Friday, October 31, 2014

An Easy Way to Improve Fluency

Reading fluency is crucial for young readers because it bridges the gap between word recognition and text comprehension. Fluent readers do not have to spend as much time decoding the words so they are able to focus their efforts more on comprehending what the text means. Reading fluency is a huge struggle for many young readers.  Since reading fluency is the building block to comprehension, less fluent readers often fall behind their peers.   Significant improvement in reading fluency can be achieved with just a few minutes of practice each day.  

I have seen great gains in fluency using Super Speed 1000 from the Whole Brain Teaching Website. This activity and many others are available as a FREE download when you register on their website.  I love that this activity integrates both the Dolch and Fry word lists so the kids get exposure to as many words as possible.
In my classroom, we use a slight variation from the official rules that come with the download.  I have my students paired up by ability and personality.  The students work together as a team to beat their previous record.  The partners take turns reading the words back and forth for 60 seconds.  Each time the pair beats their record, they get to start one line further down at the beginning.  The official directions are a bit different, but I have found this procedure to work well with my class.  

This is a short video showing two of my students doing the Super Speed Reading Fluency activity.  My students are using the paper version of the game which is designed for partner practice.  The partner game promotes social interaction and goal setting in a fun, fast-paced game. There is also an electronic version of the game that is great for whole class practice.  
There is also a Super Speed Game for math facts.  Each of my students have a folder with the papers needed to play both games inside.  

Here is a short video of my students playing the Super Speed math game.  We play each game twice a day.  Since each game is only one minute long, we are able to practice both math facts and the top 1,000 words in five minutes.
If you are looking for an easy to implement way to improve reading and math fluency in your classroom, I encourage to visit the Whole Brain Teaching Website, register with your email address, and download the FREE Ebook(s).  You won't be disappointed!
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