Fluency is” a measure of the reader’s competence at decoding and recognizing sight words with automaticity at a specified reading level” (Pennington, 2013). It is believed that the higher the level of fluency, the higher the level of comprehension. Fluency involves three major areas: intonation, pacing, and phrasing. Intonation is the pattern of pitch change when reading a passage.
It allows the audience to tell when there’s excitement or even a question. Pacing is the speed in which the student reads a given passage, and phrasing allows the student to use “meaning and structure sources of information” to help them solve problems as they are reading (Reading Recovery, n.d.). For the purpose of this task, I will describe a three-day literacy unit including the strategies, activities, and the reason for both.
The first day of the unit to improve fluency will involve choral reading. Choral reading is when the students all read together in unison. Not only does it improve fluency, but also self confidence in students who might otherwise not like to read in front of the whole class. It is also good for building vocabulary. For the choral reading part of the unit, I will use the
book, Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom. This book has text with a rhyming pattern which is an excellent way to improve fluency. For the next day’s unit, I will use partner reading to try and improve fluency. The students will be paired in groups of two, one with a higher reading level to help the lower level reader. Each will read every other page from the book Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
This book has a rhyming pattern which helps improve fluency. Partner reading encourages cooperation and supports the peer-assisted learning. The two students will re-read missed words to each other to support their partner’s reading.
The third day of the literacy unit will be a reading theater. “Reader’s Theater is a dramatic presentation of a written work in a script form” (Teaching Heart, 2008). Students are given a part from a script and practice reading their part with expressive voices and gestures.
Reader’s Theater addresses all three aspects of oral reading fluency: intonation, pacing, andphrasi ng. Studies show that it “enhanced oral reading word recognition, comprehension, and also boosted confidence and motivation toward reading” (Millin & Rinhart, 1999). The students will read the book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.
They will divided up into groups of five children, all with different reading abilities, and each reader will be assigned a number from one to five. They will each be given a script with the different parts highlighted with numbers one to five and read their particular assigned part.
Each of the three chosen strategies support the three parts of oral reading fluency: intonation, pacing, and phrasing. Repeating these strategies will help readers of all levels to improve their oral reading fluency and in the process, build their self-esteem and develop a more positive attitude towards reading.
Millin, S. K., & Rinehart, S. D. (1999). Some of the benefits of readers theater participation for second-grade title i students. reading research and instruction. Informally published manuscript, University of West Virginia, Morgantown, West Virginia, , Available from Title I. Pennington, M. (2009, June 15). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-and-why-to-teach-fluency/Teacher’s Heart. (2008, July). Reader’s theater. Retrieved from http://www.teachingheart.net/readerstheater.htm