As they read, students use a timer and keep track of the words they skip or stumble over by lightly underlining the problem word. In step two, students practice reading this same passage three to four times along with a model to learn how to accurately pronounce all the words in the text.
This step is not timed, and the students read the entire passage. The modeled reading can come from a recording or a person trained to read the passage at a rate that is comfortable for the student.
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- Building Fluency through Practice and Performance.
The key here is that a student does not just listen to the model, but actually reads aloud softly with the narrator's voice, giving full attention to the text. Encouraging students to point to the text being read and informing them that they will be responsible for answering a set of comprehension questions after completing all the steps in the strategy helps students stay focused.
Once students feel comfortable with the text, they begin step three in which they read the text independently, again aloud, but softly. Students set a timer for one minute and read the text several times until they are comfortably reaching their predetermined goal level-and are ready to be checked by the teacher. Having some kind of silent signal for the teacher such as a flag or colored card at the students' desk can help manage this step. Students keep practicing the passage until the teacher can meet with them because this maximizes their engaged practice time-a key to improved skills in low-performing students Brophy, In the final step, the student reads for the teacher, who then calculates the WCPM score.
The student "passes" if four criteria are met:. When students do not pass, they continue practicing this same text. When they do pass, they graph their new score onto the same bar with their initial, unpracticed score, using a different colored pencil or marker. This graph gives tangible evidence to the students that they are improving-and keeps motivation high by showing them that their own effort makes the difference. For an external check on progress, the teacher should also periodically assess students' performance on an unpracticed passage by following the progress monitoring procedure described in the article "Screening, Diagnosing, and Progress Monitoring: The Details.
Students repeat these steps until they complete passages of equivalent difficulty. At that point the student and teacher collaboratively examine the data on the student's graph to decide what step to take next. If the student is making steady progress in the current level, but is not yet approaching his goal level on the first, unpracticed reading, he should stay in that same level for another passages.
If the student's first unpracticed readings are occasionally meeting or approaching the goal, the teacher and student may decide to move the student up to the next level of difficulty with the same goal, or stay in the current level of difficulty and raise the "pass" goal a bit higher. Of course, if at any time the student is having difficulty reading at the goal level after the practice readings, the decision can be made to move the student down to an easier level or make a downward adjustment in the WCPM goal. In addition to requiring the students to answer a set of comprehension questions at the end of each passage, some teachers have added other comprehension activities to this process, such as having the students write a five-minute re-tell response after each passage.
Using the RN strategy for minutes per day, for three or more days per week, can have a significant impact on improving students' reading fluency.
Building Fluency: A Fundamental Foundational Skill
In two studies reported on by Hasbrouck, Ihnot, and Rogers , second- and third-grade Title I students, as well as sixth-grade special education students, showed significant improvement in their fluency. The second- and third-graders received, on average, 32 weeks of RN instruction. From fall to spring, the second-graders' average WCPM increased from Third-grade students had similar results.
From fall to spring, their average WCPM increased from 42 to 93, meaning that they moved from just below the 25th percentile to well above it; they gained 1. The study of sixth-grade special education students also found significant improvements. These students were reading at levels ranging from grade 1. They received RN instruction in a special education class for 20 to 32 weeks and improved their fluency by an average of 1. I would like to add two caveats regarding reading fluency.
First, as this skill has recently garnered greater attention, and awareness of the link between fluency and comprehension has grown, there appears to be a tendency for some to believe that raising a student's fluency score is the main goal of reading instruction. As important as fluency is, and as valuable as the information obtained from fluency-based assessments can be for instructional decision-making, I want to caution teachers and administrators to keep fluency and fluency-based assessment scores in perspective.
The ability to read text accurately, at a reasonable rate, and with appropriate expression and phrasing is certainly a key factor in being able to understand what has been read and to enjoy the process of reading.
Nonetheless, fluency is only one of the key components of reading. I urge teachers to use the 50th percentile as a reasonable level of proficiency for students, and keep in mind that it is appropriate and expected for students to adjust their rate when reading texts of varying difficulty and for varied purposes. Pushing every student to reach the 90th or even the 75th percentile in fluency is not feasible or necessary and, for students at or above the expected level in fluency, the instructional time could be better spent by enhancing other critical aspects of reading, such as increasing their vocabulary and becoming better at monitoring their comprehension.
The second caveat is that we still have much to learn about fluency.
Building Fluency, Grade 1 - Teacher Reproducibles, E-book
Ongoing debates in the research community include questions regarding the value of reading lists of words versus sentences and paragraphs; repeated reading of the same passage versus reading several different passages that have lots of the same vocabulary; the nature of the text in which students would benefit most for fluency practice i. For example, we know that the ability to instantaneously recognize high-frequency sight words is an essential element of fluent reading. Researchers continue to explore whether or not having students practice reading word lists or passages is the more efficient way to develop this automaticity.
Until research provides a definitive answer, having students orally read passages seems more beneficial because of the added opportunity to work on prosody and comprehension. Likewise, we know that repeated reading of a single passage is highly effective, but it is not clear whether or not a set of passages on a single topic that has been carefully written with a large number of repeated words could be equally or even more effective. If reading a set of passages turns out to be as effective as re-reading a single passage, the set could conceivably be used to enhance students' fluency, vocabulary, and domain knowledge simultaneously.
We will leave researchers to continue their valuable efforts to address these important but yet-to-be-answered questions. However, this article should help practitioners feel confident that there is sufficient guidance from research to support the use of fluency-based assessments in their professional data-collection procedures, and to select instructional practices for both those students who are on-track and those who are struggling to develop the essential skill of reading fluency.
See these associated articles by Jan Hasbrouk explaining good practice in developing students' fluency:. Brophy, J. Educating teachers about managing classroom and students. Teacher and Teacher Education 4 1 , Hasbrouck, J. Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction. NIH Publication No. Washington, D. Government Printing Office. Osborn, J.
A focus on fluency. Honolulu: Pacific Resources for Education and Learning. Pikulski, J. Fluency: Bridge between decoding and comprehension. The Reading Teacher, 58 6 , Rasinski, T. The Reading Teacher, 59 7 , Shaywitz, S. Overcoming dyslexia: A new and complete science-based program for reading problems at any level.
New York:Alfred A. Snow, C. Preventing reading difficulties in young children. Stahl, S. Making it sound like language: Developing fluency. The Reading Teacher, 55, American Educator, Summer , 30 2. Hi, Your article on reading fluency and comprehension is hugely informative and useful. Thank you. Thanks for this very balanced perspective. Another computer program that directly targets silent reading comprehension with fluency is Reading Plus.
A report from a local school indicates students made improvements on average of over words per minute, and over 2 years improvement in their comprehension grade after 10 weeks. This article is very beneficial, especially when attempting to explain to parents why fluency is an important component in evaluating student reading abilities. I noticed that the author does not include any computer programs that assess fluency skills. Marilyn Yaegar Adams' Soliloquy Reading Assistant, now owned by Scientific Learning, is a tool created to assess students wcpm and comprehension skills.
It is based on the neurological impress method to increase students' prosody and reading rate through repeated readings. It is now labeled Reading Assistant under the product line offered by Scientific Learning Corporation. I would appreciate some feedback on the use of computer technology tools for improving reading fluency.
I am glad that there is someone questioning the importance of pushing the 90th percentile for fluency. I honestly feel that some students, especially the struggling readers may need to focus on other things besides fluency. Although, with teaching the other parts of the reading, word knowledge, and such, the students will work to become fluent. Some need to become developmentally ready for the fluency.
This may be the most useful article I've read on this site. It's "here's what we know; here's how to do it; here's a couple cautions" format is very understandable and useful to any teacher or parent. Thanks, Jan. Author Interviews Meet your favorite authors and illustrators in our video interviews.
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Skip to main content. You are here Home. Developing Fluent Readers.
5 Surefire Strategies for Developing Reading Fluency
By: Jan Hasbrouck. Related Fluency Norms Chart. Timed Repeated Readings. Reader's Theater. Teaching beginning readers to become fluent Because accuracy is a fundamental component of fluency, teachers who work with beginning readers must focus significant amounts of instructional time on basic word recognition and word analysis skills Pikulski and Chard, Maintaining reading fluency for on-level readers What about students in grades two and higher who are making adequate progress with their reading?
Improving struggling readers' fluency: Suggestions for intervention The research literature provides some clear directions on what to do with struggling readers: Interventions must combine the modeling, repeated reading, and feedback that research has demonstrated effective Shaywitz, The student "passes" if four criteria are met: the WCPM score meets or exceeds the predetermined goal; three or fewer errors are made; the student reads the passage with correct phrasing and attention to punctuation; and, the student can correctly answer a few comprehension questions.
Caveats I would like to add two caveats regarding reading fluency. References References Click the "References" link above to hide these references. Adams, G. The Six-minute solution. Longmont, Colo. Campbell, K. Great Leaps Reading Program. This box is great because the cards are 1st to 3rd grade which is where most of these fragile learners are.
Then the group practices the story with me before I pair them up to be timed. They practice in between each timed reading and get so excited when they get further after each reading. My reluctant reader is building so much confidence using these! So thankful my teacher friend recommended them. I am able to back up my struggling students to level A, which is great!
Students set goals, record their own data, and monitor progress. My students are especially excited when they reach their grade level goal and move on to the next grade level!
I would give it 5 stars if Lakeshore were to add Lexile levels to the passages. Great and easy-to-access fluency builders. Each level has a variety of fiction and nonfiction and includes a poem.
- Perfect Poems With Strategies for Building Fluency: Grades 1-2.
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I love the hearty laminated card stock and expect this to last a very long time. These are great for teacher-student instruction, pair-share learning, and quick assessment of student progress. I use it with my small reading groups and my students love it. It is an excellent reading resource for fluency and self-monitor words per minute progress. I highly recommend it. Excellent center for guided reading and works well as an intervention tool. Students are capable of using the cards independently. I'm a reading tutor in MN. The interventions I use are specific to reading fluency, and these numbered passages are perfect.
They are high interest reading passages at a variety of reading levels from grades in fiction, non-fiction and poetry. My students love them! Every parent should have this as a quick lesson to work with their children on the child's reading skills. This is the best! I will be purchasing the next set for grades The kids love that the reading lesson is so short, graphics are great and colorful. Find a Shopping List. Register now. Products Products Shop By Category. Featured Assortments. Free Resources. View Larger. Close Window. Fields in bold are required. Your Name. Add to Cart. We adjusted the quantity to the amount currently available.
Add to Shopping List. In stock and ready to ship! Call store for details. Recommended Age 6 yrs. Description Our fluency-building cards make it easy for students to practice oral reading skills—boosting speed, accuracy and word recognition as they go! The cards feature a variety of fiction, nonfiction and poetry passages—all with word counts at the end of each line. Please allow business days for delivery of any e-gift card. Instructor Magazine is now Scholastic Teacher Magazine.
American Heart Association Copy. National Parenting Product Award. Teacher's Choice Award Family Teacher's Choice Award Classroom Teacher's Choice Award Preschool Purdue Engineering Award. Building Fluency Card Bank - Gr. Please verify you are not a bot:. Send Cancel.