Reading fluently with expression is definitely a big part of the language-arts process. Not only does it improve comprehension, it also makes children confident oral readers in the classroom. Plus, fluency is one skill that is relatively simple to improve in students who don't have serious reading or communication disorders. The following activities can be adapted to work with children of all skill levels.
- Modeling fluency: A good reader reads a short passage several times as a model before having the child read the passage. Make it fun by reading humorous poems by Bruce Lansky and Shel Silverstein. Poems like these will really enhance your children's use of expression in their reading.
- Repeated reading: After a good reader has modeled how a short passage is to be read, the child reads the passage aloud several times until he or she can read it fluently. If necessary, the good reader can model the reading of the passage more than once.
- Paired reading: The good reader reads the short passage. Then the child reads it with him or her until the child can read the passage without any assistance.
- To really improve fluency, three passages should be worked on each day for several weeks. Adjust the length and difficulty of the passage to the child's ability. To show the child how he or she is improving, record passages at the beginning and end of a week.