Please share the best practices that you have used with your students to support the development of reading fluency.
Amy Schmidt Trish Tracy Robyn Sturgeon Lori Seelig Michael Defoe Marziah Karch
Fluency can feel like an ambiguous topic that is hard to teach but it can be taught and practiced! Best practices for teaching fluency include direct instruction modeling and consistent practice and tracking of fluency. Direct instruction modeling of fluency can be achieved by modeling how to "scoop" 2-3 words together as you are reading through a sentence. Visual anchors that have arrows underneath 2-3 words can be a helpful visual. Also, consistently making fluency a focus while students are reading - I taught kindergarten and 1st grade so we had fluency goals like, "I will read the way I talk" which makes sense to young students and they can self-monitor on that goal. Buddy reading can also reinforce fluency - having reading buddies listen for fluent reading and providing peer feedback is a great way to practice fluency.
One of the most important pieces of improving reading fluency with students is first to help students understand what fluency looks like and feels like. I usually will start off the year with a mini lesson on reading fluency with an anchor chart that explains that good readers read with fluency. Fluency includes four main components - accuracy, rate, expression, and punctuation. I then do mini lessons on each of these components. I model what a good reader with accuracy does - checking to make sure that I am reading it correctly and it makes sense- and what a reader who is not being accurate does. I go through and do lessons on rate, am I reading too fast or too slow? Expression and using punctuation allows us to engage in the reading and increases understanding. After I have modeled all the traits of a fluent reader, then I give them a checklist so they can self-monitor their own fluency. The meta-cognition of monitoring themselves really helps them improve their fluency. I also let them partner read with the checklists and discuss how to improve and with which traits (I model this interaction in order to do it with kindness). I also will pull students back to read with me, and we can discuss their fluency using these terms. Due to the fact that I have taught it, and they have been using them, they understand how to work on aspects of their reading to improve.
Professional Learning Consultant
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