Fluency & Learning to Read - Reading Fluency

What is Reading Fluency? - If you are like most parents, you aren't sure what fluency is. You might even be confusing "reading fluency" with fluency with the English language (this is NOT what it means).

The Reading Skills Pyramidillustrates a typical sequence for acquiring reading skills for use by parents for homeschools and enrichment. The reading skills are organized using the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) system.

The "What Works?" Report found that the five key areas in learning to read are phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency.

Learn to Read online with Time4Learning.It is a comprehensive educational enrichment and entertainment service for children ages 3-11. It combines educational enrichment with a safe internet service in a single system. Time4Learning is an advertisement-free online service providing a mainstream prekindergarten through 3rd grade curriculum, great games for kids, and progress reports for parents. Children like the lessons, they love the playground. Parents love the convenience and effectiveness.

Fluency surprised many people when it made this list since many of us did not have fluency practice when we learned to read.

Fluency is the ability to read text accurately and quickly. Fluency bridges word decoding and comprehension. Comprehension is understanding what has been read. Fluency is a set of skills that allows readers to rapidly decode text while maintaining high comprehension.

A first benchmark for fluency is being able to "sight read" some words. The idea is that children will recognize at sight the most common words in written English and that instant reading of these words will allow them to read and understand text more quickly. Also, since there are many common English words that are so irregular according to the rules of phonics, its best to get children to just memorize them from the start. For example, try sounding out these words: one, was, if, even, or the. Many experts quickly remind us that an over-emphasis on sight reading early on can be counterproductive by having children focus on word memorization while avoiding learning the all important techniques of sounding out words. The bottom line is that as children master the rules of phonics, they should also master by sight a limited number of commonly encountered and often irregular words. The best discussion of this topic and a great list of words can be found on the SEDL website. They are among the most useful in providing useful insights into the process of learning to read.

Parents assist with fluency when they read aloud to children. Once children are reading at first to second grade level, exercises with timed reading also help children improve their reading speed. This type of exercise is demanding of parents or instructors since it requires active involvement.

Software and on-line reading programs can also provide great opportunities for children to follow along in the text as the program reads aloud and for timed readings. Here is an example of a read-along storyused by Time4Reading. With Time4Learning, these fluency skills are taught and reinforced in a number of ways. Start a trial membership today.

For more information on how the reading skills are developed, look at the Time4Learning Reading Skills Pyramid. For more information on the NCLB Reading First findings

Vocabulary Games    interactive homeschool curriculum   spelling tests


The Reading Skills Pyramid

Key skills and dependencies

Phonics & Learning to Read

Phonics is a critical step in learning to read. Yet teaching phonics without children having phonological awareness and phonemic awareness or basic print concepts, will fail. The steps in learning to read include phonics as one of many critical steps. The Reading Skills Pyramid illustrates a typical sequence for acquiring reading skills for use by parents for homeschools and enrichment. The reading skills are organized using the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) system. See below for more details.

The Reading Skills Pyramid visually depicts the patterns of concept acquisition that children follow in becoming successful readers up through third grade. We recommend a high level of parent involvement in this process by providing high quality educational materials, establishing a pattern of daily reading, creating a rich language environment, and discussing your child's progress with teachers and following up on their recommendations. While most children follow the same sequence of acquiring literacy skills, they do so at their own pace. All children are different: if you have questions or concerns about your child's progress in reading, contact his or her teacher.

Time4Learning www.Time4Learning.com is a comprehensive educational enrichment and entertainment service for children ages 3-9. It combines educational enrichment with a safe internet service in a single system. Time4Learning is an advertisement-free online service providing a mainstream prekindergarten through 3rd grade curriculum, great games for kids, and progress reports for parents. Children like the lessons, they love the playground. Parents love the convenience and effectiveness.

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Note  
This Reading Skills Pyramid illustrates the analysis of skills and grade level targets determined by the U.S. Department of Education. Curriculum differs from state to state and many children will develop faster than these targets These norms represent average levels of reading achievement.