The “Just in Time” Evidence-Based Reading Instruction (EBRI) Newsletter Series: Part 2Kristine Kelly, Literacy Coordinator
This article is Part 2 in a newsletter series highlighting PD and resources for each of the four components of Evidence-Based Reading Instruction (EBRI): alphabetics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. While Part 1 of the series dealt with alphabetics, this week we’ll dig into fluency, including assessments, teaching techniques, and a variety of resources.
Remember, useful reading resources are always available in the ATLAS Reading Resource Library.
Free Fluency Resources from ATLAS
Fluency is the component of reading that comprises the ability to read with accuracy, rate and prosody (expression). Fluency is a crucial reading skill because the more automatic and fluent a reader is, the more cognitive space that reader has available to focus on creating meaning from text, therefore, creating a strong connection between fluency and comprehension.
Marn Frank, retired ATLAS Literacy & STAR Coordinator, wrote a short article summarizing two recent studies about fluency and adult learners. Fluency assessment and instruction aren’t for lower-level readers only: challenges can impact learners in higher ABE levels like high-intermediate or even low-adult secondary levels as these students struggle to read longer, multi-paragraph passages in assignments and tests.
But how can we assess fluency with our adult learners? Fortunately, there is a fairly easy process to follow to administer a fluency assessment, and leveled passages for use in your assessments are available FREE from ATLAS:
- Sources for Leveled Texts for Fluency Assessment
- BADER Fluency includes graded passages for assessing and determining students’ Instructional Levels. ATLAS has a PDF document for presenting these leveled passages, several paragraphs at a time. Because only MN ABE reading teachers can request this PDF document from ATLAS (the copyright protector), please contact Kristine Kelly for the document..
- Quick and Easy Adult Reading Assessments test oral fluency with grade-leveled passages.
How to Administer a General Fluency Assessment
- Start with a text passage at or one grade level below the student’s TABE or CASAS Reading grade level equivalency (GLE). Here is a handy chart with that information.
- Tell the student to read the passage orally, encouraging them to read the words accurately and at a pace that is not too slow or too fast. Tell the student any words they do not know to keep the oral reading moving along. Not all the paragraphs in a passage need to be read aloud to score fluency (especially for passages at Levels 6-8).
- If the student reads sentences and paragraphs smoothly, with pauses occurring at appropriate places and few word errors or repetitions, score their fluency as 3 (a good, but not perfect, oral reading). Go up to the next passage(s).
- If the student reads sentences and paragraphs unevenly, with some awkward pausing and some word errors or repetitions, score their fluency as 2 (a fair oral reading). This indicates the beginning of reading fluency struggle. Go down to the next passage(s). Stop when the student’s fluency is scored as a 3.
- If the student reads sentences or paragraphs slowly or choppily and with many word errors or repetitions, score their fluency as 1 (a poor oral reading). This indicates an increase in reading fluency struggle. Go down to the next passage. Stop when the student’s fluency is scored as a 3.
The Fluency Instructional Level for Rate & Prosody (the rate a student reads and reading with expression) is the highest grade-leveled passage read and scored as 2.
The Fluency Instructional Level for Accuracy (ability to pronounce written words correctly) is the highest grade-leveled passage read and scored as 1.
Techniques for Teaching Fluency
Once you’ve assessed your learners and determined that they need instruction in accuracy or rate and prosody, or all three elements, there are three fluency techniques that are considered most effective for adult readers.
First, here is an article that describes those three fluency techniques. Next, there are some short videos available on the MN ABE Professional Development with MN ABE teachers demonstrating each of these techniques:
- 1:1 Echo Reading
- Small Group Echo Reading
- Repeated Reading
- Small Group Repeated Reading
- Small Group Collaborative Oral Reading
EBRI Webinar Series
Finally, mark your calendars for the upcoming EBRI Webinar Series with Marn Frank this winter and spring! The series will take place on Fridays from 1:00-2:30pm CST on February 18, March 4, March 25, April 15, April 29, and May 20, 2022. Get more information on the ATLAS Events calendar; registration for each webinar will open soon. You can attend some or all of the webinars!
Stay tuned for Part 3!
Next time, we’ll look at some vocabulary resources and videos. For any questions regarding this newsletter series or EBRI in general, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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