I get questions about all things reading, all of the time! A recent question asked about helping students practice reading fluency virtually. Is it possible to grow students as fluent readers through distance learning? Can you target these skills, even from a distance? Keep reading to get some tips for targeting fluency in any learning environment!
Question: How Can I Practice Reading Fluency Virtually?
A: Begin by setting a ‘fluency focus’ of the day. Choose something easy to practice such as expression, rate, pausing at punctuation, etc. Share the focus with your students by defining it and modeling it. To model the skill, first read a brief text in a non-fluent voice, and then re-read fluently. Point out how the fluency focus made understanding the text so much easier! Then, instruct them to focus on that particular skill in all reading tasks for the day. This is all easy to teach and practice from a distance!
Another way to practice reading fluency virtually is to use recorded readings! This can be done individually, or pair students in break-out rooms. Recorded readings are easy to incorporate into distance learning, because most students will have a device at home that has a built in voice-recorder. If not, there are many free voice-recording websites that you can share with your class. When students record their own reading, they can listen back to exactly how they sound. This makes it easy for them to evaluate how they are progressing with their fluency goals! It’s a powerful tool, and can be done completely virtually. Just a tip: If you choose to pair students up, be sure that they read at similar levels. It can be intimidating to listen to yourself read in front of another person!
Finally, create a routine around incorporating fluency practice into all reading tasks you do! I have digital fluency passages to make this easier. These are set up the same as my printable fluency passages packs, but all set to be used in Google Slides. You can learn more about these digital passages in THIS blog post.
Have more questions? Connect with me to share what you’re wondering about in your reading classroom! I’d love to help! Happy teaching, everyone!