Category B: Curriculum and Fieldwork

Standard 3: Preparation to Teach Literacy to all Student through Assessment, Instruction, and Appropriate Intervention

The program provides opportunities for candidates to review and analyze current, confirmed, reliable and replicable quantitative and qualitative research pertaining to language and literacy instruction and how that research is reflected in the contents of the California Preschool Learning Foundations and Frameworks (Volume 1) and the California Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.

The California Preschool Learning Foundations and Frameworks (Volume 1) and the California Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects standards are analyzed in relation to current literacy research in multiple courses throughout the program. Candidates are provided multiple opportunities to thoroughly analyze the research supporting these state-adopted standards and apply the research in delivering standards-based instruction during field experiences.  For example, in LEE 213: Teaching the Language Arts K-12 candidates are required to conduct an inquiry project that links theory to practice. Candidates examine current research on a particular component of literacy instruction and then apply this research to particular standards-based lessons in their classrooms (See LEE 213: Teaching the Language Arts K-12, p.3). Likewise, in LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading candidates are expected to apply research-based strategies demonstrated in the course within their own classroom. The candidates are required to keep reflective journals that detail the particular standards addressed, the implementation process, observed outcomes, and a conclusion regarding the connections between the language acquisition and/or literacy research that supported strategies for English Learners (See LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading, p. 4). In addition, students complete strategy research analysis reports for LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities and LEE 230: Supervised Teaching of Reading/Language Arts. For both of these assignments, students analyze and synthesize current research on strategies used to support struggling readers and English Learners. The reports include summaries and critiques of the research and implications for how the strategies align with specific state-adopted standards (See LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 4; LEE 230: Supervised Teaching of Reading/Language Arts, p. 4).

The program provides opportunities for candidates to learn how to assess, instruct, and provide intervention, if needed, for each component of research-based literacy instruction, including oral language development, word analysis, fluency, vocabulary development, listening and reading comprehension, written language development, and to develop the skills needed to modify curriculum to address the specific needs of diverse groups of students, including but not limited to struggling students, English learners, gifted and talented students, and students with special needs.

The program is purposefully sequenced to scaffold candidates’ mastery of how to assess, instruct, and provide intervention for each component of literacy instruction (oral language development, word analysis, fluency, vocabulary development, listening/reading comprehension, and written language development). The program provides multiple opportunities for candidates to review research and apply the course content in practical instructional contexts to facilitate deeper learning. Initial courses provide candidates a strong foundation of research-based instructional strategies that effectively support student learning of each component of an effective literacy program and the interdependent nature of the components in constructing an integrated, balanced approach to instruction. For example, in LEE 213: Teaching the Language Arts K-12 candidates examine how oral language development and written language development are intertwined (See Course Schedule LEE 213: Teaching the Language Arts K-12, p.6), and in LEE 278: Reading Processes & Practices candidates review Automaticity Theory and Reading Systems Theory to develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between word analysis and fluency (See Course Schedule LEE 278: Reading Processes & Practices, p.6). LEE 213: Teaching the Language Arts K-12 includes assignments throughout the course so candidates can learn how research-based instructional strategies work in practical situations to support specific areas of literacy instruction. Further, LEE 213: Teaching the Language Arts K-12 provides candidates opportunities to develop an understanding of how to create a balanced literacy program through their Theory to Practice Project (See LEE 213: Teaching the Language Arts K-12, p.3).

Candidates’ competency in learning to develop a balanced instructional approach that integrates multiple areas of literacy is further enhanced in LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading. The key literacy areas of oral language development, word analysis, fluency, vocabulary development, listening/reading comprehension, and written language development are taught in this course, with a special emphasis on modifying curriculum and instruction to meet the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse students. In addition, candidates are expected to apply these instructional models in their own classrooms. Through the Teaching Strategy Journal, candidates reflect on their process of learning how research-based instructional strategies work to develop the language and literacy skills of English Learners (See LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading, p. 4).

Building on the candidates’ knowledge about effective literacy instruction, the final phase of the program prepares candidates with the capacity to plan, implement, evaluate and modify literacy instruction to meet the needs of students with diverse literacy abilities and linguistic or cultural backgrounds. LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities and LEE 230: Supervised Teaching of Reading/Language Arts provide candidates with direct, guided experiences in learning how to assess the key literacy components of oral language development, word analysis, fluency, vocabulary development, listening/reading comprehension, and written language development. In both courses, students learn how to select, administer, and interpret assessment tools for each of these literacy areas. Specific Reader Assessment Projects provide experiences for candidates to learn how to assess the literacy components appropriate for a beginning young reader and an older struggling reader (See LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 3), and clinical field experiences require candidates to apply this learning by assessing students in small intervention groups (See LEE 230: Supervised Teaching of Reading/Language Arts, p. 4). These assessment experiences ground candidates’ understanding of how to use assessment results to design differentiated instruction for various literacy strengths and weaknesses. In both courses, candidates analyze assessment results to develop case study reports and make instructional recommendations and develop an intervention plan, if necessary (See LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 4; See LEE 230: Supervised Teaching of Reading/Language Arts, p. 4). During a clinical field experience, candidates implement these intervention plans through small-group tutoring. This guided field experience provides candidates with an opportunity to learn how to utilize assessment results to provide effective clinical literacy instruction to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse struggling readers.

The program provides opportunities for candidates to learn the normal progression of complexity for each component of literacy, as explicated in the Foundations/Standards and their Frameworks, the expected stages and patterns in students’ development including early and adolescent literacy, the implications of delays or differences in students’ literacy development relative to grade level standards, and when such delays/differences warrant further assessment, differentiated instruction and intervention.

The program provides candidates multiple opportunities to understand the manner in which the California Preschool Learning Foundations and Frameworks (Volume 1) and the California Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects structure learning standards along levels of increasing complexity. Candidates learn about the normal developmental process for each component of literacy, ranging from basic literacy skills in emergent/early readers to more advanced literacy skills required by adolescent and adult readers in content or discipline areas (See Course Schedules LEE 213: Teaching the Language Arts K-12, p.6; LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading, p. 7; LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 6). In addition, the progression of complexity is examined through assessment assignments that provide candidates opportunities to analyze and compare early/emergent readers’ skills with those of older/advanced readers (See LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 3).

The program provides candidates with multiple opportunities to learn about the implications for literacy struggles and when such struggles warrant differentiated instruction and intervention. Course assignments and clinical experiences provide candidates opportunities to understand the implications of delays, compare assessment results to typical developmental patterns, and construct reports that detail whether further assessment and/or intervention procedures are necessary (See LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 4; See LEE 230: Supervised Teaching of Reading/Language Arts, p. 4). In addition, through examination of research and practical field assignments, candidates develop a deep understanding of the implications of the unique developmental differences experienced by second language learners and specific differentiation techniques to mediate the acceleration of language and literacy for English Learners (See LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading, p. 5).

The program provides opportunities for candidates to learn instructional sequences and routines that develop and accelerate students’ language and literacy learning, including RtI, and how to maximize students’ literacy development by using the reciprocal relationships among the components of a research-based literacy program, as well as methods to ...incorporate information literacy skills into classroom activities in which students learn to access, evaluate, use and integrate information and ideas found in print, media, and digital resources enabling them to function in a knowledge-based economy and technologically-oriented society.... (California Model School Library Standards for Students)

The program is based on a philosophy that effective literacy instruction utilizes a balanced, integrated approach, and this philosophy is emphasized in all courses. Candidates are provided continuous opportunities to learn about the reciprocal nature of literacy areas and how to capitalize on these areas to support and accelerate students’ literacy and language learning (See Course Schedule LEE 213: Teaching the Language Arts K-12, p.6). Candidates are also provided explicit instruction regarding the instructional intervention sequences and routines that can maximize this reciprocity, and candidates apply this knowledge by developing an intervention plan that uses students’ strengths to support areas of need (See LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 4). Intervention models specific to English Learners are explored, and candidates use this knowledge to analyze school-wide English Learner intervention programs and propose intervention procedures that could support and accelerate the literacy and language development of culturally and linguistically diverse students (See LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading, p. 5). Clinical field experiences provide candidates opportunities to apply the knowledge of effective integrated intervention approaches through small-group tutoring. Candidates analyze assessments, design and deliver instruction that builds on students’ literacy strengths to support weaker areas, and then provide an analysis of the connections between their intervention experiences and the research reviewed for the course (See LEE 230: Supervised Teaching of Reading/Language Arts, p. 4).

The program provides candidates with multiple opportunities to learn how to incorporate information literacy skills into classroom activities. Candidates examine research about critical literacy and are required to implement critical literacy instructional strategies in their classroom lessons. Through these practical experiences, candidates learn the ways that critical literacy can teach students to evaluate information from texts. In addition, specific attention is given to research on digital and visual literacies, as candidates examine strategies to develop students’ abilities to access, evaluate, and integrate information found in media and digital resources (See Course Schedule LEE 213: Teaching the Language Arts K-12, p.6). Specific tools and procedures to assess student information literacy skills and 21st Century literacy skills are explored. These assessments are then coupled with an examination of research on how to support and develop students’ abilities to comprehend and produce multimodal text sources that will enable the to succeed in a technologically-oriented society (See Course Schedule LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 6).

The program provides opportunities for candidates to learn the types and uses of assessments across the continuum of literacy skill components, including informal and curriculum-embedded assessments, and reliable and valid norm-referenced and criterion-based assessments that are used for formative and summative purposes, such as, screening, diagnosis, placement, and progress monitoring.

The program provides candidates opportunities to learn the types and uses of assessments across the continuum of literacy skill components, from early/emergent literacy skills to advanced literacy skills, including oral language, concepts of print, phonemic awareness, word analysis, vocabulary development, written language development, and comprehension. To connect with current school practices, candidates are engaged in analyzing relevant curriculum-embedded, California norm-referenced and criterion-based assessments (See Course Schedule LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 6). This analysis is designed to develop candidates’ knowledge on how such assessments can be used for screening, placement, and summative evaluation. In addition, candidates are required to complete two assessment projects. These projects facilitate candidates’ understanding of how to use norm-referenced (Clay’s Observation Survey), criterion-based (Analytic Reading Inventory), and other formative assessment tools for screening, diagnosis, and progress monitoring (See LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 3). The candidates then apply these same tools in LEE 230: Supervised Teaching of Reading/Language Arts to design and implement differentiated intervention plans through small-group tutoring (See LEE 230: Supervised Teaching of Reading/Language Arts, p. 4).

The program provides opportunities for candidates to learn the differences and relationships between the skills needed for assessing and supporting students’ literacy development and those necessary for promoting language acquisition and development in order to know when a student may be struggling with a language acquisition problem rather than a reading problem.

Although meeting the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse learners is emphasized throughout the program, LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading is the course in the program that deals most specifically with the distinctions between literacy development and second language acquisition. The overarching theme of this course is that identifying English Learners with a reading problem requires a deep analysis of the instructional and learning opportunities that exist. As such, candidates are expected to develop a deep understanding of the types of instructional accommodations that support literacy development for English Learners, including making content instruction accessible through the SIOP model, using communicative approaches to bridging second-language literacy, and mediating literacy through language (See Course Schedule LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading, p. 7).  In addition, LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities requires candidates to assess linguistically and culturally diverse students using a variety of tools to assess oral language, vocabulary, comprehension and written language development. The aim of these projects is to provide candidates with a deep understanding that multiple aspects of literacy must be considered in forming conclusions about students’ literacy struggles (See LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 3).

The program provides opportunities for candidates to learn methods to assist teachers in using grade level or school-wide assessment data to implement and revise instructional programs and to plan, implement, and evaluate school-wide professional development.

Collegial collaboration is a key structure embedded throughout the program. Candidates have opportunities within each course to present their analysis of research and practical experiences to classmates as well as presenting individual student reports to teachers, administrators, and parents. Candidates are provided multiple opportunities to examine school level data in relation to intervention programs and procedures.  For example, one assignment requires candidates to conduct a multilevel (teachers and administrators) analysis of the RTI process. Based on the findings of this analysis, recommended revisions of assessment and instructional practices are provided. In addition, candidates make recommendations to school administrators regarding revisions to intervention components and professional development needs to create a more effective intervention program (See Course Schedule LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 6). A similar assignment addresses the needs of English Learners and requires candidates to conduct an analysis of English Language Development programs and procedures. Based on the findings of this analysis, candidates provide administrators with recommended revisions of intervention components and professional development needs to enhance the effectiveness of the programs for culturally and linguistically diverse students (See LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading, p. 5).

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