11 BETTER APPROACHES
1. Choral Reading
The teacher and class read a passage aloud together, minimizing struggling readers' public exposure. In a 2011 study of over a hundred sixth graders (PDF, 232KB), David Paige found that 16 minutes of whole-class choral reading per week enhanced decoding and fluency. In another version, every time the instructor omits a word during her oral reading, students say the word all together.
2. Partner Reading
Two-person student teams alternate reading aloud, switching each time there is a new paragraph. Or they can read each section at the same time.
The Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) exercises pair strong and weak readers who take turns reading, re-reading, and retelling.
4. Silent Reading
5. Teacher Read Aloud
This activity, says Julie Adams of Adams Educational Consulting, is "perhaps one of the most effective methods for improving student fluency and comprehension, as the teacher is the expert in reading the text and models how a skilled reader reads using appropriate pacing and prosody (inflection)." Playing an audiobookachieves similar results.
6. Echo Reading
Students "echo" back what the teacher reads, mimicking her pacing and inflections.
7. Shared Reading/Modeling
By reading aloud while students follow along in their own books, the instructor models fluency, pausing occasionally to demonstrate comprehension strategies. (PDF, 551KB)
8. The Crazy Professor Reading Game
Chris Biffle's Crazy Professor Reading Game video (start watching at 1:49) is more entertaining than home movies of Blue Ivy. To bring the text to life, students . . .
- Read orally with hysterical enthusiasm
- Reread with dramatic hand gestures
- Partner up with a super-stoked question asker and answerer
- Play "crazy professor" and "eager student" in a hyped-up overview of the text.
9. Buddy Reading
Kids practice orally reading a text in preparation for reading to an assigned buddy in an earlier grade.
10. Timed Repeat Readings
This activity can aid fluency, according to literacy professors Katherine Hilden and Jennifer Jones (PDF, 271KB). After an instructor reads (with expression) a short text selection appropriate to students' reading level (90-95 percent accuracy), learners read the passage silently, then again loudly, quickly, and dynamically. Another kid graphs the times and errors so that children can track their growth.
With Fluency-Oriented Reading Instruction (FORI), primary students read the same section of a text many times over the course of a week (PDF, 54KB). Here are the steps:
- The teacher reads aloud while students follow along in their books.
- Students echo read.
- Students choral read.
- Students partner read.
- The text is taken home if more practice is required, and extension activities can be integrated during the week.