Effective Literacy Teaching and Learning for all Students

Unit 20

Conferences with students struggling with fluency

Fluent reading is one of the factors affecting reading comprehension. For Unit 20 you will see two film clips involving a teacher and two of her students who are not reading fluently; both students do not have automatic recognition of common sound-symbol relationships when reading. You will also see a film clip of a teacher with a student in a school with special needs and the film clip highlights another aspect of fluency- expression.

Go to:

Description of Two Reading Conferences with a Focus on Fluency

which provides two descriptions of the reading conferences at Stevensville PS with teacher, Jo Smith and students Emmy Lee and Jordan.

Read both descriptions thoroughly as this will help you understand the teaching judgements Jo is making as you view the film clips of the conferences.

Go to Film Clip:

Stevensville PS: Yr 4 Reading Conference with Jo Smith and Emmy Lee

Observe the clip and then reread the above description and view the clip again. Make some notes about what you think is affecting the student's fluency and how you may be able to improve this. Some strategies are short term and some are long term.

Go to Film Clip:

Stevensville PS: Yr 4 Reading Conference with Jo Smith and Jordan

Observe the clip and then reread the above description and view the clip again. Make some notes about what you think is affecting the student's fluency.

If you have students who lack fluency what strategies from these conferences and descriptions would you choose to use to help your students? The documents about fluency and decoding referred to in Unit 21 will help you with this. There are several factors that affect fluency so you need to be knowledgeable about all of the possibilities, to be able to provide the required teaching and support for each student. Emmy Lee and Jordan both need help with recognition of common spelling patterns and this is explained more in Unit 21.

Prior to conducting reading conferences teachers need to begin the Independent Reading session in the most effective way. This sometimes focuses on an aspect of reading the students have been learning about through Read Aloud, Shared Reading and/or Guided Reading. Sometimes the teacher asks students to think about a variety of strategies they have learned about, but particular students may be reminded about something specific they are working at improving. Listen and observe Jo at Stevensville PS as she conducts an introduction to Independent Reading.

Go to Film Clip:

Stevensville PS: Yr 3/4 Introduction to Independent Reading

What information can you add to your understanding of Independent Reading sessions? Record your notes.

Go to Film Clip:

Warringa Park School: Conference with Julia Moroney and Michaela

Where you can view another conference in which the teacher is focusing on fluency. Note how this teacher has been able to include Independent Reading and conferring in her daily practices in a school which caters for all children with an intellectual disability. Following the usual plan for a conference, Julia adapts the plan to provide more support for her student Michaela as she focuses on reading with expression, an important part of fluency.

Go to Film Clip:

Warringa Park School: Diane Snowball Interview with Julia Moroney

Learn more about how this school is catering for students with intellectual disabilities. The principal and staff decided that they wanted their students to also benefit from Independent reading and conferences so they just needed to find the appropriate resources for the students to read and adapt conferences to suit the learning styles of their students. There is a great deal for every teacher and school leader to learn by viewing this interview about the work at Warringa Park School.

View this film clip to find many practical and philosophical ideas that you could use in your school's literacy program. You can also find out more about the use of iPads at www.ipadforeducation.vic.edu.au

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Effective Literacy Teaching and Learning for all Students