Assessing and Documenting Reading Fluency

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by newbie0809, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. newbie0809

    newbie0809 Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 19, 2011

    I recently subbed in a classroom where the teacher assessed each student's fluency once a week. I failed to ask any details but this is what I observed as I helped with a few. Each student had an individual folder that had a graph that looked like it was probably from a book. At the top it had the students reading goal then on the left side numbers from 0-100 (for how many words rhey read in one minute). The bottom had the date of the assessment, what story
    was tested and how many words were read correctly.

    Administration: the teacher gives the student a small passage to read(which is taken from their weekly story andcis from a premade worksheet) everyone reads the same passage. They are timed for one minute, at the end the teacher graphs (bar) in what they read in their folder then the student takes home the worksheet passage. You can easily see the students progress from week to week.


    Questions: wherever I end up teaching I don't know that I will have these worksheet passages to test on. I thought about using the text from their guided reading but I don't feel this would be accurate assessment as most children will be reading different texts at different levels. Also if I were to do the guided reading books how would I choose a page to test on because page 3 may easy to read for one student but hard for another. How do you choose a fair page? If any of you do something similar to this what is the most fair way, what is your process and how do you choose the text?

    Thanks!
     
  2.  
  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 19, 2011

    Most textbook companies have this built into it. Our textbook has a passage for each week at three levels (above, on, below). I can use any or all of these with my students. We also use AIMSweb which has passages for each week at 1-8 grade level.

    When I did guided reading, we did just use a page in the book. The trick is that it needs to be a page that they haven't read. What I usually did was take a book on the same level and have the student begin reading from the beginning of the book. Then I would record how many words that they read versus how many correct. This was used in determining if a student was ready to move up levels.

    If you want to use guided reading books as a fluency passage, I would only do this is there are more than 100 words on a page. Otherwise, the turning of the pages will disrupt their fluency score....
     
  4. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    405
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 19, 2011

    This sounds almost exactly like what I do for fluency, except I time the kids on M and F to chart their growth on the passage. The graph I use came from Reading First materials developed by UVA, a program that my school no longer does. However, you could make your own graph any way you want.

    The passages I use come from a book called Fluency Quick Reads. They have science and social stuides passages, and on Mondays the students read them cold, and we do not revisit them in class (it's homework to read over it). The books are leveled; you could actually have each guided reading group reading a different level passage if you want (I do not do this, but my students are reading at grade level this year except for one).

    If you find yourself working at a school that does not have a book for you to use for this, EvanMoor publishes leveled fluency passage books that would be great. They are called Building Fluency.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,946
    Likes Received:
    2,093

    Jan 19, 2011

    Fluency is comprised of more than words read per minute...accuracy, parsing (chunking text into phrases rather than reading one word at a time), and prosody (expression, tone). I've heard many readers who read quickly with no intonation...that is not fluency...it's just fast reading.
    Google 'Timothy Rasinski' for great reading on his fluency research.
     
  6. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    65

    Jan 19, 2011

    I agree with czacza. I have never even heard of assessing fluency based on WPM until I came to this site, and it simply doesn't make any sense to me. I've always just used my professional judgement regarding fluency.
     
  7. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    405
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 19, 2011

    Well I, and I assume others that measure WPM, still require the students to read using the criteria that czacza mentioned. If the students try to speed read, I tell them to slow down and read with expression. I model fluency all the time through read-alouds, so they know what is expected.

    The PALS testing that we take requires a 1, 2, or 3 rating for fluency based on phrasing and expression, etc-- I also rate them on that scale during the timings and make note of it on their individual graphs.

    The main benefit of measuring words per minute, in my eyes, is how great the students feel seeing their own improvement. They really get into it and try to beat themselves. All the while, they are practicing reading and thinking that it is fun. :)
     
  8. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    65

    Jan 19, 2011

    But I still don't get what on earth reading WPM has anything to do with how smoothly you read a text!
     
  9. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    405
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 19, 2011

    Maybe it's just that rate is the easiest component of fluency to measure quantitatively and objectively. Several of my students this year read almost all the words correctly on their PALS test at the beginning of the year, but their results indicated that their WPM rate was too slow to be considered fluent. Also a student with a high WPM can quickly recognize sight words, which is another component of fluency. I am definitely not saying that WPM is the whole of fluency-- just a piece of the puzzle.
     
  10. newbie0809

    newbie0809 Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 20, 2011

    In the classroom I was in the text would be from a story the students had been reading all week from their textbook so they were familiar with it. They would read it everyday that week as shared reading or independently then on Friday do the test. Isn't recording how many words they read, the same as how many correct? If they read "Hey" and the text says "They" do you still count that because they read something even though it was incorrect? If so, I think that would cause them to read blindly through a book and have no comprehension because they're saying half the words wrong. I need a system to know when students are ready to move to the next level. At another school teachers would generally just automatically go up a level within the groups each week assuming the students progressed each week. I would not want them changing pages either but if I used a guided reading book what would I do for the lower level students where their books may only have 10 words on each page??

    Yes I know fluency is more than that. The teacher would have notes on if the student was reading choppy, not paying attention to punctuation, long pauses etc. I would take into account all of those things, I don't want them to just read as fast as they can. I would take notes of those things and work with them on it. I think it'll help me show "Tommy's finishing books but not understanding when he reads or when he reads out loud it's choppy and he sounds like a robot. I don't know maybe I'm wrong.


    I would also do this with sight words because I do think it will help them with recognizing them automatically
     
  11. JasperJones

    JasperJones New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 12, 2011

    Education for my student

    I am a special education teacher for an elementary school in NY. I have witnessed many students struggle with fluency and have had a hard time seeing any improvement with my students. I have tried many different text books and techniques used by colleagues and other teachers in the district; still little improvement. This changed last year when a parent showed me a program her son had used. The program was called SoundReading and since the parent swore it helped, I bought a copy. I tried the software with two students that were greatly behind. The program was very easy to use and the students enjoyed it. I was very surprised at how well it worked. After a month I saw more improvement in these 2 students than I did with any other students. This program not only helped my students with fluency, it also improved reading comprehension and auditory processing. The best part of using this program was the success the students had after completed the 3 month program. I saw a major change in these students; they were no longer scared to read and i was able to see a great improvement in self-confidence. I highly recommend using this software. I use it with all of my students now.
    The company is SoundReading Solutions.
     
  12. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 12, 2011

    newbie---we used a book that they have not read to prevent students from memorizing the story.

    Then we found a percentage of words read correctly versus total words to ensure that the student was reading most of the words correctly. I think that guided reading states the percentages needed to move up levels. Then the student could read the entire book or different pages because you aren't timing the student (just taking a percentage of words read correctly).

    If I want to do a timed reading passage, I would type the words onto one page so that the student wasn't flipping words. For this, I would only record words read correctly and errors.

    I think that assessing to see if a student is ready to move up a level in guided reading is different then assessing a students fluency (or reading rate).
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,946
    Likes Received:
    2,093

    Feb 12, 2011

    Students should be reading decodable texts at their own levels of comprehension. I could be coached all week long on reading a passage in a foreign language, or even a legal or medical text filled with jargon in English, and by the end of the week, I could probably read it quickly. Not sure what that would say about me as a reader though...
     
  14. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Messages:
    968
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 12, 2011

    The push for WPM is because of the push with RTI. We use Aimsweb to assess the child's WPM, so as teachers, that is going to be an area we look at as we assess a child's reading growth (because that's what our admin is going to be looking at).

    I have typed up running records for numerous guided reading books I use in my classroom. I usually use the first 100 words from the text. I have this great calculator that calculates the accuracy, WPM, etc.
     
  15. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,215
    Likes Received:
    1,148

    Feb 12, 2011

    Exactly!

    I'm sorry, can you please explain? How can you use professional judgement to assess fluency?
     
  16. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,060
    Likes Received:
    538

    Feb 13, 2011

    I agree! I have the child read a Running Record passage to me and I assess the fluency by listening to the child read!! A child reading quickly without pauses in a monotone voice is not reading fluently.

    I've never heard of using WPM to assess fluency.
     
  17. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,060
    Likes Received:
    538

    Feb 13, 2011

    Isn't this the truth! I did this more than once in university. Sure I did the assigned reading, but don't ask me about it!
     
  18. **Mrs.A**

    **Mrs.A** Comrade

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 13, 2011

    I was a long term sub at a school that used the SFA reading program and they assessed fluency based on WPM.

    The school I'm teaching at now uses Dibels for K-3, which is also WPM. I teach fourth and I use Dibels for my kids that struggle with fluency, but I also monitor their phrasing, accuracy and prosody.

    In order to practice I have my kids record their reading on Audacity (free software you can download). I have them read a short book or a passage (at their reading level) three times. I tell them to try and make it sound better each time. They get to wear headphones with a mic and they think that is the coolest thing ever!! :D
     
  19. newbie0809

    newbie0809 Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 13, 2011

    I thought I stated this already, maybe I didn't. I know fluency is not just WPM. That's why with the testing the teacher would note that maybe the increased increased how many words they read but there was no inflection, attention to punctuation etc. They wouldn't be considered a "good reader" just because they can read 100 words a minute.
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,599
    Likes Received:
    1,083

    Feb 13, 2011

    To echo **Mrs.A** (and I hope I spelled that right, ma'am...), WCPM (Words Correct Per Minute) is a pretty standard part of many fluency assessments (see http://www.sedl.org/reading/rad/list.html), and it's not bad as an indicator of automaticity as opposed to letter-by-letter decoding. Prosody or intonation brings in the added complication of parsing both punctuation and sentence grammar.
     
  21. H2H

    H2H Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 13, 2011

    We use Houghton Mifflin as our Language Arts curriculum. It includes a collection of stories to last the entire year. If you have something like this, you could just use a page from next week's story as your assessment piece. It will be a cold read and it also is another way to use already adopted (and available) district curriculum. In addition to this, if you use it for homework reading and retest, you are now using the upcoming reading as an assessment piece as well as a front loading lesson.

    If there are not enough words on any of the pages of the upcoming stories, simply take 15 minutes of your time and retype it on a word document. You might want to do this for all the fluency passages so you can add the numbers on the right to track it easily. You could have a student do this for you as practice for keyboarding if you provide additional work for those who are excelling and can take on extra work. It would be great for them for keyboarding practice and also provide you with a quick collection of fluency passages that the district would support since it uses district adopted materials. They paid a lot for those books. We might as well use them as much as possible.

    H2H
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Ms.Holyoke
Total: 255 (members: 1, guests: 231, robots: 23)
test