- School District: Orange County School District
- Schools: Rosemont Elementary
- Number of Students: 875
- Grades: PK-5
- Population: Students predominately Black; Students eligible for free or reduced price lunch over 77%
- School Structure: Mid-Size City
Third, Fourth And Fifth Grade Struggling Readers Improve Reading Fluency
Struggling readers in the third, fourth and fifth grades at Rosemont Elementary in Orlando, FL, have dramatically increased their reading fluency level by using Reading Assistant™ software. Diligent use of the program has lead to considerable improvements in their reading skills and comprehension abilities.
The students began using the program in October 2006 after they took the fall DIBELS assessment, a nationally recognized set of standardized, individually administered measures of early literacy development. The participating students tested out at the lowest level of literacy, defined as the Intensive level. In order to raise their fluency level, Reading Assistant was incorporated into their day for fifteen minutes, four days a week in a computer lab. The program is used in addition to the students’ daily 90 minute reading block.
After two months of usage, the majority of the students reached the next level of literacy, the Strategic level, based on the winter DIBELS assessment.
Changes Are “Truly Remarkable”
“We’ve implemented many other programs at Rosemont, and we’ve never seen such great results so quickly,” says Jacqueline Oester, Reading Support Teacher at Rosemont. “The students love it because it allows them to practice reading in a neutral setting, in which they are not judged by peers. This has also helped to boost their self esteem. Our hope is that when our students take the spring DIBELS at the end of this month, they will continue to show increased improvement in their reading fluency.” .
Some of the children in the program are English as a Second Language (ESL) students. One of these children required extra assistance with her English reading. When she began using Reading Assistant, she was reading at 48 words correct per minute (WCPM). Since then, she has increased her reading fluency by almost 40 words to 85 WCPM.
“The Spanish translation for key vocabulary in the Reading Assistant has helped her to build her English vocabulary, and listening to the modeled readings has helped her with her intonations and pronunciation. She is so dedicated to using [Reading Assistant] and the positive change in her reading skills is truly remarkable,” says her fourth grade teacher, Amanda MacKay.