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Action Research

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Taylor Biedermann
December 5, 2014
Action Research Paper

Action Research
Initial Meeting with Teacher:
The teacher had already selected students to be a part of my group. Miss Burton
wanted us to focus on student interest and see how it impacted their reading. She
suggested we create a small project at the end of working on action research so they
could share with the class what they had been learning about.
Student T:
This student was chosen to be apart of this action research group because she was
a higher end student in the most advanced reading group who Miss Burton felt needed to
be challenged. While she is sometimes easily distracted it typically stems from not having
enough to do. Miss Burton felt that she would enjoy working in a small group and
flourish in a direct instruction type environment.
Student L:
This student was also chosen because she was a more advanced student when it
comes to reading and Miss Burton decided it would be good for her to be challenged and
grow as a student with extra support. Miss Burton felt that she would also enjoy a change
of pace and different reading environment.

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The Question:
After identifying the students for my action research group and realized while I
was going to be working with higher end students, they were still in kindergarten and
beginner readers. Therefore I decided my question to focus on during the course of the
action research would be: What are the best practices to increase fluency in young
readers? This question was chosen so I could support my action research group and help
them continue to grow into more developed readers by increasing their fluency skills.
Fluency is a critical part of reading that supports other reading components that come
later on such as comprehension. After developing a question, my goal for the students
was to improve their accuracy, expression, phrasing, smoothness, and pace so that they
are able to read to the best of their ability.

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Meeting
▪ Meeting with Miss Burton
o She provided me with students to work with
o Disscussed students strengths
▪ What are the best practices to increase fluency in young readers?
Session 1
▪ Initial Assessments: Student Interest Inventory
▪ Gather baseline data- One minute reading sample (WCPM)
Session 2
▪ Choral Reading
▪ Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom By: Bill Martin Jr.
Session 3
▪ Midpoint Assessment
▪ One minute reading sample (WCPM)
Session 4
▪ Multidimensional Fluency Scale
Session 5



Partner Reading
Grub to Ladybug By: Melvin and Gilda Berger
Ladybugs By: Melvin and Gilda Berger
KWL chart
Session 6




Repeated Reading
Grub to Ladybug By: Melvin and Gilda Berger
Ladybugs By: Melvin and Gilda Berger
KWL chart
Session 6

▪ Final Assessment
▪ One minute reading sample (WCPM)
▪ Created Ladybug poster- to share with class what they have been learning about

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Initial Assessment Reflection:
Date Administered: October 9, 2014
Student T:
Based on the Student Interest Inventory, Student T thoroughly enjoys school.
Student T felt very confident and had a positive attitude about most subjects in school.
This inventory displayed her excitement about learning, especially reading. I could tell
from this first assessment this project was going to be a great learning experience for
Student T because of her willingness to learn. Along with the interest inventory Student T
scored a 23 WCPM on the first one minute reading sample assessment. This is how many
words she read accurately in a minute based on a reading sample. From this data I will be
able to measure fluency growth over the course of this project. During this assessment I
noticed that Student T has some difficulty with decoding words and smoothness as she
reads. These are two components of fluency I can focus on in the coming lessons.
Student T has so much potential to become an awesome reader with developed fluency
skills based on her attitude towards school.
Student L:
Similar to Student T, Student L is also eager about learning and is quite fond of
school. Throughout assessing this inventory it was very evident how much Student L
enjoys reading. Based on this inventory, it is clear that Student L would be enthusiastic
about reading and grow into a more fluent reader. Along with the interest inventory
Student L scored a 29 WCPM on the first assessment. This is how many words she read
accurately in a minute based on a one minute reading sample. From this data I will be

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able to measure fluency growth over the course of this project. During this assessment I
noticed that Student L struggled with reading at a consistent pace and was a little quiet as
she read. I think the more she learns about fluency the more confident of a reader she will
be coming resulting in a louder reading voice. Student L is a positive student who is
going to flourish into a more fluent reader over the course of the action research project.

Date/ Time
Spent

Strategy

10/9/14

-observe and Both student Student
gage where L and
Interest
students are student T
Inventory
were very
-get to know eager to
students
learn! They
were
engaged and
excited
about the
opportunity
to work in a
small group
together. We
had great
converstatio
n about their
thoughts and
feelings
towards
reading and
school.

20 mins

Anecdotal
Assessment
Observation

Plan for
Next
Session

Reflect/
Respond

-begin
choosing
books
focused on
student
interest

During this
meeting I
truly
realized the
passion and
zeal for
school that
both of the
students in
my group
had. Based
on the
information
gathered
from the
interest
inventory I
was able to
conclude
that both of
them really
do enjoy
school and
reading in
general.

Action Research
10/20/14
10 min

Baseline
Assessment

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Student L
and T came
into my
session with
smiles on
their faces
already
anticipating
the
Halloween
holiday a
week in
advance.
They both
appeared to
be having a
good
morning.

At the
beginning of
this session I
took a one
minute
reading
sample of
each student.
Both
students did
well and it
provided me
with
baseline data
of where
they stood.

-come up
with
example and
nonexamples for
the
multidimens
ional fluency
scale
-prepare for
lesson
-find more
books
-record data

This
assessment
gave me
information
on both
Student L
and Student
T’s accuracy
and rate.
Student L
had 29
WCPM and
Student T
had 23
WCPM/

I gathered
important
data at this
meeting.
Both Student
L and
Student T
were having
good days
and I think
they
preformed
well. I feel
that the
assessment
is a good
representatio
n of where
they are at as
far as
accuracy and
rate go.

Action Research
10/22/14
25 mins

Choral
Reading

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Student L
was having a
great day,
once again
she was
excited
about being
pulled out of
class to do
other work.
Student T
was a little
distracted
this
morning,
seemed to be
a little tired.

We read the -prepare for
familiar
mid point
book Chicka assessment
Chicka
Boom Boom
by: Bill
Martin Jr.
and did a
read aloud
together. The
students read
aloud a
certain
section after
they saw it
modeled.
They did a
great job
with this, it
was a great
way to focus
on
expression. I
showed the
students how
we look for
clues like
punctuation
to help us
know how to
express our
voices.

Both
students did
a great job
with the read
aloud. They
read with
almost one
hundred
percent
accuracy and
practiced
their
expressive
fluency
skills. The
students
really enjoy
working
outside of
the
classroom
and
spending
extra time on
reading.

Action Research
10/23/14
20 min

Multidimens
ional
Fluency
Scale/
Midpoint
Assessment

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Student T
was very
talkative
today and
had trouble
focusing on
the reading
and
understandin
g the
different
components
of the
multidimensi
onal fluency
scale.
Student L
was also a
little
confused on
the dynamics
of the scale.

Ultimately
going
through the
Multidimens
ional
Fluency
scale was an
assessment
of itself. I
was able to
observe both
students
response to
guided
instruction
based on
modeling.
Student T
scored 12/20
and Student
L scored
14/20.
What I liked
most about
this
assessment
was how it
encompasses
all aspects of
fluency
other than
just rate and
accuracy.

-further
research
partner
reading
-choose
books for
lesson

While the
students
both showed
a little
confusion
about the
terminology
on the
fluency
scale, they
seemed to be
receptive
and
responsive
to the
modeling.
Overall they
were able to
figure out
what fluent
reading
should
sound like
based on
modeling.

Action Research
10/24/14

Partner
Reading

25 min
KWL chart

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Student L
was a little
tired this
morning, did
not seem
like herself.
Student L
came around
when
learning
about what
we were
going to be
doing today.
Student T
and Student
L were
looking
forward to
reading lady
bug books
together
since it was
their topic of
choice!

One thing I
noticed
during this
session was
how the
students
would point
out things
such as
punctuation
and help
each other
with words
along the
way. It was
evident that
they were
putting the
fluency
skills they
had been
learning to
practice
while
reading
books
together and
taking turns
reading the
pages.

-continue
working on
KWL chart

This
appeared to
be the
strategy that
the action
research
students
enjoyed the
most. It may
have been
because they
were friends
from class,
but these
two loved
reading
together and
taking turns
practicing
their fluency
skills. The
students
were
somewhat
familiar with
this skill
because it is
a part of
their daily
five centers
that they do
in class.

Action Research
11/6/14
20 min

Repeated
Reading

Even after
all this time
Student L
-KWL Chart and Student
T still enjoy
being pulled
out to work
on
improving
their fluency
skills. It is
clear that
these two
want to
become the
best readers
they can be.
It is quite an
inspiration!

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While hearing
the students
continue to
read the same
books it was
clear the
progress they
were making.
They had
made vast
improvements
from the first
time they had
read the same
books the
previous
weeks.
Both students
were making
changes to the
way they read
especially
when it came
to expression.
Student L was
very aware of
punctuation
and what she
should do
with her voice
because of
that. Student
T was more
consistent in
her pace once
understoodng
who the text
should sound.

-find final
assessments
-write down
strategies to
review with
students
prior to
assessment

Considering
the girls
interest in
learning
about
ladybugs
they
continued to
be eager to
read books
about
ladybugs
even though
they were
the same.
The students
enjoyed
making note
of what they
had been
learning
about in
their very
own KWL
charts.

Action Research
11/18/14
15 min

Final
Assessment

Both Student
L and
Student T
Created
were having
Ladybug
a great day.
poster
We were all
sad our
-one minute meetings
reading
were coming
sample…or to and end,
was that
but excited
your final
about
assessment? making our
final project!

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Based on the n/a
final
assessment
data both
Student L
and Student
T increased
their
WCPM.
Student L
went from
29 to 31
WCPM and
Student T
went from
23 to 28
WCPM.
Also the
poster they
made about
ladybugs
showed
information
they learned
over the
course of the
project about
ladybugs
and fluency.

Strategies Used:
• Multidimensional fluency scale
• Partner Reading
• Explicit Modeling
• Choral Reading
• Repeated Reading
• Examples and Non Example (Fluency Rubric)
Lessons/ Assessment Used:
• Multidimensional fluency scale
• Student Interest Inventory
• One Minute Reading Sample

I am
extremely
proud of the
progress
these two
students
made over
the course of
our action
research
project.
They were
also proud of
themselves
and that was
evident
during their
presentation
of their
project they
got to share
with the rest
of their class
about what
they had
learned.

Action Research
• KWL Chart
• Fluency Lesson (Chicka Chicka Boom Boom)

(Reutzel, R., & Cooter Jr., R., 2011)

Necessary Instruction Changes:

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1. While the One Minute Reading Sample is a great assessment for assessing rate and
accuracy, it does miss a few components of fluency. After realizing this, I noticed that I
needed to look at other aspects of fluency. I choose the Multidimensional Fluency Scale
in order to do this and allowed for this to be tool that drove my instruction. It provided
more details of where Student L and Student T stood as readers. Based on the results of
this assessment, I was able to determine I needed to put more of a focus on both
expression and volume because both students had lower scores in that portion of the
assessment.
2. When analyzing all aspects of the Multidimensional Fluency Scale it also came to my
attention that both students could also work on phrasing. The best way I could assist their
phrasing skills was through modeling. I realized that showing them how proper phrasing
is read aloud was much simpler than trying to explain it to them. In order to do this, I
modeled for them examples of proper phrasing and also provided non examples so that
they could understand the difference. As they continue to grow as readers, it will be
important for them to understand this concept.
3. When first looking at the Student Interest Inventories, it was extremely evident that
both students enjoyed school and the more time I spent with them I could tell that they
were both very social and active. After realizing this I made sure to incorporate activities
they could work on cooperatively and made sure to mix things up. I realized that because
of their young age they didn’t always have the longest attention spans and if we spent too
much time on one thing they would get easily distracted or bored. Keeping them on task
and engaged was very important in order to maximize the short amount of time I had to

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work with them. I made sure that we moved around and changed the environments where
we learned in order to keep things fresh and new.

Initial

Final

Word Count Per Minute
(WCPM)

One Minute Assessment
31
23.25
15.5
7.75
0
Student T

Final Assessment Reflection:
Date Administered: November 18, 2014

Student L

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Following six sessions of working on furthering the fluency skills of my action
research group both Student T and Student L showed growth in their WCPM. This date is
proof of growth in both accuracy and rate for both students. Although they both showed
growth in those two categories the other fluency skills included in the Multidimensional
Fluency Scale improved as well.
Student T:
I was impressed by the progress made by Student T. Not only did her WCPM
increase from 23 to 28, but her other fluency skills such as expression and smoothness
improved as well. Based on the criteria in the Multidimensional Fluency Scale if was
evident that Student T became a more fluent reader. Student T had a more consistent
volume than prior and it was clear that dilemmas with her smoothness generally came
from unfamiliar words, which is understandable because she is still a young reader.
Student L:
Student L also showed significant progress. There was an increase in her WCPM
from 29 to 31 and her expression became more natural and consistent. Initially Student L
was quieter when she would read and she would really have to focus on de-coding each
word. This time around she was more confident and clear in her reading. There was
definitely growth in her expression and volume, therefore her fluency skills grew
according to the Multidimensional Fluency Scale.

Action Research 

Student Progress Monitoring Chart:

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Action Research
Date

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Today I feel

Additional Notes

Data Analysis & Additional Reflections:
Student L and Student T were such a joy to work with and I could not be more
proud of the progress they made over the course of our sessions. Initially, I was a little
concerned about working with higher end students and potentially not seeing growth.
This project definitely proved me wrong. I learned a lot about fluency and effective
strategies to teach it. After implementing best practices, it was evident that the students
grew based on assessments. Both Student L and Student T rose in their WCPM score and
they made progress on the Multidimensional Fluency Scale. While they both initially
struggled with expression, volume, and smoothness all of that improved over time as they

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continued to gain more reading experience. The WCPM score shows evidence in the
students increase in both accuracy and rate which are two other key components of
fluency.
Based on my research and observations it was clear the continual practice as well
as experience and exposure to reading is key to increasing fluency. It is critical that
teachers model fluency for students because it is a large part of many best practice
instructional strategies. The more students are able to hear fluent reading the better they
are going to become at reading fluently.
I found it fascinating that student interest drove desire to read. In the beginning
my teacher made a suggestion to focus on book topics the students were interested in.
While we did practice wide reading which including reading a variety of books, we
focused in on reading books about ladybugs because Student L and Student T were
interested in them. Their interest furthered their high interest in reading and made
learning about fluency engaging. At the end of the action research, each student created a
poster about what they learned about ladybugs and fluency.
If I were to do this project again, one thing I would incorporate would be
storytelling or other activities that would allow students to exercise creativity. Since I was
working with more advanced students for their grade, I think it would have been a great
opportunity to give them time to use their imagination considering we had the time for it.
According to my research and experiences with my action research group, I was
able to reach a conclusion to my original question: What are the best practices to increase
fluency in young readers? Through this process I realized that partner reading, choral

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reading, and repeated readings were all best practice strategies that when implemented
resulted in growth in WCPM in both of the students in my action research group.
Although these are not the only strategies that work, I was able to find success when
working with them. I look forward to future research endeavors and teaching experiences
where I have the opportunity to work with even more best practice strategies.

Action Research Literature Review

Fluency and Young Readers
Action Research Literature Review
Taylor Biedermann
Samford University

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Action Research Literature Review

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Abstract

Fluency is an important skill in reading especially when it comes to
comprehension. Instructional guidelines for teaching fluency include creating many
opportunities for students to read across a variety of of texts. This can be done through
variety of reading methods such as independent reading, choral reading, and partner
reading. Not only is reading the text important, but when students also hear texts read
aloud by fluent readers this is influential in the development of their fluency. Modeling
and rereading are important in grasping fluency. Reading opportunities are critical in
developing fluency in young readers.

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Accuracy, rate, and expression are the three components that make up fluency.
Based on research there is a significant correlation between fluency and comprehension.
Fluency instruction includes many evidence based practices (Hudson, R., Lane, H., &
Pullen, P. 2005).
There are many factors that should be considered in order to effectively teach
fluency. First of all, teachers should model fluency to their class, but also provide
examples and non-examples of what a fluent reader should sound like. Students will be
able to better understand the idea of what fluency is, if they are able to hear what it
should sound like versus what it should not sound like. The textbook reiterates this as
well as other resources we have looked at. Practice is key and classroom teachers should
provide ample opportunities for reading in the classroom and emphasize the importance
of reading at home. Some of the other different instructional strategies to effectively
teach fluency are: whole class lessons, choral reading, wide reading, repeated reading,
buddy reading, and silent reading. Technology is another important component that can
be incorporated when teaching fluency (Reutzel, R., & Cooter Jr., R., 2011).
Modeling is critical in teaching fluency. This is the main way a student is able to
understand what fluency is. Once fluency is modeled for students they should reread the
text roughly three to four more times. After that students are typically able to read a text
or passage fluently. Rereading not only familiarizes the reader with the text, but it allows
them to master the way it should be read with proper rate and expression (2002, pg 2-3).
Choral reading is another strategy that can be implemented in the classroom to
enhance fluency skills. During choral reading the students and teacher are reading the

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same text aloud together. Books that are pattern oriented and have predictable phrasing
are great for read alouds because students are able to catch on fairly quickly. Choral
reading allows students to model fluent reading behavior based on how the teacher is
reading with expression (2002, pg 2-3).
Partner reading is also an instructional strategy that encourages fluency. There are
different ways to go about partner reading. In many cases less fluent readers and paired
with more fluent readers to work together and the fluent reader is able to model fluency.
While that is a successful method partner reading can also consist of two readers who are
on an equal level (2002, pg 2-3).
When discussing fluency strategies with my cooperating teacher she suggested
choosing books that the students are interested in. The students tend to be more excited
and enthusiastic about reading when the books are about topics they find interesting.
While it is important for students to read across genres, this could be a good strategy to
motivate students who are not that motivated about reading.
Overall there are many evidence based practices that deal with fluency instruction.
This provides a variety of opportunities and experiences for students to practice fluency.
The more opportunities for encountering reading these students have the more fluent they
will become. Oral reading, direct instruction, access to materials at independent reading
levels, opportunities for practice with more advanced texts, and development in speaking
with expression are all important components of fluency (Hudson, R., Lane, H., & Pullen,
P 2005).

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References

Fluency: Instructional Guidelines and Student Activities. (2002, January). Retrieved
November 16, 2014, from http://www.readingrockets.org/article/fluencyinstructional-guidelines-and-student-activities

What Works in Fluency Instruction. (2000, April 1). Retrieved November 16, 2014, from
http://www.readingrockets.org/article/what-works-fluency-instruction

Reutzel, R., & Cooter Jr., R. (2011). Fluency. In Teaching Children to Read (6th ed.).
Pearson.

Hudson, R., Lane, H., & Pullen, P. (2005). Reading fluency assessment and instruction:
What, why, and how? The Reading Teacher, 58(8), 702-714. Retrieved November
1, 2014, from http://www.fcrr.org/publications/publicationspdffiles/
hudson_lane_pullen_readingfluency_2005.pdf