Questions about Reading Fluency

In a previous article I discussed the importance of reading fluency. The article gave insight into how teachers can instruct students on increasing their reading skills. In the article I discussed reading fluency was not best increased through silent and independent reading.

What about silent reading?
Fluency is better gained from direct contact with a teacher or other adult.

However, most teachers feel that silent reading is important for readers. So how should teachers teach fluency but still keep a handle on silent reading?

Use silent reading during times of independent class work time but in the place of reading instruction. Students can read silently while the teacher works with a reading group. Student can also take advantage of times during the day when they finish their work early.

Teachers should encourage students to read more independently outside of school. Encourage students to read at home.

Independent silent reading is not bad at school as long as it is not used as a reading class or for reading instruction.

Who needs reading fluency instruction?
If a student reads aloud from unpracticed text and cannot recognize or misses over ten percent of the words he or she needs more fluency instruction.

If ask to read a passage aloud and the student cannot read with expression, then more instruction is needed.

If a student reads aloud and does poorly on comprehension questions from the text that was read, fluency needs to be increased.
How do I assess a student’s reading fluency?

The most common way of assessing a student’s reading fluency is by listening to the student read aloud. However there are more formal means of assessment. One way to test your students is by using timed tests. You can time your student reading and then compare the time with a set norm.

A future article will more closely examine assessing your students’ reading fluency.

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