By Bonnie Kale
a high school English classroom, we rarely have the opportunity to practice and
assess our students' reading fluency. After all, with the time
constraints of a 50-minute classroom, it would be nearly impossible to give 25
students a chance to read aloud from a text. What's more, we don't want
to force kids to read a passage aloud in front of their peers when they have
had limited time to practice. Now, thanks to the audio feature on Schoology, it
is easy to seamlessly incorporate fluency instruction and assessment
into our courses. Simply create an assignment as you regularly would in
Schoology. When students go to submit the assignment, they will click on
"submit audio recording."
I had the opportunity to use this audio feature with my honors freshman class. Students
practiced reading the prologue from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in small groups, paying particular attention to
the punctuation, phrasing, rhyme, and overall purpose of the passage.
Then, students went home and submitted an audio recording of themselves
reading the prologue aloud. I was able to provide students with
individual feedback about how to improve their fluency, thus, enhancing their overall
understanding of the passage. For
example, I could hear that several students were pausing and ending phrases at
the end of the line, rather than continuing the phrase to the end of the
punctuation. It's easy to forget that fluent reading is not
a product of good reading but a contributor to reading comprehension.