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his understanding. Did he read the question correctly? Is he sure the answer isn’t in the text? What if he doesn’t get this right? If the answer is not explicitly stated in the text, you can see his anxiety and frustration increase from across the room.
15GETTING TO KNOW THE LITERACY LEARNERNow that I have gained more insight using cognitive and noncognitive assessments, the question is where do I go from here? How can I use Cade’s above average fluency and genuine love of reading to improve his ability to comprehend on a more sophisticated level? My first stepwill be to select higher-level texts that appeal to Cade’s interest in baseball. By increasing his engagement in the text, he will be able to connect more and comprehend more rigorous texts. “Success with challenging reading tasks provides students with evidence of accomplishment, resulting in increased feelings of competence and increased motivation” (Gambrell, 2011, p.176).From there, I will use Bloom’s Question Stems in an effort to move him from lower-level literal comprehension to the higher-order thinking skills involved in the inferential level. According to Reutzel and Cooter (2016), “time spent assessing and teaching the lowest literal comprehension levels was, frankly, a waste of time because students must draw on literal information in texts to answer higher-level comprehension questions” (p. 271). If I can use engaging texts to move Cadetowards tackling these higher-level questions with some confidence, his anxiety will decrease and make room for feeling successful. He can do it. He just has to believe in himself the way I believe in him. The Developing WriterReading and writing are interdependent pieces of literacy. “Reading and writing skills develop simultaneously and are interconnected. Progress in one fuels development of the other” (Mayer, 2007, p. 34) Therefore, it makes sense that Cade’s stage of reading and his stage of writing are closely connected. The Writer Self-Perception Scale showed that overall he perceiveshimself as a good writer, strongly agreeing that his writing has improved since the beginning of
15GETTING TO KNOW THE LITERACY LEARNERthe school year. Although confident in his own abilities, he was unsure regarding how his writingcompares with that of his peers. Cade expressed that he likes how writing makes him feel. This shows me that although he has some areas of weakness in his writing ability, he will have a willingness to work on improving his skills. I would describe Cade as an early-intermediate writer. This determination is based on evidence in his writing sample (Appendix A). This writing was based on reading two informativetexts about Mars exploration. Students had a wealth of information supporting both sides of a debate on whether or not billions of dollars should continue to be spent exploring Mars, or if thatmoney could be better spent here on Earth. In this opinion essay, Cade does well clearly communicating his opinion. Due to his use of words such as “waste,” his audience is not left wondering how he feels about the given topic. He has strong voice in his writing. I can almost