Reading Specialist Internship

         As a selected participant in the University of Pittsburgh's Reading Specialist Internship Program, I was afforded the opportunity to work as a reading specialist intern in the Seneca Valley School District. I followed the school district's calendar while simultaneously completing graduate level coursework through the University of Pittsburgh. This unique program allows participants to complete a Reading Specialist Certificate within one year. My certificate will be completed in August 2011. 

        Over the course of the year, I studied the five essential components of reading (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension). After learning about research-supported best practices, I was able to apply the new knowledge in my practical placement. During my internship, I provided Title I reading instruction to kindergarten through third grade students, using both pull out and push in techniques. When pulling out small groups, my instruction focused on decoding and comprehension skills, often through the use of guided reading. Pushing into classrooms allowed me to assist in literacy centers and Writer's Workshop.

        As a Title I reading intern, I became very familiar with the Response to Intervention and Instruction model. I was able to observe Tier 1 interventions in the classroom, implement Tier 2 interventions through Title I services, and implement Tier 3 interventions through the use of Fountas and Pinnell's Leveled Literacy Intervention system.

 Diagnostic Assessments

        The reading specialist internship also gave me the opportunity to administer various diagnostic assessments. These diagnostic assessments were administered to a second grade case study student. The results of each assessment were analyzed and used to guide tutoring sessions. Copies of these diagnostic assessments can be seen by opening the files to the right. *Please allow a few moments for .tif files to load.

        During my placement I also adminstered the DIBELS assessment to all kindergarten and first grade students as a means of universal screening. I also used the Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention Benchmark Assesment to determine instructional and independent reading levels for students in first, second, third, and fourth grade.

Boyd Test of Phonic Abilities.tif Boyd Test of Phonic Abilities.tif
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Basic Phonics Skills Test.tif Basic Phonics Skills Test.tif
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Qualitative Reading Inventory.tif Qualitative Reading Inventory.tif
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Elementary Spelling Inventory.tif Elementary Spelling Inventory.tif
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Case Study Analysis Report.pdf Case Study Analysis Report.pdf
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Robust Vocabulary Instruction     

        During my graduate level coursework, I studied the implementation of effective vocabulary instruction. The file to the right is an example of a 5-day vocabulary cycle, based on Isabel Beck's theories of instruction. In this cycle, students learn vocabulary through receptive and generative activities. 

Robust Vocabulary 5-day Cycle-The Book Thief.pdf Robust Vocabulary 5-day Cycle-The Book Thief.pdf
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Text-Based Discussions 

        I also conducted text-based discussions with a group of fourth grade students. Text-based discussions are content-rich conversations that allow students to construct meaning from the text while reading. To see how I was able to segment text and generate higher level questions to spark discussion, please view the document to the right. 

Caves-Text Based Discussion Questions.pdf Caves-Text Based Discussion Questions.pdf
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