As a PreK-5 reading specialist, I know the excitement and challenges a new school year will bring. Teachers are building relationships with students, setting up routines and procedures to create engaging literacy-rich environments that promote student choice and collaboration. During the first month, I'll be working to set up teacher and student accounts for SAS Reading Records and implementing this versatile tool in each classroom. Here's why.
1. More Instructional Time
Once we have our literacy blocks up and running, students will engage in various literacy tasks: word-study activities, independent reading, strategy reading groups, partner or teacher discussions, and writing tasks. Teachers will set up ways to assess students and administer running records. SAS Reading Records allows teachers to get that same valuable data while saving instructional time. The app enables teachers to listen, observe student behaviors, and assess achievement on their own time. Thus, they have the entire literacy block to confer and conduct small group work.
SAS Reading Records is available for FREE on the web, in the App Store and in the Chrome Web Store. Before getting started with SAS Reading Records, we will model for students how to go to a quiet place in the room to record as they read aloud, retell, and answer the comprehension questions. This modeling will save time as the year progresses, time teachers can use to teach strategy groups, hold individual conferences, and help students set goals and monitor progress.
2. Consistent Data Collection
Many school systems require teachers to administer benchmark assessments for each student in the beginning, middle, and end of year in order to help teachers identify student strengths and areas for growth. Such assessments are also useful to collect student data across grade levels, schools, and districts to show collective growth and meet large-scale goals and initiatives. I've found that this data helps set school-wide goals and make grade-level plans, but running records and comprehension assessments should happen more than three times a year to enhance student growth.
SAS Reading Records is an excellent additional formative assessment to guide instruction and narrow the focus for each student’s goals throughout the year. Teachers can replay the audio, grade assignments at their own pace, evaluate student progress, and make data-driven plans for the next day.
3. Collaboration with Teachers and Parents
I meet with teams of teachers to celebrate strengths, evaluate literacy needs, and support student growth. To have effective collaboration about student data, we must stay organized and have a seamless way to share progress and instructional strategies for each student.
SAS Reading Records makes it easy to share audio recordings and reports between classroom teachers and resource teachers. This information can also help keep parents informed as their child makes reading progress over the course of the year.
4. Goal-Setting with Students
SAS Reading Records stores all running records and voice recordings as an organized student portfolio. This collection of sound bytes can be a powerful tool for building metacognition within the classroom. During a goal-setting conference, teachers can play the recorded audio and look over assessment data with the student. They will prompt the students to see what he or she notices from the assessment and also support the student in creating a goal. Taking this time to model reading strategies and empowering students to take ownership of their learning can be very effective for our young readers. With SAS Reading Records, student have the ability to share their recorded reading from September through June with teachers, parents, and peers to show their progress throughout the year.
5. Individualized Reading Passages
With SAS Reading Records, teachers can build unique learning experiences to keep each student motivated and challenged throughout the school year. The library has over 75 passages--ranging from Lexile levels BR-1020--for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, English, and Spanish. Teachers can build in student choice and add up to three texts so students can read what most excites them each day. One of my favorite features is the ability to add text and questions to personalize the assessment experience. SAS Reading Records has great flexibility and adaptability to meet the needs of a diverse classroom of readers.