Fluency 2010_MN

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          What Is Fluency?
Fluency refers to how a person reads
 orally (out loud). It is thought that oral
 gives us a gauge on silent reading.
There are many definitions of fluency.
Many people think of fluency as
 accuracy (how correctly one reads) and
 rate (how fast one reads), but that’s not
 all there is to it!
          Fluency Includes:
Automaticity (reading words effortlessly
 and automatically, no need to sound out)
Rate (speed/pace of reading)
Accuracy (correctness)
Prosody (phrasing, smoothness)
Intonation (using proper pitch and stress)
Expression (emotion)
Comprehension (understanding reading)
   What People Might Not Know About
Fluency is not just related to reading
 paragraphs, chapters, and other texts.
Fluency involves every process and sub-
 process of reading:
  Letter sounds
  Word patterns

          Accuracy           Automaticity        Prosody

Sight Word                 Guessing
              Decoding                  Stress   Pitch     Phrasing
                         from context
After it is fully developed, reading fluency refers
  to a level of accuracy and rate where decoding
  is relatively effortless; where oral reading is
  smooth and accurate with correct prosody; and
  where attention can be allocated to

Wolf, M., & Katzir-Cohen, T. (2001). Reading
 fluency and its intervention. Scientific Studies
 of Reading, 5, 211-239.
    Wolf and Katzir-Cohen’s
  Developmental Definition (p.
In its beginnings, reading fluency is the
  product of the initial development of
  accuracy and the subsequent
  development of automaticity in
  underlying sublexical processes, lexical
  processes, and their integration in
  single word reading and connected
Fluency requires the child to
use phonics and spelling
knowledge automatically
Fluency requires the child to
automatically integrate phonics
and spelling knowledge to
recognize entire words
Fluency requires the child to
link recognized words into
natural phrases, with
appropriate enunciation and
Fluency in Connected Text

  Fluency at the Word Level

      Fluency within Words
        Automaticity Theory
 Two requirements of reading – automatic word
  recognition AND constructing meaning
 The more energy spent with decoding, the less
  remaining for meaning construction

Laberge & Samuels (1974). Toward a theory of
  automatic information processing in reading.
  Cognitive Psychology, 6, 293-323.
     Ages and Stages: Chall’s
4. Comprehension of multiple                       Stage 4
   perspectives                                   Highschool

3. Comprehension of a single                       Stage 3
                                                 Grades 4 to 8
                                                    Stage 2
2. Fluency                                       Grades 2 and 3

1. Phonological recoding                            Stage 1
                                                 Grades 1 and 2

0. Alphabet knowledge                               Stage 0
                                                    Birth to K


                 Chall, J.S. (1983). Stages of
               reading development. New York:
    Why is Fluency Important?
Fluency is linked to overall reading
  Improved comprehension
  Improved vocabulary
  Increased ability to remember what is read
 How does fluency contribute
     to comprehension?

Automaticity theory

 How does fluency contribute
     to comprehension?

Automaticity theory

   Fluency and Comprehension
 Fluency provides a bridge between word recognition
  and comprehension
    Fluency does not guarantee comprehension, but if a reader
     needs to stop and decode words, reading becomes long and
     laborious, and meaning can be disrupted
    Students who read fluently are able to put their energies into
     understanding and analyzing what they read.
 Each component of fluency is important to
Prosody is comprised of a series
 of features including pitch or
intonation, stress or emphasis,
tempo or rate, and the rhythmic
     patterns of language.

A woman, without her man, is nothing.
  Maybe not so Easy to See the Connection
   Between Prosody and Comprehension
 “I wanted spring. to come I / went out. to
   find that corner. // I walked. Down the path /
   in the woods. until // I came to / a corner. I
   went around the corner. to see // if spring
   was on. // the other side
“I wanted spring to come. I went out to find that
   corner. I walked down the path in the woods
   until I came to a corner. I went around the
   corner to see if spring was on the other side.”
 Since parsing indicates that
the reader can transfer her/his
 knowledge of speech to text,
     it can be viewed as an
       indicator that s/he
understands what is being read
 by maintaining the important
     features of expressive
   Poor readers are not as prosodic in their
      reading or as facile with their use of
appropriate phrasing as are good readers. This
 is true for adults as well as for children and
 adolescents. However, studies indicate that
  poor readers at all age levels demonstrate
     improved comprehension when text is
presented in a manner comparable to speech;
    that is when it has been organized into
appropriate phrase units for the reader. So to
  tie these findings back to fluent reading, I
               would argue that …
               Fluency        Comprehension

 Walking Across the Bridge:
Fluency’s Impact on Comprehension
Oxytocin is involved in the control of
 maternal behavior. It is synthesized inside
 magnocellular neursecretory cells as a
 precursor protein that is processed by
 proteolysis to its shorter active peptide
 form. Specific parts of the brain such as
 the supraoptic nucleus produce oxytocin
 which acts on cells in locations such as the
 ventral pallidum to produce the
 behavioral effects of oxytocin.
 We didn’t understand that not
    because of fluency, but
    because we don’t know
anything about neurochemistry!

     Let’s take something easier …
     Why such a connection?
We have limited cognitive attention
Attention taken up with decoding
 (sounding out words), prosody (figuring
 out punctuation, etc.), and
 intonation/expression takes up valuable
 cognitive attention
Leaves less attention left over to truly
 analyze and create meaning from the
   Four components of good
      fluency instruction
Model fluent reading
Use guided repeated oral reading instruction.
Give students ways to practice and perform.
Implement word study activities to build
 accuracy and automaticity.
Ideas for Improving Fluency
          Important Points
Not all students need fluency instruction!!
Fluency instruction usually begins in the
 middle of first grade.
  Transitional readers/within word pattern spellers
Online resources:
       Model fluent reading
Students need to see and hear what fluent
  reading sounds like.
Ways to Model:
Read Aloud: An adult reads aloud a text to
  the whole class.
Books on Tape: Children can listen to
  stories on tape as they follow along in a
Buddy Reading: An upper grade child
       reads aloud to a lower grade child.
 Guided repeated oral reading instruction
Choral Reading: All students, lead by the
 teacher, read aloud together.
Peer/Paired Reading: Students work as pairs.
 Each student reads their text silently. Then
 the students take turns reading the passage
 three times orally to the other student. The
 listening student acts as the teacher by giving
 suggestions and feedback.
Echo Reading: The teacher reads a sentence,
 paragraph, or page aloud and then has the
 students chorally reread that segment.
  More suggestions for guided repeated
            oral reading instruction
 Tape Assisted Reading:
  Students listen and read along
  with a tape.
 Buddy Reading: An upper grade
  student listens to a lower grade
  student read, giving appropriate
 Phrase Reading: Teacher and
  students break text into short
  phrases that match speech
  pauses (natural chunking) and
  reread until fluent
   Lots of practice & performance
 Repeated Reading:
    Short passages (200-300 words, depending upon
     grade); poems and rhymes are great for repeated
    Teacher models reading the passage fluently
    Teacher discusses reading behaviors such as
     phrasing, rate, intonation, etc.
    Students practice reading the text several times
     until fluency has developed.
    Often times the teacher has students work in
        One student reads text the first time while other
         student times rate with a stopwatch and records
         expression, prosody, and accuracy on a rating
         sheet. Students switch.
        Students practice reading with their partner
         throughout the week
        Students time and use rating sheet again at end of
                      & performance
  Lots of practice Children choose
Independent Reading:
 text on their independent level to read
Reader's Theater: Oral performance
 (reading) of scripts usually based on
 authentic literature. In order to
 “perform” their script, students need to
 interpret the meaning (to use
 expression, etc.) and read and re-read
 to gain fluency.
 Lots of practice & performance
Fluency practice in literacy

 Listening Center: Listen to books
  on tape.
 Poetry Center: Copy and read
 Song Center: Read and sing songs.
 Recording Center: Read a story on
                Word Study
Help students recognize words
   Build sight word knowledge
   Work on decoding and patterns
Ideas to increase accuracy and
   Speed drills
   Flashcard practice
   Word Walls
   Sight Word games
   Vocabulary Activities (from Text Talk, for example)
4   Large and meaningful phrase groupings. Preserves author’s syntax and
    includes expressive interpretation.

3   Three- and four-word phrases. Mostly appropriate and preserving syntax.
    Little or no expressive interpretation.

2   Two-word phrases. Occasional larger groupings, but awkward and
    unrelated to larger context.

1   Word by word. Occasional two-word or three-word phrases.
           Guided Oral Reading
  But why can’t we just do what we’ve always done

                    Round Robin Oral Reading

Each child reads too little;                                  Instructional
   Engagement is low                                        time is wasted
                               feedback is of low quality
          Four Simple Alternatives
Choral            The teacher leads the entire class or group reading aloud
Reading           in unison.

Echo              The teacher reads a sentence and then the class rereads
Reading           it aloud.

Partner           Pairs of readers alternate reading aloud by a set protocol.

Whisper Reading   Each child reads aloud (but not in unison) in a quiet voice.
How should we measure fluency?

Fuchs, L. S. Fuchs, D., Hosp, M.K., & Jenkins, J. R.
  (2001). Scientific Studies of Reading, 5, 239-256.
Good, R. H., Simmons, D.C. & Kame’enui, E.J. (2001).
  The importance of decision-making utility of a
  continuum of fluency-based indicators of
  foundational reading skills for third-grade high-
  stakes outcomes. Scientific Studies of Reading, 5,

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