Like most teachers, you want your students to be successful readers. But what do you do if they struggle with reading fluency? Reading fluency is the ability to read a text accurately, quickly, and with proper expression. Poor reading fluency can impede a student’s comprehension of text, leading to frustration and discouraging readers. Fortunately, targeted interventions can help improve reading fluency. So read on to learn more! If you have students struggling with reading fluency, try out some targeted interventions to help them improve.
Table of Contents
Model Reading Fluency
Read aloud to your class frequently, pointing out when you are reading smoothly and WITH expression. Call attention to words or phrases that trip you up and explain how you solve that problem (i.e., rereading, breaking the word into smaller chunks, etc.). Allow time for students to practice reading aloud themselves so that they can get feedback on their fluency.
Provide Explicit Instruction with Phonemic Awareness and Phonics
Strong fundamentals are key when it comes to developing reading fluency. Make sure your students grasp basic concepts like blending sounds and identifying rhyming patterns before moving on to more difficult material.
That might mean you need to give students specific and targeted practice in recognizing common syllables and letter blends that they will repeatedly see in their reading. Similar to memorizing sight words, students need to recognize these quickly and avoid stopping to sound out each letter sound.
This set of 240 syllables and blends flashcards is perfect for small-group fluency interventions. Each card contains a common syllable set or letter blend with a word that highlights that set of sounds. Instead of sounding out each letter: m – i – s for the word mistake – they recognize -mis whenever they encounter a word with this syllable blend. Examples: misery, misleading, etc.
Chunk Text Into Manageable Pieces
When students are presented with too much text at once, it can be overwhelming and lead to errors in decoding and fluency. Give your struggling readers smaller pieces of text to work with, so they can focus on reading smoothly without getting bogged down by the content itself. You can also provide support like sentence starters or graphic organizers to help them chunk the text in a way that makes sense to them.
This set of common phrases is another way to help students learn phrases they will often see in their reading. Again, these phrases are like sight words in that they can help students avoid sounding out words that slow reading speed and fluency. By learning how to group words, readers comprehend the text better.
Make Time for Reading Fluency Practice
The best way for students to become more fluent is simply by reading—a lot! Try setting up a classroom library with texts at different levels so all students can find something they can read comfortably. Give them time to read independently daily, and encourage them to read aloud at home. Encourage parents to set time aside for students to read aloud to them – the practice will be worth it! The more they practice, the better their fluency will become!
Kids LOVE these pyramid sentences because they are a fun way to practice something that can be tedious. As they practice these sentences, they learn to slow down and pronounce each word, then speed up to read the entire sentence. You can use these in small groups or put them into a literacy center for ongoing fluency practice. Add these fun pyramid sentences to holiday reading centers too!
There is no magic bullet in helping struggling readers improve their fluency; it takes time, patience, and plenty of practice. However, if you use some (or all!) of these targeted interventions in your classrooms, you should see a marked improvement in your student’s reading abilities in no time!
This Reading Fluency Bundle has everything you need to use these important and effective interventions that will make a difference in your student’s reading fluency!
The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives.Robert John Meehan
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