Sunday, December 4, 2016


Image result for fluency

Fountas and Pinnell tell us that there are three components to reading fluency:
1. Accuracy (also known as automaticity, the person’s ability to read words correctly in a text)
2. Rate (the speed a person reads)
3. Stress, intonation, and pauses

(Fountas & Pinnell, 2009)

To gain a deeper understanding of fluency and how it supports or hinders reading, I recommend the work of Timothy Rasinski.
 "It may be helpful to think of reading fluency as a bridge between the two major components of reading – word decoding and comprehension. At one end of this bridge, fluency connects to accuracy and automaticity in decoding. At the other end, fluency connects to comprehension through prosody, or expressive interpretation." 
Rasinski has a multidimensional fluency rubric that breaks down the different components of fluency. I like to use it along with a running record. You are looking for expression and volume, phrasing, smoothness, and pace.

Visit Tim Rasinski's website and find a wonderful list of resources!

In her article, Shared Reading: Listening Leads to Fluency And Understanding, Janet Allen discusses the importance of Shared Reading in building fluency. Please take the time to read this article. Shared reading is appropriate for any grade! She mentions some of the advantages of using shared reading:

  • Students were more motivated to read.
  • Attendance improved when students didn't want to miss what the class was reading.
  • Students' speaking and writing vocabularies were changing to reflect the texts they read.
  • Students were reading more on their own -- in school, in detention, at home and even in jail. (Allen received several letters from former students who were there, asking her to send books similar to those she had read with them.)
  • The class was more like a community and less a collection of individuals who happened to be in the same place.
  • Students' writing improved.
  • Students began to see themselves as readers.   (Allen, 2002)

Building fluency involves decoding and comprehension!  Some of my favorite resources for helping students with fluency are listed below:

Fry Phrases by Rasinski- These can be on cards or you can find power points that have them on each slide. Students can practice them in pairs or it could be part of a guided reading lesson. They are based on sight words. I have found that the phrases work so much better than just one word.

Readers Theater- This is a great resource. There are many links!

Poetry- This is a lesson with resources. Any fun poem will do!

Songs- I love the idea of using popular songs!

I hope that this sparks your interest in building fluency in fun ways!