What Is Reading Fluency?

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1 Intervention Sheet Reading Fluency Inclusion PD Now! How do I figure a student s fluency rate or words read per minute ()? Have the student read any grade-level text that he or she can read independently for one minute. Then count the number of words he or she read correctly. Use a clock with a second hand or a timer. It is suggested that you time three readings and take an average. The following are average end-of-year fluency goals by grade level for (words read per minute). These norms are outlined by Hasbrouck & Tindal (2006). 1 st grade = 53 2 nd grade = 89 3 rd grade = th grade = th grade = th grade = 150 Source: Hasbrouck, J., & Tindal, G. (2006). Oral reading fluency norms. Reading Teacher, 59(7), ERIC: EJ What Is Reading Fluency? Reading fluency is the ability to read text at a natural pace, with accuracy, and with expression. Why is it important for students to read fluently? Fluency provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension. Fluency doesn t guarantee comprehension; however, without fluency, comprehension is more challenging. When a reader has to continually stop to figure out unknown words, the process of reading becomes mundane and difficult, oftentimes disengaging the reader. When reading fluency is natural, a student will then focus on comprehending the text, putting a focus on analyzing, interpreting, drawing conclusions, and inferring meaning. Fluent readers are able to read aloud at a natural pace. They focus on comprehending the text since they can decode words automatically. To help students improve their fluency, teachers must focus on three key components of fluency: Accuracy: The student is able to decode words automatically and accurately. Rate: The student is able to read the text at a smooth and natural pace. Expression: The student is able to appropriately add expression, intonation, and natural pausing to heighten the impact of the text. Interventions to Increase Reading Fluency Model Fluent Reading. Students need many opportunities to hear strong examples of good, fluent reading. Read Aloud A text is read aloud by a proficient reader to the entire class or individual student. Audio Books The student selects a story to listen to on tape or CD while he or she follows along with the text. Buddy Reading A more experienced, proficient reader is paired with a younger student. The experienced reader reads aloud while the other student follows along. Repeated Readings. The text is read aloud as the students listen and follow along. After reading a short section of the text, the reader stops and the students repeat what they heard. Choral Reading Led by the teacher s example, everyone reads aloud at one time. Paired Reading Students are paired. Each student reads his or her text silently. After reading, the students take turns reading the passage three times orally to the other student. The listening student provides suggestions and feedback to the student who has read orally. Echo Reading The teacher reads a sentence, paragraph, or page aloud. After listening and following along, the students chorally reread that portion of the text. Audio-Assisted Reading Children listen and read along with an audio recording.

2 Intervention Sheet Reading Fluency Inclusion PD Now! 2 Monitor the targeted student s fluency on a regular basis. The student must be able to read fluently any text he or she can read independently. Remember: Fluent reading is accurate, smooth, and expressive. Use the chart on the next page to monitor the number of words read correctly per minute each week to recognize growth and identify areas in need of focus. Use the additional forms to make anecdotal records about the fluency interventions you ve attempted and used. More Interventions to Increase Fluency Practice and Performance. Practice is key to gaining the skill of reading fluency. Provide many opportunities for students to practice and perform reading selections. Performing helps students learn use of good expression to bring the text to life. Poetry You or the students select a poem to practice and perform. Nursery rhymes, songs, and speeches are also great for performing. Students can perform the poem to another student or another classroom. Poem for Two Voices A poem is divided into a T-chart representing each voice in the poem. Students alternate reading their identified lines from the poem. Sometimes both voices will read at the same time. Reader s Theater Select a play for the students to practice and perform. Each student has an assigned part in the play. Students are responsible for practicing their specific parts so they will be fluent when it s time to perform the play. Independent Reading Students read a book of their choice that is on their reading level. Students are able to apply reading strategies to improve fluency. A text that is not on the student s reading level will cause a breakdown in fluency as well as comprehension. Repeated Reading Use poems and rhymes for repeated reading, or have students select an appropriate text. Discuss fluent reading behaviors such as phrasing, rate, intonation, and so on. The students practice their texts several times until they have developed fluency. There are three ways to provide repeated reading experiences: direct instruction (whole class), independent choice, or assistance (audiobooks). Word Study. Students need to build their sight word knowledge (high-frequency words) in order to recognize words quickly when reading. This practice will help improve young readers fluency. Use a list of sight words, such as Fry's 300 Instant Sight Words. Speed Drills Write each sight word on an index card or flash card. Show the student each sight word, and ask the student to read the word. The word is automatic if the student can read it within 3 seconds. Time the student to see how many words he or she can identify correctly. Set a goal to increase the number of words read correctly for the next speed drill. Build-the-Word Practice For unknown sight words, have the student write the letters of the unknown sight word on small squares (2 x 2 inches) of paper. For example, if the student does not know the word that, he or she writes the letters t, h, a, and t on separate squares. The student uses the squares to build the word that correctly. He or she checks to see if it is spelled correctly by matching it to a flash card with the word on it. Repeat the process for any unknown sight word. Word Walls Place sight words on a wall that is easily seen and accessed by students. Have students interact with the words on the wall by having them read the sight words often and use them in writing and speaking whenever possible. Sight Word Bingo Create a bingo game board (4 x 4 or 5 x 5 set of squares). Write a sight word in each square. You (or a student partner) call out a sight word. If the student has the sight word on his or her game board, he or she places a marker to cover up the spot. Once the student has marked an entire row (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) he or she says, Bingo, and is the winner of the game. Source: Fry s 300 Instant Sight Words. Retrieved August 11, 2008, from

3 Monitoring Reading Fluency Progress Words Read Correctly Per Minute () Determine the number of words read correctly per minute on a text the student can read independently. Use the chart to monitor the number of words read correctly per minute each week to recognize growth and identify areas in need of focus. Student Name: Week 1 Date: Week 2 Date: Week 3 Date: Week 4 Date: Reading #1 Reading #2 Reading #3 Average Comments

4 Words Read Correctly Per Minute () Monitoring Reading Fluency Progress Sample Determine the number of words read correctly per minute on a text the student can read independently. Use the chart to monitor the number of words read correctly per minute each week to recognize growth and identify areas in need of focus. Student Name: Alison Hannacker Week 1 Date: 09/07 Week 2 Date: 09/14 Week 3 Date: 09/21 Week 4 Date: 09/28 Over the Hill A Trip to the Zoo Reading # The Little Bike Cities Near and Far Reading # The Hot Summer Day Picnic at the Park Reading #3 Average Comments As a 5 th grader, Alison s fluency scores are much lower than expected. She could benefit from fluency interventions. I had Alison try a repeated reading this past week and gave her a poem to practice and perform. She really seemed to enjoy the poetry performance in front of the first grade class.

5 Monitoring Reading Fluency Progress Model Fluent Reading Following a read-aloud session, ask the students: "After listening to how I read, can you tell me what I did that makes it good reading?" Encourage students to share their thoughts. Also, ask your students to think about how a fluent reader keeps the listener engaged. Date Read Student s Name What did I do to make the text enjoyable? Student Comments What did I do to keep you interested? Student Comments Repeated Readings Use poems and rhymes for repeated reading, or have students select an appropriate text. The students practice their texts several times until they have developed fluency. Use the form to record your observations, and see below for the codes that describe which strategy is used. Date Read Student s Name Repeated Reading Code Observations Repeated Reading Codes: CR Choral Reading ER Echo Reading PR Paired Reading AAR Audio-Assisted Reading

6 Model Fluent Reading Monitoring Reading Fluency Progress Sample Following the read-aloud session, ask the students: "After listening to how I read, can you tell me what I did that is like what good readers do?" Encourage students to share their thoughts. Also, ask your students to think about how a fluent reader keeps the listener engaged. Date Read Student s Name What did I do to make the text enjoyable? Student Comments What did I do to keep you interested? Student Comments 10/12 The Wish Brandon You used lots of expression. You You changed your voice while Giver got excited at the end of the you read, getting excited at chapter. different places. 10/12 The Wish Samantha I really wanted you to keep I like it when you read aloud! Giver reading. You made it sound so You are good at it. exciting! I could really understand what the characters were saying because you changed your voice to sound like a different person each time. Repeated Readings Sample Use poems and rhymes for repeated reading, or have students select an appropriate text. The students practice their texts several times until they have developed fluency. Use the form to record your observations, and see below for the codes that describe which strategy is used. Date Read Student s Name Repeated Reading Code Observations 11/12 Shiloh Jose Garcia PR Jose seemed a little unsure of himself during part of the reading. 11/13 Social Studies Ch. 2 11/22 Literature Anthology Small group: Brittany, Vanessa, Emily, and Lauren ER Students did well with the echo reading. Brittany was a little hesitant at first but gained more confidence after the first few paragraphs. Courtney AAR Courtney listened to the story on tape to help her reread the text fluently. Repeated Reading Codes: CR Choral Reading ER Echo Reading PR Paired Reading AAR Audio-Assisted Reading

7 Monitoring Reading Fluency Progress Practice and Performance Children need many practice opportunities to learn to read fluently. Performing helps students learn to use expression. Use the following form to collect data on the different ways students can practice and perform reading selections. See below for the codes that describe which strategy is used. Date Selection Student s Name Performance Code Observations Performance Codes: OR - Oral Recitation IR Independent Reading RT Readers Theater RR Repeated Reading

8 Practice and Performance Monitoring Reading Fluency Progress Sample Children need many practice opportunities to learn to read fluently. Performing helps students learn to use expression. Use the following form to collect data on the different ways students can practice and perform reading selections. See below for the codes that describe which strategy is used. Date Selection Student s Name Performance Observations Code 8/29 Tornados and Hurricanes Jose Garcia IR Jose seemed to stay focused during his independent reading time. 8/29 True Sports Stories Jose Garcia RR Jose spent a lot of time practicing the text so he can perform it next week. Performance Codes: OR - Oral Recitation IR Independent Reading RT Readers Theater RR Repeated Reading

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