When I first quit my job in ICT and trained to become a teacher, I was told on day one of my teacher training:
EVERY one of you will be a teacher of literacy. No matter if you’re thinking you’ll be a Math teacher or a Science teacher or a Physical Education teacher, you’re ALL teachers of literacy – it’s not just the job of our English teachers.
This stuck with me in a powerful way and as I progressed my career as a History, Social Studies and English teacher I always gently reminded my colleagues from other faculties that they needed to ensure they were providing students with strategies in their subjects to help with literacy and comprehension too!
Consequently, I super enthusiastic about the new product coming called Reading Progress in Teams. As always, I do encourage you to read the full information and blog here but I’ll include the vidoes below for convenience and add my thoughts too.
This blog explains in detail the four components of Reading Progress which are:
- Create an assignment in Microsoft Teams.
- This is where the reading material is populated for the students to read.
- Student reading and recording.
- Student opens the assignment, sees the reading material, and can video record themselves reading the passage.
- Educator Review.
- The reading is automatically ‘graded’ for fluency and this data is provided to the educator for review, just like any other normal assignment in Teams
- Powerful insights to track student progress.
- Trends, accuracy, words per minute, common mistakes and omissions are all recorded and can be viewed at an individual student or entire class level. (coming soon: school wide insights for leadership to review)
As a trainee teacher, I was required to learn how to take “running records” – these are crucial tools for tracking student literacy and improvement and identifying issues to comprehension. Every teacher has done these, and every teacher knows it’s a time intensive but critical task.
I can immediately see how Reading Progress can pick up some of the ‘heavy lifting’ in this process. I don’t think it will ever be a direct replacement for all running records, but will quickly give a baseline that will allow a teacher to focus on the students with the most needs, whilst also accelerating those students who have the strongest fluency. Additionally, Reading Progress can help reduce student fear / self consciousness in terms of reading in front of others. With this, they can do this by themselves but the teacher still gets the full benefit of seeing their progress.
As a father of four children, I know that all students learn at different paces and in different ways. Some take to reading like a duck to water, others need constant encouragement and assistance to get going. In terms of saving teachers time and focusing on students with the highest needs, I can see Reading Progress being a very valuable tool in the classroom.