I gave the student a phonological awareness screening test to assess her rudimentary skills. The first part of this test required her to phonetically interpret images and perform various tasks with the sounds. She was required to connect pictures of rhyming words, count the number of syllables in a word after seeing a picture, match pictures based on their initial sound, count phonemes of words based on pictures, count the number of syllables in a word based on its picture, and to look at a picture and write its phonemes with letters. She performed perfectly on all these tasks. She tapped her arm and shoulder when counting syllables, a common tactile technique taught in schools. When shown two images side by side and asked to circle the image with a longer word length, she performed perfectly on all five pairs, even drawing an equal sign between a picture of an eye and a picture of a fly.
Next, I asked her to do a phoneme deletion test. I orally said a word and asked her what sounds would be left if I removed a sound. She performed perfectly when an initial sound was removed; when a final sound was removed, she read 4/5 words correctly. Her only error was reading "place" as "pay" instead of "play"; she also said the remaining sounds of words perfectly when an embedded sound of a consonant blend was removed.
Her alphabet skills were assessed as well. She identified all 26 letters of the alphabet by name in their upper-case form; she was able to do likewise for lower case letters.
She was then asked to say the consonant sound of twenty-three letters in lower-case form. She said 21 out of 23 sounds correctly.
Simple Reading and Decoding Skills for different letter patterns was assessed next.
She read real and nonsense CVC words correctly.
I read her a passage titled "Amelia Earhart" from the Qualitative Reading Inventory-4. I decided to read the story aloud (to test her auditory comprehension skills). The passage is brief (263 words in total). I gave her the option of following along in the text as I read aloud, but she declined. Before reading, I asked her three background questions to assess her prior knowledge. She answered the questions orally.
To the question "Who was Amelia Earhart?" she gave a somewhat hesitant answer of "She was a pilot....and I think she is dead"
To the Question : What are the dangers of flying a small plane?
She replied: Bigger planes have more fuel
Birds could get stuck in the window of a small plane
If you forget your parachute, it can be really dangerous.
I followed this and asked: "Is it dangerous to forget your parachute if you fly a bigger plane, too?"
She replied: Yes
To the question "What is an adventurer?"
She replied: A person who explores around where animals live.....Indiana Jones is an adventurer.
I asked her to make a prediction about the story based on the questions I asked her. Her reply was a summation of her answers to the three previous questions: "Amelia Earhart flying a small plane"
Her retelling included some important details : Earhart's desire to be a pilot, her desire to fly a plane across the ocean, her successful flight to Ireland.
I asked her eight comprehension questions: 4 questions are based on the explicit content of the text, the remaining four are based on the implicit meanings in the text.
She correctly answered a question about Amelia Earhart's goal. Her answer to another explicit based question was correct, but lacked detail. When asked "What was one of the dangers of flying a small-plane?" She replied "malfunction"; a more detailed answer could have been "mechanical problems" or "lack of computers."
When I asked her if radar was available to track airplanes at the time of Amelia Earhart, she said "no"; I then lead into, "so would it be hard to find her plane without radar, since the ocean is so big?" She replied "yes"
This suggests that she is capable of logical reasoning.
Next, I asked her to read a passage from the QRI-4 titled "Abraham Lincoln." The passage is at level six and corresponds to her instructional reading level score on QRI word lists.
Her performance on the background questions indicated she knows who Abraham Lincoln was. When I asked her to make a prediction about the story, once again she used a logic chain style answer, joining her answers with the conjunction "and" I asked her to read aloud; I offered her a ruler or something folded like a bookmark to facilitate her scanning of the text; she declined and opted to use a pen to read each line of text.
Her retelling of the passage was more detailed than her retelling of the passage I read to her. She also went on reflective tangents in her retelling: "When the war broke out, slaves were right in the middle of it; I wouldn't want to be in the middle of it if I were a slave. I would try to get out...to leave."