What is Fluency?

  •  What is fluency? 
    Fluency is the ability to read, speak, or write easily, smoothly 
    and with expression. In reading, fluency skills are the ability to see the 
    "big picture" rather than reading word for word. Reading fluency is often 
    associated with smooth and even-paced reading.

     Fluent readers can immediately recognize text or frequent clusters of letters. They have a good site word vocabulary and can see phrases as whole thoughts and not individual words. 

     If a reader struggles over these common letter patterns, their reading becomes choppy.  Students lose the ability to comprehend when they are struggling over words.  Their energy and focus is often spent on just figuring out the word and not understanding the text in front of them. To help these children, we want to identify why they are having difficulty decoding words and include interventions in their daily instruction.

     Fluent readers read aloud almost effortlessly and with varied expressions. They sound natural and unrehearsed. Fluent readers are reading and comprehending simultaneously. 

     Fluency develops over time with practice.  Young readers inevitably will sound choppy as they are just beginning to understand how language works and how to break the text into natural sounding chunks.  With time and many opportunities to practice reading, young readers develop these skills. Young readers also need to hear stories being read aloud.  Modeling fluent reading by reading aloud is most beneficial.

    To increase fluency...

     

    Students need to participate in repetitive readings of the same materials- teacher reads, students read with a partner, choral readings of the same passages...
      Have students tape record their oral reading and listen to their own reading.
      Daily oral and silent reading practice of at least 20 minutes!
      Read to a buddy-  Helps increase reading time because it is fun to read with a buddy.
      Have child read aloud to a parent, sibling, a relative, the dog, anyone who will listen!
      Model reading a passage with expression and fluency to the child and then ask them to read it (Echo Reading). Some children need to hear fluent reading first before attempting to model it themselves.
      Choral reading- everyone reads together.
      Have students read silently at home as part of their weekly homework. Silent reading DOES increase fluency, but it has to be done daily. The more children read the more automatic it becomes.