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tiredgal 12-18-2019 07:19 PM

help to increase decoding/fluency
I am looking for advice on what else to do to increase the decoding/fuency skills of two of my third graders. I currently introduce a sound- like long a spelled ai or ay. We do activities with those words - highlight the ai and ay in words, word sorts, write the words and divide them into sounds, match them to pictures, and read them in sentences. We practice a fluency passage all week. We read aloud daily. But when we assessed this week(Dibel/Acadiance) student A went from 8 cwpm in August to 23cwpm and student B went from 10 to 20. While I am proud of the growth they made I am still concerned. We are half way through third grade and I want them to be readers. What else should we be doing?

Haley23 12-19-2019 08:43 PM

Are you introducing the sounds in a systematic order and constantly reviewing previously learned sounds/patterns? I find that the reason many kids in sped learn so slowly is that they need constant review as to not forget previously learned skills. If I just focus on something new, they learn it, but in the process forget the "old" information :rolleyes:.

Are you also making sure that they truly 100% have the pattern you're teaching before moving on to something else? This is an issue I see with our interventions. We get pressure to move on if a few kids in the group understand, saying we'll "keep reviewing" for the others, but then the "others" never catch up.

I'm not sure I'd keep the same passage all week, as kids with learning disabilities are especially adept at using coping skills such as memorizing to "get through" reading. They may just be memorizing a lot of that passage for the week and not really practicing their fluency. I remember hearing that there isn't much fluency benefit to reading the same passage more than 3x, but I don't have the specific research to back that up. I would also think about what kind of reading you're doing- is a lot of choral stuff? My P wants us to do a ton of stuff chorally. While I get that it increases the number of times they can respond, especially when it's reading they often just end up kind of mumbling along or repeating and not really reading.

I would analyze the DIBELS passages to see what they're missing. The unfortunate part of those is that they're not decodable and kids could be making great growth in their phonics skills, but there are a TON of skills they need to master before the growth is really going to show on a 3rd grade level DIBELS passage. Are they missing words they should know how to decode at this point based on what you've taught? Guessing/making silly mistakes? Mostly accurate but very slow? Missing sight words? That should tell you if you need to switch up the focus of what you're doing.

If you're 100% sure they really have the skills/know the patterns like the back of their hand but they're not using them in reading, I'd do less of the broken down activities (i.e. highlighting, marking words) and spend more time actually reading. I find that a lot of my kids can learn the patterns and even use them in spelling but reading is so much harder because they have to internalize those patterns and use them at lightning fast speed. This year and last year I've really tried to ramp up the amount of reading (vs. "skills" activities) that I'm doing with kids and I see a difference, especially with my 3rd graders last year (I'm only K-2 this year).

Lillybabe 01-04-2020 08:20 AM

Do the third graders have the skills that come before the pattern you're teaching? Most of my students are third graders this year. Only one of them is ready to start learning vowel teams. Most of them are still working on short vowels and consonants. They are getting fluent with cvc words but as soon as I pull in a second consonant many of them flounder which typically means they aren't solid in their sounds or their ability to sound it out. I've been doing an after school program with kids outside of special education who struggle to read. Most of the third graders there are still struggling with similar things.

As far as tracking their growth and helping them become readers... can you get a growth measure that is decodable? Also, don't beat yourself up or over stress on them making a specific amount of growth. The truth of most learning is that it takes a significant amount of time. Most students working at a 1st grade level in 3rd grade aren't going to make more than a year worth of growth in an academic year. I struggle with this too, but they have their whole life to become readers. Eventually things will click, they will have enough of the patterns, and they will start making more rapid growth. What happens too often is people try to move faster and create more problems then they solve. Many of my kids it is obvious that they were pushed along before mastering prerequisite skills and they now have a lot of bad habits and holes in what they know. I think it's much harder to plug all the holes then it is to cover everything from the start.

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