By Nancy Brekke, Reading Interventionist, Guest Blogger
When students become more fluent, they enjoy reading more, are able to read more material in less time, and will better understand what they are reading. Then reading won't be seen as a chore but will be something to look forward to. Read on for some tips to help your students become more fluent readers.
1. Read Aloud
Reading aloud to children so they can hear how fluent reading sounds. Daily read-aloud time in every classroom is so important. Children of all ages and abilities will enjoy and benefit from this experience. To find tips on using big books to help students meet Common Core standards, you can read Big Books and the Common Core: Read-Alouds and Shared Reading.
2. Paired Buddy Reading
Pair students, then have them read together. Children can take turns reading by sentence, paragraph, or page. Encourage them to read with expression, notice punctuation, and read at the correct speed. You can also pair a child with an adult. Encourage parents to do paired reading with their children at home to ensure that you're promoting family literacy.
3. Use Audio Recordings
Have students listen and follow along with a recording a text reading. A large classroom listening library with many varied book choices is important. The Joy Cowley Collection Audio Green CD, Orange CD, and Red CD are great resources to use for levels Range F–I.
4. Engage Kids with Reader's Theater
Have children practice reading with expression with reader's theater. Children can take turns reading their parts from a book or script. To learn more about ideas on this for kids reading between levels I–M, you can read Benefits of Reader's Theater for Your Students.
5. Echo Reading
Display a big book or short story on chart paper. Point under each word as you orally read each word, sentence, or short paragraph. Then have the students echo what you just read, as you point under each word. Your students will absolutely love Joy Cowley Collection Big Books, and new Kaleidoscope Collection Big Books, and Zoozoo Animal World Big Books for this activity because these are all between levels A–I.
6. Choral Reading
Read a section of a displayed big book, poem, nursery rhyme, or song to your class several times until they are familiar with it. Then have your class read it with you.
7. Repeated Reading
Echo reading and choral reading are both types of repeated reading. Students can also do repeated reading individually. Choose a passage between 100 and 200 words. Have students orally read this same passage over many times. You could set a timer for a minute, and students could see how many words they read in that minute.
8. Have Students Be the Teacher
Before you read a passage, ask students to notice when you read it if you pause for commas, stop for periods, read with expression, read at the correct speed, etc. When you are done reading, ask them if you read fluently, or what you could improve on.
9. Encourage Reading
Remind your students that there are three to practice reading: 1. read 2. read 3. read! Explain that the more we practice something (whether it be sports, music, etc.), the better they'll get at it. Give your students twenty minutes of independent reading time each day. Make sure they are reading at their correct independent reading level, and that they are reading books they are interested in.
Be sure to explore Family Literacy Workshops for Preschool Through Grade 6 for great ideas to regularly facilitate family literacy at home. And don't forget to visit our blog again for more ways to ensure a love of reading among your students!
Nancy has taught grades 1–6, ESL students, and Reading Recovery. She is also a Reading Interventionist and an author of several titles in our Kaleidoscope Collection.