Fluency is the ability to read text quickly, accurately and with expression while focusing on the meaning of text. Fluent readers can recognize words automatically and comprehend text at the same time (PRF, p. 19). Fluency and expression are developed by combining reading instruction with repeated, guided read alouds of appropriate texts.
This chapter in PRF defines fluency, reviews the research evidence pertaining to fluency instruction and provides numerous strategies that educators can implement to assist students in becoming fluent and expressive readers. The chapter convinced me of the merits of direct instruction over silent, independent reading and showed how teacher-supported reading is supported by scientific research.
DIBELS is a standardized, formal assessment to test fluency. This assessment provides an efficient means for measuring fluency and early reading skills. DIBELS is a benchmark assessment that monitors student progress and provides teachers with an indicator of where students are with respect to reading fluency. This is an effective tool because it helps teachers set individual goals and plan literacy instruction and interventions.
This purposeful and planned reading activity is an example of an engaging and motivating task. As part of the Daily Five instructional framework, this activity includes the modeling of fluent expressive reading and opportunities for rereading. This activity shows how a teacher can use allocated reading instruction time to support repeated oral rereading across a classroom. With teacher guidance and ongoing monitoring, students can engage in independent reading with peer support.
Readers’ Theatre is an effective way to provide legitimate rereading opportunities, which develops fluency, expression and ultimately comprehension (CTW, p. 46). As students rehearse, reread and perform, they engage with a dialogue-rich script, as shown in this video, accompanying lesson plans and associated links.
In this activity, students are engaged in shared reading to practice reading fluently and expressively. The teacher models proficient, fluent reading, and embeds explicit instruction within an interactive and engaging activity. This activity highlights the importance of using a simple text with repetition and rhyme to support early readers in critical rereading practice.
This article from Reading Rockets provides information on how to help students become fluent readers. It presented background information on how to maintain reading fluency for students making adequate progress and more importantly, it explained an intervention strategy for improving struggling readers’ fluency. This is an area I know little about, so this article provided me with some understanding of an effective fluency intervention.
This monograph explains the fundamentals of fluency in a concise and approachable manner. This CBS monograph is helpful because it defines important terminology, explains the key elements of reading fluency and explores opportunities for practicing this necessary skill. It also developed my understanding of how to connect fluency instruction to writing, to ensure that students apply their knowledge in a comprehensive program of reading and writing.