Student Reading and Writing Essay

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Reading Profile of a Student

The student I selected is a 10-year-old 4th grade student who is a self-described “lover of books.” She views herself as a great reader and she is always carrying a book with her. I ask her if she thinks everyone should read more, and she says most emphatically, “Yes!” She maintains a very positive attitude toward reading—“Even when you don’t care for what you’re reading?” I ask. She says that she always finds something to like, no matter what she is reading. She says if someone took the time to write it, she can take the time to find something nice about it. “Sometimes I have to stop and think about what I read or I’ll think about a story for days wondering what I just read.” I ask what stories do that for her and she answers, “Poe! That guy is crazy!” I am surprised she is reading Poe at such a young age but she tells me she has read “The Black Cat,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” and “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and that she really liked them all. “Have you read ‘The Raven’?” I ask. “Yes! I love it. I have no idea what it means but I love it—the words are sound so good when you say them in your head. It’s like music!” This conveys the attitude of this 10 year old girl regarding reading and shows that while she is a reading above her level she may be lacking the ability to comprehend what she is reading at times. Analysis of her reading profile is thus warranted.

The areas that I chose to analyze were her comprehension—the degree to which she understands the texts she reads with accuracy, ease and fluency; and miscue analysis—the types of errors a student makes when reading (Fountas & Pinnell, 2001). Since the student is reading at an advanced the level, I first set out to assess her reading comprehension by giving her the book Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. This book is usually reserved for upper grade levels, but my objective here was to see whether she could comprehend what she was reading.
I asked her a serious of questions related to plot, characterization, vocabulary, and interpretation. She understood the plot well, and her sense of the main character was adequately developed. She understood his situation, as the son of divorced parents and she also understood his isolation both thematically and literally as after the plane crash he was alone in the wilderness needing to survive on his own.

I asked her why the boy didn’t tell his father about his mother’s affair and she said, “Probably because he didn’t want to hurt his dad. He learned that everybody is trying to survive, you know? That’s just how it is—why hurt somebody intentionally? Just let it go and make do.” Her awareness of this deep level of empathy impressed me and I considered that her understanding of the character, the problems of the novel, and the vocabulary words all indicated that she was a very advanced reader.

I next conducted a miscue analysis using oral reading fluency developed by the National Center on Intensive Intervention (2018) as the basis for this test and meant to record her first 10 errors. After 3 pages, she had not committed any errors at all—no syntactic errors, no graphophonetic errors, and no semantic errors—even when I asked her to explain back to me what she had just read. She understood the text perfectly well and made no mistake either in pronouncing words or in describing the meaning of passages.

Using the NAEP Oral Reading Fluency Scale, Grade 4 (2002), I found that she was reading at a Level 4 and that the description of the….....

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Fountas, I. & Pinnell, G. (2001). Guiding readers and writers. Heinemann.

NAEP Oral Reading Fluency Scale, Grade 4. (2002). Retrieved from

National Center on Intensive Intervention. (2018). Oral reading fluency. Retrieved from

Peregoy, S.F., & Boyle, O.F. (2008). Reading, writing, and learning in ESL: A resource book for teaching K-12 English learners. Boston: Pearson.

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