Monday, December 29, 2014

The Six-Minute Solution

Gail N. Adams and Sheron M. Brown put together a reading fluency program for grades K-2 and remedial grade 3. They published their work as The Six-Minute Solution: A Reading Fluency Program (Primary Level). The intermediate level is found here and the secondary level is found here. Passages of which are found here. The main part of each book is, if not exactly the same, similar enough to not require duplication. The appendices at the end of each book, however, are useful for their leveled passages. Each level of the system has a different appendix.

The gist of the program is that in six minutes a day for a whole class, a teacher can implement a reading fluency program. After two days of teaching students how to time and record progress, student pairs are set to work together. Pairs are determined to be at the same reading level with fluency rates within ten words per minute of each other. When matches are not available, parent volunteers, paraprofessionals or the teacher can fill in as a partner. The authors suggest using cross age peers as possible partners as well. The authors provide instructional scripts but do not require that the scripts be used during instruction.

This program appears to be a suitable for implementing in a whole class setting. The authors offer suggestions for monitoring if additional support is required. Students who do not make fluency gains for two consecutive weeks are identified as needing additional support. This could mean changing the reading level of the passages attempted, providing sight word instruction and practice, or providing decoding/phonics instruction. It may also indicate that the individual has a learning problem that requires additional support through extra time. This guideline could be especially valuable in assigning students to response to intervention services. A tier two intervention could be for anyone who fails to make adequate progress in the whole class model for two consecutive weeks. Intervening after such a short period could truly enable problems to be solved before they mushroom into more complex ones.

Since fluency challenges are seen in students who are identified as successful readers (they decode and comprehend within grade level norms), finding a short and effective intervention is important. The idea that a mere six minutes of time could be spent to significantly increase reading speed, accuracy and expression is hopeful. Even teachers feeling pressed for time could dedicate 6 minutes to a daily program that they quickly (within two weeks) saw as making their class read better.

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