The Importance of Reading Fluently

Teaching your students how to become fluent readers should be a very important component to your literacy instruction.
Not too long ago I had the pleasure of attending a conference by Timothy Rasinski a professor and author of many books on fluency instruction, including The Fluent Reader.

Here are two important concepts I learned and are important to keep in mind.

Here is a brief look at a great way to directly teach fluency to your small groups of students.

Guided Fluency Instruction-Modeling

Directly teaching fluent reading to your students can be quite simple.  The first step is to model how to read the passage. As teachers this means you read to your students in a meaningful and expressive way while your students follow along.  The passage can be a little difficult for your students (at or slightly above their reading level.)  Reading the passage can be done a number of times stopping to talk about the words or passage, for example…how you used your voice to make meaning and how you paused at a period or comma. 

After modeling then students and the teacher read the passage together. This is fluency instruction with assisted practice.

In my classroom my students love to Echo read and I like to do echo reading with my students when the text is more difficult so my students can become more comfortable with the words in the text.  In echo reading the teacher reads a sentence or phrase and the students do the same right afterwards.  It is important that your students are following along and you will need to make sure of that.
Choral reading is another way that you can use assisted fluency instruction in your classroom.  The teacher and the student reads the passage together.
The last stage is when your students read the passage independently.  Repeated reading of text is important and the student should practice reading the text a number of times.  This works well for small passages, or poetry. After the student has read the text independently, listen to the student read the text again.  When the student has mastered this passage they move on to the next reading passage.
Reading fluency is key to success in reading and the lesson above is just one way to help your students become a more fluent reader.

My store is full of material to help students read fluently.
Here is a freebie for all of you to enjoy.
I use fluency phrases in my classroom. The students practice reading short sentences and phrases.

The students can earn certificates when they have read the phrases fluently within the pack.  My students love to read these phrases and are motivated by the characters.  These little phrase packs have worked great for transition times.  When I am busy helping others or getting organized to start the group my students will sit and read these cards independently.
Reader’s theater is a great way to practice reading fluency.  It works great in my 1-3 grade multiage classroom.  The younger readers can listen to and get support from a more advanced reader. My students work on using expression while they read and of course they reread and reread the reader’s theater scripts which help them become more fluent.  Then my students like to perform  the skits and that is super fun for all my students. Reader's theater can be incorporated across the curriculum. Here are some reader's theater units I have available in my store.
Thanks so much for reading and I hope this gives you some ideas on fluency instruction!

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