What are some strategies that foster fluency?
Read often. Perhaps the simplest way to instill fluency is to read frequently. The more practice that children have with reading, the more comfortable and simple reading becomes. Jennifer Wagaman, a special education teacher, suggests: “Young readers can share the reading with the parent, switching every page or every paragraph or even every sentence. Re-reading books over again is another great strategy that will help teach expression and reading in phrases.”
Model fluent reading. In order to read fluently, children must first understand what fluent reading sounds like. Therefore, when adults read aloud to them, expressively, they learn how to transfer those experiences to their own reading. Choose from a variety of genres: poetry, speeches, fairy tales and short stories. When finished reading, ask children to respond to the text. Help them become active participants in the story.
Provide pre-reading clues. Providing children with information about the text before they begin to read will give them the ability to better read fluently. Through these clues, they will intuit the emotions they will feel and the types of words they will encounter.
Once children understand the texts they are reading and begin to develop the skills needed for fluency, we can move on to the skills that transfer from reading to writing. Stay tuned for my next column on vocabulary and spelling!
An acclaimed educator and education consultant, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation,, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can view the web at rifkaschonfeldsos.com.