Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup
Link: Teaching Reading: K-2

Student Case Study: Thalia

The Student, the Teacher, and the Class


Thalia Learns the Details

Video Summary

The Student, the Teacher, and the Class

Analyzing the Video

Making Connections

Selected Resources

Thalia and Mr. St. Clair.

Thalia is a kindergarten student in a bilingual program at the Amigos School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she spends half of the time in an English-language class and the other half in a Spanish-language class. Her classmates include native-Spanish speakers and native-English speakers. According to her teachers, Thalia is "almost completely bilingual."

Thalia's Literacy Program

Shared Reading - whole class

Guided Reading - small group

Journal Writing

Phonemic Awareness Activities

Varied Reading Materials (big books, songs, poems, charts)

Home Reading


Mr. St. Clair, Thalia's English-language teacher, describes Thalia as a playful and social child who is excited about school and learning. She enjoys drawing, writing about her family, and singing, and demonstrates important skills developed during pre-school. According to her mother, Thalia loves to listen to stories at home and wants to learn how to read.

When Mr. St. Clair assesses Thalia at the beginning of the year, he finds that Thalia has a strong interest in books and in writing. In particular, Thalia avidly writes long strings of letters to communicate her ideas. The fall assessment indicates that Thalia still chooses letters randomly, and does not demonstrate awareness of the sounds of most letters.

Mr. St. Clair's kindergarten program emphasizes oral language as the foundation for communicating and understanding ideas. He designs his instruction to meet the needs of the "whole child," including emergent/early literacy skills, interests, and personal experiences. To meet Thalia's needs, he plans activities that emphasize meaning and comprehension while developing her skills in letters, sounds, and words in both reading and writing.

Next > Analyzing the Video: Before Viewing

© 2002 WGBH Educational Foundation. All rights reserved.


© Annenberg Foundation 2017. All rights reserved. Legal Policy