Originally this blog was set up to be part of my portfolio for my M.E.T. from Boise State. But I've continued to blog about other EdTech topics as I've continued my journey as Digital Literacy and Technology Teacher at our STEM Magnet Lab School.
Having taught primary grades for over 25 years, I am always looking for engaging ways to teach young children, and music has shown me how rhythm and rhyme can make a difference in learning how to read. I wrote down songs on chart paper and taught kindergarteners “shared reading” with those songs for over 15 years. When I moved from kindergarten to 2ndgrade, I needed different “songs” that included the current curriculum content that addressed the Common Core Standards, just as I had done when I taught kinder. So while looking for the “songs” to teach my shared reading, I came across Lyrics2Learn on Twitter. It was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to use the program differently than how it was originally set up because I wanted to use it for a larger group as a “shared reading” block. I followed the program exactly how it was intended, but just used my class as one student and projected the lyrics on an overhead screen. My students were joyously active in this “shared reading” time. Students were so engaged with the rhythm and the rhyme, it didn’t seem like reading practice. I followed the program of Lyrics2Learn exactly as it was proposed, but did this whole group instead of individually. I saw what an impact it was for my students because they enjoyed it so much.
Moving to my new job of Digital Literacy/Technology teacher, I was given the opportunity to have a 2nd grade intervention group four times a week for 45 minutes per day. These intervention groups were picked by the teachers. Each group of six students have been of similar abilities. I then implemented Lyrics2Learn in my small intervention groups. We meet in an office where I projected the screen of Lyrics2Learn on the board and we proceeded as a “small group” participating in each song and it’s quiz. Again, we followed the program as it was intended, but I taught it in small group instruction. Each group sang the song together and individual students answered the questions aloud. This time allowed for all of us to safely share our thinking and become detectives while referencing the text. Afterwards, we use leveled passages from ReadWorks to continue with the intervention. The combination of Lyrics2Learn and ReadWorks has been amazing in the growth of our students. During student’s literacy block back in the classroom, they are individually set up with Lyrics2Learn and practice the songs that we have done in our intervention group.
Outcome: Student data showed improvement in fluency and reading comprehension with the intervention tools used. Students gained confidence in reading strategies and fluency using the online program of Lyrics2Learn. Blackstone, B. “Technology and Diverse Learners – Brennan Blackstone – Tripod.” 2010. <http://brblackstone.tripod.com/id15.html>
In this article, it supports that all students need a variety of methods to understand and improve on reading. It also states that reading needs to be individualized. This article was written in the hopes that whoever reads it get the understanding that we have to do something about our literacy programs in schools.
Technology, along with other learning methods, are crucial to the improvement of reading comprehension and fluency. The authors state that technology improves performance when the application directly supports the curriculum standards being assessed. Technology can improve test scores. These tech tools encourage and engage students in higher level thinking skills. Research and evaluation shows that technology can enable the development of critical thinking skills when students use these tools for presentation and communication to present, publish, and share results of curriculum projects based on standards.
Stearns, S. C. (2012). Integration of Technology Into the Classroom: Effects on reading comprehension.
This research paper was done to study the effects on using technology in the classroom to help with struggling and at-risk students in the area of reading comprehension. They studied lots of kinds of technology interventions and concluded that the benefits of using technology were beneficial in teaching reading comprehension and 5 out of the 10 studies showed that using technology for the struggling readers was more beneficial than traditional methods of teaching reading comprehension.