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Project 681 Emergent Literacy

Artifact Description:
The artifact I have chosen is an assessment of a child who demonstrates indicators of the 3 stages
of literacy in oral language, reading and writing. It is an assessment along with the background
of the student and recommendations for teaching. It is based on a student who is 5 years old, but
had no prior knowledge of letters or sounds. My justification for choosing this artifact is because
it allowed me to apply the skills I learned in K-3 Emergent Literacy with a real student. The
course syllabus stated that this artifact would cover standards 1-4 and 6-8, but I am going to
focus on the following three. I will address how the learning outcomes correlated to the course
as part of my artifact.
Standard 1: Teachers know the subjects they are teaching.
The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the disciplines
she or he teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter
meaningful for pupils.
Standard 2: Teachers know how children grow.
The teacher understands how children with broad ranges of ability learn and provides instruction
that supports their intellectual, social, and personal development.
Standard 8: Teachers know how to test for student progress.
The teacher understands and uses formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and
ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of the pupil.
My professional growth, impact on the PK-12 learner, and application of the standards are listed
below as part of my artifact.
Emergent Literacy Assessment Artifact:
The student I worked with is named Lucas. He is 5 years old and an active member of the Ho
Chunk Nation in Wisconsin Dells. Due to his Native American heritage, Lucas participates in
family exhibitions of Ho Chunk dances, and attends public school about 80% of the required
days.
I assessed Lucas using several checklists and rubrics. I used the PALS Quick Checks to assess
his letter/sound knowledge, and a rubric from the RTI Handbook to assess his concepts of print. I
compared this data with the checklists from our textbook, Portraits of Literacy Development,
which shows him to be in the Emergent Literacy Stage (Standard 8).

In the area of oral language, Lucas can be understood by peers and adults, and does ask
questions. He can retain simple 1 step directions. He cannot identify sentences that do not
sound grammatically correct, and struggles to participate in sharing time because his attention
span is very short as compared with his peers. He also struggles to articulate the sounds of some
letters. Lucas does not repeat language from stories he has heard, but he does repeat songs he
has learned. He cannot retell a story in sequence. However, Lucas can tell a story and identify a
favorite book.
In the area of phonemic awareness, Lucas is not able to rhyme, but he is able to identify whether
a picture prompt begins with a target letter sound or not (i.e. does pig start with M?). He cannot
identify ending or medial sounds yet. He cannot clap syllables or distinguish between onset and
rime.
Lucas is also in the emergent stage in book sense, story sense, and literacy behaviors. In the area
of book sense, Lucas knows how to hold a book, where the front and back are, how to turn
pages, and that books contain pictures, words and stories, and that books are for listening to. He
cannot point to the title or author, and cannot find the beginning without assistance. Lucas
knows directionality of print, but does not know that there are capital letters and periods to
distinguish sentences. He cannot distinguish a letter from a word.
In the area of story sense, Lucas can listen to a short story for approximately 3-5 minutes and
enjoys alphabet books. He can recognize familiar books that have been read to him, and can
repeat the refrain from a patterned book. Observational data shows that he is not able to retell a
story, describe how it made him feel, describe the characters, or respond by relating personal
experiences.
In the area of literacy behaviors, Lucas does see himself as a reader. After several sessions of
tutoring, Lucas was able to read a patterned book where each page had 3 words, "Make a
_____". The third word changed based on the picture shown. We started 1:1 finger point match,
and it was a joy to see his enthusiasm after reading his first book. He continues to work on
identifying sight words (currently "I" and "a"), being able to participate in a picture walk, being
able to make predictions, knowing the names and sounds of all letters and writing his name.
In the area of emergent writing, Lucas is in the pre-phonemic/copying stage of development. He
is able to make some letters of the alphabet, but is still working on associating those letters with
all of the correct sounds.
Signs of Possible Deficiencies: Lucas struggles to make some of the letter sounds with his lips
and tongue. Consequently, we have used a mirror to help him see how to produce sounds. He
also has difficulty sustaining his attention for more than a few minutes. Lucas is used to constant
motion when he dances, so he needs movement and frequent changes in activity. However, he is
motivated to want to learn and be like his peers. He loves music, and retains songs well.

Recommendations: (Standard 1) We began by learning the ABC song and touching each letter as
we sang it so that he could develop 1:1 correspondence/recognition. Once Lucas learned the
song and how to name letters, we focused on the letters of his first name. After he could identify
the letters and write his name, we began focusing on other individual letters. (Standard 2) Music
has been very helpful for retaining the names and sounds of letters for him due to his love of
music and dance. Below is a framework for teaching letters using the balanced literacy approach
from the book, Portraits of Literacy Development (p. 66) and the professional journal article,
The Essentials of Early Literacy Instruction.
Lesson framework:
A. Phonemic Awareness (Guided Reading)
-Learning a new song. For the letter M, we learned a song complete with hand and arm
movements. This song used rhyme, alliteration and sound matching.
"I made a monkey mask for my brother, one for my father, one for my mother
One for myself so we look like each other
Four silly monkeys now....ooohhh."

-Clap out words in a sentence and match sounds that begin with m vs. those that do not.
-Do a picture sort for words that begin with the "m" sound vs. those that do not.
B. Letter/Sound Association
-Show examples of picture cards/words that begin with "m"
-Have him hold up an "m" when he hears it in a list of words
C. Modeling of a shared story (Modeled Reading)
-Choose a book that has the desired letter, and do a picture walk
-Encourage conversation about the child's prior knowledge, ask questions to keep the student
engaged during reading, and ask for his response afterwards (i.e. "What did you like best about
the story? How would you have solved the problem?"
-Model 1:1 voice print match as I read
-Reinforce high frequency words
D. Reading of Small Book (Shared and Independent Reading)
-Have Lucas practice reading a smaller version of the same story with support, until he can do it
independently.

E. Letter Name/Formation (Modeled Writing)


-Show examples of how to make the letter m and say its sound.
-Lucas copies this onto paper with pencil or paint, on sandpaper letters, in a sand tray, and then
practices making the letter m on a sheet that has pictures of m and non-m words.
F. Letter book (Shared and Independent Writing)
Lucas practices writing the letter and words that begin with the target sound until he can do it
independently. Then he creates his own letter book for that sound.
Professional Growth and Development
As an educator, I grew from this course and experience in the following ways:
A. It allowed me to assess a student's developmental progression in oral language, reading and
writing.
B. It helped me know what is considered developmentally "normal" and what may warrant Tier
2 and Tier 3 interventions for different ages of students.
C. It helped me to know what the next steps would be to move the student forward.
Skills: I learned how to administer teacher checklists and rubrics in order to assess a student and
how that information can inform my instruction in moving forward and planning for
intervention.
Dispositions in literacy: As a result of this course, I learned that I have to plan activities for
students that address more than just the skill deficits they may have. As educators we want to
encourage independence, creativity, self-motivation and resilience.
Future growth: This artifact helped me to learn how to assess a student in the emergent stage of
literacy, what benchmarks to look for, and how to plan for instruction.
Impact on student learning
As a result of taking this course, the student I tutored learned how to recognize and write the
letters of his name, sing the ABC song, identify the names of the 26 letters, and some sounds,
know a few high frequency words, 1:1 matching of print, and read multiple patterned books.
Application of standards:
Standard 1: Teachers know the subjects they are teaching. The teacher understands the central
concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the disciplines she or he teaches and can create
learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for pupils.

After taking this course, I was able to recognize the different stages of literacy (emergent, early
and fluent) and what the key behaviors are for those stages in the areas of oral language, reading
and writing. As an educator this helped me to assess a student I tutored properly, and know
where he is functioning. It is important to know what is considered "normal" at certain stages of
development, so you can make decisions about when to intervene and how to best meet the needs
of the student. For my particular student, knowing that he is in the very beginning of the
emergent stage helped me to know what steps to take next to further his progress.
Standard 2: Teachers know how children grow.
The teacher understands how children with broad ranges of ability learn and provides instruction
that supports their intellectual, social, and personal development.
As a result of taking this course, I was able to recognize that all students have different needs
when they are learning, and what might work well for one student, might not work for another.
One example of differentiation was the use of music when teaching this student. It really helped
him to retain the letters and sounds, as well as created motivation and resilience for him.
Standard 8: Teachers know how to test for student progress.
The teacher understands and uses formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and
ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of the pupil.
As a result of taking this course, I learned how to assess students who are emergent, early and
fluent readers. Assessing an emergent reader is very different from assessing a fluent one.
I learned how to do a reading record for a student and understand the difference between an
independent, instructional and frustrational text. I learned how to assess a student's accuracy,
comprehension and fluency. I also learned how to analyze miscues, and how to strengthen a
cueing system that is not being used.
Bibliography:
Antionacci, P.A. and O'Callaghan, C.M. (2004). Portraits of Literacy Development: Instruction
and Assessment in a Well-Balanced Literacy Program K-3. New Jersey: Pearson Education.
Roskos, Kathleen A, Christie, James F., and Richgels, Donald A. (2003). The Essentials of
Early Literacy Instruction. National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Piasta, S. B., & Wagner, R. K. (2010). Developing early literacy skills: A metaanalysis of
alphabet learning and instruction. Reading Research Quarterly, 45, 838.