the National Reading Panel (2000), fluency is the ability to
read text with speed, accuracy and proper expression. Fluent
Recognize words automatically
aloud effortlessly and with expression
have to concentrate on decoding
focus on comprehension
“Fluency is important because it provides a bridge between
word recognition and comprehension.” (Reading Links, 2002, p.
Fluency doesn’t ensure comprehension, but comprehension is
difficult without fluency. If a reader is constantly stopping
to decode and figure out unknown words, most likely meaning
will be disrupted and the process of reading becomes long and
When students make gains in reading fluency, they are able to
put their energies into comprehension and are able to analyze,
interpret, draw conclusions, and infer meaning from texts.
Components of Fluency
known as automaticity, it refers to the person's ability to
read words in a text.
Rate: The speed a
Prosody: Refers to
stress, intonation, and pauses. Commonly known as "reading
In order to
implement fluency teaching into reading instruction, teachers
need to be aware of the three components of fluency.
need to select and facilitate the best methods of fluency
instruction for their children and their classrooms. The
following four components are needed for good fluency
guided oral reading instruction.
students ways to practice and perform.
Implement word study activities to build accuracy.
Here are some examples of activities for each of the
Model fluent reading: Students need to hear and see
what fluent reading looks like.
- Read Aloud - An adult
reads aloud a text to the whole class.
- Books on Tape - Children
can listen to stories on tape as they follow along in
- Buddy Reading - An upper
grade child reads aloud to a lower grade child.
Use guided oral reading instruction: Students need
assisted, guided oral reading instruction with a
teacher, adult, or a peer.
- Choral Reading -
All the students,
lead by the teacher, read aloud together.
Reading- Students are required to work as pairs.
Each student reads their text silently. Then the
students take turns reading the passage three times
orally to the other student. The listening student
acts as the teacher by giving suggestions and
- Echo Reading
- echo reading, the teacher reads a sentence,
paragraph, or page aloud and then has the students
chorally reread that segment.
- Tape Assisted
Reading - Children listen and read along with a
- Buddy Reading
- An upper grade student listens to a lower grade
student read, giving appropriate feedback.
3. Practice and Performance -
Children need lots of practice to learn to read
fluently. Performing helps students learn prosody.
- Repeated Reading -
Students choose their own appropriate text or the
teacher assigns a passage. The teacher discusses
reading behaviors such as phrasing, rate, intonation,
etc. The students practice their texts several times
until fluency has developed. Poems and rhymes are
great for repeated reading. There are three ways to
provide repeated reading experiences: direct
instruction (whole class), independent choice, or
assisted method (books on tape).
Reading - Children choose text on their
independent level to read silently.
Reader’s Theater is an oral performance of a script
usually based on authentic literature. Meaning is
conveyed through expression and intonation—students
need to interpret the script instead of memorizing it,
thus helping with comprehension as well as fluency.
Repeated readings, or rehearsals, helps students build
fluency in a natural and authentic manner.
Radio Reading - A form of Reader's Theater,
students, with copies of the text, perform in front of
Oral Recitation Lesson - This is a combination
of a Reader’s Theater and Round Robin Reading. In
this strategy, the teacher introduces a new selection
with the focus being on comprehension. The teacher
reads aloud the text and fosters discussion on the
content. After modeling a fluent reading of the text
and teaching the comprehension lesson, the teacher
selects students to act out the text while the rest of
the class reads it from individual copies.
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs, speeches, etc. are great
4. Word Study - Children need to build their sight word
knowledge in order to recognize words quickly when
Using a list of sight words, such as a
Fry's 300 Instant Words and or
Fry's Instant Phrases and Short Sentences.
Sight Word Bingo
students need fluency instruction!
instruction usually begins in the middle of first grade!
Implement Fluency Activities
Here are some ideas on
implementing fluency instruction into your curriculum:
Silent Reading Time
Literacy Center Ideas:
Listening Center -
children can listen to books on tape.
Poetry Center -
children copy and read poems.
Song Center -
children learn to read and sing songs.
Recording Center -
children read a story on tape.
Repeated Reading Rate:
A child reads a text. Teacher counts how many words were read
correctly in one minute. Child does a few repeated readings
of the same text as the teacher charts the progress of child
on a graph. This tests for rate.
Analysis/Running Record: A child is given a passage to
read. Teacher has copy of the same passage. Teacher marks
incorrect reading or omission of words. This tests for
Using either the Repeated
Reading or Miscue Analysis, teachers rate students' overall
fluency using an
Many schools are now