This article explains how Amira Practice detects errors and scores reading behaviors differently than Amira Assessment in the scoring screens.

Accessing Scoring & Error Detection within Amira

Amira provides an automatically scored passage, with student audio, that you can review after each student reading.

The Scoring Screen and Running Record toggles shows words that were read incorrectly, or not read, and allows you to edit the scoring if you wish.

Differences between Assessment and Practice

Amira uses an error detection technology that enables the software to listen to a child's utterance and decipher whether the utterance is a correct word. Amira's Assessment and Practice error detection technologies differ. Specifically, Amira Practice tends to be more forgiving in our error detection model for a few reasons:

1. We don't want to frustrate students by over-intervening on patently easy and likely well-mastered words due to slips of tongue or inadvertent omission, so Amira errors on the side of giving credit for non-essential words

(see list).

2. Amira does not intervene on the last word of the phrase (phrase is defined as each separate line of text Amira displays) and marks those final words as correct. When a teacher listens to student audio, final words in a phrase may sound as if they were cut off. The last word is “intervention-free” in order to minimize the transition time from phrase to phrase and ensure that the student doesn’t get “hung up” because they can’t skip past the last word and read on.

3. While Amira analyzes speech in real-time, she is listening for specific errors for intervention and does not prioritize every word (i.e. names, articles, words that don’t interfere with meaning, etc.).

Implications for Teacher Use

Research shows that Amira Practice is effective in improving student reading rate and accuracy with distributed practice (30-60 minutes per week). Her benefit comes in the form of the reading engagement, time on task, and the feedback provided throughout the reading process (see our Micro-Intervention Gallery to learn more). Detecting every error is not as essential in Practice mode as it is in Assessment mode. Amira chooses the right intervention at the right time for each student.

As a teacher, some possible uses for Amira Practice formative data could include:

  • Note the types of stories that are “easy” or “challenging” for students. Look for story length, topic, proper nouns, etc. as reasons to explain performance and goal-set around those findings.

  • Review the general pattern of errors that are scored by Amira for instructional guidance. Look for vowel patterns missed, missing endings, sight word errors, and reading fatigue.

  • Evaluate accuracy and reading rate trends across multiple sessions rather than being overly concerned about the performance on one session.

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