Improving Reading Fluency Part 1

This week and next, I’m re-posting my 2 posts on reading
fluency, with a few modifications. Fluency is an important topic and I think
it’s worth visiting again.

What is Reading Fluency?

Fluency is the ability to read text accurately, quickly and with
confidence. It’s the ability to read phrases and sentences smoothly and
quickly, and most importantly, with comprehension.


Why is Reading Fluency important?

As children become fluent readers, they begin to think less about
the words and more about the meaning of the sentences they’re reading. Fluent
readers can respond to the material with emotion and thought. Without fluency,
reading is a chore because so much effort goes into decoding (sounding out)
each word. With that much effort, there’s little energy left for making

Fortunately, there are ways to improve fluency. Here are some
suggestions. The important thing is to choose activities that your child wants
to do or at least doesn’t mind (or fight) doing.


Model Fluent Reading

When you read aloud, read with as much expression as the story
permits. No need to be over the top – unless that’s fun for you and your child.
In my mind, goofy is good!


Repeated Readings

Many children enjoy reading, and hearing, the same
story/book/poem over and over. This is a good thing – repeated readings and
hearings builds in comfort and familiarity. Such familiarity reduces the need
for decoding and allows better flow, and therefore, confidence.


Echo Reading

Echo reading is when one reader reads a piece of text and a
second reader echoes that same piece. This works really well with poems but
other text can be used as well. I suggest you switch roles frequently so your
child gets to be the first reader and you are the echoer.


Choral Reading

Try reading together! Choose a piece of text and read it
simultaneously together. Maybe even read it together for someone else.



See the post 9 Books for Summer Drama Fun for resources.


  • everyone has a copy of the
    complete script
  • highlight each player’s part
    (yellow highlighting is best because the other colors tend to obscure the
  • read the script aloud before
    choosing parts
  • ham it up!

Coming up next Wednesday: Improving Reading Fluency Part 2


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *