As all Really Good Teachers know, modeling helps students understand what’s being asked of them. This clever reading fluency idea by Deborah, a 2nd Grade Teacher, from Mobile, AL takes modeling to a whole new level. Not only does it model fluently reading a sentence, it teaches students what it sounds like to read without a smooth flow to their speech. If your students are struggling with fluency, grab some sentence strips and try this teacher-tested idea.
“To teach fluency pick a sentence that your students can read fairly easily,” explained Deborah. “Write it on a sentence strips three times. Leave one strip whole. Cut the next one in phrases. Cut the next one word for word. Explain to the students what a fluent reader would sound like. Then put out the word for word sentence and read it that way. Ask them if that sounded fluent,” she suggested.
“Next put out the same sentence cut into phrases. Read it that way. Ask them if that sounded better (guide them to say yes if they don’t!!).
Model this with them until they read it in phrases. Then show them the same sentence in the whole strip and see if they can read it in the phrases you practiced. Using a small brush, like a paint brush, or a laser pointer sweeping under the words instead of bouncing also helps a lot!!” she demonstrated.
How do you teach your students about and encourage fluency in reading? Is there a technique that’s worked for you? Share it with us below or on the Really Good Teachers Forum! We’d love to hear how you improve your students’ reading skills!