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ED 447: Student Literacy Case Study : 

ED 447: Student Literacy Case Study 8th Grader Mario

Project Description : 

Project Description The following slides detail the information I learned from a series of interviews with Mario, an 8th grade student. The first two interviews were conducted in early October. The final interview occurred in mid-December. This presentation was initially created after the first round of interviews and before the final interview. Any question that arose during the creation of the presentation is included on the slides. The answers to these questions, along with other comments about the presentation are in the “Mario Says” section of each slide.

Personal Background : 

Personal Background Born in Boston 13 years old Lives with his mother and uncle (Spanish speaking household) Has two brothers and one sister (all live in El Salvador) Went to The James Otis School for kindergarten through fourth grade Do you have many family members living in the Boston area? How often do you hang out with friends on the weekend? Mario Says: I don’t have many family members living in Boston. Basically, it is just me, my mother, and my uncle. I hang out with my buddies in Roy’s corner store. It has the best candy. We always hang out there and then go to each other’s houses to play video games or just talk.

School Day Routine : 

School Day Routine Wake up at 6 AM On the train by 6:50 AM Breakfast at Epiphany Class from 8 AM until 3:15 PM (lunch and recess break for an hour in the middle) Sports until 5 PM Dinner and evening study until 7:15 PM Take the train home with mother, get home by 8 PM Finish homework and in bed by 10 PM Mario Says: I like to eat Honey Bunches of Oats before bed. If there is no Honey Bunches of Oats, then I eat popcorn. If there is no popcorn, then I go to sleep angry.

Weekend Routine : 

Weekend Routine Wake up around 10 AM Breakfast Free time activities Xbox 360 Read Homework Internet Mario Says: Sometimes I hang out with my buddies.

Weekend Routine (Continued) : 

Weekend Routine (Continued) Are there any particular free time activities that you generally do with friends? Do you listen to music or sit at the computer while doing your homework? Mario Says: We basically just talk and fool around and make fun of each other’s school. I say that Excel Academy is ghetto because it is situated right next to a Rite Aid and a swamp. They make fun of the Epiphany name. They call it Piphany. I just do my work. I listen to music but not during homework.

Academic Practices : 

Academic Practices First experience with formal English was in kindergarten Was conversational upon starting school but had little formal instruction Read in English before starting school Could not read in Spanish, but his mother read him books in Spanish Thinks he is a “spectacular” reader both in decoding and understanding Only enjoys reading for school sometimes Sometimes he is ahead of the class, sometimes behind; he reads at his own pace Mario Says: Yeah, I’m definitely behind in some books now. Shakespeare doesn’t have anything on me.

Academic Practices (Continued) : 

Academic Practices (Continued) Favorite class is reading and writing class He gets to put his thoughts down on paper and express himself Mario says that he is equally comfortable with writing and speaking as forms of expression Feels successful in school but can’t pinpoint specific instances Math class is very easy Feels particularly successful in reading and writing when he “puts his mark on something that he writes to make someone remember it” Mario Says: That all sounds good. That’s completely the way I operate. If I’m proud of my writing, I put my mark on it.

Academic Practices (Continued) : 

Academic Practices (Continued) What is your least favorite class? What class do you struggle with the most? Mario Says: Music is probably my least favorite class. Science is the one I struggle with the most.

Extracurricular Practices: Reading : 

Extracurricular Practices: Reading Reads a lot in his spare time Enjoys reading on his own Favorite series include: Percy and the Olympians Cirque du Freak Fallen Angels What is your favorite part about reading? What makes a book interesting? Mario Says: I’m going to give you a bit of my philosophy. Reading light literature gives you time to express and expand your imagination. That is why I like reading books that aren’t so serious. But, when you read a difficult novel it gives me a challenge for me to understand or decode the meaning of the book, which then makes me really happy in the end. What makes a book interesting? I guess if I was a girl I would say reading other people’s problems. OK, basically it’s the “oh my God I can’t believe he did that” point in the book.

Extracurricular Practices: Video Games : 

Extracurricular Practices: Video Games Enjoys playing Xbox 360 on weekends (owns a console) Favorite games include: Call of Duty 4 Assassin's Creed Civilization Guitar Hero 3 Will play non-stop if his mother doesn’t tell him not to play Do you play online? Do you play with friends? Mario Says: No, I don’t play online, which gets me very amped, so don’t ask me that question. I want to play online but I can’t. I do play with friends with video games, however they all have old consoles or don’t have them at all, which is weird. I slaughter them anyway when we play together.

Extracurricular Practices: Music : 

Extracurricular Practices: Music Likes all kinds of music other than country (he doesn’t like “hearing about buffaloes and horses and cows and cattle”) Favorite bands include: The Killers Eminem Mana Calle Trece Do your friends listen to the same kind of music as you? How do you find new music? When do you listen to music? Mario Says: Yes, they all mostly do, but they listen more to modern hip-hop than I do. I hate modern hip-hop right now, it’s so fake. Usually I listen to my friends try to sing music or go to the internet, just listen to some tunes and I just find a new song. My mom puts retro CDs into the stereo at home and I’m like, “Man, I wanna listen to my own tunes and vibe. This isn’t Howdy Doody time.”

Extracurricular Practices: TV : 

Extracurricular Practices: TV Doesn’t watch much TV during the week (less than an hour a night) Favorite shows include: Two and a Half Men Family Guy South Park Does much of your conversation with friends revolve around TV shows? Are there any shows you watch just to be able to discuss them with other people? Mario Says: Yes and no. We’re all busy boys, or men. Say men, so we don’t speak much about TV unless there was a really good episode that one of us saw. I don’t watch TV to talk to other people about it. I watch TV to enjoy myself.

Extracurricular Practices: Internet : 

Extracurricular Practices: Internet Has internet at home but doesn’t use it much Mostly uses it to “look for goofy videos on YouTube” Often uses YouTube to listen to music How often do you chat online using instant messaging programs? What are some of the most important uses for the internet? Do you feel that you are skilled at navigating the web? Mario Says: I really don’t use instant messaging programs. I don’t see the point. You talk to people in school, on the streets. I use the internet to save my butt in science sometimes because I forget my vocab list, so I look up the words on sciencedictionary.com. Do you feel that you are skilled at navigating the web? Does google count? Then yeah, google.

Opinions on Practices : 

Opinions on Practices Which of the practices mentioned in this project do you feel are the most important socially? Which of the practices do you feel are the most important for your future? What do you hope to do when you get older? Mario Says: None of these subjects really get around my conversations with some of my homies. They’re just good hobbies I have. I know that practicing reading and writing will some day make me immensely rich because of my superb skills in doing it, beside I just like writing and reading and stuff. What do you hope to do when you get older? (snorts) I hope to be a lawyer or a novel writer who wins 20 different awards. Different foreign awards. You know.