Last week we began our discussion by first reviewing fluency as one of the four reading components, then exploring some resources we can use for fluency instruction. During week two, we will focus on strategies for integrating fluency resources that support evidence-based reading instruction.
Good morning, Jeff, and welcome back to our fluency discussion!
We are going to switch (and shorten!) things up with this week’s post and start with a recap of last week’s shares, followed by questions we’d like people to discuss during this week’s sharing.
If you wish to review this concept overview and notetaking guide for this week's discussion, which includes ideas about strategies for using technology to develop fluency skills, here is a link to that document.
Week 1 Recap
Last week, we had a great discussion around both the importance for developing fluency as well as strategies for incorporating fluency—including MODELING fluency—with learners. Particular strategies that were emphasized were reader’s theater, teacher modeling, and pairing learners with fluent readers.
We Speak NYC Video Lessons | These video lessons are incredibly well-designed for modeling and developing language skills, particularly for ESL students. The videos are engaging episodes that focus on important topics to learners, and characters within each video model language that learners can use in their everyday lives. Each video also includes a script, which provides opportunity for conducting Reader’s Theater with your learners. There also are a number of downloadable activities that provide additional speaking and reading opportunities for learners.
Week 2 Discussion Questions
Our discussion this week focuses on strategies for developing fluency skills. Given there was so much focus around modeling during week 1, the questions for this week ask you to share how you might (or currently do) use the resources we’ve discussed to model fluency. Additionally, we are interested in discussing strategies for evaluating fluency, as well as providing learners with opportunities to practice and self-assess their fluency levels using technology.
Again, you may wish to refer to this resource from CALPRO, which provides guidance for assessing and evaluating fluency levels, as well as strategies for providing ample practice, including guided oral reading, echo reading, read-along, pair reading, and reader’s theater.
- Fluency Strategies | What strategies and techniques do you use for assessing, monitoring, and developing fluency levels of your learners? Please provide links to specific tools, websites, or resources you find particularly helpful.
- Incorporating Free Resources | How would you use one of the resources from last week’s discussion (or something else you may use) to provide opportunities for modeling and practice of fluency skills? If you currently use one of these resources, please describe strategies for how you use it to evaluate skill levels or provide opportunities for skill development.
- Integrating Technology | How do/might you use media (videos, audio recordings) to provide learners with independent modeling of fluency? How do/might you use tech tools such as voice notes, text-to-type resources, or other recording tools to provide learners with practice reading aloud and evaluating their skills?
I look forward to this week's sharing!!!!! :)
Thank you for the recap and for re-posting all the great fluency resources. Currently, to assess fluency I use the Bader Reading and Language Inventory, 7th Edition. While this is not a free resource, it is a very good tool for assessing fluency (and other reading components). It has passages developed for secondary students/adults on GLEs PP – 12. The free resources that I have used the most are Reading Skills for Today’s Adults and newsela.org. I printed these resources at my students’ instructional levels and used them for echo reading and repeated readings. The CALPRO resource you mentioned describes echo reading and other reading strategies for fluency. For those members that are STAR states these resources are available for free on the STAR Toolkit. As a correctional educator, I didn’t have much access to technology. However, I did have the “old-fashioned” books on tapes for my students to help with fluency practice. I also did a read-aloud for the last ten minutes of each class. This was an opportunity for me to model fluency and to “think-aloud” any component strategies.
I wanted to close out the fluency convo and discussion around the new Reading Skills for Today’s Adults with an idea we’ve been pondering at CrowdED Learning...
As discussed over the past two weeks, RSTA has just completed an update (Please note the new URL!!! https://www.readingskills4today.com/). As part of that update, in addition to the stories and the audio recordings designed to support fluency development, each reading also has a supplement that includes activities for vocabulary, grammar and language, speaking, and comprehension in the form of a downloadable Word doc.
Given Southwest Minnesota ABE was incredibly thoughtful in openly licensing the new site as CC-BY-NC-SA, CrowdED Learning is interested in launching a crowdsourcing project to create interactive vocabulary decks for each story using Quizlet and comprehension quizzes using Google Forms. Pulling it all together will be Wakelet, which is a super cool content curation and sharing tool for which we will be holding a webinar on Thursday, October 24 @ Noon Eastern.
Here is a link to what the final product might look like for an individual story.
Here’s the premise:
Volunteers receive training (via live webinar or post-webinar recording) on one (or both) of two tools: Quizlet and Google Forms.
Once completed, volunteers select one of the nearly 350 stories from RSTA’s library. For example, here is one story: 9-1-1 Saves Lives.
Using the supplement, the volunteer creates one (or both) of the following (CrowdED Learning would provide a tracking document for selecting a story/activity):
a Quizlet deck using the vocabulary words and definitions that are provided in the supplement. Here is the sample flashcard set from 9-1-1 Saves Lives….OR…
a Google Forms quiz, using the comprehension quiz that is provided in the supplement. Again, here is the sample quiz from 9-1-1 Saves Lives.
CrowdED Learning pulls the three together (Quizlet deck, RSTA story, Google Forms quiz) onto a Wakelet. Again, here is the sample finished product on Wakelet.
Wakelet is a great sharing tool because you can share and assign “collections” such as the one we created for 9-1-1 Saves Lives with students via Google Classroom, Remind, Facebook, Edmodo, and more.
Is this an idea worth trying? If so, I’d love to hear folks thoughts about 1) how they would use a library of texts that include a story with audio recordings, a vocabulary deck, and a comprehension quiz, and 2) thoughts about how to recruit volunteers to participate in this event.
This project represents an important part of what CrowdED Learning is working to support within adult education—thoughtful curation and development of freely available content that can be easily accessed and implemented by educators.
If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to join our webinar this Thursday, October 24 where we will learn more about the Wakelet tool, see how it’s being used by adult educators, and walk through this idea of using it as a tool to grow a library of readings that provides interactive comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency practice for nearly 350 readings!
Hi Jeff and all, It's wonderful to have all of these instructional tools for one reading in one place and available with a simple click. Teachers can walk learners through the site in class, and learners can also use the materials as they have time at home.
Thanks for sharing this great idea!
Cheers, Susan Finn Miller
Moderator, Teaching & Learning CoP
Jeff - thank you for sharing this information, the example, and the invitation to Thursday's webinar! I have not used the Wakelet tool, so I am very interested to learn more!
How many times have you had the experience where you find a new resource and really like part of it but prefer your current resources in other respects? Usually that means you don't end up using that resource because you don't want to pay for the whole thing and you don't want to have a mountain of different resources to work with. Or, even if you do bring in the new resource, it often means shedding aspects of what you preferred about your prior practice. With quality, free resources that are licensed CC-SA, you just remix them! Fold in the best of the new with the best of the old. If we invest in becoming really fluent with tools like Wakelet to organize and share resources, the whole universe of free resources opens up to us and, more importantly, to our students. Hopefully more programs and systems find that it's worth investing time and money into making, free (CC-BY-NC-SA) resources that can be adapted to Adult Ed needs from rural Maine to L.A. I hope this is the future of adult education!
As you are already aware....I 100% agree this is the future we should be striving for! There are so many great resources out there...both publisher and free....but even the free ones sometimes are cumbersome to find, access, assign, or customize/organize in the ways an instructor may want. There are so many ways that Wakelet helps to address all of these challenges. We are really excited to begin engaging with adult educators to figure out the various ways instructors might want to use these.....for lessons, for resource libraries, for learner collaboration, and more!
I'm wondering how we might coordinate an activity such as the one I described above within LINCS...does anyone have any thoughts?