Fluent reading can be defined as the ability to read aloud and with understanding and expression. Unfortunately, 45% of American students are defined as influent readers.
To improve reading skills following strategies can be implemented:
- model fluent reading
- repeated reading in class
- phrased reading in class
- enlisting tutors
- reader’s theater in class
Model fluent reading
The strategy is based on the demonstration of the fluent reading. The teacher should read aloud with great expression demonstrating how fluent reading should sound. It is necessary to use works of different genres like poetry, fairy and folk tales, poetry and other genres that are characterized by abundant lyrical language.
Repeated reading in class
This strategy is strengthening the student’s ease to read by helping them to recognize high-frequency words. One of the best ways to do it is to have students reread short passages. It is good, to begin with, short poem and provide the copy of that poem to the students, then read it aloud and then discuss reading behaviors such as intonation (emphasizing a particular word or phrase), rate (speed or reading) and phrasing (reading several words at one breath). Then the students should be engaged in the echo reading – students should repeat the line that was read by the teacher. Then the student can read the poem all together as a choral reading. This allows engaging all students in the active reading and the student may be less concerned about making a mistake acting as a part of the group of readers.
This activity is intended to demonstrate how fluent readers read phrases. For this exercise, the poem should be selected. The teacher should write the lines of the poem on the sentence strips. The students should read the phrases together while the teacher’s task is to demonstrate how fluent readers read several words at a time instead of reading the words one by one. The strategy is aimed to promote phrasing.
Tutors can provide good support for the students that have problems with fluent reading. For this activity, a volunteer from parents or older students is needed. The tutor is supposed to give positive feedback if the reader reads fluently and help to reread the passage when it is needed. The sessions should not be more than 15 minutes. A teacher can also give tutors the texts that will be read in class so that he could help the student to prepare for the class reading.
Using the script, it is easy to engage students in the reading theatre that would help students to gain more confidence reading to the audience. Several students should be chosen and given the roles.
They should sit in the front part of the classroom so that the rest of the class could see them. Each reader should not only read but also pay attention to the audience response to his (her) reading to determine the way of reading that interests audience the most.
On the first day the book “I can lick 30 tigers today” can be used. Since the students will be engaged in the groups of two the tutor’s practice can be applied. The better reading students should provide help for the poor reader as one-on-one supports. The more fluent readers can be told how to react to the fluent reading and how to help the students to correct their mistakes. The teacher can also have one of the fluently reading students to read aloud in front of the class that will certainly be an exhalant example for the rest of the class.
On the third day, the students can be engaged in the reading theatre activity. Since the scene for the theatre can be short, it can be a great activity that eventually would involve all the students. Every student can take part in the play through the rotation. As a result, all students will have the opportunity to improve their skills and take part in the playing activity, which would certainly keep their interest. The book “Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose” can be picked up for this activity.
During the entire week, the model reading activity should be continuously applied. Since each day the teacher is to read it is a good opportunity to demonstrate the skills of fluent reading to the class.
For model reading the book “Did I ever tell you how lucky you are?” can be used. The model reading would demonstrate children how fluent reading should sound and present a real sample of their final goal. It would allow children to imitate teacher’s reading.
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