Student X is a four-year-old girl from New York City, who has four older sisters and lives with her siblings, mother and grandmother. Student X mother is a divorced stay at home mother, her family is from Egypt but she only speaks English. Student X is in preschool at P. S. 58 School of Heroes in Maspeth. She hasn’t been assessed for any developmental delays or disabilities, but her mother believes she might be delayed due to the deficiency of language development.
The classroom is located on the first floor of the school, next to another preschool and three kindergarten classrooms. There re twenty students, one teacher and two paraprofessionals throughout the whole day. The cubbies have the student’s names and pictures and are located by the door. There is a bathroom that connects both preschool classrooms. The classroom has three rectangular tables, which have six seats in each table and one small round table with two seats. There is a block, dramatic play, sand box table, water table, art and writing, library and a computer area.
There is also a meeting area where the blackboard has charts about good and poor choices, center time chart, the classroom’s schedule and charts bout today and the letters. There are many signs in the classroom, like shapes, colors, the alphabet, numbers and seasons. The students also have attendance cards with their names and pictures, as well as a chart of their jobs. There is chart paper by the window on whether they tally how many boys and girls are in the classroom and also the student’s favorite colors.
Student X is able to imitate things people who surround her do, for example she will be in the mirror of the dramatic area and act as if she is doing her makeup, fixing her hair and shirt. It shows that she imitates things she probably has seen her iblings or mother do. Another example is on the first observation she spilled some milk, the teacher started giving her paper towels to clean the milk, she did exactly what the teacher did the other day and used her foot to clean with the paper towel. During the observations I have noticed that she may have problem comprehending what her classmates or teachers say.
When someone asks her a question she responds about something that has nothing to do with the question or the topic that is being talked about. Student X uses very little language and barely says things in full sentence for example “Teacher, eacher milk” and she just points showing that she spilled some milk. She also gets easily distracted and ends up getting up at random times to do things she is not supposed to be doing. Usually one of the paraprofessionals tries to make sure she is interacting in the lesson the teacher is giving them.
From the two days of observation I was able to see how her writing has improved. In the week that they focused on learning the letter A the teacher read the students “The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree” she tried to interact all the student by asking them questions like what kind of apple do they like the ost: Red, yellow or green? They were all able to answer the questions. In the morning student X was able repeat with her classmates the pictures the teacher was showing them which were apple, apron, alligator and ant.
When it came to tracing the letter “A” she was able to trace it but when she had to do it by the picture with no tracing lines, she just ended up drawing the pictures instead. October 13, the second observation I saw that the teacher place an apple tree outside with the apples the children made. The letter of that week was the letter “B” in the meeting area the hole classroom participated on the letter “B” and talked about things that start with the letter “B” like balloon, balI, bat, bear and button. Some of the students said other things like boy and student X participated by saying “bee”.
When student X was with the teacher tracing the letter, she was capable of writing “b” and sometimes wrote it in reverse like “d”. At first the student was unable to write the letter a on her own. The only way she was able to do it was by tracing it. When I saw an assignment that she did on the writing center, it showed that she perfected the A ince it is the first letter of her name, and was able to write it all over the page. This showed me that she was aware of print, while before all she did was draw the same object she saw in the sheet.
Around the age of three or four, preschoolers are not yet able to read and write in the conventional way, but they demonstrate an intention to communicate a message with their marks rather than merely to draw” (McGee & Richgels, p. 57). Student X is capable of demonstrating some type of what can seem as scribbles, but she will tell you what she is trying to say either to drawings or lines. This student has shown mock letters, when asked to write her name she writes all over the page capital A’s. In just a week student X is capable of staying still for just a little to pay attention to the teacher’s readings.
She barely participates but pays attention to what is happening on the pictures in the book. “When preschoolers make predictions, thread a sequence of events together, or interpret tone and mood, they develop the skills necessary for learning to read as well as learning to understand and engage in human behavior and interactions” (Berkowitz, p. 38). By the teacher allowing the hildren to interact during read aloud it causes them to pay closer attention to the story and predict and speculate behaviors that might occur due to personal experiences.
Student X is still not able to predict or have an understanding “By listening to stories, children learn about written syntax and vocabulary and develop phonological awareness and concepts of print, all of which are closely linked to learning to read and write” (Gillanders & Castro, p. 91). Stories can impact the development of the child’s vocabulary, student X has shown a lot of improvement from just a few weeks of school. In the eginning she spoke by just making noises or say one or two words.
The following week that she was observed she was capable of writing both “A and B” but still makes noises. She is capable of saying words, but they usually don’t make sense. When the teacher reads to them, she tends to pay more attention to the pictures if they interest her. On the second week the teacher read to them “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? ” she would ask the students what they thought might happen in the story, through each page she stopped and asked the children if they saw that color somewhere in the classroom. Student X responded by pointing to the red sign that was by her.
When the teacher would ask them what colors they saw on a certain animal the teacher would go back to help them out, if they weren’t sure. “Oral storytelling supports young children’s learning and development differently than stories read aloud from picture books. It gives children an opportunity to exercise their imagination, communicate effectively, enhance their social literacy, and build community in a different way. Many of the skills practiced through oral storytelling and the dramatic play that stems from it address applicable local and tate early learning standards as well”(Berkowitz,36).
I think oral story telling would help student X, especially if it is a book that she would enjoy to listen. By reading stories that attract her she can socialize with other students, and predict what might happen in the stories. “Telling children a familiar story or using a repetitive phrase within a story helps them feel comfortable and confident. Children anticipate the pattern and join in saying the refrain, sharing ownership in the story” (Berkowitz, p. 37) This can also be a great way to see if she is paying attention to what he story is about and if she enjoys what was read to her.
Another way that can get her the attention to strengthen her language is to sing songs with her or have her listen to read aloud on the computer, that she will appreciate. An activity that can help her written language is by using dry erase boards that will allow her to erase easily and re start. Using a dry erase board can also have her write a letter and to draw a picture to illustrate it, since she enjoys drawing. Another way of reinforcement is by using shaving cream to write the letter, she will enjoy the feeling of something different.