Friday, June 29, 2007

Developing Reading Fluency through an iPod Language Lab

Reading Fluency
  • What is reading fluency? Fluent reading is comprised of three elements:
    • Accuracy - the ability to recognize or decode words correctly.
    • Rate - the speed with which a reader moves through text
    • Prosody - intonation, syllable prominence, and anything else that contributes to expressive reading of text
  • Why is reading fluency important?
    • Lack of reading fluency often leads to comprehension problems
    • Dysfluency leads to frustration and lack of enjoyment with reading
  • Why iPods?
    • iPods can be used to record and play back fluent reading models
    • Every kid in the world either has one or wants one and what better way to motivate a struggling reader than to use an iPod

The iPod Language Lab
  • The language lab will consist of:
      • 3 - 5 iPods with accompanying Griffin iTalk Voice Recorders
      • Leveled readers and worksheets to use in practice sessions
    • A small group of students will be chosen to come to the lab 2 - 3 times a week to work through fluency assessment and practice - This will be a pilot project with future plans to increase number of students
    • The lab will be run by teachers on a volunteer basis outside of school hours or as part of reading instruction during school hours (TBD)
    • Assessment - students undergo assessment of reading fluency indicators
      • Accuracy - Teachers listen to oral reading and count number of errors per 100 words. Can be recorded on an iPod for later listening by teacher
      • Rate - Teachers conduct timed readings
        • Student reads for 60 seconds - count number of words read correctly and record on a graph - this is the baseline
        • Teacher and student set goal for next reading and record it on the graph
        • Teacher conducts instructional strategies (see below)
        • Student repeats timed reading of passage and recording on graph
        • Student is timed at least twice per week
        • Students eventually record themselves and conduct the process
      • Prosody - observe student during oral reading to assess prosody

      Instructional Strategies (using iPods)
      • Students record their own reading and then listen on iPod
        • Benefit - Allows independent judgement of accuracy, rate, and prosody
      • Students listen to fluent readers read passages on iPod. Typically this will be the audiobook version of a novel we are reading in class.
        • Benefit - Students are provided with a model of accuracy, rate, prosody
      • Read-Along Centers combine supported oral reading and independent repeated readings
        • Teachers conduct Read Naturally method
          • Student reads for one minute to teacher
          • Student practices reading same passage while listening to recorded fluent model on iPod
          • Student then continues independent practice (2-3 readings) without recording
          • Student then reads to teacher
      • Assisted reading methods help improve prosody--phrasing and intonation (with or without iPods)
        • Echo reading - teacher (or recording) reads a phrase and student repeats, focusing on prosody
        • Unison reading - student reads together with teacher (or recording)
        • Cloze reading - teacher reads the text and stops occasionally for the student to read the next word in the text
      • Check out iPods
        • Students can listen to audiobooks from sixth grade reading list at home. This supplements reading in class.
        • Teachers can listen to students reading any time/any place
      • Security
        Each iPod is engraved with Property of Wyoming Middle School label (see below)
        iPods do not leave classroom during the day - remain locked in a closet
        Students must sign iPod out before leaving school with one
        Students sign an agreement stating that they are responsible for iPod away from school


ms-teacher said...

This sounds like a very cool idea. Are you implementing this program in the upcoming school year? If so, I would be interested in hearing how it turns out for you!

misterteacher said...

No, I put this together a couple years ago as a proposal for some PSA money. I never submitted it.

Another teacher and I wrote a grant this year for another iPod project. In this project students would create video podcasts using photos they had downloaded from the Internet. The podcasts would help them learn important science vocabulary.

We'll find out this fall if we got it.

ms-teacher said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and getting back to me regarding my question :)

Have you tried donors choose for this program? It might be another avenue for you to pursue. Keep us posted - it would be a shame for this project not to be implemented!

Anonymous said...

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Greet's, J.A.,
Stgo., Cl.

Russia McCall said...

msteacher, i really enjoyed this blog it shows your intelligence and it is very helpful to me and my peers

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Angus Mcjockeyfart said...

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Anonymous said...

This is a great idea! I'm hoping to incorporate something similar to this into my 4th grade reading program for this school year. What type of iPods did you purchase for student use? I've been doing some research and while the iPod shuffles are less expensive the iPod nano has more space. Any thoughts?

Jeff PIzzino, APR said...

What do you think of this recently completed 4-year research study that compared an integrated language arts reading program vs. mainstream reading programs?

Here's the story: