Happy New Year!
The National Reading Panel states, “Fluent readers are characterized by the ability to read orally with speed, accuracy and proper expression.”
When teachers listen to their students read daily, they are focusing on 4 major parts of fluency: Pace, Phrasing, Expression/Volume, and Smoothness. Teachers model and teach these guidelines so your child knows what is expected when they read.
Pace is keeping a consistently conversational and appropriate rate at which they read. Teachers work with students on not reading slowly and laboriously or inappropriately fast.
Phrasing is being aware of sentence units and applying appropriate stress and intonation (pausing at commas and other end marks). Readers are encouraged to not read word-for-word. We chunk sections of sentences together to help add meaning to our reading.
Expression/Volume is reading with enthusiasm while sounding natural. Teachers work with students to discourage robot reading with little expression. We want kids read how they sound while holding a conversation.
Smoothness is reading with minimal breaks. It is moving past sounding out words and frequently pausing or hesitating to read.
Have your child practice reading with appropriate fluency on some of their favorite books, poems or comics. The best way you can help your child improve his reading is to read together. Have him read out loud to you. We test students on this three times a year and often students think it is strange to hear themselves read aloud. Practice this at home. This also means you can cook dinner or feed the baby while helping your child grow his reading. Model reading with great expression and enthusiasm when you read aloud. Also, don’t slow down when you are reading something together. Keeping a normal reading rate helps increase the pace at which your child reads.
Each month I will post information regarding literacy strategies or skills that might be helpful for you and your child at home. If you have any questions about Literacy First, please call me at 554-2333 or email email@example.com.