Speaker 1 00:00:05 Hello to all you travelers out there on the road to evidence-based literacy instruction. I'm Kate Wynn, classroom teacher and host of I d a Ontario's new podcast Reading Road Trip. Welcome to the show. This is episode five of our very first season. Before we get started, we would like to acknowledge that we are recording this podcast from the traditional land of the Mississauga Anishnabe. We are grateful to live here and thank the generations of First Nations people for their care, for and teachings about the Earth. We also recognize the contributions of Metis, Inuit, and other indigenous peoples in shaping our community and country. Along with this acknowledgement and in the spirit of truth and reconciliation, we'd like to amplify the work of an indigenous artist. And this week we are sharing ais and the world famous bannock, written by Dallas Hunt and illustrated by Amanda Strong.
Speaker 1 00:00:59 A young girl loses her grandmother's freshly baked bannock, and her forest friends come to the rescue. This beautiful book incorporates the Cree dialect and includes a pronunciation guide and a recipe for bannock. Add it to your home or classroom library today, now on with the show, I am absolutely thrilled to introduce our guest today on Reading Road Trip. Dr. Jan Hasbrook is a researcher in areas such as reading fluency, reading assessment, instructional coaching, and English learners. She's an educational consultant in the US and internationally. The author of books such as Reading Fluency, understand Assess, teach co-authored by Deb Glazer, she helped to found the nonprofit organization, read Washington with the mission of providing professional development opportunities based on the science of reading. So every student becomes a skilled and confident reader, and she's here with us today to share her expertise in the aforementioned area of reading fluency. Welcome Dr. Jan Hasbro.
Speaker 2 00:01:56 Thank you, Kate. I'm happy to be here today.
Speaker 1 00:01:59 Before we jump into all of the burning questions that I have for you on reading fluency, I wanna throw a couple of compliments at you first. Um, the first one is that when my co-producer, una Malcolm and I were sitting down trying to map out, you know, this whole podcast and who we wanted to have, the first thing I said was, okay, this'll give me an excuse that I can get a conversation with Jan Hasbrook, and Sure, sure, that's great. And then as we kind of worked things out and thought, okay, maybe we'll go this direction, maybe we'll do this, change up the gas every time. I kept saying, but we'll, we'll still have Jan Hasbro, right? <laugh>, and finally, un I had to say, Kate, I'm never going to say no to having Jan Hasbro on our podcast. You're good. It's fine. So that's one thing.
Speaker 1 00:02:34 And the other thing that's kind of separate from the content of what we're talking about today, but it has to do with how much I've learned from your webinars and presentations, is one thing that you have taught me that I have implemented is the art of a more minimal slide when doing presentations. That's something I have noticed about your slideshow. I mean, I learned a long time ago not to write paragraphs and read them word for word, but I am very guilty of over bulleting my slides. And I love, like, sometimes you'll just have like an image with a phrase, or you'll just have one sentence or, you know, and then you can speak to that. So, uh, professionally, aside from the actual literacy piece, that is something I have learned from you too, and trying to, uh, implement a little more minimalism in my, in my slides. So thank you for that. Oh,
Speaker 2 00:03:14 You're very welcome. I didn't know that that, that that would come up. That's certainly evolved over time, in part by me watching other people's webinars too and being frustrated with way too much print. So yeah, it's an evolution in my, I'm certainly not design trained at all, <laugh>, just Well,
Speaker 1 00:03:33 We keep evolving as we do.
Speaker 2 00:03:35 Yes, yes.
Speaker 1 00:03:36 Well, we want to get into your expertise on reading fluency, and I think the, the best place to start is probably to ask you what is your preferred definition of fluency?
Speaker 2 00:03:48 Uh, well, the preferred definition that I use these days and have for quite a while came from, uh, the work that Deb Glazer and I did as we were getting ready to write the book that you mentioned, reading fluency. And that was a wonderful process. We, Deb and I had been batting ideas around, um, about fluency and thought it would be terrific to collaborate on a book, a simple, easy, accessible book for teachers that was, uh, accurately represented what we know from research, but but also practical. And in the process of doing that, right at the beginning, we thought, well, we've gotta define reading fluency. Uh, and so we looked at other people's definitions. You know, we go to the dictionary, we go to the national reading panel, we go to published studies about, about fluency, and actually decided, uh, to come up with our own, uh, that represented.
Speaker 2 00:04:49 I mean, every, every definition of fluency has, uh, if they, if, if it's at all accurate, is is going to have three components, and there's somewhere in there they're going to have rate somewhere in there, they're gonna have accuracy, and somewhere in there they're going to have expression or posity, something like that. Uh, but we thought long and hard about, uh, uh, our definition. And so we always start. So my preferred definition, um, your question was, we, we always start with accuracy. And in our, um, and so we have the three components, accuracy rate, and we chose to use the word expression. Um, in an earlier version of the book, we actually used the term prosody and switched to expression after, uh, batting that word around, uh, a bit and reaching out. Uh, I think we reached out, I'm pretty sure we reached out to Paula Schwan and Flugel, who is right up there as far as I'm concerned, is expert.
Speaker 2 00:05:53 She's really studied, um, prosody and expression and that its role in, in reading. Um, and she said, uh, you know, either one, she kind of thought prosy was an aspect of expression. Um, and the term, uh, expression is more widely used by teachers than prosody. So we went with expression. But while we were, we settled in on those three things, we also decided, uh, very strategically to put accuracy first and to use some descriptors. So in our definition, and I may be paraphrasing here slightly from the book, but it's, um, fluency, reading fluency, or more accurately passage reading fluency is reading with reasonable accuracy at an appropriate rate with suitable expression. Um, and then in print, in the book we go on to even go a little bit further to say, reading fluency is, um, allows and supports deep and accurate comprehension and motivation. So along with those three central components, we wanted to be sure that, um, teachers or people reading that book would understand that fluency has a purpose.
Speaker 2 00:07:26 Um, and it's always about comprehension. Absolutely, for sure. Um, that's very well documented in the research. We put motivation on there, not because of what the research tells us as much as our own personal experience. Deb and I came to this work as practitioners. We both continue to work with students. We, both of us have been doing this close to 50 years. Uh, and so we have a lot of experience with kids, and we have a lot of experience with kids who struggle with fluency. And we still joke, um, well, it's not funny, but we have yet to find a student who struggles with fluency, who's one of those highly motivated readers. So, although I don't know of a whole lot of evidence in the research literature that says fluency is connected to motivation, we know it is. Um, uh, so it's those things, accuracy, uh, rate, um, uh, and expression and linking it to the purpose is to, we hope it con it, it contributes to comprehension.
Speaker 2 00:08:37 Fluency doesn't guarantee comprehension, but it's gonna be pretty hard to have comprehension without fluency. Um, and then that like icing on the cake, uh, we can also hope for is motivation. So that's a long-winded answer to your question about our definition, but, uh, it's multifaceted because it's complex. Uh, it's fluency is not just reading fast. Um, and getting more fluent is not reading faster. So all those components, and in that order accuracy, we, we always talk about as the foundation of fluency. If we focus only on rate, uh, we're gonna do most students a disservice.
Speaker 1 00:09:21 That is a, a wonderfully thorough definition. And I would say as a classroom practitioner, I do find it helpful. And there are so many pieces of what you just said that we're going to dig even deeper into. So let's talk about those three, you know, main aspects that you mentioned. First, accuracy being the most important. What would you say is the, what percentage of accuracy are we looking for when, as readers develop? What's good in terms of accuracy?
Speaker 2 00:09:47 Uh, well, we would frame that, again, almost every answer when we poke around and dig around in fluency, the answer is gonna be grounded in comprehension, um, somewhere. So those researchers who have studied just accuracy, just that, that aspect, that one component of fluency. When researchers look at accuracy, um, and, uh, in terms of comprehension, what are, what are the levels of accuracy that are necessary for a reader to have, uh, comprehension? Uh, it, it's, it's the, the studies coalesce around 95 to 98% accuracy is necessary. We generally don't need to wor read or understand every single word, but we need to understand the vast majority of them. And understand means we've read them accurately and we know the meaning of them. So, um, that 95% sounds really high to a lot of teachers. And I know when I first heard it, it sounded really high to me.
Speaker 2 00:10:57 We really need 95%, uh, that level of accuracy. It, it's, and it's really not hard to actually test that. Very simply. In some of my webinars, I have some text, um, taken from, uh, I often use text from a medical journal where most of the people in the audience know by far most of the words, but there will be a few words that they honestly probably could decode. But they're going, most readers will stop and, and they won't know them as automatically recognized sight words. And they don't know the meaning of them. And it really, it's a really good demonstration that if we really don't know 5% of the keywords, um, we're not going to know what that, what that paragraph is all about or the sentence is all about. So that's for independent reading. Cause there's nobody there to tell us what the word is or to correct us. So I always talk about the importance of teachers when they're working with students in an instructional situation, when they have that opportunity to make corrections or, um, make corrections and in make corrections in pronunciation, but also let the students know what the word is, um, that's getting that student ready to then read independently. But those are the numbers that, that, um, are very clearly, uh, the, what I would say the research is saying about 95, somewhere in that vicinity, 95 to 98% accuracy is necessary for, um, strong comprehension.
Speaker 1 00:12:38 Okay. And then we get into the automaticity piece. Yes. So can you speak to, I mean, there's your norms to tell us about, but also sort of that line between we know that rate does matter to a point. So Yes. You know, tracking that words correct per a minute, that is important, but that also it's not speed reading in that we could maybe even be too fast. What would you say? But
Speaker 2 00:12:58 Yeah. Yes. And, and, um, yes. So that work was, uh, uh, very happy to have had that opportunity to make that con contribution to our field. Uh, when I first started many decades ago, working with Jerry Tyndall, um, uh, as a doctoral student back then, uh, he introduced me to then a brand new assessment tool, a brand new measure called Oral Reading Fluency. This the thing that had just been invented that we all know now of that 62nd read unpracticed read of, of text, um, sometimes at students' grade level, sometimes others. But I saw some benefit in that assessment, but we didn't have norms at the time. And so with Jerry's help, um, we've done a series of studies you mentioned that created norms for oral reading fluency. And we always reported those norms in, um, uh, uh, percentile ranges that would be helpful. So we often have pr pr, uh, presented those in the 90th percentile, 75th 50th, 25th and 10th percentiles.
Speaker 2 00:14:14 Uh, and our, our studies, the ones we did only documented the rate or the automaticity of students in terms of words, correct, per minute. We didn't do correlation studies about, about comprehension. We simply said, when we looked at, uh, the first study was about 15,000 students, and the second study was 25,000 students. And the third study we did was 6 million students. All we did was take those scores and create percentiles. Said, here's what, you know, these kids in the middle of fourth grade reading different types of texts. That's what's important about our, uh, study. Many of the now commercially available, uh, oral reading fluency assessments like DIBELS and Acadians and ames Web and others have created their own norms. But ours were originally and still have value because they're compiled from different measures. But we just reported the norms. But we, based on what we knew and based on other people's research, we, we recommended that it was, that the 50th percentile was what we should be aiming for.
Speaker 2 00:15:25 That certainly there were kids that read faster, we documented that, but the 50th percentile was really clearly the minimum. Um, that's what we should be aiming for. A more recent study done by, uh, white at all and published in 2021, looked at the impact of, not, not the just, it's a correlary study, but they went and back and looked at 2018 NAP scores, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which is essentially a comprehension assessment. And they took fourth graders in 2018, so pre pandemic and, and went back to look at what those students' words, correct per minute score was their automaticity score. And it was really fascinating to me because what they found that, so the naip categorizes children, uh, in terms of how well they performed on that comprehension test in categories of proficient being the highest, those are the kids who did the very, very best on that comprehension test.
Speaker 2 00:16:37 They're proficient, and then there's advanced, and then there's, um, basic and below basic. Well, the kids on that, in that study that were proficient, the very best comprehenders were reading at the words correct per minute level of the Hasbro and Tyle norms. Um, at the 75th percentile, the kids who were slightly below that, they were good comprehenders advanced, or at least basic, were reading at the, around the 50th percentile, slightly above, right around the, the 50th percentile. And the students who were below basic just really were not able to comprehend grade level text. Were reading below the 50th percentile. So that gave us even more and some quite high quality evidence, I think to say that, uh, what we've been generally recommending for years is true in terms of automaticity. If you look at the Hasbro and tin norms, the 50th percentile in terms of words correct per minute pseudonym for automaticity on unpracticed grade level text, you're gonna have to get there to be able to understand what you've read.
Speaker 2 00:17:53 If you can read a little faster, there may be some benefit in slightly faster automaticity up to the 75th percentile. But I've never thought there was any theoretical evidence for reading faster and faster and faster. And this study gives us some solid empirical evidence that those really fast readers are not better comprehenders. So, uh, that's what I would say about automaticity. Now, if you're going to use, or when looking at the Hasbro and Tyle norms for whatever grade levels, and we go up through eighth grade, uh, you want to get your students to minimum 50th percentile, but faster than that, up to the 75th percentile before, there's no benefit to any more speed than that.
Speaker 1 00:18:52 Okay. That's really good to know. And I do wanna talk about the whole pros expression piece a little bit later, but since we started to talk about that or reading fluency as assessment, I do wanna talk about that. There was something really interesting in your book that I read where, um, you wrote, keep in mind that students are motivated when their performance is tracked. In fact, research indicates that students make better progress when they chart their own progress. And you have a couple citations there, engage students actively in tracking their own improvement. So I feel like that's really interesting because we use these assessments and then we wanna be careful that accuracy first and not the speed reading, but it looks like there is evidence to show that it is good for kids to know what their scores are and to be tracking that for their progress.
Speaker 2 00:19:33 Yeah, well, pa part of that, um, when we think of the accuracy piece, which doesn't go away and it's importance, but in the early stages of reading acquisition, it really is the accuracy that we're paying the most attention to, especially at the word or phrase or text level. In fact, most, um, well our norms, the Hasbro and tyle norms for words correct per minute in text doesn't start until the middle of first grade. Before that, what we're really focused on is letter naming accuracy and then fluency letter sound accuracy and fluency, um, nonsense word, um, or isolated word recognition. But once, once students are able to read text, we want them to maintain a level of accuracy, of course, um, but then build that automaticity. And it's really for, especially that tracking that we mention in the book, that is especially important for students who are not yet at Benchmark, um, if they're receiving some extra intervention in the US these days, we're talking often about tier one, tier two, tier three, tier one being, um, the label for classroom standards based instruction that all kids should be getting.
Speaker 2 00:20:58 Tier two being, um, the supplemental, uh, services that some students need. If they are receive, if a student is receiving some support, some interventions, some supplemental services, um, they should be having their, their progress monitored and they're receiving those services probably cuz they're, uh, especially if they're targeted in reading because they're reading automaticity is not at benchmark. So that's one of their goals. They're working toward that. Um, so helping them show here's where you are, here's where you should be, which I think is really fair to share with students, um, and talking to them about why this is not about reading faster and faster. This is about reading better and better and these are the activities we're doing to help you get there. And this is your goal. This is your goal for this month, and this is your goal for, uh, this period of time.
Speaker 2 00:21:58 That's where the research has looked at those kids who are receiving intervention. Um, and not just telling them, oh, you're getting better, but showing them that they're getting better and helping them be invested in those goals and tracking, um, their rate of improvement. So if they're not making improvement, maybe that will motivate them to double down and try a little harder. Um, so I don't know that there's a lot of benefit in tracking for kids who are already at benchmark or, or above, um mm-hmm <affirmative>. It's those kids receiving some intervention that often are kind of discouraged or unclear about why they're having trouble. So, uh, involving them, involving those students, I think can be, can be really beneficial.
Speaker 1 00:22:49 Well, and I love how you mentioned the idea of fluency starting, you know, at the, the letter naming and the letter sounds and that and that piece, um, as well with our youngest kids and no, it reminded me what we were just speaking about with, um, a little guy that I had this year and I was progress monitoring him for the nonsense word fluency. So those correct letter sounds. And we did talk about, you know, how many sounds he got that day and how many were hoping for him to get to the end of the year. And he would say to me, cuz sometimes we'd like, we'd go, you know, a week or two before doing another progress monitoring. And in between, as we were practicing, he kept saying like, when are you gonna time me again? And do you think I'm gonna get more sounds next time?
Speaker 1 00:23:23 And I mean, anecdotally I can definitely say that I saw motivation in him for that. And I certainly did see improvement throughout the year two, which was great. But, but yeah, like, so that fluency piece does start in a different way before we even get to the, the text reading fluency. Once we are assessing kids with that orff, we get a couple of great scores. So we get that accuracy percentage and we get that words correct per minute. So then what, so what would you recommend doing, for example, with, as you see a kid who's got low accuracy or a kid who's got low, um, low rate or both, what are some of your kind of go-tos for how we would address that?
Speaker 2 00:24:01 Um, well, the first thing I would want to know is, uh, I'd like to know a little bit more about what the accuracy concerns are. So I, uh, often caution people. Um, I often recommend I've, uh, that people use the Orff assessment. It's a wonderful tool, but caution them that it really is only a, uh, initial screening tool. That's all it is. I I use the term, um, or the analogy of a thermometer. It's like a quickly taking our students temperature if they are not at benchmark, that's indicated an indicator of some level of an academic fever, if you will. Um, and we know they could have a mild fever, they're, they're just below benchmark or they can have a rip roaring fever and, um, something needs to be done. I, I just was listening to a webinar this afternoon and the presenter was using the analogy of a check engine light coming on.
Speaker 2 00:25:08 So it's just, that's all it is though. It's, something's not right. So before I could make any recommendation about how to address the student's accuracy or, or their rate or automaticity, um, I would wanna do some diagnostic assessments. And I really don't feel that in most cases, simply analyzing the errors in the one minute assessment is, is sufficient, um, for a variety of reasons. That's just not a whole lot of text. Um, those, they're often, um, the words, the errors that students make might not be, there might not be enough words with that, with the concern to show a pattern. So I like to go to, um, some kind of, of a deeper diagnostic assessment depending on the age level of the student. If it's an older student, um, I'm just gonna pick fifth grade, uh, who is not at benchmark, I would want them to read some text to me that's not at the fifth grade level.
Speaker 2 00:26:12 Let's try, let's try third grade text, let's try fourth grade text and see, see where their general, um, proficiency, their level of competence is. I would likely also do, if, if a student cannot read grade level text, I'm going to explore, um, uh, the phonics. Uh, what is the, what are the, are there word patterns that are keeping you from being able to access the accuracy and automaticity of grade level texts? And that, and I go to that now kind of automatically because that's what I have found in all these decades of working with kids that, uh, it often is they're stuck somewhere in phonics. They, they are, for older kids, it's often multi-syllable words they, they've learned to decode. They can read simple words, but they just fall apart at the multi-syllable words. So that would lead me to design an intervention that emphasized, um, taught those students all the wonderful powerful decoding strategies for multi-syllable words so they would get confident about that.
Speaker 2 00:27:23 Any intervention, um, at any level, I would want students, um, well any level, at least by first grade, to have some word work intervention along with practice reading, um, in, in actual text. Not just drill and kill on words, you know, like multi-syllable words. But, um, do some work around multi-syllable words, some encoding of multi-syllable words. Uh, some work with, once we're at multi-syllable words, we should also definitely bring in morphology, um, and then devote some of the intervention time to actually reading text to build all that, um, to weave it all together as we see so, uh, so beautifully displayed in Scarborough's rope. Um, cuz th that's the point. That's what reading is. So we want to work on what are the weak strands of the rope and how can we strengthen those? But at the end of the day, um, it's the weaving together. So all intervention should be targeted at the skill, the isolated skill deficit of the child, but spend some time in that, in the actual reading.
Speaker 1 00:28:39 And if I understand correctly, you know, something you were saying earlier in the conversation, we could look at accuracy and look at the automaticity as both being factors that can lead to comprehension. Where does the ity or expression piece fit into that, and how does that connect to comprehension? Because I have a feeling it's not quite the same.
Speaker 2 00:28:59 Yes, yes. It's an important piece. It's always mentioned in good, accurate definitions of, of reading fluency or passage reading for fluency, because it is a component part, it is part of what, uh, we know is a, is, um, a skill, a competence of a skillful reader. However, the prosody or the expression piece is really different than those first two. The accuracy and the rate that we combine to use that term automaticity, those two things directly contribute to comprehension. Whereas posity expression, um, components of that skillset contribute to comprehension. But a lot of what we expect in terms of skillful expression is a manifestation or an outcome of comprehension. Uh, it's really difficult <laugh> to read with good expression if you don't know what the words are. Uh, I think most people can relate to that thinking about, uh, if they have tried as, uh, as, uh, as an adult to, to learn a second language.
Speaker 2 00:30:21 And what often comes, when we're learning a second language, what comes first is the ability to recognize words. And then our, our, you know, vocabulary comes later, but the actual fluidity and expression, um, will, will come even later and the spoken language. But we often, uh, can acquire the skill. I've heard this certainly in my case, and I've heard this from other adult language learners, is that we get pretty good at reading text. We can read a lot of text well beyond our speaking ability. But then if we think we have to read that text out loud, can we read it with good expression? Well, the only way we can is if we know what those words mean. Am I supposed to read with an excited voice here? Am I supposed to be terrified? Am I supposed to be neutral? Am I, I don't know if I don't know what those words mean.
Speaker 2 00:31:16 So Paula Schwan and Flugel and others who have studied this talk about prosody or expression being an outcome of comprehension rather than a contributor to comprehension. However, the components of their aspects of, uh, of, of expression, um, that we can, that really do contribute. And those, they're, they're often the little things like teaching students early on to stop at a period teaching students that a comma is the place where we pause for a slight moment. Um, what does an exclamation mark indicate in terms of how we should interpret this text, quotation marks, all those diacritical marks absolutely contribute to comprehension without them <laugh> comprehend, we're gonna have a hard time comprehending what we're reading. So those are really important. But the, the, the volume, the tone, the, the emphasis, um, a lot of that is, uh, first comes comprehension, then comes the, the ity. So it's a really different component than those first two.
Speaker 1 00:32:28 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, so interesting. When it comes to working on that text, reading fluency in the classroom mm-hmm. <affirmative>, what are some evidence-based strategies that you would recommend, and maybe what are are some of the don'ts that aren't so supported by evidence that maybe are kind of still lingering in classrooms as well?
Speaker 2 00:32:45 Yeah. Well, um, fluency comes from a lot of, of, uh, productive, skillful practice. Um, we get better at doing things, uh, when, when we build the accuracy first. So just giving kids text to practice to read faster and faster is, could possibly be detrimental if the accuracy isn't there first. So we wanna be sure, uh, kids can read the text reasonably well. And then building the speed, um, toward the 50th 75th percentile toward the goal of making it sound like spoken language. So any activities that do that. So peer peer reading, partner reading, where students take opportunity to read out loud to each other, can, can definitely, uh, build fluency. Um, having students work independently with a piece of text where they start by really making sure they know all the words, um, and then reading it multiple times. Often some of the studies have indicated between four to seven times of reading, not, not a whole book, but a piece of text, 150, 200 words, something like that, builds that stamina can actually build automaticity.
Speaker 2 00:34:10 Um, but we wanna be sure, uh, uh, the accuracy comes first. We wanna be sure that we're setting reasonable goals for students too. It's not faster and faster and faster. Um, some of the things that are, uh, so taking the same piece of text and reading it multiple times, we, we have evidence that that can be helpful in, in strengthening and building fluency. Um, wide reading, taking not just the same piece of text over and over, but reading multiple texts can be helpful. Just doing lots of reading and focusing on the accuracy, the rate and the expression. Um, so both repeated reading and wide reading have shown benefit to students. Uh, things like, uh, round robin reading in a whole class setting where we take turns with 25, 30 students taking turns reading, um, that's not going to build fluency. And, and, uh, there may be other purposes for doing that.
Speaker 2 00:35:14 I, I don't like round robin reading for a whole class situation because I think, um, it puts students in a, um, students who struggle in a, in a very, very uncomfortable, um, situation. But I understand that classrooms sometimes they've got a piece of text, they've got a chapter in a book, they've got some, um, some material that they want to cover. Uh, and that can be done through alternative practices like choral reading where the teacher reads aloud with the students and everybody's reading. So that one student who struggles is kind of protected in a situation like that. But that's not for the purpose of building fluency, it's, it's for, it has enough different purposes. Um, so, uh, um, uh, a thing that I would caution teachers to be concerned about too is, uh, working on rate or automaticity when the students are already just fine <laugh>. Um, it's that mistaken notion that faster and faster is better and better. It really isn't. There is a point where, where students have adequate fluency, um, and there's so many other things that they can and should be, should be working on. So making sure that we're setting the right goals for the appropriate students and then, um, creating opportunities for them to really do the practice that is going to be beneficial for them.
Speaker 1 00:36:43 Do you think in this conversation, are there any, you know, any burning things about fluency we've missed or any myths or misconceptions that we haven't touched on? Things that you wanna make sure listeners are aware of?
Speaker 2 00:36:53 Well, the biggest misconception I always hear is that fluency is about reading fast. Um, and that's certainly understandable and we haven't missed that. I know I've said it already many, many times, so, uh, but I'll just underscore that because it is, it does remain the biggest misconception I see. And, and that's so understandable because of the ways that we've defined fluency in the past, the way we've talked about fluency. In fact, you know, I highly revere and am so grateful for the work of the National Reading panel, that report that came out in the year 2000. But in that, in the chapter on fluency in that book, that's all based on research. They talk about, uh, fluency as the ability to read quickly, um, with accuracy and expression, but they say quickly first. And, and it's those kinds of things that can mislead, um, and misguide practitioners to think, well, you know, the national reading panel says it's about reading quickly. It, it's not. Um, so, uh, I don't, we didn't miss that, Kate, but I wanna underscore that that fluency is, is complex, it's foundation is accuracy, it's all about comprehension. Um, that would be my biggest takeaway, um, if people understand that aspect of it, that, um, and the reason we care about fluency is not to make kids faster. It's not to make kids sound like good readers. Uh, the reason we care about fluency, the reason we measure fluency, uh, is because, uh, it's essential for comprehension and, and motivation.
Speaker 1 00:38:36 And as you've mentioned comprehension, there's something that I did wanna to ask you about is, I know some people are a little bit resistant to the idea of those 62nd oral reading fluency passages because they think, well, I wanna know their their comprehension, though. I wanna know if they can understand. Could you please just for listeners, highlight what we do know about the link between the words correct, permitted and comprehension?
Speaker 2 00:38:59 Yes. And I get that I, I completely do those edu educators who are, um, uh, un what would I say, skeptical, maybe that's the best word, skeptical that we should be even doing those assessments. Um, a one minute assessment really on a piece of text that has been, has not been practiced by the student. And at the end of that, we're supposed to believe it tells us anything. Uh, that skepticism, I completely understand because I still remember, um, many decades ago now, but I remember when I first was introduced to this measure, um, this oral reading measure, this one minute measure, um, I, I, I was, you know, I had a master degree in reading, I was a reading specialist at the time, and I heard, uh, I heard this assessment being described, and I was completely skeptical. I, i, I just couldn't believe it told us anything of real value.
Speaker 2 00:40:01 Um, and my approach to my skepticism was to study it and to use it. And I am now convinced of its value, but it's not just the work that I've done. There's also been some really remarkable studies that have done some really, um, really nice designs where they do compare, kind of like this study I was just talking about, the white et all study from 2021 that compared comprehension to oral reading fluency. That's one of the more recent ones I know. But for many decades, people have been doing this. If kids' comprehension is good, how does that relate to their oral reading fluency? And there's just lots of studies that show a correlation. Certainly there's a correlation now measuring oral. So let me finish that thought. If we use orff, which is a, you know, easy to use, it's one minute. If the student's oral reading fluency, their words correct per minute is low, it's very likely that their comprehension is going to be low.
Speaker 2 00:41:04 It's, it's likely, it's, it's not a guarantee. There are kids who could have low automaticity and still be able to comprehend those kids are around. But, um, I just know their lives are gonna get harder and harder and harder as they get older. But, uh, and conversely, if their oral reading fluency is fine, it is likely that their comprehension is fine. Again, not for everybody. If a student is an English learner and they've learned to say the words, but they, they don't know what they mean. But in general, a quick one minute assessment is going to fairly accurately tell you who's, who are the kids who are likely understanding this, and who are the kids who are likely not. And of course, again, it's only at the thermometer reading, so we would need to do other assessments. But the, the correlation is so strong, um, that it's a wonderful place to start.
Speaker 2 00:41:58 And then there's the reality, um, of the fact that yes, comprehension is the most important thing. And yes, we should be measuring comprehension, but the fact is it's very, very difficult to accurately measure comprehension, um, comprehension. Uh, in fact, I was, I just heard recently, um, Hugh Katz, who's kind of one of my, one of my gurus around comprehension said, teachers need to stop, um, uh, trying to assess comprehension as a single with using a single measure because it is not a single thing. It comprehension, we use that term comprehension as though it's one thing. It's a multifaceted complex array of skills that include language, background knowledge, um, a knowledge of grammar and syntax and semantics, as well as the automaticity and all those component pieces. So researchers have figured out how to measure comprehension. Cognitive psychologists, school psychologists can measure comprehension using. But those assessments are truly multifaceted.
Speaker 2 00:43:13 Often take an hour to two hours or more before we can really say, this student is struggling with comprehension, and it's, which of the components of comprehension are they struggling with? Those, that notion that we can ask a child to read a paragraph and answer some questions and say whether they have good comprehension or not, um, that's just not true. So I understand when teachers are saying they're skeptical, I'm using that term that orff measures anything of value. Um, it measures a lot and it serves as an indicator of comprehension. And then if comprehension is the concern, we have a much bigger, deeper dive to do to really identify the source of a comprehension problem. So it's, um, it's, it's complicated <laugh> it's complicated and multifaceted. Yeah,
Speaker 1 00:44:15 Absolutely. And just in interesting the idea of, uh, I know teachers are so used to some other types of reading assessments where they are asking those comprehension questions, right? Yes. But I know I was leading some, um, Acadians training in my board a few weeks ago, and when they, there's a slide where they talk about those correlations between certain things and reading comprehension and how the, that words crack per minute score correlates more highly than the retail, which correlates more highly than asking questions, right? So, I mean, some of these things that instinctively we thought were the best way to assess may, uh, may not be. So thank you very much for explaining that on a little bit of a, a personal note before we start to wind down in your bio on your website, you do mention that you do some volunteering at your grandson's school. And I'm curious to know whether the educators there are intimidated when Dr. Jan Hasbro comes in to volunteer, or if they're just rubbing their hands gleefully together thinking, oh, let's take advantage of this. How does that work?
Speaker 2 00:45:12 Well, that's very sweet of you, Kate. Um, the, uh, most of them, for most of the teachers at my grandson's school, I am my grandson's grandma. That's, that's how they know me. They're, they're, they're, they're wonderful teachers and they're, they're, they know a lot of things, but most of them are not reading specialists that are, uh, you know, following reading researchers like me in a geeky kind of way. So like me <laugh>. But every once in a while, the, one of the first meetings I went there, um, I introduced myself to the principal, um, and he had not heard of me at all. So I simply said, I am Felix's grandma. And he said, oh, okay. And I said, and I used to be a reading teacher and Oh, okay. Um, and, uh, most of the teachers that kind of like, oh, that's nice, you know, something about reading. But every once in a while, um, like one of the meetings, uh, a school psychologist came to the meeting and we went around the table and she just said, your Jan, are you the Jan Housework? And everybody else at the table was like, what's she talking about? So, uh, there are, there would be some, I think perhaps a little nervous or intimidated. Um, but lucky for me, they <laugh>, they, I am just a grandma who used to be a reading teacher and I'm there to help. So it's worked out really well.
Speaker 1 00:46:37 Well, that's wonderful. The last thing I want to ask is if you could just share with listeners, is there anything you're working on now, any, anywhere you wanna direct people to, uh, to see your work or what's coming up next?
Speaker 2 00:46:47 Oh, yes. This is wonderful opportunity to talk about a project, um, with a, uh, uh, uh, one of your fellow Canadians. Um, uh, it's been about a two year project, and this is Nancy Young that I hope most of, uh, the people listening to your podcast are familiar with. Nancy created a wonderful infographic. Um, the original version of that was called The Latter of Reading, and, um, she expanded it a couple of years ago to call it the Ladder of Reading and Writing. And, um, I was a big fan of that infographic and had met Nancy and talked to her about it. And it was about two years ago, she reached out and said that she was thinking maybe about writing a book about the infographic, and would I like to join her on that project? So we are just wrapping up that book. In fact, this last week we went over the galleys layout with all the art and, and photographs and everything.
Speaker 2 00:47:56 Um, so that will be coming out, uh, toward the end of this year or early 2024, a book called Climbing the Ladder of Reading and Writing all about Nancy's infographic, but going into detail about, um, who are those kids climbing that ladder? Who are the kids who are gifted advanced readers, and what are some of the things that teachers can do to help them who are the kids who, um, have language difficulties or have dyslexia or have a D H D or are, um, coming to school speaking a different language or have dialect challenges or specific reading comprehension disabilities or writing disabilities. So we have a lot of good information in there for teachers also, because if you're going to meet the needs of all the students trying to climb the ladder, you need to differentiate your instructions. So we have a chapter about strategies for managing a classroom so it can be appropriately differentiated. So, um, I'm very pl very pleased and excited, uh, about that book. I think it's going to be very helpful for a lot of teachers to think about this complexity of, of helping all of our students become readers and writers. So that's a big project that I, that I am, uh, just, just finished or we will, we are finishing the work on that. Yeah, thanks for asking.
Speaker 1 00:49:27 Oh, that is fantastic. And I think I can speak for our listeners when I say that we are all going to wanna get our hands on that book when it comes out, and we always love a good Canadian American collaboration. Yes. With our, uh, with our neighbors and our, our friends in, uh, in reading science. Yes, Dr. Jan Hasbrook, this has been such an incredible pleasure to speak with you today. Thank you very much for being our guest here on Reading Road Trip.
Speaker 2 00:49:49 Thank you for the invitation, Kate. It was a pleasure.
Speaker 1 00:49:54 Show notes for this episode with all the links and information you need can be [email protected]
. And you have been listening to episode five with Dr. Jan Hasbrook. Now it's time for that typical end of the podcast call to action. If you enjoyed this episode of Reading Road Trip, we'd love it if you could rate and or review it in your podcast app as this is extremely helpful for a new podcast. And of course, we welcome any social media, love you feel inspired to spread as well. Feel free to tag Ida Ontario and me. My handle is this, mom loves on Twitter and Facebook and Kate, this mom loves on Instagram. Make sure you're following the Reading Road Trip podcast in your app and watch for new episodes continuing every Monday throughout the summer. We couldn't bring Reading Road trip to you without Behind the scenes support from Katelyn Hannah, Brittany Haynes and Melinda Jones at Ida Ontario. I'm Kate Wynn, and along with my co-producer Una Malcolm. We hope this episode of Reading Road Trip has made your path to evidence-based literacy instruction just a little bit clearer and a lot more fun. Join us next time when we bring another fabulous guest along for the Ride on Reading Road trip.