Is it possible for teachers to monitor the reading fluency of their students? I was skeptical at first until I found out how useful it can be in class. I am in the middle of a Pimsleur program which requires that I teach reading and write in the classroom. I originally signed up for a home study course but found that my schedule would not allow me to stay home and complete the classes. Then I found out about teaching reading to visually impaired students which was also a requirement for me.
My first challenge was finding text books that were appropriate for this course. I had already bought some to read with my students so I knew what text books I was going to use but I did not know if I would actually have time to read them or if I would need something I could just read on my computer. Then I ran across a new software called Rosetta Stone that can be downloaded from their website for free. It has a big learning program in the front and there is a text tool that is really good. All you have to do is type the words from a word processor and it will highlight the parts of a word that you are reading.
This software will also help you when writing. If you have questions while reading a text or writing a paper, all you have to do is look at the text to see what you are reading instead of looking at the entire page to get the answer. Another plus to this software is that you can type notes in class. You do not have to bring anything to class but your laptop. That means no more excuses that you are “on break” because you do not have anything to read.
When I started using the program, I found that it helped me learn a lot more about reading in an easy way that the book suggested. The text tool makes it easier to read the text as well as write the information out. Once you get to know the software, you will realize that you are actually able to improve your skills while reading as well as improving on your writing skills.
One thing that I like about the program is that it alerts you if your student is not reading the text word for word. I have students who are always struggling with a word. When the software alerts me about that, I will stop reading the book and try to find out the reason why the student is not reading the text word for word. I give my students practice exercises so they can get better at reading. As long as they are doing that, I do not want to spend any extra time teaching reading fluently.
The other cool feature that the software comes with is a spelling checker. I teach at a private school, so I know that some of my students struggle when they first start reading. Their reading slows down and they make mistakes when they try to read. I will have the spelling checker come on at the beginning of the semester so I do not have to sit there and go through the entire book again to check for spelling errors. This way, students can learn how to read fluently without struggling.
Not only will the spelling checker help students read more efficiently, but the software allows the students to type in the words they are having trouble reading. This way, the student can get practice with typing in the correct word and eliminating the stress associated with reading. Students who are always typing in their notes are always the ones who take longer to teach.
In addition to these benefits, the program also has an advanced feature that allows the teacher to see all of the students’ work during a lesson. If the students are typing in the wrong places, the teacher can quickly see this and fix the assignment. Another benefit is the fact that the program blocks text based on spaces or italicized letters. This means that students cannot fill the text with spaces or italics. This helps teachers to ensure that their students are actually learning material instead of memorizing useless information.