Here’s a secret that we don’t tell our students. Ready? Lean in close… All of the BEST teachers have tools in their toolboxes that make them the best!
So now that you know the secret, don’t tell the kiddos! Let them continue to think you have eyes in the back of your head and all of those other superhuman powers you possess.
But read on to gain a few more powers to support your DiVerSe learners!
Special Education Policies and Laws
A wealth of accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities.
This site is full of information on the different disabilities from 15 different nonprofit organizations. It offers resources and research-based practical strategies!
Special Education Lesson Plan Ideas
This is one of my favorite sites! Resources to help struggling readers build phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. Plus +++ research on all things reading!
Find resources, research AND lesson plans! This site provides educators and students access to the highest quality practices and resources in reading and language arts instruction.
I would be the president of the Teaching Channel fan club if one existed! Launched in 2011, the Teaching Channel site is a multi-platform service delivering professional development videos for teachers, showcasing inspiring teachers, ideas, best practices and instructional resources to enhance our teaching knowledge.
Special Education Interventions and Assessments
The Lite version is a free, simple way to progress monitor student achievement in reading and math.
PBISWorld.com is a comprehensive and easy to use tier 1 through tier 3 PBIS (positive interventions and supports) tool and resource that includes data tracking on almost every behavior that exists in the classroom.
Intervention Central is a leading resource for Response to Intervention (RTI) tools and resources, including academic and behavior interventions for classroom plus progress monitoring tools.
Special Education Student Learning Tools
This webiste is an online resource of reading passages and lesson plans for students of all levels K-12. Texts include pre-made worksheets, quizzes, and other printable materials to enhance the lesson. Students can highlight, annotate, and complete assignments online. ReadWorks is free for teachers to use. Find differentiated texts for your special ed students, and some have a text to speech option!
Newsela is a data base of current events stories tailor-made for classroom use. Indexed by broad theme (e.g. War and Peace, Arts, Science, Health, Law, Money), stories are both student-friendly and can be accessed in different formats by reading level. Use Newsela to differentiate nonfiction reading.
CommonLit is a free collection of fiction and nonfiction for 3rd-12th grade classrooms, organized by lexile levels. Passages have a text to speech option PLUS comprehension checks and discussion questions!
A free website filled with courses, lessons, and practice on a variety of topics from the 1st grade level to the AP level. The site offers short lessons in the form of videos and includes supplementary practice exercises and materials for educators.
Ted Ed andTed Talks
Discover hundreds of animated lessons, create customized lessons, and share your big ideas with other educators. The site is an excellent tool for visual learners Ted Talks also offers many videos on SEL topics for middle and high schoolers!
My students were obsessed with this site! Teachers are able to make their own trivia games (AKA quizzes for students) to play in the classroom. Your students will love to learn and play at the same time. And the best part is that you can download results into a spreadsheet at the end of the game for progress monitoring!
Find engaging math games and more on problem solving, logic, number sense, and the list goes on!
This site specializes in reading, phonics & math, offering educational games, movies, books, songs, and more for children k-3/beginning readers! This is also a great tool for ESL students and families as the stories and be read aloud!
Special Education Teacher Blogs
Miss Rae’s Room
Okay, so this is a shameless plug, but…. check out my blog to improve your teaching knowledge and gain some resources and strategies for your DiVerSe learner population
Mrs. D’s Corner
Check out this blog for life skills ideas for your kiddos and a TON of resources!
Pathway 2 Success
A blog on strategies and ideas for social emotional learning.
Special Education Teacher Professional Development Courses
The Learning Tree Professional Development Network, LLC
An online professional development network created by teachers, for teachers. TLTPDN offers provide high quality, responsive courses for educators!
Do you have a favorite website? Share below so we can empower our teaching community!
By Miss Rae
Dear Miss Rae,
Help! How do I write IEP goals for a student using Wilson Reading?
I see students in a one-to-one and small group setting for reading. I use the Wilson Reading System with all of my students, but I struggle to write IEP goals because I ONLY use this program with them. How do I write IEP goals for a student using Wilson Reading?
Goal-Less Wilson Reading Teacher
Students with specific learning disabilities in reading need specialized instruction.
Wilson Reading, Orton Gillingham, Spire, Project Read, and others are examples of specialized instruction. Such programs work for students with learning disabilities in reading because they provide direct and explicit structured, sequential multisensory teaching of the basic elements of language for improved decoding and encoding!
All levels of language, including sounds (phonemes), symbols (graphemes), meaningful word parts (morphemes), word and phrase meanings (semantics), sentences (syntax), longer passages (discourse), and the social uses of language (pragmatics) are taught in conjunction with each other. This can make it difficult to write a targeted IEP goal.
Here are some IEP goals and objectives to choose from:
Given specialized instruction using a multisensory systematic phonics-based program, XXX will increase his/her reading levels for comprehension, decoding, and fluency to an end of first grade reading level by the end of the IEP period as measured by XXX (i.e. NWEA MAP).
Given a multisensory language based explicit instruction in developmental skills which lead to decoding and word recognition, XXX will increase his/her reading skills for comprehension, decoding, encoding, phonics, word recognition and vocabulary development, to at least one grade level above his/her current instructional text level (XXX) with at least 97% accuracy by the end of the IEP period as measured by XXX (i.e. NWEA MAP).
When given a list of 20 nonsense words XXX will be able to accurately decode multisyllabic words that contain closed, open, vowel teams and vowel-consonant-e (beside, statement, remain) syllable types with 90% accuracy as measured by XXX (i.e. Wilson charting records).
Given direct instruction using a systematic and scientifically based reading instruction program, XXX will demonstrate accurate knowledge of reading skills showing one year's growth as measured by XXX (i.e. NWEA MAP) with 95% accuracy.
Given direct instruction using a systematic and scientifically based reading instruction program, XXX will increase his/her reading levels for comprehension, decoding, encoding, and fluency from his/her current level of being able to use 1 syllable type (closed) to being able to use all 6 syllable types as measured by the end of the IEP period as measured by XXX (i.e. Wilson charting records).
Decoding: Given 15 words in isolation at his/her instructional level, XXX will correctly and independently decode 80 percent of the words accurately.
Decoding: Given 15 non-contextualized CVC, CCVC, CVCC, and/or CVCe words at XXX's instructional level, XXX will correctly decode 80 percent based on teacher notes and charting.
Decoding: Given 15 words in isolation at his/her instructional level including words containing all 6 syllable types and learned prefixes and suffixes, XXX will independently and accurately decode 85 percent of the words.
Fluency: Given text and passages using controlled text at his/her independent reading level, XXX will be able to read 3-4 words together at a rate of 90 wpm based on charts, DIBELS and teacher notes.
Fluency: When given text or reading passage at his/her independent reading level, XXX will use knowledge of decoding skills and word recognition to increase his/her fluency reading orally with appropriate rate, and expression at 90 words per minute with 90% accuracy.
Encoding (Spelling): Given dictation for spelling and grammar, XXX will correctly spell 75 percent of the words at his/her current instructional level based on student samples and teacher record.
Comprehension: Given sentences, paragraphs and reading passages at his/her instructional reading level (controlled-text), XXX will be able to independently use visualization and retell the facts/events with 90 percent accuracy based on teacher notes and benchmark assessments.
Comprehension: XXX will use learned reading strategies of summarizing, questioning, inferencing, making connections and predicting to answer right there and higher order thinking questions from text at his/her instructional level in 4 out of 5 opportunities with up to 2 cues.
Vocabulary: XXX will utilize decoding and context clue strategies to understand unfamiliar words when reading (orally and/or silently) content area texts with decreasing adult assistance in 4 out of 5 observations with 80 percent accuracy.
By: Miss Rae
Check out my other related reading blogs...
Check out my ELA Curriculum on TPT...
Learn more by taking a course with me...
And grab this FREEBIE!
700,000 English-Language Learners are identified with a learning disability, representing 14.7 percent of the total ELL population enrolled in U.S. public elementary and secondary schools in 2015. This needs to be addressed!
How do you know if an English language learner has a learning disability?
I don't know about you, but this is the big question across my state.
FIRST - let's take a moment to have some real talk - ALL English language learners need to be given time - time to learn the language.
Understanding the typical trajectory of second language acquisition is important for so many reasons. An understanding of learning the language is important so that we do not mis-identify our EL population as learning disabled.
But IF an ELL student’s progress is not typical, then, it's our responsibility to test.
We always start with dominance testing to establish a student’s dominant language for evaluations. Dominance testing establishes a student's level of proficiency in both languages (native and English).
This is because we should ALWAYS test in a student's dominant language.
Unlike their native English speaking peers, English Language students have to process the language of tests. They are also expected to comprehend cultural expectations embedded within standardized assessments.
What does this mean for educators?
Well, it means that for ELs, every evaluation, not given in their dominant language, becomes a test, to some degree, of language proficiency, rather than an evaluation of intellectual capacity and/or academic ability.
Hence why we test in a student’s dominant language.
If an EL student tested in their native language (because this was determined to be his/her dominant language) has a learning disability as indicated by the discrepancy model of standardized score comparisons, then, the student has a learning disability.
A learning disability in the native language is a learning disability.
But what happens when a student’s dominant language is English? How do we know this is a learning disability and not just the typical path of a second language learner?
Well, we use our knowledge of the typical trajectory of second language acquisition during the evaluatory stage too!
By using a simple retelling (or comprehension conversation after reading), an educator can compare this outcome (results of the comprehension conversation) with a student's expected second language acquisition trajectory. If these two match, then, this is typically indicative that the student is where he or she should be in terms of literacy.
On the other hand, if these two do not correspond, a learning disability should be considered.
The WIDA Consortium is an educational consortium, of which 37 U.S. states participate in it. WIDA has created several screening assessments used by school systems to determine students’ English language skills and for placement of students within schools’ ELL programs.
One such assessment is called the ACCESS test. This assessment is employed annually to evaluate a student’s progress with learning English as a second language. Students receive composite scores in Oral Language, Literacy, Comprehension, and an Overall score along with four domain scores in Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.
These scores determine placement and drive instruction for the next school year.
Here is how students may be placed based upon ACCESS scores:
WIDA Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3, (ACCESS 2.0 Overall Scores 1.0-2.4) - At least two to three periods (a period is not less than 45 minutes) per day of direct ESL instruction delivered by a licensed ESL teacher
WIDA Level 3, Level 4, Level 5 & Level 6 (ACCESS 2.0 Overall Scores 2.5 and higher) - At least one period (a period is not less than 45 minutes) per day of direct ESL instruction delivered by a licensed ESL teacher
Most research suggests that oral proficiency takes 3 to 5 years to develop, and academic English proficiency can take 4 to 7 years. Therefore, many of our students receive ELL services while they are in school aged. So they need time, and we need to understand the trajectory of learning a second language.
This trajectory along with ACCESS scores help us to determine if there is a learning disability. Ofcourse all students would benefit from additional time with a teacher, we should not mislabel or over-identify our students. This is why we use these resources.
Developing a first language is automatic. Typically, children do not require explicit instruction to develop a first language. This is also true for bilingual or multilingual children who learn more than one language from birth.
On the other hand, explicit teaching of a second language is required if a student is sequential bilingual, which is the definition for a student becoming bilingual by first learning one language and then another. In essence, this is considered to be a process called language learning.
Unfortunately, explicit teaching of grammatical rules does not necessarily mean that a second language learner, or sequential bilingual student, will be able to speak and write with ease. Time, practice and real social experiences are needed to support the language learning process.
However, listening and speaking should be simultaneous, relatively speaking, when learning a second language. This is because students are listening to the words, learning new vocabulary, and should be practicing it by speaking it.
In this ﬁrst stage of second language acquisition, the silent or receptive phase, second language learners dedicate time to learning vocabulary of the new language. They may also practice saying new terms.
A second language learner does not produce their new language with functional ﬂuency or comprehension (so they are not necessarily "silent" despite the name), but they are attempting speech of their new language.
Early production is the second phase, and this is where students begin to build a vocabulary. Students may begin to use some terms and/or short phrases of early word combinations in their speech. This process continues through the acquisition trajectory and eventually, includes writing as well.
Therefore, two scores -speaking and listening- should be relatively consistent on the ACCESS test. (Keep in mind, we are not talking about academic language. We are talking about social language. Academic language skills develop later.)
However, if there is a large discrepancy between listening and speaking, there is a possibility that the child may have an expressive or receptive problem. The norm is that listening is higher that speaking - otherwise we can suspect a receptive language issues if speaking is higher than listening. If there is a language disorder in the first language, there will be a language disorder in the second language.
There are of course exceptions to the rule, but essentially, high listening, low speaking with a very large discrepancy is cause for concern.
We all have strengths and weaknesses within our profile. There is a typical trajectory for learning English as a second language, but there are also other factors… home life, organizational issues, attentional obstacles… these factors impact typical trajectory. But they do not indicate a learning disability.
Research has suggested that the following questions should be used to determine if an ELL student’s academic struggles are the result of a learning disability or second language learning:
* Is the student receiving sufficient instruction to enable him/her to make effective academic progress?
*How does the student’s progress in listening, speaking, reading, and writing English
as a second language compare to the expected rate of progress for his or her age
and initial level of English proficiency? (Think! expected/typical second language learning trajectory)
* To what extent are behaviors that might otherwise indicate a learning disability
considered to be normal for the child’s cultural background or to be part of the
process of U.S. acculturation?
* How might additional factors—including socioeconomic status, previous educa-
tion experience, fluency in his or her first language, attitude toward school, atti-
tude toward learning English, and personality attributes—impact the student’s academic progress?
My advice - take all factors into consideration and assess, using culturally responsive assessments that assist in fully determining a student’s needs, when determining an English Language student’s eligibility for Special Education.
Our students’ futures are our responsibility.
By Miss Rae
Reference: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2018). The Condition of Education 2018 (2018-144), English Language Learners in Public Schools.
Executive Functioning (EF) skills are a bigger indicator of school readiness and predictor of academic success than IQ.
EF skills are an umbrella term for the cognitive processes of planning, working memory, attention, problem solving, mental flexibility, verbal reasoning, mental flexibility, and emotional self regulation. These skills impact time management, organization, initiation of tasks, multi-tasking and planning ability, and making connections between past experiences and current actions.
Essentially, they help students set a stage for and engage in learning!
EF skills are required for learning!
What are the signs that EF skills are impacting a student?
-forgetting multi-steps for solving problems
-forgetting multi-step directions
-daydreaming in class
-being easily distracted
-trouble starting tasks independently
-difficulties with organization
-losing things frequently
-time management difficulties
-being unable to finish assignments on time
-struggling with transitions
-forgetting names, directions, homework assignments
So what can we do for our students who need a little EF support? Well, we can start with some classroom accommodations!
Executive Functioning Accommodations:
*Visuals! (i.e. picture schedules)
*Alert to transitions
*Step-by-step instructions in simple language supported with visuals
*Color code steps in directions
*Timers! (i.e. iPads, sand timers, laptops)
*Cue student prior to being called upon
*Provide an outline of notes for lectures
*Use a highlighted strip of paper for reading
*Sign-off on student agenda daily
*Provide checklists for completion of tasks, including editing checklists
*Preferential seating (i.e. away from distractions, near good models, close proximity to a teacher)
And for your students who have EF disorders, we can support them with IEP goals!
Here are some sample Executive Functioning IEP goals and objectives:
Given direct instruction, XXX will develop the ability to attend to individual tasks and will improve his/her executive functioning skills through the use of learned strategies for attention and organization in 3 out of 5 observable opportunities by the end of the IEP period.
1. Given support and visual cues, XXX will create a system for organizing personal items in his/her locker/desk/notebook/homework agenda in 3 out of 5 observable opportunities.
2. Given direct instruction and visual supports, XXX will be able to independently and successfully navigate a structured routine within the general education classroom in 3 out of 5 observable opportunities.
3. After explicit and direct instruction, XXX will develop a self regulatory plan for carrying out multi-step tasks (i.e. completing homework, writing an essay, doing a project) and given practice, visual cues and fading adult supports, will apply the plan independently to new situations in 3 out of 5 observable opportunities.
4. Given direct instruction and visual supports, XXX will attend to independent, small group, and whole class instruction and activities with no more than 2 verbal prompts in 3 out of 5 observable opportunities.
Given direct instruction through a cognitive enhancement program, XXX will independently apply learned strategies to improve executive functioning skills in 3 out of 5 observable opportunities by the end of the IEP period.
1. Given support and visual cues, XXX will select and create a system for organizing assignments and school work in 3 out of 5 observable opportunities.
2. Given support and fading adult support, XXX will use a checklist and/or visual schedule to independently complete tasks in 3 out of 5 observable opportunities.
3. Given a task or activity, XXX will indicate and gather what items are needed to complete the task in 3 out of 5 observable opportunities.
4. Given a task or activity, XXX will create a plan to complete the task in 3 out of 5 observable opportunities.
Given direct instruction, XXX will develop the ability to attend to individual tasks and will improve his/her executive functioning skills through the use of learned strategies for attention and organization in 3 out of 5 observable opportunities by the end of the IEP period.
1. XXX will arrive at class with required materials for daily assignments (i.e. paper, pen, pencil, notebook, textbook, chromebook) in 3 out of 5 observable opportunities.
2. XXX will arrive to class on time in 3 out of 5 observable opportunities.
3. XXX will identify and follow rules in lunchroom, bathroom, halls, and/or bus in 3 out of 5 observable opportunities.
4. XXX will identify and follow rules as specified in each class in 3 out of 5 observable opportunities.
Given direct instruction and fading adult support, XXX will remain on task and work independently on classroom tasks in 3 out of 5 observable opportunities by the end of the IEP period.
1. Given direct instruction and fading adult support, XXX will independently begin an assigned task from a prearranged schedule with fading adult support in 3 out of 5 observable opportunities.
2. Given fading adult support, a divider or cubby for distractions, and/or preferential seating, XXX will ignore distractions in environment by continuing to focus on own work in 3 out of 5 observable opportunities.
3. Given fading adult support, a divider or cubby for distractions, and/or preferential seating, XXX will work steadily on task for length of time required by the teacher when given an assignment or activity in 3 out of 5 observable opportunities.
4. Given direct instruction and fading adult support, XXX will attempt to independently resolve problems with an assignment before asking for help in 3 out of 5 observable opportunities.
So what does this service look like on a student's IEP? Well, that depends. And it mainly depends on the student. Ask yourself,"What does the student need?"
Does the student struggle with initiating tasks? Perhaps that means that a student needs 5 minutes at the start of each lesson for instruction on initiating the task. That might mean gathering and organizing materials. It may also include breaking down the task into manageable steps.
Does the student struggle with attending to tasks? Maybe this student needs direct training on using checklists or strategies for focus. This may mean a 5 to 10 minute small group on attending strategies with some additional support in the classroom on how to implement those attending strategies.
Each student is different. Determine the need and develop a plan to bolster that need into a strength!
By Miss Rae
There’s at least one student each year who reverses his/her b’s and d’s or just writes uppercase B’s and D’s (well, because that was an easier strategy to learn).
Should teachers be concerned?
Are reversals a sign of dyslexia?
Reversing letters is common until around age 7.
Here are some tricks to reverse reversals…
1. Have students fist pump themselves with their palms facing towards them. Stick their thumbs up and you have a b/d (this is a great indiscreet trick for older students too)
2. Draw a bed with the letters b and d - bd - draw a stick finger person laying down whose head lays down on the b
3. Draw a bat and ball to create a b and a drum with a drum stick for a d
4. Make an uppercase B and then, erase it's top b
5. Practice visual tracking with activities like the one in the image
Practice, practice, practice! But if there is no progress after all of that practice, then, a teacher should be concerned.
If dyslexia is the reason for the letter reversals, teachers may also note that students struggle with letter and number sequencing.
And a word of caution... there is no evidence to suggest letter reversals are more common among dyslexic children, compared to same-aged peers learning how to read and write; however, it is more so that most children grow out of letter reversals, whereas students with dyslexia may be slower to. AND don't forget to rule out a visual processing disorder.
By Miss Rae
The most important component of special education - next to the students - is the data!
Data is a special educator's lifeline.
We employ data for eligibility determinations. We use it to monitor progress toward a student's IEP goals. We use it to set goals for students, determine extended year programming, report at meetings, and qualify our statements in meetings and on special education documents. We need the data to justify the TEAM's decision about a student's plan.
We know the importance of data.
The hard part is tracking it!
Here's how I do it?
I review at my students’ IEP goals and objectives. During this process, I pair each objective with an assessment. For example, if a student has a sight word reading goal using the Fry Word List, I pull out the Fry Word List.
When I’m finished pairing assessments, I set a schedule for each probe. I typically begin the year with a full battery of assessments to obtain a baseline for a student’s goals and objectives. Some objectives are then tested weekly. For example, I will complete a weekly running record on a student’s reading. Other objectives I may assess monthly. This may be a student’s writing objective regarding a narrative piece of writing. As a result, I will plan to have a completed narrative writing piece once per month. I put this schedule into my Google Calendar and check this step off of my To Do List!
You can also grab some of my favorite FREE progress monitoring assessments HERE!
I organize my students’ goals and objectives along with the assessments I have chosen for each on tracking forms. All forms contain a student’s name, goal(s), and objectives. The forms, then, vary by the assessment schedule. For example, some goals and/or objectives may need a spot for weekly tracking while others may need a monthly.
When a student is assessed, I record the score (AKA the data) directly onto the form along with the date. This keeps my data all on one form that I can pull out on the spot when it is needed.
So, if a parent states “Ben says he completes all of his work, but you lose it,” you can pull out your trusty form with evidence that Ben has completed 30 percent of his assignments in the last month.
Or when it’s time to write Special Education progress reports, you don’t have to dread it. The data is at your fingertips.
The tool I use for this is my IEP Data Collection Progress Monitoring Forms and Cards for this.
You can grab my IEP Data Collection Progress Monitoring Forms and Cards from Miss Rae’s Room Teachers Pay Teachers Store HERE!
If you need to track behavioral data, check out my BEHAVIOR Data Tracking Forms & Points Sheets!
I break out the three-hole punch and get wild! I keep all of my tracking forms in a binder (because I grew up in the 80s, okay?!).
When my caseload is on the small side, it makes my life easier to organize my binder sections by student. In this way, when I need my data for a particular student, I can quickly find it, and I don’t have to flip from section to section when I am writing reports.
However, as caseloads sometimes grow over the years, it has become more efficient to have the sections organized by assessments. So when my Google Calendar alerts me that I need to test math fact fluency, I can quickly flip to the section containing the sight word assessments and tracking forms for that probe.
I also keep reference sheets in my binder for easy access. For example, I always keep my DIBELS benchmarks with me at all times!
From IEP writing to teaching to presenting at IEP meetings to many, many more important tasks, Special Educators must be skilled at varying and many areas of expertise; however, one aspect can be the most difficult to manage: PROGRESS MONITORING
The data is one of the single most paramount competencies of the field of Special Education; thus, data collection is one of the most critical skills a Special Education teacher can possess.
Without evidence, we just have beliefs, and beliefs do not hold up in court (remember IEPs are legal documents).
Data collection, on the other hand, can be annoying and cumbersome. Who wants to interrupt teaching to assess? And donât we assess these poor kids enough?
As a result, then, assessment should be seamlessly integrated into teaching (and/or daily routines); but how do you do this when your âsmall groupsâ have varying IEP goals and objectives?
However, even if I have 10 students with 3 working on comprehension, 3 working on phonics, 2 working on vocabulary, and 2 working on fluency, they are at least all working on the subject area of reading.
So no problem!
There are five facets of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, and word study, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.
The first step, then, is to identify one assessment tool that can evaluate ALL students in ALL areas of reading.
The solution to all of these issues is employing what I call Reading Rubrics!
The research has proven that running records are subjective - click HERE to check out my blog about 5 Reasons to NOT use Fountas and Pinnell's running records as our benchmark systems. So I do not recommend basing a referral for Special Education services, basing future IEP goals, or even saying a student has met a goal based on a running record! BUT - running records give us great information! And we can use all of this information to help us guide our instruction. By using a running record to determine how a student is applying taught skills, we can strengthen our instruction for enhanced student progress!
âYou can check them out HERE!
Comprehension is the understanding and interpretation of what is read. To be able to accurately understand written material, students need to be able to...
(1) decode what they read
(2) make connections between what they read and what they already know; and
(3) think deeply about what they have read.
We can look at each of these areas with one tool - the running record.
Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, and Word Study (Decoding)
Reading Rubrics expand on the tool of a running record.
As students are reading aloud, collect data on the section they read.
Write down the studentâs errors AND mark the section the student read. But, first, record the text level of the passage being read aloud.
This will not interrupt the flow of the lesson or the teaching AND it can be done for each student in the reading group without pause.
Later, convert the number of words a student read correctly into a percentage for word reading accuracy. For example, if you wrote down 10 words that were read incorrectly and 30 words were read in total, subtract the total number of words read incorrectly (errors) from the number of running words in the text. So, 30 - 10 = 20. Then, divide the answer (words read correctly) by the total number of running words or words read. So, 20 divided by 30 equals 67 percent.
Word accuracy can help determine a studentâs reading level:
Easy Text: 96-100% accuracy
Instructional Text: 90-95% accuracy
Hard Text: below 90% accuracy
Running records, not only provide educators with word reading accuracy, they are also a tool for identifying error patterns. Therefore, take time to analyze the errors a student made when reading words. For example, did a student read the words with /ed/ endings incorrectly?
Analyze a studentâs reading thoughts on what sources s/he is utilizing for word reading accuracy.
Is the reader using meaning cues, structural cues, or visual cues?
While a student is reading, use a timer to gain a fluency score for a student. How many words does the student read accurately in one minute?
The Hasbrouck-Tindal oral reading fluency chart is a good tool for grade level fluency standards. The chart correlates oral reading fluency rates of students in grades 1 through 8, as determined by data collected by Jan Hasbrouck and Gerald Tindal to grade level expectations.
Vocabulary and Comprehension (Connections and Understanding)
When a student has finished reading a text aloud, quickly assess his/her oral reading comprehension.
Tell me about what you read. What was the setting? Who are the characters? What does this word mean in the text? What is the problem? Why was this a problem for the character? Did the characters try to solve the problem? How?
When we assess a student's reading comprehension, the information we need to collect should describe how well the student does with particular types of texts. Our information should look at a student's understanding of text in terms of discourse types, length, topic familiarity, and difficulty. This is more conclusive data than trying to figure out which comprehension skills the individual question responses may reveal.
Note the level of prompting that the teacher provided.
Record the students level of comprehension on both literal and inferential questions.
The answers will enable the teacher to subjectively assess a studentâs general understanding of the text.
Here's a quick video on how I use RUNNING RECORDS with my students!
While all of this data will not provide enough for evaluation purposes, Reading Rubrics will act as instructional tools AND data collection tools for progress reporting toward IEP goals!
Happy & Healthy Teaching!
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