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Question 1: What evidence do you find that environmental factors or individual factors could be associated with Kim’s reading problems?

There are several pieces of evidence in the case study that suggest both environmental and individual factors might be contributing to Kim’s reading problems:

  1. Frequent School Changes: Kim has changed schools multiple times due to her father’s work in the building construction business. This kind of disruption in her educational environment could have affected her reading development, as each school used a different approach to teaching reading. This inconsistency in teaching methods might have hindered her ability to establish a strong foundation in reading.
  2. Early School Entry: Kim was enrolled in school at a relatively young age despite being recommended to wait a year. This decision might have exposed her to formal education before she was developmentally ready, potentially impacting her reading skills.
  3. Shyness and Withdrawal: Kim’s shyness and withdrawal, particularly after her sister’s departure, could be affecting her social interactions and engagement with peers. This emotional aspect could indirectly impact her learning and motivation to improve her reading skills.
  4. Negative Teacher Perception: Kim’s teachers described her as “lazy” and not trying hard enough. Such negative perceptions could lead to a lack of support and resources for her learning needs, which might exacerbate her reading difficulties.
  5. Interest in Music and Piano: Kim’s enthusiasm and progress in playing the piano indicate that she is capable of focusing and excelling in an area of interest. This highlights her potential for engaging in focused learning activities, including reading, if the right approach is taken.

Question 2: What suggestions could you make for ways that Kim’s parents could help her with reading?

To support Kim’s reading development, her parents could consider the following strategies:

  1. Create a Consistent Learning Environment: Given Kim’s history of changing schools, it’s important to create a stable and consistent learning environment at home. Establish a routine for reading and other learning activities.
  2. Identify and Address Emotional Needs: Kim’s shyness and feelings of being “dumb” should be addressed through open conversations about her feelings and concerns. Building her confidence and self-esteem can positively impact her approach to learning.
  3. Interest-Based Learning: Since Kim is enthusiastic about playing the piano, her parents can leverage this interest to support her reading. Integrate reading materials related to music theory, biographies of famous musicians, or sheet music instructions into her reading practice.
  4. Varied Reading Approaches: Given Kim’s exposure to different reading methods in different schools, her parents could consider a balanced approach to reading instruction, combining sight words, phonics, and linguistic methods. Tailor the approach based on her specific learning preferences and strengths.
  5. Positive Reinforcement: Focus on Kim’s strengths and progress in areas like piano playing. Celebrate her achievements, which can boost her overall confidence and motivation to improve in other areas, including reading.

Question 3: Does Kim have any interests that could be used to lead into a reading program? How could these interests be used?

Yes, Kim’s interest in playing the piano can be a valuable asset to develop a reading program:

  1. Music-Related Reading Materials: Provide Kim with books related to music, musical history, and biographies of famous musicians. These materials can engage her interest while simultaneously enhancing her reading skills.
  2. Sheet Music and Instructions: Introduce Kim to reading sheet music and musical instructions. This involves learning symbols and notation, which can be a fun and practical way to improve her reading abilities.
  3. Song Lyrics: Encourage Kim to read song lyrics of her favorite pieces. This not only connects her interest in music with reading but also exposes her to different vocabulary and sentence structures.
  4. Musical Stories: Look for fictional stories that involve characters with musical interests or aspirations. These stories can capture her imagination while providing reading practice.
  5. Music Theory Resources: Introduce her to age-appropriate music theory resources that involve reading and understanding concepts related to rhythm, melody, and harmony.

Incorporating Kim’s passion for music into her reading program can not only make the learning process more engaging but also boost her confidence as she sees her reading skills improving in a context that she loves.




Now read through the case Study scenario and provide feedback on the questions.

Kim was eleven years old, and she had just completed the sixth grade, when she was brought to the Reading Center. She was referred by her sixth grade teacher, who was concerned about both her poor reading performance and her classroom adjustment.

According to her school reports, Kim was reading at the fourth grade level. Our initial testing at theReading Center also indicated that her reading was about fourth grade level.

Kim’s mother came to the interview session, but her father was unable to attend. During the interview, Kim’s mother stated that, because of Kim’s father’s work in the building construction business, the family had lived in four different cities since Kim’s birth. As a result, Kim went to one school for grades one and two, another school for grade 3, and transferred to her present school in the fourth grade.

According to her mother, Kim’s physical development seemed normal, although she had always been a rather shy child. Kim’s mother thought that she withdrew even more after her sister’s departure from the household. In fact, during the last year, Kim seemed to have lost the few friends she’d had. Her mother noted that Kim had not received any invitations to parties given by her classmates.

Kim’s cumulative school records showed that she entered first grade at the age of 5 years, 9 months. The first school district Kim attended did not provide a public kindergarten. Before she entered school, Kim was given a readiness test. Because of her age and her poor performance on the test, the teachers advised Kim’s parents to wait a year before enrolling her in school. However, her parents decided that it was best for the family to have Kim begin school immediately. Reading problems were noted continuously from the time that Kim entered school. Problems in other academic subjects became apparent in the fourth grade.

The interview with Kim’s mother and the examination of school records showed that each of the three schools Kim had attended used a different approach to teaching reading. Kim’s first school, in which she was in first grade, had used a sight word approach. The second school, where she was in grades 2 and 3, used a synthetic phonics approach. Her present school uses a linguistic, or analytic, phonics approach. Kim’s mother thought Kim had passed the reading test because the teacher used a screening test for reading.

In interviews with Kim’s teachers, she was described as “lazy” and they said that Kim “did not try hard enough.” The only positive comments were made by her music teacher.

The Reading Clinic teacher who interviewed Kim said Kim was extremely shy. It was difficult for her to discuss her reading problems. Also, she refused to read orally. During an informal conversation, Kim described school as “terrible.” She expressed a strong desire to have more friends and she described herself as “dumb.”

Kim was very enthusiastic about playing the piano. She had been taking lessons in school for two years, and she was making excellent progress.

Questions for Case Study : Please provide detailed responses.

Question 1

What evidence do you find that environmental factors or individual factors could be associated with Kim’s reading problems?

Question 2

What suggestions could you make for ways that Kim’s parents could help her with reading?

Question 3

Does Kim have any interests that could be used to lead into a reading program? How could these interests be used?

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