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Fluency: The Bridge between Decoding and Reading Comprehension John J. Pikulski, Ph.D. Professor, University of Delaware Author, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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Presentation on theme: "Fluency: The Bridge between Decoding and Reading Comprehension John J. Pikulski, Ph.D. Professor, University of Delaware Author, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fluency: The Bridge between Decoding and Reading Comprehension John J. Pikulski, Ph.D. Professor, University of Delaware Author, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers Nancy Quinn, Sales Representative Delaware County Reading Council April 29, 2009

2 “Facility in the language arts is the enabling skill that traverses academic disciplines and translates into meaningful personal, social, and economic outcomes for individuals.” California Reading/Language Arts Framework, p. 3

3 “Previously ‘unimportant’ reading difficulties may appear for the first time in fourth grade when children are dealing more frequently, deeply, and widely with nonfiction materials in a variety of school subjects.” Snow, p.79 THE Fourth Grade Slump

4 Research Based Reading Programs: Six Essential Components  Phonemic Awareness  Phonics  Fluency  Basic  Advanced  Vocabulary  Comprehension Sort of Easy, Part of a researched based reading program Hard, Requires much teacher persistence and creativity  Motivation

5 Fluency: The Bridge Between Decoding to Reading Comprehension:Quiz  Researchers and practitioners have always considered fluency of primary importance in reading.  Fluent readers can and do focus their attention on both decoding and comprehension.  The more time and energy a reader must spend decoding the less capacity they have for comprehension.

6 Fluency: The Bridge From Decoding to Reading Comprehension Anticipation Guide  Word recognition or decoding must be automatic to be a fluent reader.  Ehri reviews research that shows that words can be easily and correctly identified from context about 90% of the time.  Teaching students to decode words sequentially (e.g. /s/ /i/ /t/, sit) is detrimental to fluent recognition of words.  The speed with which one recognizes a word can almost always, and almost completely, be predicted by the number of times one has seen that word in print.

7 Fluency: The Bridge From Decoding to Reading Comprehension Anticipation Guide  High frequency words must be recognized by configuration clues since they are phonetically irregular.  The use of environmental print should be used as the primary vehicle for encouraging young children to recognize words rapidly and accurately as wholes.

8 Fluency: The Bridge From Decoding to Reading Comprehension Anticipation Guide  Research suggests that achieving and non achieving readers profit equally from “repeated reading” procedures.  The NRP concludes that research studies have shown that independent reading has no significant impact on reading fluency or success.

9 Stroop Effect horse

10 Theory of Automaticity LaBerge and Samuels, 1979

11 Theory of Automaticity  Humans can focus attention on only one thing at a time.  Humans can do more than one thing at a time if:  They fluctuate their attention from one activity to another. This is often very energy draining.  One of the activities is so automatic that it doesn’t require attention

12 Fluency “Freedom from word identification problems that might hinder comprehension” “The ability to read text quickly, accurately, and with proper expression.” “The essence of fluency is not reading speed or oral reading expression, but the ability to decode and comprehend text at the same time.” Report of the National Reading Panel. (p. 3-5) The Literacy Dictionary: The Vocabulary of Reading and Writing, Harris and Hodges, 1995, p.85, IRA. Samuels, S.J. (2006). Reading Fluency: Past, present, and future. In T. Rasinski, C. Blachowica, and K. Lems. Fluency Instruction: Research-based best practices. IRA. PP.7-20.

13 A Comprehensive Definition Fluency refers to efficient, effective word recognition skills that permit a reader to construct the meaning of the text. Fluency is manifested in accurate, rapid, expressive oral reading and is applied during, and makes possible, silent reading comprehension. Pikulski and Chard, The Reading Teacher, 2003

14 Decoding/Fluency Comprehension Reciprocal/Causal Relationship Between

15 Basic vs. Advanced Fluency

16 Prepare to read the following list of words as quickly as possible. They all look rather similar.

17 stick stink slick slink sting sling string sick sing sink

18 Each of the next two slides will contain a single word. Look at the word and then read it aloud.

19 Claustrophobia

20 Onychophagia The habit of biting your nails!

21 It Is Known That Proficient Readers:  Look at all the words and almost all the letters in those words  Have astonishing processing speed (exceeds 5 words /second)  Can accurately and quickly pronounce phonically irregular, infrequent words  Use spelling patterns and analogy to decode words  Divide longer words into chunks (syllables) based on inter-letter frequencies

22 Theory and Research of Professor Linnea Ehri

23 Ehri’s Stages of Word Recognition Development  Pre-alphabetic  Partial alphabetic  Fully alphabetic  Consolidated alphabetic

24 Antifractuocity

25 Sequential Decoding “The ability to perceive words and syllables as wholes evolves only through complete and repeated attention to sequences of individual letters.” Adams, 1990, p.130

26 Sequential Decoding “ Each time a child sounds out a word successfully, it leaves an elaborate trace in memory to be used again for the same word or to be modified for any similarly spelled word.” Adams, M. (2001). Alphabet Anxiety. In S. Neuman and D. Dickenson. Handbook of early literacy research. Guilford Press. p.76

27 atat ats sat

28 Decoding Strategy Kindergarten – Early First Grade 1.Look at the letters from left to right. 2.As you look at the letters, think about the sounds for the letters. 3.Blend the sounds together to read the word. 4.Ask yourself: “Is this a word I know?” “Does it make sense in what I am reading?”

29 Decoding Strategy First Grade and Beyond 1.Look at the letters from left to right. 2.As you look at the letters, think about the sounds for the letters and look for word parts you know. 3.Blend the sounds together to read the word. 4.Ask yourself: “Is this a word I know? Does it make sense in what I am reading?” 5.If not, ask yourself: “What else can I try?

30 What else can I try?  Reread sentence or sentences.  Read ahead for other context clues.  Look at pictures or other graphics.  Ask someone for help.  They give the word.  They give strategies. It is critically important, and very practical to remember that when coaching the decoding of a word that the teacher’s major responsibility is NOT to have the child decode THAT word, but to give that child the skills needed to decode any word in the future --- that build INDEPENDENCE!

31 Decodable Texts “If children are expected to sound out new words while reading, the text must be considerately designed and leveled with that in mind…. The reason for teaching children to pause and attend to unfamiliar words in one text is so that they will not need to in the next. The goal of helping children to recognize words quickly and easily is to ensure that word recognition will feed rather than compete with comprehension.” Adams, M. (2001). Alphabet Anxiety. In S. Neuman and D. Dickenson. Handbook of early literacy research. Guilford Press. p

32 Activities for Building Fluency  Systematic, explicit phonics instruction  A sound decoding strategy  Attention to high frequency vocabulary - word wall activities  Coordinated writing and spelling  Teacher guided reading Deep, Advanced

33 Activities for Building Fluency (Continued)  Partner Reading  Independent Reading  Coached Instructional Rdg  Building decoding skills and high frequency vocabulary into daily routines  Vocabulary/Languag e Expansion Deep, Advanced

34 Activities for Building Fluency (ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS)  Repeated Readings  Teacher Model  Recordings  Cross Age tutoring  “Chunking” of Text  Proficient Reader modeling  Visible Chunking by marking texts  Words in isolation  Readers’ Theatre - Reading Teacher, October 2004 Mostly Basic, Surface

35 The Classic Method of Repeated Readings  A meaningful, moderately challenging selection is broken into passages of about 150 words.  A group of similar non-fluent readers is assembled.  The students are given a pep talk about the importance of practice in sports, music, driving, etc. Whatever will appeal to them. Draw the analogy to success in reading.  A fluent reader (or recording) offers a fluent reading of the passage.  Each student works individually to build reading speed and accuracy.  When the student feels he is ready, he reads the passage aloud to the teacher or a volunteer who records accuracy and speed.  If the student achieves the goal of 85 correct words a minute, they are given the next passage to practice.

36 The Classic Method of Repeated Readings: Simplified .The same first four steps as in the Classic Method  Passage selection, group, pep talk, fluent model.  Students are grouped in pairs instead of working individually.  Students alternate taking the role of the teacher and the student.  Each passage is read 4 times, two times by each student.  Research shows that by 2 readings and 2 listenings, most of the gain has been achieved.  Students move on to the next passage. Samuels, S.J. (2006). Looking backward: Reflections on a career in reading. Journal of Literacy Research, 38,

37 Readers’ Theatre Resources Griffith, L.W. and Rasinski, T.V. (2004). A focus on fluency: How one teacher incorporated fluency into her curriculum. The Reading Teacher, 58, Rasinski, T.V. (2000). Speed does matter in reading. The Reading Teacher, 54, Martinez, M., Roser, N., & Steckler, S. (1999). I never thought I could be a star: A reading theatre ticket of reading fluency. The Reading Teacher, 52, Com/rt/index.hmtl (Source for free scripts)

38 Guidelines for rates of oral reading fluency Words/Minute Grade Beginning End

39 Fluency is critically Important  Allows students to complete assignments  Allows students to complete tests  Is vital to comprehension  Is vital to reading interest and motivation and for Matthew Effects

40 “Whoever forms a reading habit will never lose it. It is a treasure no one can take away. It contains wealth that neither poverty, nor old age, nor misery can tarnish. Youth cannot steal it nor storms destroy it, and like vintage wine, it can only improve with age. To help a child to learn to read and to develop a love for worthwhile books are among the finest things one human being can do for another. It is a reading world, and the road ahead is lined with books.” Anonymous


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