Friday, September 18, 2009

Topic: Fluency in Learning to Read

10-second review: An emphasis on fluency in reading has become an important part of teaching children to read.

Title: “Reading Fluency Assessment and Instruction: What, Why and How?” RF Hudson, HB Lane and PC Pullen. Reading Teacher (May 2005), 702-714. A publication of the International Reading Association (IRA).

The Importance of Reading Fluency in Learning to Read for Struggling Readers

Quote: “Reading fluency is gaining new recognition as an essential element of every reading program, especially for students who struggle in reading. Reading fluency is one of the defining characteristics of good readers, and a lack of fluency is a common characteristic of poor readers. Differences in reading fluency not only distinguish good readers from poor, but a lack of reading fluency is also a reliable predictor of reading comprehension problems. Once struggling readers learn sound-symbol relationships through intervention and become accurate decoders, their lack of fluency emerges as the next hurdle they face on their way to reading proficiency. This lack of fluent reading is a problem for poor readers because they tend to read in a labored, disconnected fashion with a focus on decoding at the word level that makes comprehension of the text difficult, if not impossible.” p. 702.

Reading fluency includes accuracy, rate and expression.

Timed Repeated Readings (Samuels (1979).

Quote: “Samuels was the first to describe the repeated readings method that is used so often today. It consists of a) selecting a short passage at the student’s instructional level (95% to 100% accuracy), setting a rate criterion, and c) having the student read and reread the passage over time until the rate criterion is reached. The oral reading rate is determined by timing the student for one minute and then counting how many correct words were read. Charting of the rate is recommended as a means of record keeping and of maintaining motivation with the student.” p. 708.

Quote: We recommend practicing with text at an independent level (95% - 100% accuracy). We also suggest using relatively short passages, texts from a variety of genres…. The accuracy, speed, and expressiveness of poor readers are more affected by text difficulty than average readers.” p. 710.

Comment: Other suggestions for activities are to read along with the student to try to stretch their ability to read fluently or read along with recorded material. The article gives information on some recorded materials. RayS.

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