What is fluency? Fluency is the ability to read like we speak. Students who are fluent readers read with speed, accuracy, and expression, and their reading appears to be effortless. By contrast, students who are not fluent readers read like robots. They may read slowly, pause frequently to decode words, and ignore punctuation.
Why do we care so much about fluency? Fluency is important because it leads to comprehension. Students who are not fluent readers are already working very hard to decode words, so they are unable to comprehend the meaning of text. In the upper grades, students who do not read fluently will begin to fall behind because they will lack the skills necessary to read and comprehend class materials.
How To Build Fluency:
- Re-read books
- Listen to fluent readers (parents can read aloud to children and/or play audio books)
- Practice sight words
- Try echo-reading
An Example of Echo Reading:
In this video, the student reads a book that she has practiced. Next, I ask her to work on fluent reading instead of "robot reading." To practice, she echoes the sentences after I read them. This activity can help build fluency.
Just For Fun: Watch the video below with your kids!