Literacy is a key umbrella term in the world of English Language Arts. In an elementary setting, literacy is what drives student progress in reading, writing, and oral skills and can be determined by multiple domains. Some examples of these domains are phonology, spelling, dyslexia, phonemic awareness, fluency, and comprehension. In class, we addressed a multitude of these domains in several ways including discussion forum posts as a reflective output of connected articles required to read as well as class discussions and in-class activities.
One of the domains I chose to specifically target in this blog post is fluency. Fluency is a term often associated with how well a student read and write in a particular language. In this class, I wrote a discussion forum post on this based off an article we read in regards to this can-be issue for students,
“‘What happened to reading fluency: why is it not hot and why it should be’
In the article, Why Reading Fluency Should be Hot by Timothy Rasinksi, readers can explore the topic of why reading fluency isn’t as alluring as it once was and why it should be. Reasons why is isn’t as attractive is that reading fluency has influenced a focus on speedy oral-reading from students, and loses the dynamic of comprehension. But what is reading truly without comprehension? In the article, I particularly enjoyed the “Critical Bridge in Reading” chart that shows the flow from word recognition to fluency (automaticity, prosody) and comprehension; this automaticity practice can be beneficial especially for English Language Learners (ELL’s). Deep reading, or repeated reading allows a greater understanding of word recognition if we allow the student to go over the same passage of text several times, instead of trying multiple texts with multiple strategies. In my classroom, I can find this information so beneficial – 9 out of my 21 students are ELL’s and 5 out of my 21 students are pulled out for English Language Arts (ELA) push in pull out programs to help assist in these areas. I am continually finding these articles as great applications to my student teaching, and how I can integrate reading fluency in my ELA process.”
In this piece of evidence provided by the Canvas website, I reflected on why reading fluency is important in the classroom especially for my English Language Learning (ELL) students. The repeated reading skills are amazing opportunities for these students to practice. In fact, in my student case study on the reading assessment assignment, I observed these tasks benefitting my student Jose (pseudonym). The more Jose, an ELL student with a below grade-level F and P level, read to me the same story over and over again I immediately saw improvement on his prosody.
But what is prosody? Prosody is the patterns of stress and sounds of intonation in a language. In Jose’s case it was 1) English and 2) assessed off of read-aloud’s containing measures of Words Per Minute (WPM), timed, and marked off for errors in words being read or not read. It was a lengthy task for this student in particular simply because of who he is as a person; example being that he had to be offered a prize or some sort of point on his point tracker for doing what needed to be done for my assignment. However, at the end I told him how well he had done and that in itself seemed like the greatest reward of all.
Prosody and fluency are just two of the many domains that make up literacy skills needed for students to keep up in the 21st-century classroom. Throughout this quarter, I was able to identify these specifically in my classroom as well as through research in articles required for class in which I can take with me as I develop my own pedagogy as an educator.