What is fluency?
Fluency is the ability to
read a text accurately and quickly. When fluent readers read silently,
they recognize words automatically. They group words quickly to help
them gain meaning from what they read. Fluent readers read aloud effortlessly
and with expression. Their reading sounds natural, as if they are
speaking. Readers who have not yet developed fluency read slowly,
word by word. Their oral reading is choppy and plodding.
Fluency is important because it provides a
bridge between word recognition and comprehension. Because fluent readers
do not have to concentrate on decoding the words, they can focus their
attention on what the text means. They can make connections among the
ideas in the text and between the text and their background knowledge.
In other words, fluent readers recognize words and comprehend at the same
time. Less fluent readers, however, must focus their attention on figuring
out the words, leaving them little attention for understanding the text.
Why is fluency important?
How do I teach fluency?
Students who read and reread
passages orally as they receive guidance and/or feedback become better
readers. Repeated oral reading substantially improves word recognition,
speed, and accuracy as well as fluency. To a lesser but still considerable
extent, repeated oral reading also improves reading comprehension.
Repeated oral reading improves the reading ability of all students
throughout the elementary school years. It also helps struggling readers
at higher grade levels.
Traditionally, many teachers
have relied primarily on round-robin reading to develop oral fluency.
In round-robin reading, students take turns reading parts of a text
aloud (though usually not repeatedly). But round-robin reading in
itself does not increase fluency. This may be because students only
read small amounts of text, and they usually read this small portion
Researchers have found several
effective techniques related to repeated oral reading:
- Students read and reread a text a
certain number of times or until a certain level of fluency is reached.
- Four rereadings are sufficient for
- Oral reading practice is increased
through the use of audiotapes, tutors, peer guidance, or other means.
Institute for Literacy
How do I provide fluency practice?
(from The Fluent Reader)
Center Repeated Reading
Reading of High-Frequency Words and Phrases
Passage Generator: Use this website by typing in a passage of
your choice...maybe a basal selection, social studies text selection,
or science text selection. The generator will return either a reading
level estimate or a fluency passage with running word counts on each
line. Excellent, excellent resource!
(This site was recommended by Timothy Rasinski. It is a compilation
of speeches by American politicians, athletes, entertainers, and other
famous Americans. Students can read the words of the speech as they
listen to the original delivery and can then practice reading the
speech to work on all aspects of fluency. What a great way to read
in the content areas!)
High-Frequency Sentences and Phrases
- Fluency Passages for The Best Thing
in the World (Passage containing all 220 Dolch Basic Sight Words):
6 (The entire
passage can be downloaded here.)
- Fluency Passages forThe Best Thing
in the World (Passage containing all 220 Dolch Basic Sight Words)
This one is broken down in smaller parts for 1st Grade fluency passages
(approximately 60 words per passage). Part
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