Reading fluency is the ability to read with accuracy and automaticity. When orally read, words come out effortlessly and sound natural. There is expression in the reader’s voice. Fluent readers recognize words quickly and group words into phrases. Because they do not have to decode words, fluent readers are able to put their focus on what these words mean. In other words, they comprehend what they are reading.
Nonfluent readers do not read with accuracy and automaticity. They struggle with recognizing words. As a result, they do not comprehend what they are reading.
Dr. Jan Hasbrouck, Ph.D. of Gibson Hasbrouck & Associates is an educational consultant, trainer, and researcher. She suggests that we think of fluency as a bridge connecting word identification to meaning. Without a fluency bridge, there is no comprehension.
Fluency develops over time. Some children acquire it easily while others do not. One way to assist struggling readers is through the use of repeated oral reading. The oral reading routine that I am recommending is based on the work of Dr. Timothy Rasinski, Ph.D., professor of literacy education at Kent State University.
Dr. Rasinski’s recommendation is to designate fifteen to twenty minutes a day on repeated oral reading. However, the time frame is dependent on the length of the selected reading material. As a result, up to thirty minutes might be needed.
Repeated oral reading five days a week may sound like a boring activity to children and their teachers, too. However, Dr. Rasinski believes that an end-of-the- week performance by students motivates repeated reading.
The fifth day performance should be a special event to celebrate reading fluency. Inviting relatives and staff members will motivate students to do their best oral reading.
I have created a "FREE" resource that will help teachers set up a five day a week fluency program.
Included are directions and activities for each day of the school week as well as song lyrics to read or sing
for the first three weeks.
Starting a program such as this can be challenging. Finding volunteers to assist on a regular basis is very difficult. However, teachers are creative, and they also believe "where there's a will, there is a way!"
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. If you are interested in a reading fluency program in your classroom, click on either of the Reading Fluency Fun pictures which will connect you to the resource.
Have a wonderful school year! Please sail back for more teaching treasures!