Repetitions: An Important New Data Point for Teachers

October 7, 2021

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SoapBox Fluency, our high accuracy reading assessment solution, has been built to support kids and their teachers. The rich and granular data it generates informs teachers’ approach to more personalized instruction, screening, and intervention, and helps them to more closely and regularly track each student’s reading progress.

Teachers rely on a myriad of measurements to assess that progress. In SoapBox Fluency to date, we’ve prioritized returning data points on words that are correct, inserted, omitted, deleted, or substituted, as well as word start and end time and word confidence.

Now, based on customer feedback, we’re also tracking and returning data on repetitions.

Below, Brenda McGuirk, a Product Manager here at SoapBox, explains repetitions and their value to teachers.

What are repetitions?

When reading aloud, we often make “errors” and correct ourselves by, for example, repeating a word we struggled with. This is a common feature of evolving reading fluency.

In order to accommodate this, the SoapBox voice engine identifies words that a child has repeated as “repetitions.” In the image below, these are highlighted in purple, alongside a confidence score and the start and end time of each repetition. 

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Why are repetitions an important measure of a child’s reading fluency?

In an observed assessment, teachers will make allowances for self-corrections, such as repetitions, as a child reads. In other words, they will not be marked as errors or insertions if a teacher sees it as a positive sign that a child self-corrects and tries the word again. However, if a child repeats frequently in a passage, it may be an indicator of emerging reading fluency problems that require teacher intervention.

Since repetitions require nuanced scoring and shouldn’t necessarily be penalized, returning repetitions as unique data points is of high importance and value to teachers.

If you’d like to learn more about voice-enabled reading assessments and how to use the data points generated to gain richer and more timely insights into a child’s reading progress, get started here. You can also watch our recent webinar, where VP of Speech Technology, Dr. Amelia Kelly, demos our Fluency solution, including repetitions.

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