Why is reading fluency important?
Reading fluency means that the reader is reading at an adequate pace (speed), uses proper phrasing (follows punctuation), accurately reads the words (decodes), and uses expression while reading. Fluency can be oral or silent. When a student can read fluently, they can use their brainpower on figuring out the meaning of the text. A student who is struggling with reading fluency will likely not comprehend what they are reading.
What can a parent due to help improve his/her child's fluency?
Have your child read to you a short passage (a few paragraphs) from a book that is at their reading level. See if your child is omitting words, transforming words, reading too slowly, having trouble figuring out words, or reading in a choppy, word-by-word manner. If so, your child needs help with his/her reading fluency. Some suggestions about what you can do at home to help include:
· You read a paragraph of a book, with your child following along. Then your child reads that paragraph after hearing you. (Echo reading.)
· Have your child read a page silently, and then have him/her read it aloud to you.
· Share poetry by reading it together several times together. (Choral reading.)
· Have your student read a passage into a tape recorder and play it back. Have him/her try it a second or third time to see the improvement.
· Have your child read a passage and time the student. Have your child practice reading the passage again while timing him/her. Your child can continue to read the same passage to you each day (for about five days), with you timing him/her each try. (This could take as little as five minutes a day.)
· (Some of these ideas were taken from Guiding Readers and Writers by Fountas and Pinnell.)Please realize that all students don't need to work on reading fluency, and we work on reading fluency in Support Skills class. However, if your child has fluency difficulties, it would help for them to practice at home on a regular basis.