Reading: Performing Miscue Analysis

This semester, students in READ 3325.20B were asked to contribute a post to this blog.

By Patricia Cantú and Alberto Arriaga

What Is a Miscue Analysis?

It is a procedure that is used by teachers to assess student’s reading comprehension. It is based on giving students oral reading samples. It is believed that the mistakes that students make as they read have to do with their experiences  and language skills, so technically they are not just random errors.


Why Use Miscue Analysis?

The miscue analysis helps the teacher to identify which cueing systems are used by the student when they read. Students use different strategies to make sense of the text they read. The miscue analysis does not focus on e errors, but what the student does right so they can build their reading strategies.

Performing a Miscue Analysis

The teacher selects a text that the student hasn’t read previously. Also, the teacher needs to have a copy of the text that the student is reading to follow along, however the teacher’s copy will be formatted differently to record the miscues, the sentences should be numbered and have a double or triple spacing between them, also it is helpful that the margins are larger so they can be used to take notes. A miscue analysis session can be recorded in two different ways. The teacher can mark the miscues onto the typescript and it can also be recorded into audio and is used to document the student’s reading. An audio recorder can be vey important because the teacher can go back and make sure that the miscues that the student made were recorded.

Types of Miscues

There are different miscues that a student can make when reading a text and here are a few common ones that teachers always find:

  • Substitution : readers substitute one word for another words ( When a substitution is made, the miscue is written directly over the text that has produced an unexpected response.)
  • Omission : reader leaves out a word on the text (Omissions are recorded by circling neglected words.)
  • Partials : The reader begins to pronounce a word, but does not finish it and does not make another attempt to read the word. (The part of the word that has been omitted is then circled. You may decide instead to mark this behavior as a substitution, writing the part of the word supplied over the printed text.)
  • Insertions : Reader adds one or more words to the text. (An insertion is denoted with a caret.)

Cueing Systems

Goodman was the one who came up with the term ‘miscue analysis’ and he based this approach on the three basic cueing systems that he believed portrayed the reading process :

  • Graphophonic – the relationship of letters to sound system
  •  Syntactic – the syntax/grammar system
  • Semantic – the meaning system



Literacy Instruction with Media Technologies

This semester, students in READ 3325.20B were asked to contribute a post to this blog.

By San Juanita Sánchez and Silvia Vela

With the innovation of the internet and new modern technologies, we have all changed the way we live. Educators have begun the implementation of literacy instruction with media technologies. The use of these materials in the classroom brings both positive and not so positive aspects inside the classroom. For example, it is a way that students get in a way “motivated” to want to study literacy but this is a matter that can easily get out of control. As teachers we need to keep in mind that technical issues can always arise and these situations consume valuable learning time.

Not enough knowledge about technology and pedagogy by the teacher can also be a problem in literacy instruction inside a classroom. If the teacher is afraid of these technologies and believes that these media technology literacy instruction does not go hand in hand with her traditional literacy instruction, the literacy learning expectations from a child will be affected. Many times the children becomes mesmerized with the media technology and completely let go of the focus with is literacy learning. There is more to literacy learning that just having children successfully manipulate computer programs. Of course there are helpful programs such as Microsoft, PowerPoint, certain websites, and other programs that truly assist learning (literacy instruction) but as teachers we are whom should focus on what truly assists our students learning and what doesn’t.

In my opinion, I do agree that media technology is helpful in learning and many other aspects in our lives, but also as educators it is important to know how to correctly implement technologies in our classrooms. It is a fact that these tools can motivate student to learn but we need to make sure that they don’t get lost in the idea that media technologies are a “toy” but a tool to assist them in their learning.


Read Aloud

This semester, students in READ 3325.20B were asked to contribute a post to this blog.

by Jazmin Villarreal and Eliana Contreras

Read aloud, I believe, is the single most important thing you can do to help a child prepare for reading and learning. Read aloud can help children build literacy skills, language development, brain development, instill a love of reading and children can experience knowledge gained and shared. Reading is vital, pleasurable and valued by children as well as adults because it is informative and we can all learn something new by reading aloud.

ElianaRead aloud is recognized as an important activity that leads to literacy acquisition. It builds word-sound awareness in children which is a prognosticator of reading success. Read aloud to young children are not only one of the best activities to stimulate language and cognitive skills but it also builds motivation, curiosity, and memory (Bardige, B. and Paul H Brookes, 2009). It is said that children who fall seriously behind in critical early reading skills have fewer opportunities to practice reading.

Read aloud helps children develop positive relations, like for example when a parent or teacher reads aloud to a child it gives them one to one attention and encourages children to get associated with books and reading. It also helps children build a stronger foundation for school which is important because once a child starts school, difficulty with reading leads to failure in school for some children because they feel left out or don’t comprehend what is going on.

It also exposes children to story and print knowledge as well as words and ideas not found on day to day bases. Read aloud also exposes and gives children the opportunity to practice listening which is really crucial when it comes to small children.

Reading aloud can also stimulate their imaginations and emotions, by them listening to the teacher read.  It’s impressive when a teacher has the children interact with the reading all these ideas that they can come up with. It also models good reading behavior to students, by the way the teacher reads with emotions, and pauses.  Many time teachers can expose students to different range of literature, to enrich their vocabulary and understand sophisticated language patters.  When the students receive different range of literature the students makes difficult text understandable.

The techniques that we have learned in class are to choose the books that address the class reading level.  Before reading the books consider how to make the points out to the students in a successful process.  The most important one is that the reading chosen fits the overall curriculum.

It is also important for teachers to mark their text to remind themselves where they will need to pause and think aloud, or where they will have students interact with the text. That way the students will feel the flow of the reading, so that their environment can be as much comfortable as possible.  Teachers can also let the students choose their read aloud that way they will know that their interest matter.  Read aloud supports independent reading and can also encourage a lifelong enjoyment of reading.

Guided Reading

This semester, students in READ 3325.20B were asked to contribute a post to this blog.

By Denisse and Sonia

Reading is the most important foundation to a person’s education.  Reading is used in all subjects, such as science, math, social studies, language arts and any class you have in school. Likewise, reading is essential in our daily lives from reading safety signs on the road to reading our mail, our prescriptions, and groceries. Therefore, reading plays an important role in our daily lives. It is believed that reading to our children before they are born helps them become good readers later in life.  Reading is essential in life to encounter better opportunities; more so, it allows the human brain to expand its knowledge. As future educators, we encourage parents to read to their children since they are in the womb. When parents or teachers read to children they are guiding them to a world of learning by opening successful and rewarding paths.  Thus, guided reading is a great way to lead our students into those pathways.

For a teacher, the main purpose of guided reading is to hear and analyze the students’ reading in order to provide positive feedback to the students afterward. In addition, making sure that students become independent readers with approximately 90% accuracy.  Guided reading is a great technique that helps students in different skills such as word knowledge, comprehension, and fluency. Providing students with reading pointers or markers during guided reading is a great strategy and fun activity that teachers utilize in order for students not to skip a line while reading or get lost in their reading.

Guided reading is done in small groups of 4 to 6 students using a constructive approach to help students become fluent readers.  Guided reading should take about 15 to 20 minutes daily. After guided reading is conducted both the teacher and students have a discussion about the reading.  This discussion helps students to better understand the story and gain new vocabulary that the teacher might present from the reading.  During guided reading, it is important that student read books or passages that are appropriate to their reading level so their readings are easy to understand/comprehend. Additionally, during guided reading it is important for teachers to provide a copy/ book to each student in order for them to follow; otherwise, the child will become easily distracted by their surroundings if they don’t have something in front of them to focus on.

Reading and Writing: Students Decide

This semester, students in READ 6329.10 were asked to contribute a post to this blog.

By Ann

We are currently reading A Teacher’s Guide to Standardized Reading Test, and although it is mainly talking about standardized reading tests, I can’t help but make a connection to the standardized writing tests that students are required to take as well. As we have learned throughout the reading program, reading and writing work together, yet for two years, the state tested these two subjects separately. Just like a majority of the school in Texas last year, my school’s scores were dismal. Therefore, a part of my job is to incorporate more reading and writing into the different subject areas. One of the strategies that I introduced to all the freshman, sophomores, and juniors was RAFT. I used an article I found on the internet, and after reading the article to them, we filled out the graphic organizer that is used as a pre-write activity. What essentially transpired in each class was creative writing. It has been a very long time since I saw students get excited about writing. Many classes didn’t want the class to end because they were having so much fun creating a piece of fiction.

I couldn’t help but think of this experience as I was reading the first three chapters of Calkins’ book. There were so many things that I agreed with in these chapters, but I think the thing that stood out the most was when she says that standardized tests don’t do a good job of showing what kids can.  Again, I know that Calkins is talking about reading tests, but I believe that this true for most of these types of tests.  As I went into each classroom introducing RAFT, I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if students were able to decide what kind of writing they did on the test. All of us have our strengths and weaknesses as both readers and writers, what would happen if the students were able to find out what these strengths and weaknesses were, and use them to their advantage? Instead of being told what they have to write, the students could decide that for themselves based on what they are interested in, and what they are good at.

This past week I was required to attend a writing workshop, and found it to be very helpful in regards to how to spread literacy throughout all content areas. As the workshop was drawing to a close, the presenters but a quote on the screen for Lucy Calkins: “ Children’s curiosity and their passion to explore the world are the greatest resources we could ever hope to draw upon in teaching nonfiction writing.” I think this proves that children need to be given more freedom in what they read and what they write. Once this happens, then we can really evaluate how these children are doing, and my assumption is that they are doing much better than any standardize test could show.

It’s a Miscue Not a Mistake

This semester, students in READ 6329.10  were asked to contribute a post to this blog.

By B. Leal

We teach what we know.  We see this everywhere, from the way we teach our children how to do something to the way we teach our students any given subject.  We use worksheets because that is what we are told to do, or it’s what we know.  We correct students who are struggling with reading because that is what we have always seen. We, at least I, have never stopped to wonder if this is the best for our students.  What if what I know is wrong, and now I’m passing this on to my students?

When children are struggling to read, most teachers help them along by correcting them when they say an incorrect word.  It is such a common practice, that no one ever questions it.  Yet, it doesn’t matter how many times we correct students, some of them continue to struggle with their reading.

Part of the problem may be with our definition of reading.  Instead of looking at reading as simply saying words, we need to start looking at it as a way to make meaning.  In this way, miscue analysis would be a much better assessment for reading proficiency than the common fluency assessments we use in school.  We are not looking at how many words they say correctly, but rather at how the miscues affect meaning.

Instead of looking at how many words children read correctly for one minute, like fluency testing does; miscue analysis looks at the types and quality of miscues children make while reading.  Rather than looking at children’s mistakes, we look at miscues which provide a picture of what children can do rather than what they lack.

Using miscue analysis as a form of testing to determine what our students can do while reading allows us to develop a better plan to help them.  Most children are used to being told over and over again of their failures, so many of them eventually stop trying.  Our students seem to truly believe they will never become proficient readers.  By analyzing the miscues children make while they read, we can begin to instill a sense of belief in themselves.

By using miscue analysis, we can determine which cuing system our students use proficiently and which they need to practice with.  We need to stop telling our children to sound out words when they don’t know a word – we have been telling them this for years, and their reading hasn’t improved.  Our children need to use syntactic and semantic cues to help them read.  They need to know what they can do well so that they can get better, and miscue analysis is our best tool.

Read to Talk

This semester, students in READ 6329.10 were asked to contribute a post to this blog.

By M.R. Graham

We’ve been studying the stark differences between “real” reading and the reading students encounter on standardized tests. The former is exactly what the adjective suggests – real. It is the text students find in fiction, school books, comics, web articles, instruction manuals, menus, and instant messages. They interact with it in real situations, take meaning from it, and pass it back and forth among their peers. It is relevant to their lives. The latter is artificial, limited, used in enforced isolation, devoid of social context, used only in one situation far removed from “real” life. It is meaningless to the students, cannot be used or shared, and so they take no meaning from it.

And yet the latter is used to gauge students’ abilities with the former.

I hadn’t really thought about that before, but I should have. I always understood, even during my own time in grade school, that there were some things I read and retained and some things that went in one ear and out the other, and that the difference was that one mattered to me, and the other didn’t. I’ve always known that interesting text is easier to remember.

That’s not the whole of it, though. Even if I read something on a test that I find interesting, there is no reason for me to remember it, because I am strictly forbidden from discussing it. Why remember something you’ll never be allowed to use again? And why pay attention in the first place to something you don’t need or want to remember?

To me, the most important difference between “real” reading and test reading is the social aspect. All real reading is done with the knowledge that it can be used again later. You can talk about it with friends or with teachers. You can show off your knowledge or ask questions about things you didn’t understand. You can laugh about a joke you picked up. You can place an order from a menu or compare prices or make absolutely sure you can safely take one more Tylenol for that headache you get every time standardized testing comes up. Those are reasons to pay attention. “Pick the best answer from among the following” is not.

I recently spoke with one of my many, many cousins. I had heard that he was doing very poorly in school, despite the fact that everyone knows he is brilliant, and his reading scores especially were on the decline. In fact, he was close to being labeled as struggling. He didn’t seem to be doing anything important, just mucking around on his iPad, so I felt justified in interrupting to ask what was going on. He asked me to come back later, because he was almost at a stopping point. He was reading The Brothers Karamazov. For fun. And later, he wanted to talk about it.