Education, 2012
  • Perceived Benefits and Obstacles of Co-teaching from Co-student Teachers
    Anne-Marie Giardina, Mary Edwards
    Mentor: Martha Michael

    Two students participated in a grant funded by the Ohio Department of Education, Office of Exceptional Children, which supported a Middle Childhood content specialist and an Intervention Specialist to co-teach as pre-service teachers. The co-teaching took place during the first 7 weeks of the student teaching experience in a general education mathematics classroom in Olentangy Local Schools. Through this experience, the students documented the benefits that co-teaching can have on student learning, while also helping their cooperating teachers develop as professionals. Through collaborative planning, the student teachers were able to better meet the needs of students and help further student learning and achievement. This co-teaching relationship allowed the creation of more tiered lessons in order to better respond to the results found from regular formative assessments and helped with the preparation of summative assessments. Documentation in the form of reflective journaling was used for qualitative research purposes. This experience, organized before individual student teaching, allowed for more effective collaboration with staff, teachers and students during the second student teaching placement, and also served as a great professional development opportunity before becoming future licensed teachers.

    Strategies for Increasing Reading Comprehension of ELL Students
    Caitlin Hughes
    Mentor: Cheryl C. DoBroka

    Extracting meaning from content area test can be challenging, even for native English speaking students. For ELL students, this task is even harder. Reading in content areas provides unique comprehension challenges to students with low English proficiency, including word recognition, word definition, syntax, grammar, and structure. For non-native speakers of English these are barriers to reading comprehension, leading many to resort to reciting passages of text without comprehension or retention. There is a need to identify strategies instructors should be implementing in lessons, in order to maximize opportunities for ELL students’ comprehension and learning. This participant-observation research study used various reading strategies with two eighth-grade ELL students for science reading lessons in small group tutoring in an urban charter school. Pre-, during-, and post-reading activities were used to observe which instructional tools led to the highest levels of comprehension. Some strategies proved very effective, while others proved unsuccessful or counterproductive. The findings can have several implications for implementing these strategies in the classroom. Instructors must consider English proficiency levels of students and adapt successful strategies to increase reading comprehension. These select strategies should make content area reading lessons more beneficial by using classroom time more productively to increase content knowledge.

    Reading Comprehension: Addressing the Needs of English Language Learners in Content Area Reading
    Kelsey Liu
    Mentor: Cheryl C. DoBroka

    For five weeks, participant-observations were conducted during multiple tutoring sessions with an eighth grade science student at a predominately Somali urban charter school in central Ohio. The observations were used to examine how the implementation of pre-reading strategies and techniques influenced an English language learner’s reading comprehension of nonfiction texts. While the majority of textbooks may appear intimidating to the typical student, the thought of having to read textbook selections may seem like an impossible task for English language learners. It is not that these students cannot read nor are they poor readers; they lack the skills necessary to decode the information found within the pages of their textbook. During the tutoring sessions, the tutor began to understand the needs of English language learners in terms of reading comprehension and assisted the student with building the foundation needed to become a successful reader. Before beginning to read a nonfiction text, English language learners need the necessary background knowledge, along with multiple opportunities to identify and practice using the vocabulary words found within the reading, skills to use the features of the textbook, and visual aides to supplement key content in the lesson.

    Overseas Teaching in the Emerald Isle
    Madison Motsch
    Mentor: Olga Shonia

    I participated in an intercultural education experience in Ireland in order to learn new teaching techniques that I could use when I teach in the United States. During my international experience, I reflected on, recorded, and reported my weekly experiences. In a classroom setting, I observed how teaching and learning occurred in Ireland and I implemented and practiced what I learned. Teaching in another country requires patience and a sense of culture. This project solidified my choice to enter the teaching profession.

    Thinking Globally, Acting Locally in Action: Capital University Pre-Service Teachers Impact Overseas Communities through Service Learning Projects
    Kathryn Narcross, Thomas Coroneos, Erin Peirano
    Mentor: Olga Shonia

    Intercultural placements provide pre-service educators with a deeper grasp of reality (Howard, 2006), presenting opportunities to become more culturally sensitive and interculturally competent teachers who are able to adapt themselves and their instruction to be successful in any type of cross-cultural teaching situation (Zeichner & Melnick, 1996). However, international and global education programs are often reflected upon as benefiting only the recipient (i.e., the student traveling abroad). Capital University’s Intercultural Student Teaching Program challenges students to engage in local communities beyond their school placements in completing a Service Learning Project, building meaningful relationships between students and their local host communities. The case studies presented indicate that benefits are mutual; each side is learning from one another. In this presentation, three Capital student teachers share their service project experiences from Australia and Ireland.

    Overcoming Comprehension Issues in a High-Functioning Student with Autism
    Jillian Press
    Mentor: Cheryl C. DoBroka

    The present research explored content area reading strategies used to aid a ninth grade student with autism who displays low reading and comprehension skills. A participant-observation study occurred in an urban charter school over a span of six weeks. The student’s learning needs were identified through observations by a tutor and descriptions provided by his teachers. Reading strategies were implemented by the tutor in 30 minute sessions twice a week, to aid the student’s comprehension in each stage of the reading process. Pre-reading strategies focused on building schema and vocabulary by activating prior knowledge through graphic organizers, visuals, and questioning. During-reading strategies focused on building the student’s ability to monitor comprehension, such as introducing the “think-aloud” method and teaching effective note taking. Post-reading strategies reinforced vocabulary and concepts in the text, while assessing comprehension with methods such as playing review games with repetition, showing understanding of vocabulary terms through drawings, and answering questions. Data suggest that while many different strategies were used, not all were effective in aiding comprehension. Further research is needed to determine long-term effects of the implemented strategies as well as whether additional strategies may assist the student’s comprehension.

    Comprehension Strategies for Emergent Readers
    Alyse Schwartz
    Mentor: Cheryl C. DoBroka

    This research was conducted at a small charter school located in Columbus, Ohio that specializes in working with students with disabilities. All of the students who attend this school are on Individualized Education Plans (IEP). Three young students were tutored on content area reading, with a focus on reading comprehension strategies. All three students struggled with both encoding and decoding. Teaching emergent and young readers how to comprehend a text requires multiple strategies and techniques. Although emergent and young readers may not be able to read a text independently, comprehension is still possible through the use of comprehension strategies, scaffolding, and modeling. Emergent readers, young students, and students who are struggling academically need to have these strategies explicitly taught to them.

    Bringing the Story to Life: A Brief Look into the World of Young Adult Literature
    David Signet
    Mentor: Pamela Scheurer

    I have always been an avid fan of young adult fantasy literature and for some time have wondered what it would take to write books like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. This passion for young adult literature resulted in my doing an independent study in which I read a number of young adult fantasy novels as well as several books about the process of writing. I used these resources to begin the process of writing and talking about my own story. This reading, talking, and writing resulted in the beginning of a fantasy novel and a fifty page novella. During this session, I share some selections from my writing, discuss my writing process, and reflect on what I have learned about writing for young adult readers.