- The ability to read most words in context quickly and accurately and with appropriate expression
- In order for students to be avid and enthusiastic readers who get pleasure and information from reading, children must develop fluency.
Relationship between fluency and comprehension:
- It is critical to reading comprehension because of the attention factor.
- In order to comprehend what you have read, you may have to reread the text more than once or even twice so that your attention is freed from decoding and available for comprehension.
Ways to help struggling readers:
- Read one word at a time
- Give them material to read that is easy for them, and relevant to them. This way they will be more eager to continue trying and eventually grow in their ability to read fluently.
- Model reading fluently for your students.
- Encourage family to be supportive of reading at home
- Perfect venue for modeling expressive oral reading because in echo reading, your voice is the first voice and your students are trying to echo you
- Is another way to use to model expressive oral reading.
- Choral reading plays, assign groups of students to different roles. You divide students into five groups if you were reading, for example: The little read hen, Let different groups chorally read the parts of the narrator, hen, cat, dog, and pic. Reassign the parts and read it several times so that all your students get to read all the parts.
- Make sure that you assign your struggling readers to the easier parts first, it may take a few times of reading it but they may be able to fluently read the harder parts.
Rereading and why it’s important:
- “One of the ways we become fluent readers is to read something over several times”
- The first time, a lot of our attention is focused on identifying the words, the second time, we are able to read in phrases as our brain puts the phrases together into meaningful units. Third time, we read more rapidly, with good expression and seemingly “effortless” way.
- Many reading activities include rereading in the, echo, choral, recorded. It is beneficial to read material more than once, not only for fluency, but also for comprehension.
Fluency Development Lesson (FDL)
The FDL employs short reading passages (poems, story segments, or other texts) that students read and reread over a short period of time. The format for the lesson is:
- Students read a familiar passage from the previous lesson to the teacher or a fellow student for accuracy and fluency.
- The teacher introduces a new short text and reads it to the students two or three times while the students follow along. Text can be a poem, segment from a basal passage, or literature book, etc.
- The teacher and students discuss the nature and content of the passage.
- Teacher and students read the passage chorally several times. Antiphonal reading and other variations are used to create variety and maintain engagement.
- The teacher organizes student pairs. Each student practices the passage three times while his or her partner listens and provides support and encouragement.
- Individuals and groups of students perform their reading for the class or other audience.
- The students and their teacher choose 3 or 4 words from the text to add to the word bank and/or word wall.
- Students engage in word study activities (e.g. word sorts with word bank words, word walls, flash card practice, defining words, word games, etc.)
- The students take a copy of the passage home to practice with parents and other family members.
- Students return to school and read the passage to the teacher or a partner who checks for fluency and accuracy.
Source: The Fluent Reader by Timothy V. Rasinski, (Scholastic, 2003.)
- In doing a word wall you have to:
- Be selective and “stingy: about which words to include, limiting the words to the most common words
- Add words gradually, no more than five or six a week.
- Make the words very accessible by putting them where everyone can see them, writing them in big black letters and using a variety of paper colors so that the constantly confused words (went, want, what, with, will, that, them, they, this, etc.) are on different colors.
- Practice the words by doing chanting and writing them, because struggling readers are not usually good visual learners and cannot just look at and remember words.
- Do a variety of review activities to provide enough practice so that children can read and spell the words instantly and automatically.
- In selecting words: pick words you see students struggling to spell, or words they need often in their reading and writing and are often confused with other words.
Activities for word walls:
- Chanting and writing the words: provides your students with an auditory. Rhythmic rout to learning and remembering the words.
- Reading, writing the words. When combined with easy reading, your modeling of expressive reading, repeated readings, and recognition of the most common words will result in more fluent reading.
Library time: Provide multiple (if able) time slots throughout each day for library/reading time and encourage independent reading. Provide students with a library of books fully stocked at various reading levels. Make sure that children are reading books that are at their reading level. “Our best readers are fluent readers who spend a huge proportion of their reading time reading things that are easy for them” (Cunningham, 2016, p. 47). Students should also be reading material that is relevant and interesting to them. Teacher can walk around throughout this time and informally assess students individually. The teacher can ask questions about the students book or have them read a page to them. The teacher could also provide some modeling of fluency during this time. On Fridays, children are encouraged to read at least one book throughout the weekend and have sharing time Monday to talk about what they learned from their books.
Differentiation: High flyers, provide multiple books for them to be reading through. Even introduce them to a series of books. For struggling readers, encourage them to focus on one or two books. Make sure their material is at their reading level. As they are reading, have them put a sticky note on pages that contain words they don’t understand so you can make sure you address words they are struggling with.
Echo Reading: Through this activity, the teacher would have a prime opportunity to model fluency in their reading. They could show students how to be expressive and display prosody in their oral reading. An example of a book could be: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek7j3huAApc. This would be good for younger ages. It can be sung too, to teach rhythms in addition to reading fluently. The teacher could model inquisition expressions as they are reading to keep the students engaged. The teacher would read a sentence and then the students repeat after them. Have them redo the echo if they aren’t following well.
Differentiation: High flyers, Have them explain what an echo is, or provide example of an echo. Pair them with older students and have them read books that are at their level in pairs, the younger student echos the older. For struggling readers: model multiple times if necessary. Ask questions that will aid them in better understanding what fluency is, i.e. provide exampled of reading fluently and expressively and a poor example (monotone) and ask which one is better and why? Make sure they understand what an echo is before diving into this activity, they will need that background knowledge/understanding.
Recorded Reading: Books on tapes!! I totally did this when I was younger and loved it. Have students select a a book that is at their reading level and listen to the book on tape while reading with the reader (and follow along in the book with their finger). Have them listen to this book multiple times, or until they are able to read it fluently without any help from the recorded person reading. Then have the student read the book to their teacher to assess if this activity aided in their ability to read fluently.
Differentiation: High flyers: Maybe try giving them books that are slightly more difficult than they are reading independently and challenge them through this. Keep a close eye on them in order to assess if the aid of the recording is helping them develop more advanced skills or developing frustration. Struggling readers: Provide time for them to listen to the book plenty of times. Encourage them to listen and follow along the first few times and then have then engage in reading with the recording and just encourage them to keep practicing on their own away from the recording. Practice helps immensely!