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Life after Reading Clinic/Literacy Lab: Teachers’ Reflection on Practice


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Title: Life after Reading Clinic/Literacy Lab: Teachers’ Reflection on Practice

Life after Reading Clinic/Literacy Lab Teachers
Reflection on Practice
  • National Reading Conference
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • November 2006

2006 Researchers
  • B. Laster- Towson Univ.
  • L. McEnery- Univ. of Houston-Clear Lake
  • T. Deeney- Univ. of Rhode Island
  • C. Dozier Univ. at Albany
  • S. Sargent- Northeastern State Univ.
  • J. Cobb- Coastal Carolina Univ.
  • V. Angell- Southern Utah Univ.
  • D. Gurwitz- National Louis University
  • A. Morewood- Univ. of Pittsburgh
  • S. McAndrews- Southern Illinois - Edwardsville
  • D. Gaunty-Porter-Vanguard Univ.
  • L. Dubert- Boise State University
  • C. Barnes- Andrews University
  • M. Hill- Univ. of Houston-Clear Lake

Inspiration B. Walker, Oaklohoma Stae
Unversity Cheerleader P. Freppon, Univ. of
Cincinnati Special Thanks M. Knowles, Technical
Support, Towson University
  • Ten years of collaboration
  • The 2005 Electronic Survey

Previous Study
  • A focused electronic survey across nine sites.
    Anonymous participants (n150).
  • A Few Key Results
  • Undergraduate 18 Graduate 82
  • 26-50 of time administering individual tests/
    interpreting the assessment data
  • Practicing instruction authentically
  • Preparation for a coaching role Clinical
    activities involving communicating
    collaborating mentoring professional readings
    read/interpreting research
  • Time constraints
  • Transfer

  • Follow-up on the survey with much more depth
  • Examine the current roles of clinic/lab program
  • Find out whether graduates use various practices
    introduced in the clinical setting, and with what
    level of confidence
  • Discover whether clinics/labs prepare teachers
    for various school-based roles (e.g. teaching
    skills vs. leadership)

MethodologyData Collection
  • IRB approval at each site.
  • Located and notified 2-3 graduates of Clinic who
    are typical graduates of the program. They should
    represent different populations, length of
    experiences, positions, etc.
  • In arranging the interview, send a note that says
    to collect three artifacts that reflect your
    teaching of literacy.
  • Interview on site at the teachers school, not at
    the university or elsewhere.
  • Took notes on classroom environment Books,
    environmental print, room organization, student
    work on walls, etc.
  • Audiotaped interview
  • Transcribe the Intervi

Methodology-Data Collection
  • Prompts focused on five main areas
  • Assessment practices
  • Instruction
  • Leadership
  • Coaching
  • Technology
  • A holistic approach also
  • Talk about a child/teacher you are currently
    working with. Talk about strengths/needs. Talk
    about surprises. Talk about your thinking in how
    you assist them in their development

Methodology-Data Analysis
  • For Theme Analysis Categories were refined,
    collapsed, and redefined during subsequent
    readings and discussions within the teams and
    with the larger group of researchers until the
    categories encompassed all of the data for that
  • For Site Analysis We compiled a chart of the key
    activities and philosophies of each of the
    participating Reading Clinic/Literacy Lab. This
    snapshot of the sites allowed for linkages to be
    made between what the clinical experience was and
    what the professionals in the field reported
    about their daily job expectations and
  • Summaries of findings were reported to a central
    researcher who compiled them.

Initial Results of the Study
  • more analysis to come next year!

Interviews at 11 Institutions, n28
  • Boise State University, ID
  • Eastern New Mexico University, NM
  • National Louis University, Chicago IL
  • Northeastern State Univ., OK
  • Southern Illinois Univ. Edwardsville, IL
  • Southern Utah University, UT
  • Towson University, MD
  • University of Houston, Clear Lake, TX
  • University of Pittsburgh, PA
  • University of Rhode Island, RI
  • Vanguard University, CA

Clinic/Lab vs. Program
  • Assessment may have been learned in courses
    leading up to the actual practicum.
  • Instructional practices were explored in multiple
  • Technology may have been used in other courses
    besides Clinic/Lab.

Categories of Duties/Types of Sites
  • Coaching teachers
  • Assessing students
  • Teaching students
  • Workshops/presentations
  • Committee responsibilities
  • Supervision

K-2 Middle High Sch Special S
Sample Site Report
Sample Site Reportcond
Sample Site Reportcond
Assessment Common Themes
  • From general interview questions
  • Mandates
  • Choosing assessments
  • Informing instruction
  • From question of transfer from clinic to school
  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Materials
  • Collapsed by role
  • Elementary classroom teacher
  • Elementary reading teacher, reading specialist,
  • Middle/HS ELA teacher, coach,
  • Special education teacher

Elementary Teachers (n10)
  • Mandates
  • Takes away time from planning and instruction
  • Choosing assessments
  • Based on student needs, area to assess (e.g. WTW
    spelling, interest inventory, writing)
  • Informing instruction
  • Need more time to assess to understand student
    needs (using self-chosen assessments, such as
    QRI) Grouping for instruction (differentiating)
    Basis for instructional planning Continuous
    monitoring (assessment) and adjusting
  • Transfer from clinic to school
  • Knowledge (empowerment) skill (assessing, whats
    going on?) materials (assessment and instruction)

Elementary Reading (n9)
  • Mandates
  • DIBELS mandates affecting instruction (e.g.
    practice taking tests, teaching skills embedded
  • Choosing assessments
  • Supplement mandates based on area to assess
    (DIBELS doesnt show comp) triangulate
  • Informing instruction
  • Whats going on? Plan instruction (w/teachers)
    based on student need Grouping (who we see, help
    teachers group)
  • Transfer from clinic to school
  • Knowledge skill (what assessment to give, how to
    interpret) materials (assessments,

Middle/HS (n5)
  • Mandates
  • Used to get kids or group kids need to raise
  • Choosing assessments
  • student needs, area to assess
  • Using assessments
  • Triangulate Time (need more time to assess using
    chosen assessments)
  • Informing instruction
  • instructional planning (use data to inform
  • Transfer from clinic to school
  • Diagnostic skills (whats going on?) Knowledge
    Materials working w/teachers instructional ideas

Special Education (N4)
  • Mandates
  • Simply listed mandated assessments
  • Choosing assessments
  • Student needs, areas to assess
  • Informing instruction
  • No common theme here
  • Transfer from clinic to school
  • Whats going on w/student?

Selecting AssessmentsAcross all levels
  • Much discussion (20/28 participants), across
    grades and roles, about choosing assessments
    (outside of mandated assessments). Basis for
  • Student needs (what assessments will help teacher
    understand whats going on)
  • I see a kid struggling and I say, Wait a
    minute. Let me see where you are.
  • Area to assess
  • The DIBELS shows that they are slow readers, but
    it doesnt test comprehension. I use the QRI for
    that and to analyze strengths and weaknesses.

Transfer from Clinic
  • Elementary teachers
  • Knowledge (empowerment) skill (assessing, whats
    going on?) materials (assessment and
  • Elementary reading specialists/coaches
  • Knowledge skill (what assessment to give, how to
    interpret) materials (assessments,
  • Middle/HS teachers/coaches
  • Diagnostic skills (whats going on?) Knowledge
    Materials working w/teachers instructional
  • Special education teachers
  • Whats going on w/student?

  • Clinic experience made me more aware of it
    assessment, the fact that I could do it. You
    look at special education, you look at a
    diagnostician, and now its like, Hey, wait a
    minute! I could be doing this! It was a
    revelation that it was something I could be
    taking care of on my own.
  • I go to meetings and I know what Im talking
    about I have to speak w/school psychologists and
    people who dont believe I should be testing a
    child, or who think, Oh, no. This kid is fine
    they dont need to be tested. I can say This
    is what Ive seen. There are tests out there
    that will show this. I am better able to
    approach and say there are other tests out there.
    I feel like I have information to back up what
    Im saying. Its very helpful because it used to
    be intimidating.
  • I feel like Im more educated to sit at a team
    meeting and say, Yeah, but why is this
    happening? I dont think they want to hear me a
    lot of times!

Instruction Talk to me about central issues in
your teaching.
Instruction Student learning
  • Everything I do has different levels.
    EVERYTHING. I guess the biggest issue for what I
    believe in is that there is no garden variety
    step-by-step way to teach.
  • There are times I help students, but usually I
    am there to facilitate.
  • Good reading instruction involves active
    learners who get up out of their seats, read,
    talk about what they are reading, write, and that
    they tie it all together. It cant be isolated.
    Kids wont connect.
  • Teaching based on student needs
  • Facilitators of student learning
  • Active and authentic learning

Instruction Student learning
  • Stated teaching specific strategies
  • Modeling
  • I truly believe that phonemic awareness and
    phonemic awareness instruction is really the
    bridge to learning how to read and without having
    a strong understanding of the sounds around you,
    strong phonemic awareness, it is going to be
    difficult for a child to learn to read.
  • Whatever I do, I try to make sure that I keep in
    mind that kids are going to follow.

Instruction Teacher learning
  • Working with teachers
  • Teacher knowledge and confidence
  • Well my main thing is to help teachers do a
    better job of what they do.
  • Teachers do make a difference in what we do for
    the students. We are the captain of our ship. I
    know this is all very cliché, but it really is

Instruction Time constraints
  • Time- trying to reach all of them. With this
    kind of class it really seems impossible
    sometimes but I make it work.
  • So its a time thing. What I know would work
    best for these kids, a lot of times I cant do
    because theres just no time.

Literacy Coaches Who?
  • 8 or 30, from 5 universities, held the position
    of coaching or mentoring teachers
  • some worked exclusively with teachers and others
    in combination with students.
  • 6 elementary, 1 middle school, 1 high school
  • Following data, was collected via these 8
  • 3 more had been coaches and responded to some
    questions as a coach.
  • 2 others were evolving or desiring to be a
  • 2 were named specialists but did not work with

Many Names 4 Strands
  • Lead Literacy Teacher
  • Literacy Coordinator
  • Reading Specialist
  • Literacy or Reading Coach
  • Instructional Specialist
  • Professional Developer
  • - Last two mentors or facilitates effective
    teaching practices beyond literacy
  • 1. Clinic Influence
  • 2. Professional
  • Development
  • 3. Administrative
  • 4. Big Picture

Clinical Influences Inspiration, Information,
and Interest
  • Performing with assessments, materials, and
  • Growing with watching a student progress
  • Communicating with colleagues and parents
  • Understanding theories issues making these
    real as applied to students
  • Applying higher standards and expectations
  • Building awareness of observation its
  • Instigating interest in and desire for more

Professional DevelopmentModel, Monitor, Mentor
(MMM) Collaborate, Communicate (CC)
  • Are responsible for 7 up to 30 teachers
  • Collaborate Communicate through workshops
    (ongoing development) and study groups
  • Monitor, Model, Mentor

MMM CC A Full House
Administrative Roles
The Big Picture
  • A Broader View
  • Looking at nation-wide, district-wide,
    school-wide issues
  • Managing district and school-wide assessment and
    data analysis
  • Differentiated Learning for the EACH one!
  • Allocate literacy resources (material
  • Manage assistants
  • Place students
  • Evaluate, organize, schedule, and plan literacy
    programs, leveled libraries, and assistants
  • Go to meetings!!!
  • state office
  • district specialists vertical alignment teams
  • school administrative teams
  • grade level teams
  • parent groups

Leadership Roles
  • Conducting workshops- In-service
  • Curriculum alignment
  • Modeling lessons (strategies, mini lessons) for
  • Coaching teachers (observing and providing
    specific feedback)
  • Administrative duties- reporting test scores,
    ordering books, materials assessment
  • Planning and facilitating parent workshops
  • Working with leadership teams
  • Training supervision of paraprofessionals
  • Participating in professional development

  • sometimes teachers view my position as an
    administrative role. I have to remind the
    administrators of what I can and cannot do as a
    lead literacy teacher- I dont want to cross the
    line and become and evaluator as I will lose the
    confidence of the teachers.
  • Not enough time- in practicum, in school day
  • Being a literacy coach with fewer years
    experience than most of teachers in school.
  • Carrying out state mandates with questionable

Role of practicum in preparing leaders
  • Practicum Experience Provided
  • in depth knowledge of strategies as well as
    assessment tools
  • knowledge of how to use assessment to inform
  • opportunity to practice coaching
  • intense experience in working with parents
  • The parents wanted answers when they asked
    questions. They would come directly to me. I
    felt that I had to be prepared at all times.
  • practice in functioning as part of a team
  • Tools for diplomatic stance in working with
    teachers, students, and parents

  • Definitionsmedia that support our work (tape

Teachers/Prospective Teachers as Learners of
Technology at the University
  • Blackboard, esp. Discussion Board
  • Track Changes for Writing
  • Readability formulas
  • Technology integrated into Curriculum Unit, Text
    Sets, Instructional Lessons.
  • Powerpoint used for presentations to colleagues
  • EXCEL for plotting student data
  • Digital recorders send audio files to colleagues
  • Video clips of instruction burn to DVD play on
    projector in class
  • United Streaming (online video clip
    organized by curriculum area)

Technology in Clinic in the Field
  • Clinic/related courses
  • Assessment (Lexia Test, readability formulas,
    Lexile leveling)
  • Instructional Planning
  • Many Internet sites for lesson ideas
  • Research/Writing using full text research
  • In the Schools/Sites
  • Palm Pilots for DIBELS
  • STAR Test
  • Accelerated Reader Posttests
  • Students monitor their own grades
  • Graded word lists of the IRI on Powerpoint
  • ------------------------------------------
  • Morning Message/Writing Books/LEA on Electronic
    White Boards

Technology in Clinic in the Field
  • Clinic/related courses
  • Instructional facilitation for learners
  • Inspiration Kidspiration
  • Kidpix
  • Internet access in all tutoring rooms
  • Writing books/LEA using Write OutLoud
  • In the Schools/Sites
  • Many Internet sites for lesson ideas (visuals,
    video clips, etc.)
  • Digital projector to link w/computer
  • Blackboard
  • Blogs for book discussion
  • Research using Internet in Computer Lab
  • Critically evaluate sites
  • Layout newspaper
  • Read Naturally software for fluency

Technology for different uses
  • Literacy centerthey go on the computer.
    Theres a good a program for my ESL students.
    Sometimes they type their it is for
    writing.By the end of the year, well have a big
    poetry book.
  • We use stopwatches for fluency and word sorts.
  • I use technology all the time. I think the
    biggest advantage of using the Internet is to
    find ways to differentiate instruction.

How is Technology Used?
Digital Divides
  • Great variation from technology magnet schools to
    no technology in the schools.
  • Similarly some Clinic/Labs were on site at
    schools that had limited technology and some had
    state-of-the-art technology at a school or
    on-campus. Great variation among emphasis on
    technology integration in Clinic/Labs.

Other Conclusions-Technology
  • Technology-savvy teachers are able to use
    technologies both as professional resources
    instructional/curriculum resources. Web-sites
    software are becoming increasingly important in
    literacy assessment instruction
  • New Literacies reading strategies are different
    from those used in book (print) reading.
  • Research needed to determine if low progress
    readers have similar difficulties in new
  • Reading clinics could include more information
    about software/web-sites to support low progress
  • May be especially valuable in the home/clinic
  • More professional development in appropriate uses
    of technology to supprt all readers/writers.

  • ..from Federal, State or District Authorities

National Mandates
  • Four of the eleven who were interviewed (NM, ID,
    MD, and IL) mentioned No Child Left Behind
  • Multiple participants also mentioned Adequate
    Yearly Progress (AYP).

State Mandates
  • State-mandated achievement tests were identified
    frequently. Seven of the eleven sites referred to
    such measures (e.g. TEKS, ISAT, CRT, MSA, HSA,
    Illinois Snapshot of Early Literacy, and BEAR by
    Riverside ).
  • State-mandated curriculum competencies and/or
    benchmarks were mentioned several times (e.g. NM,
    OK, TX).

Local, District, and School Mandates
  • Discussions centered around categories
  • Mandated commercial assessment instruments were
    described by nine of the eleven sites. DIBELS was
    the most frequently mentioned
  • Note DIBELS may fall under multiple categories
    for purposes of this presentation.
  • Locally-mandated curriculums were described by
    nine of the eleven sites (e.g. curriculum
  • Mandated professional development programs were
    mentioned in several interviews.
  • Mandated commercial reading programs were
    described by eight of the eleven sites (e.g.
    Accelerated Reader, Harcourt Anthology, Auto
    Skills, 6 Traits)

  • Stress and anxiety (related to mandates and
    students performance) were apparent for both
    teachers students.
  • Participants noted a lack of resources to
    implement all the components of NCLB.
  • Participants desired to supplement the mandated
    assessments with their own assessments.

  • Those interviewed possessed a keen awareness of
    individual needs and attempted to focus on
    individual assessment when possible.
  • Many participants shared a concern about a lack
    of time to incorporate the naturalistic,
    authentic assessment strategies learned in clinic
    because of the testing mandates.
  • Participants appeared to be aware that clinic
    courses provided knowledge of naturalistic
    assessments and instilled confidence in ability
    to provide for childrens needs.

  • Please collect three artifacts that reflect your
    teaching of literacy.

Supporting Teachers Instructional Practices
  • Implementing program ? Teacher Generated
  • Harcourt Reading Program
  • I brought the Harcourt piece because we use
    it Covers all the different genres,
    comprehension skills, and strategies, those are
    taught clearly through the program.
  • Teachers Reflective Journal
  • Im keeping my own personal journal as well
    as a reflective journal where Im writing down
    student comments.

Supporting Teachers Instructional Practices
  • Word level ? Text level
  • Red word studies
  • Started as an intervention, now I use it with
    the whole class.
  • Strategy Charts
  •   I use this process, What do you do when you
    come to a word you dont know? Every child has
  • Read alouds/book collection
  • The more you read, the better you become at
    it. I try to read something everyday. I
    wouldnt stop using my read aloud ever.

Student Work
  • Assignment Focus ? Student Focus
  • Prather News, Monthly Newsletter featuring 4th
    to 6th grade student writing
  • Look at this!Students do the graphics,
    lay-outs, typing, editing, and changes It makes
    me cry to think about how hard these children
  • Student Score Report from the BEAR Test
  • I found one thing he could do well a
    musical instrument and picked up on thatI met
    with him every day to give him music lessons. I
    also worked with him in reading as a pull-out. He
    has changed so much over the year.
  • Alyssas letter asking the mayor to put the high
    school logo on the water tower
  • He agreed to do so based on the reasons she
    provided in her letter. She thought it was so
    amazing that her writing could bring about

  • Summative ? Formative
  • Imposed ? Implemented by Choice  
  • Palm Pilot
  • The DIBELS assessment is something that I
    administer throughout the year in K.
  •  QRI
  • Important tool to walk away with and be able
    to use. I think Ive used it more than
  • Words Their Way Text
  • Differentiating my spelling instruction and
    scaffolding my teaching more effectively in this
    area. I live by it.
  • McKenna Kear Writing Attitude Surveys/Interest
  • I do these every year.

Professional Development
  • Scripted ? Co-constructed
  •  Literacy First Guidebook
  • I used this like a Bible! Included
    assessments, flowcharts, interventions that were
    used to assess and plan my reading instruction.
    Everyone should have this!
  •  Reading Clinic Handbook
  • What are you trained to do? This book helps
    me explain it to teachers. I think this gives
    them a pretty good synopsis in terms of what I
    can do for home and school connections and what I
    can do to give them data based on some sort of
    testing and what types of strategies I can
    implement.Its always accessible and out and
    about in the room.
  •  Visualize and Verbalize (part of Lindmood-Bell)
  • Ultimate favorite. I tried to turn everyone
    on to it. My school purchased them because I
    asked them to

Limitations of the Study
  • We selected the graduates who we knew and who
    were accessible to us.  Furthermore, these were
    all professionals who were employable, successful
    to some degree, and in good standing with the
    university.  Thus, our pool of interviewees had

CONCLUSIONS What Transferred from Clinic to
  • Assessment Practices
  • Strategies/Instructional Practices
  • Planning/Preparation for Instruction
  • Student-centered Learning/Differentiated
  • Hope/Active Teaching despite mandates
  • Some Technology Integration
  • Use of a variety of Texts in varied Ways
  • Continual Attention to Professional Learning
  • Other (Engagement with Families/Communities)

Locations of Transfer
  • Literacy lab/Reading clinic to classroom
  • Lab/clinic to families
  • Lab/clinic to community
  • Lab/clinic to instructional practices within
  • Previous courses to lab/clinic
  • Communities to lab/clinic

What We Learned aboutWhat we Teach in Clinic/Lab
  • Our professor required us to use the assessment
    techniques discussed in class with those we were
    tutoring. The transfer of learning was very
    beneficial because after we learned about
    assessment and strategies from our professor and
    through reading the textbooks we had the
    opportunity to immediately implement the
    learning. Having the literacy lab/reading clinic
    experience helped bridge the theory with the
    real- life application.
  • They told us all the time that we would be using
    what we learned in Clinic in our schools. We

Questions Raised During Analysis
  • What is/are the goal(s) of the lab/clinic?
  • Are we explicit in preparing graduates for
    leadership responsibilities?
  • Is our choice of language/discourse helpful?
  • Are we appropriately modeling technology
    integration/new literacies?
  • How can we help teachers bridge what they know
    about assessment/instruction with the mandates
    that they face in the field?
  • Your questions?