4 answers

As a candidate for a Master's in Literacy, I will need to do a case study. Which topic for my case study will help struggling readers the most?

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In order to get a Master's in Literacy you must work on a case study and do research with the students you are currently teaching. Since the case study is a labor intensive process, I want to study something that will actually impact student learning and reading proficiency.

#reading #literacy #masters #masters-degree #research

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4 answers

Darla’s Answer

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Anna, your case study will likely be assigned by the university/college you are attending. You have to get to know your case study student, determine how to best help him/her, then develop a plan to address the student's needs. Deciding what to do is guided by the student and your knowledge of literacy acquisition and strategies. There is no one size fits all in literacy interventions.

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Jean’s Answer

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I would love to give you ONE topic, but literacy is more complicated than that. Here are a few suggestions:

Balanced Literacy Instruction

Readers’ Workshop vs Basal Programs

Summer Slide

Screen Time

Early Literacy /Intervention

Family Involvement

Teacher Competency

Access to Quality Resources- Just Right Texts

Fixed Mindsets

Scaffolding vs Rescuing

Supporting All Learners



Jean recommends the following next steps:

  • Feel free to contact me. I am happy to help focus you, and give you feedback.
  • Best of luck! Schools need literacy experts in all grades.
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Kathryn’s Answer

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I've been a special education teacher for four years, which has included a lot of literacy interventions. I think Darla is right that your intervention will depend on your student(s).

Here are some starting steps that might be helpful:

  1. Assess the student(s): I used the Qualitative Reading Inventory (QRI) to test students because it was easy to learn to administer and gives you a lot of information. You will learn a lot about the student's decoding (reading out loud) and comprehension. If you have a lot of students, giving the QRI will be time intensive. You may have other data for the whole class that helps you identify a handful of students to test individually. Another common and super easy test for decoding is the San Diego Quick. If you don't have these, you could print out leveled texts from newsela.com and have students read aloud and answer comprehension questions. As they read, keep track of the mistakes they make on your own copy and write their answers down. You may want to have them retell the information and identify the main idea.
  2. Identify an area of need: Your intervention will be based on what the student is struggling with , so try to narrow down to a specific area/skill. For example, this could be decoding (reading out loud), understanding the main idea, making inferences based on a text, or recalling details from a text.
  3. Choose an intervention: This is the part that's hard to give advice on without knowing your students. For students who really struggle with decoding, I've used Wilson Just Words. For fluency (reading aloud), there are a lot of interventions involving choral reading, reading and repeating, or annotating and rereading. Comprehension can be tricky! Check out the books recommended below. Building reading comprehension can take time and skill, just like being a good teacher. I'd recommend guided reading and annotation, building student choice into reading, and choosing smaller topics to focus on (like main idea/ making inferences). Use guiding questions (and/or a repeated structure for annotation) to help students build those skills.

Two books I'd recommend on the topic are: Content Area Writing (it has lots of classroom strategies) and When Kids Can't Read.

Good luck!

Kathryn recommends the following next steps:

  • Check out the books Content Area Writing and When Kids Can't Read
  • Check out Newsela.com for texts by grade level
  • Figure out what data you'll have on students. Does the school have anything? If not, you'll need to do some kind of testing. If you can, get the Qualitative Reading Inventory (I'm happy to provide context on how to use it) or use Newsela for more informal assessments.
  • Feel free to reach out with questions!
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Felicia’s Answer

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I would definitely suggest that you begin with early reading instruction. This age group is between 5-8 years old. Early reading instruction has a direct link to students becoming fluent readers as they mature.
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