Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Link: Teaching Reading: K-2

Student Case Study: William

Looking Closer


William Finds His Base

Video Summary

The Student, the Teacher, and the Class

Analyzing the Video
  Before Viewing
  First Impressions
  Looking Closer
  Summing Up

Making Connections

Selected Resources

Take a second look at William's reading development to deepen your understanding of his changing strengths and needs over the course of the year. What do you see now that you didn't notice on your first viewing? Use the video images below to locate where to begin viewing.


Developing Fluency and Accuracy: Video Segment

Cover of the book 'Rosie's House'.

Find this segment 2 minutes and 58 seconds after the beginning of the video. Watch for 3 minutes and 24 seconds.

Throughout the year, William's teacher, Ms. Soto, takes running records of students reading classroom texts to determine reading achievement and progress. In this segment, in December of the school year, William's guided-reading group is beginning a new book. He reads it to Ms. Soto while she takes a running record and the other students read the book on their own. Add any new insights about William's strengths and needs to William's Literacy Development Chart.

  • What are the characteristics of students reading at their instructional reading level?
  • How would you characterize William's oral reading accuracy and fluency?
  • What strategies for identifying new words does William demonstrate as he reads the book?
  • Based on William's oral reading, what do you know about his word identification skills? His comprehension?
  • What do we know about his comprehension based on his oral reading miscues?
  • What instructional practices would you plan to improve William's reading in the coming months?

Independent Reading: Video Segment

Find the first segment 8 minutes and 4 seconds after the beginning of the video. Watch for 1 minute and 17 seconds. Find the second segment 18 minutes and 50 seconds after the beginning of the video. Watch for 2 minutes and 46 seconds.

Students drawing.

As William progresses, he becomes more interested in independent reading, both at home and in school. In the first segment, in December, Ms. Soto describes her independent reading program and William discusses his favorite books. In the second segment, in April, William's mother discusses William's reading at home and William meets with Ms. Soto to choose new books for his Browsing Box.

  • How does Ms. Soto structure independent reading?
  • What do we know about William's independent reading interests and habits in December?
  • Why does William choose The Magic Tree House books for independent reading even though Ms. Soto believes it is at a level that is too difficult for him?
  • What factors other than text readability influence students' choice of books? How do these relate to William's comprehension?
  • How does Ms. Soto check to see whether William comprehends what he reads?
  • How does Ms. Soto use the results of the Running Record to promote William's reading development?
  • What does William's choice of books for independent reading time reveal about his reading interests and beliefs in his ability to read?
  • How does Ms. Soto support William in selecting books for his Browsing Box?
  • What would you tell William's mother about his independent reading at home?

Writing to Communicate: Video Segment

William writing.

Find this segment 13 minutes and 31 seconds after the beginning of the video. Watch for 1 minute and 48 seconds.

William has many opportunities to write each day: for example, personal journal writing, written response to reading, and observations in science. In this segment, in January, William writes in his journal about his weekend and meets with Ms. Soto to review what he wrote.

  • How would you describe William's writing in his journal entry? What strengths and needs are demonstrated in his writing?
  • What does Ms. Soto do to help William enhance his writing?
  • What questions would you ask William about his writing in a one-to-one conference?
  • How would you describe William's reading of his own writing? How does this reading compare to his reading of books?
  • What instruction would you plan to promote William's writing development?

Parents, Students, and Teachers Working Together: Video Segment

Find this segment 21 minutes and 38 seconds after the beginning of the video. Watch for 3 minutes and 54 seconds.

William and Ms. Soto.

Parent/teacher conferences at William's school occur twice a year. In April, William's teachers -- Ms. Soto and Ms. Watson -- his mother, and William meet to discuss his literacy achievements and progress. William uses his notebook to describe his work and his growth in reading and writing. William, his mother, and his teachers all provide information on his reading progress and his goals for the summer.

  • Why is it important to have William participate in this parent/teacher conference?
  • What do we learn about William's achievement and progress in this conference?
    1. How does William present himself as a reader and a writer?
    2. How does Ms. Soto describe his achievement and growth in literacy development?
    3. How does William's mother describe his achievement and growth in reading?
  • What do William's summer reading goals reveal about his perceptions of his reading abilities?
  • What reading materials and activities would you suggest to William and his mother for his summer reading?

Next > Summing Up

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