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Melanie McLeod
Nonsense Words
Mon Sep 7, 2015 10:19

I understand that the K-3 Dibels Reading Assessment uses Nonsense Word Fluency to determine if primary-grade students can decode short-vowel CVC words. However, I agree with the author and you that this part of the test is not needed to determine reading ability. Reading real words and words within context is what makes the reader fluent at reading and capable of comprehension. On our BOY Dibels assessments these past few weeks, the majority of my students stayed consistent with their reading comprehension skills over the summer, but half of my class did very poorly with regards to the Nonsense Word Fluency part of the test. Therefore, this demonstrates to me that being proficient with nonsense words does not have much influence when it comes to reading and comprehending grade-level text.

  • Whole to Part theory - byrdaw, Sun Sep 6 20:54
    The whole to part theory correlates with aspects of reading instruction that apply in my classroom. As a teacher, I begin my reading instruction classes with an IRI that includes spelling, word... more
    • Building Vocabulary - brittanyavery, Mon Sep 7 11:28
      For me, trying to build vocabulary always feel like I'm fumbling around in the dark not knowing what to do next. I've read and heard so many different opinions on front-loading vocab vs. teaching it... more
      • Building Vocabulary - haleyferrell, Tue Sep 8 08:37
        One tool that I have used in that past and that we continue to use in our school is Text Talk. Text Talk uses various children's books to showcase and identify new unknown vocabulary words. The... more
        • Re: Building Vocabulary - Candi, Thu Sep 10 15:33
          We just got text talk last year in K-1. I started using it last year and the students loved it. They enjoyed learning new words and using them, they would say they felt smarter. They also started... more
      • Word-a-Day Vocabulary - Melanie McLeod, Mon Sep 7 18:25
        Brittany: I use Word-a-Day for 1st Grade. It has activities to go along with introducing each word, and it also has a cumulative review. I also feel somewhat lost for how to teach effective... more
        • Word-a-day vocabulary - Regina, Wed Sep 9 21:04
          Hi Melanie, I really like the word a day vocabulary. I would love to try that in my classroom. Where did you get it?
          • Word a Day - Melanie McLeod, Wed Sep 9 21:10
            Hi, Regina: I downloaded the ebook from the teachers pay teachers website. It's a great resource.
            • Word A Day - Regina, Wed Sep 9 21:27
              Melanie, Thank you! I will look that up.
        • Re: Word-a-Day Vocabulary - Martha Brown, Tue Sep 8 09:33
          I really like the Word-a-Day. A new word each day is great to use with pre-school children as well for early vocabulary development. When new books are read and we get to a new word, it allows me a... more
    • Nonsense Words - Melanie McLeod, Mon Sep 7 10:19
      • Re: Nonsense Words - shannonsilver, Mon Sep 7 16:33
        Question.....Do you all see that students that are learning to find meaning in reading independently have a harder time with NMF tasks because their brains are trying to find meaning in everything... more
        • Re: Nonsense Words - candithompson, Tue Sep 22 11:23
          I have had many of my high readers struggle with NWF. When I talk with parents, teachers or principal I have always stated my opinion that I do not look at their NWF. Just like in the lecture Dr.... more
        • Nonsense Words - walshjm2, Sat Sep 12 21:31
          Shannon, as I read your question about children who are already reading for meaning, and how they can sometimes have a difficult time with NWF drills, I was reminded of my own daughter when she was... more
        • Nonsense words - Regina, Wed Sep 9 21:39
          Shannon, I teach second grade and I have experienced many students that are on grade level or above do poorly on the nonsense words. I feel the same as you... that they are trying to find meaning in... more
          • Nonsense Words - walshjm2, Sat Sep 12 21:14
            One point that I pulled from Dr. Koppenhaver's lecture was that nonsense words should not be used in Special Education. As a Special Education teacher, this really makes logical sense to me, because... more
        • NWF - joanne abrams, Tue Sep 8 19:49
          Hey Shannon, I was thinikng about your question and this is what I notice with assessing NWF. I do not notice my students struggling with NWF but rather the reverse, but in a sort of problamatic way... more
          • NWF - shannonsilver, Tue Sep 8 23:17
            The reason I asked was that once students realize that the words they are reading are to mean something to them it seems like it would be hard to make them read nonsense words because they are moving ... more
      • NWF - brittanyavery, Mon Sep 7 10:50
        Yes, Melanie I agree with you 100%, and I was so glad to read this and hear Dr. K address this as well. Even parents ask why their children are being assessed on words that have no meaning! I do not... more
        • NWF - joanne abrams, Mon Sep 7 11:30
          Brittany, I agree as well. The NWF assessment is hit or miss at best. I have experienced so many mixed results it's hard to know which students it's reliable for. For example, several of the students ... more
          • Re: NWF - brittanyavery, Mon Sep 7 11:32
            Yes, knowing letter sounds is basically the only thing it's good for!
            • Aggravating - Melanie McLeod, Mon Sep 7 12:34
              Yes....then it's crazy that we have to take quality instructional time out of our lessons to practice and monitor Nonsense Word fluency. I hope they eventually eliminate this part of the assessment... more
              • Aggravating - Regina, Wed Sep 9 17:16
                I agree! I have always disliked the nonsense word assessment. Not only do we have to assess each student, but then we have to take the time to progress monitor the students that are not proficient.... more
                • Re: Aggravating - byrdaw, Mon Sep 14 18:33
                  I would like to be informed of that reason as well. I believe there are numerous other ways to assess if students have the ability to decode words without using nonsense words. Are there other... more
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