Today in our summer book study we’re talking about fluency! In the past, I taught at a Reading First school where the reading focus was on speed. Reading First wanted the students to read “fluently” and the assessment was an oral reading fluency test. If they could read 90 words a minute (second grade) they were good readers. There was a VERY small focus on comprehension but if they could word call 90 words they were considered good readers. As a teacher, of course, we know this isn’t reading. Just because they can say the words doesn’t make them readers. I love this chapter and the focus on fluency as a bridge to comprehension!!
Here are my takeaways from chapter 4!
Takeaway 1: Fluent readers read more
A non-fluent reader may only read 100,000-400,000 words a year but a fluent reader reads close to 4,000,000,000 words a year! This blew my mind. I had no idea how much of an impact fluency made on us as reader. 4 MILLION!
Takeaway 2: Fluency is speed, phrasing, expression, pacing and intonation!
Fluency isn’t just speed and the ability to read fast. It’s reading with expression and reading in phrases instead of word by word. Fluency is also about comprehension. Fluency is reading accurately but also reading words automatically and reading in phrases!
Takeaway 3: Sight Words or High Frequency Words Matter and build fluency!
I have always been a proponent of sight words because I’ve seen the impact they have on my students. Recently I’ve started seeing some pushback on sight words and how the focus should be on phonics! How about we do both?! Diller says that high frequency words are the anchor for our early readers because it gives them something that they already know! That builds confidence and allows them to focus on fluency and comprehension!
To see how we teach sight words in a research based, classroom proven way, check out Sight Word 60!
Takeaway 4: Shared Reading builds fluency!
Shared reading with big books, poems and emergent readers builds fluency! Research says that reading aloud is THE SINGLE MOST EFFECTIVE THINGS WE CAN DO TO BUILD GOOD READERS! So, it makes sense that shared reading helps with fluency in our students! For shared reading, use poetry and model how to move your eyes quickly! Use big books to show how to use emotion when reading. Use echo and choral reading to model how to read quickly and smoothly! Shared and interactive reading is a VITAL part of our morning literacy routine. I’m always proud of how fluent my students are when reading and I believe a key factor is our use of poems and sight word based emergent readers everyday!
What are your takeaways from Chapter 5 on fluency?
How do you teach sight words?
What activities/strategies do you use to teach fluency in your class?
What are your favorite read alouds to use to model fluency?
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