Family Fluency Practice
The success of a literacy program at school partly depends on the literacy support at home. Children in classrooms that practice fluency at home have shown a greater improvement in reading fluency than children that do not practice at home. Fluency is the ability to read text quickly, accurately, and with the appropriate expression, in order to apply this smoothness to silent reading comprehension.
The strategies and ideas below are things you could do at home that will engage your child in building fluency. You could use any book or story that is not too hard for your child.
Repeated Reading: Read the same short section of a book or story more than once in the same sitting (100-200 words) Focus on the fluency by talking about the increased smoothness each time that section is read. You could vary this by using the different variations of repeated readings listed below.
Echo Reading: You read one line and your child reads the same line after you. Increase the number of lines you read at one time as your child’s reading improves. To be sure your child is looking at the words as you read, ask him/her to follow the print with a finger, or “whisper read” along with you.
Choral Reading:You and your child read the same text aloud together. If you read with expression, your child will begin to, too. Try using:
- different emotions for each paragraph or section.
- different voices, such as a little girl’s voice, monster’s voice, robot’s voice….
Partner Reading:You and your child take turns reading. Start by reading one sentence and asking your child to read the next sentence. As the child’s fluency improves, you read a page and he/she reads a page. Switch back and forth until the passage is complete.
- Fluency is more about SMOOTHNESS than it is about speed. Each time your child rereads something, their smoothness increases. With practice, this smoothness, or fluency, will carry over into other oral reading and will increase comprehension.
- Use EXPRESSION as you read so your reading sounds like speaking. Let the story come alive!
- When practicing fluency, help your child with words they do not know.
- Be supportive, patient, and helpful with your child’s efforts. This is a great opportunity for you and your child to spend quality time together!