The fluency unit came to an end this week (see previous post for more) with a readers’ theatre reading of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This week the students read their play to the kindergarten classes instead of into a podcast. The script did, indeed, give them a chance to read with expression, however Grinch-y. They loved presenting to the kindergarteners (I asked the kindergarten teachers to rate their performance, they averaged four stars).
At the end of the week, I was looking forward to testing their fluency. I use the DIBELS to progress monitor their reading each month. They’ve been making gains, typically one or two words gained per minute, so I was really hoping to see great leaps this month with all the extra read-aloud practice.
On Friday, (drum roll please!) I was ecstatic to calculate their Words Correct Per Minute (WCPM). I had them read a passage at the DIBELS level they’re working at (typically one to three levels below grade level) for three minutes, marking errors and minute marks. Then, I calculated the WCPM and accuracy (words read correct/total words read). I was so pleased to see that each of my students improved a lot! One improved his WCPM by 16 additional words per minute, a 26% increase, and another increased by 9 WCPM for a gain of 50%, in just one month. And, their accuracy increased a well, which I was even happier to see.
Looking ahead to 2011, fluency will remain a priority, especially now that they have a better foundation. Next up: reading fluently, for comprehension.