In addition to my vice-principal assignment, I also have a 70% teaching assignment. That teaching assignment this year is working with students who struggle in their academic areas – mainly reading, writing and math as a Learning Support Teacher. While I have been a Learning Support Teacher in the past, this year I started experimenting a bit, trying some new things – things I would not have been able to do very easily in the past – without the use of technology.
One thing I have started doing this year is recording students reading. I started using voice threads to record their oral reading, which I thought would be a great way for students to assess their own reading and areas they thought they could improve. Often, when students hear the audio recording of themselves reading, and are asked “What did you do well? (and why?)” and “What do you think you need to work on? (and why?)”, they come up with exactly what I would have told them. For example, I have heard comments like: “I need to read quicker – like when I talk.” ”I stopped too many times which made my reading sound choppy.”
Here’s an example of Adam reading:
And here is Abigail reading:
I decided to take it a step further and start videotaping the students reading. At first I did this to add to our School Success Blog as a way to demonstrate that our Grade 1 students were learning to finger track the words they were reading. I didn’t show any faces in this video because at the time, we hadn’t yet got all the website permissions back from our students.
Here the Grade 1 students are learning to finger track the words they are reading:
This week, I thought I would record these same students finger tracking the words with a bit more challenging book – one with more words on the page. My initial purpose of video-recording was to demonstrate that they were improving on their ability to finger track.
What I got when I did this video-recording was much, much more meaningful and substantial: I witnessed the students self-correcting their reading. Now, you may not think this is a big deal, but for beginning readers, this is HUGE! For beginning readers (or any readers, for that matter) to become really great readers, they need to learn the important skill of self-correction. They need to know when what they are reading does not sound right, make sense, or when the words they say do not match the words in the book.
So, here are these wonderful Grade 1 students demonstrating their ability to finger track and self-correct. I’m so proud of them!
As you can see at the end of the video, the students were so excited to watch themselves reading and self-correcting their reading. They wanted to watch it over and over again. Now, That is reinforcement! That is motivation! That is engagement! That is self-assessment and the beginnings of meta-cognition and explaining their thinking.
And now, this video is on our school YouTube channel and our school Success Blog, so they can go back over and over and see themselves reading. They can show this video to their family members as well which will help family members understand what they are doing.
I will continue to incorporate audio and video recordings into my lessons and assessment with the students. Not only will they be able to hear themselves reading, but they will also be able to SEE themselves as real readers, doing things that great readers do!
I wonder how video-recording reading and sharing these recordings with students will impact their reading achievement, their confidence in reading, and their love of reading?