Do you have students in your class or homeschool room that lack expression, ignore punctuation, read so quickly (or slowly) that they're difficult to understand, or read laboriously* through a text? If so there are some quick and easy strategies that have proven to be effective that you can implement immediately.
Readers need to know the criteria expected of them in order to master a concept. This is why rubrics are my BFF. It's one page that readers can refer to often, that can be the source of instruction, and that they can use to evaluate how they did reading the passage. This is the very rubric I use:
Readers need to hear a fluent reader model what good reading sounds like and as they learn how to read fluency they need support, encouragement, guidance and many opportunities to read and reread the same passage. This is an effective strategy that I use often:
Model fluent reading by reading the passage to them as they follow along.
Read it again asking them to whisper read as they follow along.
Read it again but this time they read aloud alongside you.
The first time a reader reads a passage there are going to be errors. There may be unfamiliar words, the emotions the author intends to display are not yet known, punctuation may be noticed but not fully understood, and the first time a reader reads through a text might be read slowly to soak it in, understand it more fully, or to check understanding. The first time a reader reads through a passage (no matter the age) should not be "graded" on their fluency because they are just becoming familiar with the text! Instead allow them to observe punctuation, identify emotions, define unknown words - then the text comes alive! The more that a reader reads the same passage (practicing, like anything else) the more fluent he/she becomes. We read the same Psalm all week long and it is highly effective. This is our second year doing it and I cannot begin to tell you the benefits for my little reader. She once mumbled, read too quickly, and skipped right over punctuation. She is a far different reader on Friday than she is on Monday when she begins reading the Psalm. It is our favorite time of our day. Whether you homeschool or not, this interactive notebook will also benefit your reader on a spiritual level and will affect their fluency in more ways than you can imagine.
GIVEAWAY! I am giving that notebook away to one individual who comments on this post, or the one on my Facebook or Instagram page telling me how this would benefit your little 1st-4th grade reader! Winner will be announced November 25, before a 4 day #sale begins in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Multiple entries if you tag a friend on my Instagram or Facebook posts.
*If your reader struggles through words and sentences there may be an underlying word identification issue. If this is the case, contact me, I can help you locate it and find the research-based strategies to get your reader where they need to be.
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