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Leslie T. Allen. Oral Defense. Introduction. Family. Andy and I have been married for 3 years! Our son, Ethan, is 15 months old and the joy of our lives!. Interests. Playing the Piano. Photography. Craft Projects. Christmas & Decorating. Interests. Paris. Disneyland.

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leslie t allen

Leslie T. Allen

Oral Defense


Andy and I have been married for 3 years!

Our son, Ethan, is 15 months old and the joy of our lives!


Playing the Piano


Craft Projects

Christmas & Decorating




Fixing & cruising around in

our Hot Rod


Cayman Islands


  • Fort Herriman Middle School (2004-Present) 7th grade science teacher Science Department Chair Positive Behavioral Management Coordinator Consulting Educator – help struggling teachers in district
  • South Hills Middle School (2000-2004) 7th, 8th, and 9th grade science teacher Positive Behavioral Management Coordinator
problem overview
Problem Overview
  • Many students enter the 7th grade far below reading level.
  • The gap is widened, especially in science, where textbooks are full of new vocabulary!
  • This leads to academic and behavior problems in classrooms!
literature review overview
Literature Review Overview
  • Attitudes about reading will influence ability to read.
  • Practice makes perfect. More practice increases scores.
  • Prior knowledge helps students make connections between what they are reading to improve comprehension.
  • There are many different types of reading strategies that can be used to improve reading scores. Practice at these skills is what will make a difference.
needs analysis
Needs Analysis
  • In order to determine if there was a need for reading strategies to be taught, student reading scores from previous years were analyzed.
  • Reading specialists filled out surveys using their expertise, to guide the investigation of how to better help the struggling readers.
goal of instruction
Goal of Instruction
  • To increase reading scores of struggling students by teaching vocabulary and reading strategies.
overview of objectives
Overview of Objectives
  • Decode unknown words using surrounding text.
  • Use a dictionary to look up unknown words.
  • Correctly summarize a paragraph.
  • Correctly visualize a paragraph.
  • Pass a reading test at grade level.
instructional strategies
Instructional Strategies
  • Gagne’s Nine Learning Events (Modified)
  • Pre-Instructional Strategy
  • Content Presentation
  • Learner Participation
  • Assessments
  • Transfer of Learning
technology to support learning
Technology to Support Learning
  • PowerPoint used to introduce and present materials.
  • Internet used by students to look up definitions, and take practice assessments.
phases of formative evaluation
Phases of Formative Evaluation
  • Subject Matter Expert
    • Rubric
    • Interview
  • One-on-one
    • Assessments
    • Interviews
  • Small Group
    • Assessments
    • Surveys
evaluation instruments
Evaluation Instruments
  • SME Evaluation Rubric and Interview
  • Pre-Assessment: STAR reading test
  • Individual Objective Assessments Using a Dictionary Assessment Word meaning in Context Assessment Visualization Strategy Assessment Summarization Strategy Assessment
  • Post-Assessment: STAR reading test
  • Surveys – small group
  • Interviews – one-on-one
sme interview
SME Interview
  • Recommended a longer unit of instruction.
  • Time did not permit to teach the unit for a full quarter.
one on one test scores
One-on-One Test Scores
  • 75% of students were able to decode unknown words.
  • 100% of students could use the dictionary.
  • 75% of students were able to use the summarization strategy.
  • 100% of students were able to use the visualization strategy.
  • 0% of students read at grade level on the pre-test.
  • 50% of students read at grade level on the post-test.
  • 100% of students improved their reading scores from the pre-test.
small group data
Small Group Data
  • 53% of students could decode unknown words.
  • 97% of students could use a dictionary.
  • 77% of students could use the summarization strategy.
  • 70% of students could use the visualization strategy.
  • 0% of students read at grade level on the pre-test.
  • 23% of students read at grade level on the post-test.
  • 100% of students improved their reading level.
instructional design
Instructional Design

What I Learned

Application to Workplace

Build curriculum maps around the benchmarks.

Plan lessons that teach the concepts in the curriculum.

Create small formative assessments to determine what kids are learning.

Re-teach if necessary.

Give the summative assessment.

  • I learned how to use backwards design to create new curriculum.
research fundamentals
Research Fundamentals

What I Learned

Application to Workplace

Ability to incorporate new, data based best practices into teaching, and help other teachers do the same.

  • Finding research based articles on best practices!
technology integration
Technology Integration

What I Learned

Application to Workplace

I now have my own school wiki and blog. The wiki contains information about the integrated team that I’m on at school. There are also links to the team teacher’s blogs so that students can download missing work, and see what we’re doing on a day to day basis.

  • How to build a web page
measurement and evaluation
Measurement and Evaluation

What I Learned

Application to Workplace

We do weekly formative assessments, and then combine those formative assessments into a summative test at the end of a unit. In order to make the results of these tests more valid, we came up with different, but similar questions for the summative assessment.

  • How to better analyze data, and to ensure it is valid.
  • Formative vs. Summative Evaluation
  • This was a great opportunity to sit down and reflect on what is really important in the classroom. This reflection led me to what my capstone project would be, and how best to incorporate good reading strategies into my classroom.
  • Overall, student success has increased in my classroom, making this project, and my time at WGU a great success.