“Help all students improve comprehension and reading speed with free Microsoft Learning Tools that reduce visual crowding, enable text highlighting and voicing, and break words into syllables.”
As I mentioned in my May 24th blog post, fluency is more than mere reading speed. Comprehension is more than merely answering questions (see blog post of 5/10/18). Teaching a struggling student to read takes more than simply breaking words down into syllables, highlighting words, and enlarging the print size. If we want to teach children to read, we must teach letter sounds (see blog post from 1/27/18). Highlighting words on a computer screen is not bad, but children who struggle to read need to be taught that letters represent sounds.
Struggling students need more. If you really want to teach struggling students to read, you must teach letter sounds, especially vowel sounds (Shaywitz, 2003). Simply breaking words into syllables does not teach letter sounds. Even if you are able to teach a struggling student to read a simple story by practicing the words over and over, you still have not taught the student to read. Until the student can transfer the knowledge that you teach to any story, any book, you have not actually taught the student to read. It is not fair to pretend to teach a student to read when we actually have the research, the knowledge, and the evidence to show how to teach struggling students to read. At my reading clinic, students sometimes move up 4 grade levels in reading in one year, able to read many things, not just one story.