What is It?
Reading fluency is the aptitude to read accurately, smoothly and with illustration. Fluent readers are able to recognize words with automaticity, which means the reader can recognize words instantly without having to decode the word phonetically.
What Does Research Say?
Reading fluency is incredibly important because it bridges the gap between reading accuracy and reading comprehension.
There are 4 components that insure a reading in proficient in reading fluency.
The figure above gives a visual example of what a fluent reader should be able to perform.
As a child’s teacher or parent(s), it is important to notice the signs of a struggling fluent reader. Fortunately, there are some simple signs that can be detected if there are concerns about the child’s reading fluency. The figure below provides a great outline of what good readers vs. poor readers might experience or perform depending on his or her reading fluency abilities.
Strategies for Fluency
There are many, many strategies a teacher or parent can use to practice reading fluency skills. I am providing 5 easy strategies that can be implemented to create fun, engaging fluency practice lessons.
Read Aloud to Model Reading Fluency
A child is never to old for a good, old-fashioned read aloud. Being able to hear the way reading should sound and look, allows the student to better comprehend how their reading should be performed.
Reader’s theater is a fun, easy way to improve reading fluency. Allow a group of children to take turns reading their parts from a script. Expect them to bring their parts alive with expression in their voices. Reader’s theater does not require costumes but who doesn’t like dressing up as a fun character?!
Also referred to as “buddy reading,” paired reading can become a daily practice within the literacy materials that are being taught in the classroom. It is important to consider how the students are paired. It is suggested to place fluent readers with less fluent readers but be mindful that the ability gap is not too great. The children will take turns reading the sentences, a paragraph, or page until the assigned reading passage has been completed. Paired reading can also be performed between teacher/adult and child.
During echo reading, it is important that the teacher displays enlarged text, making it easier for the students to follow along. Big books are great for this strategy! The teacher will read while pointing to the words to a sentence or short paragraph. Once the teacher has read, she will ask the class or child to echo read the material she just read while she points to the words as they read.
Reading at Independent Reading Level
The more reading practice there is, the better the reader’s reading fluency will become! The students should be reading at a level that requires little to no assistance from the teacher. It is also important to allow the students a chance to independently read on a daily basis.
The link below is to a fun video to practice reading fluency.