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Gadgets and Goals: Fluency, Accuracy and Confidence in Reading

Download Outline as of 10/20/2013, subject to change CUEFall2013Zykanov

Use digital voice recorders to build reading fluency and accuracy.  This fun and practical project raises student confidence and independence. Student work samples and reflections will be shared.


Our school serves students who are 97% English Language Learners (ELL) and 97% Free or Reduced Lunch (DataQuest, 2013).  We have raised STAR test scores annually, and students have advanced to the Intermediate and Advanced levels on the California English Language Development Test (CELDT).  Students are strongest in Math. We want to accelerate our students’ reading progress.  In the 2012 – 2013 school year, our Leadership Team set reading fluency (correct words per minute) as an area of  school wide focus.

In my classroom I had a set of digital audio recorders purchased through a Donors Choose Project Grant. I wanted to use our classroom digital audio recorders to engage and support my ELL students to speak clearly and confidently.  The recorders allowed kids to hear a native speaker reading a grade level text, then they could practice their fluency by recording themselves reading a practice passage. The students read interesting grade level passages in a book provided with our reading curriculum. I organized the passages in binders for easy student access, but they could also be loaded onto a tablet. First students would listen to me read a passage prerecorded on the device, then they would record themselves reading the passage.  They would time their reading, recording their time, and then listen to the recordings again.  An added benefit for me was to have more reading miscue examples for my students targeted for intensive acceleration in reading.

In my CUE concurrent session, I would like to share the strategies I used to make the use of our digital voice recorders a manageable, fun, practical and valuable tool for teachers.  I will also share some examples of student work and student reflections on the project.  I believe this project built student confidence and independence as readers. Students enjoyed using the digital audio recorders very much and felt proud being allowed to use them carefully and independently.

This project could easily be adapted for use with tablets, classroom computers, iPod Touch and iPad.

Presentation Outline:

Attached is a PDF with the outline of my presentation, Gadgets and Goals, for Saturday October 26, 2013.


This version is posted on Sunday October 20, 2013 and is subject to revision prior to CUE on 10/26.

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