Fluent readers are able to focus on comprehension without directing large concentrations of cognitive processing resources to decoding words.
Before students have the necessary skills to read connected text, fluency instruction should include the building blocks of reading, including letters or sounds and reading regular and sight words automatically. Once students can read connected text, guided instruction in the form of oral reading using choral, echo, and repeated reading with feedback are effective practices for improving fluency and reading achievement (Chard, Vaughn, & Tyler, 2002; Homan, Klesius, & Hite, 1993; NICHHD, 2000).
Developing fluency in reading requires practice, and repeated readings can improve reading and also lead to improvement in decoding, reading rate, and comprehension (Kuhn & Stahl, 2000; NICHHD, 2000).
What are Decodable books?
Decodable books and text contain words made of letter-sounds, and spelling and morphological patterns (e.g. prefixes & suffixes) that a student has been explicitly taught. In order to make the text more readable, a small number of high-frequency words that have more difficult or unexpected spellings, such as ‘the’, ‘my’, ‘was’ are also used. As a student learns new parts of the alphabetic code the vocabulary used in the text expands to include the newly learned ‘graphemes’ and ‘morphemes.’
Source: IDA Ontario
Decodable Books & Activities by Flyleaf Publishing
Decodable books are organized into two categories for students and teachers. Teachers have access to books with accompanying activities and instructional guides! Free for teachers and their students through the 2020-2021 academic school year.
A New Model for Teaching High-Frequency Words
Integrating high-frequency words into phonics lessons allows students to make sense of spelling patterns for these words. To do this, high-frequency words need to be categorized according to whether they are spelled entirely regularly or not. Restructuring the way high-frequency words are taught makes reading and spelling the words more accessible to all students. The rest of this article describes how to “rethink” teaching of high-frequency words and fit them into phonics lessons.
Matching Books to Phonics Features
Phonics instruction teaches students the relationships between letters and individual sounds. An important step in teaching phonics is to provide students with practice in applying what they’ve learned to real reading and writing.
Effective early reading instruction uses materials (books, stories, poems) that contain a large number of words that children can decode. Other instruction might provide opportunities to spell words and write stories that also contain the same phonics features.
Using Decodable Books and Early Leveled Readers Appropriately for Beginning Readers
Presented by Linda Farrell
Look at complementary ways to use these two resources to help all beginning readers develop habits that strong readers use.
Hosted by: Voyager Sopris
Decodable Text Sources
Decodable text is a type of text used in beginning reading instruction. Decodable texts are carefully sequenced to progressively incorporate words that are consistent with the letter–sound relationships that have been taught to the new reader. This list of links, compiled by The Reading League, includes decodable text sources for students in grades K-2, 3-8, teens, and all ages.
By: Reading Rockets
Using Choral Reading in Instruction
Choral reading is reading aloud in unison with a whole class or group of students. Choral reading helps build students’ fluency, self-confidence, and motivation. Because students are reading aloud together, students who may ordinarily feel self-conscious or nervous about reading aloud have built-in support.
How to use choral reading
- Choose a book or passage that works well for reading aloud as a group:
- Patterned or predictable (for beginning readers)
- Not too long
- At the independent reading level of most students
- Provide each student a copy of the text so they may follow along. (Note: You may wish to use an overhead projector or place students at a computer monitor with the text on the screen)
- Read the passage or story aloud and model fluent reading for the students.
- Ask the students to use a marker or finger to follow along with the text as they read.
- Reread the passage and have all students in the group read the story or passage aloud in unison.
Source: Reading Rockets
Building Fluency Using Paired Reading
Paired reading is a research-based fluency strategy used with readers who lack fluency. In this strategy, students read aloud to each other. When using partners, more fluent readers can be paired with less fluent readers, or children who read at the same level can be paired to reread a story they have already read. Paired reading can be used with any book, taking turns reading by sentence, paragraph, page or chapter.
How to use paired reading
How to pair students
Pair students either by same reading ability or by high level readers with low level readers. Use the following steps to pair high-level readers with low-level readers:
- List the students in order from highest to lowest according to reading ability
- Divide the list in half
- Place the top student in the first list with the top student in the second list
- Continue until all students have been partnered
- Be sensitive to pairings of students with special needs, including learning or emotional needs. Adjust pairings as necessary
- The reader from the first list should read first while the reader from the second list listens and follows along
- The second reader should pick up where the first reader stops. If additional practice is needed, the second reader can reread what the first reader read
- Encourage pairs to ask each other about what was read. “What was your page about? What was your favorite part?”
Implementing the strategy
- Introduce the students to the Paired Reading strategy. This includes:
- Establishing a routine for students to adopt so that they know the step-by-step requirements for engaging in paired reading (i.e. Will they read out loud, simultaneously? Will they take turns with each person reading a paragraph? a page? Or will one person read while the other person listens?).
- Teaching students an error-correction procedure to use when supporting each other’s reading (i.e. re-reading misread words; signals for difficulty).
- Modeling the procedure to ensure that students understand how to use the strategy.
- Ask students to begin reading in pairs and adjust reading speed if reading simultaneously so they stay together.
- Have students offer feedback and praise frequently for correct reading.
- Monitor and support students as they work.
Source: Reading Rockets
Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) Norms Chart for Grades 1-6
In 2017, Hasbrouck and Tindal published an Update of Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) Norms, compiled from three widely-used and commercially available ORF assessments (DIBELS, DIBELS Next, and easy CBM), and representing a far larger number of scores than the previous assessments.
The table below shows the mean oral reading fluency of students in grades 1 through 6, as determined by Hasbrouck’s and Tindal’s 2017 data. You can also see an analysis of how the 2017 norms differ from the 2006 norms.
Of the various CBM measures available in reading, ORF is likely the most widely used. ORF involves having students read aloud from an unpracticed passage for one minute. An examiner notes any errors made (words read or pronounced incorrectly, omitted, read out of order, or words pronounced for the student by the examiner after a 3-second pause) and then calculates the total of words read correctly per minute (WCPM).
This WCPM score has 30 years of validation research conducted over three decades, indicating it is a robust indicator of overall reading development throughout the primary grades.
Source: Reading Rockets