training programs.
235 Length of Training Programs One of the issues raised in this study, which is c onsistent with existing research, is the length of time it takes to implement new educat ional innovations (Mouza, 2003; Sparks & Hirsh, 2000). When teachers participate i n professional development programs over a short duration, they are less likely to impl ement concepts from training in their classrooms. For example, one qualitative study (Mo uza, 2003) found that teachers who had participated in a 12 week professional developm ent program designed to help teachers integrate technology in their classrooms d id not have an effect on teacher practice. The study concluded that the duration of the training program was not sufficient for implementing changes in the classroom. In cont rast, the findings from this study of the ALL Training Program suggest that teachers who participate in a yearlong training program are more likely to apply and use what they learn in their classrooms. Supportive Structures Research suggests that effective professional deve lopment should provide supportive structures to teachers as they implement new innovations in their classrooms (Marx, Freeman, Krajcik, & Blumenfield, 1998). The results of this study support this recommendation as well. The teachers in the ALL Tr aining Program were wellsupported by the trainers and the other teachers in the program as they implemented the program in their classrooms. The supportive struct ures that were utilized in the ALL Training Program included voluntary participation, coaching, teacher reflection, collaborative problem solving, and ongoing assistan ce in assimilating new information. A supportive structure that was not included, howev er, was systematic follow-up. Even though the site-based trainer continued to work as a Reading Coach at the site, she felt
236 that teachers were no longer applying the ALL progr am in their classrooms four years after the training took place. One reason for this might have been because there was not a supportive structure included in the development of the program for systematic followup, due to a lack of funds. Ms. Hazletts position as a Reading Coach at the school was funded by the Reading First initiative, which meant that Ms. Hazlett was expected to concentrate her coaching efforts on those initiativ es. She simply was not able to provide follow-up support with the Accelerated Literacy Lea rning program after its completion. Ms. Hazlett was frustrated with this position and e xpressed her concern that the ALL teachers were no longer implementing the practices in their classrooms. Systematic Follow-up Many training programs simply fail to provide syst ematic follow-up upon completion of the program, which leads to problems of sustainability. The teachers in this study suggested that one of the most helpful s upportive structures of the ALL program was the opportunity to observe other teache rs (through the use of videotapes) and the conversations they had with their peers reg arding the implementation of the program in their classrooms. Therefore, it is reco mmended that models of professional development include peer coaching and/or study grou ps after the completion of training, for the purposes of sustainability. One recommendation is to develop bi-monthly or qua rterly study groups, where teachers convene at their school to discuss the imp lementation progress with other teachers who have received training. The study gro up might function more effectively if there was a teacher leader willing to monitor and l ead the discussions. Perhaps in the
237 development of the training program, a list of foll ow-up probing questions and discussion starters could be established for the purpose of sh aring with future teacher leaders. A second recommendation is to encourage peer coach ing upon completion of a professional development program. This is difficul t to do within the context of a school, since teachers are busy teaching most of the day. However, peer coaching is recommended because the teachers in this study felt most comfortable identifying and solving problems with their peers. Perhaps, with t he help of administrators and other support personnel, time could be provided to teache rs on a quarterly basis to observe and coach each other during the period when they implem ent new practices in their classrooms. This could be done on a rotating basis where each teacher would have an opportunity to observe and coach another teacher ov er the course of a semester. A plan such as this might make this recommendation much mo re manageable for schools to implement. Funding Funding is always a challenging issue to face when developing a model for professional development. Teacher training can be costly and often there are not funds available to provide resources and supportive struc tures to schools at the completion of a training program. These are necessary, however, fo r the continued implementation of a program or new teaching practices in the classroom. It seems that without funding, new innovations become old and die, particularly with t he plethora of choices for curricular innovations and new programs that are available to schools these days. Interestingly, policymakers and school officials s eem far too willing to move on and finance the next best innovation before they ar e willing to continue to finance an
238 innovation that they have previously backed. This is a source of frustration for many teachers. The message seems to be keep learning n ew curricular innovations rather than to deeply learn one well. When teachers are a ble to focus their attention on learning a program or innovation and are given time to refin e and improve their skills, they have a better chance of effectively implementing the progr am in their classrooms. Therefore one suggestion, in terms of funding, would be to fu nd programs that have proven to be successful with students and continue to fund those programs, rather than abandoning them for the next best innovation. In so doing, on e might find that more teachers will continue to utilize what they have learned in profe ssional development programs over longer periods of time. Recommendations for Future Research The findings of this study indicated that teachers transferred concepts they had learned in training to their classrooms. However, the fact that this study focused on only two teachers over a period from August 2002 through March 2004 limits these findings. Further research is needed to determine how teacher s apply what they have learned in training in their classrooms. Qualitative research studies in the area of teacher training are recommended because they have the greatest pote ntial for ascertaining a focused understanding of what teachers choose to do with wh at they have learned in training in their classrooms. However, future researchers migh t also consider designing quantitative studies that examine student achievement in teacher s classrooms. Future researchers may consider increasing the sam ple size and lengthening the study period to obtain additional perspectives abou t training programs. Although the teachers in this study were using elements of ALL t raining in their classrooms in the year
239 following training, it is uncertain whether or not they would continue to use these elements in future years. During an informal discu ssion with the site-based trainer four years after the training took place (Spring 2007), she voiced concerns about whether or not the teachers were still implementing aspects of the program. As a Reading Coach in the school, with many opportunities to observe teac hers, she did not feel that the teachers were using what they had learned in training any lo nger. She felt that the reason for this was because the teachers were no longer monitored a nd a supportive structure for sustainability was missing. Future researchers may consider lengthening the period of study to include several years because of this. This research study had only one researcher collec ting data during training sessions and in two teachers classrooms. Future r esearchers might want to consider using more than one researcher to collect and analy ze data. If a team of researchers were available to collect data, it would be possible to collect classroom data from many teachers, thus increasing the sample size and the s trength of the results of the study. If it were possible to collect interview and observationa l data on all of the teachers who had participated in the ALL Training Program, for examp le, all perspectives would have been addressed. This would have ensured accuracy and vi ability of the research findings. One of the limitations of this study that might ha ve confounded the research findings was my involvement in the ALL Training Pro gram as a participant observer. I worked very closely with the participants in this s tudy and had developed a strong rapport with them in an effort to gain their consent and pa rticipation in the study. Since I had participated in the ALL Training Program and then o bserved the teachers in their classrooms after their training year, they might ha ve felt that I was monitoring them.
240 They might have chosen to use the elements of ALL t raining in their classrooms because I was observing them. Future researchers might con sider limiting their relationship with participant teachers so that they can accurately de pict what teachers do naturally with their students. Finally, this case study incorporated observationa l field notes, but did not include videotapes or tape recordings of teacher-student in teractions. Future researchers might want to utilize these in their research designs for the purposes of accuracy and data triangulation. In this study, data sources were tr iangulated, including interviews, observational field notes, and training documents, which strengthened the study findings, but some data were not captured because the researc her was limited by the data collection procedures. Other research designs are also recommended for fu ture study. The single most important influence on a childs progress in school is a childs teacher. The implication is that what teachers do with their students in the ir classrooms is of the utmost importance. For this reason, effective teacher tra ining programs are necessary. Effective teacher training can influence a teachers instruct ion, which has been proven to influence student progress. Therefore future research regard ing teacher training and the transfer of new instructional practices to the classroom is rec ommended.
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258 Appendix A Semi-structured Interview Protocol (Spring 2003) 1. Id like to learn a little bit about your teaching background. How long have you been a teacher and where have you taught ? 2. What has contributed most to your professional deve lopment as a reading teacher in the past two years? 3. How would you describe a typical reading lesson in your classroom? a. What would you expect me to see if I observed you? b. What are your reading goals for your children? c. What instructional strategies do you employ to reac h your goals? d. How do you help your students meet your instruction al goals? 4. What Reading/Language Arts curriculum do you use wi th your students? a. Does it meet your students needs? b. What are your views about the curriculum? 5. What are your views about the Accelerated Literacy Learning Training Program? a. Does it meet your professional development needs? b. How has it influenced your teaching practice? c. What did you find most helpful about the training? d. How much of the training are you using in your clas sroom? 6. What are your views about the 30 minute ALL lesson format? a. Are you using the format? b. What do you do with your students during this time? c. Describe how you use the lesson format. 7. How much support did you receive from the trainers during your training? a. How often did they observe you? b. How available were they to answer your questions? 8. How do you find out what your students know in Read ing? a. What tools do you use to determine student progress ? b. How do you group your students? c. How often do you assess your students? 9. What other professional development would help you to better meet your students needs? 10. Is there anything else you would like to add that w e havent discussed?
259 Appendix B Semi-structured Interview Protocol (Spring 2004) 1. What do you do to find out which of your student s may be at risk of reading failure? 2. What do you do to help students at-risk of readi ng failure? 3. What materials do you use with your students dur ing reading time? 4. What is the structure of your guided reading tim e? 5. What do you do with your students during guided reading time? 6. Describe a typical reading lesson. 7. What are you using from the ALL training program in your classroom? (Review each of the elements of training and ask i f the teacher is using it or not.) Why? 8. How do you find out what your students know in r eading? a. What tools do you use to determine student prog ress? b. How often do you assess students? 9. What modifications to the ALL reading lesson hav e you made, if any, and why? 10. In what ways did the ALL training program chang e your teaching practice, if any? 11. What was most helpful about the training? 12. What was least helpful about the training? 13. Is there anything else you would like to tell m e about your experiences with the ALL training program or your literacy teaching pra ctices?
260 Appendix C Accelerated Literacy Learning Course Syllabus RED 6540/701 Assessment in Literacy Accelerated Literacy Learning: Early Intervention and Instruction Required Text Clay, Marie M. (1993). An Observation Survey of Ear ly Literacy Achievement. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Clay, Marie M. (1993). Reading Recovery: A Guideboo k for Teachers in Training. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Course Description This course is required for teachers participating in the Accelerated Literacy Learning (ALL) Program. It covers the implementation of the ALL early intervention program within the classroom setting. Systematic observati on and strategies for struggling readers are taught. Course Objectives 1. conduct systematic observation of students 2. administer instruments appropriate for determini ng student literacy functioning status 3. select books at the appropriate level for indivi dual students 4. plan and implement a daily 30 minute ALL lesso n 5. make decisions to facilitate acceleration of stu dents Course Requirements 1. class attendance and participation 2. completion of a Reflection Journal 3. completion of record keeping forms 4. video presentation of a 30 minute ALL lesson
261 Appendix D Tentative Schedule Fall 2002 August 14 2:30 5:30 Training in Observation Surve y (Assessment Instrument) August 21 2:30 5:30 Training in Observation Surve y, Overview of ALL Program August 28 2:30 4:30 Classroom Management with lea rning centers/Roaming September 4 2:30 4:30 Classroom Management/Roamin g/Student Selection September 9 -13 Initial Classroom Visits by Traine rs September 18 2:30 4:30 ALL Lesson Format September 25 2:30 4:30 ALL Lesson Components October 2 2:30 4:30 Running Records Link to Strat egy Talk October 9 2:30 4:30 ALL Lesson Plan and Record Ke eping October 16 2:30 4:30 Video of Lesson with discuss ion between segments October 21-25 Trainers Begin Formal Observations October 30 2:30 4:30 Evidences of Self-Monitoring /Difficulties and Concerns November 6 2:30 4:30 Familiar Read and Running Re cord/Student Video November 13 2:30 4:30 Writing and Word Work/Stude nt Video November 20 2:30 4:30 New Book/Student Video November 27 No Class! Happy Thanksgiving December 4 2:30 4:30 Strategy Talk and Evidence o f Self-Monitoring/Student Video
262 Appendix E Accelerated Literacy Learning Training Program Construct Key Construct Heading Construct Definition Program Goals Lesson Structure Lesson Format10 min.-Familiar Read 10 min.-Writing 10 min.-New Book Program Goals Acceleration Refers to the fast progress that is needed for children who lag behind their peers to reach an average level of reading proficiency Program Goals Reading Strategies Mental activities for constructing meaning from text. Program Goals Strategy Use When children employ reading strategies Program Goals Strategy Talk What teachers say to children to reinforce the use of strategies Program Goals Teacher Change A shift in thinking Program Goals Assessment Gathering information from children about reading strengths and weaknesses Program Goals Leveling Books are numbered according to level of difficulty and children are assigned a level based on their ability to read proficiently Program Goals Cueing Systems Meaning -Does it make sense? Visual -Does it look right? Structure -Does it sound right? Program Goals Teaching Points 2-3 areas of weakness are identified by the teacher and become the focus of the lesson Program Goals Familiar Read The first 10 minutes of
263 each lesson for reading familiar books Program Goals Focus Child A child selected to work with teacher Program Goals Student Grouping Adjusting reading groups regularly as children make progress Program Goals Follow the Childs Lead The teacher responds to child at the point of need Program Goals Writing The 2nd 10 minutes of a lesson for sentence generation Program Goals Student Selection How children are selected for the program Program Goals Discontinuing Students When to stop working with a student Program Goals Hearing Sounds Stretching the sounds in words Program Goals Accuracy Rate The number of words a child reads correctly on a selected text divided by the total number of words Program Goals Self-correction When a child corrects an error Program Goals Guided Reading Children practice reading strategies with the teachers support Program Goals Running Records A systematic way of recording a students reading behaviors Program Goals Self-extending System Children learn more about reading and writing every time they read and write, independent of instruction Program Goals Building on Strengths Designing a program for a child that builds on what they can already do Program Goals At-risk Students Students who are atrisk of reading failure
264 Program Goals Zone of Proximal Development What a child can do with guidance Program Goals Push-in Model An in-class model Program Goals Support Providing guidance to teachers and students Program Goals Dialogue Encouraging teachers to talk with trainers and colleagues Program Goals Small Groups Meeting with small groups of students for instruction Program Goals Coaching Trainers provide support to teachers by modeling and providing feedback Program Goals Reading Fluency Uninterrupted, proficient reading Program Goals Pacing Teachers determine how quickly to move through lessons Program Goals Observation Teachers systematically observe students when they read Program Goals Immediate Feedback Teachers provide feedback to students at the point of need Program Goals Fostering Independence Teachers encourage children to become independent readers Program Goals Response-based Teaching Teachers carefully decide on their response to students based on their needs Program Goals Child Progress Continuous improvement Instruction Reading Schedule The scheduled time reading in a classroom Instruction Proliferation of Reading Reading throughout the day Instruction Conversation Talking with students about the meaning of texts Instruction Interruptions Students in class who interrupt the teacher during group time
265 Instruction Individual Students work alone Instruction Whole Group Whole class instruction Instruction Helping Kids Teachers desire to help children make progress Instruction Routines Teachers develop and teach expected procedures Instruction Decision-making Teachers are constantly faced with decisions about what and how to teach Instruction Self-monitoring When teachers monitor what they say to students Instruction Child-centered The focus of instruction centers around the child Instruction Explicit Directions Very direct instructions Instruction Control Refers to either the teacher or student who controls the lesson Instruction Flexibility Changing lessons as needed Instruction Problem-solving Teachers model how to solve problems with texts Instruction Informing Parents Sharing information of child progress Instruction Reflection Thinking about teaching Instruction Engagement Whether or not students are actively engaged in a lesson Instruction Reinforcement Reinforcing reading behaviors Instruction Connections Students relate texts to their lives Instruction Understanding Kids Teachers understand how children learn Instruction Curriculum Teacher uses district adopted materials Instruction Teacher Materials Teacher uses own materials
266 Instruction Lack of Resources Child lacks resources Instruction ALL Materials Teachers use materials from ALL training Instruction Choral Reading Students read the same text aloud simultaneously Instruction Sight Vocabulary Learning words in isolation, out of context Instruction Centers Learning stations children visit to practice reading skills Instruction Tolds Telling students an unfamiliar word Professional Development Teacher Preparation Preparing teachers to teach reading Professional Development ALL Training Perceptions about training Professional Development Practicum The need for practice when learning to teach reading Professional Development Doctoral Program Furthering education at the doctoral level Professional Development Funding The importance of funding for professional development
267 Appendix F Mrs. Patersons Anecdotal Record Form Intensive Guided Reading Planning Form: Group______ _________ Warm-up Text Focus Student Running Record: Mini-Lesson Concepts about print Strategies Fluency Comprehension Vocabulary Phonics/Word Building Connect to Writing Letter ID/Sound symbol High frequency words Blending Solving new words Introduction of New Text Book Walk Notes: Comprehension Discussion: Warm-up Text Focus Student Running Record: Mini-Lesson Concepts about print Strategies Fluency Comprehension Vocabulary Phonics/Word Building Connect to Writing Letter ID/Sound symbol High frequency words Blending Solving new words Introduction of New Text Book Walk Notes: Comprehension Discussion: Warm-up Text Focus Student Running Record: Mini-Lesson Concepts about print Strategies Fluency Comprehension Vocabulary Phonics/Word Building Connect to Writing Letter ID/Sound symbol High frequency words Blending Solving new words Introduction of New Text Book Walk Notes: Comprehension Discussion: Warm-up Text Focus Student Running Record: Mini-Lesson Concepts about print Strategies Fluency Comprehension Vocabulary Phonics/Word Building Connect to Writing Letter ID/Sound symbol High frequency words Blending Solving new words Introduction of New Text Book Walk Notes: Comprehension Discussion: Warm-up Text Focus Student Running Record: Mini-Lesson Concepts about print Strategies Fluency Comprehension Vocabulary Phonics/Word Building Connect to Writing Letter ID/Sound symbol High frequency words Blending Solving new words Introduction of New Text Book Walk Notes: Comprehension Discussion:
268 Appendix G Ms. Stones Anecdotal Record Form GUIDED READING GROUPS Date Students 1 4 2 5 3 6 Book Reread Book Introduced Skill/Concept Taught Running Record:
269 Appendix H Sample of ALL Course Agendas August 21, 2002 2:45-2:55 Sign in, Sign Snack Sign-up sheet, have r efreshments, relax 2:55-3:00 Begin sharing about testing experiences 3:00-3:10 Finish sharing, introduce new members 3:10-3:25 Go over registration procedures with Dr. Homan 3:25-3:45 Dictation Test 3:45-4:10 Concepts About Print Test (CAP) 4:10-4:30 Review Running Record 4:30-4:45 Taylor Pearson Phonemic Segment and Blend ing Test 4:45-5:00 Go over Writing Vocabulary and Writing Sa mple 5:00-5:15 Questions and Exit Memos Homework: Try out tests on students. Read in Obse rvation Survey, Ch. 2 &3
270 Appendix H (Continued) ALL Agenda August 28, 2002 2:45-3:00 Snacks and Sticky Notes: What went well? What was difficult? 3:00-3:45 Discussion of the Observation Survey Asse ssments Sample of Observation Survey Summary How to Choose a Group 3:45-4:30 Running Record Video and Analysis 4:30-4:45 Exit Memo Roaming Homework: Bring a completed Summary to share next week. Choose group possibilities group of 3 s tudents
271 Appendix H (Continued) ALL Agenda October 23, 2002 3:00-3:15 Whip-Around What is your group teaching you? 3:15-3:45 Acceleration 3:45-4:30 Group of Three Video with lesson plan 4:30-4:45 Midterm reminder for October 30th *Observation Survey results and summary for group of 3 *Self-reflection paper Exit Memos: How close are you to starting lessons? Homework: Read and study Chapter 4 in Guidebook on lesson segments and be prepared to do an activity on it in class next week.
272 Appendix H (Continued) ALL Agenda November 20, 2002 3:00-3:30 Whip-Around: Share your favorite stateme nt from the reading. Tell us the page number so that we can highlight it too! 3:30-4:10 Ms. Hazletts Video 4:10-4:40 Share your management ideas, centers, act ivities for class during ALL lesson Exit Memos: Where are you in your lessons? How ar e you doing with your 10-10-10? Homework: Review Guidebook Chapters 1for Final E xam in our next class Open book and Notes
273 Appendix H (Continued) ALL Agenda January 22, 2003 3:00-3:30 Video 3:30-4:30 Work Day! Record-keeping Overview Lesson Plan Forms Running Record Forms Book Record Progress Summary 4:30-4:15 Reflection: As a result of todays work day, what are your organizational strengths? Weaknesses?
274 Appendix H (Continued) ALL Agenda February 12, 2003 3:00-3:45 Video of Teachers ALL lesson 3:45-4:20 Leveled Texts What are they? What does it mean? How to level? When to move? How to move? 4:20-4:30 Reflection: Where are you with your unde rstanding of leveled texts? Questions?
About the Author Cynthia Calderone has been an educator for over 20 years. She was an elementary classroom teacher for 17 years and taugh t undergraduate and graduate courses at the college level for six years. She received a B.S. in Elementary and Special Education from Lesley College in Cambridge, MA in 1 983. Cynthia joined the Department of Defense Dependent Schools system and taught at the elementary level for 13 years in Germany, England, and Korea. She earne d a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University in 1992. While pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of South Florida, Cynthia taught undergraduate courses, provided Reading services to students through the Gear-up grant, supervised Level III interns, and collected and ana lyzed data as a member of a research team for the National Longitudinal Evaluation of Co mprehensive School Reform. She has also taught graduate courses for the University of Phoenix in Belgium, England, and Germany.