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Planning for Student Needs: Fluency Intervention. January 15, 2009 Toni Wilson Primary Literacy Project 2 nd /3 rd Grade. Outcomes. Understand the importance of reading fluency. Be able to diagnose the underlying causes of a student’s lack of fluency.

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planning for student needs fluency intervention

Planning for Student Needs: Fluency Intervention

January 15, 2009

Toni Wilson

Primary Literacy Project

2nd/3rd Grade

  • Understand the importance of reading fluency.
  • Be able to diagnose the underlying causes of a student’s lack of fluency.
  • Be able to prescribe an instructional plan for improving fluency.
comprehensive definition fluency
Comprehensive Definition:Fluency
  • “Reading fluency refers to efficient, effective word recognition skills that permit a reader to construct the meaning of a text. Fluency is manifested in accurate, rapid, expressive oral reading and is applied during, and makes possible, silent reading comprehension.”

(Pikulski & Chard, 2005)

hasbrouck tindal norms 2004
Hasbrouck & Tindal Norms (2004)
  • Not too different from 1992 norms.

50 %ile:


2nd Gr: 94 wcpm 89

3rd Gr: 114 107

4th Gr: 118 123

5th Gr: 128 139


Factors that might potentially influence oral reading rate (Torgesen, 2004)

1. Proportion of words in text that are recognized as “sight words.”

2.Speed with which sight words are processed - affected by practice or individual differences in basic processing speed.

3.Speed of processes used to identify novel or unknown words -- phonetic decoding, analogy, context.

4. Speed with which word meanings are identified.

5. Speed at which overall meaning is constructed

6. Individual choices about the trade-off between speed and accuracy

ehri s phases of word reading
Ehri’s Phases of Word Reading





prealphabetic phase
Prealphabetic Phase
  • When a child recognizes the word “monkey” by looking at the ‘tail’ on the ‘y’.
  • When a child says “that says stop!” when they see a red octagonal traffic sign, but cannot read the word ‘stop’ in isolation.
partial alphabetic phase
Partial Alphabetic Phase
  • Children begin to understand that there is a relationship between letters and sounds, although they tend to rely on beginning and ending sounds so they continue to make errors in reading words.
fully alphabetic phase
Fully Alphabetic Phase
  • Students are able to sound out words successfully. They know the sound-symbol connections and move from guessing a word from the first or last letter in the partial alphabetic phase, to complete word decoding sound by sound. When they see the same word more than a few times, then that word becomes automatically recognized. As more and more words become “sight” words, students move into the Consolidated Alphabetic Phase.
building sight word memory with spelling patterns
Building sight word memory with spelling patterns
  • Readers learn that words share spelling patterns. For example, common vowel-consonant endings such as –ight and –eak.
  • They can form connections between 4 written and spoken syllabic units, IN-TER-EST-ING, rather than 10 graphophonemic units. (Ehri, 2004)
moving toward the consolidated phase
Moving toward the Consolidated Phase
  • The fastest and least intrusive way to read text is reading words from memory by sight. Readers read them without effort – automatically. The strength of this automatic learning can be shown with the Stroop effect.
consolidated alphabetic phase
Consolidated Alphabetic Phase
  • Students instantly recognize words. And they are developing instant recognition of common word patterns which increases their sight word vocabulary. For example, in the word ‘bank’, a student in the consolidated phase may understand the word as ‘b’ plus ‘ank’, processing only 2 units. In the Fully Alphabetic phase, the student sounds out ‘bank’ as 4 units (/b/ /a/ /ŋ/ /k/).
  • Students in the consolidated phase are well prepared to move into fluent reading. However, as they increase their sight word skills, they must also develop vocabulary.
9 steps to building fluency
9 Steps to Building Fluency
  • Develop orthographic/phonological foundations (phonemic awareness, letter knowledge, phonics).
  • Increase vocabulary and oral language skills.
  • Effectively teach high-frequency vocabulary and provide adequate practice.
  • Teach common word-parts and spelling patterns.

(Pikulski, J.J., & Chard, D.J. (2005). Fluency: Bridge between decoding and reading comprehension. The Reading Teacher, 58 (6), 510-519.

9 steps to building fluency 2
9 Steps to Building Fluency (2)
  • Effectively teach decoding skills and provide adequate practice.
  • Provide students with appropriate texts to assist in building fluent reading.
  • Use guided oral repeated reading strategies for struggling readers.
  • Support, guide and encourage wide-reading.
  • Implement appropriate screening and progress monitoring assessments.

(Pikulski & Chard, 2005)

speed drills
Speed Drills
  • Students can begin doing speed drills as soon as they are reading a couple of words. You can make a speed drill with just 3-4 words (e.g., the, at, am) if a student is struggling with blending and can’t really read yet.
  • For other students, consider drills with word families (such as the –am, -at, -ame, -ate lists.
  • Or change the ending consonant in a speed drill (e.g., man, mat, map, mad).
  • Rate is usually 50-120 words per minute.
  • (from Fischer, Concept Phonics. Oxton House)
to be a fluent reader
To Be a Fluent Reader:
  • A child must be able to recognize most of the words in a passage “by sight”;
  • A child must correctly pronounce words 5-10 times before they become “sight words”;
  • A child must make accurate first guesses when they encounter new words, or the growth of their sight word vocabulary will be delayed – they will not become fluent readers.
  • Torgesen, 2003
phrasing and chunking text from hook 2001
Phrasing and Chunking Text (from Hook, 2001)
  • Students who read word-for-word may benefit initially from practicing phrasing with the alphabet rather than words since letters do not tax the meaning system.
  • The letters are grouped, an arc is drawn underneath, and students recite the alphabet in chunks (e.g., ABC DE FGH IJK LM NOP QRS TU VW XYZ). Once students understand the concept of phrasing, it is recommended that teachers help students chunk text into syntactic (noun phrases, verb phrases, prepositional phrases) or meaning units until they are proficient themselves.
  • Text can be formatted for the student or the student may write the phrases on an erasable sheet. There are no hard and fast rules for chunking but syntactic units are most commonly used.
chunking and phrasing hook 2001
Chunking and PhrasingHook, 2001
  • Once upon a time / in a land far, far, away / there lived / a beautiful princess.
chunking and paired reading
Chunking and Paired Reading
  • Pair readers (more proficient readers with less proficient readers)
  • Select passage at the instructional level of less proficient reader
  • Prepare passage by taking sentences and placing slash marks between phrases such as: The fast horse/ won the race.
  • Model the phrasing for all students first.
  • Have students take turns reading aloud the chunked passages.

(U. of Texas Center for Reading and Language Arts)

wide reading and fluency oriented oral reading
Wide-Reading and Fluency-oriented Oral Reading
  • Kuhn study (04-05). Second grade students in 4 groups of 6 students each reading at or below first-grade level (QRI).
  • Wide reading (w/echo and choral reading), fluency-oriented oral reading (FOOR), listening, and control.
  • Wide reading and FOOR outperformed other 2 groups in prosody and word recognition.
  • Wide reading outperformed all groups on comprehension. Wide reading group read 18 texts and FOOR group read 6. Listening group heard 18 texts.
echo reading
Echo Reading
  • Give students copies of instructional-level texts.
  • Explain that you will read some of the text, and students will then ‘echo read’ the same text, modeling your rate and exression. Read 2-4 sentences. Then, pause for them to echo read, then read 2-4 more sentences.
  • You can tape the 2-4 sentence sections, or have a student serve as the model reader.
  • (from National Institute for Literacy, 2001)
choral reading
Choral Reading
  • Copies of instructional level passages.
  • Give students copies of texts.
  • Model the task by reading the first part of the text out loud. Set the pace and read with proper pacing, phrasing and expression.
  • Read the same part of the text again and have students read along with you.

(Vaughn, Linan-Thompson, 2004. Research-based methods of reading instruction, grades K-3. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.)

partner reading
Partner Reading
  • Prepare copies of short texts at the level of the less proficient reader’s level.
  • Pair more proficient readers with less proficient readers.
  • Model and explain partner reading procedures.
  • Assign roles and have students take turns reading. Student A reads for 1 min. and Student B reads along. Then, Student B reads aloud the same text for one minute.
  • You can have students chart their rate and accuracy.

(from U. Texas, Center for Reading and Language Arts)

readers theatre caution
Readers Theatre - Caution
  • Too often, children who need the most practice with guided oral repeated reading are given the fewest words to learn in Readers Theatre because they struggle so much. It is a time consuming activity.
  • Consider whether there are more efficient ways to improve fluency.
read naturally
Read Naturally
  • Computer
  • CD or tape
  • Group Model
parent support
Parent Support
  • Forms on Santa Maria Bonita site
  • Reading logs
implement appropriate screening and progress monitoring assessments

Implement appropriate screening and progress monitoring assessments.

  • Use running record conventions on Oral Text Reading.
  • Informally assess using other passages.