#SEACCR Week 6: Collecting Data

My research discussed several strategies to teach and reinforce reading fluency skills. The strategy my project will focus on is repeated readings. According to Oakley (2003), repeated readings are one of the best methods to use to teach and reinforce reading fluency skills. In repeated readings students read the same passage until they can read it fluently. During my project students will use the app iTalk to record themselves, at least twice a week, reading a grade level passage. After students read the passage they will listen to their recording, so they can hear how fluent they read. I have determined that I will need to be present in the classroom to assist students and observe students using iTalk during reading time to practice their reading fluency. My research also discussed using timed readings to assess student’s fluency levels. As stated by Rasinski (2004), “An easy method for determining reading rate, and thus automaticity. Involves having students orally read a grade-level passage for 60 seconds and then calculating the number of words read correctly (p.47).”

While collecting data for my research project my plan is to pre-assess student’s reading fluency levels using AIMSweb. Each student will read three passages for 60 seconds and the best of the three scores will be there base line score. Along with pre-assessment I will use observations of students using iTalk during reading time. Lastly, I will use AIMSweb to post-assess students to determine whether or not using iTalk during reading helped increase student’s reading fluency scores.

After reading resources posted by Dr. Lee and Dr. Jones on collecting data, I am wondering whether I should also interview the students. My thought is I could ask students whether or not they felt using iTalk helped them improve their reading fluency.


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


6 thoughts on “#SEACCR Week 6: Collecting Data

  1. Whenever I teach, whatever ages, including adults, I always try to end with some self-reflection. Everyone knows to expect me to ask them to name 2 great things that happened and 2 things that need work. The youngest kids may just be telling me which letter they think they did the best job on. Either way, self-assessment and reflection can really play into your questions on fluency. If you get them used to you asking, so they’re not feeling on the spot, you can start asking them specific questions about iTalk. I think your student survey idea is great!

    If you post your framework and research question your PLN can comment before Sunday night 🙂

  2. I agree that student input would be valuable in your study. Student opinions can be very insightful. Of course they can also be a little weird but that can also be helpful. Lindsey made a good point of getting them used to providing self-reflection feedback. Simply asking if they like using iTalk will get the dialogue going. From there, you can take the conversation in a variety of directions.

    • I want to ask them if they felt that using iTalk helped their fluency get better. I am curious to see how students feel. I have used iTalk in my classroom and for some students the “funness” of using the device wears off. I am wondering if the students may have insight into why this is.

  3. While I know that I’ve heard positive things about self-recording to improve fluency, I have to wonder: how will you know if their fluency is improving any more than it normally would (without iTalk)?
    We also use AIMSweb to monitor fluency, and I notice significant improvement in my students’ fluency when I look at their scores over the course of a year–without the use of a recording app. I see that you plan to compare results for students that use the app to students that don’t–how will you know if the results tell the while story (I see varying degrees of improvement in my own students, and the variable that stands out to me is the amount that students read at home–how can you account for that?). Really, comparing student results between student a and student b is the old “comparing apples to oranges.” But then you could also compare student a with student a and student b with student b, but if that is the case, would you compare to a student’s improvement arc from the previous year? What about the regular classroom activities? For example, I do tons of guided reading in my class, and usually my students’ previous teacher will not have done nearly as much, making a year-to-year comparison difficult. If you are trying to figure out whether or not recording improves fluency, you will need to find a way to compare scores to how they would improve without the app, but comparing different students makes for so many variables–will each student population contain the same percentage of sped students, or the same percentage of tier II students? Ahh! So many variables! It might take longer, but I think it might work to monitor progress app-free over an extended period (six weeks or so), then try the app over the same period and see how the rate of improvement compares.
    Your study leans more heavily on the quantitative side if things, and while I think asking the students’ input is a great idea, the way they feel about the app does not answer your research question (unless you want to change it to something like “how do students feel about using a recording app to improve reading fluency?”). Their input might be useful in the results, but only if you have data to back it up. Having students say that they felt great about it won’t mean much if the app didn’t actually help, and vice versa.
    Let me end by saying that I’m completely cheerful at the moment (not grumpy), and not attempting to ruin your day or anything like that–I just want to make sure that you have all of your variables covered. Insert appropriate smiley here. 🙂

    • I’m not even sure how to respond, wow, I guess…help?! I totally see all the variables and those were the issues tripping me up at the beginning of this process. However, I guess I don’t see the difference between all my variables and all the variables others may have to deal with. For example, student engagement, how does one distinguish between the technology versus the person giving the information versus the enjoyment of the topic? I did think of taking the same students, student A versus student A and looking at the rate of increase with and without technology. Should I change my question to “Does using iTalk in the classroom for repeated reading practice help increase student’s reading fluency scores?” Then I can look at the rate of increase before using iTalk and after and if the rate increase more after, then iTalk had to of “helped”, but may not have been the only factor. At this point it’s too late to change my topic, but if you want to give me any suggestions on how to collect my data that would be great.

  4. I think the kids will love recording their own voices. It sounds to be fun and and experience they won’t forget. When I was in the classroom I used to do a program called Six-Minute Solutions. (http://www.voyagersopris.com/curriculum/subject/literacy/six-minute-solution)
    here is the actual version for secondary education: (http://www.wou.edu/~brownbr/Classes/The_Six_Minute_Solution/3_Six%20Minute%20Solution_SecndLvl/1_Six%20Minute%20Solution_SecndLvl_ppi-152.pdf)
    It is a wonderful program that just takes 6 minutes out of your day. You are just reading one passage a week, working on fluency. The kids learn to chart their fluency, and graph that information. It is such a help and they are very proud of their progress, it’s also wonderful to share with parents.

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