WK 12 Reflection

I can’t believe this is it for the blog posts. To be honest, I was not happy when we started this with blogs, tweets, and no real meetings, but it turned out ok. I received a lot of feedback and hope that mine was helpful. I enjoyed reading about people’s plans, ideas, and tasks to try to improve their classrooms. I think it is just amazing that as a group of teachers we have so much to offer and so much to learn. I am going to try and keep a blog, it is a useful tool, but ion reality, I really want to thank everyone for being a part of this, and keeping me motivated.

I am excited to wrap this project up, to be done, and to put my study to use. I truly think that by starting from the beginning, there is a better chance for the program to work as designed.

How can others apply what I learned to their classrooms? What needs to be considered now? What will I do next?

For me to apply the Six-Minute Solution to the classroom, I need to use it from the beginning. I need to know the instructional level of reading of the students and they need to have a solid understanding of how to read fluently and understand what they read.

To consider using this program, students need to know words, and how they work with other words. The Six-Minute Solution can help with words, but it doesn’t help with how they work together. If students don’t know how to read, the beginning is only good to teach sight words.

I want to expose the system to the second grade. I want them to start using it from the beginning of the year, start at the word lists, and over time find the instructional level of the student. Then compare the information to the F&P tests we have to do to see if it is relatively the same. If it is, then the reading sheets will be more beneficial for fluency over time. Fluency should increase and understanding should increase as well.

I truly believe in this system improving R-CBM and MAZE scores. But as I said, it has to be used from the beginning. I am going to share the benefits of the program with the second grade teachers. If nothing else, the students will master sight words, which is important to reading fluency as well. I am implementing this program next year as well as the rest of the third grade classes. I believe that by using the program from the beginning we can improve reading fluency, comprehension, and test scores by 10 points.

Discussion

In this analysis of using The Six-Minute Solution to help improve student scores on the AIMSweb R-CBM and MAZE Assessments I am impressed with the growth made in a four-week period.   While using The Six-Minute Solution student scores increased on both the R-CBM and MAZE Assessments increased. Students learned how to read fluently, and then put that skill to use during assessments. Students were able to self-check and self correct while reading, which aided in increased scores.

When students were put to the task of actually using the program, the first week was a learning experience. Once the students understood how the program worked, the real gains were made. Students became aware of their reading, and aware of their errors. This learning increased fluency, and increased test scores week over week.

The Six-Minute Solution asks students to read for time, and calculate words read over errors. The goal was not to see how many words could be read, but the quality of the words read. I was more interested in the errors and why they were made than the errors themselves. Most of the errors were due to the current vocabulary the students use. Correcting that vocabulary and incorporating it into the way they read, reduced errors and improved fluency.

While observing students read, it gave me the opportunity to teach them self-correction and comprehension. If it doesn’t make sense, read it again. This allowed students to adjust their reading to the passage, not the material to their reading.

Finally, this process was used to solve a problem. As a grade level, R-CBM and MAZE scores were not increasing over time. Students seemed to be stagnating or had minimal point increases during the monthly probes. Using The Six-Minute Solution to improve fluency, helped in increasing probe scores, and increasing reading ability in the classroom.

Reflection

I was excited to read the posts this week. Everyone seems to be on the same page, excited to use what we learned and show others how it worked. Starr made it all worthwhile when she said she tried it and liked it. I know it is a good tool for struggling readers, and it is only one, but a useful one. I hope others look at it and try it, it may work for them, may not, and that’s ok, but to know there is a tool available I am excited!

How will I apply what I learned from my data to teaching and learning in my classroom? How can others apply what I learned to their classrooms?

I realize that this program does work, and the kids like it. I can see a benefit starting it at the beginning with struggling and or reluctant readers. I would start readers that are only a grade level behind on the actual reading sheets. The Six-Minute Solution helped my students focus on reading for both fluency and understanding. As a grade level, we are all impressed with the data. All third grade classes have been using the Six-Minute Solution and all have seen increases with our low readers. While the numbers are not staggering, the fact that most of the kids made gains was great. This lets us believe that over time, we should be able to see increases in reading fluency and improved test scores.

One thing that was not part of the study was comprehension. We have seen an increase in comprehension with the repeated readings. This is important because the guided reading we do is over a five-day period with the same story, and almost all the work is on comprehension. We seen gains in the low performing students that we had not seen before. From day one of the second week, they read with a purpose, this increased the comprehension scores in six of the eight students.

I think if you have struggling readers, or readers that are very far behind the class, it is worth a try to use the Six-Minute Solution to improve fluency and the comprehension will be a bonus. It takes between six and ten minutes to use, and can easily be monitored while in use. The key parts of the program can be found on line for free, and there are several articles available that allow the reader to implement the program at no cost to a classroom.