Literacy has long been a strong predictor of students’ future career paths, financial stability, and overall health. Unfortunately, reading achievement scores in the United States have declined “significantly”, according to the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading assessment. Educators strive to meet the literacy needs of all learners and accelerate learning, but often lack the time and resources to collect and analyze literacy data. This data is necessary for educators to better inform instruction and provide intentional supports. Microsoft’s Learning Accelerator suite of tools provides schools with the solutions and educational expertise they need to positively impact academic, social, and emotional growth for all learners.
Microsoft Reading Progress and Reading Coach, solutions within Microsoft’s Learning Accelerator suite of tools, reduce educator barriers in assessing and supporting student fluency. These tools save educators’ time, provide actionable and timely data, and give useful insights for student learning.
Saving educators’ time
Reading fluency assessments often require educators to spend a large portion of instructional time listening to students read individually. While the data collected during these sessions is valuable, Microsoft’s Reading Progress allows educators to continue instructing while students complete recorded fluency passages independently. This allows educators to do fluency checks more frequently, with less classroom disruption.
Educators assign passages to individuals or groups of students based on reading level or interest by uploading their own passages or using texts from ReadWorks. Students then simply select the Assignment tab to begin their recording.
Reading Progress also makes analyzing student fluency recordings quicker and simpler by auto-detecting reading errors, calculating correct words per minute, and tabulating accuracy rates. Educators can turn off auto-detect or adjust the pronunciation sensitivity to better meet the speech and language needs of individual learners.
Reading Progress’s inclusive design is also able to auto-detect over 67 languages and locales. This allows educators to assess reading fluency in a student’s native language as well as English to gain a more holistic view of the student’s literacy needs and development.
“Reading Progress takes all the nerves out of my student’s fluency checks. They are comfortable with its approach and I am able to collect data quicker and more efficiently than ever before. Now, I can devote more time to differentiated instruction rather than individualized assessments.” – Joe Merrill, Educator at Lake Park Elementary, Florida
Providing actionable and timely data and feedback
Another barrier educators encounter when supporting each students’ unique literacy needs is ensuring they have access to actionable and timely data and feedback. Using Reading Coach, learners and educators can track their reading progress and receive feedback immediately following their recording.
Educators can fully customize the report that is shown to learners and return the passage back to students for revision after they have reviewed their recording. This allows students to learn from feedback and improve their fluency.
When Reading Coach is enabled after a Reading Progress assignment, students are given the opportunity to practice five words before completion. Students listen to the word, stretch the word, and view a picture of the word before recording. Reading Coach then provides students with instant feedback on the pronunciation of the word.
Check out new updates to Reading Progress and get introduced to Reading Coach:
Using Insights to inform student learning
Gaining clarity on the specific learning needs of students can also be a challenge for educators. Reading Progress provides educators with actionable insights into their students’ reading progress at both a class and individual student level. The Insights tab in Teams provides staff with a snapshot of the following information:
- Reading accuracy (by percentage)
- Average words read per minute
- Number of assignments completed
- Common challenging words
- Common challenging phonics rules
Within this snapshot, educators can filter their view by student name, Lexile level, text genre, and time period. A class level view shows common trends in student progress over time and determines areas in which students need additional instruction.
In addition to providing insights into student learning, Reading Progress allows educators to create assignments that are individualized to student needs with a single action. These assignments provide students with additional practice reading challenging words and applying phonics rules.
Create customized reading assignments in Reading Progress
Students can also receive personalized feedback after reading independently with Reading Coach in Immersive Reader. As students read a passage of their choice out loud, Reading Coach will listen to them and provide a brief report that helps students track their progress and practice words to improve their fluency. Immersive Reader provides read aloud functionality as well as grammar tools, such as parts of speech and a picture dictionary, to support fluency and comprehension.
What’s coming next
Coming soon, Reading Progress will automatically determine the aspects of prosody, including monotone reading, long pauses, not pausing for a period or comma, voice inflection for question marks or exclamation points, and even the stress of multi-syllable words.
Later this year, Reading Progress will get the addition of reading comprehension question support using Microsoft Forms technology. Educators will be able to choose whether students can see the questions before the reading or not, and get Microsoft Quiz auto-grading capabilities for multiple choice questions built in. Stay tuned for more details on this exciting new addition to Reading Progress.
Reading Progress Coach gives educators back much needed time for instruction and provides them with meaningful data and insights, as well as ready-to-go, individualized assignments, to better inform instruction and support student literacy development.
Explore additional resources about Reading Progress and Reading Coach.