Class Literacy Profile
As a part of our summer practicum, my teaching team performed a detailed analysis of the literacy skills of our class, assessing reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. To do so, we created a variety of assessments, collected responses to surveys and class assignments, made careful observations of student performance, and used qualified rubrics to make rigorous evaluations. We then interpreted this vast amount of data to draw correlations between various traits or behaviors and standards of performance, and to paint a profile of the literacy skills of our students. Finally, drawing upon theories of learning and teaching strategies that we had learned in our Methods and Literacy classes, we compiled a set of recommendations for the future literacy instruction of a group of students similar to those of Science 6B.
Download our full report here: Whole-Class Literacy Profile.pdf
The experience of performing an analysis of our students' literacy skills was a very valuable one, despite the limitations of the tools at our disposal. We learned that although our students demonstrated good reading comprehension, they struggled with reading fluency and transfer of textual information. There were patterns of writing that were interesting, such as the abundance of abbreviations possibly attributable to writing over digital media. As for listening skills, students exhibited a wide range of aptitude and it was difficult to find a cause for these patterns. Lastly, we were pleased to see a definite improvement in the speaking skills of many of our students, due to the many opportunities we gave them for speaking in class.
Creating recommendations in response to the literacy needs of our class was a useful exercise in applying theory to practice. If Brown Summer High School had been more than four weeks long, we would have liked to implement more instructional routines designed to help students develop specific literacy skills. At the same time, the project made us realize the many challenges involved in trying to understand a large group of students as multifaceted individual learners. Still, it enabled us to use our new understandings to inform our choice of reading materials and classroom practices in order to maximize the skills and content that our students took away from the course.