During our monthly RtI/data meeting with kindergarten, we looked at our progress and concerns based on Dibels progress monitoring. We noticed that the students have made gains with nonsense word fluency and increased the amount of words they are reading. In an effort for the teachers to realize our RH data is as valuable as Dibels, I transitioned our conversation to formative assessment of RH transfer cards and text. One of the teachers shared that her students are able to read text without having to stop and segment to read words. She expressed that she had placed a cold read from another program in front of the students and they were able read the text with automaticity. She is amazed at the difference from years past. She stated that in the past the students would have segmented through each word and gotten through text, but it wouldn't have been pretty. Our kindergarten team has always been very strong, and I value their opinions and analysis greatly. Initially, they were afraid the program wasn't moving the students into text fast enough. So, they created their own text to go along with Chapter 1. I encouraged them to stick with the program. They now trust the method, and see difference in their students. It is with great excitement, that I share these stories with our 1st grade team. They are looking forward to having readers walk through the doors next school year.
Through careful analysis with our 2nd grade team, we discovered many of our students had gains of 25 words or more on Dibels Oral Reading Fluency. The gains occurred once the students received several weeks of instruction on the decoding skills. The teachers hadn't looked that closely at their data while keeping RH in mind. I helped them to realize it was after the decoding skills that the increase occurred. They were amazed!
I am thankful for the success that so many of our students have had this year because of the Reading Horizons methods and direct instruction. This success has given our students the confidence and motivation they needed!