The focus of my research project is the use of the iTalk app to increase elementary student’s reading fluency. The themes in my research were the importance of reading fluency, the connection of fluency and comprehension and the importance of teaching and assessing fluency.
Many of the articles I read while researching my topic discussed the importance of teaching reading fluency. According to Oakley (2003), it is important to teach reading fluency because many students don’t just “pick it up”. Fluency is a skill that needs to be taught. Students need to learn that being fluent doesn’t mean speed reading, rather that there is a natural flow and expression to reading text. As stated by Rasinski (2004), “Reading fluency refers to the reader’s ability to develop control over surface-level text processing so that he or she can focus on understanding the deeper levels of meaning embedded in the text” (p.46).
Another theme in my research was the connection between reading fluency and comprehension. Rasinski writes, “I recently worked with a group of colleagues from Kent State University to examine the fluency of high school students in an urban setting. We found that variations in the reading fluency of these students accounted for approximately 30 percent of the variance in their performance on Ohio’s High School Graduation Test” (p. 51). Fluency is an issue that goes well beyond elementary school years.
These themes will help reinforce the importance of the teaching strategies in my research. One strategy often used to teach fluency is repeated readings, students using iTalk to read a passage is one way to use this strategy in class. Another strategy to teach fluency is teaching self-monitoring. Allowing students to listen to their reading recordings on iTalk will allow them to self-monitor their reading. In the YouTube video, Oral Reading Fluency Self Assessment, students use iTalk to record themselves and listen to their reading. The teacher in the video has the students record their reading and use a rubric to rate themselves while listening to their recording. The following day students listen to a partner’s recording and they use the rubric to score their partner’s reading. The students are given time to discuss what they think they need to work on and why and what they did well and why.
Goodwin, W. (2011, March 30). Oral reading fluency self assessment. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOxUqBn8zx4
Oakley, G. (2003). Improving oral reading fluency (and comprehension) through the creation of talking books. Reading Online, 6(7), n7. Retrieved from http://www.readingonline.org/articles/Oakley/
Rasinski, T. (2004). Creating fluent readers. Educational Leadership, 61(6), 46-51. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar04/vol61/num06/Creating-Fluent-Readers.aspx