What is it?
Fluency is a student's ability to read accurately, with an appropriate speed, and with proper expression. Whether a child is reading aloud or silently, they must read fluently in order to understand what is being read; this comes down to a decoding issue. If a child is reading aloud fluently, he or she will read in phrases, pausing at punctuation marks, and emphasizing bold/italicized words.
What does research say? (AKA...why is it important???)
Have you ever been in a classroom and there is always that one child that no one calls on because they take "forever" to read a paragraph? This child could struggle with fluency. They read in a choppy, awkward manner due to their fluency struggle. This can also result in a negative attitude towards reading as the child's frustration builds, and they become more self aware of how their peers hear them when reading aloud. Fluency is important for motivation in young readers, and if they find reading to be too laborious, they will lose any desire to continue reading. Children begin to implement the skill of fluency at an early age. However, as they enter upper grades, it becomeds more important in order for them to develop a deeper comprehension of the text. If a child reads slowly and finds it to be laborious, then they will struggle to meet the demands of reading on their current grade level.
Record students reading aloud on their own.
Ask students to use their finger to follow along as they read.
Have them read the same thing over several times.
Practice, practice, practice sight words.
Try different font sizes and texts.
Create a stress free environment.
Guide students to help them establish a steady pace.