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Strategies for Improving Fluency in Any Content Area

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Rebecca Rasmussen

on 10 June 2014

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Transcript of Strategies for Improving Fluency in Any Content Area

Prosody has 3 components.
Why is Fluency Important?
Fluent readers have more “brain space” available for gleaning meaning from the text. They do not have to spend their time and “brain power” decoding words and information. Their time is spent learning and thinking about what they are reading and what it means (Miller & Veatch, 2011).
What is Fluency?
According to Miller & Veatch (2011), fluency is one's ability to read accurately, to read at an appropriate rate, and to read with expression.
Components of Fluency
(automaticity)-words read per minute
Rate is impacted by vocabulary and the complexity of content.
-decoding words without errors
-intonation and vocal stress in speech (Miller & Veatch, 2011)
What is choral reading?
-the rise and/or fall of voice pitch; stressing certain words
-correct tone of voice; respecting the given punctuation such as exclamation marks, quotation marks, and question marks
-pausing at commas and breathing at periods (Miller & Veatch, 2011)
5 Strategies to Improve Fluency
1. Reader's Theater
2. Choral Readings
3. Tape or Audio Assisted Readings
4. Paired (or Partnered) Reading
5. Timed-Repeated Readings
"Choral reading is reading aloud in unison with a whole class or group of students. After hearing the teacher read and discuss a selection, students reread the text together" (Readingrockets, n.d., para. 1).
What is Tape or Audio Assisted Reading?
Tape or audio assisted reading is where students read along in their books as they hear a fluent reader read the book on a recording. This can be an individual or group reading activity. "As confidence and reading skills develop, students read the same passage or text without the assistance of the tape" (Readingrockets, n.d., para. 1).
What is Reader's Theater?
According to Linda Cornwell (Scholastic, Inc., 2014), "readers theater is an integrated approach for involving students in reading, writing, listening, and speaking activities" (para. 1).
Children are sharing literature, reading aloud, writing scripts, performing with a purpose, and working collaboratively.
Students read a script that may be adapted from literature while the audience pictures the action from hearing the script being read aloud. Reader's Theater is a very affordable fluency strategy because it requires no sets, costumes, props, or memorized lines. The reader’s goal is to read a script aloud and effectively, so that the audience can visualize the action. Performers need to bring the play and characters to life by using proper voice intonation, proper facial expressions, and some gestures (Scholastic, Inc., 2014).

Strategies for Improving Fluency in Any Content Area
In what ways will Reader's Theater help students?
Reader's Theater offers the following benefits:
• "develops fluency through repeated exposure to text.
• increases comprehension.
• integrates reading, writing, speaking, and listening in an authentic context.
• engages students.
• increases reading motivation.
• creates confidence and improves the self-image of students.
• provides a real purpose for reading.
• provides opportunities for cooperative learning" (Scholastic, Inc., 2014, para. 2).
Reader's Theater Resources and Video Demonstrations
Critique sheet: http://www.timelessteacherstuff.com/readerstheater/CritSheet.html

What benefits does choral reading offer?
Choral reading helps with
by providing a model for fluent reading as students listen.
Choral reading helps with
because it can provide less skilled readers the opportunity to practice and receive support before being required to read on their own.
Choral reading helps with
vocabulary knowledge
, because it improves the ability to read sight words.
Student seem
more motivated
to read and seem to
enjoy literature
Reading and re-reading shared texts may have the additional benefit of building a
sense of community
in the classroom (Readingrockets, n.d., para 1-2) .

Choral Reading Resources and a Video Demonstration

Video: http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/choral_reading
The Benefits of Tape or Audio Assisted Reading
According to Readingrockets.org the following are benefits of using tape or audio assisted reading:
• "It helps to build fluency skills including proper phrasing and expression.
• It helps students improve sight word recognition.
• It helps build comprehension.
• It allows students to hear the tone and pace of a skillful reader.
• It's a flexible strategy that can be used across content areas" (para. 2).

Tape or Audio Assisted Reading Resources and Video Demonstrations

What is Paired (or Partnered) Reading?
Paired reading is similar to choral reading. However two students usually work together. One is usually more proficient in reading than the other. The less proficient reader selects the text. The readers begin reading the text. They help each other when necessary. When the less proficient reader feels confident to continue on his/her own, he/she gives a signal to his/her partner. The same signal can be given when he/she would like the partner to join in reading aloud again. When the reading is finished they discuss what they have read and give compliments to each other regarding rate, phrasing, expression, and/or word decoding strategies (Readstrong, n.d., para. 1-2).
What are Timed-Repeated Readings?
What are the benefits of Paired (or Partnered) Reading?
Paired Reading is flexible. This strategy works with all kinds of text and in any content area. The teacher can move around the room to observe paired reading sessions and work with different students while other students continue reading together. Because the students are not exposed to a whole group, they will try to read materials that may be just above their normal reading level. Paired Reading models proper rate, expression, and vocabulary to the less proficient reader. This results in improved confidence. Hesitant readers can work toward large group reading (Adolescent Literacy, n.d., para. 2).
Paired (or Partnered) Reading Resources and Video Demonstrations



What are the Benefits of Implementing Timed-Repeated Readings?
Timed-Repeated Readings offers the following benefits according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education:

It helps improve fluency through repetition. On each reading the reader will improve. This will improve confidence and comprehension. The reader will begin to focus less on decoding the words and more on what the words mean.

Words that are read repeatedly will eventually become sight words, and those sight words add to the knowledge base of decoding other vocabulary words. The reader will have less fear in trying to read unfamiliar text.

The strategy is easy implement and is appropriate for any grade level and any content area (para. 2).

Timed-Repeated Reading Resources and a Video Demonstration
http://www.ldonline.org/article/6354 (scroll down)

Timed-Repeated readings are small selections of text that are read, timed, and evaluated for accuracy. When the timed reading is repeated there is improvement in the reader's accuracy, confidence, and fluency.
This strategy is easy to implement. You just need a stop watch, a selected piece of text, and possibly and evaluation sheet or log if you want to track results. The student reads for 1 minute. The teacher or partner counts the number of words read correctly in one minute. The student re-reads the same passage for 1 minute multiple times (3-5). Each time the results are logged and evaluated (Readingrockets, n. d., para. 3).
Adolescent Literacy. (n. d.). Paired Reading. Retrieved from http:/


Cornwell, L. (2014). Scholastic, Inc. What is Readers Theater?.

Retrieved from: http://www.scholastic.com/librarians/programs/


Miller, M., & Veatch, N. (2011). Literacy in Context (LinC). Boston, MA:

Pearson Education, Inc.

Pennsylvania Department of Education. (2014). Repeated Readings for

Fluency. Retrieved from http://www.pdesas.org/module/content/


Readingrockets. (n.d.). Choral Reading. Retrieved from http://


Readingrockets. (n.d.). Tape Assisted Reading. Retrieved from http://


Readingrockets. (n.d.). Timed Repeated Readings. Retrieved from


Readstrong. (n. d.). Choral Reading. Retrieved from http://


Readstrong. (n. d.). Paired Reading. Retrieved from http://

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