Reading instruction and assessment
The ability to read is a vital skill in every student's learning journey. Check out the literacy resources below to learn more about reading instruction and assessing progress in oral reading fluency.
1. Phonemic Awareness
Understanding the five pillars of reading
Our infographic sums up what five pillars are and as a bonus, we give you access to free resources outlining teaching techniques that can be applied to help students with reading instruction.
Building a strong foundation for literacy success
In this recorded webinar, originally hosted by edWeb, we explore how technology provides much needed one-on-one support to further develop the five pillars and, in turn, prevent students from losing reading achievement in times of change and in remote learning environments.
Strategies and tools to help your students become better readers
This practical guide will help you you to understand the importance of reading aloud, as well as giving you take-away strategies to help implement plans for students to become better readers and progress their reading fluency.
Reading instructional strategies
Imagine being able to give every single child in your class – regardless of age or ability – the proper reading instruction and one-on-one support they need while they practice their reading. Imagine helping them understand the meaning of unfamiliar words, and giving them a full appreciation of the cadence and content of any reading passage.
The open classroom can be far from an ideal environment for kids to practice their reading skills. Especially for shy, less confident students who may be self-conscious about reading in front of their peers. On top of that, recent world events have meant an increased need to track and assess oral reading progress. Identify gaps, fluency development delays or learning loss that may be caused by reduced access to school
We've invited some of the leading reading experts to help you explore the techniques teachers can apply to help struggling students with instruction - either in-class or online.
Differentiated reading instruction with David Paige, Professor of Education
The essentials of developing fluency with Timothy Rasinski, Professor of Reading Education
How do you assess reading levels?
A popular method used by schools to measure reading achievement or a student reader’s ability is Lexile reading level or a Lexile Measure. A Lexile measure is a valuable tool for teachers, parents, and students. It serves two unique functions: it is the measure of how difficult a text is OR a student’s reading ability level. The Lexile Framework was developed by MetaMetrics©, an educational assessment and research team.
You might be wondering how your student’s Lexile measure compares to their peers. Lexile Grade Level Charts can help you explore the ranges of students’ Lexile measures for each grade.
Assessment is essential for reading because all students are at different levels and abilities.
A large part of being a reading teacher involves assessing your students' reading levels. There are numerous standardized tests in each state that evaluate student reading comprehension. These determine if a student can move onto the next grade or even graduate.
But, these tests mostly occur towards the end of the school year. How does that help you assess your students right now? You need to be able to evaluate your students and determine where they stand. Only then can you design instruction that will optimize learning.
The Zone of Proximal Development
Psychologist Lev Vygotsky first wrote about the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) in the 1920’s. Widely known today as the ZPD, it’s become a foundational principle for performance in any area, from academics to arts, athletics and beyond. If you’re an educator, perhaps you’ve already heard of it in relation to evidence-based reading practices or seen it reported on assessments.
ZPD is when the difficulty of a task is beyond what the student can do by themselves, but within range of what they can do with help. Think of ZPD as the ‘sweet spot’ where learning occurs most effectively.
Since the ZPD is based on a student’s skill level, it’s specific to each individual. Finding, leveling and organizing passages for a class full of unique ZPDs could be challenging for a busy teacher.
The following elements should all form part of an effective reading instruction program.
- An emphasis on oral language, to include vocabulary development
- Phonemic awareness and the teaching of phonics, decoding and word studies
- Learning of a sight vocabulary
- The explicit teaching of comprehension strategies
- Meaningful writing experiences
- The development of fluent reading with opportunities for both guided and independent
- reading, including informal reading activities
- Reading at the appropriate level
- Access to a wide-range of reading materials
For those who struggle to read, there is a risk that the main purpose of being able to read becomes lost. The desired outcome is that children not only can read, but want to read. For this reason, reading needs to be motivating and meaningful.
Metacognition is also an important aspect of the learning experience. The goal of intervention is that the child becomes a constructive learner, learns how to learn and becomes a self-regulated, autonomous learner.
Fluency and reading achievement
The research on reading fluency and reading achievement is just too great to ignore. Studies have found strong associations between reading fluency and overall reading achievement at grades levels ranging from the primary grades to college readers. The research also suggests that a large percentage of students have not achieved satisfactory levels of fluency that are associated with good proficiency.