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ReadingFluencyvs.ReadingComprehension
MindyRudiger
SaintMarysUniversityofMinnesota
SchoolsofGraduateandProfessionalPrograms
PortfolioEntryforWisconsinTeacherStandard1&2
EDUW691ProfessionalSkillsDevelopment
CarolineHickethier,Instructor
February28,2015

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SelectedWisconsinTeacherStandardDescriptors
WisconsinTeacherStandard(WTS)1:Teachersknowthesubjectstheyareteaching.
Theteacherunderstandsthecentralconcepts,toolsofinquiry,andstructuresofthe
disciplinessheorheteachesandcancreatelearningexperiencesthatmaketheseaspectsof
subjectmattermeaningfulforpupils.
Knowledge
.Theteacherunderstandsmajorconcepts,assumptions,debates,processesof
inquiry,andwaysofknowingthatarecentraltothediscipline(s)s/heteaches.
Dispositions
.Theteacheriscommittedtocontinuouslearningandengagesin
professionaldiscourseaboutsubjectmatterknowledgeandchildren'slearningofthediscipline.
Performances
.Theteachereffectivelyusesmultiplerepresentationsandexplanationsof
disciplinaryconceptsthatcapturekeyideasandlinksthemtostudents'priorunderstandings.

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WisconsinTeacherStandard(WTS)2:Teachersknowhowchildrengrow.
Theteacherunderstandshowchildrenwithbroadrangesofabilitylearnandprovides
instructionthatsupportstheirintellectual,social,andpersonaldevelopment.
Knowledge
.Theteacherisawareofexpecteddevelopmentalprogressionsandrangesof
individualvariationwithineachdomain(physical,social,emotional,moral,andcognitive),can
identifylevelsofreadinessinlearning,andunderstandshowdevelopmentinanyonedomain
mayaffectperformanceinothers.
Dispositions
.Theteacherappreciatesindividualvariationwithineachareaof
development,showsrespectforthediversetalentsofalllearners,andiscommittedtohelpthem
developselfconfidenceandcompetence.
Performances
.Theteacherassessesindividualandgroupperformanceinordertodesign
instructionthatmeetslearnerscurrentneedsineachdomain(cognitive,social,emotional,
moral,andphysical)andthatleadstothenextlevelofdevelopment.

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DanielsonDomains
Domain1:PlanningandPreparation
Component1a:DemonstratingKnowledgeofContentandPedagogy
Component1c:SelectingInstructionalGoals
Component1f:AssessingStudentLearning
Domain3:Instruction
Component3d:ProvidingFeedbacktoStudents
Component3e:DemonstratingFlexibilityandResponsiveness

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Preassessments
SelfassessmentofInstructionRelatedtoWTSandTargetedStudentLearningObjective(s)
ForWisconsinTeachingStandards(WTS)1and2,Iwanttofocusontheeffectof
readingfluencyonreadingcomprehension.Throughmyfiveyearsofteaching,Ihavegrown
eachyearintheareaofEnglishLanguageArts(ELA),andhavecometobetterunderstandthe
importanceoffluencyandcomprehensionwithinreading.Manyfluencypracticesystemsallow
studentstogrowattheirownindividualrate,andseetheirprogressionastheypractice.One
fluencypracticeprogram,ReadingAZ,usesatexttoshowthestudentandteachergrowththru
eachweekofpractice,astheyworkthrulevelsoftextdifficulty.
MycoworkersandIhaveoftenwonderediffluencypracticeorcomprehensionpractice
ismoreinfluentialinincreasingstudentsoverallreadingskills.Withthiscuriosity,Ichooseto
usetheReadingAZprogramonadailybasiswithmyfifthgradesmallgroupintervention
students.ReadingAZisafluencyfocusedprogramthatprovidesashortpassageforeach
studentattheirreadinglevel(ArtifactA).Studentsusethesamepassageforoneweek,reading
asmanywordsastheycaninoneminute.Anyerrorsthatoccurarerecorded,andtakeninto
considerationasstudentsdailygraph(ArtifactB)theirnumberofwordsreadperminute.This
groupincludeseightstudentswhostrugglewithreadingfluency.Thesestudentsalsostruggle

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withreadingcomprehension.Aswemeetdailyfor24minutes,wewillworkextensivelyon
readingfluencywiththegoalbeinganincreaseintheirreadingfluencyandcomprehension.
WithregardtotheWTS1and2,Ihighlightedthreedescriptorsthatarekeytomy
classroom.TheknowledgedescriptorstatingthatIunderstandthemajorconcepts,assumptions,
debates,processesofinquiry,andwaysofknowingthatarecentraltothediscipline(s)s/he
teachesshowsthatIunderstandtheconceptofreadingfluencyandhowitrelatestotheoverall
subjectofreading.AlsoIunderstandthatdailypracticeonthesametextwillincreasereading
fluencyduetocontinuedpracticeandrepetition.
Thedispositiondescriptor,theteacheriscommittedtocontinuouslearningandengages
inprofessionaldiscourseaboutsubjectmatterknowledgeandchildren'slearningofthe
discipline,trulydescribesmyELAteamoffifthgradeteachers.Twootherteachersandmyself
teachthefifthgradereadingandwritingatSt.CroixCentral.Asateam,multipletimesaday,we
arediscussing,analyzing,anddebriefingabouteverythingeducation.Duetoourcontinued
desiretoseechildrenlearn,wearetryingthissixweekinterventiongroupsolelyfocusedon
fluency,inhopesofseeingoverallreadinggrowth.
Theperformancedescriptortheteachereffectivelyusesmultiplerepresentationsand
explanationsofdisciplinaryconceptsthatcapturekeyideasandlinksthemtostudents'prior
understandingsdescribestheReadingAZfluencypractice,alongwiththeotherfluency

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practicesoccurringinthesmallgroupintervention.Oneminutefluencychecksallowstudentsto
practice,andthenvisuallyseetheirprogresseachweekastheygraphtheirresults.Studentsalso
learnhandsonastheyusepunctuationcardstoshowtheirunderstandingofpunctuations
relationshiptofluency.
AssessmentofStudentPerformanceRelatedtoTargetedStudentLearningObjective(s)
Infifthgradeourreadingclassrunsdailyfor50minutes.TheeightstudentsIve
identifiedinmyreadingfluencyinterventionconsistentlystruggleintheirregularreadingclass.
Thesestudentsstrugglewithweeklyreadingcomprehensionandvocabularyassessments,daily
practice,MeasuresofAcademicProgress(MAP)standardizedassessment,andAimsWeb
weeklycomprehension.Ontopofthat,teacherobservationshowsthattheseeightstudentswould
benefitfromasmallgroupinterventionfocusedonfluency.AccordingtoAimsWebterminology
andresultsontheiroralfluencyassessment,threestudentsareclassifiedasbelowaverage,
rangingbetweenthe10thto25thpercentile.Thefiveotherstudentsinmygroupareclassifiedas
wellbelowaverage,identifiedlowerthanthe10thpercentile.
AssessmentofLearningEnvironmentWhileLearningTargetedObjective(s)

Thetimespentinmysmallgroupinterventionisalessstructuredlearningenvironment,
incomparisontotheregularreadingclass.Myhopesofthistypeofsettingistoprovidethe
studentswithaplacetopracticeandimprovetheirfluency,knowingthatourpurposeisto

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improve,andthatitisokaytomakemistakes.Asaclassourseatingarrangementsoftenchange
withinthe24minutes,andfromdaytoday.Somedayswesitintypicaldesks.Otherdayswesit
aroundthekidneytableasasmallgroup.Almostdailystudentsworkaroundtheroominaspot
thatiscomfortableforthemwithapartnerorindividuallyastheypracticetheirfluency.
AssessmentConclusionandEssentialQuestiontoGuideResearch

Theselfassessment,assessmentofstudentperformance,andlearningenvironment
assessmentshowedthattheELAteamandIneededtomakesomechanges.Duetostrugglesin
theregulareducationsetting,andalackofgrowthseeninareadingcomprehensiontiertwo
intervention,ourteamdecidedtohavethesestudentstryatiertwofluencygrouptoseethe
effectsoncomprehension.Mygoalistoprovidethesestudentswiththestrategiesneededto
increasetheirreadingfluency,whichwillinturnincreasetheirreadingcomprehension.My
essentialquestiontoprovokemystudentsthinkingcomesfromtheideasinWTS1&2:What
strategiescanbeusedtoconsistentlyincreasereadingfluencysothatreadingcomprehensioncan
beimproved?
ResearchSummary
Strugglingreadersareaveryrealissueinclassrooms.Readerswhoreadonewordata
time,orreaderswhoskippunctuationmarksalltogether.Teachershavealsoexperiencedreaders
whoreadapassagequitefluently,butwhenaskedwhatwasreadhavenoresponse,lacking

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comprehension.Theseareveryrealissuesthatteachersface.Knowingtheimportanceoffluency
andcomprehensionpractice,thebigquestionis:howdoesreadingfluencyandcomprehension
intertwinesothatstudentscanworktowardsbeingamasterreader?
AccordingtotheblogtitledMs.JordanReads,fluencyistheabilitytoreadsmoothly
andautomatically,withexpressionandattentiontopunctuation!(Riley,2012,para.6).Ms.
Jordancontinuesbyexplainingfluencyisonepieceofthereadingpuzzle.Shestatedthat
decoding,comprehensionandfluencyneedtoworktogethertocreatesuccessfulreaders.Ifa
readerstruggleswithoneofthethreeareas,theotherareasmayalsobeaffectedsinceallthree
arecloselytiedtogether(Riley,2012).
ResearchbyAtes,Yilfirim,Can,andTurkyilmazin2012inKirsehirProvince,Turkey
proposedaconnectionbetweenreadingcomprehensionandreadingfluency.Thisresearch
occurredwith399fifthgraders,aged11or12.SubjectswithintheTurkishresearchwere
identifiedasmiddlesocioeconomic.Theresearchprovedthatsilentreadingfluencywasa
significantpredictorofreadingcomprehension(Atesetal.,2012,p.4).Additionalresearch
discussedavarietyofwaystopracticereadingfluency.
Hasbrouck(2009)assertedthatrepeatedreading(para.2)isanessentialelementfor
increasingastudentsabilitytoreadfluently.Repeatedreadingisdescribedintwoways:the
opportunityforstudentstoreadthesametextmultipletimesandthechancetopracticereading

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outloudgivenfeedbacktotheirreading(Hasbrouck,2009).ReadingAZisoneresearchbased
programofferingpracticereadingpassagesforstudentsrepeatedpractice.AccordingtoReading
AZ,theresourceconsistsofmultipletoolstoprovideresearchbased,highqualityinstruction
andprogressmonitoringtostrugglingstudents(ReadingAZ,n.d.,para.2).UsingtheReading
AZfluencypassages,studentshavethechancetopracticeapassagerepeatedly,andaregiven
feedbackandguidancefromapartnerastheypractice,whichHasbrouckhasstatedbenefits
readingfluency.
ChoralreadingisanotherbeneficialfluencyskillstatedbyHasbrouck(2009).Thistype
ofreadingpracticeconsistsofteachersandstudentsreadingaloudtogether,wheretheteacher
providesamodeltostrugglingreaders.Thismodelshowslowreadersapositiveexampleof
wellpaced,expressive(para.3)reading.Finally,partnerreading,readerstheater,andpoetry
passagesfurnishbelowaveragereaderswithfluencypracticethatmotivatesthemtoconsistently
improve(Hasbrouck,2009).Sinceresearchshowsaconnectionbetweenreadingfluencyand
readingcomprehension,usingthesefluencypracticestrategieswithidentifiedreaderswillresult
inoverallreadingsuccess!
ResearchImplications
Myresearchfocusesonhowreadingfluencyandreadingcomprehensionareconnected.
Theessentialquestiontoguidemyresearchwas:Whatstrategiescanbeusedtoconsistently

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increasereadingfluencysothatreadingcomprehensioncanbeimproved?AsIcontinuetowork
dailyonreadingfluencywithmysmallgroupinterventionstudents,researchisclearthat
increasesinfluencywillaffectreadingcomprehension.
TheresearchaboveguidesmetouseReadingAZfluencypassageswithmystruggling
readerssothattheirfluencypracticecanbenoticedintheirreadingcomprehensionabilities.As
wellasfluencypassages,Iwillutilizechoralreading,partnerreading,readerstheater,and
poetrypassagesasavarietyoftechniquestopracticefluency.Researchhasalsoprovidedme
withaninsightthatreadingfluencyandreadingcomprehensioncannotbetaughtinisolation
insteadtheyneedtobetaughthandinhandduetotheirtightcorrelation.Theendresultof
continuousfluencypracticeistheemergenceofaconfidentreader,fromonewhohasstruggled,
toonewhoreadssmoothlyandinturneasilycomprehendsandunderstandswhathasbeenread.
ResearchbasedActionPlan
ActionPlanSummaryOutline
1. EachweektheteacherwillprovidestudentswithanindividualizedReadingAZpassage
(ArtifactA)attheirreadinglevel,basedondatagatheredfromthepriorweek.Daily,
studentswillworkwithapartnertoreadasmanywordsaspossibleinoneminute,
recordingtheirprogressonabargraph(ArtifactB).

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2. TheteacherwillsupplementtheirReadingAZpracticewithotherfluencyactivitieslike
choralreading,partnerreading,readerstheater,andpoetrypassagestoprovidestudents
withavarietyofpracticeopportunities.
3. Weekly,studentscomprehensionwillbeassessedusingAimsWebmazeprobes,sothat
theteachercanmonitoreachstudentsfluencyandcomprehensionprogressinrelation
withoneanother(ArtifactC).
TargetedStudentLearningObjective(s)
1. ThestandardizedreadinggoalforallfifthgradestudentsonthespringMAPtestisa
RaschUnit(RIT)scoreof212.Studentsshouldbeabletousetheirreadingfluencyskills,
inconnectionwiththeirreadingcomprehensionskillstosuccessfullymeettheir
standardizedgoalonthespringMAPassessment.
2. Thetargetedlearningobjectiveoffifthgradestudents,pertheirstandardsbasedreport
cards,expectreaderstofluentlyreadfifthgradetext110159wordsperminutetoearna
scoreatgradelevel.Toexceedgradelevelexpectations,studentsobjectiveistoread160
wordsormoreinaminute.
Note:Thesetwoobjectivesgohandinhandsincetheresearchfocusesonhowreading
fluencyincreasesreadingcomprehension.
Task(s)andEssentialProficiencyCriteriaforTargetedLearningObjective(s)

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1. StudentswilldemonstratemasteryofReadingAZfluencypracticeby
consistentlyreadingmorethan130wordsperminutetoadvanceinlevelsof
difficultyfromweektoweek.Withinthesixweekintervention,studentswill
advancelevelsatleastthreetimes.
2. CriteriathatProveProficiencyinMeetingTargetedLearningObjective(s)
a. Studentsshowreadingfluencygrowthindailypracticebyincreasingthe
numberofwordsperminutefromonetothenext.Thiswillbeeasily
visualizedintheirgraphforthestudenttosee.
b. Asstudentspracticeapassagethroughouttheweek,theywilllimittheir
errorsduetotheirfamiliaritywiththewords.
Method(s)toAssessProgressofProficiencyforTargetedLearningObjective(s)
1. StudentswillbeassessedbasedontheirReadingAZgraph,whichiscoloredin
dailytoshowstudentprogressfromdaytoday.
2. Studentswillbeassessedonteacherobservationsduringotherreadingfluency
activities.
Postassessments
InstructionalInsightsRelatedtoWTSandTargetedStudentLearningObjective(s)

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Smallgroupfluencyinterventionhasbeenalearningprocessforme.AsanELAteamwe
wereatthepointofnotknowingwhatelsetodotohelpourstrugglingreaders.Especiallysince
theyhadalreadybeeninmultiplesixweekcomprehensioninterventiongroupsthisyear,and
werecontinuingtoproducelowscoringassessments.Wehadtotryanewplan.Wearenow
halfwaythroughoursixweekinterventiongroup,andtheresultsofReadingAZfluencyworkis
thoughtprovoking.
ComparisonofStudentPerformanceRelatedtoTargetedStudentLearningObjective(s)
ThestudentlearningobjectiveofearningaspringreadingMAPscoreof212oraboveis
notmeasurableatthistimeduetoourtestwindownotyetbeingopen.Asfortheobjectiveof
reading110159wordsperminute,thisispracticeddailywithReadingAZ.Eventhough,the
textstheyarereadingareoftennotata5thgradereadinglevel,thisdailyprogresspushesthem
towardsthattargetedobjective.Oftheeightstudentswithinmysmallgroup,fiveareconsistently
meetingthegradelevelexpectationofover110wordsperminutewhilereadingtheirpersonally
leveledtext.
Toseetheinfluenceofreadingfluencyuponreadingcomprehension,Iveanalyzed
weeklyAimsWebmazecomprehensionscores(ArtifactC).Oftheeightstudentsreceivingdaily
fluencypractice,fivestudentscomprehensionscoreshaveincreasedtwothirdsoftheweeks.

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Threestudentshavenotexperiencedanincreaseintheircomprehensionscoressincebeginning
theirfluencysmallgroupintervention.
ComparisonofLearningEnvironmentWhileLearningTargetedObjective(s)
Overallthelearningenvironmentwithmyfluencygrouphasbeenmotivating.Students
areoftenexcitedabouttheirprogressandproudtosharewithotherstheirincreaseinfluency.
Alongwiththemotivatedfeeling,comesafeelingofcompetitiveness.Iveobservedstudentsget
upsetwiththeirpartner,andtrytofindfaultsintheirreadingtohinderscores.Ifeelthishas
happenedduetothecompetitivenature.Iwouldprefertofosteranenvironmentofcelebration
andhappinessforothers.
Ihaveoccasionallyexperiencedanenvironmentofdisappointmentasstudentsare
discouragedinnotimprovingtheirfluencyscores.Thisisinterestingtoseebecausesome
studentsshowtheirfrustrations,whileothersshakeoffthesituationandactasthoughtheycould
carelessaboutthelackofimprovement.Theenvironmentofafluencybasedinterventiongroup
hasbeenthoughtprovoking.
ReflectionofEntireLearningProcess
WhatWorkedandWhy
1. ItworkedwelltohavestudentscompletetheirReadingAZfluencypracticeeverydayas
theygettoclass.Afterjustafewdaysthestudentswereintotheroutine,andrarely

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neededremindersofwhatmaterialstogetoutfirst.Wealsoestablishedaroutineofusing
differentcolormarkersondifferentdaystoidentifyerrorsmadewhilereading.Thisall
becameroutineforthestudents.Knowingthestudentsunderstandtheroutinewas
heartwarmingtomeastheirteacher.
2. AssessingstudentcomprehensioneachWednesdayworkedwell.Whencomingtoclass,
studentsknewthattheirWednesdaywouldconsistofReadingAZpractice,thenthe
threeminuteAimsWebmazecomprehensionprobe.Thisworkedwellbecauseitwasa
logicalwaytocollectdataonbothfluencyratesandcomprehensiononaweeklybasis.
WhatDidNotWorkandWhy
1. SomethingthatdidnotworkaswellasIwantedittowastheprocessofcomparingthe
data.Itrequiredmanystepstolookatthefluencydata,aswellasthecomprehensiondata
fromtwodifferentassessments.Iwishtherewasamoresimple,andeffectivewayto
comparefluencywithcomprehension.
2. Havingeightofthelowestreadersinonegroupcouldbeastruggle.Thesestudentsfind
readingdifficultsotofocusonjustreadingfor24minutescouldleadtostudentsbeing
offtaskand/ordisruptive.Followingdirectionswereoftentimesachallengeforsome
students.
MyNextSteps

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1. MynextstepsconsistofcontinuingthedailypracticeofReadingAZ,aswellasother
fluencyactivities.InthefutureIwouldliketocorrelatefluencyscoreswithweekly
comprehensiontestsinreadingclass,inadditiontocontinuingtoanalyzeweekly
AimsWebmazecomprehensionscores.Thiscontinuedanalysiswillhopefullyprovethe
correlationofreadingfluencyandreadingcomprehension.
2. ThisspringwhenstudentscompletetheirspringreadingMAPStest,Iwillcheckonthe
scoresofmyeightstudentsinhopesofseeinganincreasedreadingMAPSscore.

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References
Ates,A.Yilfirim,K.Can,R.TurkyilmazM.(2013).Relationsamongcontextualsilentreading
fluency,noncontextualsilentreadingfluency,andreadingcomprehension:apath
analysisoffifthgradereaders.Retrievedatdoi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.01.882.
Hasbrouck,J.(2009).Developingfluentreaders.Retrievedfromhttp://www.readingrockets.org/
article/developingfluentreaders
ReadingAZ.(n.d.)Retrievedfromhttp://www.readingaz.com/intervention/responseto
intervention/
Riley,K.(2012,February26).
Reading.Writing.Thinking.Sharing.FluencyBootCamp!
.
Retrievedfromhttp://msjordanreads.com/2012/02/26/fluencybootcamp/

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ArtifactA
ArtifactAshowsanexampleoftheReadingAZpassagethatstudentsusetoassesstheirreading
fluencyonadailybasis.Studentsusethesamepassageforoneweek,thenreceiveadifferent
passageattheirreadinglevelthenextweek.

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ArtifactB

TheweeklyfluencygraphshowstheprogressstudentAmadethroughouttheweek,startingby
readingjust91wordsperminuteatthebeginningoftheweek,andfinishingbyreading125
wordsperminute.Overall,weseeanimprovementinfluencybecauseoftheupwardclimbin
bars.

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ArtifactC

ThisdatashowsstudentAscomprehensionscoresforthepreviousthreeweeksthatthefluency
interventionwasconducted.Lookingatthe3pointstotherightoftheverticalline,twoofthe
threepointsshowanincreaseincomprehensionasthestudentparticipatedinthefluency
intervention.