Three core elements to skilled reading: Identifying the words FLUENCY Constructing meaning
Basic Principles of Fluency Instruction Fluency is the bridge between the ability to identify words quickly and the ability to understand the text. When students read fluently, they can focus most of their attention on the meaningful and enjoyable aspects of reading.
“Reading fluently means that you not only read all the words but also say those words in ways that communicated the feeling and meaning you want.” Gerald Duffy
Findings from the RAND study: Reading fluency lays the solid foundation for increased comprehension. The most effective fluency instruction consists of repeatedly reading aloud from the same text. This can be done either with teacher assistance or independently.
Approximately 44% of students were unable to read grade level material with adequate fluency according to an analysis of NAEP data. Pinnell
National Reading Panel of 2000 found a noticable impact between oral reading practice, feedback and guidance, and comprehension. Link between Fluency and Comprehension
So what is Fluency? It is AUTOMATICITY, or the fast and accurate recognition of words. It is PROSODY, or the intonation and phrasing to accurately reflect the meaning of the text. AUTOMATICITY + PROSODY = FLUENCY
Important skill because: Fluent readers can focus attention on the meaning rather than on decoding. Disfluent, struggling readers are slowed by the need to decode words. By the time they have decoded a word, the intended meaning of the sentence has escaped them, making the act of reading more tedious short-circuiting comprehension.
Why is it important? (cont.) It increases our understanding of text. When we read fluently we are paying attention to how the author wants us to feel and what the author wants us to know. One seldom becomes an enthusiastic reader without experiencing what it means to be fluent.
Detailed components of fluency rate of words read accuracy of words read automaticity, or the automatic identification of words while reading (child does not need to sound out word, he knows it.) prosody, or the phrasing of words to match the natural phrasing in speaking smoothness expressiveness
Fluent vs Disfluent recognizes words automatically groups words (phrases) to gain meaning reads with expression sounds natural, as if speaking labors in decoding words reading is slow, one word at a time lack expression words read sound choppy
Fluency pitfalls 1.Teachers failing to listen for fluency are missing a great way measure student reading growth 2.Teachers thinking that fluent students are always comprehending. Even fluent students sometime don’t stop to take in the meaning. (Reading is more than pronouncing words quickly and accurately.)
3. Teachers thinking that fluency is about rate. It is about pace. 4. Teachers forgetting that fluency instruction deals with finding deeper meaning in text. (disfluent readers miss the author’s voice and intent) other pitfalls and misconceptions
Fluency factors It develops from practice in a wide variety of printed materials. A key feature of the practice is multiple readings. Fluency depends on text difficulty, text complexity, and the level of student interest in the reading.
Take time to measure fluency Fluency is a great authentic assessment tool. It can help the teacher diagnose student need. Failure to decode, signals need for more phonemic/phonics or word study instruction
Failure to phrase, or use expression, signals the need for more modeled or guided practice in making words come to life for the reader. Jumpy or choppy reading can signal eye movement issues.
Other key points on Fluency instruction text selection to develop fluency should contain predictable structure, dialogue and decoding demands at the reader’s skill level developing fluency in students requires the teacher to work directly with the student and to define interpreting listening skills
Make the authentic connection Teach the vocabulary of fluency skills (i.e. expression, word stress, phrasing) Connect oral fluency with fluent silent reading (word stress, expression and phrasing should be occurring there also!) Transparently model it daily during read aloud time