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Livescribe – Reading – Part 1 – Assessment

Reading – Part 1 – 60-Second Timed Reading Assessment

This is the first of three suggestions plus a description of the unique abilities of the Livescribe Smartpen from Dr. Andy Van Schaack, Vanderbilit University.

Please watch the video below – it provides a description and demonstration of a reading fluency exercise (the exercise starts at about 2:15).

Although this might, at first glance, appear to be an exercise suited only for beginning readers, it is suitable for beginning or intermediate second language learners as well.

Key parts of Dr. Andrew Van Schaack’s analysis:

  1. Effective teachers apply systematic classroom-based instructional assessment to monitor student progress in order to modify instruction to meet individual student needs.
  2. One common example is reading fluency.  Reading fluency is frequently measured by counting the number of words a child can read correctly in 1 minute. Because errors take time, measuring fluency correct words per minutes provides an objective measure of reading development.
  3. Most educational researchers agree that 1 minute timed readings are a sensitive, reliable, and valid measure of reading proficiency.
  4. Another benefit of this form of assessment compares them with other reading measures is that it’s easy and efficient for teachers.
  5. A Livescribe Pulse Smartpen addresses many of the limitations of the conventional approach to collection, analysis, and reporting of fluency data. For example, in a conventional approach, teachers only retain only a paper record. With a Smartpen the teacher’s handwritten marks are linked with an audio recording of the child.
  6. With a Smartpen teachers can go back and listen to the recording as many times as necessary to insure accurate scoring and to examine more carefully the types of errors that were made.
  7. With a Smartpen teachers can also play back audio recordings for their supervisor or the child’s parents. They can also examine recordings collected over a long period of time to more authentically examine a child’s reading development.
  8. Most important all of these benefits are realized without requiring the teacher to change an established and accepted protocol.

In Part 2 we’ll look at how to create a fluency test (running record)


Research Support

  1. An excellent paper that provides research support AND specific strategies to implement a repeated reading program: http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/timed_repeated_readings
  2. Dr. Andrew Van Schaack’s “Livescribe K–12 Research Support” includes a section on Reading Fluency and running records.

Unique abilities of the Livescribe Smartpen

The Livescribe smartpen is unique in its abilities *out of the box* to support read-along activities by varying the speed of the model reader.  This has been the weakness of previous read-along programs in the past.  Either the narrator was too fast, and the novice reader could not keep up, or the narrator was too slow, and the intermediate or advanced reader was held back, making the exercise pointless.




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