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Gabi Cohen

TLS 357

Sung Eun

2 December 2018

The Assessment Case Studies of Two Children

For the first case, I assessed my IEP case study Ria (pseudonym for privacy). She has a
Specific Learning Disability which affects her in reading, writing as well as in math. I assessed
her in math and in literacy. For assessing Ria in math, I pulled her aside and tested her math
skills by giving her 5 problems (word problems and regular problems) with numbers up to 10.
This was a written test that the class had been taking the same day. For assessing her in literacy, I
had her listen to an audio book called The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis and followed the
book, by pulling her aside to have her write a beginning, middle and ending sentence about what
she read.
For my assessment in math with Ria, I decided to pull her aside because this is what her
special education teacher usually does during math, and I gave her the test with 5 word problems
and read them each to her a few times to make sure she comprehended them. My mentor stresses
the importance of keeping the routine consistent and not changing anything, so I wanted to make
sure I was complying with her routine. I had Ria find the missing part or the whole number (the
answer) by using the “make 10 strategy” as well as the RDW strategy which stands for Read,
Draw and Write which helps them find the answer to the problem by adding. My goal for her
was to work with numbers up to 10. This assessment took place during our math time on
Wednesday, November 7th. Ria and I were the only people present during this assessment. I
assessed Ria at a desk right outside of our 1st Grade classroom at Robins Elementary School,
where I do all of my small group work with my students. I had cube manipulatives on the desk
for Ria to work with since she is a visual learner, as well as paper and a pencil for her to show
her work. My method for assessing her, was to be repetitive and ask her which important
information in the word problems we should circle for reference. For Ria’s literacy assessment, it
was me and her as well, and it took place during the same week on Monday November 5th at the
same desk. She listened to the audio book during Daily 5 centers with the other members in her
group, but instead of working at her desk with the other students at the audio center for that day,
I pulled her aside and assessed her outside the classroom where she wrote her summary
sentences. I asked her to bring the book with her as well as the printout worksheet. I asked her
first to tell me what happened in the beginning, middle and end to help her brainstorm before she
started to write.
After looking at her math and literacy work, I was able to have a better idea of what she
understands and does not understand, or rather needs to work on. Ria has a good grasp of number
1-10 and how to make 10, although in some problems she showed her work correctly with her
picture, but wrote down the wrong answer. I think this is just her not being careful or not
checking her work. She showed me that she understands the math concept through her written
work as well as in her oral explanation. For literacy, after looking at her work, I can tell that she
comprehended the book and was able to show me that through her cohesive and sequential
sentences. The spelling on the other hand, is something that Ria needs a lot of work on. She
misspelled most words in her sentences and lacks awareness of grammar and punctuation. An
example of this is she will likely use her phonetic awareness of spelling i.e.:“uwe” instead of
“you” which was an example from her work. Another thing I noticed with her spelling from this
assessment was she will likely know the letters in a word but mix up the order i.e.: “hse” instead
of “she”.
My goal for Ria is to slow down and take her time for each content area. She is always
eager to share her ideas in class and to try to answer questions that my mentor asks, but she is
usually wrong. I love her confidence and that her learning disability does not make her
vulnerable in the classroom. My suggestion for her is to think before she impulsively answers
something. I think Ria in addition to that, needs work on her spelling and grammar and
punctuation. She needs reminders about periods and commas during most lessons I observe
during my practicum hours, and this showed in her literacy sentences. I think Ria would benefit
from doing extra spelling homework each night or over winter break.
For my second case, I assessed my ELL, Ari (pseudonym for privacy). Ari is the only
English Language Learner in my 1st Grade class at Robins. Ari speaks and is spoken to in
Spanish and English at home with her family, but only speaks English at school. This made it
easy to select her as my case study child for this semester. For my assessments with Ari, I chose
to do similar activities for her that we are working on in class, and I wanted to compare the
results of my case study assessments. The only thing that differed in the cases was that for Ari in
math, I tested her math skills by giving her 5 problems (word problems and regular problems)
with numbers between 10 and 20 instead of numbers up to 10 since Ari is at a higher math level
than Ria. I also did a Halloween activity with Ari since I assessed her on Halloween. The only
thing that differed in the literacy assessment, was since it was in October, the audio book that
she listened to was, The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury.
Ari does well in school, but often relies heavily on the teacher, especially during math,
and has a hard time understanding word problems. In assessing her, I read the word problems a
few times and asked her some questions to make sure she understood each problem. For Ari’s
word problems, after assessing her a second time, I wanted to connect them to her funds of
knowledge. I made sure to include her family members names in each word problem, and to talk
about things that are of interest to her. Since it was Halloween on the day I assessed her and I did
not want her to miss out on the math activity, I assessed her on that as well. The activity was to
add numbers together and based on the sum of the answer, color in the pumpkin in different
colors that matched the sums.
For math as well as literacy, it was Ari and me present, and it took place in the same
location that I assessed Ria. I assessed Ari in literacy on Monday, October 29th. I assessed her in
math on Wednesday, October 31st. They had a mini math lesson on Halloween, so I wanted to
pull her aside at that time so she did not miss any of the Halloween activities. I assessed Ari in
literacy by asking her questions throughout the read aloud and stopping the tape frequently to
allow her to ask me vocabulary questions and to make sure she was understanding the book. For
math, I did not have the cube manipulatives with me this time, and I think Ari would have
benefited from that, which is something I will use for next time.
For documentation from Ari, I collected her math and literacy work as well to assess how
she was doing. She had a hard time understanding that this assessment was an independent
assignment and similar to how she is in class, she tried to rely heavily on teacher support. I told
her that I wanted to see how she was able to do the work without my help, and that I had faith in
her that she could do it alone. From looking at her work, I could see that the manipulatives and
relating to the context of the problems, really helped her understand them. I can see that for the
literacy worksheet, she understood the book, but had a hard time will spelling some of the words.
I think this is likely because she was not exposed to many of the words in the book and has not
had enough experience writing them. She did have sequential sentences and show proper
grammar and punctuation.
My suggestions for Ari is for her to get a word bank before she reads books. I think
exposing her to new words before she reads them or is read to, would benefit her in many ways. I
think if she had each word with the definition next to it she could review those words before she
goes into reading it and can refer back to it as many times as she needs throughout the book.
While I look and reflect on this entire process, I have learned how much goes into an
assessment project. Doing the initial assessment gave me a good start into planning my
assessments. Planning the assessment was a crucial step so I could make sure that I was fully
prepared to do each of the 4 assessments. Implementing the assessment went smoothly and I do
not think it would have if I had not prepared as much as I did. After doing the assessments, it
gave me a good idea about where each of my case study children are and what I needed to do
going forward with the next instructional steps. I learned a lot about both myself as well as my
case study students from this assignment. I have grown so much as a teacher this year by
understanding my children before working with them. I think understanding my students’
strengths/weaknesses, as well as understanding their backgrounds, helps me help them gain the
skills they need by supporting them based on their specific needs. I have learned how to
introduce an assessment to make it less formal and decrease as much anxiety as possible. I
learned how to show my students that they are capable before doing the work to create that sense
of self-worth and independence. I think my strengths are reducing stress with my introduction of
the tasks, and explaining the tasks clearly. I think something I can work on is allowing them to
do all the work on their own and taking a step back since this is an assessment of their
understanding. I think this assignment gave me a good start and idea on how to assess my
students and I have learned a lot from it.