FLUENCY Definition: The way an oral reading sounds, including phrasing, intonation (expression), pausing, stress, rate, and integration (putting it all together).
Intervene When: Despite whole group instruction and teacher modeling of this concept, the student continues to read word-by-word with inappropriate phrasing or pausing, no attention to punctuation, and/or at a too slow or too fast pace.
Intervention Options: (Scroll Down for explanations of each.)
Þ Teach, Prompt and Reinforce (rate, pausing, phrasing, stress, intonation, and integration)
o Fountas and Pinnell Prompting Guide
Þ Push Eyes Ahead (rate and phrasing)
Þ Eye Sweeper (rate and phrasing)
Þ Re-reading/Repeated Readings
o Harcourt Fluency Builder Cards (rate)
o Reader’s Theatre (purposeful integration)
o Poetry/Nursery Rhymes/Song Lyrics (phrasing, intonation, stress, varied rate)
Þ Recorded readings
o Voki (integration)
o Audacity (integration)
o Tape recording (integration)
o Computer assisted (integration)
Title of Strategy; Teach, Prompt and Reinforce Description: The premise of this practice is to notice each student’s specific reading behavior (fluency) and to respond in brief, powerful interactions using precise language that teaches, prompts for, and reinforces effective actions in maintaining FLUENCY.
Observe the student’s oral reading behavior to determine the appropriate response. See table below for an example of an appropriate response to the student’s demonstrated reading RATE and INTONATION. Each component of FLUENCY can be observed in this way to determine which level of support to provide.
If a student’s reading behavior is: word by word reading
Teacher Talk: “Listen to how I read this quickly.” (Teaches) “Can you read this quickly?” (Prompts) “You read it faster that time.” (Reinforces)
lack of attention to punctuation: “Listen to me read this. My voice goes up at the question mark. (Teaches) “Make your voice go up when you see the question mark.” (Prompts) "You made your voice go up.” (Reinforces)
Source: Fountas and Pinnell Prompting Guide: A Tool for Literacy Teachers (flipchart)
Title of Strategy;Push Eyes Ahead (rate and phrasing) Description: An important factor in becoming a fluent and comprehensive reader is the ability to control one’s field of vision while reading. A critical component of this visual control involves efficient mental processing of “chunks” (five to nine units) of text as the reader moves left-to-right on a page. Smooth eye movement is essential for becoming a successful reader. As we read, our eyes scan across the page from left to right. At the end of each line, our eyes glance back to the left to begin the next line. Poor tracking slows reading and affects fluency, which affects understanding of the material. A quick and easy way to improve tracking and increase reading speed is to make a simple visual guide.
1. Teacher places his/her finger on the left side of the first word the child will be reading.
2. Teacher pushes his/her pointer finger across the first line of the student’s text. As the child reads, teacher moves his/her finger across each line. The goal is to push the student’s eyes forward at a faster rate.
Title of Strategy: Return-Sweep Eye Movement Description: Return-sweep eye movement is the horizontal-diagonal eye movement performed during reading while going from the end of one line of text to the beginning of another. This is a key part of directionality. The reader’s eyes should be moving rapidly, easily, and without conscious attention from line-to-line across the text.
Procedure: For some students, return sweeps are difficult and they tend to lose their place as they read. A common technique to overcome this behavior is to place a white card or bookmark above the line of text as the student reads and move it down line by line. This helps the student avoid interfering with the return sweep.
Title of Strategy: Rereading/Repeated Readings Description:Harcourt Fluency Builder Cards (rate): Use of short passages to engage in rereading practice to build fluency when children are reading word-by-word.
Teacher reads and student tracks (models fluent reading).
Student reads along with the teacher (and tracks).
Student reads alone (with focus on phrasing and fluency).
Title of Strategy: Reader’s Theatre (purposeful integration) Description: (also spelled "Reader’s Theatre" or "Readers Theater") is an activity in which students, while reading directly from scripts, are able to tell a story in a most entertaining form, without props, costumes, or sets. Use when children are reading word-by-word, not attending to punctuation, or need more expression.
Procedure: This is a reading activity, and students are not asked to memorize their lines. They are, however, encouraged to "ham it up" and use intonation and gestures appropriate to their characters and their characters’ words.
1. Student is assigned a part and reads it silently for practice. (Check in with children to see if they need assistance with any unknown words.)
2. Students read their parts in front of an audience.
* This repeated reading provides practice with integrating all the important factors in building fluency. It also keeps students engaged and improves students’ confidence in, and enthusiasm for, reading.
Title of Strategy: Poetry/Nursery Rhymes/Song Lyrics (phrasing, intonation, stress, varied rate) Students Description: practice and then do an oral reading of any poem, nursery rhyme, or song lyric for exposure and for fluency practice.
1. Student repeatedly listens to poem, nursery rhyme, or song to gain sense of fluency.
2. Students begin to join in and read chorally to practice the fluency.
Title of Strategy : Recorded Readings Description: The Recorded Readings strategy is based on the premise that when students can sit back and listen to themselves reading a text passage, they are more able and likely to:
· actually ‘hear’ specific fluency problems in their recorded reading (i.e., poor phrasing, intonation (expression), pausing, stress, rate)
· compare their reading to what fluency should sound like (when modeled by a fluent reader)
· practice corrections to specific fluency problems they heard
· compare re-readings of the text to the initial recording focusing on improvement of the specific fluency element(s)
1. Record student reading a selected passage.
2. Student listens to recording and (with or without teacher input) identifies fluency
concerns: poor phrasing, intonation (expression), pausing, stress, rate, and integration.
3. Student makes and practices corrections/improvements, then compares to
The procedure can be modified in several ways. Here are a few:
Student records 2-3 versions of the reading then ranks and compares them.
After student records the passage, the teacher (or other fluent reader) models reading the text fluently. Then the student compares that to his/her recording.
After identifying and practicing the identified fluency elements, the student re-records the text and compares the two recordings.