Fluency is essential to reading comprehension. In fact, for students in Kindergarten to Second Grade, the main reading goal is to develop reading fluency. In this post, we’ll focus on using partner plays to build fluency.
Modeling Reading Fluency:
So, how do you model what fluency is with students? How do you get students to increase their rate without losing accuracy and prosody? The answer is to keep it fun by weaving in repeated readings with different types of reading opportunities. Teachers should model through read alouds, explain fluency strategies, give students time to practice and allow them to enjoy poems, Reader’s Theater, paired reading, and choral readings. Most importantly, you must emphasize reading independently in the classroom with your routines.
After reading and reviewing Summer Reading by Richard Allington this summer over on Adventures in Literacy Land, it is apparent to me that summer slide prevention starts in August the minute your new students arrive. It is completely up to you to get that routine in place with your kids. (sorry if that feels like a lot of pressure) We need to plan for reading emergencies daily like Donalyn Miller says. If kids have books on them at all times, fluency will not be an issue.
As students progress through the grades, the importance of fluency does not diminish. In fact, it’s probably more difficult to keep a pulse on because kids move to more silent reading. Fluency is not something that is suddenly achieved like knowing the Dolch words because as students meet more challenging texts, fluency issues can really hinder the students’ comprehension. Therefore, the strategies we use need to continue with more complicated texts that grow the reader.
What’s important here then is that as teachers we all know the goal of appropriate fluency is to support and enhance comprehension. When there is a lack of comprehension, we need to look back and ask ourselves…Is the student reading the material fluently? If not, is it the text difficulty? Is the student missing the meaning of key vocabulary? Is there a lack of accuracy?
As you work with your kids on fluency, be sure to keep the strategies fun and fresh. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Consider radio reading (recordings of poetry or a popular speech)
- Closed captioning or karaoke
- Reader’s Theater
- Partner reading, or
- Partner scripts.
With all of these activities, it’s important to tie in comprehension activities so that you are addressing multiple standards with one activity. This also allow students to practice comprehension independently which will help later in the year with testing.
One of the suggested activities is using partner scripts, I do have a free resource I’d love to share. It is one I used this summer with a little guy I tutored. I have a few in my store that are similar in difficulty to this one, and I have a collection that are best for grades 3-5. You can check them all out [here].
To see other fluency ideas, check out the links below. There are several great posts with wonderful ideas.
- Making Partner Work Work for All
- Strategies for Teaching Fluency
- Five Useful Tips for Practicing Reading Fluency