Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Teaching Reading K-2 Workshop.

Word Study and Fluency: Examine the Topic

Examine the Topic

Consider Other Points of View

In this section, you will expand your understanding of word study by comparing the ideas from the workshop video with passages from various publications. Read and respond to the ideas presented as they relate to your own teaching practices.


Fluency is an important factor in learning to read. Students practice what they have learned in different literacy activities to become more fluent readers. Read the following passages on fluency instruction. Compare and contrast the ideas presented.

One way to develop automatic decoding skills is to spend a lot of time reading. There is ample evidence that one of the major differences between poor and good readers is the difference in the quantity of total time they have spent reading...Clearly, the research literature strongly suggests that the total amount of reading done in the beginning stages has a powerful effect on the development of reading skills. ...Increasing the amount of reading students do is important, because as words are encountered repeatedly, there are a number of beneficial outcomes, such as improvements in word recognition, speed, ease of reading, and comprehension.

Samuels, S. J. "Reading Fluency: Its Development and Assessment." In Farstrup, A. E., and S. J. Samuels, eds. What Research Has To Say About Reading Instruction, 172-174. Newark, Del.: International Reading Association, 2002.

What are the activities that support reading fluency in learning to read? Is independent reading time enough? Read the next passage and think about factors that promote reading fluency in beginning readers.

Reading fluency growth is greatest when students are working directly with you. Therefore, you should use most of your allocated reading instruction time for direct teaching of reading skills and strategies. Although silent, independent reading may be a way to increase fluency and reading achievement, it should not be used in place of direct instruction in reading. Direct instruction is especially important for readers who are struggling. Readers who have not yet attained fluency are not likely to make effective and efficient use of silent, independent reading time. For these students, independent reading takes time away from needed reading instruction.

Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA). Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children To Read, 29. Jessup, Md.: National Institute for Literacy at ED Pubs, 2001.

Consider these questions:

  • What is the major idea of each reading selection?
  • How do these ideas differ? How are they the same?
  • What do you think? Which statement most closely reflects your understanding of fluency development? Why?
  • What classroom practices do you implement to develop reading fluency? How do they relate to the research?

Submit your written responses.


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