What is Fluency?
- the ability to recognize words easily
- reading with speed
- reading with expression
- reading with accuracy
- understanding what is read
How Can Teachers Improve Students’ Fluency?
- READ – Encourage students to READ, READ, READ!!! They can read a paper copy of a book or a digital one. They can listen to a book on CD and read along. Get books in their hands! Let them choose books they are interested in.
- Model Fluency – Read to students so they hear and understand what fluent reading sounds like. There are millions of books to choose from for all age levels! Choose something that will interest students. When you read, get interested in the book and be expressive! Reading aloud to my students is one of my favorite things to do!
- Choral Readings – Read a text to your students, asking them to follow along. After you finish, tell the students to read it aloud with you.
- Repeated Readings – Give your students opportunities to read and reread a variety of texts.
- Plays / Reader’s Theater – Incorporate plays and reader’s theater scripts into your classroom. Students read and practice their lines several times. Then they present them orally. Combining the repeated readings with an oral presentation provides multiple opportunities to increase their fluency. Deb Hanson’s “Partner Plays” are my absolute favorites!
- Sight Words – Sight words are so important to learn! When students can read their sight words without having to sound them out, they are able to spend their time and energy decoding harder words.
- Fluency Phrases – Fluency phrases, like these, are even more helpful than sight words. Think about it. When we read, we read sentences and paragraphs. We don’t read one word, pause, read another word, pause, etc. Fluency phrases are longer, building stamina and increasing confidence.
- Fluency Passages – I use fluency passages in the classroom and at home. Students read these passages during the day – either alone, with a partner, or to me. I also send these home weekly, so that students can get additional practice. They read each passage three times a day, on three different days. They time themselves for one minute and record the number of words read correctly in the minute. They record their data and chart it. Students LOVE charting their data and watching themselves grow each day!
I would love to hear how you increase students’ fluency in the classroom! Leave me a comment below!