Thursday, October 17, 2013

Crossing the Bridge from Fluency to COMPREHENSION

Tim Rasinski, the fluency guru, explains that there are 3 different components of fluency.  

  • Accuracy while decoding and reading words
  • Reading words automatically
  • Interpreting the meaning of text

The US Department of Education did a study that discovered that there is an extremely strong relationship between a students oral reading skills / fluency and that same student being able to comprehend and interpret the meaning of text when they are reading silently to themselves.  

They also discovered that fluency can actually be taught by using modeling and teaching students specific fluency behaviors.  Best of all, when a student makes progress with fluency, they also make progress in comprehension.  I think most of us as teachers know and understand that comprehension is the ultimate end goal.  

Tim Rasinski talks about several different strategies that teachers and parents can do to help their students because stronger readers.  He also agrees that good fluency equals good comprehension.  Here are a few of the strategies he suggests:

  • Model expressive oral reading for students
  • Use repeated readings frequently
  • Scaffolding student's reading
  • Practice reading phrases
  • Be sensitive of the difficulty and level of the text